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Foreign Correspondence: Translator: Trafficking Between Cultures

El Gran Gigante Bonachon

Translation has often been compared to the building of a bridge. The text originates from within one culture and has to arrive safely in another. A translator acts as travel guide across that bridge, helping the book to find its audience and success in a new land. Yes, some luggage may get lost along the […]

2015 in Review: The Year in Pictures

mattick_finding winnie

2015 was a striking, if fractious, year for picture books. At ALA, picture books were in the spotlight not just for their usual recognition — with Sophie Blackall receiving the 2016 Caldecott Medal for Finding Winnie — but also for winning top awards in many more categories: the Batchelder Award went to a picture book […]

Review of The Great White Shark Scientist

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The Great White Shark Scientist [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery;
 photos by Keith Ellenbogen Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    70 pp. 6/16    978-0-544-35298-8    $18.99 Biologist Greg Skomal studies great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod, using a variety of technologies, including video and telemetry, to document their burgeoning population as the marine […]

2015 in Review: The Year in Words

de la peña_last stop on market street

The year was 2015. A year in which so many people from so many backgrounds said so much about books with so few words. It was a year in which people didn’t just discuss books. They cheered and argued, raged and kvetched, praised them and condemned them. Social media wasn’t new in 2015, but never […]

Review of A World Without You

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A World Without You by Beth Revis High School    Razorbill/Penguin    371 pp. 7/16    978-1-59514-715-8    $17.99    g Two alternating and emotionally entangling first-person narrations present different versions of reality and of the novel’s events. Bo tells readers that he attends the Berkshire Academy for Children with Exceptional Needs, an exclusive boarding school for students with supernatural […]

Review of Lion Lessons

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Lion Lessons by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 7/16    978-0-8037-3908-6    $17.99    g Disregarding a city block full of advertised classes (baking, karate, knitting, yoga), a small but determined little boy heads straight into the building offering “Lion Lessons.” The instructor, a real lion whose diploma reads “Harvard School of […]

Profile of 2016 Newbery Medal winner Matt de la Peña

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The first time I met Matt de la Peña, he was sitting at a table in the Random House booth at the 2008 National Council of Teachers of English annual convention in San Antonio. It was shortly before the exhibit hall was scheduled to close, and the booth was empty. No fans. No signing lines. […]

The Audacious Choice of Sophie Blackall: Profile of 2016 Caldecott Medal Winner Sophie Blackall

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In 1914, Lindsay Mattick’s great-grandfather Captain Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian traveling across Canada on his way to serve in the Great War, stopped at a train station and decided to buy a baby black bear from a trapper on the platform. That was a rather audacious thing to do. As it turns out, literature for […]

Profile of 2016 CSK Author Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia

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Whenever I think of Rita Williams-Garcia, it is not long before the memory rises of a teen mother asking Rita a question at a school visit coordinated by my library, Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. The young women at the school had read Rita’s seminal novel Like Sisters on the Homefront in preparation for […]

Profile of 2016 CSK Illustrator Award winner Bryan Collier

bryan_collier_at_party

In 2012, I met two men whose talent and generosity would change my life: Trombone Shorty and Bryan Collier. Born and raised in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews found a broken trombone when he was four years old and taught himself how to play. By the seasoned age of six, he was leading his […]