Some people smarter than I

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While putting my thoughts back in to fully bake–just kidding, I’ve ditched that recipe–I wanted to share some of the valuable links people provided in the comments to my last post and on Facebook. And let me say again how grateful I am for your bearing with me. I think a lot about what it […]

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

cox_elizabeth queen of the seas

Since Brian Floca won the Caldecott last year for Locomotive, you can bet this year’s committee will be taking a look at his 2014 picture book. Written by long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox, this is a factual account of a particularly incorrigible elephant seal and the Christchurch, New Zealand, community that eventually made way for her. […]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 movie review

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The team behind The Hunger Games film adaptations gets it. With plenty of explosions and covert operations to draw from in Suzanne Collins’s source material, Lionsgate Films’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 could have been just an action movie. Instead, the filmmakers’ decision to split the book into two movies allows the characters’ emotional […]

Last adolescent lit class

The Fault in our Stars

For our last class, students are reading The Fault in Our Stars, which I offer as a “dessert book” after their hard work this term, and also as a comparison love story to Eleanor and Park from our second week. The class will also read Katrina and Rachel’s take on “What Makes a Good Love […]

Being a White Guy in Children’s Books

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Don’t get me wrong. White guys working in children’s books have it good. In fact, it would be fair to say we have it pretty much made. But in the wake of host Daniel Handler’s remarks at Wednesday’s National Book Awards, I find myself thinking about the privileged but peculiar position white guys have in […]

The Hug Machine: a guest post by Thom Barthelmess

hug machine

My choice for Caldecott 2015 consideration is Scott Campbell’s delightful, infectious, and secretly sophisticated Hug Machine. This is the kind of book that is easy to miss because it is disguised as a romp. It doesn’t pretend to be serious, and so doesn’t signal our serious attention. It’s up to us to apply that attention. […]

Using comics in your classroom

Marek Bennet panel from Multiple Intelligences

Last month, I was fortunate to be able to attend several sessions at the Comics and the Classroom symposium offered as part of the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE) on October 5th. The symposium, which was the first of what they hope will become an annual event as part of MICE, brought together a number […]

Remembering Trina Schart Hyman

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November 19, 2014 marks the ten-year anniversary of the death of illustrator Trina Schart Hyman. Author/illustrator Jim Arnosky shares his memories of the Great Lady — what she meant to him as a mentor and as a friend. We are approaching ten years since the world of children’s literature lost Trina Schart Hyman. I still […]

The Baby Tree

The Baby Tree

Sophie Blackall’s The Baby Tree was named to the NYT Best Illustrated List this year. Last year Blackall wowed us with her innovative, almost-3D pictures for The Mighty Lalouche — which fact is of course irrelevant to this discussion, since books from previous years are absolutely not allowed on the Caldecott table, literally or figuratively. But one […]

Steampunk queen: An interview with Gail Carriger

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Gail Carriger introduced readers to her alternate Victorian London — chock-full of steampunk technology and supernatural characters — in 2009 with Soulless, the first volume of her five-book adult series The Parasol Protectorate. The Finishing School series, a YA prequel series set in the same world, soon followed, beginning with Curtsies & Conspiracies. Espionage lessons, […]