Behind the Scenes of the Little House books

pioneer girl

How much time do you devote to researching the books you give your students to read? If you have the time or are really interested in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pioneer Girl may be for you. This scholarly book with notes and appendices, edited by Pamela Smith Hill, is for true fans of […]

Best book bracketology

March Madness- Picture Books

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. A fresh, clean bracket has names neatly penciled into open slots, representing optimism and promise for excitement. Meanwhile, the sweetness of the beginning is quickly thrown into tumult, as surprises abound and unpredicted losses become the talk of Twitter. The competition is fierce, […]

Field Notes: Alice, the Transformer

alice adventure underground1

She began life as Alice Liddell, the daughter of an Oxford college dean, who in 1856, along with her brother and two sisters, was befriended by mathematics tutor Charles Dodgson, later better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll. A few years later, on a summer boat trip, the first transformation occurred when Carroll told […]

“Dear Mr. Zelinsky”


This is a lesson in overcoming assumptions. The mail I receive from readers trends strongly to the appreciative; it’s rare that anything remotely critical comes in, so I’m sure I’m completely spoiled. When I read this letter from a class near Philadelphia and saw that they were questioning a scene in the background of one […]

Mock book award results | 2015


My children’s lit students just met for the last time, and we spent most of our three-hour class in mock book award groups. I had been thinking about trying mock awards in this short six-week module for a few years, but this year Maleka Donaldson Gramling, the terrific course TF, thought it would be worth […]

Last children’s lit class in 2015


It’s hard to believe that this half-semester module is finishing up in one week. Last night, students handed in their annotated bibliographies — the big written assignment in this course. Now we head into the last class for a little fun. We are reading Charlotte’s Web for dessert but most of our last meeting will […]

Charlotte’s Web | Class #6, 2015

Charlotte's Web

During our last class meeting, we will be holding four mock book award sessions. There are two Caldecott groups and one each for Geisel and Sibert. Check out the books they have nominated here and tell us which one would get your first vote. Charlotte’s Web has been my last class reading assignment for several […]

Mock book awards | Class #6, 2015


During our last class, students will meet in mock award groups. I posted about this last week, but we’ve had some updates since then. We will follow the terms and criteria as outlined by the ALA/ALSC: Caldecott terms and criteria Geisel terms and criteria Sibert terns and criteria There are 5-7 students on each committee, […]

Join some mock award discussions


Hello, Calling Caldecott readers. I want to alert you to a post that just went up in Lolly’s Classroom. My students will be holding mock award sessions during our last class on April 9. Come help them discuss these books here. Since there are nearly 30 students, we have four groups: two Caldecott committees, one […]

Mock book awards | Class #5, 2015


This year, most of our last class meeting in Children’s Lit will be devoted to mock book awards. Each student selected a committee to join (Caldecott for picture books, Geisel for easy readers, or Sibert for information books) and chose one or two eligible books published in 2014 to nominate and present to his or […]