Taking stock

Josephine and Viva Frida

Now it’s my turn, and I find myself not quite as ready as I’d like to be. My job here involves looking at every picture book we review in search of the perfect art with which to illustrate the review. This means I have leafed through lots of books but only spent quality time with the […]

Review of Draw!

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Draw! by Raúl Colón; illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    40 pp. 9/14    978-1-4424-9492-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-9493-0    $10.99 A young artist, inspired by his books about African animals, is transported to an imaginary safari in this dreamy wordless book. Armed only with his pencil, sketch pad, and easel, this budding Leonardo finds his models […]

Picture book sequels you’ve been waiting for

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Young children often latch on to particular characters or stories they love, so it’s little surprise that we see many familiar faces return in new picture book adventures. Here are four entertaining sequels sure to delight fans. Quest — the second in Aaron Becker’s planned wordless trilogy — opens in the present-day city where we […]

Getting to the top shelf

For Robin

Here is the truth of the matter: in less than three months, each individual Caldecott committee member will nominate seven books out of the hundreds he or she has seen this year. It’s kind of a sickening task: either you appreciate SO MANY that you have trouble cutting any out, or you really only have […]

Calling Caldecott is open for business

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Lolly, Martha, and Robin are back (and for the friend to whom I defended the Oxford comma this weekend, THERE’S WHY) with this year’s edition of Calling Caldecott, in which we look without fear or favor at contenders for this picture book prize. They are looking for likely suspects–go help them out.

Dusting off the blog

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School has started, and you know what that means…yup, we’re baaaack! For me, it means my second graders are getting in the groove, and now it’s time for me to relearn WordPress and try to twist Lolly’s arm for amusing graphics to brighten up the blog. Lolly Robinson, Martha Parravano, and I are going through our […]

Pete the Cat in the Big Easy

litwin_pete the cat i love my white shoes

I just spent a week in New Orleans, a place I’ve wanted to visit since first reading Interview with the Vampire as a teen. The week held plenty of sights and experiences I’d been highly anticipating (a ghost tour, the Garden District, blues and jazz clubs, and — of course — beignets) and some I […]

Review of I’m My Own Dog

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I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 8/14    978-0-7636-6139-7    $15.99 “I’m my own dog. Nobody owns me. I own myself.” This independent, self-starter narrator looks down on ordinary pups, the ones owned by people. This dog will not sit for anyone, even if a bone […]

Review of Quest

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Quest by Aaron Becker; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 8/14    978-0-7636-6595-1    $15.99 Journey (rev. 9/13) introduced a girl with a magic red crayon who could draw her way into an adventure and back home. At the end of the book she met a boy with his own purple crayon. Quest — the […]

Read about female pilots on National Aviation Day

Flying Solo

Today, August 19th, the U.S. is celebrating National Aviation Day. This day was first established by a presidential proclamation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939 to celebrate advances in aviation. The date was chosen to coincide with Orville Wright’s birthday to recognize his contribution, together with his brother Wilbur, to the field of aviation — […]