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See you soon?

It’s been a blast visiting with you over the past few months. At times, we had to scramble to keep up with all the reading and writing, but I hope you all enjoyed the ride with us.

Martha, Lolly, and I will pop in over the course of the coming months to let you know what we are adding to our personal Caldecott shelves. If you see something YOU think is promising, please leave the title in the comments below. As I say all the time, I have to rely on reviews and recommendations to help make up my potential slate of Caldecott contenders, so don’t be shy!

I have not seen any finished books yet, but I am pretty excited about Lois Ehlert’s newest– The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life. It just got a star in The Horn Book, and Kirkus liked it too. I am a nut for R. Gregory Christie’s illlustrations, so I am also looking forward to seeing the book he did with Carole Boston Weatherford, Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood. I did not see it at ALA, so it might not even be a picture book. I don’t care — I have to have it.

I have quite a substantial pile of good-looking books for review, but I will wait to comment until I actually read them.

Thank you for all your recommendations, comments, opinions, and questions. Before long, it will be time to start up our postulating about next year’s crop of Caldecott-eligible books.


Robin Smith About Robin Smith

Robin Smith is a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a reviewer for Kirkus and The Horn Book Magazine and has served on multiple award committees.



  1. I would definitely recommend …
    The Weasel Puffin Unicorn Baboon Pig Lobster Race by James Thorp – crazy rhyming and mind boggling illustrations. Unique in every way!

  2. Baby Bear – Kadir Nelson

    Travis reviewed it over at 100 Scope Notes and had questions about the paper quality – I only saw the ARC so can’t speak to that concern. The illustrations themselves, though, are ridiculously beautiful. Are you surprised?! It’s Kadir, for crying out loud!

  3. Last night, I read to my girls an F&G of Lynne Cox’s Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas, illustrated by Brian Floca, and it is a wonderful (true) story. We laughed and laughed.

    Robin, I think The Scraps Book is incredible, and if you were my neighbor, I’d bring you the F&G immediately, ’cause I think you, in particular, will appreciate it. I want to give it to EVERY CHILD I meet. Really, I do.

  4. Yep, Sam. The fabulous Tasha at WAKING BRAIN CELLS also gave it a very enthusiastic review:

  5. Robin Smith says:

    I look forward to see if Travis’s time on Caldecott makes him neurotic about paper quality. It certainly happened to me!

  6. Another recent release that looks mighty impressive is “Junkyard” by Mike Austin.

  7. Martha V. Parravano Martha V. Parravano says:

    Emma, I fear this book may not be eligible as the illustrator appears to be British — but thanks for the heads-up!

  8. Yikes! Of course, oops!!

  9. Sam Bloom says:

    Maybe you guys should start a support group? =)

  10. Ha! I think it happened, Robin

  11. Martha V. Parravano Martha V. Parravano says:

    Sam Bloom: I think there will be a LOT to discuss about Baby Bear next year — and I don’t even have the paper-quality neurosis 😉

  12. Thanks to all of you for such a lively season! You worked hard, we learned a lot, and I look forward to all the great 2014 books.

  13. Definitely looking forward to Scraps! Baby Bear is gorgeous. Looking forward to Maple by Lori Nichols.

  14. Robin Smith says:


    I love them both–on my top shelf already!

  15. Robin Smith says:

    I love the cover of Maple and look forward to seeing the finished book when it come out.
    Thanks for alerting me,

  16. Thanks again for a wonderful year on this blog – I really appreciate your work, Robin, Lolly and Martha. I also appreciate the time, care, frankness and love that everyone that comments pours into children’s books.

    I look forward to hearing from you all soon. And thanks for the heads up on some books already.

  17. I’m the childrens book buyer for Barrett Bookstore in Darien,Ct. New picture books are coming in daily. two, I really like so far are MAPLE and IT’S AN ORANGE AARDVARK! It’ s a quirky book,and he is very ingenius. For Newburys , I like so far (very much) THE WINTER HORSES by Philip Kerr. I’ll check in again when more books come in Dottie Brush

  18. Please check out The Farmer’s Away! Baa! Neigh! (Candlewick) Unique and funny concept book. A Kirkus starred review and a NY Post “must read”.

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