Dean Schneider

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Field Notes: Teaching Infinite Hope

Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace won the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award — but as a teacher, children’s literature aficionado, and friend of Ashley’s, I’ve known the book was special for...

Review of Poisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan, Fought for Their Lives and Warned the Nation

Poisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan, Fought for Their Lives and Warned the Nation by Candy J. Cooper with Marc Aronson Middle School, High School    Bloomsbury    243 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-5476-0232-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0233-9    $13.29 Imagine: a deadly health crisis hits and the government delays, makes light...

Books in the Home: The Joys of Cooking: Good Books About Good Food

How does a person learn to cook? My mother prepared family meals every evening. She didn’t involve us in the making of the meal, but she was my model of a home cook who knew the importance of ­families eating together. She relied on a 1940s edition of The Boston...

The 2020 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

My wife, Robin Smith, knew children's literature well — she co-founded this blog, served on many book award committees, and reviewed for The Horn Book Magazine and Kirkus Reviews — and she taught second graders for 24 years. Daily, she read picture books to them.  Robin died in 2017 at the age...

Review of The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs

The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs by Gail Jarrow Middle School, High School    Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane    155 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-62979-438-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68437-895-1    $11.99 Formaldehyde in milk, cocaine in toothache drops, sausage made from pulverized meat scraps swept off factory...

Nine Months

Jason Chin, author and illustrator of such excellent science books as Grand Canyon (2017), Island (2012), Coral Reefs (2011), and Redwoods (2009) has a talent for combining story and nonfiction content. The narratives, illustrations, and nonfiction elements always work together, so much so that his books make great read-alouds and the information, woven into the stories,...

Borderlands: Reading as Theater

In the introduction to Worlds of Childhood: The Art and Craft of Writing for Children (1990), William Zinsser wrote, “This gift — to get good language into the ear of children at a very early age — is what children’s literature has in its power to bestow…to write well it...

Two Brothers, Four Hands

Biographies by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan are among my favorite nonfiction books. Action Jackson; Ballet for Martha; Chuck Close, Up Close; and Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond, among others, are models of fine writing and creative presentations. And I loved Hadley Hooper’s illustrations for Patricia MacLachlan’s...

Review of Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Work

Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Workby Victoria OrtizMiddle School, High School    Clarion    184 pp.    g6/19    978-0-544-97364-0    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-328-63990-5    $9.99Since her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a hero to many Americans for her progressive positions on cases involving free...

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