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Disturbing the Universe: Books That Broke the Rules

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Betsy Hearne and I have been colleagues for forty years, including working together for a decade at The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. Below, we discuss some landmark rule breakers from our collective memory. —R.S. ROGER SUTTON: So here we are: two longtime reviewers remembering books that broke...
      

We Need Diverse Jewish and Muslim Books: A Conversation

In recent years, we have seen a welcome increase in books that center diversity in race, class, ability, sexuality, and more. As members of religious minority groups (Sadaf is Muslim, Heidi is Jewish) — and at a time when both Islamophobia and antisemitism are on the rise (deeply troubling and...
      

A Big Bed for Little Snow

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On the paper jacket for Grace Lin's A Big Bed for Little Snow, a companion to her 2019 Caldecott Honor book A Big Mooncake for Little Star, we see a grinning boy atop a blue-gray, cloudlike bed. The boy's grin exudes mischief, and feathers float in the air. Has he been jumping on the...
      

Holiday High Notes 2019

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Grab a candy confection and read our selection of books filled with cheer — new or just reissued from yesteryear.* *with apologies to lyricist Edward Pola   My Baby Loves Christmas by Jabari Asim; illus. by Tara Nicole Whitaker Preschool    HarperFestival    20 pp. 9/19    978-0-06-288462-6    $7.99 In this cozy board book, Asim (Preaching to the Chickens, rev....
      

Field Notes: Readers and Refugees

Beginning in the spring of 2018, IBBY [International Board on Books for Young People] Canada initiated the Readers and Refugees program in Toronto. The program was inspired by IBBY Children in Crisis Fund programs, such as IBBY–REFORMA’s joint Children in Crisis Project at the U.S./Mexico border and IBBY Italia’s work with...
      

Black Kids Camp, Too...Don't They?: Embracing "Wildness" in Picture Books

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My mother was a Girl Scout leader, my father was a Boy Scout leader, and my brother was a Tiger Cub in the Boy Scouts. Practically from the time I could walk, I tagged along with family to scout meetings and events. When I became a Girl Scout, and eventually...
      

What the CSK Means to Me

I’m not a children’s librarian. I don’t even work in the children’s book field. But as an African American, an academic librarian, and a library and information science (LIS) administrator/educator, I have always known the importance of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. I began my professional career just about...
      

Winter Secrets

Winter can seem like a time when there isn’t much going on outside; in fact, the season offers opportunities to see things that are otherwise obscured by the growth and busyness of the other seasons. At our house in winter, for example, we can see through the skeletons of trees...
      

Seeing Into Tomorrow

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Seeing Into Tomorrow is a marriage of two unique talents of different eras: the text is by Richard Wright, author of Native Son (1940) and Black Boy (1945); the art is by Nina Crews, known for her picture books pairing texts with photographic collage and featuring diverse children. In this latest work, Crews has...
      

2018 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance by Ekua Holmes

Ekua Holmes. Photo: Clennon King.Good morning, and thank you, everyone, for being here to celebrate these awards and honors with us. To all the honorees, I feel like we are at a family gathering. Isn’t it fitting that this event takes place on a Sunday? In my family, Sunday was...

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