Scot Smith

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The Tree and the River

In this work of speculative fiction, Aaron Becker crafts an innovative wordless picture book that follows the life of a tree as it grows in a verdant valley next to a small river. Over several centuries, the tree witnesses the development of human civilizations from farm to village and then...

Little Land

While Diana Sudyka’s illustrations can be found in numerous picture books and middle-grade novels (including last year’s Schneider Family Book Award winner Wildoak), Little Land is her author/illustrator debut. She writes and illustrates this delightful book about the significance of environmental stewardship. Sudyka focuses on a small piece of land...

Choosing Brave

[Many Calling Caldecott posts this season will begin with the Horn Book Magazine review of the featured book, followed by the post's author's critique.]   Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy; illus. by Janelle Washington Primary, Intermediate    Roaring Brook    64 pp.   ...

King of Ragtime

How can an illustrator capture the essence of music with an image? The answer to that question can be found in Stephen Costanza's picture-book biography King of Ragtime: The Story of Scott Joplin. In music, syncopation is a mixture or variety of rhythms or beats that are played together. These...

Survivor Tree and This Very Tree: A Look at Two 9/11 Picture Books

We have seen numerous books about 9/11 published in 2021, 20 years after that tragic event. Included among those titles are two outstanding picture books about what is known as the Survivor Tree, the Callery pear tree that was buried underneath the rubble of the World Trade Center and nursed...

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