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The View from Robin’s Rocking Chair

Robin Smith, my wife, co-founded Calling Caldecott, and when she died last year, I knew that each fall would have me wondering which current picture books Robin would love most. The way I decide is to think of Robin’s rocking chair, painted in vivid reds and yellows and greens by Alabama outsider artist Chris Clark […]

The 2018 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

We here at Calling Caldecott think often of Robin Smith — beloved second-grade teacher, reviewer, and enthusiastic co-author of this blog before her untimely death last June. Her passion for and astute observations of picture books infuse the work we continue to do here, every day. Every. Single. Day. We wanted to do something special to recognize her contribution to our field […]

“Be a Robin Reader”

It was hard for the family and friends of Horn Book contributor Robin Smith to say goodbye to her after her death from bone cancer in late June, but we gathered to do so in Nashville in mid-July of this year. There were lots of tears as friends, family, colleagues, and many of her current […]

WWRD?

A big hello to the Calling Caldecott community from here in middle Tennessee! I’ve been reading this blog since its inception in 2011. Since conversations about picture books and illustration aren’t regular occurrences with your so-called average person on the street, I’m always happy to find those places where picture books are discussed and appreciated […]

Another September; another welcome

As we have done for the past six years, Calling Caldecott is gearing up for another season of intense discussion about picture books, especially Caldecott-eligible titles. This year is not like the others, however, because it will be the first time that we will be operating without Robin Smith. As most of you know, Robin (along with Lolly […]

Editorial: The Incomparable Robin Smith

Robin Smith (1959–2017) was, famously, a talker. When I first met Robin some twenty years ago, we were sitting in a Children’s Literature New England lecture hall waiting for the day to begin. It was immediately apparent that she was something out of the ordinary: not only was she talking a mile a minute in […]

Robin Smith (1959-2017)

Teacher, picture book expert, and reading advocate Robin Smith died June 22, 2017, at the age of fifty-seven. A second-grade teacher at Ensworth School in Nashville for the last twenty-four years, she was a longtime Horn Book contributor and reviewer and a founding co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog. She also reviewed for BookPage and […]

On Robin Smith

The Horn Book family is mourning the loss of one of our own, the inimitable Robin Smith who passed away last week after a battle with bone cancer. In addition to her day job as a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Robin was a longtime Magazine reviewer and contributor as well as […]

A tribute

I used to repeatedly tell my friend Robin Smith that my professional motto in life is: WWRD? (What Would Robin Do?) I think she thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. I know enough to respect those who came before me in the field of children’s literature — to know their names and read their […]

Dear Robin

Dear Robin: It’s time. Despite your grace and courage in facing the coming reality, I’m not ready, will never be ready. But it’s time to say what needs to be said. I want to thank you for so many things. For me, personally and professionally, you have been a role model, a compass, and an opener of doors. […]