Children’s Literature

Gingerbread Fan? Don’t Let These Picture Books Get Away!

Gingerbread Fan? Don’t Let These Picture Books Get Away!

Cindy and Lynn: ‘Tis the season for gifts, wrapping, sleigh bells, and, of course, gingerbread! We have two new books that feature that wonderfully spicy and delicious treat. So break open the cookie tin, make some hot chocolate, sit back and enjoy. Cindy: Forget believing in Santa, Marshall doesn’t believe that gingerbread men can run […]

Nonfiction Monday! Where Myth Meets Science

Nonfiction Monday! Where Myth Meets Science

Lynn: As an educator, a parent, and a grandparent, one of my goals has been to fan the flames of curiosity in kids. It’s a critical trait and one that often seems to get squashed somewhere along the K-12 march. I love books that encourage kids to ask questions. Marc Aronson’s books always seem to […]

‘Tis the Season! These Holiday Picture Books Are True Gifts

‘Tis the Season! These Holiday Picture Books Are True Gifts

Lynn and Cindy: It’s going to be a great holiday season! Already we have the gift of some really lovely holiday books to add to the fun. Lynn: I’m leading off with Eric Kimmel’s oh-so-lovely story Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale (2014). As young Simon leaves his family to immigrate to America, his mother realizes Hanukkah is […]

The Glorious Power of Reading Aloud — and the Contagious Nature of Giggles

The Glorious Power of Reading Aloud — and the Contagious Nature of Giggles

Lynn: The oldest members of the Focus Group are growing up too fast! The twins started sixth grade this fall and now have Cindy as their librarian. Fortunately, the two youngest Focus Group members (Henry, 4, and Oscar, 14 months), are major book lovers and I treasure my time reading with them on our visits. As […]

Educational Reform is Easy! Just Use Picture Books

Educational Reform is Easy! Just Use Picture Books

Lynn and Cindy: While shapes are a common subject for picture books, it is still a pleasure to find new ones that are both fun and instructive for young readers. If it were left to us, we’d throw out all the boring textbooks for the primary grades and stock them with fabulous picture books. See—educational reform […]

These Offbeat Picture Books Will Give Young Readers the Giggles

These Offbeat Picture Books Will Give Young Readers the Giggles

Lynn: My sons are better parents than I was, there is no doubt. When I wanted my four-year-old to stop doing something, I often resorted to shrieking. When my little grandson is up to something, my son and daughter-in-law calmly, say, “No thank you, Henry.” Masterful! So there is small wonder that both Henry and I […]

Yippee-i-ee! Sparkle Slam! Two Surefire Early Readers

Yippee-i-ee! Sparkle Slam! Two Surefire Early Readers

Lynn and Cindy: One of the great delights in publishing the last few years has been the attention to early readers and the quality books being provided for them. Here are two about young dreamers that we think would make awesome holiday gifts. It’s never too early to think about the gift of books! Lynn: Fans of Kate DiCamillo’s […]

Thanksgiving Visits: Fun or Cause to Flee?

Thanksgiving Visits: Fun or Cause to Flee?

Cindy: Crowded holiday gatherings are often boring for children. They are filled with relatives they don’t know well, long waits for food, isolation at the kids’ card table, time-consuming clean up, lots of adults talking, and endless football watching. The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing (2014) begins with young Gavin, clad in vest and tie, who […]

Y Chromosomes Everywhere, but No Turkey: A Thanksgiving Read-Aloud

Y Chromosomes Everywhere, but No Turkey: A Thanksgiving Read-Aloud

Lynn: Longtime Booklist readers know that Y chromosomes dominate my family, as we have two sons and five grandsons. Three of the grandsons are with us before and after school and all summer, so I feel as if I understand little boys well! So believe me when I tell you that Dana Allison Levy writes […]

Lower Grades, Higher Concepts: These Picture Books Are Packed with Classroom Potential

Lower Grades, Higher Concepts: These Picture Books Are Packed with Classroom Potential

Lynn and Cindy: Concept picture books are practically their own genre as a seemingly endless number of them appear each year—so many that sometimes it’s hard to get excited when a new one arrives at our doors. Fortunately, there are oodles of creative people who continue to see and think in different ways. (Take THAT, blasé […]