Children’s Literature

SEA OTTER HEROES to the Rescue

SEA OTTER HEROES to the Rescue

Lynn: In schools these days, we talk about science in terms of the scientific method, theories, observation, and conclusions. Pedagogically, this is excellent, but it is important not to lose sight of something that both drives and excites kids: asking questions. Young biologist Brent Hughes did just that. His question? Why was the fertilizer-polluted Elkhorn Slough […]

Kwame Alexander Named 2017 Summer Reading Champion

Kwame Alexander Named 2017 Summer Reading Champion

The Collaborative Summer Library Program has named Kwame Alexander as this year’s Summer Reading Champion. The poet, educator, and Newbery Award-winning novelist takes over the post held most recently by Kate DiCamillo, who championed summer reading for two successive years. As part of his duties, Alexander will compile a summer reading list, built around this year’s […]

Webcomics Wednesday: Kay D.’s Oddity Woods

Webcomics Wednesday: Kay D.’s Oddity Woods

We’re in the midst of our Spotlight on Middle Grade fiction, and I can’t think of a better time to showcase a webcomic about a tween detective embarking on a spooky adventure. This week’s Webcomics Wednesday pick, Oddity Woods, opens on chase though an eerie forest, which, for all its pink and purple shadowing, still exudes a […]

The Real Story from MRS. WHITE RABBIT

The Real Story from MRS. WHITE RABBIT

Lynn: Alice in Wonderland fans all remember the White Rabbit in his waistcoat, holding his pocket watch, and muttering about being late. Did you ever wonder what was actually going on?  Gilles Bachelet steps up to reveal the real story in Mrs. White Rabbit (2017), a shocking revelation of the facts behind the public figure. That’s […]

Three Picture Books for the Birds

Three Picture Books for the Birds

Cindy: More snow. It’s for the birds, but at least it’s given me the opportunity to sneak in another snowy book as we look toward spring. Best in Snow (2017), by April Pulley Sayre, contains stunning photos of snowflakes and icicles. Various other forms of snow—from crusty to slushy—show the cycles of changing winter weather. Birds […]

ANIMAL ARK: Photos and Poems to Inspire Action

ANIMAL ARK: Photos and Poems to Inspire Action

Lynn: What do you get when you put an award-winning photographer and a Newbery Award-winning author together? When the photographer is Joel Sartore, longtime National Geographic contributor and creator of the Photo Ark project, and the author is the novelist and poet Kwame Alexander, the result is a glorious celebration of our world’s wild creatures. Animal […]

Floyd Cooper and Two Picture Books that Chronicle the Road from Slavery to Freedom

Floyd Cooper and Two Picture Books that Chronicle the Road from Slavery to Freedom

Lynn: Recently, a certain high-level public official seemed to be somewhat uncertain when talking about Frederick Douglass. In the interest of fairness, I should note that, sadly, there are many people who might be hard-pressed to talk about Douglass’s achievements. Lucky for us, helping our students be better-informed about this pivotal figure has been made easier by […]

Webcomics Wednesday: Diana Nock’s Wonderlust

Webcomics Wednesday: Diana Nock’s Wonderlust

Dear readers, I have a confession to make: I’ve been holding out on you. For about a year now, I’ve had my eye on a comic with my favorite things: a smart-alecky protagonist, spooky atmosphere, a tiny touch of magic, and seriously amazing art (from the cinematic panel compositions to the precise, architectural backgrounds, to the […]

When Reading Feels Like Work, Reboot

When Reading Feels Like Work, Reboot

When reading books is a vital part of your job, it’s easy to love what you do. Of course, I don’t get to read books at work (unless it’s out loud at story time), but I still consider it a perk. As someone who works in a school, I might not get to leave the building to […]

THE SECRET PROJECT: Building the Atomic Bomb for Kids

THE SECRET PROJECT: Building the Atomic Bomb for Kids

Cindy: The shadowy deeds in the 1940s New Mexico desert that culminated in “the gadget”— the world’s first atomic bomb—come hauntingly to life in Jonah and Jeanette Winter’s The Secret Project (2017). The book’s opening images of boys at play in a remote school juxtaposed with the closed, silent school that will become the headquarters of the titular secret project cast an ominous […]