Children’s Literature

It Would Be a Crime to Miss Jessica Lawson’s Nooks & Crannies

It Would Be a Crime to Miss Jessica Lawson’s Nooks & Crannies

Lynn:  The audience for the charming Nooks & Crannies (June 2015) has probably never heard of Agatha Christie, but if that venerable author had written for children, this is just the book she might have produced. A country house, a mysterious Countess, snow-bound guests who have no idea why they’ve been invited, and, of course, […]

Is There a Poem in YOUR Pocket?

Is There a Poem in YOUR Pocket?

Cindy: Things are certainly ramping up for Booklist’s May Mystery Month, but hold on, it’s still April and it’s still National Poetry Month! Tomorrow is the national Poem in Your Pocket Day and that is always worth celebrating. This year I created quick tabletop displays in both middle-school libraries. I cut the pockets out of […]

You Won’t Need to Con Kids Into Reading Tricky Vic

You Won’t Need to Con Kids Into Reading Tricky Vic

Lynn:  What IS it that intrigues us about crooks? People seem to have a fascination with their sneaky ways even while we shake our heads at their exploits. Kids are just as interested and I can attest to the instant appeal of Greg Pizzoli’s entry into the field, Tricky Vic: the Impossibly True Story of […]

Have You Seen My … Steve Light Book?

Have You Seen My … Steve Light Book?

Cindy: Have you seen Lynn’s dining-room table? Neither has her husband. We both often use our dining tables for stacking and sorting our to-be-read piles, our read-but-need-blogging piles, and our donate-to-school piles. It doesn’t leave much room for charcuterie trays or fancy napkins. One of the books that got lost along the way was Steve […]

Roller Derby Is on the Rise

Roller Derby Is on the Rise

Cindy: Watch out Raina Telgemeier, there’s a hip check coming your way in the form of the fictional graphic novel, Roller Girl (2015), by Victoria Jamieson! Those sound like fighting words—they really aren’t. There are no more popular books in my middle school library right now than Smile and Sisters, but all the more reason to […]

Great Minds Don’t Think Alike: Learning Differences in Middle Grade Books

Great Minds Don’t Think Alike: Learning Differences in Middle Grade Books

Lynn: Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s new book, Fish in a Tree, introduces us to 6th-grader Ally Nickerson, who is smart, good at math, gifted at drawing, and has a behavior problem. She’s also hiding a painful secret: she can barely read. Words to her look like a “can of alphabet soup dumped on a plate.” She can’t […]

What Do You Call a Group of Collective Noun Books?

What Do You Call a Group of Collective Noun Books?

Cindy: I know a stack of librarians who will love An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns (2015), by Betsy R. Rosenthal. We’ve read a few collective noun books before and Lynn and I are fans of them all. There’s something about the tidy organizing that must appeal to the librarians in […]

Oman and Naomi Shihab Nye On My Mind

Oman and Naomi Shihab Nye On My Mind

Cindy: I read The Turtle of Oman last fall and I’ve been meaning to write this post for months. My advance reader copy has sticky notes hanging off the pages and highlighter marks noting my favorite passages throughout. After ALA Midwinter, I thought I should just move on to looking at 2015 publications, but Naomi […]

Off-the-Wall Humor Picture Books for Preschoolers

Off-the-Wall Humor Picture Books for Preschoolers

Lynn: Anyone who thinks preschoolers have gentle, sweet senses of humor hasn’t spent much time around them. Face it, folks, preschoolers—especially male preschoolers of my acquaintance—have off-the-wall bizarre senses of humor! If it makes an adult cringe, it probably is hysterically funny to a four year old. We have two picture books today that definitely […]

Don’t Let This Book Fly the Coop!

Don’t Let This Book Fly the Coop!

Lynn: Have you ever hit one of those periods where nothing you pick up to read is quite up to scratch? If so, I have a suggestion that is a sure cure. The delightful and highly unique Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer (May 2015), by Kelly Jones, may be eggsactly what you’re looking […]