Children’s Literature

Picture Books about Night Jobs Make Dreamy Bedtime Stories

Picture Books about Night Jobs Make Dreamy Bedtime Stories

Lynn: Shhhh! Nestle in for two sweet bedtime stories that tell tales of people and places most children seldom see. There is something so special about a school after everyone has gone home, and Karen Hesse captures this quiet magic perfectly in Night Job (2018). On Friday nights a school custodian takes his young son with […]

DO NOT LICK THIS BOOK! (It’s Full of Germs)

Cindy: What a surprise awaits inside these pages! The warning in the title, Do Not Lick This Book (2018), should be heeded—it is, indeed, full of germs! But don’t let that steer you away from reading it. Journey along with Min, a microbe who travels, via your finger, from the paper of the book’s pages […]

Do Not PASS GO Until You Read This Book!

Do Not PASS GO Until You Read This Book!

Cindy: Monopoly has an interesting history and Tanya Lee Stone has produced a thought-provoking picture book about it: Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented (2018). Originally called The Landlord’s Game, it was created by Lizzie Magie, who was looking for a way to demonstrate the unfair relationship between landlords and tenants […]

So You Think You Want to Be a Reviewer?

So You Think You Want to Be a Reviewer?

Lynn: Make no mistake, I love writing Bookends. I love getting to read the fabulous new books that we get sent by generous publishers. Cindy and I are lucky people. But for all of you out there who think that you, too, would like to be book reviewers, I feel honor bound to point out […]

Enjoy the Seasons with Sam Usher

Enjoy the Seasons with Sam Usher

 Lynn: The seasons are a perennial topic in primary and preschool classrooms. Especially for children who live in places where the seasons change dramatically, it is a fascinating one. Author and illustrator Sam Usher began his picture-book appreciation of the seasons with Rain (2017), and each subsequent tile has been a joyful appreciation of seasonal fun […]

SMALL SPACES: Huge Shivers for Tweens

SMALL SPACES: Huge Shivers for Tweens

Lynn: Do you love a scary book? Well, Bookends readers, have we got a treat for you! Katherine Arden’s new middle-grade book, Small Spaces (2018), is the most deliciously scary book you could hope for. This is a just-one-more-chapter-gulp-it-down-in-one-sitting book, and it’s the real, eerie deal. Grieving her mother, 12-year-old Ollie has withdrawn from friends, activities, and even her […]

Losing a Pet: THE ROUGH PATCH

Losing a Pet: THE ROUGH PATCH

Cindy: Lynn found The Rough Patch (2018) by Brian Lies at our local public library and was hesitant to give it to me even though she liked it a lot. The story concerns a fox and his pet dog who did everything together: ate ice cream, listened to music, and went on adventures in the truck. […]

SPOOKED! A 1938 Radio Broadcast Reveals Our Gullibility

SPOOKED! A 1938 Radio Broadcast Reveals Our Gullibility

Cindy: Lynn and I teased Bookends readers about this fascinating book in an earlier post after we both read it on the plane home from the ALA Annual Conference. This week, we’re participating in the blog tour for Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America (2018). For […]

Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish

Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish

Lynn: When you’re a six-foot tall, 180-pound eighth-grader known as the Mastodon of Montgomery Middle, what do you do? If you’re cash-strapped Marcus Vega, the titular protagonist of Pablo Cartaya’s second book, Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, you run an escort service walking kids to school past bully Stephen Hobert for a fee. Responsible and caring, Marcus does […]

Back to School Cover Trend: Lockers

Back to School Cover Trend: Lockers

Cindy: Our students started school last week, and now, with the Labor Day holiday behind us, most students around the country are back as well.  One challenge facing new middle-school students is learning their locker combination. It’s such a big deal to go from a coat room hook to a locker! Accordingly, many book covers depict an […]