You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Articles’ category.

This is the children’s lit blog equivelant of a clips show. You know, when the main characters on a show are stuck in an elevator and decide to take a look back at all the memorable moments over the years? It accomplishes two things:

1. It makes it seem like things are coming to an end.

2. You don’t really have to create anything new.

Since 100 Scope Notes is moving to a new self hosted home (click here to check it out), and I’m planning on spending the evening eating oatmeal raisin cookies, I thought it appropriate to take a look at the 10 most popular (and 10 least popular) posts in 100 Scope Notes history. First up, the popular ones.

#10. Create Your Debut Fantasy Novel Cover

#9. 2009 Caldecott Medal Predictions

#8. 100 Scope Notes Top 10 Picture Books

#7. Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw

#6. Gallery: Debut YA Covers

#5. Movie Review: City of Ember

#4. Create Your Debut YA Cover

#3. Book Review: Swindle

#2. Things Librarians Fancy

#1. Wimpy Kid Covers Across the Globe

And now – get your rotten vegetables ready – the least popular. Not pretty.

#10. Sunday Link Du Jour: February 24, 2008

#9. Sounds About Right

#8. Sunday Link Du Jour: February 10, 2008

#7. On Break Starting … Now

#6. Take the ‘Edge’ Off

#5. SLJ’s Best Of

#4. … Or Should They Be Called “Visual Books”?

#3. 100 Scope Notes: On Break Until Monday

#2. A List for Everyone

#1. Some Honest Tips

(Top Image: ‘Bingo Number 10http://www.flickr.com/photos/49968232@N00/2455272448)

Weeding the library collection. For me, it never fails to be both a liberating and somber experience. Liberating because it’s improving the relevance and usefulness of the collection. Getting rid of dead weight feels good. Somber because I never like to think that I’m removing what may be the biggest point of pride in someone’s life – a published book – from the shelves forever (I’m gonna go ahead and call myself sentimental).

I’m in the midst of weeding the aging nonfiction collection in the 5th and 6th grade school where I work and I decided to take a few pictures of the process. When you see the books, I think you’ll agree with me that these should have been retired a while back. If you need convincing, may I direct your attention to the first sentence of this shot from inside Meter Means Measure:

I’ll say no more. Click here to view the gallery.

If you’re a librarian, and you like your music full of librarianship references, then you’re in luck. Reference Librarian by Rob Lopresti is just the song for you. A few of the topics covered: bibliographies, microfiche, CD-ROMS – the list goes on and on. And on. Click the play button below to listen. You’ll be chanting “I’ve got that M-L-S!”  before you know it.

Click here to head over to Rhapsody and listen

*Update* As I was writing this post, I saw that this week’s ALA Direct linked to Flavorwire’s 10 Best Songs About Libraries and Librarians. So now you can continue to enjoy the sweet library sounds.

Recently, the parent organization at my school graciously gave each teacher $200 to spend on classroom needs. My classroom? The library. My needs? Books for students. So just after the new year, I headed to the bookstore. It struck me as a novel idea to snap photos along the way. Click here to see what went down.

With all the recent scrutiny over the Caucasian-ized covers of Magic Under Glass (which Bloomsbury has announced it will rejacket) and The Mysterious Benedict Society, I thought I might humbly offer my services for jacket overhauls. I like to call them Cover Covers. Click here to read my first Cover Covers post and learn the rules I abide by for these redesigns (basically, I have to take the images that randomly come up on a search and I only get 5 minutes to create the new cover). Let’s get started…

Side by side with the original:

(Source Image: ‘amazingglasscirclehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/58117789@N00/131681040)

This one didn’t turn out too bad. Maybe not the most eye-catching, but a worthy effort. Let’s just focus on the glass, okay?

Side by side with the original:

(Source Image: ‘Foggy Foresthttp://www.flickr.com/photos/51035603401@N01/210480)

Hmm. Not very good. This redesign makes it seem like a creepy forest story. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of the Benedict brouhaha.

The ALA Youth Media Awards have been announced. All that’s left to do is discuss the three categories that are most in my wheelhouse, so let’s commence…

Newbery Award: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Honor: The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
Honor: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Honor: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Honor: Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose

Nice. It seemed like When You Reach Me was experiencing some “everybody loves this book, but it can’t be that great” backlash in recent weeks, so it was nice to see it take top honors.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate also appeared to be losing steam, which caused some worry on my part as I found it to be a great book. Good to see it didn’t fall out of favor.

Claudette Colvin is a wonderful choice for Newbery regardless of genre (although it does make me glad to see a nonfiction selection).

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was also garnering a large dollop of praise since it was published, so it was no surprise to see it end up on the list.

The biggest surprise was the inclusion of The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg. A Fuse #8 Production mentioned it as a Newbery contender back last summer and Literate Lives reviewed it in their Looking for Newbery series, but it didn’t receive much more than a mention on the Heavy Medal blog. I’m kicking myself because this book has been sitting on my to-be-read shelf for months. I’ll be cracking it open today. If my Cover Covers post serves as my Newbery picks, then I was 3-5. I’m happy with that.

Caldecott Award: The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Honor: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee
Honor: Red Sings From Treetops by Joyce Sidman illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

No real surprises here – just some very wise choices. When Pinkney’s book arrived on shelves, it felt like a statement. It appears that the Caldecott committee heard The Lion & the Mouse loud and clear. Impressive on all fronts, this was the frontrunner heading into the awards.

All the World was also not a shocker, having appeared on most mock Caldecott lists and generating plenty of buzz. This book has continued to grow on me since the first time I saw it, so I was happy it got hardware. Very deserving.

Red Sings From Treetops was another very nice book that was in the discussion as the awards approached. I picked two of the three winners in my Caldecott predictions.

Geisel Award: Benny and Penny in the Big No-No by Geoffrey Hayes
Honor: I Spy Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
Honor: Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith
Honor: Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends by Wong Herbert Yee
Honor: Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day by Kate McMullan

Did you notice that four of the five books on this list feature mice? Interesting. I have to admit that I forgot about Benny and Penny in the leadup to the awards. I read it, loved it, toon reviewed it back in March, and then it fell off my radar. Seeing it turn up is the definition of a pleasant surprise. I also was happy to see I Spy Fly Guy on the list. Ted Arnold’s series continues to be a huge hit among the young readers I work with.

The Caldecott has a rep for being the most difficult ALA award to predict. Based on my past performances, I second that. But you gotta try at least, right?

Here then are my picks for 2010 Caldecott glory.

2010 Caldecott Medal Prediction: The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney.

Beginning with the iconic cover, and extending throughout this retelling of an Aesop fable, Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations are impossible to deny. Look at it this way – a man who’s overdue to win the big one lays down the most impressively illustrated book of the year. That’s a winner, right?

Caldecott Honor Prediction: Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty.

While it flew a bit under the radar this year, I predict the committee will remember Jeremy Draws a Monster when it comes time to bestow foil seals. An excellent example of picture book efficiency – there isn’t a wasted word or image to be seen in this quiet gem. McCarty illustrations work wonders with blank space, setting the perfect mood for a story featuring a child in self-imposed isolation.

Caldecott Honor Prediction: Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli.

Talk about illustration and text being inseparable. Petriceli’s vivid acrylics blend seamlessly with this simple story. The visuals are deceptively rich as well, with layers of color occasionally giving way to the black canvass underneath. While this book doesn’t give off that intangible Caldecott vibe like the other books on this list do (I think it has something to do with Higher! Higher!’s touch of absurdity), this may turn up and surprise some people.

Caldecott Honor Prediction: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee.

All the World is the definition of a consensus-builder. I dare you to dislike it. Ain’t possible. A poem about nature and humanity set to swooshing landscapes that make the phrase “expand the text” sound like a foolish understatement. I’m willing to bet that this makes the cut – it’s just too easy to like.

What do you think? Will these predictions come true? Be sure to watch the 2010 ALA Youth Media Awards (including the Caldecott Medal) and find out. From the ALA website:

The American Library Association (ALA) will provide a free live webcast of its Youth Media Awards, a national announcement of the top books and media for children and young adults, on Jan. 18, at 7:45 a.m. EST. The award announcements are made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, which will bring together librarians, publishers, authors and guests to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center from Jan. 15 to 19.

Continuing in the proud 100 Scope Notes tradition of “hey look at this” posts of highly questionable worth, I bring you Cover Covers. The goal is simple – I take children’s lit covers that already exist and put a new spin on them. Here are the rules:

1. Covers will be created by performing a FlickrCC search for title keywords.

2. Image editing website Picnik shall be used to crop and add text.

3. I cannot spend more than 5 minutes on a cover. This helps in two ways – it saves me time, and serves as a handy excuse if the resulting cover is bad.

So, will our Cover Covers be more like Manfred Mann covering Bruce Springsteen’s Blinded by the Light (see: a cover more well known than the original) or Vanilla Ice’s cover of The Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction (see: offensive trainwreck). I’m putting money on the latter. Today’s batch of Cover Covers are all likely to figure into upcoming Newbery Award discussions. Based on what follows, you should thank your local cover designer.

Side by side with the original:

(Source image: ‘untitledhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/26771709@N06/3353035994)

At first I thought, “Ooh, this is pretty nice”. Then I realized it’s about as forgettable as a cover can be. While the original cover has caught some flack, I prefer it to my attempt.

Side by side with the original:

(Source image: ‘Every new day… (digitally coloured)http://www.flickr.com/photos/44586678@N00/3031896263)

No contest on this one. The original, a very nice cover in its own right,  is unquestionably way more awesome than my lame attempt.

Side by side with the original:

(Source image: ‘Social Evolutionhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/77315663@N00/1448713039)

I quite liked my attempt (in a retro, M.S. Corley kinda way), but the textbook-y vibe it gives off would be guaranteed kid repellent. Winner: original.

Side by side with the original:

(Source image: ‘Full Moonhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/98943387@N00/8251577)

I got a little crazy and went Eggs on this cover, substituting the word “moon” for the image of a moon. As great as I think I am for doing this, it still fails to create anything close to the appeal of the original.

Check back in the future for more Cover Covers.

To the bold men and women who decided to Lion Themselves, you’ve entered an exclusive club. Few can say that they consort with the likes of George Washington Lion and Kevin Feder-lion. Interested in declaring your support for The Lion & the Mouse as the Caldecott awards approach? Bored? Click here to give it a shot. Email me or comment if you take part. I’ll be adding to the gallery as more roll in.

This is great. An entire class of kids (and their teacher) Lion themselves after completing a mock Caldecott.

I got this photo text the other day from my friend @ckrez.

This entry comes from the blog Because to Why.

A Lion fan and a mouse fan at Brimful Curiosities.

Sondra of Sonderbooks gets in on the action.

Indiana Youth Librarian Nancy is in first.

George Washington Lion

Kevin Feder-lion

This one is me.

Whether to show your support for Jerry Pinkney’s The Lion & the Mouse as the Caldecott awards approach, or just for fun, I encourage you to Lion Yourself. Take a look at these famous people who decided to give it a try:

George Washington Lion

Kevin Feder-lion

There are two ways to do it:

Method #1 (The Reality Version)

1. Got a copy of The Lion & the Mouse nearby? Got a camera? Grab them.

2. Hold the book up in front of your face, making sure it hides your entire head, hair and all.

3. Get a friend/family member/stranger standing next to you to snap a picture. You’re all set.

4. Post it to your site along with this text.

Method #2 (The Virtual Reality Version)

1. Save this copy of The Lion & the Mouse cover on your computer (click to enlarge).

2. Locate a suitable picture of yourself you would like to lionize.

3. Use Splashup, Photoshop, or similar to put it together. You’re all set.

4. Post it to your site along with this text.

If you Lion Yourself, email me (scopenotes@gmail.com) or comment – I’ll add you to the gallery.

Find Me On…

The Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.