Well, I’ve wheeled my squeaky book cart down the hall to the new, (possibly) improved, and distracting 100 Scope Notes. What you see here is the last post I’ll be making on 100scopenotes.wordpress.com. A couple things before turning out the lights:

  • If you’re so inclined, you can go to 100scopenotes.com to check out the new site.
  • Do you read via RSS (Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.)? Click here to subscribe to the new feed.
  • The first week on the new site should be a good time. Posts include a first-ever “Illustrated Interview” with Trouble Gum author/illustrator Matthew Cordell, and a look into the future at “Books in the Year 3001” . There will be jokes.
  • Thanks to everyone who has read, commented, and linked here over the last few years (man this turned sentimental in a hurry).

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)

Can I borrow a book cart?

On Monday, February 15 I’m packing up and moving 100 Scope Notes to a brand-new, self-hosted home.

Actually, it’s already up and running. Click here to take a look. Have a critique? Email me, or post in the comments.

If you read via RSS (Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.), click here to subscribe to the new feed. I’ll be posting at both sites until everything is ready.

Things will officially kick off the week of the 15th with a (possibly groundbreaking in format) illustrated interview with Trouble Gum author/illustrator Matthew Cordell and a look into the crystal ball at “Books in the Year 3001”. Should be an interesting week.

I have two main reasons for the move:

1. Freedom. I’ll have full control over how the blog looks and functions. When I began 100 Scope Notes all those two and a half years ago, I liked the fact that I didn’t have full control and couldn’t really make changes. It saved me a lot of hassle. Apparently, I’m a fan of hassle. Not to be confused with Hasselhof. Anyway, I’m excited about the new look.

2. Professionalism. While it’s difficult to call a blog which people often arrive at by googling “Zack Morris Cell Phone” professional, at least I can try. Self-hosting is a small step in that direction. Also, I will begin writing all my reviews wearing a suit and tie. Additionally, comments will be fitted with top hats.

Some changes you will see:

1. The *Recommended* category will be absorbed by *Best New Books*. Having the two categories didn’t make much sense. On the new blog, if I like a book and feel you should read it and/or buy it, it’s a *Best New Book*

2. A Covers category. While I fought it for as long as I could, there will be a category collecting all of the various cover posts I write.

3. Featured posts. If there is anything I think you might like, I can add it to featured posts, which will scroll at the top of the page. Also, all new posts will start off there.

4. Probably, Eventually, Ads. While I could write a whole post about my thoughts on this topic, it boils down to this: 100scopenotes.wordpress.com was free to set up and operate (minus the doughnut hole expense), 100scopenotes.com costs money (hosting, theme, fancier doughnut holes), so I’ll eventually experiment with a few ads to cover costs. Let me know if things get annoying.

5. My identity fully revealed. Yes, my dream of Googling my name and getting zero hits will become just a quaint memory. On the new site, I’ll be operating mostly under my own name.

So take a look at the new site, subscribe if you’re so inclined, and feel free to comment or email me if you have any feedback.

Thanks for reading. See you there soon.

Kit Feeny: On the Move
By Michael Townsend
Alfred A. Knopf (Random House)
ISBN: 9780375956140
Grades 2-4
In Stores


Joining the steadily-growing ranks of graphic novels for the 2nd-4th grade set, Kit Feeny: On the Move is a goofy winner.

Kit Feeny is a cheeseball-art-creating, ninja-fishing … well, it’s hard to tell exactly what kind of animal he is. Anyway, he partakes in his hobbies with his best friend Arnold. When Kit learns his family is moving, he’s (obviously) not pleased. Sneaking Arnold along in a moving box fails, so our hero sets about finding a replacement. Kit soon realizes it will be tough to find the exact replica he’s looking for. Hopeless, he is reduced eating beans out of a can and living the life of a “lonesome hobo” in his backyard. Eventually, the realization hits – an Arnold copy is impossible to find, but a new friend isn’t.

The tone is off beat, but surprisingly honest. Young readers will relate to Kit’s feelings about moving to a new town and leaving friends behind.

The sunny cartoon illustrations are in contrast to the oddness of the storyline. The black, white, and orange color palate (along with the small size) immediately identifies it as part of the Babymouse/Lunch Lady crowd. Not bad company.

Kit Feeny: On the Move will make a nice addition to your reluctant reader collection. Really, this quote from Kit says it best:

“It was weird and pointless. Of course I liked it!”

Review copy from school library.

Also reviewed by Unshelved, Kiss the Book, Riddle Reads, Book Trends.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.

Really, nobody said it better than Dvice, who called the Performance Book Caddy “a cheap way to kill yourself”. Hey, I’m all for reading, but this is not a good purchase. Click the image to view.

(Thanks to Neatorama for the link)

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.

As well reported at Jacket Knack, silhouettes are a cover trend on the rise. The following pair of covers both sport silhouettes, but with a couple additional elements that strengthen the correlation. Let’s take a look at the first cover:

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork.

And now, the counterpart:

The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Completely Fantastical Edition by Holly Black & Toni DiTerlizzi.

Side by side:

The low title, nighttime setting, the trees, and the lights (which are stars on the Marcello cover, but faeries (I’m assuming) on Spiderwick) give these two a similar feel, don’t you think?


I have many mixed emotions about this – most of them not good. Click here to get the facts from EarlyWord.


You have to give Bill Watterson credit for creating something great, ending on a high note, and never looking back. Click here to read the interview. Click here to find out how the interview happened.


If you get your permission slip signed, you may use the dictionary at Oak Meadows Elementary School in Riverside County, CA. This is nuts.


…to a sharp-looking self-hosted site. More information to come soon.

The Newbery and Caldecott awards don’t just help the medal winners. This week, the honors also join the bestseller party (click here to see the entire list). My only question? Where is The Almost True Adventures of Homer P. Figg?

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon. #2 in Picture Books.

Red Sings From Treetops by Joyce Sidman. #9 in Picture Books.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Li. #7 in Chapter Books.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. #10 in Chapter Books.

Troubling news out of Washington.

How can you resist podcasts with great authors? Just follow the above link from @alscblog and start downloading.

On The Children’s Lit Project blog, Aurthur A. Levine talks about the early grassroots support for Harry Potter.

Potty Animals: What to Know When You’ve Gotta Go!
By Hope Vestergaard
Illustrated by Valeria Petrone
ISBN: 9781402759963
Grades PreK-2
In Stores March 2, 2010


The landscape of books about etiquette is pretty desolate. For every solid contribution, like the recent Wiggens Learns His Manners at the Four Seasons Restaurant there are what seems like a thousand uninspired rule rundowns. So when a good one comes along, it’s all the more important to hold onto. I don’t know if I can be much clearer than this: Potty Animals should be PreK-2nd grade required reading. And I don’t say this based solely on the information contained within, but because of the entertaining, interactive, and successful way it’s delivered.

Through spry rhyming text, we are introduced to the students of Sycamore Elementary. This varied collection of animals act out every conceivable bathroom issue that youngsters face, as the narrator describes each situation. Readers are encouraged to tell the animals what they should do, and each two page spread ends with a line (such as “Wilbur, always wash with soap!”) to be read together. The last page contains a list of these “read together” phrases.

It seems odd, but I think readers will be transfixed. There’s something about seeing a kid make the wrong choice that makes other younsters take notice. The fact that these choices pertain to a subject that is a bit taboo only increases the interest.

The field of digital illustration continues to surprise. Here the artwork comes across as created with a brush and paint, not the colorform-esque images often associated with the computer-aided medium. The results are pretty eye-catching.

It’s a pleasant surprise to read an etiquette book for young readers that exceeds expectations, and that’s what this one did. You know a lower elementary teacher? How about the parent of a child in that age group? You’ll be making a good move by picking this one up for them. Don’t hesitate to add it to your library collection.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.

Is it fair to call two covers that appear similar a controversy? Probably not. Liar? Magic Under Glass? Mysterious Benedict Society? Now those are some legitimate cover controversies. What I put forth today is more of a gentle Cover Curio. Let’s take a look…

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher.

Hot off the presses! This book (which has been garnering a good amount of buzz, as evidenced by this Publishers Weekly article) was just released in the U.S. this week. Now, the counterpart:

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

Side by side:

While the covers don’t have many elements that exactly match up (other than the gears), there is a similar mood struck here, don’t you think?

In case you’re interested, here’s the UK cover of Incarceron:

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