February 21

Messy by Jennifer L. Holm

My parents were always nagging me to clean up my room when I was a kid. I was a little messy. Which is probably why I’ve always loved the story of how Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. (Also, my dad was a doctor so we had a lot of penicillin around the house.) Alexander Fleming was […]

February 20

La lengua es puerta a la cultura y vínculo a la herencia or Why I Write Bilingual Books by Lulu Delacre

I remember being a young mother and going to the children’s section of the public library in White Oak, MD. I was awed to see the number of quality books from which native English speakers could choose. Growing up in Puerto Rico in the 60’s, I had almost no access to children’s books. Few were […]

February 19

A KidLit Visit to Massachusetts: Top 10 Stops Along the Way by Lesley Burnap

I am proud of my home state in the book-nerdiest of ways: We seem to be crawling with folks working in the industry of children’s literature! Growing up in the western part of Massachusetts, I was aware of literary icons Jane Yolen, Norton Juster and Eric Carle living nearby. Fast forward about 40 years and […]

February 18

THINKING SMALL by Adriana Brad Schanen

“Thank you for writing what it’s like to be a person.” A slight, brown-haired boy came over to me and whispered those words, barely, after my Fall 2016 visit to Doyle School in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey. He was shy, and vanished back into the crowd before I could get much else out of him. But […]

February 17

Ten Picture Books for Talent Development by Sarah Haywood

I work with gifted students, and there is somewhat of a paradigm shift occurring in this field. Traditionally, students have been identified as gifted and then provided with modifications and/or services. Recently, research has shown that a “talent development” approach may be more beneficial for students. One way this can be done is to conduct […]

February 16

Incombustible Ideas: The Subtle Bigotry of Book Banning by Jennifer LaGarde and Travis Crowder

Books are powerful. They have the unique ability to transform, inspire, and educate, all while wrapping us in the singularly connective tissue of story. The ideas in books also have the potential to challenge the status quo, make us think differently, and encourage change in our world: a power which some find frightening. In her […]

February 15

Retro review: ‘Holding up the Universe.’ Learning to love yourself by Vanessa Simpson

The release of Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven was highly anticipated to be a huge hit in April 2016, as the success of her previous Young Adult novel, All the Bright Places, had left her readers wondering how she could possibly pull at their emotions any more. As soon as I found out a […]

February 14

Celebrating the ALA Youth Media Awards with my Students by Colby Sharp

Each year I do a Mock Caldecott unit with my students. We study 20 wonderfully illustrated books, debate them, and then vote on which book we think should win the Caldecott Medal. One of the perks of this unit, is that my students are extremely excited to see which books the actual Caldecott Committee selects. […]

February 13

A Book’s Job by Barb Rosenstock

Your job is a teacher, mine is a writer. Or you’re a librarian and someone else is an illustrator. But what is a book’s job? When you’ve been working with children’s books for a while you can lose track. You start to believe that a book’s job is to sell a lot of copies or […]

February 12

It’s never too late to become a reader! by Angie Moore

My husband has never been a reader. It’s not a secret, he will even tell you that himself. He is an incredibly intelligent man, and was, and still is (MBA this year!!) an excellent student, but he never read outside of a classroom. The only thing he remembers about reading as a child was that […]