December 31, 2018 by Betsy Bird
Oh. We made it, readers. We made it. That was 31 days, all right. 31 days that covered loads of books. Good ones and weird ones, but all of them worth reading in some way. Not a bad book in sight. Nothing to yawn at. And so, as a reward, here are the best beloved. The picture books. The titles closest to the heart of the children's book community.
December 30, 2018 by Betsy Bird
The penultimate list! I'm so excited! This year I did a bit better than in 2017 in terms of reading middle grade fiction. Thanks to a system of following starred reviews, the recommendations of readers I trust, blogs, Twitter, Mock Newbery lists, the whole kerschmozzle, here are the 2018 books that I think are great.
December 28, 2018 by Betsy Bird
I should clarify before we begin that calling these "Chapter Books" is a bit misleading. Think of them, instead, as works of Nonfiction for slightly older children in the 9-12 year-old range. Or, in the case of books like The Faithful Spy, 10 and up. A beautiful bevy of facts.
December 27, 2018 by Betsy Bird
At last! It's finally time to list the last Top Five lists of the year. This is the first of the biggies, my friends. These are the picture book nonfiction titles that truly stole my heart in 2018. The cream of the crop. The apples of my eye. The metaphors in my aphorisms.
December 22, 2018 by Betsy Bird
I like my nonfiction to adhere as closely to the truth as possible, but at the same time I love the creative ways people have come up with to present factual information. What to do? Why a list dedicated to those works of nonfiction with fictional elements (or are they fictional tales with nonfiction elements?). Because creativity deserves to be honored one way or another. This is my way.
December 20, 2018 by Betsy Bird
This year, ALA established the first Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT). Long gone are the days when we would pooh-pooh anything with a panel or a little sequential art. And so, in celebration of their status, I cast aside the "graphic novel" moniker. Long live, comics! Long live, panels! And long live speech balloons!
December 19, 2018 by Betsy Bird
Older than easy but not yet novels. The fact of the matter is that while Easy Books are hard to write, Early Chapter Books are hard to categorize. They're also ideal bedtime books for older children, which means that with the European imports you get a lot of experimentation. American early chapter books are pretty much just written to please. Here then are the books written with 6-9 year olds in mind.
December 18, 2018 by Betsy Bird
I think you've heard me say before that in many ways easy books are the most difficult titles to write. They are most perfect when they are most simple. And they are most simple, when they limit their text complexity. Can you make complex characters and plots with such small words? You can. These did.
December 17, 2018 by Betsy Bird
Poems used to be the sole property of April a.k.a. Poetry Month. Now that's changing. Publishers are rapidly putting more faith into the poetry books they produce. So let's take a look at what we saw this year, and the wide range of topics that were touched.
December 12, 2018 by Betsy Bird
They come and they go into our bookstores and libraries and out again without a whisper of awards or significant praise. Yet the true mark of whether or not you are opening up your child to the world is to show them books made internationally. Today we celebrate translations. Even the weird ones. I take that back. ESPECIALLY the weird ones!
Teen Librarian Toolbox
by Karen Jensen, MLS
Good Comics for Kids
by Renee Scott
The Classroom Bookshelf
by Erika Thulin Dawes
by Travis Jonker
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