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Our Solar System

by Seymour Simon

May 19th, 2014 | ,

On May 19, 1961, Venera 1 became the first man-made object to fly by another planet, Venus, as part of the ongoing exploration of Earth’s solar system. May not only marks this occasion but is also the month we celebrate Get Caught Reading Month . Together these two facts make me think of Seymour Simon and […]

Science

What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings

by Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

April 28th, 2014 | ,

All month we have been celebrating National Poetry Month. As I mentioned in the essay on Firefly July, a large number of quality poetry picture books have started to appear over the last year or so. My mentor once told me that publishing trends are like sunspots—things come and go for no earthly reason. Well, […]

Feelings, Poetry

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives

by Lola M. Schaefer
Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

February 17th, 2014 | , ,

February has been designated Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month. Of course, any time we connect children with a good book, seeds are being planted. But certainly children of the twenty-first century will need both math and science skills for the duration of their lives, and exciting books in this area are far too hard […]

Animals, Science

The Port Chicago 50

by Steve Sheinkin

February 10th, 2014 | , ,

February has been designated Black History Month since 1976, and this observance has allowed for both the acquisition and publishing of many fine children’s and young adult books. But although there are so many stories from Black American history to be told, these books often focus on the same subject areas or heroes. Hence I […]

20th Century, African American, History, Multicultural, World War II

Wendell Minor’s America

by Norman Rockwell Museum
Illustrated by Wendell Minor

December 9th, 2013 |

Every now and then on the Almanac, I like to discuss a book about children’s books, written for adults. Today, for Read a New Book Month, the Almanac features Wendell Minor’s America: 25 Years of Children’s Book Art, published by the Norman Rockwell Museum in conjunction with their current Wendell Minor exhibit. In this gorgeous […]

Animals, Art, History

Locomotive

by Brian Floca

October 21st, 2013 | , ,

October has been designated National Reading Group Month. Usually, reading groups select novels. But today I recommend an unusual and brilliant work of narrative nonfiction published last month: Brian Floca’s Locomotive. With a career that began when Brian illustrated books for Avi in the early 1990s, the artist has continued to grow and get better […]

History, Science, Technology, Trains, Transportation

Redwoods

by Jason Chin

October 2nd, 2013 | , ,

October 2, 1968 marks the establishment of California’s Redwood National Park, which protects slightly less than half of the remaining coast redwoods. Unfortunately, I have never personally seen one of these beauties, but hearing about the raging fires in Yosemite National Park in August and September led me to return to one of my favorite […]

Ecology, Nature, Science

The Egypt Game

by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

September 16th, 2013 | ,

September has been designated Read a New Book Month. But for me, rereading a book I haven’t picked up for decades often seems like reading a new one. At the beginning of every school year, I ask my graduate students to talk about the book they most loved as a child. Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The […]

Ancient, Award Winning, History, Multicultural, Newbery

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös

by Deborah Heiligman
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

September 9th, 2013 | , ,

Today we can celebrate Wonderful Weirdos Day, created by the citizens of Austin, Texas. The organizers suggest that we all need to recognize those individuals in our lives who are not normal or average. Our book of the day does just that; even its subtitle suggests that it celebrates a wonderful weirdo as it chronicles […]

History, Science, Technology

Waiting for Wings

by Lois Ehlert

June 19th, 2013 | , ,

Today we celebrate Butterfly Day, a time to go out and gaze at some of nature’s most beautiful creatures. They lift their wings and our spirits. My favorite butterfly book since 2001 has been Lois Ehlert’s Waiting for Wings, an oversized volume that highlights butterflies and the plants that sustain them. Lois Ehlert always knew […]

Animals, Gardening, Insects, Science, Zoology

Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey.

Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .

The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .

And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.