How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz


November has been designated Life Writing Month, dedicated to the idea that each person has a story to tell from his or her own history. Next week, we celebrate National Geography Week. Our book of the day, Uri Shulevitz’s How I Learned Geography, can be used for both occasions. This powerful picture book, perennially popular […]

Geography, History, World War II
Featured on November 12

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

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Last weekend Carnival took place  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of the last great folk festivals, the event continued until Shrove Tuesday. If, like me, you’d love to attend but missed it this year, pick up the book of the day, Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea, to celebrate Brazil and its people. […]

20th Century, Geography, Survival
Featured on February 17

The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson

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January has been designated Book Blitz Month, a great time  to indulge in the books of your favorite author. For me the perfect author to pick up in January during the long, cold New England nights, would be Eva Ibbotson. She wrote so many different kinds of books—all of them combining literary excellence with child […]

Adventure, Geography
Featured on January 17

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

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On October 12, 1797, Napoleon signed the Treaty of Campo Formio, handing Venice over to Austria. In one of the best children’s books of the last decade, the city of Venice comes so alive that it almost seems like a character itself. In the The Thief Lord, the first novel by German author Cornelia Funke […]

Geography, History
Featured on October 12

This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek

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At dawn on August 25, 1944, the Second French Armored Division entered Paris, ending the German occupation. Charles de Galle led a parade that day down the Champs Elysees. Although Hitler had ordered the destruction of the city, the occupying German officer ignored that decree and surrendered instead. The book of the day, This is […]

Geography, History, Paris
Featured on August 25

Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson

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If you spent your childhood in Europe, particularly Scandinavia or England, you will be more familiar with the books of the day than if you grew up in the United States. Unfortunately, these gems have never gained the popularity in America that they enjoy abroad. And American children are poorer because of that. Born on […]

Adventure, Geography, Politics
Featured on August 9

Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling


Today marks the birthday of one of America’s greatest author and illustrators. Holling Clancy Holling worked on developing his signature style for forty years before the release of his classic, Paddle-to-the-Sea, in 1941. For this book he drew on his years as a Michigan farm boy, a sailor on the Great Lakes, an anthropological researcher […]

Geography, History, Multicultural, Native American, Nature
Featured on August 2

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
Illustrated by Wesley Dennis


On Chincoteague Island, the annual pony penning contest is taking place at the end of July. Since 1925, around 50,000 people gather each year to watch 150 wild ponies herded off Assateague Island. They swim across the channel, are rounded up, examined, and auctioned. If you aren’t in Virginia at this time, you can watch […]

Animals, Geography, Horses
Featured on July 26

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D. B. Johnson


On July 12, 1817, Henry David Thoreau, American author, poet, naturalist, historian, and philosopher, was born in Concord, Massachusetts. Neighbor to other radical thinkers of his day, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott—the father of Louisa May—and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thoreau believed in living simply. He built a small cabin near Walden Pond, where he stayed alone, and […]

Geography, History
Featured on July 12

Rex Zero and the End of the World by Tim Wynne-Jones

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Around this time of year, for almost forty years, the annual Kimberly International Oldtime Accordion Championships took place in Kimberley, B.C., Canada. Family dances, jam sessions, and pancake breakfasts marked a festival that distinctly reminded me of my childhood. I was once forced to take accordion lessons; my mother had visions of her daughter performing […]

Canada, Cold War, Family, Geography, History, Politics
Featured on July 5

America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates
Illustrated by Wendell Minor


Today we celebrate Independence Day in the United States with fireworks and patriotic songs. The best-loved melody about America does not happen to be our national anthem, which even trained singers perform with difficulty. Most Americans prefer an easier and more haunting song, first published over a hundred years ago: “America the Beautiful.” The words […]

Geography, History, Nature
Featured on July 4

One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey


“I scream, you scream, we all scream, for ice cream,” goes the old ditty, and today marks National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. What a wonderful idea—two of the world’s most popular foods, chocolate and ice cream, celebrated together. For me, chocolate ice cream in June conjures up wonderful summer days, the ocean, sea gulls wailing, […]

Award Winning, Caldecott, Geography, Nature, Seasons, Summer
Featured on June 7

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

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On March 5th we celebrated a relatively new holiday, World Read Aloud Day. I’d like to continue this celebration by talking about my favorite recent read-aloud, written by Germany’s bestselling author for children, Cornelia Funke. Cornelia was brought to the attention of publisher Barry Cunningham by a devoted fan. The girl wrote to Cunningham, who had […]

Adventure, Geography, Imagination
Featured on March 9

Tintin by Hergé

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On March 3, 1983, one of Belgium’s most famous citizens, Hergé, died at the age of seventy five. Over the years his adventure stories have been translated into more than thirty languages and have made the brave and resourceful snub-nosed reporter Tintin and his fox terrier Snowy popular with both adults and children around the […]

Art, Geography, History, Politics
Featured on March 3

The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter


February has been set aside as Library Lovers Month to celebrate school, public, and private libraries of all types. In my case, without libraries this website would not exist. My early exposure to a variety of books came at a small school library in Village Elementary School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. An enormous amount of […]

21st Century, Geography, History, Politics
Featured on February 17

The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller

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This month schools began participating in the National Geographic Bee, an annual contest sponsored by the National Geographic Society. The third week of November the Society marks Geography Awareness Week, providing a multitude of project materials at their website. Since 1989, participants from fourth through eighth grades have competed in this annual event for scholarships, based […]

Geography, Humor
Featured on November 15

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.