Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner


December has been designated Read a New Book Month. Often in December, we hunt for something recently published that will make the perfect gift. Now, I admit that I favor dog books. And my readers have been patient with me as I rhapsodize over titles like Love that Dog or Homer, month after month. But […]

Animals, Cats, Humor, Imagination, Technology
Featured on December 2

Locomotive by Brian Floca

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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
Featured on October 21

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös by Deborah Heiligman
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

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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
Featured on September 9

Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

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The 20th Singapore Robotic Games is taking place today at the Science Center in Singapore. Does this sound like fun or what? Since I can’t be there, I am doing the next best thing: picking up Ame Dyckman’s Boy + Bot, one of the funniest and most original picture books of 2012. In a very […]

Friendship, Science, Technology, Toys
Featured on January 23

The Boggart by Susan Cooper


On May 23, 1935, Susan Cooper was born in England. While at Oxford, she listened to lectures by J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, who had set up the curriculum in English Literature and Language. Although this meant as a student that she didn’t read much written past 1832, it did give her a lot […]

England, Magic, Technology
Featured on May 23

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton


October 6-12 has been designated Great Books Week to remind us to use our time well by picking up excellent books. By asking questions such as “if stranded on an deserted island, what five books would you want?” or “what books do you read over and over?” the organizers hope to get us all to […]

History, Machines, Technology
Featured on October 3

The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay


On January 31, 1930, 3M began marketing Scotch Tape, an invention of Richard Drew. The familiar plaid design, an adaptation of the Wallace tartan, did not come along for another fifteen years. But Scotch Tape, like so many other simple inventions, changed everyday life. If I were to recommend to parents a single reference source […]

Award Winning, Technology
Featured on January 31

The Wright Brothers by Russell Freedman

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December 17 was declared Wright Brothers Day in 1963 by Presidential Proclamation. Certainly these two Buckeyes, who lived their lives in Dayton, Ohio, have inspired numerous books for children. But the best remains Russell Freedman’s The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane, a Newbery Honor book published two decades ago. Few in the history […]

Award Winning, Flight, History, Newbery, Planes, Technology, Transportation
Featured on December 17

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois


On December 14, 1782, the Montgolfier brothers’ first balloon lifted off on its first test flight. Later they would conduct public demonstrations, taking a thirty-three-foot diameter balloon aloft for about ten minutes. From this humble beginning, humans sailing the skies in a hot-air balloons became a possibility. William Waterman Sherman, the protagonist of the Newbery […]

Adventure, Award Winning, Humor, Newbery, Technology
Featured on December 14

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Illustrated by Keith Thompson

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The genre of science fiction has always provided endless opportunities for writers—as well as endless memories for the young people who read their work. Today marks the first interracial kiss on TV, between Captain James Kirk and Lt. Uhura of Star Trek. Tomorrow in 1963 the BBC broadcast the first episode of Doctor Who, the […]

Adventure, Technology
Featured on November 22

It’s a Book by Lane Smith


In 1929 the General Federation of Women’s Clubs adopted a holiday that became generally observed in the country by 1949 as National Author’s Day. The resolution for the holiday reads: “by celebrating an Author’s Day as a nation, we would not only show patriotism, loyalty, and appreciation of the men and women who have made […]

Humor, Technology
Featured on November 1

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.