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Castle: How It Works by David Macaulay

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Today marks the death date of Chaucer, the birthdate of English historian Thomas Macaulay, and the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, when the English defeated the French. When I looked at those three events, a new beginning reader comes to mind: David Macaulay’s Castle: How It Works. Good beginning readers with historical or informational content […]

Architecture, History
Featured on October 25

The Fire Cat by Esther Averill

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October happens to be Fire Pup Month. But even old dogs can learn new tricks—and today I will be writing about a cat, not a dog! This year I’ve been meeting with a group of children’s book experts and enthusiasts to choose a small library of the best children’s books. Through this project I have […]

Animals, Cars, Cats, Transportation
Featured on October 1

Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff

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October is International Dinosaur Month. Except for cats and dogs, few creatures seem as appealing to children as dinosaurs. In fact, to have a dinosaur as a pet must be one of the great childhood fantasies, an idea explored by Oliver Butterworth in The Enormous Egg. Well our dinosaur of the day isn’t exactly a […]

Dinosaurs, Humor
Featured on October 18

Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman


The heroes of our book of the day do not even have names. But the canines in P. D. Eastman’s Go, Dog. Go!, an offering for National Dog Week, which takes place the last week of September, are some of the fastest, and funniest, dogs to appear in a children’s book. After the success of […]

Animals, Dogs, Humor
Featured on September 20

Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
Illustrated by Maurice Sendak


Born in Denmark on September 13, 1920, Else Holmelund Minarik came to the United States when she was four. At first she hated English, the new language that she had to learn, but she became devoted to it—and to teaching first graders how to read words that had once perplexed her. As she observed her […]

Animals, Bears, Family, Humor
Featured on September 13

Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel


In June of 1970, one of the best children’s books about friendship was published, Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad Are Friends, a Caldecott Honor book. Lobel, who studied at Pratt to become an illustrator, made the most important connection of his creative career when he walked into Harper & Row one day to show his portfolio. […]

Animals, Friendship, Frogs
Featured on June 20

Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill


Today I am thanking all my cat-loving readers, who have had to suffer through endless dog books and dog stories. It isn’t fair, I know! However, June has been designated Adopt a Shelter Cat Month—with the motto “Make Pet Adoption Your First Option.” So to settle the imbalance in the Almanac, I’m going to use […]

Animals, Cats, New York
Featured on June 3

Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by Suçie Stevenson

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April 1 marks a lot of holidays. It begins Laugh at Work Week and International Pooper Scooper Week and has been designated Reading is Funny Day and National Fun Day.  April has been set aside to celebrate National Humor, Pets Are Wonderful (PAW), and Dog Appreciation. When I saw all of these events, I had […]

Animals, Dogs, Family, Seasons
Featured on April 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.