FIND A BOOK

The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud

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From January 19–25, we celebrate Hunt for Happiness Week. A perfect book for this week has been sitting on my shelf for months: Benjamin Chaud’s The Bear’s Song. A large picture book at 14 ½ inches tall by 9 ¾ inches wide, The Bear’s Song first appeared in France and has been published in the […]

Animals, Bears, Imagination
Featured on January 20, 2014

My Mother Goose by David McPhail

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This week the holiday shopping season begins in earnest, and Saturday marks Small Business Saturday. Author Sherman Alexie has spearheaded a movement this year for independent bookstores, which he has named Indies First, by asking authors to help sell books in bookstores: “We book nerds will become booksellers.” And so many of us will help […]

Poetry
Featured on November 25, 2013

Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Illustrated by Judy Horacek

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Around this time of year Ohio celebrates Sheep Day! In Wayne County at the Sheep Research Unit, Ohio State University faculty, staff, and students convene to discuss how to successfully raise sheep. If I were anywhere near this event, I’d go because I have a soft spot for sheep. Instead I’ll pick up the book […]

Animals, Bedtime
Featured on July 13, 2013

Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile

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For some reason, although it is summertime, things seem busier than ever during the month of July. I suppose I always secretly long for the summers I remember from my youth—with long periods of unstructured time. New Englanders tend to cram six months of living into the days of sunshine. But when I feel frantic, […]

Humor
Featured on July 1, 2013

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

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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
Featured on June 19, 2013

Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore
Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

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At the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam on June 5, they acknowledge Dead Duck Day and discuss ways to prevent these winged city dwellers from colliding into windows. I, however, don’t like to use Almanac pages to feature dead ducks or dead dogs. But our book of the day, Eva Moore’s Lucky Ducklings, does explore […]

Animals, Ducks, True Story
Featured on June 5, 2013

Book of Animal Poetry by J. Patrick Lewis

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April 15 is, of course, tax day—but I have never found a suitable book on the subject for the Almanac. Some concerns really are not appropriate for children. Instead I will focus on a perfect title for Poetry Month, J. Patrick Lewis’s Book of Animal Poetry. In March at the Charlotte Huck Festival in Redlands, […]

Animals, Science, Zoology
Featured on April 15, 2013

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

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Today marks the birthday of Peggy Rathmann. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Peggy studied commercial art and crafted picture books at the Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles. In 1991 she published her first book, Ruby the Copycat, and was immediately hailed by Publishers Weekly as a “Promising New Author.” Promising indeed. Within […]

Animals, Bedtime
Featured on March 4, 2013

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, 2013

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

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January has been designated National Folktale Month. Ever since Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith published The True Story of Three Little Pigs, over two decades ago, fractured fairy tales, or folklore, have attracted writers and illustrators. Our book of the Day, Mo Willems’s Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, falls squarely in that tradition. Children enjoy stretching […]

Dinosaurs, Folktale
Featured on January 7, 2013

Homer by Elisha Cooper

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November has been designated Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Most families want to find a puppy or kitten when they chose a pet, but there are so many benefits in bringing a more mature animal into the house. My own senior pet, a Bernese mountain dog named Lady, turns twelve this month. Two years ago […]

Animals, Dogs, Family
Featured on November 6, 2012

Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals by Ed Emberley

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Today marks the birthday of Ed Emberley. Ed was born in Malden, Massachusetts, graduated from the Massachusetts School of Art, and then painted signs for the army and worked in commercial illustration. In the late fifties he began publishing books with the then-Boston firm of Little Brown and Company. For Ed Emberley, working on books […]

Animals, Art, Nature
Featured on October 19, 2012

George and Martha by James Marshall

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Were he still living, I’d be sending  birthday greetings to Jim Marshall today. He died at the age of fifty, much too young and with too many great books still to come. And I have missed him, personally and professionally, for twenty years. A highly sophisticated human being, Jim grew up in San Antonio, Texas, […]

Animals, Friendship
Featured on October 10, 2012

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum

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Although some schools began in August, this week many children are headed back to school and some are headed there for the first time. Starting kindergarten is a topic so well covered by children’s books that I sometimes mistakenly think no one can come up with an original approach. But then creative people always find […]

Asian American, Family, Multicultural, School
Featured on September 5, 2012

Backseat A-B-See by Maria van Lieshout

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This week we celebrate Children’s Book Week. Our book of the day is one that Carol Rasco from Reading Is Fundamental—who should be given sainthood for her tireless efforts on behalf of children and reading—recommended to me. Although we know that children want reading to be fun, our preschool books for children often tend to inform […]

Transportation
Featured on May 14, 2012

Step Gently Out by Helen Frost
Illustrated by Rick Lieder

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In April we’ve been celebrating Poetry Month. I actually wish every day were Poetry Day for children and that a poems were part of their daily literary diet. In the last couple of years, single poetry volumes for children ages two through eight—the work of Joyce Sidman and books like Marilyn Singer’s Mirror Mirror—have increased. […]

Animals, Insects, Nature
Featured on April 24, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman

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Born in Philadelphia on April 8, 1939, Trina Schart Hyman trained as an illustrator and spent over three decades creating beautiful books and artwork for children. Beloved by her editors, Trina, who was always a force to be reckoned with, delighted in making sure they actually studied what she had drawn. She usually wove in […]

Award Winning, Caldecott, Fairy Tale, Folktale
Featured on April 8, 2012

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

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April has been designated School Library Media Month and Gardening Month. Since both causes are dear to my heart, I set aside this day early in April to celebrate both so that the party can continue through the rest of April. I believe that school libraries, or media centers, have done more to help children […]

Ecology, Gardening, Nature, Spring
Featured on April 4, 2012

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead

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It has been an unusually difficult winter in New England this year, with several feet of snow arriving in the region. Although my Bernese Mountain Dog Lance has enjoyed every flake, I find myself longing for the first day of spring. That sense of joy, of the brown, dry earth coming to life has been […]

Animals, Nature, Seasons, Spring
Featured on March 20, 2012

Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinsky

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Today marks the birthday of one of the most versatile and accomplished illustrators working today, Paul O. Zelinsky. My major problem in writing about Paul was deciding which of his many superb books to feature. Born in 1953 in Evanston, Illinois, Paul lived in several locations because his father was a college professor. He discovered […]

Cars, Transportation
Featured on February 14, 2012

Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth

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Today Japan celebrates Coming of Age day, a ceremony to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached the age of majority: twenty years old. Well, for those who aren’t twenty, or those who are but like to remain child-like in spirit, our book of the day, John J. Muth’s Zen Shorts, explores the Japanese […]

Animals, Bears, Religion/Spirituality
Featured on January 9, 2012

The Mitten by Jan Brett

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December 6 marks Mitten Tree Day; to celebrate everyone is encouraged to decorate a Christmas tree with mittens (the tree and mittens can be real or cut out from brightly colored paper). As I write this, I am packing to travel to Canada and Seattle to present a workshop on children’s classics. One of the […]

Animals, Clothing, Folktale, Seasons, Winter
Featured on December 6, 2011

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klasssen

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Today we celebrate International Hat Day.  I personally love, wear, buy, and covet hats—all kinds of hats. Since the book of the day I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen was published last year, it has already gained an enormous number of fans. Klassen is a master of the minimalist form. Starting with sumptuous […]

Animals, Bears, Humor, Rabbits
Featured on November 25, 2011

Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann

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Tonight we celebrate All Hallows Eve, or Halloween, a time of carved pumpkins, parties, or door-to-door canvassing in costume for treats. In my childhood the latter activity was quite casual, and costumes often consisted only of sheets with eye holes. But in more recent years Halloween costumes have become elaborate, often prepared with great care. […]

Animals, Dogs, Halloween, Holidays
Featured on October 31, 2011

Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
Illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

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For years I have admired Anne Rockwell’s ability to render the complex simple in her picture books for the very young. Rockwell was one of the pioneers in the area of books for very young readers, ages birth to three. She studied art at Pratt Institute and began to write and illustrate picture books after […]

Fall, Food, Seasons
Featured on October 23, 2011

Carl Goes Shopping by Alexander Day

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In October 1992, the board book edition of a title that had already gained a devoted following of picture book fans appeared, Alexandra Day’s Carl Goes Shopping. Often publishers eager for titles for the very young frequently republish material in board books that have originally appeared as standard picture books. For the Carl books, wordless […]

Animals, Dogs
Featured on October 20, 2011

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, 2011

Arthur’s Nose by Marc Brown

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Today for Great Books Week (October 6-12) , I’d like to look at a modest picture book that launched an empire: Marc Brown’s Arthur’s Nose. In 1976 a failed television weatherman, Marc Brown, published his first picture book under the astute guidance of Emilie McLeod of Atlantic Monthly Press. Emilie, one of those most respected […]

Animals, Friendship, Humor
Featured on October 7, 2011

On the Farm by David Elliott
Illustrated by Holly Meade

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Since the eighties the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi has been honored with World Farm Animals Day. If I were to pick a single book that celebrates living farm animals, it would have to be On the Farm, an inspired collaboration between poet David Elliott and illustrator Holly Meade. David once actually worked on a farm—although […]

Animals
Featured on October 2, 2011

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

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September 25 has been designated National Comic Book Day. From Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm’s Babymouse series to Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid offerings, comic books (sometimes called graphic novels) have been the hottest publishing phenomena of the past few years—including in books for children. Entire imprints, like First Second, have been established to explore what […]

Humor, Imagination
Featured on September 25, 2011

Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

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September has been designated World Animal Remembrance Month—and today I’m going to talk about one of the dogs most loved by the preschool set, Eric Hill’s Spot. It is hard to believe that this pooch has only been around for thirty-one years. The ongoing saga of Spot began not with Spot himself, but his mother […]

Animals, Dogs
Featured on September 16, 2011

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.