Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

, , ,

May has been designated both Personal History Month and Latino Book Month, and our book of the day, Yuyi Morales’s Viva Frida, could be used effectively for either celebration. In this passionate celebration of Frida Kahlo for very young readers, ages 2-8, Morales captures the spirit of an artist who has been her inspiration from […]

Art, Award Winning, Caldecott, Latino, Multicultural, Women
Featured on May 26

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Mark Teague

, ,

The first week of February has been set aside to celebrate children’s authors and illustrators. I’ve already written about the author of the book of the day, How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? Jane Yolen. Today I would like to sing the praises of illustrator Mark Teague. I recently had the pleasure of sharing an […]

Bedtime, Dinosaurs
Featured on February 4

I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein

, ,

Today we celebrate National Dress Up Your Pet Day. But not my dog Lancelot. Like many Bernese Mountain Dogs, he possesses an incredible sense of dignity. The only item he has ever allowed added to be added to his already regal appearance is a jingle-bell collar at Christmas. For all who are thinking about dressing […]

Animals, Dogs, Humor
Featured on January 14

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd


In 1965, UNESCO set aside a day to highlight to individuals and communities the importance of literacy, and deemed it International Literacy Day. People celebrate it around the world every year on September 8. But before children can become verbally literate, they need to develop visual literacy. In our book of the day, Flashlight, Lizi […]

Featured on September 8

The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud

, ,

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

My Mother Goose by David McPhail


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 […]

Featured on November 25

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

, ,

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

Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile

, ,

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, […]

Featured on July 1

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

, ,

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

Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore
Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

, ,

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

Book of Animal Poetry by J. Patrick Lewis

, ,

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

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann


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

Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

, ,

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

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

, ,

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

Homer by Elisha Cooper

, ,

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

Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals by Ed Emberley

, ,

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

George and Martha by James Marshall

, ,

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

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


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

Backseat A-B-See by Maria van Lieshout


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 […]

Featured on May 14

Step Gently Out by Helen Frost
Illustrated by Rick Lieder

, ,

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

Little Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman

, ,

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

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger


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

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

, ,

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

Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinsky

, ,

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

Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth

, ,

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

The Mitten by Jan Brett

, ,

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

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klasssen

, ,

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

Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann

, ,

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

Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
Illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

, ,

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

Carl Goes Shopping by Alexander Day

, ,

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

Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff

, ,

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

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.