Julius Lester by Julius Lester


On January 27, 1939, Julius Lester was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. Son of a Methodist minister, he lived in Kansas City and Nashville, where he attended Fisk University. Later Lester embraced the Jewish religion, which he wrote about in Lovesong: Becoming a Jew. One of those rare multi-talented individuals who can do many things […]

African American, Award Winning, Caldecott, Folktale, Multicultural
Featured on January 27

Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by Bryan Collier

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Today marks Martin Luther King Day. When we come to the third Monday in January, I am often reminded that I did not celebrate this holiday as a child. But I did have an opportunity to witness the incredible life and amazing accomplishments of Dr. King. When I was a student in rhetoric at Indiana […]

African American, Award Winning, Caldecott, Civil Rights, Coretta Scott King, History, Multicultural, Social Conscience
Featured on January 17

Jerry Pinkney by Jerry Pinkney


Today is the birthday of Jerry Pinkney, illustrator extraordinaire who has created more than two hundred books for children since he entered the field. Born in Philadelphia, Jerry studied at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art and then moved to Boston for work. In 1964 he published his first children’s book, The Adventures of Spider. […]

Award Winning, Caldecott, Folktale
Featured on December 22

Snow by Uri Shulevitz


In some areas of the country, the first snowfall comes in October, but depending on where you are, you may still be waiting for the first snow of the season. I recently watched my young Bernese mountain dog, Lancelot, run around in ecstasy as he experienced an early snowfall; of course, it reminded me of how […]

Award Winning, Caldecott, Seasons, Winter
Featured on December 12

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick


On December 8, 1861, Georges Méliès was born in Paris, France. He became one of the first French filmmakers, renowned for his creative development of motion pictures. Delighting in special effects, Méliès explored time-lapse photography and hand-painted color in films. His most famous movie, A Trip to the Moon (1902), features a scene where a […]

Award Winning, Caldecott, Film, History
Featured on December 8

Happy Hanukkah


The celebration of Hanukkah, which takes place this year from December 1–9, has generated a number of fine books for children. Today I’d like to look at two picture books that I particularly admire, one classic and one newer title. Trina Schart Hyman won a Caldecott Honor for her spirited artwork in Hershel and the […]

Award Winning, Caldecott, Hanukkah, History, Holidays, Revolutionary War
Featured on December 6

Margot Zemach by Margot Zemach


We’ll end the month of November with another birthday celebration, this time of one of the finest book illustrators of the twentieth century, Margot Zemach, born in 1931. Strangely, and I have never figured out why, male illustrators for children outnumber and generally outrank, in terms of accolades, their female counterparts. But Margot Zemach could […]

Adventure, Award Winning, Caldecott
Featured on November 30

Marc Simont
Illustrated by Marc Simont


Today we celebrate the ninety-fifth birthday of an incredible artist, Marc Simont, who in seven decades has illustrated more than one hundred books for children. Born in Paris to parents from the Catalonian region of Spain, Simont lived in France, Spain, and the United States during his childhood. Very much like Jean Fritz, our other […]

Animals, Award Winning, Caldecott, Dogs
Featured on November 23

Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Audelaire

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On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln helped dedicate seventeen acres of the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Orator Edward Everett delivered the main speech that day. He spoke for two hours; Lincoln’s short address lasted about two minutes. Although contemporaries thought little of the president’s address, today we consider “The Gettysburg Address” one […]

Award Winning, Caldecott, Civil War, History
Featured on November 19

So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George
Illustrated by David Small

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It’s November when Americans vote in national elections. November is also Picture Book Month, a time set aside to celebrate the need for picture books in the lives of children. Both causes merge in our book of the day, which both educates and entertains young people — just as good picture books should. Winner of the 2001 Caldecott Medal for David […]

Award Winning, Caldecott, History, Humor, Politics
Featured on November 2

Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say

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On October 28,1886, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s sculpture, Liberty Enlightening the World, was officially dedicated on Bedloe’s Island in New York. A sonnet by Emma Lazarus had been inscribed on the pedestal: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, […]

Asian American, Award Winning, Caldecott, Family, History, Immigration, Multicultural
Featured on October 28

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.