A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban


Today I am recommending a book to chase the holiday blues away. Sometime during this joyous, or not so joyous, season, people find themselves a bit depressed. When that feeling comes upon you, make sure you have a copy of Linda Urban’s A Crooked Kind of Perfect nearby. Urban’s first novel, published in 2007, provides […]

Family, Humor, Music, School
Featured on December 17

John’s Secret Dreams by Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by Bryan Collier

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On July 6, 1957, in Saint Peter’s Parish Church in Woolton, England, a young musician performed with his band, The Quarrymen. Another young guitarist attended the event. As Elizabeth Partridge writes in John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth, the guitarist “was dressed to kill. He’d come to the garden fete hoping to pick […]

History, Music
Featured on July 6

Charlie Parker Played BeBop by Chris Raschka


On April 30, 1941, over seventy years ago, the first commercially recorded work of Charlie Parker was cut at Decca Records. Born in 1920 in Kansas City, Kansas, Charlie Parker began playing the saxophone at age eleven without formal training. In 1939 he headed to New York City, where he teamed up with Dizzy Gillespie […]

Jazz, Music
Featured on April 30

Simms Taback by Simms Taback

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Today marks the birthday of one of our most innovative illustrators and Caldecott winners, Simms Taback. When Simms won the award in 2000 for Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, so many members of the illustration community delighted in this news not only because they had long admired his work but also because he had worked […]

Art, Award Winning, Caldecott, Humor, Jewish, Multicultural, Music
Featured on February 13

Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon
Illustrated by Henri Sorensen


On December 24, 1818, a Christmas carol with a beautiful melody and words of peace—one created by an Austrian priest and a headmaster—was first performed in the Church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf, Austria. Of all my own childhood memories, the ones of singing this song, known in English as “Silent Night,” remain the most […]

Christmas, History, Holidays, Music, Social Conscience, World War I
Featured on December 24

The New York Philharmonic


On December 7, 1842, the first concert of theNew York Philharmonic, the first symphony orchestra founded in America, was performed. Over the years, the Philharmonic has performed more than 15,000 times and tonight will play a program of Beethoven and Mahler in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. Since many families attend formal events involving singing […]

Music, New York
Featured on December 7

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Illustrated by Garth Williams

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More than fifty years ago a down-on-his-luck, New York City playwright who had graduated from Yale wandered into the Times Square subway station late at night and heard a cricket chirp. It reminded him of his childhood in Connecticut when his life had been more optimistic and innocent. Because he knew how to write scenes […]

Animals, Award Winning, Cats, Classical, Insects, Mice, Music, New York, Newbery
Featured on October 30

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.