The Doll People by Ann M. Martin
Illustrated by Brian Selznick


Tomorrow marks the publication of the fourth installment of Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin’s The Doll People series, The Doll People Set Sail. Since, for some inexplicable reason, I have not talked about the original book, published in 2000, on the Almanac, today seemed appropriate to sing its praises. Many consider The Doll People […]

Dolls, Family, Toys
Featured on October 13

Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber


This week we celebrate the annual observance of Children’s Book Week. In April, an exhibit of the work of Bernard Waber opened at the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts. About a hundred people attended the opening, including a roster of writers and illustrators who had known and loved Bernie Waber. Meeting Bernie’s […]

Family, Toys
Featured on May 12

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

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

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For more than eighty years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has entertained Americans. For many households the viewing of the parade is as essential as eating turkey. But how did such an event come about? In Balloons Over Broadway, author and illustrator Melissa Sweet takes readers behind the scenes of the parade as she presents […]

History, Holidays, Humor, Thankgiving, Toys
Featured on November 22

Corduroy by Don Freeman

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On August 11, 1908, Don Freeman was born in San Diego, California. Freeman showed early skills as both a musician and an artist. In the late twenties he moved to New York City to make a living. He arrived a few days before the stock market crash and always carried a guilt complex about the […]

Bedtime, Teddy Bears, Toys
Featured on August 11

Dog and Bear by Laura Vaccaro Seeger


Since 1935, the first Sunday in August has been celebrated as Friendship Day. The organizers of the event often quote Albert Camus on the subject: “Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.” Some of our most long-lasting […]

Animals, Dogs, Friendship, Toys
Featured on August 7

Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton
Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

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May has been designated Get Caught Reading Month, a campaign launched in 1999 by the Association of American Publishers. The month has been set aside to remind people how much fun it is to read; posters for the event show favorite children’s book characters or celebrities celebrating books and reading. I’m going to feature two […]

Humor, Imagination, Toys
Featured on May 2

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

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For nearly ten years February has been designated Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month. When I think of a rabbit that needs rescuing in children’s books, the first one that comes to mind appeared in 2004—not a living rabbit but a stuffed toy named Knuffle Bunny. In Mo Willems’s Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, we first […]

Featured on February 18

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Illustrated by Roberto Innocenti

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On February 7, 1940, RKO Radio Pictures released the second Walt Disney animated film, Pinocchio. As a child who fell under its spell, I remember many of its virtues—cutting edge animation, Academy Awards for the Best Original Score and Original Song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and the delightful Jiminy Cricket. Hence, imagine my […]

Dolls, Humor, Imagination, School, Toys
Featured on February 7

Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
Illustrated by Ernest Shepard


Today has been designated Winnie-the-Pooh Day. On October 14, 1926, a British playwright, who also liked to dabble in poetry and prose for children, published a book named after a stuffed toy bear: “Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.” Milne’s son Christopher […]

Humor, Toys
Featured on January 18

10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle

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On January 10, 1992, a cargo of around 29,000 rubber toys—including ducks, beavers, turtles, and frogs—fell overboard from a container ship in the northern Pacific Ocean. Some eventually landed on a remote coast of Alaska. In Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion author Loree Griffin Burns explains what actually happened to […]

Adventure, Animals, Ducks, Toys
Featured on January 10

The Tub People by Pam Conrad
Illustrated by Richard Egielski


Today marks Bathtub Party Day, a time to remember, in a society that takes showers for quickness and convenience, the luxury of days gone by and a good bath. Suggestions for the day include getting candles and oils—even inviting a few friends. Well, my friends and I don’t take baths together, but I must admit […]

Dolls, Family, Toys
Featured on December 5

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.