Wendell Minor’s America by Norman Rockwell Museum
Illustrated by Wendell Minor

Every now and then on the Almanac, I like to discuss a book about children’s books, written for adults. Today, for Read a New Book Month, the Almanac features Wendell Minor’s America: 25 Years of Children’s Book Art, published by the Norman Rockwell Museum in conjunction with their current Wendell Minor exhibit. In this gorgeous […]

Animals, Art, History
Featured on December 9

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery


On April 6, 1943, one of the most unusual offerings in the children’s book cannon was published. Whether it was a book for adults or children or more appropriately “all ages” would become part of the ongoing debate about The Little Prince. Certainly some of the early reviewers like P. L. Travers and Anne Carroll […]

Imagination, Religion/Spirituality
Featured on April 6

The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay


On January 31, 1930, 3M began marketing Scotch Tape, an invention of Richard Drew. The familiar plaid design, an adaptation of the Wallace tartan, did not come along for another fifteen years. But Scotch Tape, like so many other simple inventions, changed everyday life. If I were to recommend to parents a single reference source […]

Award Winning, Technology
Featured on January 31

Action Jackson by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan
Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker

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Today marks the birthday of Jackson Pollock, the American painter born in 1912 in Cody, Wyoming. Killed in an automobile accident in 1956, Pollock struggled with alcoholism and depression and has been the subject of hundreds of adult studies, biographies, and movies. Given his lifestyle, he does not seem a natural subject for a picture […]

Featured on January 28

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

Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan

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Today we celebrate Australia Day, when in 1788 the first settlement was established at Port Jackson, now part of Sydney. The Australian writing and illustrating community seems to me to be the most vibrant and original group of children’s book creators working any place in the world. In a few short years Australian writer Marcus […]

Adventure, Magic, Quest
Featured on January 26

How to Talk to Your Cat by Jean Craighead George
Illustrated by Paul Meisel

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Today has been designated Ask Your Cat Questions Day. Most pet owners admit that they talk to their animals all the time.“How are you feeling today, Lancelot?” I just said to my puppy before sitting down. However, what if you really wanted to communicate with a cat—beyond meaningless questions such as, “Why did you bring […]

Animals, Cats
Featured on January 22

365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental & Joëlle Jolivet


Today marks Penguin Awareness Day.  Who doesn’t love penguins? They look so wonderful in their tuxedos, so well turned out and charming. But, then, I must admit that I have never lived with any. If I did, possibly I’d feel differently—I’d be more circumspect about them, like the family in our book of the day, […]

Animals, Award Winning, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Family, Humor, Penguins
Featured on January 20

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

The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Illustrated by Wendell Minor


On January 12, 1876, Jack London was born in San Francisco, California. But the event that shaped London’s life occurred in 1896 when he was twenty. Three men who were fishing for salmon – Shookum Jim, Dawson Charlie, and George Carmack—found gold in Rabbit Creek, a small tributary of the Klondike River in Alaska. Because […]

Adventure, Animals, Dogs, Gold Rush, History, Survival
Featured on January 12

The Story of Joan of Arc by Maurice Boutet de Monvel

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On January 6, or close to it, in 1412, a peasant girl destined to become a saint was born in Domrémy-la-Pucelle, France. As a teenager, Joan of Arc experienced visions, heard voices, and set out to save the King of France. She delivered Orleans from a siege during the Hundred Years War and paved the […]

History, Middle Ages, Religion/Spirituality
Featured on January 6

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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When Charles Dickens set out to write A Christmas Carol in 1843, both his fortune and his reputation had hit an all-time low. “Boz [Dickens’s pen name] is going down,” the gossips declared, and Dickens financial problems were known all over London. During this time the celebration of Christmas traditions in England were, as the […]

Christmas, Ghosts, Holidays
Featured on December 19

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Illustrated by John Tenniel

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On November 26, 1865, a children’s book was published by Macmillan in England that has remained in print ever since: the longest standing and best-known of our classics, Lewis Carroll’s quirky and unforgettable Alice in Wonderland. Although it was clearly written and intended for children, its richness and complexity also make it appealing to adults. […]

Adventure, Other Worlds
Featured on November 26

Pop-up Books by Robert Sabuda


Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the most original creators of children’s books, Lothar Meggendorfer, born in Munich in 1847. Meggendorfer did not want the images of a book to lie flat on the page—he thought they should move. Decades before motion pictures or interactive computer graphics, he experimented with paper engineering to […]

Featured on November 6

It’s a Book by Lane Smith


In 1929 the General Federation of Women’s Clubs adopted a holiday that became generally observed in the country by 1949 as National Author’s Day. The resolution for the holiday reads: “by celebrating an Author’s Day as a nation, we would not only show patriotism, loyalty, and appreciation of the men and women who have made […]

Humor, Technology
Featured on November 1

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.