A Cry for Elpy

Yes, it’s been a weird year, but a lot of great books for young people were still published, and the American Library Association just gave out its annual awards to the best of them. We have compiled full lists of all the winners and honorees in print, as well as ebook and digital audio formats…
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Librarian Reveals Truth About Classic Picture Book Authors and It’s Not What You Think

It’s been a long year of reading news on my phone, and among the many ways this has warped my personality is an increased tendency to fall for clickbait. You know the stories that draw you in with an irresistible headline, then string you along for thirty-seven more clicks, with several new ads on each…
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Survival Guides

The other day at breakfast, I quizzed my kids on weasel scats. They are age seven and nine, and potty humor is their thing these days, so I figured they would really dig Figure 22 of A Field Guide to Animal Tracks, by Olaus J. Murie: “Droppings of the weasel family, in proportionate sizes.” Surprisingly…
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Kansas Needs Diverse Books

We’ve been updating the Children’s Biography section lately, clearing out some older, neglected titles (so long, Brad Johnson and Hannah Montana, we hardly knew ye) to make way for the new.  Over the years selecting books for the children’s area, I’ve formed a habit of compulsively checking to make sure we have books on whatever…
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Invented Worlds: An Interview with Johanna Winters

In April, my kids and I were lucky enough to see a performance of Ric Averill’s The Runaway Orchestra at the Lawrence Arts Center.  Among the play’s many charms were giant paper mache heads worn by actors portraying various characters.  These puppets were created in a special course taught by the Arts Center’s 2018-2019 printmaker artist-in-residence…
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