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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Je M’appelle Inez

This time of year always reminds me of a cat I once knew named Inez. At least, that’s what we called her, or “Eenie” for short, since she was on the small side. We adopted her from the shelter when she was six months old, but she turned out so wild we couldn’t keep her…
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And the Elpy Goes to . . .

With Golden Globes bestowed and the Oscars on the way, awards season is here. Children’s literature nerds have the morning of January 28th marked on their calendars to gather round their screens for the closest thing librarians have to the red carpet: the live webcast of the ALA Youth Media Awards.  I love awards and…
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