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Introducing Matthew in the Stacks

The Children's Book Podcast

Release Date: 12/30/2019

Nikki Grimes (2020) show art Nikki Grimes (2020)

The Children's Book Podcast

Nikki Grimes () shares ORDINARY HAZARDS, a memoir in verse that has not only garnered six starred reviews on top of being named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book, but it is also without question one of the most beautiful, heart-breaking and heart-mending audiobooks I have ever heard. For those familiar with Grimes’ body of work, you will find through lines throughout pointing back to childhood trauma, family separation, and yearning to be cared for, but also a fierce resilience earned by assurance of the strength found within. For those new to...

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Kat Leyh show art Kat Leyh

The Children's Book Podcast

Kat Leyh () shares SNAPDRAGON, solo debut graphic novel about a girl named Snap, an old lady named Jacks (who might actually be a witch), and a favor that turns into something of an apprenticeship. Snapdragon is a kid who’s not afraid to question or explore an ominous setting or situation, being a bit of an outcast herself. Her curiosity leads to a kind of compassion and affinity toward those lucky few in her life and, I think, after reading SNAPDRAGON you’ll know just how lucky it would be to be friends with someone like Snap. A mystery of magic and of familial connection pervades...

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Introducing Levine Querido show art Introducing Levine Querido

The Children's Book Podcast

Today I’m welcoming Arthur A. Levine (), head of Levine Querido and a publisher and advocate responsible for bringing many widely loved books in our world and in front of our readers. Arthur previews his Fall 2020 titles as well as what else is to come from Levine Querido. Our conversation looks broadly at publishing and at the world, but it also focuses on that one reader that needs the book you’re publishing. The one that needs to know they’re not alone in their experiences or in the world. To quote Arthur, “sometimes healing the world is healing one person.” Joining us also is...

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The 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Awards show art The 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Awards

The Children's Book Podcast

There are countless individuals working throughout publishing to center historically marginalized voices. Perhaps none do it more publicly or with greater lasting impact than those serving on award committees through the Association for Library Service to Children, or ALSC. That’s the branch of the American Library Association responsible for awarding medals such as the Newbery, the Caldecott, the Coretta Scott King, the Pura Belpré, the Stonewall, and many others. These medals often have direct correlation to what librarians purchase for their libraries. These medals drive book sales....

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Elizabeth Lilly show art Elizabeth Lilly

The Children's Book Podcast

Elizabeth Lilly () shares GERALDINE, a picture book about a giraffe whose family moves to a new town where they are the only giraffe family. Geraldine tries to fit in as much as she can, but an encounter with a schoolmate and a conversation centered on labels gives new light to what it looks like to see and make space for another. Elizabeth Lilly is local to our school and so my 3rd graders had the chance to interview her in person. We also went totally off script, asking Elizabeth questions on the fly. The end result was what I think is a sincere and genuine conversation between a bookmaker...

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Redefining the Boy Hero (NCTE panel) show art Redefining the Boy Hero (NCTE panel)

The Children's Book Podcast

Last November I had the esteemed privilege of moderating a panel at NCTE, the annual conference of the National Council of Teachers of English. The panel was titled “Redefining the Boy Hero: Empowering Sensitive Boys and Bucking Gender Stereotypes Through Middle Grade Fiction”. Sitting on the panel among a standing room only crowd were four exceptional children’s book authors: Elana K. Arnold, Erin Entrada Kelly, Kekla Magoon, and Katherine Marsh. We only had one mic and it was affixed to the podium, so I wasn’t sure how this recording would turn out. Thankfully my Zoom H4n Pro went...

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Readers' Thoughts on Reading show art Readers' Thoughts on Reading

The Children's Book Podcast

Today I am joined by a team of 3rd graders at my school. Specifically, these are 3rd graders who signed up to take a podcasting class with me. You may have heard them on previous episodes interviewing Ricardo Cortes about his illustrations in PARTY: A MYSTERY or asking Adam Rex about ARE YOU SCARED, DARTH VADER? or writing PLUTO GETS THE CALL, which is illustrated by Laurie Keller. I’ve got one more episode with them after this where they interview debut picture book author Elizabeth Lilly. GERALDINE, her debut, is one we all loved quite a lot and we had the special opportunity to interview...

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Frané Lessac show art Frané Lessac

The Children's Book Podcast

Frané Lessac () shares UNDER THE SOUTHERN CROSS and UNDER THE MILKY WAY. Frané has made many beautiful books, but it was Traci Sorell’s debut picture book, WE ARE GRATEFUL: OTSALIHELIGA, in 2018 that really made me sit up and pay attention. Today Frané brings two picture books about the stars, both sharing a U.S. publication date. Frané tours the northern skies over our United States in UNDER THE MILKY WAY, highlighting different activities and occurrences that happen beneath the stars. In UNDER THE SOUTHERN CROSS she turns to the southern skies and a series of stars that point to True...

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Elizabeth Zunon show art Elizabeth Zunon

The Children's Book Podcast

Elizabeth Zunon () shares BEDTIME FOR SWEET CREATURES, which is written by Nikki Grimes. It is a bedtime story of a parent telling the story of putting her child to bed. Elizabeth’s illustrations play alongside the text in enticing the child to bed by likening the child to different animals throughout this bedtime process. It’s just the right amount of silly with a sincere through line that’s caught in the parent’s eyes at the hand of Elizabeth’s brush. And it’s become our bedtime story companion of late. Elizabeth also shares GRANDPA CACAO, her author-illustrator debut. A whole...

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Angela Joy show art Angela Joy

The Children's Book Podcast

Angela Joy shares BLACK IS A RAINBOW COLOR. This beautiful book, illustrated by one-to-watch and the one-to-wow Ekua Holmes, is Angela’s debut to the children’s book world. The book answers a question from her daughter, and it also bears witness to history, to legacy, and to community. Angela included robust back matter, incorporating an author’s note, an explanation of phrases referenced, a selection of poems from poets mentioned, a timeline entitled “And What Shall We Call You?”, and a playlist. This picture book has its own playlist! But what I will also say is that this picture...

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More Episodes

Let's get up-to-date on plans for the podcast in 2020, including the introduction of Matthew In The Stacks, a brand new podcast available to Patrons. This show follows an ask-me-anything style format in which authors and illustrators submit questions they have about the libraries, librarians, and all things bookish. It’s a chance to turn the tables and for me to offer insight into how libraries work from the perspective of one school librarian. The episodes are about 10-minutes in length and they release on the 15th and 30th of every month exclusively on Patreon. The first two episodes are already up and I’m including one here for you to enjoy with a question submitted by Margarita Engle, renowned poet and children’s book author. She asks, “Are librarians aware that some authors are wounded by the phrase "weeding?" Is there a less demeaning word that could be used for removing our older books?” Enjoy listening!

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