Spring Trends, 2016

Recently I had the opportunity to speak to two classes of education students at Otterbein University about most anticipated new books and trends in publishing for grades 4-6 and teens. It was a challenging and fun way to review the field — from one librarian’s perspective. I’m sharing the presentations here because I’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s trending these days. And they are already beginning to date — as is inherent with such topics. Please note — this is not at all comprehensive . . . I just had to stop collecting new ideas at some point!

What’s New in Literature for Young Adults – Spring 2016

What’s New in Literature for Young Readers – Spring 2016


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Caldecott Musings . . . 2016


caldecott1It’s that time of year . . . so many “best of” lists are out and the excitement is building toward the announcement of the Caldecott Medal, named in honor of nineteenth century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published during the previous year.

Here are some of my favorites . . . it’s been a good year! What do YOU think is the most distinguished American picture book published in 2015?


If you vote “other” please write in your choice in the comments. Thanks!


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Into the Woods we go! Picture This 2015

schenkerThis year’s Picture This program (an annual summer program on the art of children’s books) focuses on fairy tales. We began with Nick Sharratt’s The Foggy Foggy Forest, which allows children to guess what fairy tale characters are in the shadows. Then we took a closer look at  German illustrator Sybille Schenker‘s magnificent cut paper illustrations.schenker2


To help the children think of a fairy tale, but distill it down to one illustration, we looked at mimimalist fairy tale posters — without the title and they tried to guess the story. I think they enjoyed the guessing aspect and also the different fairy tells helped them to pick one of their own, instead of having 20 images of Red Riding Hood.

We did suggest beginning with cutouts of trees or a forest, as these are relatively easy to make (fold a piece of black cardstock in half, cut rectangular shapes out — irregular is better — can make fatter or thinner, etc.). The results were really striking.

Can you guess what this one is?

dwarves1(Hint: count the number of hats)


Does anyone feel the wind changing?


Here is “The Little Old Lady who was not afraid of anything” (by an artist with an October birthday — she tried to think of a story that went with that time of year.)

collage1Another was inspired by Frozen:


while another stuck with a classic favorite:

IMG_7085and this one reflects the minimalist mindset:


and I like how this artist added branches to her trees:


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Eleventh birthday morning means owls are arriving!

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The Final Chapter: seventh and final meeting of the Harry Potter Reading Club

The seventh and final meeting of the Harry Potter reading club is tonight! at Westerville Public Library

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(via 15 Insanely Useful Diagrams For Book Lovers)

Princess Bride for the win!

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Rockin’ the library for Earth Day 2015

All about rocks for Earth Day wonderworks/STEAM storytime @westervillelibrary

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Here was a real mystery. What are the Deathly Hallows? Why had Dumbledore never mentioned them? What did the title even mean?

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Really, I think this was just a matter of how. He had to be defeated. But how was Rowling going to accomplish that feat? How could she do it? Would it be believable? I’m all for happy endings … but would it be convincing? Could she do it? 

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Where indeed? I was just as baffled as Harry, Hermione & Ron in thinking of where. Though I was not quite as quick to dismiss Hogwarts.

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