Katey Howes: Tuesday, October 29th

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All The Wonders This Week w/ Katey Howes: October 29, 2019


School Librarian of the Year nominations, The One and Only Bob, four fantastic new nonfiction titles to delight and disgust you, and thoughts on the Thanksgiving narrative. I’m Corrina Allen and this is All The Wonders This Week.

Joining me today to chat about some highlights and major events in the realm of children’s literature is Katey Howes - one of the All the Wonders contributors and author of the picture books Be A Maker, Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe, and Grandmother Thorn.



  • Katherine Applegate is publishing a sequel to The One and Only Ivan - called The One and Only Bob!  And as the title suggests, this book is centered on Ivan’s dog friend, Bob and his quest to find his sister. So set an alert for May 5th, 2020 when it will be available - or just treat yourself to a surprise and pre-order it!
  • And a heads up that nominations are open until November 18th for the School Librarian of the Year Award!  This award is co-sponsored by School LIbrary Journal and Scholastic so if you know an outstanding K-12 school librarian, please consider nominating them! 
  • The Texas Book Festival took place this past weekend in Austin with an estimated attendance of over 50,000 readers and over 300 authors. The festival also supports a wonderful nonprofit called Reading Rock Stars, described as  a hands-on literacy initiative that sends nationally recognized authors into Title I schools in Texas to inspire young readers with dynamic presentations and send them home with the most empowering experience of all – owning their very own book. The Texas Book Festival funds and coordinates the author visits and donates  books to each student, as well as a set of books to each school’s library. This year’s visiting authors included Gabi, A Girl in Pieces author Isabel Quintero, Salvadoran author Rene Colato Lainez, and beloved graphic novel creator Raina Telgemeier.
  • Make sure you check out the All the Wonders of The Jumbies feature on our All the Wonders website!!  There’s a Person, Place, Thing interview with author Tracey Baptiste and an AWESOME craft post that shows you step by step how to make Jumbie-inspired masks - perfect for a quick Halloween project or for readers theatre! And if you loved The Jumbies, guest contributor Emma Otheguy has a great list of 10 kids books from picture books to middle grade with connections to the Caribbean. So definitely check that out!

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, November 2nd will see the 5th annual nErDcampLI in Huntington, NY. Nerdcamps are increasingly popular professional development events billed as “unconferences,” in which educators, librarians, authors, illustrators, and others passionate about literature and literacy come together to share their knowledge, expertise and questions. Over 450 educators have already registered for this year’s Long Island event - and you can find the link to registration in our show notes. No registration is necessary to attend the Meet and Greet featuring over 60 children’s and YA authors and illustrators. It  is open to the public from 2-3:30 pm, and books will be available for purchase. And if you love the Jumbies feature posts and Caribbean book list , you’ll be excited to meet both Tracey Baptiste and Emma Otheguy at Nerdcamp!

Today's New Releases


  • My Minecreft-loving daughter and LOTS of my students will be psyched to see another official guide out today - the Minecraft Guide to Ocean Survival 
  • And today we getting another portrait collection by world renowned artist Leah Tinari. Last fall she published a portrait collection called Limitless: 24 Remarkable American Women of Vision, Grit and Guts. If you haven’t seen that yet, check it out!  Today comes another portrait collection in her iconic black and white color splashed pop style called The Presidents.  
  • And National Geographic has a cool book out today called Overview. It’s a collection of aerial photographs from around the world that reveals both the beauty of the Earth and also some of the surprising and destructive ways humans have altered it. Apparently the one out today is a Young Readers edition that was adapted from the adult book. 

  • I am particularly excited to get my hands on Gross As a Snot Otter by Jess Keating! My kids and I have loved the previous books in the World of Weird Animals series - including Pink is for Blobfish and Cute as an Axolotl. This newest addition to the collection promises to be equal parts fascinating and revolting, which is the perfect ratio to engage my middle grade readers. The book practically oozes with gross and bizarre photos, and a trusted source tells me it features burping, farting, and projectile vomiting - a trifecta of repulsiveness you can’t find just anywhere! 
  • And while we are speaking of disgusting, we should mention the new book, Unseen Worlds: Real-Life Microscopic Creatures Hiding All Around Us , written by Helene Rajcak and illustrated by Damien Laverdunt. Each 2 -page spread with accompanying fold-out flap gives a close-up view of a different environment teeming with micro-organisms - from your kitchen cupboard to the depths of the ocean. 
  • There are two other science-related nonfiction titles for kids out today. One is a picture book adaptation of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Sabina Radeva with lush illustrations and simplified text that helps introduce the concept of how species form, develop, and change over time.
  • And the second is Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars by Richard Ho and illustrated by Katharine Roy that takes us on the rover’s journey as it explores Mars. 

picture Books

  • Henry and Bea written and illustrated by Jessixa Bagley releases this week.  So I haven’t gotten to hold this book yet, but I am eagerly awaiting that moment. Jessixa Bagley’s debut book, Boats for Papa, is one of the most tender and honest and lovely books I’ve read in the past few years, and I am so excited to see what she has created next. Henry and Bea is touted as a book that shines light on the challenges of childhood friendship, loss of a pet, trust and resilience. Baxley does not shy away from difficult topics, and I really love that both her art and text respect that children have deep, complex emotional lives. 
  • One picture book that caught my eye that is coming out today is  Finding Kindness by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Irene Chan. I really loved Underwood’s The Quiet Book so I am excited to check this one out.

chapter books / middle grade


Other Media New Releases


Katey: I’m excited to see what BBC and HBO do with the new series His Dark Materials, based on the books by Phillip Pullman. The first episodes release November 3rd, and the trailer is so intense and magical. I’m expecting incredible acting from the cast, which includes Lin-Manuel Miranda as the adventurer Lee Scoresby, and some really impressive visual effects as the main characters travel between worlds in pursuit of truth - and children who have disappeared.

Currently Reading


  • I’ve been out of town a lot lately for school visits and book festivals. One of the ways I stay connected with my kids is to let them pick books for me to read while I’m away. Thanks to my 5th grader, I just read The Only Thing Worse than WItches, by Lauren Magaziner, which is a hysterically funny young middle grade novel perfect for anyone who wants a not-so-scary Halloween read. I also just finished the fourth book in the Dory Fantasmagory chapter book series by Abby Hanlon. It’s called Tiny Tough and features Dory’s custom brand of wild imagination, including the evil Mrs. Gobblegracker, a disaster at the library, and pirates who say “spank the fishies” instead of “walk the plank.”


  • I just started Paula Chase’s companion book to So Done - called Dough Boys.  I’m only one chapter in but already I am loving it just as much as the first one and she has such a knack for teen voices. She’s amazing!



For me, I’ve just been thinking about a recent book I read that is getting rave reviews that I could barely finish. And I LOVE every other thing this person wrote, so I am wondering why….   Maybe it’s just my life being hectic this fall or being distracted, but it took all I could do to pick it back up when I put it down.


Well, as we rocket past Halloween and start heading into the Thanksgiving season, I’ve been becoming really aware of the ways my local schools are addressing Native American history and perspectives. Some of the things they are discussing and learning are so thoughtful and respectful and they challenge narratives we’ve been fed for years, narratives heavily colored by a white colonialist perspective. And I admire the educators doing that important work. But other times there are these cliches and stereotypes that are so ingrained in our Thanksgiving celebrations that people don’t even recognize them as racist or disrespectful or offensive. So I’ve been trying to become more informed on the topic - because I’m far from expert - and to share resources with teachers and administrators - like the American Indians in Children’s Literature website, with its book reviews and discussions of the depiction of indegenous peoples in children's books and school curriculum. And this past week I bought a stack of picture books from Native American authors and illustrators and gifted them to one of my daughter’s teachers to use in the classroom - to give the kids a chance to experience modern, authentic Native voices and perspectives. And I’m just thinking about how much I wish this didn’t have to be a gift - how I wish our schools could provide these kind of resources to all the classrooms, all the kids.

Thank You

Thank all of you for listening and sharing your Tuesday with us!

You can find an outline of the show and links to all the books and topics we chatted about at allthewonders.com.  If you have a question or comment, I’d love to hear from you! You can contact me at corrina@allthewonders.com or connect with me on Twitter or Instagram. And reviews on iTunes or Stitcher are always much appreciated.

The All the Wonders This Week podcast is brought to you by All The Wonders, where children's books are for everyone. Journey beyond the page with podcasts, videos, crafts, and more at allthewonders.com.

See you next week!

About the Author

Corrina Allen

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Corrina Allen is a 5th grade teacher in Central New York. She hosts Books Between, a bi-weekly podcast to help teachers, librarians, and parents connect children between 8 and 12 to books they’ll love. You can connect with Corrina on Twitter at @corrinaaallen or Instagram at @Corrina_Allen.

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