Bartography Express, March 2021
Hey there,
A pizza, an engineer, a jingle dancer, and a brave bunch of students walk into a series of YouTube videos...

No, it's not the setup for a joke—it's the lineup for the latest episodes of "This One's Dedicated to...," my new video series that I co-host with My Favorite Author in the Whole Wide World.

Our six- to eight-minute, kid-friendly, classroom-ready conversations this month include:

And for each featured title, there's a book giveaway open only to Bartography Express subscribers.

If you're a subscriber with a U.S. mailing address, you can enter the giveaways via the links above, or you can let me know by replying to this email before midnight on March 31.
A tremendous resource for new-book recommendations has just arrived from the librarians at the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, part of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Regardless of whether you're picking out books for kids as an educator, a grandparent, a Big Brother/Big Sister, or a next-door neighbor, the CCBC Choices list for 2021 is bound to have suggestions that are just right.

This year's thoughtfully curated list for young readers includes 257 books published last year (or, in one particularly timely instance, about last year), across several categories:

  • Science, Technology, and the Natural World

  • Seasons and Celebrations

  • Historical People, Places, and Events

  • Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir

  • Contemporary People, Places, and Events

  • Understanding Oneself and Others

  • The Arts

  • Poetry

  • Concept Books

  • Picture Books for Young Children

  • Picture Books for School-Age Children

  • Books for Beginning Readers

  • Books for Newly Independent Readers

  • Fiction for Children

  • Fiction for Young Adults
Just when I thought I'd had all of the unprecedented author-visit experiences that this unusual school year could offer, the Texas blackouts arrived at the same time as my three-day, six-session engagement with a school in the Philippines.

The first two days (well, evenings, in my case, considering the 14-hour time difference), my hosts and I were wary but unaffected. Then, with one more pair of presentations to go, Jennifer and I lost power at our house here in Austin. (It was out for "only" 17 hours.)

Luckily, I had cell service for my phone, a battery-powered Coleman lantern by which I could read Whoosh! and Fire Truck vs. Dragon, and enough layers to keep me warm. As you can see in the photo above, the show went on!

Meanwhile, there's a growing sense that a return to something-resembling-normal is in sight. It's been heartening to hear from folks who are optimistically (if tentatively) planning for in-person events this fall. I'm more than glad to field inquiries about those, so please get in touch.

In the meantime, I'll still be masked up, socially distancing, and getting vaccinated just as soon as my turn comes along. Please keep doing the sameand encouraging others to as well. I'm looking forward to seeing you again.

Take care,