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Children’s Book Committee – September Pick

September 12, 2014


Dare the Wind: The Record-Breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud
by Tracey Fern, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully
(Farrar Straus Giroux BFYR/Macmillan)

In 1851, Eleanor Prentiss navigated a clipper ship from New York City to San Francisco in record time, reading the sea and daring the wind. Maps, glossary, watercolor illustrations. (8-12)

Our Young Reviewer says:
It showed you the long journey of the voyage and how they didn’t quit after the storm. My favorite part was when the mainmast broke. I thought the ship was going to sink but it didn’t. The illustrations were beautiful, they went with the page that they were on.
- Elena, age 9, Fairfield, CT
See our past monthly picks.

BookFest @ Bank Street 2014

August 19, 2014

BookFest @ Bank Street will take place on Saturday, October 25, 2014 here at Bank Street College. We are very excited about our line-up this year and hope you will join us!


2014 BookFest @ Bank Street Schedule

Saturday, October 25, 2014

9:00am – Arrive, register, and drink coffee

9:30am - Welcome remarks from Jennifer M. Brown, director of the Center for Children’s Literature

9:35 – 10:15am – The Making of Goodnight Moon – Lisa Von Drasek, curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections at the University of Minnesota; Leonard S. Marcus, children’s book scholar and author of Awakened by the Moon; and Lindsey Wyckoff, archivist and special collections librarian at the Bank Street College of Education

10:15 – 11:00am – Presenting the Facts in Picture Books – Brian Pinkney, artist for Martin & Mahalia and Sit-In; Jason Chin, author and artist of Gravity; Deborah Heiligman, author of The Boy Who Loved Math; moderated by Jennifer M. Brown

11:05 – 11:15am – Break

11:15am -12:15pm - Book Discussions

12:15 – 1:15pm – Lunch & Autographing in the Lobby

1:20 – 2:20pm – A Search for Understanding: Gender & Identity – Robie Harris, author of It’s Perfectly Normal!; Tim Federle, author of Better Nate than Ever; Coe Booth, author of Kinda Like Brothers; Susan Kuklin, author of Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out; and Christina, a participant in Beyond Magenta; moderated by Allie Bruce, children’s librarian, Bank Street College of Education

2:20 – 2:30pm – Stretch

2:30 – 3:00pm – Closing keynote: Matt de la Peña, author of The Living


3:00-3:30pm – Autographing in the lobby – books for sale from the Bank Street Bookstore team

Children’s Book Committee – August Pick

August 4, 2014


The Castle Behind Thorns
by Merrie Haskell
Katherine Tegen/ HarperCollins

Sand and Perrotte, both fourteen-year-olds, can mend the Sundered Castle, but can Perrotte forgive those who imprisoned them there? (11-14)

Our Young Reviewer says:

Not only did the story have an intriguing plot, but everything mentioned in the story had a reason to be there… The author not only created an intricate history behind the people and the place they lived, but she combined the past and the present in a way that both worlds collide. The history of Perrotte’s family line is explained, as well as the reason why the castle was abandoned. I think that the author almost went out of her way to create a completely believable history for this book.

My favorite aspect of the book was the sometimes-sudden plot twists Haskell added to the book. These minor details added depth to the story, making it more than a simple story of friendship and persistence, but a book about forgiveness and acceptance.

Jonah, Bronx, NY, age 12

See our past monthly picks.

Elaine Margolis Wickens

July 31, 2014

Elaine Wickens in her School for Children classroom, c1961

Elaine Margolis Wickens, photographer, author, educator, and activist, died on July 19, 2014. A talented documentarian, Wickens’ photographs from Kirt’s New House and What I Like to Do are currently on display in the library lobby.

During her forty-year tenure at Bank Street, Elaine Wickens served in a number of roles. An avid interest in photography led her to serve as Bank Street’s unofficial documentarian. For much of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Elaine travelled around the country as a field representative and curriculum developer for Project Follow Through.

Her time in Macon County, Alabama inspired her to document the life of children outside of school. Kirt’s New House and What I Like to Do, her two collaborations with Calvin Cannon, demonstrate Elaine’s commitment as an educator to the importance of home and school in the life of a child.

photo 2


The Elaine Wickens Papers are housed in the Bank Street College Archives.

2nd-Graders Rock BATTLE BUNNY by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett

July 29, 2014

Jon and Mac read BATTLE BUNNY to kids during a visit in May, 2014.

Bank Street’s 2nd-graders delighted in BATTLE BUNNY by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett.  The ultimate subversive picture book, BATTLE BUNNY is what happens when a (fictional) kid named Alex decides to improve upon an insipid book, BIRTHDAY BUNNY, given to him by his (also fictional) Gran Gran.


At you can download your own BIRTHDAY BUNNY and transform it however you please.  Here are some from Bank Street’s 2nd Grade:

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Here you can see pictures and a short video of the kids at work:

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-Allie Jane Bruce

Children’s Book Committee – July Pick

July 7, 2014


Sea Turtle Scientist
by Stephen R. Swinburne
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BFYR

Scientist Kimberly Stewart leads the fascinating study of the life cycle and behavioral habits of an ancient and endangered species and explores the efforts to save them. Explicit, vivid photos. (9-13)

Our Young Reviewers say:

We liked the pictures and photographs – especially the one that showed all the turtles, how they are endangered and what we can do to help them. Also, we enjoyed how kids are learning about the conservation of the turtles as well as how they survive. Scientists study the turtles without affecting them.
– Wesley, Age 16 & Tristan, Age 15, Wilmington, NC

See our past monthly picks.

Summer Reading 2014

June 10, 2014

Many thanks to Children’s Librarian Allie Bruce for sharing her 2014 Bank Street summer reading lists. They include her tips for making summer reading a non-chore and have already been scooped up by eager parents, students, teachers, and faculty. So print, share, and most importantly enjoy!



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