Butler Book Banter 10/26/16

It’s nearly October again, and it’s time to announce our discussion titles for our upcoming Butler Book Banter on Wednesday, 10/26/16 “Spooky YA (and Tween).” We listened to you and added some tween titles to the YA roster this time! Be prepared to be scared:

The Inn Between
The Inn Between
by Marina Cohen (Roaring Brook, 2016)


The Killing Jar
by Jennifer Bosworth (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016)



The Last Bogler
by Catherine Jinks (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016)


Teen Frankenstein
by Chandler Baker (Feiwel and Friends, 2016)

Bonus reading!
We’re starting to prepare for Holly Black’s 2017 Butler Lecture, and her oeuvre fits nicely with B3 this month. Revisit Newbery Honor Doll Bones (Simon & Schuster, 2013) or teen faves The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (Little, Brown, 2013) and The Darkest Part of the Forest (Little, Brown, 2015).

Whether you’ve read all, some, or none, join us for a spooky time on October 26. Books and snacks will be out at 5:30 and we’ll discuss from 6-7. Boo!


May B3: Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are more popular than ever! We could probably run Butler Book Banters weekly, all year round, to have enough time to really discuss all the fabulous selections out there (hmmm…..). Fiction, nonfiction, books for kids, books for teens, fantasy, history, and then some; pretty much any genre you can think of is now available in a graphic or comic format.

This is great news for kids who may not learn to read in the traditional way but who gravitate toward this highly-visual medium; not such great news for people who think all kids need to learn to read in the same old way. Frankly, it’s great news for anyone who loves excellent text, excellent art, and excellent interplay between the two.

Join us in the Butler Center on Wednesday, May 18 from 6:00-7:00 to discuss this selection of graphic novels, when we’ll welcome Keary Bramwell, youth collection librarian at Mount Prospect Public Library, as our guest moderator.

Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola, illus. by Emily Carroll (Candlewick, 2015)
Child Soldier by Michel Chikwanine and Jessica Dee Humphreys, illus. by Claudia Davila (Kids Can, 2015)
Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash (Candlewick, 2015)
Only Child by Guojing (Schwartz & Wade, 2015)

April B3: Poetry Open Call

April is National Poetry Month, and here at the Butler Center we’re looking forward to celebrating at the April 20 Butler Book Banter (B3) with a Poetry Open Call. Bring your favorite book of poetry for youth (ages 0-18; backlist or new; Myra Cohn Livingston, Jack Prelutsky, and everything in between; or books about poetry or poets) and share it with the group.

We’ll share some of our favorites too, from our examination collection as well as our historical collections, including the following:

Bronzeville Boys and Girls by Gwendolyn Brooks, illus. by Faith Ringgold (HarperCollins/Amistad, 2007) from the Effie Lee Morris Collection

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen, 2016)

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton (Dial, 2015)

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman, illus. by Rick Allen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann (Greenwillow, 2014)

We’ll meet Wednesday, April 20 from 6-7 p.m. and refreshments will be served (no poisoned apples, we promise). No need to RSVP, although if you’d like to tell us you’re coming please do at butler@dom.edu. Happy reading!

Meet the Butler Dynamic Duo

The Butler Children’s Literature Center would not be able to run without the dedicated, creative, and smart support we receive from our graduate assistants, Alena Rivers and Hal Patnott. It’s our honor to showcase them here on the Pantry! We hope this Q&A gives you an idea of the personalities and talents behind what we do here.

Q: What’s your name and how did you end up at Dominican’s Master of Library and Information Science program?


A: My name is Alena! I started Dominican’s Master of Library and Information Science program in the fall of 2015. I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Knox College. I have worked in the non-profit sector for a college, study abroad provider, a youth violence and childhood obesity prevention organization, and an Indian performing arts company. I have loved something about each of these experiences, but I am finally moving to a field that addresses my true passion for children’s literature and literacy.


H: Hey there! My name is Hal. I began Dominican’s Masters of Library and Information Science in the fall semester of 2015. Prior to attending Dominican, I studied at Hope College where I received a degree in English and Classical Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. I ended up in Dominican’s MLIS program after working for a year in a bookstore. A love for sharing story and serving others led me to library science.

Q: What drew you to the Butler Center and how long have you been there?

A: The Butler Center was one of the main reasons I chose to attend Dominican’s MLIS program. I wanted the opportunity to explore children’s literature in an environment that is also committed to serving teachers, librarians and parents with professional development and research. I have been with the Butler Center since the beginning of the fall 2015 semester.

H: I’ve been working at the Butler Center since my first semester at Dominican. Like Alena, Dominican University’s connection to the Butler Center was one of the reasons I originally applied to the MLIS program. I was so excited to find a position that would expose me the newest children’s and young adult literature on the market.

Q: What do you expect to do at the Butler Center?

A: I hope to share with our Butler’s Pantry readers a snapshot of my thoughts on new books that are quickly filling our 2016 collection and explore topics of interest in our library community.

H: At the Butler Center I look forward to blogging about the latest titles on our shelves as well as participating in discussions about literature for children and young adults at our monthly Book Banter events.

Q: What would you like to do after you graduate from Dominican?

A: Specific plans are still in the air, but I expect I will still be deeply tied to children’s and young adult literature either in a public library setting or a non-profit literacy program.

H: After I graduate from Dominican I hope to become a librarian for tweens and teens. My goal is to work in a public library.

Q: What professional interests do you have?

A: My professional interests include diversity in children’s literature, and more specifically exploring the representation of and advocacy for African American children in literature. I also am deeply interested in equitable access to library materials for children.

H: One of my primary areas of professional interest is the representation of LGBT+ characters in literature for children and young adults. I am also passionate about learning how to better serve LGBT+ youth in the library, especially those youth facing hardships like homelessness.

Q: What’s your favorite children’s or YA book?

A: I love The Hard Times Jar by Ethel Footman Smothers. My grandmother was an artist and she always found beautiful pictures books for inspiration. One I remember of hers was Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats, which I read every time I visited her. It’s a sentimental favorite, but I have since loved his books.

H: While Harry Potter will always hold a special place in my heart as the book series that sparked my love for reading, my current favorite is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not here at Dominican?

A: I am the mother of two amazing girls ages 5 and 8. I really like them so whatever free moments I can squeeze in between school and work are spent building Lego houses, making up dances, and of course reading with them. My husband and I also love taking the kids to theater and dance performances and exploring Chicago museums (many thanks to our local library museum passes!!).

H: When I’m not at Dominican I like to play tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons. I also consume a lot of anime and manga. Every year I try to attend at least one convention, because I love to cosplay and meet other geeks.


B3 for February: Teen Romance

February means Valentine’s Day (among other things, granted….) and here at the Butler Center, we’ll be celebrating by reading and discussing some love stories for young adults. Here are our picks for the upcoming Butler Book Banter on February 10 (6-7 p.m., room 214 in the Rebecca Crown Library):

Barzak, Christopher. Wonders of the Invisible World (Knopf, 2015).

Seventeen-year-old Aidan Lockwood lives in the sleepy farming community of Temperance, Ohio—known for its cattle ranches and not much else. That is, until Jarrod, a friend he hasn’t seen in five years, moves back to town and opens Aidan’s eyes in startling ways: to Aidan’s ability to see the spirit world; to the red-bearded specter of Death; to a family curse that has claimed the lives of the Lockwood men one by one . . . and to the new feelings he has developed for Jarrod.
2016 Rainbow List; 2016 Stonewall Honor Book

McLemore, Anna-Marie. The Weight of Feathers. (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015).

For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows-the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find. Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees. Beautifully written, and richly imaginative, Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice.
2016 Morris Award Finalist


Welcome to the Spring Semester!

Hello and Happy New Year from the Butler Center!

We’re excited about the spring 2016 semester here on campus:

Open Hours

Monday through Friday, 1-6 p.m., or by appointment with Curator Diane Foote, butler@dom.edu. Teachers, librarians, booksellers, parents, grandparents, students, faculty, and anyone interested in literature for young people are welcome to come visit us and peruse the examination collection and our historical collections.

Butler Book Banter (B3)

The popular book discussion series continues! Stay tuned for themes and titles as they’re announced:

  • February 10: Teen Love Stories
  • March 2: Theme TBD
  • April 20: Theme TBD

6-7 p.m. in the Center; refreshments will be served.

2016 Butler Lecture Featuring Christian Robinson

We are BEYOND thrilled to welcome 2016 Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honoree Christian Robinson to Dominican on March 16! Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena (Putnam, 2015) is also the first Newbery Medal winner by a Latino author, and only the second in history (since 1928) to be awarded to a picture book. Join us for “You Are Here: Finding Yourself in Picture Books.” The Lecture will take place from 6-7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception and booksigning.

This event is free and open to the public, with registration required. Learn more or register.

GSLIS’s Mock Caldecott Results!

For immediate release
Sunday, 12/13/2015
Contact: Diane Foote, Butler Children’s Literature Center Curator, butler@dom.edu, 708-524-6054

River Forest, IL–Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of If You Plant a Seed, is the 2016 winner of the Dominican University GSLIS Mock Caldecott Medal, among the most prestigious mock awards in children’s literature.

The real Caldecott Medal honors outstanding illustration of works published in the United States during the previous year. The real Caldecott Medal is sponsored and administered by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

Dominican’s Mock Caldecott course took place on campus during the fall 2015 semester, with 15 MLIS students serving as committee members and the Butler Children’s Literature Curator as instructor and chair (with no vote). The class followed all the established procedures, from suggestions, to three rounds of seven nominations total, to meeting at length over the course of a weekend to deliberate and vote according to the balloting instructions from ALSC.

IfYouPlantaSeedThe 2016 GSLIS Mock Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book is awarded to Kadir Nelson for If You Plant a Seed, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. If You Plant a Seed is an uplifting tale of a rabbit and mouse. When their garden becomes threatened by ravenous birds, rabbit and mouse learn to sow the seeds of kindness.

The committee, er, class, characterized the winning illustrations: “Nelson’s expansive oil on canvas paintings depict realistic animals make dramatic use of varying perspectives to draws readers into the story and explore universal themes of peace and generosity.”

Nelson’s accolades for illustration include Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards for Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford and Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange; Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors for Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, Nelson Mandela, and We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, each of which he also authored, I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolan; and Caldecott Honors for Moses and Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine. Nelson lives in Southern California.

Three Mock Caldecott Honor Books were named:

Bird&DizBird & Diz, written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Ed Young, published by Candlewick. Pastels, gouache, and sumi ink in an accordion frieze format capture the essence of the improvisational style of jazz through Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker’s “Salt Peanuts” performance. Using abstraction and vibrant colors, Young presents a visual experience readers can see, hear and feel.

FloatFloat, written and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Venturing outdoors on a rainy day, a young boy with his newspaper boat experiences the wonder of play. Pops of bright color contrasted against a monochromatic gray background effectively direct readers’ attention to the movement of the boy, the boat, and the water. Panoramic views and distinctive, digitally rendered images successfully convey the meaning of the story without the use of words.

NightAnimalsNight Animals, written and illustrated by Gianna Marino, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA). While hiding from scary night-time sounds, possum and skunk encounter other frightened “night animals.” Rendered in gouache and ink, Marino’s illustrations capture a humorous nighttime escapade. On an ink-black background, the night animals’ realistic fur and cartoon eyes combine with speech bubble narration to provide an unexpectedly hilarious adventure.

The Butler Children’s Literature Center commits itself to imagination and wonder, encouraging and supporting adults in libraries, classrooms, childcare centers, and homes to engage young people with good books.

For information on the real Caldecott Medal, please visit www.ala.org/alsc. For information about the Butler Children’s Literature Center, please visit the Butler’s Pantry blog at butlerspantry.org.