B3 – Butler Book Banter

February 2018 B3: I Heart Butler

Please join us Wednesday, February 21st for an “I Heart Butler” B3. Meet and greet our new curator, discuss some LOVELY new books, and tell us what you LOVE about the Butler Center events past and present! As always, we’ll be ready with snacks at 5:30 p.m.


Fall 2017 Mock Award Programs

Youth media awards give us a unique opportunity to hone our evaluation skills, from literary quality to art appreciation, to figuring out what “outstanding” and “excellence of presentation for an intended child audience” mean. For this fall’s Butler Book Banters, we are kicking off a series of “mock” award programs, in which we’ll apply the real award criteria to books that are really eligible this year, then compare our results when the real ones are announced at ALA’s Youth Media Awards Press Conference during the Midwinter Meeting in January 2018: A Mock Pura Belpre Award on 11/9/17 and a Mock Coretta Scott King Book Award on 12/7/17. Books will be out at 5 p.m., we’ll have discussion from 6:00-8:00, and we’ll vote from 8:00-9:00. Pizza and drinks will be provided and participants may feel free to bring refreshments too!



Unfortunately we are going to have to cancel the B3 scheduled for Wednesday, May 3. We will be hosting our 2017 Commencement Dinner that evening.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 5:30-7:00

Immigration Stories

These days, it’s more important than ever for us to share stories about immigration with the young readers we serve; both for the sake of immigrant kids in our communities, and to encourage understanding among others of these kids’ experiences.

Join us on April 5, 2017 in the Butler Center from 5:30-7:00 (books & snacks out at 5:30; discussion from 6-7).


Calling the Water Drum
by LaTisha Redding, illus. by Aaron Boyd (Lee & Low, 2016)

A Piece of Home
by Jeri Watts, illus. by Hyewon Yum (Candlewick, 2016)


A Long Pitch Home
by Natalie Dias Lorenzi (Charlesbridge, 2016)

The Only Road
by Alexandra Diaz (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, 2016)


Girl Mans Up
by M-E Girard (HarperTeen, 2016)

by Marina Budhos (Random/Wendy Lamb, 2016)


Wednesday, March 1, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Exploring Gender Identity

There are more books than ever for children and teens being published about this important topic. Join us in the Butler Center, Crown 214 from 5:30-7 tomorrow, March 1, to discuss books for all ages, from picture books, to graphic novels, to teen fiction.

big-bob-little-bob      introducing-teddy

Big Bob, Little Bob by James Howe, illus. Laura Ellen Anderson (Candlewick, 2016)

Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship by Jessica Walton, illus. Dougal MacPherson (Bloomsbury, 2016)

newsprints     princess-princess-ever-after


Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Mock CaldeNOTT

We’re thrilled to bring back the popular Mock CaldeNott for the first Butler Book Banter of 2017, in which we get together just after the REAL Youth Media Awards to deliberate about terrific books that weren’t discussed in the Caldecott Committee, not because they aren’t worthy, but because they’re outside the scope of the real-life award. We’re talking about books published in other countries and/or illustrated by people who are not US citizens or residents. All the books on our list were published in 2016, though.

Here’s the discussion list.



Unfortunately we are going to need to cancel the November Butler Book Banter, scheduled for 11/16/16. We’ll see you again in Feburary 2017, for a CaldeNOTT discussion. Stay tuned for specific date and titles.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 6-7 p.m.

Spooky Teen and Tween

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

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).



Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 6-7 p.m.

Exploring Farms and Food

From classic picture books such as Lois Ehlert’s Eating the Alphabet (Harcourt, 1989) and Growing Vegetable Soup (Harcourt, 1987) and Elisha Cooper’s Farm (Orchard, 2010) to more contemporary middle-grade fiction such as Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez (Knopf, 2009) and informational books including the young readers’ edition of The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan (Dial, 2015), food and where it comes from has been a perennial topic in children’s lit.

Fall season is harvest time, and for our first B3 of the year we’ll focus on food, farms, and farmers’ markets. There is a full crop of newly-published foodie books this year, and we’ll focus on these:

Board books: Edible Colors and Edible Numbers, both by Jennifer Vogel Bass (Roaring Brook, 2016)
Picture books: Grow! Raise! Catch! How We Get Our Food by Shelly Rotner (Holiday House, 2016); On the Farm, at the Market by G. Brian Karas (Holt, 2016); and Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle, illus. by Becca Stadtlander (Chronicle, 2016)
Informational: The Story of Seeds by Nancy F. Castaldo (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016)

Whether you’ve read all, some, or none, please join us in the Butler Center to talk about kids books about food, and enjoy some farmers’ market treats. We’ll have the food and, um, books out at 5:30 for perusal and partaking.

The Fall 2016 Schedule Is Up!

As the days shorten and we on campus frantically prep for the start of a new academic year, we’re pleased to announce fall Butler Book Banter dates and themes. Stay tuned, here and on social media, for specific titles. We look forward to another season of book discussion and fellowship!

Wednesday, September 21, 6-7 p.m.  | Exploring Farms and Food
Where and how do we get our food? (hint: farmers’ market treats may be in the offing)

Wednesday, October 26, 6-7 p.m. | Spooky YA
A reprise of last year’s popular October topic!

Wednesday, November 16, 6-7 p.m | Fighting for Rights: Informational Books Exploring Individuals or Groups Fighting for Human, Civil, and Animal Rights
We thought about “books about elections or the Presidency,” but we didn’t want to scare everyone away with something even more frightening than spooky YA.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 6-7 p.m.

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)


Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 6-7 p.m.

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)


Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 6-7 p.m.

Turn That Frown Upside Down! Stories of Managing Behavior

Bad behavior isn’t always everyone’s favorite topic, or is it? It’s certainly a perennial one that is often revisited in children’s books (and in children’s rooms, homes, and classrooms, let’s face it). Managing behavior doesn’t have to be painful. Let’s talk about what works–and what doesn’t–in recently published kids’ books about this evergreen issue.

PS. I’m bringing a typical “what doesn’t” that I won’t identify here. Feel free to bring your own favorites or non-favorites!

Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison (Dial, 2015)

Pom Pom Panda Gets the Grumps by Sophy Henn (Philomel, 2015)

What James Said by Liz Rosenberg, illus. by Matt Myers (Roaring Brook, 2015)

Bubbly and Grumpy by Cho SungJa, illus. by Sa SukWon (Norwood House, 2015)

How Do Dinosaurs Stay Friends by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague (Scholastic/Blue Sky, 2016)


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



The third (and final) fall Butler Book Banter (B3), the Butler Center’s popular youth literature discussion group, is taking place Tuesday 11/10/15, 6:00-8:00 p.m. All SOIS students and youth-services colleagues are welcome!

This month, we’ll be talking about kids’ books about music; primarily those that attempt to present a song or a genre in picture-book format. How do authors and illustrators “translate” an aural medium to a visual/textual one? What works? What doesn’t? I’m thinking specifically of Bird & Diz by Gary Golio, illustrated by Ed Young (Candlewick, 2015). I’m reminded of Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka (Scholastic, 1992), an old favorite that gave my own son his very first spoken words (“fisk, fisk”).

We’ll also take some time to look at some new biographies of musicians; there seems to be a large crop out this year that follow in the tradition of classics such as When Marion Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic, 2002) or Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow by Gary Golio, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe (Clarion, 2010). This year’s offerings include Elvis by Bonnie Christensen (Holt/Christy Ottaviano, 2015) and Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans, illustrated by Joe Cepeda (Holiday, 2015).

There are many, many other types of books for kids about music, from music appreciation such as Blues Journey by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers (Holiday, 2003) or M Is for Music by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Stacy Innerst (Harcourt, 2003); to presentations of single songs such as God Bless the Child by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr., illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (HarperCollins, 2004).

We’ll be specifically talking about the books from 2015, but we’ll have lots of old favorites on hand to use for comparison and discussion. Feel free to bring your own favorite and share it with us!

We’ll also be listening to some of the music under discussion, so we can hear the sounds that inspired the words and pictures. See you next Tuesday!

Bird & Diz by Gary Golio, illus. by Ed YoungElvis by Bonnie ChristensenSwing Sisters by Karen Deans, illus. by Joe Cepeda


B3 is back for fall 2015, taking place on TUESDAYS this semester!

Join us from 6:00-8:00 p.m. to consider a group of books for youth on a particular topic or theme. We often have snacks, too…

Tuesday, September 15, 2015: Books about Hurricane Katrina

Drowned City by Dan Brown (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Bildner, illus. by John Parra (Chronicle, 2015)

As well as any other titles, current or previously published, the group would like to talk about. See you soon!

Drowned City by Dan BrownMarvelous Cornelius by Phil Bildner



Join us for B3 as we gather on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00pm to consider three books (or more!) with something in common. Every month the books are different, and every month the fun is the same. Look what we have on deck:

Thursday, April 23, 2015: Secrets (fourth Thursday!)

Lucie Babbidge’s House by Sylvia Cassedy, HarperCollins, 1989

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole, Scholastic, 2012

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, Dial, 2014

lucie babbidges houseunspokenill give you the sun

spring banner

Thursday, March 19, 2015: Perseverance

Black Flame by Gerelchimeg Blackcrane, Groundwood, 2013

Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines by Paul Fleischman, Candlewick, 2014

Flight School by Lita Judge, Atheneum, 2014

black flame

eyes wide openflight schoolsnowflake bannerThursday, February 19, 2015: The Work of Butler Lecturer LeUyen Pham

The Princess in Black by Shannon & Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, Candlewick, 2014

Templar by Jordan Mechner, illustrated by LeUyen Pham & Alex Puvilland, Macmillan, 2014

A Piece of Cake by LeUyen Pham, HarperCollins, 2014

princess in blacktemplara piece of cake

Thursday, January 15, 2015: Mock CaldeNott! We begin our “spring” season of B3 with the second annual Mock CaldeNott where we apply the Caldecott terms and criteria to a collection of (fantastic) picture books ineligible for the award due to their international provenance. The books will be available for review beginning at 5:00pm (along with light refreshments), and formal deliberations will begin at 7:00.

Our list of titles:

Two Tough Crocs by David Bedford, illustrated by Tom Jellett, Holiday House, 2014

Fox’s Garden by Princess Camcam, Enchanted Lion, 2014

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton, Candlewick, 2014

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton, Candlewick, 2014

Anna’s Heaven by Stian Hole, Eerdmans, 2014

Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland, illustrated by Elly MacKay, HMH, 2014

The Dinner That Cooked Itself by J.C. Hsyu and Kenard Pak, Flying Eye, 2014

Mr. Brown’s Fantastic Hat by Ayano Imai, minedition, 2014

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara, Macmillan, 2014

Movi la mano / I Moved My Hand by Jorge Luján, illustrated by Mandana Sadat, Groundwood, 2014

Children Growing Up with War by Jenny Matthews, Candlewick, 2014

At the Same Moment Around the World by Clotilde Perrin, Chronicle, 2014

Jim Curious: A Voyage to the Heart of the Sea by Matthias Picard, Abrams, 2014

The Mouse Mansion by Karina Schaapman, Penguin Random, 2014

The Memory of an Elephant: An Unforgettable Journey by Sophie Strady, illustrated by Jean-François Martin, Chronicle, 2014

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan, Scholastic, 2014

Goal! by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Caio Vilela, Macmillan, 2014

The Big Book of Slumber by Giovanna Zoboli, illustrated by Simona Mulazzani, Eerdmans, 2014

the mouse mansion memory of an elephant children growing up with war at the same moment around the world

Please direct your RSVP/Questions to the form below:


12 thoughts on “B3 – Butler Book Banter

  1. I found a teachers guide to primates done by jim ottioviani which goes into detail showing how he translated some of the scientists journal entries into text in the book. A frank discussion of the techniques and reasons.


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