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Today on Your Call: What makes a great children’s book?

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On the next Your Call, we’ll mark the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s first children’s book by talking about classic kids books, and the remarkable children’s literature being written right now.  Why are the bonds we make with those special children’s books so powerful?  And when stories like The Lorax head to the big screen – or the iPad -- how does the magic of a grown-up reading to a kid change? 


Carla Kozak, children’s librarian at San Francisco Public Library. 

Mac Barnett, author of several picture books, including the New York Times bestselling Extra Yarn, Guess Again!, and Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem.  

Allen Kanner, co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.  

Guys Read: web-based literacy program for boys 
Jane Addams Awards/Peace Association
San Francisco Public Library’s Booklist for Younger Readers
Children’s Author Proclamation

Books recommended on the show:
Harry the Dirty Dog – Gene Zion
Go, Dog. Go! – P.D. Eastman
Moon Man – Tomi Ungerer
Dillweed's Revenge: A Deadly Dose of Magic – Florence Parry Heide
Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
Betsy-Tacy – Maud Hart Lovelace
Little White House - Odille Ousley
Goodnight, Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
Sheep in a Jeep – Nancy E. Shaw
The Unsinkable Walker Bean - Aaron Renier
Clementina’s Cactus – Ezra Jack Keats
Matilda – Roald Dahl
The Lorax – Dr. Seuss
The Black Cauldron – Lloyd Alexander
Sector Seven – David Wiesner
Lion & The Mouse – Jerry Pinkney
Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
Special Trade – Sally Wittman
Baby Mouse – Matthew Holm and Jennifer L. Holm
Squish – Matthew Holm and Jennifer L. Holm
George's Marvelous Medicine - Roald Dahl
Emily of Deep Valley – Maud Hart Lovelace
Ivy and Bean - Annie Barrows
An Anaconda Ate My Homework - Alice Schertle
Percy Jackson - Rick Riordan
Bridget and the Muttonheads -- Pija Lindenmaum
Time of Wonder – Robert McCloskey
Watsons go to Birmingham – Christopher Paul Curtis
Ghost Child - Simeon Stoychev
True Meaning of Smek Day – Adam Rex
Arm in Arm – Remy Charlip



Matt Martin was KALW’s general manager from 2006 through 2018. Under his leadership, KALW grew into one of the most productive and innovative stations in public radio. Programs launched at KALW during Matt’s tenure as GM include the award-winning local newsmagazine Crosscurrents, the design podcast 99% Invisible, and the Spanish-language narrative journalism program Radio Ambulante. He helped create the station’s Audio Academy, a year-long program aimed at developing new talents in public radio, and led the first broad-based strategic planning process in the station’s history.