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Why the Blue Ox Review?

By December 1, 2017May 13th, 2021The Kerlan Blog

Why now? Why a blog? Why The Blue Ox Review?

The best part of being a children’s librarian is sharing books. Matching the right kid with the right book. When I became a librarian, I was told that one of my professional duties was to review. Turns out that I love to review because I loved to read first. I love to review because I can’t wait to talk about what I am reading. Over the years, I have reviewed for Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, Barnes and Noble Review, Teaching K8, EarlyWord.com, Nick Jr Family Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post and even The Bark. Each one had their own house style and point of view.

I took a break from public reviewing when I served on the 2017 Caldecott Committee. I really missed it. Missed reading all kinds of books. Missed sharing. (Shouting from the roof tops) At heart, I am a “big mouth.”

Why a blog? I do have one of the best children’s librarian positions. I am the curator of one of the most extensive archives of Children’s Literature.

A blog allows me to review books, give a heads up on upcoming titles that I am excited about, link to interesting news and events, and show off cool stuff from my collection. Of course there will be an occasional rant. A blog can also be a conversation and I hope that I will be having one with my kindred spirits.

Babe the Blue OxWhy the Blue Ox Review? I am now a Minnesotan and Minnesota is the mythic home of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Minnesota was also the home of the Hungry Mind Review. The Blue Ox Review is a nod to independence.

The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the writer and not of the University of Minnesota Libraries or Regents.

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • I am very excited about this new blog. And what a wonderful name: The Blue Ox Review! Thank you for sharing your reviews, thoughts, and inspirations with us!

  • Youme says:

    It is great to hear your voice! I look forward to your rooftop shouts as well as quiet celebrations :-)Blue Ox is a wonderful name!

  • Paul Zelinsky says:

    Blue ox! Terrific! Can’t wait to read the blog.

  • Mary York says:

    Yea, Lisa!!! Love the idea of a Blue Ox Review!

  • Mary Clark says:

    Oh, I am SO looking forward to reading your blog!

  • Miriam Lang Budin says:

    It’s great to see that you have a new outlet for your astute critical voice. I’m looking forward to reading what you have to tell us.

  • Janet Mumford says:

    Love that you begin your reviewing by telling a story. Great to know the origin of Blue Ox. I so value your opinion. Thanks for sharing it with Blue Ox.

  • Isadora Carreras says:

    LISA! I have missed you so much since our times at Bank Street Children’s Book Committee! The baby you met before leaving is now 5 and a half and definitely a book lover. Your voice still rings in my ears as I read her “A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea” and “Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep!” As I read them I try really hard to do them justice like you did when you Read them Aloud at meetings. Oh, how I loved hearing your reviews, working with you and being immersed in children’s literature!

    Just found your new blog and just subscribed– Eager to follow!
    XO

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