Posted by: nancyisanders | January 4, 2016

NF PB Journey: Reading Log


Happy New Year! I took a break from blogging over the holiday season, but today’s a brand new year and I’m so excited to be on this journey with you to learn more about Charlesbridge publishers as we consider them for submitting nonfiction picture book manuscripts to.

I’ve been keeping a reading log of Charlesbridge picture books I read. Normally, I keep a log in my writer’s notebook of picture books I read in general, but I wanted to keep this list all in one place, so I got out my art supplies and a composition book and decorated it to match my nonfiction muse. (See below.)

Inside, I labeled the pages from A to Z for nonfiction titles and then again A to Z for fiction titles. Basically, I’m just writing down the title and a short little note about it. Plus, my own personal 1-5 star rating, and the author’s and illustrator’s name. And the publication date.

Then, for my favorite titles and ones I want to use as my mentor texts, I’m going to fill out a detailed rubric to keep on hand for future reference. In an upcoming post I’ll share the rubric I’ll be using.

I recommend keeping a reading log of some sort to keep track of the picture books you read from Charlesbridge’s list. Making a separate book is so much fun! And I’m excited because it will all be in one handy place that I can easily add to as I read even more. (I ordered in a batch of new picture books from the library last night.)

Here’s my newly decorated reading log. When I write nonfiction picture books, I like to write about American history and nature topics, so that’s why I chose the images you see below. I think I was drawn to the dominoes as the background paper because writing picture books is so much fun I get the same warm fuzzy and happy feeling as when I play dominoes or other childhood games.




  1. I always enjoy (and learn from) the window into your process provided by your posts, Nancy. Thank you!

    • Let us know if you make a reading log, too, Sara!

  2. Nice, Nancy! I think it helps to make the process fun, a happy face on the page to you! I know you meant excited instead of exciting….Laura Smith-Black

    • Yes! Hope you’re having fun, Laura!

  3. I’ve been using a reading log for years now. I started an excel sheet for Carrie Charley Brown’s ReFoReMo last year. Some use Goodeads too.
    Using a log helps me keep up with what all I’ve read and keeps me motivated to read more. I like your idea of adding description too.
    Have fun reading.

    • Thanks for sharing, Tracey! I love hearing how other writers do this, too.

  4. Happy (late) New Year, Nancy. You inspire as always. 🙂

  5. Nancy, you are one of the most inspirational people I know. Thank you.

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