5 articles I loved this week. (Weekly Smart Picks #37)

Happy Halloween! Have you seen this article about rewarding good costumes with good candy?  If you're looking for some fun ideas to burn off those sugar highs, I am already a fan of this week's recommendations from Jason at Born Reading. Enjoy the festivities and have a wonderful weekend!


Comics put kids in the driver's seat. {Video}

I had the most amazing opportunity to do an Expert on Air chat with Françoise Mouly, the founder of TOON books and art editor with The New Yorker. Here I share three of my favorite lessons from our chat. 


Curious Brain.jpg

This is your brain. This is your brain when you're curious... 

This article lays out the brain science that explains why we learn more when we're curious. Favorite quote: "There's this basic circuit in the brain that energizes people to go out and get things that are intrinsically rewarding. This circuit lights up when we get money or candy. It also lights up when we're curious." 



Does young adult (YA) fiction need to be a gateway to the classics?

Recently, The New Yorker published this piece about the "problem with Percy Jackson," arguing that kids hit a comfort zone with YA novels (like the Percy Jackson series), and never really "graduate" to more complex literature. This is a response from one parent about why that may be true, and why it should not be cause for concern. 



Why our future depends on libraries, reading, and daydreaming...

Author Neil Gaiman recently gave this lecture about the importance of libraries and imagination, and of using both regularly. I found this to be an incredibly frank and inspiring read. What else would I expect from Neil Gaiman?!


Your baby may soon be able to post (selfies) on Facebook. 

I did a double take when I read the headline for this article, "Oversharing Toys Let Your Baby Post on Facebook."  Really? There is a new company that puts social sharing into the hands of babies (literally). Well, this may be scarier than any Halloween costume!