In Memory: Robin Smith

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Teacher and picture book expert Robin Smith died in June while Cynsations was on summer hiatus.

Robin Smith (1959-2017) from The Horn Book. Peek: “A second-grade teacher at Ensworth School in Nashville for the last twenty-four years, she was a longtime Horn Book contributor and reviewer and a founding co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog. She also reviewed for BookPage and Kirkus.”

Editorial: The Incomparable Robin Smith by Martha V. Parravano for The Horn Book. Peek: “Robin was a passionate advocate of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee and its mission. She served on the jury, but she didn’t stop there: she urged people to join the organization; when she saw a lack of diversity on other ALA book committees, she encouraged CSK members to run for election.”

Reviewer Salute: Robin Smith by Lynn Green from BookPage. Peek: “With her warm, vibrant personality, Robin has a knack for building bridges between authors and readers and connecting various members of the children’s book community….A self-described ‘award committee addict,’ Robin has served on the selection committees for the Caldecott Medal (2011), the Coretta Scott King Book Awards (2010), the Geisel Award (2008) and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award….”

Robin Lynn Smith — In Memoriam from Children’s Literature New England. Peek: “For many years, Robin joined Deb Taylor in presenting ‘Books Not on the Reading List,’ a discussion of books related to the theme of each CLNE symposium but not included on the required or recommended reading lists. After attending this session, CLNE participants were eager to read all the books they reviewed!”

Remembering Robin Smith by Vicky Smith from Kirkus Reviews. Peek: “I think of all these roles the one she cherished most was second-grade teacher, as she applied her decades of expertise with 8- and 9-year-olds to all the rest…we sometimes talk about book people and child people as if they are two different types—and often they are—but Robin was the perfect intersection of both.”