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Children’s Books Selections for the Holidays By Kerri Kunkel McPhail
Fairfield County Look is pleased to introduce a quarterly column recommending the best new books for children. Kerri Kunkel McPhail, President of Children’s Authors’ Ally, works with over fifty children’s authors and hundreds of schools each year to coordinate author visits. With her expansive knowledge, Kerri has chosen intriguing, critically acclaimed titles sure to delight young readers this Holiday season.
My Little Pink Princess Purse Created by Stephen T. Johnson
Ages 3-6, ISBN 978-1416979791, $19.99
Everything a little girl needs to go to the ball in a charming novelty book from the bestselling creator of My Little Red Fire Truck. With 6 lift-up tabs, an erasable writing slab, a quill pen, a handheld mirror, an elegant fan, 4 scratch-and-sniff perfumes, rose-colored glasses, and a sapphire tiara, this book includes hours of dress-up fun for princesses everywhere! (Simon and Schuster)
Art & Max Written and Illustrated by David Wiesner
Ages 4-8, $17.99, ISBN 978-0618756636
Max and Arthur are friends who share an interest in painting. Arthur is an accomplished painter; Max is a beginner. Max’s first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various artistic media, which turn out to have unexpected pitfalls. Although Max is inexperienced, he’s courageous–and a quick learner. His energy and enthusiasm bring the adventure to its triumphant conclusion. Beginners everywhere will take heart. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters Written by Barack Obama, Illustrated by Loren Long
Ages 4-8, $17.99, ISBN 978-0375835278
In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children. Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personalities and achievements of these great Americans and the innocence and promise of childhood. This beautiful book celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans, from our nation’s founders to generations to come. It is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths. It is a treasure to cherish with your family forever. (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Biscuit Plush Toy
Based on the BISCUIT Series, written by ALYSSA SATIN CAPUCILLI and illustrated by PAT SCHORIES
Kids Preferred, Large Plush $19.99, Small Bean Bag Plush, $9.99
Biscuit author, Alyssa Capucilli, and illustrator, Pat Schories, worked very hard to make these plush dolls adorable. They are incredibly well made and soft as silk!
“This is Biscuit. Biscuit is small. Biscuit is yellow. With those simple words, Biscuit has welcomed nearly 15 million emergent readers to his world. Biscuit is based on the bestselling book series by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Whether he’s playing with his friends, splashing in the tub, or curling up at bedtime with his very best friend, the little girl, Biscuit inspires all to be as fun-loving, adventurous, gentle, curious, silly, and playful as he is.” (Kids Preferred)
The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale
written by YING CHANG COMPESTINE and illustrated by Sebastia Serra
Dutton Juvenile, ISBN 978-0525420682, $16.99 (hardcover)
“When a boy goes to the market to buy food and comes home with an old wok instead, his parents wonder what they’ll eat for dinner. But then the wok rolls out of the poor family’s house with a skippity-hoppity-ho! and returns from the rich man’s home with a feast in tow! With spirited text and lively illustrations, this story reminds readers about the importance of generosity.” (Penguin)
The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable
written by DAN GUTMAN
HarperCollins, ISBN 978-061827648, $16.99 (hardcover)
“In eight days, Coke and Pepsi McDonald are going to turn thirteen. Before then, they’ll jump off a cliff, get trapped in the locked basement of their burning school, chased cross-country by murderous lunatics, left for dead in the pit of a sand dune, forced to decipher mysterious coded messages, thrown into a giant vat of SPAM, and visit the world’s largest . . . ball of twine! There’s more, but if we told you here, we’d have to kill you. Megapopular author Dan Gutman brings on the excitement with an action-packed new series that’s nothing short of dynamite. Join Coke and Pep on their quest to uncover just what it means to be part of The Genius Files . . . if you dare!” (Harper Collins)
Travel to renowned children’s author Patricia Polacco’s home in Union City, Michigan and enter her world from the comfort of your own home, classroom, library or auditorium. For just $18.00 you can watch this original, forty-five minute documentary as often as you like.
Polivision Productions is thrilled to be able to offer you the wonderful and rare opportunity to enter the everyday life of the highly acclaimed children’s author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco. Having grown up in a family of fascinating storytellers, Patricia has continued this tradition by sharing her stories through her almost fifty children’s books.
In Tricia’s Michigan, a forty-five minute documentary, students, teachers, librarians and parents will travel through Patricia’s hometown in Union, Michigan and learn details of her life that she has never discussed when visiting schools or at other speaking engagements.
Step inside her magnificent home which was built over one hundred and fifty years ago and is filled with a lifetime of mementos.
Delight in meeting her goats, sheep, dogs and dozens of cats.
Hear Patricia reveal the complete story behind the original, multi-generational Keeping Quilt.
Experience the real house from The Graves Family and hear Patricia speak about the special Halloween night that she organizes every year for the children in her town.
Visit the graveyard where the inspiration for her first book, Meteor, took place, and see the famous meteor in its current resting place.
Drive down the dirt road where the house still stands that Patricia lived in as a young child.
Tricia’s Michigan truly reflects the life that Patricia leads when she is not on the road speaking. In addition to falling in love with this award-winning and highly regarded author and illustrator, you will also meet the person who has lived all over the world, and has chosen to come back to her roots – to a small, lovely town in Michigan. She graciously welcomes the viewer into her home, and allows them to wander around her property and meander through the town that she has embraced for over sixty-five years.
A special note to parents, librarians and educators
Patricia Polacco travels throughout the United States almost nine full months a year. As hard as she tries, though, she is unable to meet the demand for all of the people who would love to welcome her into their schools, libraries and homes. It is Polivision’s hope that this magical film will shed some light into Patricia’s world away from her tours and introduce readers of all ages to a fascinating woman.
The executive producer of this film, Betsy Bober Polivy, has known Tricia for over twenty-five years. Betsy has traveled with her, organized hundreds of speaking engagements for her and has witnessed the never-ending excitement each time Tricia enters a room. Betsy, with her years of experience, first as a bookstore owner, then as a literary consultant for authors and illustrators, has also listened to students, parents and educat
“Birdy starts every day by smiling at herself in the mirror. She says you can smile while doing just about anything–brushing your teeth, taking out the garbage, or eating broccoli. Okay, maybe not while eating broccoli. Even people with bad teeth (like our first president, George Washington) should show their toothy grins because there’s no such thing as a bad smile. So heed Birdy’s advice and practice your smile—you’ll need it while reading this book!” (Macmillan)
Written by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Steven Kellogg
Hardcover, 40 pages , Orchard Books, $16.99
“With comforting simplicity and gentle rhythms, Ruth Krauss celebrates the expansiveness of love between a parent and a child. In Steven Kellogg’s luminous illustrations, a cat and her kitten discover the excitement and intimacy of sharing stories. As the pages turn and the landscapes evolve from forests to fields and sweeping ocean vistas, the tender bond that unites cat and her kitten is deepened and enriched, making And I Love You an enchanting gift that will warm hearts big and little.” (Orchard Books)
Written by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Hardcover, 32 pages, Houghton Mifflin, $16.99
Deck the iceberg wrap a gifty Fa la la la la la la la la…Tacky, Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly, and Perfect are celebrating the holiday with good cheer, singing, and lots of presents. Tacky’s present is a little bit different, and not exactly what his friends had in mind, but when the Christmas merrymaking is interrupted by hunters in search of pretty penguins, it’s Tacky’s gift that helps to save the day….A bonus CD of original carols includes: Deck the Iceberg, Sandy Clawz is Coming to Town, The Six Days of Christmas, I’m Dr
Children’s Authors’ Ally is thrilled to announce that five of our wonderful authors and illustrator will be featured at the fifteenth Annual Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival at Concordia University in Lincoln, Nebraska. We’re sure to be hearing stories about the fun they had together for years to come! Betsy Polivy, Children’s Authors’ Ally’s literacy consultant, has been instrumental in providing visiting author recommendations for this festival for many years.
The Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival Adult Conference will be held Saturday, October 9 on Concordia University campus. Registration begins at 7:30 am with the first session at 9:00. The conference features sessions by Patricia Polacco, Sarah Weeks, Dan Gutman, Alyssa Capucilli, Pat Schories, Ashley Bryan and Ralph Masiello, as well as 11 literacy experts speaking on a variety of topics. The author luncheon, featuring keynote speaker Patricia Polacco, will be at 12:45 pm.
Make it an entire day of literacy by also attending: The Plum Creek Endowment Dinner Event, Autographing and Silent Auction ‘Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories… be inspired to make a difference’
Carmen Deedy & her husband, Grammy-nominated folk-musician John McCutcheon, will be making a special appearance on October 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm in Lincoln, Nebraska at the UNL East Campus Union.
When young Trisha finds out her class at the new school is known as “The Junkyard,” she is devastated. She moved from her old town so she wouldn’t be in a special class anymore! But then she meets her teacher, the quirky and invincible Mrs. Peterson, and her classmates, an oddly brilliant group of students each with his or her own unique talent. And it is here in The Junkyard that Trisha learns the true meaning of genius, and that this group of misfits are, in fact, wonders, all of them. Based on a real-life event in Patricia Polacco’s childhood, this ode to teachers will inspire all readers to find their inner genius.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch book editor writes: “The Missouri Center for the Book has chosen a children’s book about the Pony Express for inclusion on a children’s map that will be handed out to some 10,000 people at the National Book Festival on Sept. 25. Cheryl Harness has published many historical children’s books, but her They’re Off! The Story of the Pony Express is appropriate for this year because it’s the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express…The National Book Festival in Washington was started under the auspices of Laura Bush in 2001. The Pavilion of the States distributes Fifty Great Reads maps of the United States to more than 10,000 participants, who can have their maps stamped at each state’s table. Other tents provide well-known children’s and adult authors speaking and reading from their books throughout the day.”
About The National Book Festival
The 10th annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 3rd and 7th streets from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are honorary chairs for the event. The festival, a celebration of the joy of reading for all ages, is free and open to the public. The tenth National Book Festival once again will bring the nation’s best authors and illustrators to Washington to discuss their work and meet their fans. This year’s lineup has something for everyone.
The ABC Literacy Program, Authors and Books at the Port Chester Carver Center, was created through a partnership between Children’s Authors’ Ally and the Port Chester Carver Center. The goal of the program is to excite students about reading and writing and improve literacy rates in the afterschool program by introducing students to visiting authors and their award-wining books.
Alyssa Capucilli delights young readers as she introduces BISCUIT, the wildly popular character of her emergent reader series. Smiles were abundant as each child went home with several books, each of which was donated by Children’s Authors’ Ally LLC.
Kate Klise signs books for students, or as she likes to say “bestselling young writers in training.” Ms. Klise spoke to each child about what he or she planned to write about this summer and hopes to check in on the students this fall during a return visit. For more on Kate’s books, see Kate Klise
This June, Rhode Islandthird through sixth graders and their families gathered to attend the kick-off of the first-ever Youth Reading Across Rhode Island at the Rhode Island State House.The event marked the beginning of 2010 Summer Reading activities at libraries statewide. This year’s summer reading theme was Make aSplash – Read and event planners created loads of fun activities for attendees, including a book talk about Regarding the Fountain by author Kate Klise.
Spearheaded by the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services and the Rhode Island Center for the Book at Providence Public Library, Youth Reading Across Rhode Island was patterned after the Rhode Island Center for the Book’s very popular Reading Across Rhode Island, which just completed its eighth successful year as the state’s one state, one book project. For more on this event, please see http://yrari.blogspot.com
In Regarding the Fountain, replacing a leaky water fountain proves to be much more than a simple plumbing problem, and the mystery is revealed through a torrent of letters, memos, and fanciful sketches that fly among Flo Waters, a zany fountain designer with a heart of gold, a group of creative fifth graders, their dedicated teacher, gruff school principal, crafty school secretary, and mysteriously panicky school board president.
To read more about Kate’s school, library and conference programs, click here.
“Fly Guy and Buzz are back in this outrageously funny adventure told in three simple chapters. Fly Guy’s propensity to hide in a garbage can when he and Buzz play hide-and-seek results in disaster. Fly Guy is carted off to the dump, and when the boy tries to find him, he is faced with a multitude of flies that look, act, and sound exactly like his pal. And every one of those flies can call his name—Buzz! Fortunately, the one and only Fly Guy thinks they are still playing the game. He has been hanging upside down from the visor of Buzz’s cap, as close as any good friend can get. There’s no mistaking Arnold’s hilarious cartoon illustrations, and in this new addition to a popular series, there are plenty of them to enjoy”.—Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT (School Library Journal)
In addition to I SPY FLY GUY!, the series includes seven other titles to date:
For more information on Tedd’s school program, go to Tedd Arnold
“This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement. Andrea Davis Pinkney uses poetic, powerful prose to tell the story of these four young men, who followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words of peaceful protest and dared to sit at the “whites only” Woolworth’s lunch counter. Brian Pinkney embraces a new artistic style, creating expressive paintings filled with emotion that mirror the hope, strength, and determination that fueled the dreams of not only these four young men, but also countless others.” (Little Brown)
“Langston Hughes’s spare yet eloquent tribute to his people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer Charles R. Smith Jr. interprets this beloved poem in vivid sepia photographs that capture the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being a black American today.” (Simon and Schuster)
About The Coretta Scott King Award:
Given to African American authors and illustrators for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream of a pluralistic society.
The award is designed to commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to honor Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.
My People was also honored as an ALA Notable Children’s Book and one of Bank Street’s Best Books of the Year- with Outstanding Merit.