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1. Did we already know this, or did I just picture her as I read?

5th waveFrom Screen Daily:

Chloe Grace Moretz will star in the studio’s YA adaptation The 5th Wave that Graham King and Tobey Maguire are producing.

Regardless, this news gives merit to my hypothesis that ChloMor, JLaw, and ShaiWood are currently the only actresses working in YA Hollywood.

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2. Press Release Fun: The Snow Queen joins the New York Musical Theatre Festival

SnowQueenMusical 300x300 Press Release Fun: The Snow Queen joins the New York Musical Theatre FestivalYou know when you make a friend who works in a different field than you and then, in time, your mutual interests come together?  Years ago my friend Katie married a talented composer by the name of Haddon Kime.  Haddon was kind enough to create the opening music of my short lived podcast and then that was that.  Now years have passed and the man behind the music and lyrics of the kick arse punk rock version of The Snow Queen (good timing with Frozen and all, eh?) is coming to the New York Musical Theatre Festival.  Woo-hoo!  Couldn’t be happier for everyone involved.

Additional Productions and Readings Announced for 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival

By Michael Gioia
14 Apr 2014
The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) has announced additional productions and readings for its 2014 Festival, which will run July 7-27.

“We were fortunate to have a bumper crop of very high quality shows this year,” said NYMF executive director and producer Dan Markley in a statement. “Whether it’s your first time at the Festival or you’ve been joining us for years, you’re in for a great musical theatre experience in July.”

The 2014 Festival’s productions will be housed at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre and the Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street) as well as other venues to be announced.

“NYMF audiences will have a chance to experience a wide range of stories told in fresh and inventive ways for a contemporary audience, from a steam-punk inspired Hans Christian Andersen tale for a family audience, to an R&B infused depiction of the lives of Sally Hemings and Marie Antoinette,” added director of programming Mary Kate Burke.

Memberships for the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival are on sale, and members can book tickets beginning June 2. Single tickets will go on sale June 16. To purchase a membership, visit NYMF.org/Member.

Newly announced productions follow:

The Snow Queen Book by Kirsten Brandt and Rick Lombardo
Music by Haddon Kime, lyrics by Kirsten Brandt, Haddon Kime and Rick Lombardo
Additional music by Rick Lombardo

“Be spirited away by this new musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fantastical coming-of-age adventure. Join Gerda on a dangerous and whimsical quest to save her best friend Kai before he is trapped forever in the Snow Queen’s palace. Dare to enter a world where flowers sing, animals talk, and riddles yearn to be solved. With an original pop rock score, alluring ballads, urban steam punk flair, and the enigmatic Snow Queen, you’ll soon see this is not your average bedtime story.”

You can follow the production on Twitter at @SnowQueenShow. And here’s a video from the production, in case you’re curious:

share save 171 16 Press Release Fun: The Snow Queen joins the New York Musical Theatre Festival

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3. A gentle reminder about a fabulous author.

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4. Kindle Daily Deal: Strange Chemistry title.

Yes, another one!:

When the World was Flat (and we were in love), by Ingrid Jonach

And yes, I bought it, description unseen, even!

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5. Digger Dog by William Bee, illustrated by Cecilia Johansson

<!-- START INTERCHANGE - DIGGER DOG -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} Digger Dog is the newest picture book from William Bee, marvelously illustrated by Cecilia Johansson and perfect for the littlest listeners.  Digger Dog loves to dig, especially

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6. Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin

Ling and Ting are twins. They have the same hair, same smile and same eyes, but don’t let those similarities fool you – they are not exactly the same. Ling likes books about dogs, but Ting loves fairytales. Ling struggles with using chopsticks, while Ting finds chopsticks to be very easy to use. Ling is very good at sitting still and concentrating, but Ting has a tendency to be a bit more fidgety and forgetful. Each chapter of this amusing episodic book tells a different story to illustrate just how not the same these two twins really are.

Grace Lin manages to create adorable, relatable characters and place them into entertaining situations while maintaining a reading level appropriate for those who are still honing their reading skills. The cheerful, clear illustrations add charm to the story, provide helpful clues for decoding potential trouble words and, thanks to a mishap while at the barbershop in the first chapter, knowing which girl is Ling and which is Ting. Fans of Biscuit, Henry and Mudge, and the Elephant and Piggy books who are looking for a bit more of a challenge should definitely give Ling and Ting a try. If you like this one, make sure to read Ling and Ting Share a Birthday as well.

Click here for a link to a book trailer on Grace Lin’s website for Ling and Ting.

Posted by: Staci


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7. Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light

I wish that I could have found more images to share with you from Have You Seen My Dragon, the superb new picture book from Steve Light, but you should really buy it and see for yourself anyway! As you can tell by what I do have to share of Light's artwork, he has a style that is reminiscent of another time, specifically the late 1960s and early 1970s. Read my review of Light's last picture

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8. PFAS: “Albert Einstein” by Julie Larios

Emma R. has created the next poem movie, complete with kids chiming in on the final word. Plus she includes kid comments and another reading of the poem along with the text of the poem. 

Click here to see Emma's video for “Albert Einstein” by Julie Larios.


Look for this poem in the 4th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 31: Famous Scientists.

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9. Alaska's Dog Heroes by Shelley Gill

Alaska's Dog Heroes: true stories of remarkable canines by Shelley Gill; Illustrated by Robin James Sasquatch Books. 2014 ISBN: 9781570619472 Grades 2-5 I borrowed a copy of this book from my local public library. <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

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10. Fusenews: Not seething with envy. It’s more of a percolation process.

  • bookcon Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.So what’s the talk of the town these days?  Well the relative brouhaha came about at the end of last week when ReedPOP announced a panel of “the world’s biggest children’s authors” in the field.  That the luminaries in question were all white and male struck a raw nerve with a whole slew of folks.  Since that moment there’s been some fancy footwork and a promise to add some additional folks.   The solution is ludicrously simple, of course.  If the gist of the grouping is to have the top selling authors of books for kids then just grab Rachel Renee Russell and ask her to join.  The fact that she isn’t tapped for more panels has always struck me as odd.
  • I am not immune to professional jealousy.  Wish that I was.  Fortunately, most of the time I am able to convert the green eyed monster into genuine fascination and interest (much, I’m sure, to the discomfort of the people I’m suddenly obsessed with).  Take this week’s example: One Margaret H. Willison.  I was listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour, a podcast I like quite a lot in spite of the fact that they can’t tell YA fiction from MG.  Anywho, they have a children’s librarian that they love very very much.  Ms. Willison has been a longstanding fan of theirs and Stephen Thompson mentioned that she was on track to be the next Nancy Pearl of children’s books.  Oh aye!  So I checked her out and she did a NPR piece called 3 Bedtime Picture Books That Won’t Put Parents to Sleep.  Excellent choices one and all.  She’s one to watch then.
  • This news made me inordinately happy recently.  The Multnomah County Library System and the Seattle Public Library went head to head in an all out reference battle.  The question?  Who could answer the most book recommendation queries via Twitter?  And I am happy to report that Portland (where the Multnomah system lives) won all the way!!  Way to go, you literary denizens you.  Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
  • Recently a new library opened up at NYU.  Called the Georgiou Library and Resource Center for Children and Literature the site will do a lot of outreach to the community as well as operate as a research facility.  Its librarian is the multi-talented Kendra Tyson and the collection, “contains several categories of children’s literature, including counting books, fairy tales, poetry, biography, and holiday books. It also houses Mother Goose books geared for African, Chinese and Russian audiences, bi-lingual counting books, and the Metropolitan Museum’s of Art’s Museum ABC (Little Brown, 2002), which portrays a range of world cultures through its collections.”  I was lucky enough to attend a small event for the library recently and in the course realized that there are other similar collections out there that I just don’t know well enough.  Like the Cotsen Children’s Library, for example.  Some of you will nod sagely and murmur “of course” when I mention it but to me I was ashamed to discover that not only are they the Princeton children’s library but they maintain these FABULOUS blogs!  The Cotsen Children’s Library blog is updated quite regularly and the Pop Goes the Page is maybe the best arts & crafts for library programs blog I’ve witnessed in a very long time.  They’ve also archived a variety of different interviews with children’s authors called The Bibliofiles that are well worth finding too.  Man.  That would be the life working at either of these libraries, am I right?
  • Good old, ShelfTalker.  I love it when they list a whole slew of their favorite first lines of 2014.  And in the process I discovered at least one book that I hadn’t even heard of until I read its line.  Bonus!
  • You know what?  Fair play to Mackenzie Kruvant.  There she is at Buzzfeed, slaving away with such pieces as “Which Sex And The City Guy Is Your Soulmate?” but often she’ll come up with a really good children’s literature piece.  Example: 15 Adorable Children’s Books For Your Little Architect .  Perhaps she got some help from a librarian somewhere to write it, but if she didn’t then it’s a pretty darn good encapsulation of what’s out there.  Well played, madam.

bigbadbubble Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.NYPL likes it when I blog on their site from time to time, so I’ll tend to do pieces I wouldn’t normally do here.  Case in point, recently I did the post Make ‘Em Laugh: Gut-Busting Picture Books That’ll Have ‘Em Rolling in the Aisles.  I really try to give attention to funny picture books when they come out.  And though I didn’t mention them in the piece (I only included stuff you could currently check out of the collection) if I were to put that post here I’d be sure to include the 2014 titles Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri (without a doubt their best work to date) and Monkey Goes Bananas by C. P. Bloom and Peter Raymundo.  Both books are danged funny.  If I make a funny picture book prize this year, they will both be up for serious contention.

A friend on mine on Facebook mentioned that he had a 12-year-old in his branch who was interested in Socialism and did we have any books to recommend?  Naturally my thoughts turned to Little Rebels, but that’s a lot of picture books (many of which are out of print).  Fortunately marxists.org (!) has a booklist of its own.  Say they, “This is the start of an ongoing broad bibliography of children’s literature for MIA with title first, divided by age range and fiction/non-fiction. Some of these books were written to be expressly radical, and others need a stretch to find political implications. Compiled by Sally Ryan.”  Cool.

  • Hey, remember when I mentioned that I’d interviewed Deborah Underwood about her amazing Bad Bye, Good Bye?  I got a little confused about when it was going to post but now, happily, it is up up up!  If you ever wanted to know the ins and outs of writing a rhyming picture book, you are indeed lucky.
  • Got a little confused with the headline on this one, but as it happens it has absolutely nothing to do with the bookstore Books of Wonder here in NYC.  No, this little article is instead about a cool new collection within the Toronto Public Library.  Its full name is “The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities”.  Say they: “As its official name indicates, this collection comes from IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People. The IBBY collection features more than 3000 multilingual books in sign language, Braille, Blissymbolics, as well as cloth and tactile books and other formats — all for and about children and teens with disabilities.”  I’m downright envious again.  Thanks to Deb Pearson for the link.
  • In the world of book awards we’ve two to consider today.  The Eisner Award nominations came out and I see a lot of familiar faces in the youth category.  Meanwhile the Minnesota Book Awards were announced and you might be surprised to discover some of the winners.
  • Whenever someone asks adult authors to name the children’s books that inspired them there is a danger of the books being the same old, same old.  That’s part of the reason I like this post from World Literature Today.  Yes, there are some rote choices, but there are also some really obscure titles. The Summerfolk by Doris Burn? The Three Fat Men by Yuri Olesha? Tim and the Hidden People by Sheila K. McKullagh?!?  Wowza.  Thanks to Mom for the link.
  • Daily Image:

Good news, poppins.  Today you have a chance to buy cool things and be a good person in the process.  And just in time for my incipient birthday too!  The site Out of Print has been killing it in the library-chic neighborhood.  Observe the cool things that there are to buy:

librarytshirt1 498x500 Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.

librarybag 497x500 Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.

libraryiphone 500x500 Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.

Mom, Kate, I will happily take that iPhone case.  Wouldn’t say no to any of those baby onesies, for that matter.

Now, how does buying this stuff make you a good person?  Well, it seems the site is THIS WEEK (it is National Library Week after all – my workplace got me a mug and everything) giving money to the following school if you buy stuff.  Voila:

P.S. 244 (The Active Learning Elementary School “TALES”) is an early childhood public school (Pre-K to 3rd grade) located in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York. The majority of students do not speak English at home and qualify for subsidized meal plans, yet at TALES they thrive. A model for public schools at both the national and state level, P.S. 244 has been recognized for its focus on health and nutrition and ranks among the healthiest schools in the country. In 2013, P.S. 244 also ranked 11th in the state for test scores and has been heralded for its innovative curriculum and extremely hard working staff.

With all of these strengths, they also have challenges. The school’s current library has no formal checkout system and relies on volunteer staff. The result? The space serves more like a reading room than a true library. Students aren’t able to check out and read these books at home, families miss out on sharing the joy of reading with their kids and the school is unable to implement a summer reading program to enhance student reading skills during off-school periods.

Help us to give this school and its students the library they deserve. During National Library Week (April 13-20), we are donating a portion of our sales to purchase and implement a scanning system for P.S. 244 and to train staff to manage it. We will post updates after the donation and share stories from students and teachers about the impact of this new system.

Many thanks to Ms. Marci for the links!

share save 171 16 Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.

3 Comments on Fusenews: Not seething with envy. It’s more of a percolation process., last added: 4/17/2014
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11. 2014 Teen Read Week Site Launch

As part of Celebrate Teen Literature Day, the 2014 Teen Read Week website officially went live today!

Online community members now have full access to a variety of resources to help them plan their Teen Read Week. Individuals who are not online community members yet are encouraged to join for free to gain full access to resources, perks, and monthly updates.

Resources and incentives include:

  • Downloadable low-resolution theme logo
  • Forums: Discuss and share TRW related resources and experiences
  • Grants: Teen Read Week Activity Grant and Teens’ Top Ten Book Giveaway
  • Ready to use planning and publicity tools
  • Products: Posters, bookmarks, manuals, and more
  • Showcase: Share your planned events
  • Webinars : Free access to a live webinar to help you prepare for TRW, as well as archived webinars
  • And more resources and perks to come

The theme this year for Teen Read Week is Turn Dreams into Reality @ your library and will be celebrated October 12-18, 2014. The national spokesperson for this year’s celebration is Australian actor Brenton Thwaites, who stars in the highly anticipated movie adaptation of the book, The Giver, set for release on August 15, 2014.

As libraries shift into full gear to plan for Teen Read Week, authors and publishers are reminded that they can also be involved in Teen Read Week as well. Publishers and other corporate groups can become sponsors to help YALSA build the capacity of libraries to meet the literacy needs of teens. Current sponsors include Blink and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. For more information on how to become a sponsor, please contact YALSA’s Executive Director, Beth Yoke at byoke@ala.org.  Authors can visit the Teen Read Week site for a list of ideas on how they can participate.

For more information about Teen Read Week, visit the Teen Read Week website.

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12. Cheap read(s): Daniel Pinkwater.

Young adults Young adultsFYI: A whole bunch of Daniel Pinkwater ebooks are currently available for the low, low price of $2.99, and they're free to borrow if you're a Prime member.

THE SNARKOUT BOYS. YOUNG ADULT!

I swoon.

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13. Starters (2012)

Starters. Lissa Price. 2012. Random House. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I enjoyed this dystopian novel. Callie is our heroine. Early in the novel, Callie has to make a tough choice: should she rent out her body for profit and secure a life for herself and her younger brother, Tyler? Or should she continue the day-to-day struggle to survive when every single day brings danger and risk. Callie is older and stronger than her brother. If she goes to Prime Destination, it will be FOR him, not for greed. As you might have guessed, Callie DOES go to Prime Destination, she does sign the contract which allows Prime Destination to rent out her body to others (via neurochip). IN this society, "Enders" find enjoyment and thrills by renting the bodies of teenagers. The two are linked via the neurochip, but it is the Ender, the renter, who is in control of the young (newly made beautiful) body. Callie has signed on for three rentals, it will be the third that will change her life forever...

I enjoyed this one. I did. I enjoyed getting to know Callie AND the "voice in her head," Helena. I am looking forward to reading the second book!

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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14. Tyrannosaurus Wrecks! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora

<!-- START INTERCHANGE - TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} <!-- END INTERCHANGE --> Tyrannousaurus Wrecks by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen with great illustrations by Zachariah Ohara is an awesomely colorful, dinosaur filled wreck of a book. Well

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15. PFAS: “Dinos in the Laboratory” by Kristy Dempsey

Sarah S. uses story-like LEGO images and fun dino “roar” sound effects to dramatize Kristy Dempsey’s clever poem, “Dinos in the Laboratory.” 

Check it out here.


You’ll find this clever poem in the 4th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 2: Lab Safety.


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16. Day in the Life of a Librarian

Each day I walk into the library, I get to look forward to something new. While the general routine may be the same each day holds something different. I never know what questions I'm going to be asked and I love that! Here's what my day looked like today:


8:20- arrive at work, go through opening procedures for department 

8:35-gather story time books and music 

8:40-check in with M  about plan for the day, what needs to be done

8:45-set up story time. Since I was doing back to back story times, I decided to do all sings and dancing without any crafts or activities to make the set up easier

9:05-check email, respond to messages that need answers right away, email manager about an upcoming staff meeting

9:15-on desk, youth services coordinator visits department to get feedback about sumner reading program, branch manager stops by to get stickers fir an outreach visit, sign up for upcoming staff training

9:30-P arrives for shift. We talk about the May schedule and I make adjustments to the schedule 

10:00-time for toddler story time! The Freeze Dance and playing with the parachute were the kids favorite parts of story time 

10:30-10:50-break

10:50-set up story hour room for preschool story time, adjust music I need for my preschool group.

11:00-this us only my third week back from maternity leave, so I'm still seeing lots of my regular patrons for the first time since I've been back. I got to catch up with one if my story time families and talk books and movies which is always fun!

11:15-preschool story time. I ended up reading the same books (Dance With Me, If You're A Monster and You Know It, and From Head to Toe) but I added longer songs. I included Greg and Steve's Listen and Move-one of my favorites!  The kids loved it!

11:45-clean up story time and put books in bin for a repeat of my story time plan on Friday 

12:05-rove through the teen department, take DVD cases up front to the circulation department, check mail, visit youth services coordinator to talk about purchasing a new diecut for our machine to use for summer reading, catch up with C when she arrives for the afternoon and talk about the schedule and email it out to staff, reply to emails 

1:00-1:20-break

1:30-3:00-supervisor training webinar 

3:00-visit teen department then head back to children's department after training, catch up with staff about what's been happening, make list of what to talk to branch manager about during meeting tomorrow, answer questions at desk and help patrons, update calendar with meetings and schedule for May, swap story times with M for next week and adjust the schedule (there is always so much to do with the schedule!!!)

4:00-4:20-break

4:20-answer questions at desk, visit teen department, straighten up department, organize desk for tomorrow, make to do list for tomorrow, one last email check

5:00-head home
 

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17. Move Over Fiction! Non-fiction and Fiction Book Pairs for Tweens and Teens, TXLA 2014

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18. Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

<!-- START INTERCHANGE - TAP TAP BOOM BOOM -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} In Tap Tap BOOM BOOM, Elizabeth Bluemle's jazzy, jangly text is matched perfectly with  G. Brian Karas's exuberant illustrations. A combination of gouache and pencil drawings and

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19. Meeting with lions

Obi, the African Lion. Photo by Angela Reynolds

Obi, the African Lion. Photo by Angela Reynolds

I’m changing Summer Reading this year. When I was in Chicago for ALA last summer I saw their Summer of Learning and was duly impressed. I am going to try something similar this summer, using STREAM – Science, Technology, Reading, Experience, Arts, and Math. The Common Core is not a Thing here in Canada (yet) but I love the idea of experience-based Summer Reading Program. Yes, Reading is still a big part of it, the main focus even, but I wanted to offer some experiences rather than Pieces of Plastic as incentives. So I contacted the local zoo. Oaklawn Farm Zoo is small and owned by a couple that are known in our area as generous and kind folks. I had a meeting in their farm house to talk about offering 2 Library Days this summer– 18 and under get in free if they show their library card (and can earn a badge if we get that part figured out).  We sat at the table over tea, muffins, and homemade jam to discuss the details. They liked the idea as much as we did– we’ll be offering storytime and needle felting demos (using zoo-animal fur collected by the keepers). We’ll also take our portable StoryWalk and our Bookmobile for a total library/zoo day! Fun!

So, we have at least one great experience to offer for our Summer STREAM. And for me, the experience was even more amazing because when we first arrived, we heard ,”Oh, here comes the lion. Put your boots on top of the fridge.” Yes, that’s right. LION. For the winter, a lion cub lived in their house. Obi, the 6-month old African lion strolled in, rolled over on the floor, and allowed us to pet his belly. Library Days at the Zoo — YEAH! Plus, I got to pet a lion. I love my job.

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20. The Cat with Seven Names - an audiobook review


(My review of The Cat with Seven Names, as it appeared in the April, 2014, edition of School Library Journal.)



Johnson, Tony. The Cat with Seven Names. 1 CD. 15 min. Recorded
Books. 2014. $15.75. ISBN 9781490602479. digital
download.

PreS-Gr 2— A plump, seemingly stray cat wanders occasionally into the home of an older librarian. She names her visitor Stuart Little. At an elderly neighbor's home, he receives the moniker Kitty-boy, while a lonely Mexican man names him Placido for his "singing" voice. A homeless vet calls him Dove, for the peace he brings. Only the cat is lacking his own voice in this heartwarming story of a busy neighborhood, full of unconnected adults. Each character has his or her own first-person narrator, each distinctly different. The Hispanic man peppers his speech with Spanish words, as he first meets "Placido" on a day when it rains gatos y perros. Humorous wordplay abounds throughout, in which the cat is the common fixture in the lives of seven adults and a young girl. When the cat has a near accident, the full cast calls out seven different names, as each rushes to save the feline that has befriended them all; and through the cat, they befriend each other. The Cat with Seven Names will be sold with and without its corresponding picture book. Consider purchasing the set. Absent illustrations, the steady stream of elderly and adult voices may not be enough to hold a child's attention.


Copyright © 2014 Library Journals, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
##

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21. #541 – Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma: The True Story of an Orphaned Cub by Darci Pattison & Kitty Harvill

abayomi the brazilian puma.

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma: The True Story of an Orphaned Cub

by Darci Pattison & Kitty Harvill, illustrator

Mims House           2014

978-1-62944-001-9

Ages 6 to 8       32 pages

.

“From the award-winning team that brought you WISDOM, THE MIDWAY ALBATROSS, comes a new heart-warming story of an orphaned puma cub. A mother puma, an attempt to steal a chicken, and an angry chicken farmer—the search is on for orphaned cubs. Will the scientists be able to find the cubs before their time runs out?

In this “Biography in Text and Art,” Harvill takes original photos as references to create accurate wildlife illustrations. Pattison’s careful research, vetted by scientists in the field, brings to life this true story of an infant cub that must face a complicated world alone—and find a way to survive.”

Opening

“In the far south, in Brazil, a puma cub was born in the early spring month of October 2012.”

The Story

Brazil, once covered by deep forests, now houses more people in cities and villages. To keep their cars moving more sugar plantations took over much of the remaining forest. Pumas, and other wild animals, must live closer to man and find it more difficult to hunt for food. One night, a female puma spotted some chickens in a farmer’s barn. Their normal diet of armadillos, capybaras, and ring-tailed coatis were getting hard to find. The puma needed to feed her cub and the chickens were easy prey. But she fell victim to a farmer’s trap. Before wildlife officials could get to the farm and safely remove the puma, she died.

Alone, hungry, and no mother to help, her cub had to hunt, but would he know how? Wildlife officials followed the mother puma’s trail trying to find her cubs but came up empty. Twenty-three days after his mom left and never returned, dogs a mile away from home cornered the cub. Dehydration and starvation ravished the cub’s body, stealing the energy he needed to walk. He staggered from place to place. This time wild life officials safely caught the cub, naming him Abayomi, which means happy meeting in the Tupi-Guarni native language. Scientists did what was needed so this little guy could return to the wild. Were they successful?

mom in wildlife officials cage

Review

The team of Darci Pattison and Kitty Harvill have made their second successful wildlife children’s book about a fascinating survivor. The first, Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, garnered starred reviews. Abayomi will undoubtedly do the same. With simple language and thoughtful prose, the story of Abayomi will come to life for schoolchildren, many of whom live in urban areas and have never seen a puma. Though the death of the mother puma was most likely gruesome, Pattison wrote,

“. . . She fought back. Once, she hit her head hard against the side of the cage and was dazed. After hours of struggling, she died.”

The illustrations were just as easy on the subject. You see the puma in a cage and some chickens in a roost, but nothing more. Not one spittle of blood mentioned or seen. Children should not experience nightmares after reading Abayomi. All of the illustrations are soft watercolor renditions of actual locations in this true story, completely vetted by experts. Each image is realistic yet gentle on the eyes. The scrawny cub, shown from the backside, does not noticeably display starvation. The hips are noticeably larger due to a lack of abdominal body fat, yet not so much as to scare even the youngest children.

starving cub

The book concludes with some facts about Abayomi, the Corridor Projects, and urbanization, along with some resources children can look up for more details. Children could write an interesting book report after reading Abayomi the Brazilian Puma. Pattison and Harvill make a splendid team that children, parents, and teachers should not ignore. Conservation and wildlife experts and scientists fact check Pattison’s research. Harvill uses photographs taken on site when painting her illustrations. The pair have made clear choices that make the books assessable to younger children, while still interesting older kids. (Yes, like myself.)

As with Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma should be in school libraries and homeschooling bookshelves that cover wildlife, conservation, or the changing world. As starting points, Abayomi and Wisdom, are great resources for children. While not an expansive missive, these two books will guide students to other resources and further knowledge. The two books also allow younger children to learn about these subjects in a mild, non-scary manner that will peak curiosity, not provoke nightmares.

mom and cub

ABAYOMI, THE BRAZILIAN PUMA: THE TRUE STORY OF AN ORPHANED CUB. Text copyright © 2014 by Darci Pattison. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Kitty Harvill. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Mims House, Little Rock, AK.

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Learn more about Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma HERE.

Get your copy of Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma at AmazonB&NMims Houseask for it at your local bookstore.

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Meet the author, Darci Pattison, at her website:   http://www.darcypattison.com/

Meet the illustrator, Kitty Harvill, at her website:  http://www.kharvillarte.com.br/artist.html

Find more Mims House stories at the publisher’s website:  http://mimshouse.com/

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Also by Darci Pattison

Saucy and Bubba, a Hansel and Gretel Tale

Saucy and Bubba, a Hansel and Gretel Tale

Vagabonds

Vagabonds

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.Also by Kitty Harvill

Up, Up, Up! It’s Apple-Picking Time

Up, Up, Up! It’s Apple-Picking Time

Vida Livre (published in Brazil)

Vida Livre (published in Brazil)

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Also New from Mims House

The Girl, the Gypsy, and the Gargoyle

The Girl, the Gypsy, and the Gargoyle

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abayomi


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Series Tagged: a changing world, Abayomi, Brazil, conservation, Darci Pattison, forest depletion, Kitty Harvill, Mims House, pumas, wildlife, wisdom

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22. Genre debates: "literary" fiction versus SF/F.

I'm really not into having the whole Which One Is Better debate, because I don't have a strong aversion to any genre: if it's a good book, it's a good book, yay books. YAY BOOKS.

Anyway! Despite the title, ultimately, the essay is more about the differences between the two genres, and more especially about the strengths of SF/F:

You absolutely cannot obscure underlying weakness with waffle. Otherwise the emails will arrive, picking up on discrepancies. Not just for the sake of point-scoring or nitpicking but because fans become so engaged with imaginary worlds and so passionate about their characters.

That passion, so easily mocked by laughing at Trekkies and Whovians, is another thing that distinguishes SF and fantasy from literary fiction. Mocking that passion is missing a key aspect of speculative fiction. By drawing readers in large numbers, contemporary fantasy becomes a platform to debate key, current social and political challenges, while science fiction continues to explore the impact of technological developments, for good and ill, before we have to tackle these things in reality.

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23. The finalists for the 2014 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards...

Sorrow's knot...have been announced.

The middle grade/YA list is:

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, by Teresa Toten

Ultra, by David Carroll

Little Red Lies, by Julie Johnston

Jane, the Fox and Me, by Fanny Britt of Montreal

Sorrow's Knot, by Erin Bow

Click on through for the picture book nominees, and also be sure to take a look at who decides on the winners: pretty cool, huh?

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24. Great Presentations



Last Saturday, I attended a terrific conference put on by the Foundation of Children’s Books (FCB) at Lesley University.  It’s a regular event and this year it concentrated upon nonfiction.  The speakers were nonfiction all-stars including Michael Tougias talking about adapting to write for middle grade after being an adult nonfiction author, Kathy Lasky reflecting upon the evolution of the nonfiction part of her career, Jason Chin finding the narrative arc of science through words and illustrations, and Steve Sheinkin being wildly entertaining while discussing books about very serious subjects.

I was especially pleased, however, to listen to fellow I.N.K. contributor Melissa Stewart.  She appeared in the middle of the lineup, and that’s when you could hear pens scratching on notebooks.  Melissa was there to discuss “Nonfiction Books You’ll Love” from 2013 and 2014.

The way that she presented them would do any nonfiction writer proud.  She organized her info into topics that provided context to her audience.  She gave just enough description about each book to inform and create the desire for further research.  Her enthusiasm for her subject/s was infectious.  She even supplied back matter: a takeaway list of 30 books arranged in alphabetical order by title and by year.

I guess what impressed me most besides Melissa’s careful curation was the generosity of her presentation--praise, yes, but also ways we could appreciate and use the books she mentioned.  That’s why authors in the audience were writing down titles as potential mentor texts while teachers and librarians were listing books to add to their collections.  

I remember a post Melissa did a while ago, saying that Common Core is here to stay and one of the best things writers can do (if they have the time and interest) is to give teachers easy ways to use their books to teach these standards.  Then she helped us further by providing 10 ways to help educators, complete with with examples of these ideas.

During her presentation at the FCB, Melissa showed us a new idea she is using, a multimedia revision timeline that chronicles the very long road she took to finally publish her book, No Monkeys, No Chocolate.  It was a fabulous way to show students and beginning authors that effortless writing takes an enormous amount of steps and work.


Now, she has given us 11 ways to help educators.

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25.

"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." - Eleanor Roosevelt

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