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Results 26 - 50 of 71,187
26. Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus - good bye and thank you


Angleberger, Tom. 2014. Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus. Recorded Books.

Sometimes you get lucky. I've had the opportunity to meet Tom Angleberger several times (including a Skype visit with my book club), I've had an enthusiastic group of Origami Yoda fans that frequent my library, and most recently, I won a copy of Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus from Recorded Books (more on that in a minute).

Since the first time I read and reviewed The Strange Case of Origami in 2010, I've been a fan, and so have legions of kids.  In addition to the fact that Tom Angleberger's writing style is perceptive, relevant, and flat-out funny; he, himself, is a great part of his success.  Just check his website, or his presence on Twitter (@origamiyoda).  He is unfailingly polite, positive, and accessible.  Kids love him and he loves them right back.

     

Back to Emperor Pickletine... so, I entered the Recorded Books contest because I hoped to win something for my book club members. With rare exception, after I've read them, I give away any book I receive gratis. Lucky me!  Not only did I receive the audio book, I received an Emperor Pickletine standee, some origami paper, and the biggest hit of all - pickle stickers - and boy, did they stink!

I was a little unsure about an audio book version of an illustrated book, however.  Would it be as good?  How can a narrator explain a comic? Will kids like it?

I discovered that, yes, it is as good.  The Origami Yoda books are written as "case files" with multiple students from  McQuarrie Middle School contributing to each file. The audio book version enhances that format because there is a cast of narrators, making it easy to differentiate between the student contributors.  

It's difficult to explain exactly how the printed illustrations from the book are narrated, because I don't have a transcript, but I can assure you that they retain their humor and flow easily into the narrative.  I was pleasantly surprised by this.

Will kids like it?  My book club meets next week, but I already have two kids who have let me know that they are already audio book fans.  I'm sure they'll like it. I did.

In the final chapter, Origami Yoda (voiced by none other than Tom Angleberger himself!) is heard to say,
"The end this is not,"  
however, this is the end of the series. And yes, you will find out if Origami Yoda is indeed real.  

A fond farewell, Origami Yoda!  You'll be sorely missed.

My reviews of other Tom Angleberger books:

0 Comments on Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus - good bye and thank you as of 10/28/2014 6:03:00 AM
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27. El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo Written and illustrated by Cece Bell Amulet Books; an imprint of Abrams. 2014 ISBN: 9781409710209 Grades 3-12 To write this review, I borrowed a copy of this book from my local public library. Everyone has a superpower. What is yours? In El Deafo, author-illustrator Cece Bell shares her experience growing up deaf.  I was a regular little kid. I played with my mom’s stuff. I

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28. Fusenews: Bemoaning, Lamenting, and Generally Carrying On

  • A stumper to begin the day. I got this message from my aunt and I simply do not know the answer. Librarians of the world, do you know? Just to clarify beforehand, the answer is unfortunately not Are Your My Mother? by P.D. Eastman:

“… seeking info on a children’s book that was [a] favorite at least 30 years ago about a baby bird (with goggles) who is having trouble learning to fly.”

  • CatherineCertitude 210x300 Fusenews: Bemoaning, Lamenting, and Generally Carrying OnHere’s a new one.  Apparently the 2014 Nobel Prize winner for literature is a French author with a children’s book to his name.  And the book?  According to Karen MacPherson it’s Catherine Certitude.  Now THAT is a title, people!
  • Me Stuff: Pop Goes the Page was very very kind and did a little behind-the-scenes interview with me about good old Giant Dance Party.  Ain’t Dana swell?  Meanwhile my favorite transgender children’s librarian Kyle Lukoff just posted a review of Wild Things on his blog.  I’ve been very impressed by his reviews, by the way.  The critique of A is for Activist is dead on.
  • On the one hand, this may well be the most interesting board book I’ve seen in a long time.  On the other, why can’t I buy it through Ingram or Baker & Taylor?  Gah!
  • Movie news! Specifically Number the Stars movie news. Read on:

Young readers and their families enjoyed an afternoon celebrating the 25th anniversary of Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars  at Symphony Space in New York on October 19th.  Actor Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) was on hand to read from Lowry’s work,. He and his wife Christine have secured the rights to adapt the book for film.

The event was one of the Thalia Kids’ Book Club series at Symphony Space. The next event is a celebrity-studded tribute to the work of E. B. White on Wednesday, November 19th, with proceeds benefiting First Book Manhattan. (Link: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/8497/Family-Literature/thalia-kids-book-club-terrific-tails-a-celebration-of-eb-white

Lowry event PHOTOS just posted via Getty Images: http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/lois-lowry-and-sean-astin-attends-number-the-stars-25th-news-photo/457520190

  • Aw heck.  Since I’m just reprinting small press releases at this point, I’d be amiss in missing this:

ASK ME ANOTHER WITH MO WILLEMS

  • Date: Wednesday, November 5
  • Time: 6:30 doors, 7:30 show
  • Price: $20 advance, $25 door
  • Location: The Bell House, 149 7th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Aves), Brooklyn, NY 11215
  • Ticket Link: http://www.thebellhouseny.com/event/699477-ask-me-another-brooklyn/
  • Blurb: Join NPR’s Ask Me Another, along with host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton, for a rousing night of brainteasers, comedy, and music. This week’s V.I.P. (that’s puzzle speak for Very Important Puzzler), is acclaimed children’s book author Mo Willems. Willems is known for titles like Knuffle Bunny, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and the Elephant and Piggie series. See how he fares in a trivia game written just for him. For more information and tickets visit www.amatickets.org.

DuckDeathTulip 300x180 Fusenews: Bemoaning, Lamenting, and Generally Carrying OnAs a children’s materials specialist I have a little file where I keep track of my 80+ library branches and the types of books they want.  One of the topics you’ll find on my list?  Death.  We’re always asked to provide books about the bereavement process.  Now The Guardian has done a nice little round-up of some of the more recent ones.  Note, though, that death books all have on thing in common: They’re all about white families.  Finding a multicultural book about death isn’t impossible but it is harder than it should be, particularly when we’re discussing picture books.  Thanks to Kate for the link.

  • There is a tendency online when a story breaks to write a post that comments on one aspect or another of the situation without saying what the problem was in the first place.  That’s why we’re so grateful to Leila Roy.  If you found yourself hearing vague references to one Kathleen Hale and her article of questionable taste in The Guardian but didn’t know the whole story, Leila makes all clear here.
  • Hm. I like Harry Potter as much as the next guy but the Washington Post article Why the Harry Potter Books Are So Influential All Around the World didn’t quite do it for me.  Much of it hinges on believing that HP is multicultural.  I don’t suppose I’m the only person out there who remembers that in the original printing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Dean Thomas was not mentioned as black.  That was added for subsequent editions.  Ah well.  Does it matter?
  • Daily Show Head Writer and fellow-who-is-married-to-a-children’s-librarian Elliott Kalan recently wrote a piece for Slate that seeks to explain how his vision of New York as a child was formed by Muppets Take Manhattan and Ghostbusters.  But only the boring parts.  Yup.
  • Fountas and Pinnell have a message for you: They’re sorry.  Thanks to Colby Sharp for the link.
  • Daily Image:

They’ve finally announced the winner of the whopping great huge Kirkus Prize.  And the final finalist on the children’s side turns out to be . . . Aviary Wonders, Inc.  And here’s an image of the committee that selected the prize with the winner herself.

Left to right: E.K. Johnston (author finalist), Vicky Smith (Kirkus Children’s Editor), Claudette McLinn, Kate Samworth, John Peters, and Linda Sue Park.

Screen Shot 2014 10 27 at 11.25.19 PM 500x389 Fusenews: Bemoaning, Lamenting, and Generally Carrying On

They mentioned the prize money but they never mentioned that the winner also gets a TROPHY!!  That’s big.  We don’t get many trophies in our business.  Well played.  And thanks to Claudette McLinn for the photo.

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29. America After 3 PM: How Do Libraries Fit In?

From Open Clip Art

From Open Clip Art

The Afterschool Alliance just published a study regarding after school programs in the United States. This is the third study of its kind, following in the results from the 2004 and 2009 studies. The group wants to document where and how children spend their time between 3 and 6 PM. The previous studies, along with this one, show that there is a demand for after school programs.  However, more programming is needed to help reach the approximately 11.3 million children who are unsupervised after school.

The study is full of facts and figures. Such as: 18 percent (10.2 million) children participate in some after school program. This is an increase by nearly 2 million children when the study was conducted five years ago. We can only hope that number will continue to rise. Parents enroll their students in after school programs because it allows them to feel that their children are safe and also in an nurturing and creative environment. Parents that were polled were satisfied with their after school programs when the organization provided a snack, opportunity for physical activity, an environment to complete homework, and also a space for enrichment activities, such as STEM programs.

Income and ethnicity also played a role in the study; students from low-income families make up 45 percent of the students enrolled in after school programs and the most demand for after school programs is highest among African American families. This study confirmed that yes, we as a country are beginning to provide the after school programs our communities need, but a gap still exists.

So what does this mean for libraries and us as librarians? This is an opportunity to us to help out our community and potentially reach the population of people who feel underserved by after school programs. Of those 11.3 million children who are unsupervised, the majority are teens in middle and high school. For libraries, it can mean two things. The first is that we can either create some sort of informal (or formal) after school program or space for our teens to come to. If we foster an environment of learning and fun, we can help create a space the teens will flock to (at least, that’s what we hope). Our other option is reach out to after school programs in the area. We should ask ourselves, Where could the library fit in to their programming? Perhaps we could visit the program, or even just give them information about the library and events you offer. Regardless, establish some connection that says, “Hey, we’re the library and we are here for you.” If we can make our presence known, through establishing a place in our library or through outreach, we have the potential to make connections, ones that will last a long time. The study cited that students were more likely to continue the program into the summer. Hey, we do summer programming and wouldn’t it be great to get more kids involved? After school programs are our “in.” And in the process, we have the potential to do a lot of good.

So let’s get the conversation going. Are your libraries an after-school spot? What has worked for you? What has not? Since the study does not explicitly cite libraries as a spot for after-school program or programming, I’m curious to know what our librarians are already doing from that 3-6 PM time zone.

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30. The Right Fight (2014)

The Right Fight. Chris Lynch. 2014. Scholastic. 192 pages. [Source: Library]

 I enjoyed Chris Lynch's The Right Fight. Roman, the protagonist, loves, loves, LOVES baseball. But he loves his country even more. That is why he enlisted even before America entered the war--the second world war. The book chronicles his early experiences in the war as a tank driver. Readers see him through training, war games, and going overseas, his various assignments and missions. (Most of the book sees him in North Africa). Readers experience it from his point of view and from a few letters as well. One sees how his fellow soldiers--the men in his tank specifically--form a family. One also sees the many (often-ugly) sides of war.

I enjoyed this one. I thought there was a good balance of action (war) and characterization. I liked getting to know Roman, his fiancee, his war buddies.


© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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31. Is It Rude to Ask?

Screen Shot 2014 10 26 at 10.27.28 PM 300x228 Is It Rude to Ask?There are questions in this world that it is always safe to ask a children’s librarian about his or her children.  Prominent amongst them: “So what are your kids reading these days?”

The “kids” in question here would be the librarian’s children.  Yet I’ll admit that when I’m asked, there’s always that brief moment of confusion on my part where my brain tries to access the answer.  I read her four books less than 12 hours ago so why can’t I recall any of their titles?  Eventually I’m able to piece together a list of her current obsessions (Fancy Nancy and the Frances books currently dominate) and all is well.  And really, I like answering the question and I like, in turn, asking it of other folks.

Still, it gets me to thinking.  I’m a children’s librarian.  I read, eat, and breathe this stuff.  My kids get a LOT of children’s books thrown at them on a regular basis, and yet I still sometimes struggle with coming up with an answer to, “So what are your kids reading these days?”  If this question can prove difficult for me, what’s it like if you ask folks who aren’t in the business of children’s literature at all?

It seems to me the question cuts one of two ways.  On the one had, it’s a great conversation starter.  Your kid loves Ladybug Girl?  Mine too!  But at the same time, if used for evil instead of good, it could act as an awfully effective way to engage in shaming your fellow parent.  The inherent assumption is that the other parent knows what their child is reading and, in fact, reads to them regularly.  So for someone who suspected that their fellow parent was not engaging in this necessary activity, the question could be accusatory.  What’s your kid reading, smart guy?  Can you name the books?  No?  Why not?

Mind you, I’ve no doubt there are parents out there who, when asked, would merely shrug their shoulders and say, “My kid’s not much of a reader”.  Then too there are the differences in asking the parent of a four-year-old the question versus a twelve-year-old.  You could get some very different answers.

Still, when you consider the potential awkwardness (however justified) on the part of the other parent when asked this question, is it in the end rude to even ask?  I feel like we should engage Miss Manners in this.  What would she say?

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32. Write, share, give: It’s SOL time!

  “Writing is like breathing, it’s possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.” ― Julia Cameron, The Right to Write: An Invitation and… Continue reading

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33. TOMBOY by Liz Prince

Liz Prince talks as part of a panel on her new graphic memoir TOMBOY.

This book takes a look at fitting in during her preteen and teen years and remaining true to herself even years later. 



Liz Prince Talks TOMBOY

How she started -
I came into prominence in the comic scene with books that are comprised of short, autobio gag comics, and those are something that are fairly easy for me to make; that doesn’t mean that they are worthless, they  make a lot of people, and myself, very happy, but they are instant gratification for me as an artist.  I can draw a short comic about my cats and post it online immediately and get some likes and “LOLs” and call it a day.  These are the things that my fans have seen over the years.  But behind the scenes, I had a few false starts on some larger projects.

Why she did this book -
I drew this book because I was actively courted by the publisher, who was looking for non-fiction graphic novels by women.  Other publishers have invited me to pitch a project to them before, but none had come to me saying that they really really wanted one.  It took me about a year to have a project worth pitching: Zest Books is a teen/young adult publisher, and none of my other ideas for books would have worked for them, so it wasn’t easy for me to come up with a concept that I felt excited to work on, that would also fit the audience.  And before I was confident in pitching this project, I had to be sure that I could actually fill a book with it.  Tomboy is my story of growing up with gender identity issues.  For the first half of my life I wanted to be a boy; this book deals with the reasons why, and the reactions to, my staunch refusal of being a girl.  Before I pitched the book, I did an outline of what episodes I would discuss, and how long I felt the book would be.  I guessed around 150 pages.  I was presented a contract which gave me less than a year to complete the book; I signed in June 2013, the finished book was due March 15th, 2014.  I was someone who had never successfully completed a graphic novel before, and I just jumped into an agreement that would have me completing one in about 9 months.


How she feels about the book -
It ended up being more personal, and more about gender politics than I imagined it would.  I know that people will feel very strongly about this book, both in a positive way, and in a negative way, but I take solace in knowing that both reactions will spark discussion on what gender should mean, and what it shouldn’t.  I’ll put myself on the chopping block as a sacrificial lamb, if it can help us move forward, as a culture who can eschew gender stereotypes.


TAKE A LOOK!    ZEST BOOKS IS SENDING ONE LUCKY WINNER A COPY OF THE BOOK! 

Check out some other bloggers as they talk about Tomboy.
November 5th
November 8th

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34. Library Loot: Fourth Trip in October


New Loot:
  • Penguin in Peril by Helen Hancocks  
  • Missing Pieces of Me by Jean Van Leeuwen
  • The Animals' Santa by Jan Brett
  • Victoria: A Life by A.N. Wilson
  • Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  • A Quilt for Christmas by Sandra Dallas 
  • Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times by Emma Trevayne
  • On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells
  • The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming by C.c. Benison
  • Claude at the Circus by Alex T. Smith
  • Claude at the Beach by Alex T. Smith
  • The Animals' Santa by Jan Brett
  • Follow Follow by Marilyn Singer
Leftover Loot:
  • Tumtum & Nutmeg The Rose Cottage Tales by Emily Bearn
  • Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes
  • The Dark Lady by Irene Adler, translated by Chris Turner
  • 4:50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie
  • Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
  • The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer
  • A Little House Christmas by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • When Santa Fell To Earth by Cornelia Funke 
  • The Wars of the Roses by Dan Jones
    Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.  

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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35.

Our Be The Star You Are! reviewer loved Revelation.

"Reading Revelation is a joy because of how Randi Cooley Wilson built the world and the #mythology." http://buff.ly/1mEcFqG CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWS - REVELATION (Revelation Series, Book 1) by Randi Cooley Wilson

from Google+ RSS http://ift.tt/1wBPqkN

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36. Two New Mentor Texts I Adore + Book Giveaways

I’ve always been a diary and letter person.  I have loads of journals from my childhood and post-college years.  To this day, I relish letters I saved from my childhood since they’re a… Continue reading

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37. Zen Ghosts by Jon J Muth

Zen GhostsIn the 2005 book Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth, Stillwater the giant panda moves next door to siblings Abby, Michael, and Karl. Stillwater becomes their friend – he plays with them, talks with them, lets them climb on him, and tells them stories that relate to their lives. The stories Stillwater tells are simple stories rooted in the Zen Buddhist tradition. In the book Zen Ghosts, it is Halloween, and Stillwater is helping the children decide what costumes to wear. He invites the children to meet him for a ghost story after they go trick-or-treating, and the story he tells is eerie and mysterious, yet gentle (and not exactly scary). Afterward, there is swapping of candy and quiet enjoyment of the moonlit Halloween night.

Muth uses watercolors to illustrate scenes of the children and Stillwater, and brush and ink to illustrate Stillwater’s ghost story. The watercolors capture the beautiful colors of autumn, and there are a couple of wonderful wordless spreads – one being an evocative picture of all the costumed trick-or-treaters out on the darkened neighborhood street that readers will pore over. In the author’s note, Muth explains that the ghost story Stillwater tells is a koan, a kind of story that is a paradox to be meditated on, from the Zen Buddhist tradition. As Muth writes, “They appeal directly to the intuitive part of the human consciousness, not to the intellect.” Zen Ghosts is gentle and philosophical (though more playful than ponderous), and a wonderful Halloween read aloud for kids in grade K and up (it would make an especially good match for older kids).

Books featuring Stillwater the panda include Zen Shorts, Zen Ties, and Zen Ghosts (and you can meet Stillwater’s nephew Koo again in Hi, Koo!).

Posted by: Parry


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38. Books Always Everywhere by Jane Blatt


This is an adorable celebration of books for the little ones. Babies and toddlers are everywhere and so are books. The simple text shows children in what ways and where you can enjoy books: on sunny days, rainy days, in scary ways and funny ways. Though the text is simple, the illustrations are charming and fill out the sparse text. Lots of color and little details (like a mouse hiding on each page) are fun for kids to play search and find.

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39. Dancers in Mourning (1937)

Dancers in Mourning. Margery Allingham. 1937. 337 pages. [Source: Bought]
 When Mr. William Faraday sat down to write his memoirs after fifty-eight years of blameless inactivity he found the work of inscribing the history of his life almost as tedious as living it had been and so, possessing a natural invention coupled with a gift for locating the easier path, he began to prevaricate a little upon the second page, working up to downright lying on the sixth and subsequent folios.
The book appeared at eighteen-and-sixpence, with frontispiece, in nineteen thirty-four and would have passed into the limbo of the remainder lists with thousands of its prototypes had not the quality of one of the wilder anecdotes in the chapters dealing with an India the author had never seen earned it a place in the news columns of a Sunday paper.
This paragraph called the memoirs to the attention of a critic who had not permitted his eminence to impair his appreciation of the absurd, and in the review which he afterwards wrote he pointed out that the work was pure fiction, not to say fantasy, and was incidentally one of the funniest books of the decade.
The public agreed with the critic and at the age of sixty-one William Faraday, author of Memoirs of an Old Buffer (republished at seven-and-six, seventy-fourth thousand), found himself a literary figure.
I was disappointed with this vintage mystery. While I absolutely loved the opening pages, by the end I found the whole book to be a mess. I admit it could be a mood thing. As much as I wanted to like it, even love it, perhaps I didn't have the patience to remember the large cast of suspects. Or perhaps the problem is that the characters aren't well drawn enough, aren't unique enough, to distinguish between. There were three or four characters that I could remember. But for the others, it was who is she again? who is he again? how does he fit into the group again? where did she come from?

Albert Campion has been invited into the inner circle of Jimmy Sutane and his friends. Sutane is in show business--the theater. Uncle William is, I believe, a mutual friend? Regardless, Uncle William is one of Campion's closest friends in the book. Anyway, Sutane invites Campion to his country house. There are many, many people there. Mostly his guests are in show business too--in the same currently running production. But a few are in his employ or in his family. By the end of the day, tragedy will strike and one of the guests will be dead.

The main reason I found this book to be a complete mess is Albert Campion. He is a horrible detective in this one. Why? Because at the party, he falls madly, deeply in LOVE with Jimmy Sutane's wife. He believes that they share a meaningful moment. In fact, he gets so swept up in the moment...he finds himself almost rushing across the room and taking her in his arms. At least he doesn't do that. But. Regardless. His inappropriate interest in Linda--Jimmy's wife--keeps him from using his brain for hundreds of pages. He doesn't want the murder to be solved just in case the murderer is someone that she cares about, just in case bringing the murderer to justice would make her feel bad. It's RIDICULOUS.


© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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40. A Book to Match Your Costume

Many schools require students to wear Halloween costumes that are book related. Some even ask children to bring along a book that matches his or her costume. This policy is a great way to promote reading and integrate Halloween into the curriculum, but it can also be a source of stress. What if a child wants to wear a Spider-man costume, but all of the Spider-man books have already been checked out to other patrons? You might try recommending a book about Marvel comics, arachnids, or even a biography about Tobey Maguire.

To be prepared for the last minute rush to find books to match costumes, we created a list of “books to match your costume.” These titles are just a starting point. If you use your imagination, you can find a book to match just about any costume.

So you want to be Minnie Mouse . . .

Assistant Children's Librarian, Jeannie Bull

Assistant Children’s Librarian, Jeannie Bull

In addition to the obvious Disney choices such as Minnie’s Costume Party, you might also recommend a book about mice or Disney World.

Fiction:

  • Abel’s Island by William Steig
  • Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Lionni
  • Anatol by Eve Titus
  • Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
  • A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole

Nonfiction:

  • About Rodents: A Guide for Children by Cathryn and John Sill
  • Walt Disney: The Man Behind the Magic by Tamra Orr

So you want to be a crayon . . .

Heidi and I pose with a few of our favorite books.

Heidi and I pose with a few of our favorite books.

Drew Daywald’s bestseller The Day the Crayons Quit is a perfect match, but don’t limit yourself. There are many, many great children’s books about art and colors.

Fiction:

  • Amber Brown is Not a Crayon by Paula Danziger
  • Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
  • A Day with No Crayons by Elizabeth Rusch
  • Bad Day at Riverbend by Chris Van Allsburg (This book also matches cowboy costumes!)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Nonfiction:

  • What Happens at a Crayon Factory by Lisa M. Guidone
  • The Science Book of Color by Neil Ardley

So you want to be the Statue of Liberty . . .

liberty
There are plenty of good books about the Statue of Liberty, and there are usually at least a few available on the shelf. However, you also might recommend a book about new immigrants, sculpture, or New York City.

Fiction:

  • Lisa in New York by Anne Gutman and George Hallensleben
  • Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen and Jim Burke
  • A Picnic in October by Eve Bunting

Nonfiction:

  • All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel by Dan Yaccarino
  • How They Built the Statue of Liberty by Mary J. Shapiro
  • The Story of the Statue of Liberty by Besty & Giulio Maestro

***********************************************************************

Our guest blogger today is Rebecca Scotka. Rebecca is the Children’s and Young Adult Librarian at the East Lyme Public Library in Niantic, Connecticut.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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41. The Monsterator, by Keith Graves -- and other fiendish delights (ages 5-9)

Do your children want to be something goulishly great on Halloween? Do monsters delight them? There's no doubt that The Monsterator, with its bold promise of 625 monsters inside, will captivate many young readers who dream of something "screamingly scary."
The Monsteratorby Keith GravesRoaring Brook, 2014
Your local libraryAmazonages 5-9
*best new book*
Young Master Edgar Dreadbury finds your standard Halloween costumes a terrible bore. "I wish I could be something screamingly scary. / Something fanged and foul and horribly hairy!" Graves draws readers in with rhyming text that is a delight to read aloud, but he really grabs readers when Edgar steps into The Monsterator. All of a sudden, Edgar is completely transformed "from his teeth to his toes."
The Monsterator, by Keith Graves
"When the machine finally quit,
Edgar crashed through the door.
He banged on his chests with his fists
and roared."
The Monsterator, by Keith Graves
I love how Graves strikes just the right balance between frightening and fun for first and second graders. But what they will love most of all is the surprise at the end, when they can "monsterate" young Edgar, by turning a series of flaps to create hundreds of different creatures.

If you like this, you might like some of these other monsterish favorite picture books:
The review copy was kindly sent by the publishers, Macmillan Books. Illustrations of The Monsterator are copyright ©2014 Keith Graves, used with permission of the publisher. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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42. Brown Girl Dreaming

Woodson, Jacqueline. 2014. Brown Girl Dreaming. New York: Penguin.

Despite the title, Brown Girl Dreaming is most certainly not just a book for brown girls or girls.  Jacqueline Woodson's memoir-in-verse relates her journey to discover her passion for writing. Her story is framed by her large, loving family within the confines of the turbulent Civil Rights Era.

Sometimes a book is so well-received, so popular, that it seems that enough has been said (and said well); anything else would just be noise. Rather than add another Brown Girl Dreaming review to the hundreds of glowing ones already in print and cyberspace, I offer you links to other sites, interviews and reviews related to Brown Girl Dreaming.  And, I'll pose a question on memoirs in children's literature.

First, the links:

And now something to ponder:

As a librarian who often helps students in choosing books for school assignments, I have written many times about the dreaded biography assignment - excessive page requirements,  narrow specifications, etc.

Obviously, a best choice for a children's book is one written by a noted children's author. Sadly, many (by no means all!) biographies are formula-driven, series-type books that are not nearly as engaging as ones written by the best authors.  Rare is the author of young people's literature who writes an autobiography for children as Ms. Woodson has done.  When such books exist, they are usually memoirs focusing only on the author's childhood years.  This is perfectly appropriate because the reader can relate to that specified period of a person's lifetime.  Jon Sciezska wrote one of my favorite memoirs for children, Knucklehead, and Gary Paulsen's, How Angel Peterson Got his Name also comes to mind as a stellar example.  These books, however, don't often fit the formula required to answer common student assignment questions, i.e., birth, schooling, employment, marriages, accomplishments, children, death. Students are reluctant to choose a book that will leave them with a blank space(s) on an assignment.

I wonder what teachers, other librarians and parents think about this. Must the biography assignment be a traditional biography, or can a memoir (be it in verse, prose, or graphic format) be just as acceptable?  I hate to see students turn away from a great book because it doesn't fit the mold.  If we want students to be critical thinkers, it's time to think outside the box and make room for a more varied, more diverse selection of books.



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43. Instagram of the Week – October 27

A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform. This week we’re looking at ways libraries can use Instagram to market services. As librarians, we know that we provide our communities with so more than books, but how can we show patrons everything we have to offer? From audio books to online materials and wireless printing to smiling faces at the Information Desk, here’s a few ways to get that information out there. The key to this week’s installment is reading the captions — there are many different approaches libraries can take.

Have you come across a related Instagram post this week, or has your library posted something similar? Have a topic you’d like to see in the next installment of Instagram of the Week? Share it in the comments section of this post.

 

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44. Geek Storytime Part 2: The Return of Fandom Starts Early



Last year I wrote about the Fandom Starts Early Geeky Storytime I did at my library. I had too much fun that I had to repeat it and hopefully get a crowd of geeky kids and parents to attend. Here's how The Return of Geeky Storytime went.


Opening Song: A Tootie Ta-this is a great song to get the kids up and moving

Opening Song: The Robot Dance by The Pop Ups (because we have to dance like robots at geeky storytime!)

Rhyme: I explained the kids that we would be talking about all sorts of fandoms and being geeky. I told them that geek meant you really loved something and asked what the things they really loved were. They said they loved playing, Batman, and video games. Then I had them recite a rhyme that made up just for our storytime.

I'm a geek, yes it's true.
I'm a geek, how about you?
There are lots of things I love do
And no one can tell me they are not cool. 
So stand up proud and shout hooray
For all the fun things we will do today.

This book cracks me up every time I read it and the kids had fun shouting out the opposites.
Song
Soft Kitty
Soft kitty,

Warm kitty,
Little ball of fur.
Happy kitty,
Sleepy kitty, Purr, purr, purr

Flannel Board: Mustache Lou-I got this flannel story from Sunflower Storytime and used it in my mustache storytime. I thought it was funny and fit my silly geeky theme.




This book is so interactive and creative I knew it would be perfect for my group.

Song: The Freeze Dance by Greg and Steve, with special appearance by Doctor Horrible-I used a picture of Doctor Horrible and told the kids about his freeze ray. Whenever he appeared we would have to freeze because he had stunned us with his freeze ray. The kids ended up using their carpet squares as shields to deflect the freeze ray-pretty creative kids!

Parachute the TARDIS: I used a picture of the TARDIS, made two copies of it and glued popsicle sticks inside to give it some weight. As I played the theme song to Doctor Who, we parachuted the TARDIS so it spun through space and time. The kids had a blast trying to shake the parachute so hard the TARDIS fell out.

It was also a Free Comic Giveaway Day thanks to our local comic book store! Each kid got two free comics!

Activity Time:

Geeky Matching Game-


-I made a matching game where kids had to match characters to their item (Gandalf to a white horse, Harry to a broomstick, Kirk to the Enterprise, etc) This was an activity that both the parents and kids had lots of fun with.

Superhero Masks and Supervillain Mustaches 


-I used our dicut to make the masks and I had some leftover mustache templates from my mustache storytime. This was the most popular activity and the kids loved making the masks.

Make the One Ring


-These were leftover from a Hobbit program Miss V and Miss A put together so I reused them for storytime. I put out markers so the kids could write their own inscription on the rings. The rings are made from spray painted paper towel tubes that were then cut up.

Star Wars ABCs

-This was also left over from a Star Wars program that Miss V and Miss A did. I used the poster of Star Wars ABCs and the death star (globe painted with chalk paint) and a Star Wars: The Clone Wars Pop Up Book.

Star Trek Colors

-I used the foam blocks that we have in our storyhour collection for a color sorting activity. I asked the kids to match the blocks into the correct Starfleet colors-Red for command (with Picard), Yellow for Security and Engineering (with Data) and Blue for Medical and Science (with Crusher).

How it Went: Overall it was a lot of fun. The crowd was smaller this year and I had eight kids attend. I did have kids that liked superheroes, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who attend this time around so that was fun. I still think there's a geeky audience out there somewhere for my Fandom Storytime-I just need to find it! I'm thinking I might try it as an outreach event and find those geeky parents somehow. I know I'm not the only one who thinks a fandom storytime is lots of fun!


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45. Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire, 479 pp, RL 5

Many of you probably know Gregory Maguire as the author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. I discovered it a year or so after it was published in 1995 in the bargain section of the bookstore where I worked and remember how thrilling it was to read back then. Long a fan of fairy tales, I was amazed to learn that a meal could be made of a behind the scenes, adult

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46. Children in the Holocaust and World War II

Children in the Holocaust: Their Secret Diaries. Laurel Holliday, ed. 1996. 432 pages. [Source: Library]

Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries is an almost must-read in my opinion. It is incredibly compelling and emotional. Memoirs are great. They are. I have loved many autobiographies and biographies. But diaries are a bit unique. They tend to stay in the moment; there is a rawness perhaps in the emotions. They capture specific moments in time. They record the best and worst and everything in between. These diary entries are well worth reading.
These children's diaries are testimonies to the fact that telling the truth about violence is not harmful. In fact, one wonders how much greater harm these boys and girls would have suffered had they not written about the horrific events they were experiencing. Far more dangerous than reading about atrocities, I believe, is the pretense that atrocities do not occur. To turn our eyes away and refuse to see, or to let children see, what prejudice and hatred lead to is truly to warp our collective psyche. It is important for all of us--adults and children alike--to acknowledge the depths to which humankind can sink. The children teach us, by sharing their own direct experience of oppression, that nothing is more valuable than human freedom. This lesson alone is reason enough to read and to encourage children to read, these diaries.
This book gathers together diary entries from twenty-two writers. The countries represented include: Poland, Holland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Lithuania, Russia, Belgium, England, Israel, and Denmark. Seven of the twenty-two writers are from Poland. Some writers survived the war. Others did not. I believe that all of these entries have been previously published in some format, in at least one language. The listed age refers to the writer's age for the first diary entry printed in the book. This book provides excerpts from diaries. None of the diaries, I believe, are reprinted in full. These excerpts represent the diaries as a whole, and provide a bigger picture for understanding the war.
  • Janine Phillips, Poland, 10 years old
  • Ephraim Shtenkler, Poland, 11 years old
  • Dirk Van der Heide, Holland, 12 years old
  • Werner Galnick, Germany, 12 years old
  • Janina Heshele, Poland, 12 years old
  • Helga Weissova-Hoskova, Czechoslovakia, 12 years old
  • Dawid Rubinowicz, Poland, 12 years old
  • Helga Kinsky-Pollack, Austria, 13 years old
  • Eva Heyman, Hungary, 13 years old
  • Tamarah Lazerson, Lithuania, 13 years old
  • Yitskhok Rudashevski, Lithuania, 14 years old
  • Macha Rolnikas, Lithuania, 14 years old
  • Charlotte Veresova, Czechoslovakia, 14 years old
  • Mary Berg (pseudonym), Poland, 15 years old
  • Ina Konstantinova, Russia, 16 years old
  • Moshe Flinker, Belgium, 16 years old
  • Joan Wyndham, England, 16 years old
  • Hannah Senesh, Hungary and Israel, 17 years old
  • Sarah Fishkin, Poland, 17 years old
  • Kim Malthe-Bruun, Denmark, 18 years old
  • Colin Perry, England, 18 years old
  • The Unknown Brother and Sister of Lodz Ghetto, Poland, Unknown Age and 12 years old
I won't lie. This book is difficult to read. Difficult in terms of subject matter. It is an emotional experience. Readers are reading private diary entries. The entries capture the terror and horror of the times. They capture the uncertainty that almost all felt: will I survive? will I survive the day? will I survive the war? will my family? will my friends? will I witness their deaths? will I have ANY food to eat today? tomorrow? how much worse can it get? when will this all be over? will I be alive to see the end of the war? what if the Nazis win? The diaries capture facts and details. But they also capture feelings and reactions.
Shootings have now become very frequent at the ghetto exits. Usually they are perpetrated by some guard who wants to amuse himself. Every day, morning and afternoon, when I go to school, I am not sure whether I will return alive. I have to go past two of the most dangerous German sentry posts..., Mary Berg, February 27, 1942, p. 233
Dr. Janusz Korczak's children's home is empty now. A few days ago we all stood at the window and watched the Germans surround the houses. Rows of children, holding each other by their little hands, began to walk out of the doorway. There were tiny tots of two or three years among them, while the oldest ones were perhaps thirteen. Each child carried a little bundle in his hand. All of them wore white aprons. They walked in ranks of two, calm, and even smiling. They had not the slightest foreboding of their fate. At the end of the procession marched Dr. Korczak, who saw to it that the children did not walk on the sidewalk. Now and then, with fatherly solicitude, he stroked a child on the head or arm, and straightened out the ranks. He wore high boots, with his trousers stuck in them, an alpaca coat, and a navy-blue cap, the so-called Maciejowka cap. He walked with a firm step, and was accompanied by one of the doctors of the children's home, who wore his white smock. This sad procession vanished at the corner of Dzielna and Smocza Streets. They went in the direction of Gesia Street, to the cemetery. At the cemetery all the children were shot. We were also told by our informants that Dr. Korczak was forced to witness the executions, and that he himself was shot afterward. Thus died one of the purest and noblest men who ever lived. He was the pride of the ghetto. His children's home gave us courage, and all of us gladly gave part of our own scanty means to support the model home organized by this great idealist. He devoted all his life, all his creative work as an educator and writer, to the poor children of Warsaw. Even at the last moment he refused to be separated from them. ~ Mary Berg, August, 1942, p. 239
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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47. The Giraffe Made Us Do It!!!


We have this boat. You know THIS boat....a "feature" (of one type or another) that many of us in children's library spaces struggle with. I can wait while you read our sorrow so I can catch you up with the news.

Where's the desk?!?!
We know that the boat will never go. It's part of the wall and all. But that doesn't mean we can't create another scenario that makes more sense for a boat in a library. 
They are standing in our new desk spot!


Today begins our re-carpeting of the Youth area project. Everything has to be moved. We realized that this was our golden opportunity to re-locate our desk so we would no longer face the boat, but actually face our service area and families coming in and using our space. And we came up with a genius boat solution! It comes in two parts.

Part 1
The YS staff is taking over the front of the boat!!!! We retired our old desk. We bought a new desk unit that is more flexible. And we are enclosing the front (runway) of the boat into our workspace. The worst disciplinary-crazy-making part of the boat will now be staff-only. Kids can still read in the other reading nook of the boat so they aren't completely exiled.  Of course we expect some unhappiness and push back from the public but that's ok. We got it covered.

Interlude
Have I told you about our giraffe? We have a fifty year old, 8 foot tall Steiff giraffe, Longfellow, that was almost loved to death. Play got so rough on this big guy that we finally sent him on an extended world vacation (basement storage) three years ago, much to the dismay of kids, parents and grandparents everywhere. We knew we couldn't bring him back until we could wall his delicate self in with a fence or plexiglass or....

Part 2
Longfellow is really taking over the front of the boat!!!! We realized that the giraffe would fit nicely on the front of the boat in a totally see-able but totally untouchable spot to protect him. Since he is returning from his world cruise it makes sense that he needs to be on the boat and in a safe spot where kids can't tug, kick, push, lick and ride him (yes, parents were complicit!).  So Longfellow will help us take some of the edge off our boat take-over. He's driving this change-bus..er boat!

I'm a big believer in giving something when we take something away. We stressed over this as a team - what would we put on the front of the boat to justify taking away that space- and worked through many possibilities.  Then the magic moment a few weeks ago when a staffer said, "Hey, will Longfellow fit on the boat?" Booyah!

I'll keep you posted on the new look and what our patrons say when we re-open in a week.



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48. Can I borrow a Mac?

Our Youth Services department recently underwent a freshening up. After reconfiguring our floor space and thinking about how it is used we decided to purchase several MacBook PROs for afterschool use. We had been circulating e-readers and tablets so this was a natural next step for us.

We made an initial purchase of eight laptops, and the kids went wild! We rolled out this new service a year ago and it has proven to be so popular that we had to invest in six more just to keep up with the demand.

So, how does this work you wonder? First, the laptops can only be used by children in grades 6-12th in our Youth Services department, they never leave the library. All one needs is a library card in good standing, a valid student ID and they are ready to borrow one. We ask each child to read and sign an agreement form that clearly states out the laptops may be used and we take a moment to discuss the terms of the agreement.

Our staff quickly realized this was an excellent opportunity to have more interaction with the children who are borrowing them. Not only was this a great way to learn their names, we now have the chance to talk to them about school, books, movies, etc. while we are preparing their laptop for use.

Everyone who registers to use a laptop is entered into a database. If there is a behavior infraction while using a laptop it is noted in the database. With over a thousand users, we have had only a few issues. Remarkably, none of these laptops have been damaged in anyway.

Each laptop comes loaded with a variety of popular applications kids really want. iPhoto, Garage Band, iMovie and Scratch 1.4 are a few that are in frequent use. Also popular is Face Time and Photo Booth. One might think these laptops are being borrowed for social media and gaming purposes, but I mostly observe them being used as a vehicle for creativity.

Recently, we began to offer technology classes specifically geared to children in grades 4 and up. We’ve held classes featuring programs such as Garage Band and iMovie where children created their own music or movies. Other well attended sessions featured Raspberry Pi; the credit card sized computer that can connect to a television and a keyboard and has quite a bit of functionality for something so small and Ardunio; an open source electronics platform that makes building interactive objects, such as robots more accessible.

It’s interesting to see just how adept these young people are with these types of programs and how eager they are to learn even more. If you have reached out to this age group I am interested to hear what you are doing, what’s worked and what hasn’t. I am always looking for the next big thing to offer.

 Allison Santos, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ
ALSC Digital Content Task Force

 

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49.

a #Halloween fave - Never Race a Runaway #Pumpkin http://buff.ly/12RIhAs @Kaauthor http://buff.ly/12RIhAt



from Google+ RSS http://ift.tt/1zDAtko

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50. Bechtel Fellowship: Professional Experience of a Lifetime

The Bechtel Library

The Bechtel Library (image provided by Mary Gaither Marshall)

Little did I realize when arriving at the Gainesville Airport the evening of January 31, 2007, that the next month would be the highlight of my professional career. In 2005, as I was glancing through my most recent issue of Children and Libraries, I noticed Leslie Barban’s article, “Evolution of Children’s Literature Getting Sidetracked—Delightfully—at the Baldwin Library.” As I read the article, I thought, if only I could have that same experience. Before becoming a children’s librarian, I had worked for six years in rare book shops, so having the opportunity to research and read about children’s books would be a dream experience for me. In 2005, when both of my children were in college, I decided to apply for the 2006 Bechtel Fellowship. As part of the application, I needed to decide on a topic. The most difficult part of the process was determining which area of the collection to focus on. I decided to examine the papers of the founder of the collection, Ruth Baldwin. How did a librarian of modest means, form one of the greatest collection of children’s literature in the world? I sent my application in thinking that I would probably have to apply several times before I would receive the fellowship.

Mary Gaither Marshall in the Closed Stacks

Mary in the Closed Stacks (photo courtesy of Mary Gaither Marshall)

In January 2006, I received a phone call at work from the ALA office. My first thought was that they were calling about my membership. I was shocked when the caller congratulated me on receiving the 2006 Bechtel Fellowship. After the call, I was bursting with excitement and couldn’t wait to tell my staff and director, and really, anyone who walked in the library, that I was going to spend a month reading children’s books and examining Ruth Baldwin’s letters and diaries at the University of Florida. Yes, I’m definitely a rare book geek.

Fortunately, my director at the Addison Public Library (Illinois), Mary Medjo MeZengue, was very supportive of my taking a month off from my usual responsibilities, to complete my Fellowship. We had just begun a new building project, so we carefully planned the best time for me to go to the Baldwin Library. We decided February 2007 would be the time when I was least needed for decisions. So I made arrangements with Rita Smith, then curator of the Baldwin, to spend the month. She placed me in contact with past Bechtel Fellowship winners and helped me to make local arrangements. I spent the month in a delightful cottage at the Sweetwater Bed and Breakfast about two miles from the campus. Each morning I would walk to the library and spend the day immersed in books, letters, diaries, and other papers. On the first day, Rita gave me a tour of the library and a one time only view of the closed stacks. After that, I had to request each item which was then brought to me. I was also able to interview Rita and several other faculty members who had known Ruth Baldwin. I would work steadily until the library closed at six. During the evenings and weekends, I would review my research and make plans for what I wanted to review the next day. I also read and responded to my work email and did collection development. I was amazed at how much of my work I was able to complete without every day distractions.

Mary with the Egolf Display

Mary with the Egolf Display (photo courtesy of Mary Gaither Marshall)

During the last week of my fellowship in 2007, a new addition of 2,800 illustrated American children’s books, dating from 1807-2003, formed and donated by Dr. Robert L. Egolf, arrived at the Baldwin Library. Because of my experience working with rare books, Rita gave me the opportunity to explore the boxes of books. Those of us in the Baldwin Library the day Dr. Egolf’s collection arrived, surely felt the same excitement that the University of Florida’s Smather’s Library staff felt almost 30 years before when Ruth Baldwin brought her magnificent collection to the University of Florida. On my last day at the Baldwin Library, I assisted Rita Smith in creating a display for the reception honoring Dr. Egolf’s donation.

Perhaps in the future, I will have the opportunity to return to the Baldwin and research these new additions to the Baldwin Library.

I encourage all of you who have the opportunity, to apply for the Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship. You too can receive $4,000 to spend a month reading and researching children’s books. The deadline is Saturday, November 1, 2014. Apply today!

****************************************************

Our guest blogger today is Mary Gaither Marshall. Mary is Assistant Director/Head of Children’s Services at the Addison Public Library.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

 

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