Bwahahahahaha. I fell over laughing when I read that sentence.
Anyway, it's from an article at the New Yorker about Tove Jansson.
So click on through if you are so inclined!Add a Comment
Bwahahahahaha. I fell over laughing when I read that sentence.
Anyway, it's from an article at the New Yorker about Tove Jansson.
So click on through if you are so inclined!Add a Comment
Celebrate all students' efforts to rise to the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge, even if they don't write daily. Teacher and Blogger (and Slicer!) Katherine Sokolowski has some great tips.Add a Comment
From Open Culture:
danah boyd (she doesn’t capitalize her name) is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center, where she looks at how young people use social media as part of their everyday lives. She has a new book out called It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, and she’s made it available as a free PDF. On her website she writes, “I didn’t write this book to make money. I wrote this book to reach as wide of an audience as I possibly could. This desire to get as many people as engaged as possible drove every decision I made throughout this process. One of the things that drew me to Yale [the publisher] was their willingness to let me put a freely downloadable CC-licensed copy of the book online on the day the book came out.”
Related: NPR interview with the author.Add a Comment
So excited to see the #MCAseal on Carrie Goldman blog with this gr8 list of #adoption resources http://buff.ly/NU9lYa Top Adoption Books and Resources: A Not-To-Be-Missed List of Recommendations
from Google+ RSS http://ift.tt/1dsX9r7
Mary Fahl shares how audio production can go beyond the narrator behind a mic, by enhancing the experience with an original musical setting, on Random House Audio’s The Wolves of Midwinter. On the American Songwriter blog, Fahl explains that it all started when the singer-songwriter, and long-time Rice fan, gave a copy of her album Love & Gravity to the novelist before it was released. Fahl was flattered to receive a galley copy of Rice’s newest work in return, via her publicist - it was the
The Wolves of Midwinter with an inscription that read “For Mary Fahl of the supernatural voice…” “Give this to Mary”, Anne said, “Tell her she’s in the book.” Some discussion followed and it was decided that it would be a great idea for me to write a song for the audiobook version of the novel.
In Fahl’s blog post, she shares exactly how she met this challenge:
Random House needed the recording in less than two weeks, and with my already packed schedule, I was left with a little more than 6 days to write, arrange, record, mix and master the song. I hadn’t even read the book yet. As you might imagine, nausea ensued, but I had already committed to the project, and not being one to back out of a promise, I plunged in.
Audiobooks can be magical when the publishers provide a soundscape that enhances and extends the author’s text. Whether it’s the inspired casting of the perfect narrator, or the care involved in crafting a soundscape that includes music or sound effects, listeners know that production preparation = audiobook awesomeness.
Give a listen to Fahl’s theme song below, and read the whole blog post here: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2014/02/songwriter-u-guest-blog-mary-fahl-approached-anne-rice-write-theme-song-exiles-wolves-midwinter-new-audiobook/
Math is everywhere! That’s a message I always try to get across to kids, teachers and parents in my MathStart books and presentations. Too often, when students leave math class, I hear them say, “I’m done with my math.” Yet they never say “I’m done with my words” after reading and language arts. Well, just like words, you can’t do much without math. Math is an integral part of sports and music. You need math to go shopping, check on the time and count the number of candles on your birthday cake!
“Who Says Math Has to Be Boring?”—that was the eye-opening question posed in a recent New York Times editorial headline. Several improvements to math education were listed in the article, with early exposure to mathematical concepts singled out as a particularly rich area for improvement. In fact, new research suggests that children as young as three may be math-ready. It turns out we are wired for math!
The interest in early math is part of a larger movement to support universal Pre-K in the US—a rare non-partisan issue with the President and Congress as well as governors and mayors in dozens of states declaring their support. Over just the last year, 30 states have increased funding, while Congress has budgeted $1 billion for programs. The US military is also on board in a big way through Mission Readiness, an effort spearheaded by a who’s who list of retired generals and admirals.
THE COMMON CORE
Another important trend in education is the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) currently being implemented in 45 states, the District of Columbia, four territories and the Department of Defense schools. Teachers, librarians, parents, and caregivers of children are clamoring for ways to effectively address the broad-reaching goals of the CCSS. These goals require elementary school educators to develop a new mind-set regarding their role in advancing mathematics education, as well as a new skill set for facilitating the teaching and learning of mathematical concepts.
Visual learning describes how we gather and process information from illustrations, diagrams, graphs, symbols, photographs, icons and other models. Since visual learning strategies build on children’s innate talent to interpret visual information, they can play an important role in reaching the goals of the CCSS for Mathematics. Visual models help students understand difficult concepts, make connections to other areas of learning and build mathematical comprehension. They are especially relevant for the youngest learners, who are accomplished visual learners even as pre-readers.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
“Math Skills are Life Skills!” That’s the motto of the kids in the Main Street Kids’ Club a musical based on six MathStart stories.
A good grounding in math from an early age is critical and visual learning strategies can play an important role. Children who are comfortable with mathematical concepts and understand that they use math all the time are more likely to do well in school and in everything else, too. It is a formula for success!
Stuart J. Murphy is a Boston-based visual learning specialist, author and consultant. He is the author of the award-winning MathStart series (HarperCollins), which includes a total of 63 children’s books that present mathematical concepts in the context of stories for Pre-K through Grade 4. (Over 10 million copies sold.) He is also the author of Stuart J. Murphy’s I SEE I LEARN (Charlesbridge), a 16-book series of storybooks for children in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 that focus on social, emotional, health and safety, and cognitive skills. Most of all, Stuart is an advocate of helping our children develop their visual learning skills so that they become more successful students.Add a Comment
I am excited to see my kindergarten class today and introduce them to a woman I truly admire: Jane Goodall. I will read aloud the wonderful picture book Me, Jane by Patrick McDonnell, but first I want to tell them a bit about Jane's life. I will share this video from the Jane Goodall Institute to introduce students to her life work:
Jane Goodall: Showing Us the Way to a Better World from the Jane Goodall Institute on Vimeo.
We will then read aloud Me, Jane by Patrick McDonnell and talk about how you can see her interest in animals when she was a young child.
Me, JaneLittle Jane carries her stuffed chimpanzee Jubilee around with her everywhere - reading stories, exploring outside, climbing trees.
by Patrick McDonnell
Little, Brown, 2011
2012 Caldecott Honor Award
your local library
Greetings, guys and fans of language and creativity everywhere. A lot of people say that boys don't like to read; this blog is dedicated to proving them wrong. A lot of people also say that boys have no love of language, no creativity and no ability to express themselves in words. Well, I don't believe that either. Give a boy a blank space and some letters and, in a very short time, he will come up with something truly unique.
And now I have proof--no, I have more than proof--of what I say. I have photographic evidence
The Older Readers' Prize went to Claire McFall, for Ferryman.
Which I know absolutely nothing about, but judging by the title, I'm going to take a stab in the dark and just assume that it's got something to do with THE AFTERLIFE.
Anyway, click on through for the other category winners!Add a Comment
A 6th grade girl entered the library with a look of trepidation. She needed a book for her independent reading time but was convinced there was nothing for her in our collection. As we talked she expressed the frustration of searching for books in the Young Adult collection of the local public library. She told me how nothing in that collection was right for her. Fortunately the Prairie Creek Intermediate School library is built around the needs and interests of the 800+ 5th and 6th grade students who attend our school. Of course we have YA titles on the shelves but we also have a large collection of materials intended especially for this unique audience.
Drawing distinctions between YA and middle grade literature is an important topic for librarians serving the upper range of the ALSC scope of attention (birth to age 14). In a two part posting we’ll dig into the attributes of middle grade literature, the needs of these readers, and how to best serve them as a distinct group between early childhood and young adult. There has been much in the news about the tendency of mass media and the general public to refer to all children’s literature as Young Adult. A few background readings for our discussion:
Jeanne Birdsall writes in the Horn Book about her own youth reading habits in Middle Grade Saved My Life. She also comments on the trends in publishing for this age:
The immense success of young adult books, written for teens and known to everyone as YA, has been overshadowing the quieter middle grade category and, in some cases, threatening to subsume it.
Anne Ursu has been writing about the capacities of middle graders to handle serious stories told exclusively for them (sometimes more quietly). She has described this age as often being overlooked and under appreciated by the general public, reviewers, and sometimes their own parents. How are children’s librarians doing in this regard?
I had the opportunity to share 5 questions with Anne on the IRA blog. Anne will be joining me for part 2 of this post, to be published in April. What questions do you have for Anne about writing for the middle grade audience? How do you provide great service and resources to middle grade patrons? What are the major barriers to serving middle graders in your library? How can we get more people to see middle grade this year? I look forward to hearing from you.
Speaking of great middle grade books – take a moment to download the Tween Recommended Reads list from the ALSC School Age Programs and Services Committee.Add a Comment
PLA 2014 attendees: join youth librarians and ALSC members for an informal happy hour and networking event on Wednesday, March 12, 6-8pm at Scotty’s Brewhouse on Virginia Avenue. This is a great opportunity to talk youth services, make new connections, and enjoy the company of colleagues. Participate in a giveaway for an ALSC gift bag! Cash bar, food will be available for purchase.
ALSC Networking and Happy Hour @ PLA 2014 Conference
Wednesday, March 12 @ 6-8pm
1 Virginia Ave., Indianapolis, IN
Get directions from the Indiana Convention Center
While I haven't been writing here, my columns at Kirkus have continued.
Here's a list:
Phew. Looking that over, I guess I did slightly more in February than I was giving myself credit for.Add a Comment
The prize for Best Story went to Katherine Rundell's Rooftoppers, and the prize for Best Book with Facts (I find that category name both bizarre and awesome) went to Tony Robinson's Weird World of Wonders: World War II.
Click on through for more info as well as for a list of the other shortlisted titles.Add a Comment
Hands-on Activities & Experiments. Perfect for a snow day or any day! http://buff.ly/1kVFppT Outer Space: Crafty Inventions by Gerry Bailey
from Google+ RSS http://ift.tt/1hLgKEe
With all the snow and cold weather, it is nice to dream of going somewhere warm. Penguin on Vacation provides just that escape. Penguin is tired of all the regular winter activities and wants to go someplace tropical. He heads north and finally makes it to the beach. At first the beach isn’t quite what he expected. But with the help of a friendly crab, he discovers just how much fun the beach can be. Unfortunately, his vacation must come to an end but on his way home he discovers that crab is a stowaway on his raft. They have a delightful time, and penguins shows him all the fun that can be had in the snow. Eventually, crab’s vacation comes to an end. But crab leaves behind a shell as a reminder of the beach and a promise to return. This is another sweet story about friendship.
Posted by: Liz
I have been blessed with the ability to make bad puns, and when you have such a gift, it should be shared. My bad Greek god and goddess puns have proved popular, and so today I offer bad Norse god and goddess puns. This is quite challenging, much harder than with the Greeks, but I've bravely done my best, although I realize, after having posted this, that I don't actually have any good ones for any of the goddesses. Sorry.
Scroll over the blanks to see the answers...
There's the obvious:
Which Norse god had less hair than you? Baldur.
Which Norse god shows up on a crying baby's face? Tyr.
And of course one can do unraveling puns with Frey and Freya.
But here are the two that I'm actually rather pleased with:
Why is the Norse god of thunder the best hitchhiker of all? Because nothing sticks out like a Thor thumb.
Which Norse god is the most relaxed? Loki (Low Key).
I do not, however, think I will ever get a good, quality, pun for Odin.
It's day six of our month-long writing party!Add a Comment
The Eye of Minds James Dashner
Michael’s parents are often traveling and like most serious gamers, he spends most of his time in his coffin-- the next step in virtual reality equipment that affects all the senses very realistically. All of Michael’s friends and hang-outs are in the VirtNet. He can usually afford what he wants, but he’s good enough he can also just look at the code that makes up his world and hack his way in.
But something weird’s going on -- a gamer named Kaine has driven gamers to suicide-- cutting out the device that acts as the shield between reality and virtual reality-- so when they die in the VirtNet, they die in the real world, too.
The police are after him, but they need the help of Michael and his friends. They go on a terrifying adventure to stop someone who is always a step or two ahead--someone who knows the code better than they do, better than anyone.
And, what they find is beyond what anyone expects.
It’s a fun action sci/fi thriller where the VirtNet setting allows for some very fun settings and landscapes that Michael and his friends have to work or hack their way through. Of course, it all leads up to a big twist reveal ending, setting up the second book perfectly. Now you just have to wait for the second book.
I probably won’t pick it up-- I enjoyed the book, but it’s not really my thing, so I’m not the right reader for it. (Although I liked it enough that I will probably make one of the teens at work tell me what happens, like I did with the Lockdown series.)
Book Provided by... my local library
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by Anca Sandu
Peachtree Publishers* March 1, 2014
Age 4 – 8 32 pages
“When Churchill the pig loses his precious tail, his friends help him hunt for a new one. But trying on new tails is so much fun that soon Churchill has forgotten his friends completely. Can Churchill solve the mystery of his missing tail? But more importantly, can he learn to put friendships first?”
“Churchill valued many things in life: smelling beautiful flowers, painting self-portraits, playing classical music, and reading good books.”
Churchill is a proud pig. Nothing unusual about that, as he is a pig and pigs are a proud animal. He loves spending time with his friends Billy and Gruff. Of all the things Churchill loved to do, the things he possessed, or the friends he had, there was one most important thing to Churchill: his small, curly, tail. That tail made Churchill feel great. Then one morning, Churchill woke up to find his precious tail was gone. He searched everywhere but came up empty. Churchill was miserable without his tail. Billy and Gruff came up with a bright idea. They called Zebra, who arrived with a spare tail for Churchill.
Churchill did not think the zebra tail felt right ad decided to try other tails. Churchill’s tail made him feel proud. He lost the feeling when he lost his tail. Maybe Peacock would have a tail that would make him proud once more. The large beautiful peacock tail made Churchill feel beautiful. He decided to try on other tails.
He tried Fish’s tail and could swim. Each tail, from Mouse’s tiny tail to Elephant’s big tail allowed Churchill to do something he could not do with his own tail. Soon, Churchill was so busy trying on tails he forgot about his friends. He just did not have time for them anymore.
I love the play on words in the title, Churchill’s Tale of Tails. Churchill is a happy pig when he had his tail. He did all sorts of things and had time for tea with his friends. When he wakes up missing his tail, he is frantic. Churchill’s good friends try to help him but Churchill becomes so carried away trying on tails he forgets all about his friends and the other things he loved to do. Churchill goes from being a proud pig to a selfish, self-centered pig. It is easy to fall into such a pattern, especially when trying out something new or trying to fix something important, like your missing tail. But Churchill may lose his friends if he does not wake up.
I love the illustrations and all the little details Ms. Sandu included. Churchill wearing a peacock tail is great. All those feathers nearly smother Churchill. Churchill felt strong and brave wearing the tiger tail. One of the best scenes is Churchill behind a dressing divider, with dozens of different tails to try on. How many tails can you recognize? A little fun for kids to do. Ms. Sandu used Adobe’s Illustrator software and added hand-drawn textures and shading. This works well, giving the illustrations a soft, pastel look.
In the end, it is best for Churchill to wear his own tail, if only he can find it. Maybe then, he will remember he has friends and spend time with them. When Churchill finds his tail, he learns a valuable lesson and makes a new friend. He also discovers that his important, proud tail does not mean the same to others. The animal that found Churchill’s tail but, not knowing what it was, he came up with several things it could, then decided against them. In the end, the animal decides Churchill’s tail is useless.
I think young kids will enjoy Churchill’s Tale of Tails. The various tails will keep them entertained as Churchill tries to find the right fit. Kids will love the way Churchill acts with each new tail. The story stresses the importance of friendship and self-identity. Churchill finally gets his tail back, remembers his old friends, and the other things he enjoyed. He needs to ask his friends to forgive him for his selfish behavior. I like that Churchill takes his new collection of tails and uses them to help his new friend. Turns out, tails can be something other than a tail.
Learn more about Churchill’s Tale of Tails HERE!
Also available at Waterstones
*Churchill’s Tale of Tails was originally published in Great Britain in 2012 by Jonathan Cape, an imprint of Random House Children’s Publisher, UK.
CHURCHILL’S TALE OF TAILS. Text and Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Anca Sandu. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.
PEACHTREE BOOK BLOG TOUR
Churchill’s Tale of Tails
Check out all the participants!
Sally’s Bookshelf www.sallysbookshelf.blogspot.com
It’s About Time http://itsabouttimemamaw.blogspot.com/
Reading to Know. www.readingtoknow.com
A Word’s Worth. www.awordsworth.blogspot.com
Tolivers to Texas www.ToliversToTexas.com
Kid Lit Reviews. www.kid-lit-reviews.com
Geo Librarian http://geolibrarian.blogspot.com/
I'm currently wading through a month of backlogged RSS feeds.
Here are a few links that have caught my eye (so far):
More later!Add a Comment
ARE THE HUNGRIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!!!!
Sorry. But if it’s going to be caught in my head all day then I may as well share the love.
What has inspired today’s bout of cannibalism? A conversation at work, as it happens. Is it just me, or is there a whole lot more people eating in books for youth these days? Time was you could go through the stacks and not find a single title that referred to the devouring of human flesh without it having to do with animals, vampires, or zombies. These days it feels like you can’t get away from it.
Here then is a list that I can’t imagine you’ll have much use for. Still, in case you’re looking to do some interesting curricular tie-ins, consider the following examples of that strangest of diets:
The Secret of Ferrell Savage by J. Duddy Gill
This was my first clue that 2014 was shaping up to be more interesting than expected. First off, it wins points for its cover. As for the plot, it concerns a boy who has a crush on a girl. Nothing noteworthy there, until you discover that the boy’s ancestor sort of went off and ate the ancestor of said girl. Now he’s afraid someone will discover the family secret.
The Savages by Matt Whyman
This one isn’t quite sure what to call itself. On the one hand it seems to have a middle grade cover. On the other, it has a YA sensibility. Ultimately this one really isn’t for kids as much as it is teens. Like a contemporary Addams Family except that this follows a clan with a taste for people. Near as I can figure, this is the book to hand to the kid who really dug The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs. Hand it over then back away slowly . . .
Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale
A little nonfiction never hurt anybody. And this book, in spite of what we know about the story, is much more than just a bit of gnawing on bones. I still consider this the #1 best unknown series for kids out there. Read this then wait in anticipation with me for the next installment involving WWI!
The Lunatic’s Curse by F.E. Higgins
Like Nathan Hale’s book, this one came out a while ago. Though I was a big fan of the other books in this series, this is not Higgins’ best. The cannibalistic turn throws it over from mere penny dreadful to merely dreadful. Still, there are glimpses of brilliance, and I can honestly say that four years after I read it, I can remember parts of it vividly.
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
This one’s YA so I didn’t read it myself, but when I was discussing this topic with some co-workers, mention was made of this book. The cannibalism appears to only serve as a threat, but I’m including it because as threats go it’s a pretty convincing one.
Anything I’ve forgotten? I feel like there may even be yet another 2014 title that touches on this subject area
Finally, should the title of this blog post be driving you slightly insane, you can exchange one cannibalistic ballad for another, if you simply listen to that old (and really not very p.c. but darn tongue-in-cheek) Flanders & Swann song The Reluctant Cannibal.Display Comments Add a Comment
The Kidlit Celebrates Women's History Month blog is back again this year with many wonderful guest bloggers and reviews of books featuring women who made a difference. Be sure to check out today's post written by Louise and Mary Ann Scheuer from the Great Kid Books blog. Mary Ann and Louise have written a joint review of Clara and Davie by Patricia Polacco, and they include manyAdd a Comment