What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from all 1562 Blogs)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Tag

In the past 7 days

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 283 - 11.17.16


#wearethearctic #keepitintheground #saveourseaice

0 Comments on Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 283 - 11.17.16 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
2. People who like Heroes Beneath the Waves

https://www.facebook.com/groups/768105816626244/

0 Comments on People who like Heroes Beneath the Waves as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
3. ‘The Sea’ by Nils Knoblich and Florian Maubach

Music video "The Sea" by German band Coma.

The post ‘The Sea’ by Nils Knoblich and Florian Maubach appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on ‘The Sea’ by Nils Knoblich and Florian Maubach as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
4. Hipy Papy Bthuthdy

Facebook just told me that it's Winnie-the-Pooh's 90th birthday today.  It's not.  The book, Winnie-the-Pooh, was 90 years old in October.  (Wikipedia gives the date of Milne's first children's story about The Bear of Little Brain as 1924.  History!  It's a puzzle.) The Queen (Elizabeth II) turned 90 in April.  Coincidence?  Hmmmm.

Still, since the Winnie-the-Pooh books count in my Top Five All Time Favorite Books Written for Young People, I jump at a chance to praise them again.

Click here, for an interview with the author of a new Winnie-the-Pooh picture book, Winnie-the-Pooh and the Royal Birthday by Jane Riordan.  I am grateful that the illustrator, Mark Burgess, tried hard to mimic Ernest H. Shepard's iconic artwork - and not the cutesy cartoons of the Disney studio.  (This is a Disney book.)

I love the book, Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick.  So, here's another chance to plug THAT book. 

90 years of Winnie and Piglet and Owl and Rabbit (and Eeyore who is the embodiment of a parenthetical remark) - it's hard for me to imagine an English-speaking world without them!

0 Comments on Hipy Papy Bthuthdy as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
5. 31 Days, 31 Lists: 2016 Great Board Books

31days31listsWe kick off our 31 Days, 31 Lists at the lowest age level imaginable.  Finding quality board books for babies and toddlers is a challenge.  It’s not enough to simply have thick pages.  You need to be able to engage the interest and attention of someone who is still developing their visual and auditory processing skills.

That said, there is a belief amongst some people that board books are for babies alone.  Not so.  As the mother of a very active 2-year-old I can attest that one is prone to sighs of relief when he is in a room alone with a board book as opposed to a picture book with oh-so-tearable pages.

On this list today I am including a range of board book ages, as well as books that fall under the board book banner because they are big and thick and have pop-up elements or tabs, but are not a standard board book size.

Think I missed something brilliant that came out this year? If it’s an adaptation from a longer picture book you’ll find that list here tomorrow.  Otherwise, leave me a comment.  I loved these, but I am not a committee.


 

2016 Board Books: For Babies

Blue and Other Colors with Henri Matisse

blueothercolors

When I was a kid I had this pack of playing cards with famous pieces of art on each one.  That was pretty cool.  These days even the babies are getting colorful books from the masters.  Some of these books don’t make a lick of sense, but this one does.  Matisse’s bold blocks of color are just right for developing brains.  A book that goes beyond its concept.

Hat On, Hat Off by Theo Heras, ill. Renne Benoit

hatonhatoff

Babies like babies.  And after encountering this adorable one, you’ll like them too.

Lions Roar (and others in the series) by Rebecca Glaser

lions-roar

I have no idea if this Amicus series has a name.  All I know is that the books (which in 2016 included Monkeys Swing, Elephants Spray, Giraffes Stretch, and more) are a HUGE hit in my home.  Animal sounds + full color photographs of those animals is a winning combination.

Noisy Baby Animals by Patricia Hegarty

noisybabyanimals

What is the sound of a thousand librarians cursing my name en masse?  Ah yes.  There it is.  I know it well.  This book probably won’t be beloved to those with an MLIS degree when it’s IN the library (bit on the noisy side, it is) but I am all for books that cheat.  Hey, man.  If it takes crazy sounds to get a baby to love books, I say go for it.  And you have to admit that Tiger Tales does it well.

Peek-a-boo by Ruth Musgrave

peek-a-boo-2-618ifegy0cl

When in doubt, go with the photographs.

Stanley’s Colors by William Bee

stanleyscolors

There were a couple Stanley board books released this year, but of those titles this was my favorite.  Possibly because it also involved vehicles.  A twofer!

The Wheels on the Bus by Yu-Hsuan Huang

wheelsonthebus

Not many board books out this year allowed you to sing.  This is one of the few, and while it is far too short for a truly satisfying read, it’s interactive, bouncy, and colorful.  Sort of like a Bizzy Bear book with a song.

One, Two, Three Mother Goose by Iona Opie, ill. Rosemary Wells

onetwothree

If it is important to you to introduce your children to nursery rhymes as soon as humanly possible, Wells is the way to go.  Some folks may opt to wait on this until their children are toddlers, but either way this is an essential part of any kid’s library.


 

2016 Board Books: For Toddlers

Baby Loves: Aerospace Engineering!/Quarks! by Ruth Spiro, ill. Irene Chan

babylovesaerospace

babylovesquarksOkay now.  Before you start with the eye rolling, hear me out.  Have you ever actually read these books?  I know they look like a science-y version of Cozy Classics or other adult concepts siphoned down to board book formats.  Go into them, though, and they’re clever.  Just big concepts made palatable.  The titles may have a shock effect, but the contents are worth considering.  Plus we don’t have much in the way of science-related board books AT ALL these days.

Box by Min Flyte, ill. Rosalind Beardshaw

box

I gave a copy of this to my child’s daycare and they were quick to tell me that it was the hit of the room.  It’s the size of a regular picture book but the contents and tabs make it quite certainly toddler fare.

Clive and His Babies by Jessica Spanyol

clivebabies

Awwww, yeah!  Clive is my new favorite stereotype-busting preschooler.  You play with those babies, Clive!  Go, man, go!

Crocopotamus by Mary Murphy

crocopotamus

Did they ever come up with a name for these books?  Which is to say, the kind where you can flip the front and the back to come up with different combinations?  Whatever the case, this one took a little getting used to, but once the kids grasped the concept they really ran with it!

Give and Take by Lucie Felix

givetake

The most ambitious board book on this list.  I have little doubt that its pieces will disappear almost instantly upon a first read, but if you want to present someone with a board book that wows and impresses them, this is the one you pick.

I Dare You! by Nicole Maubert

idareyouThis turned out to be an EXCELLENT preschooler readaloud around Halloween.  I think it truly won me over when I had to put my hand in a crazy creature’s mouth.  Still get shudders just thinking about it.

Little Chickies / Los Pollitos by Susie Jaramillo

 littlechickiesA bilingual, interactive, accordion board book?!?  That’s like striking gold!  This Spanish/English combo pack is extraordinarily rare, and then to find that it’s hugely engaging to kids one-on-one or in groups just tips it over the top.

Look, Look Again by Agnese Baruzzi

looklookagain

Plays with perceptions, assumptions, and predictions.  Awfully pertinent stuff in 2016, wouldn’t you say?  You can never teach it too early.

Love Is a Truck by Amy Novesky, ill. Sara Gillingham

lovetruck

Love IS a truck!  At least it is to my son, and this book is right on the money.  There’s a companion title called Love Is a Tutu, but I’m Team Truck.  It’s great to see Sara Gillingham bringing out a new book or two too.

Maisy’s Moon Landing by Lucy Cousins

maisymoon

One of those picture/board book combos.  Did I say science was lacking in the board book category?  Maisy has always been on hand to battle that problem.  This is one of the simplest moon landing stories I’ve ever seen, but I kind of adore it.  Nothing wrong with a little Maisy when the book’s as well-constructed as this.

Music Is by Brandon Stosuy, ill. Amy Martin

musicis

One of the trendier board books out there (check out those headphones if you don’t believe me) but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great.

My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith, ill. Julie Flett

myheartflls

I don’t normally go in for the feel good board books out there, but this one’s special.  Smith and Flett have gotten it right.

Once Upon a World: Cinderella by Chloe Perkins, ill. Sandra Equihua

cinderella

There are a couple titles in this series so far.  Of them, this is probably the most successful.  I would have loved a bilingual or Spanish version as well.  Perhaps something for the publisher to think about in the future, eh?

Peekaboo Pals: Opposites by Gareth Lucas

peekabooopposites

Again, there were a couple books released in the “Peekaboo Pals” series this year.  Of them, this was the strongest.  It came up with a couple opposite examples that I haven’t seen done to death before.  No mean feat.

Shapes by John J. Reiss

shapes

I believe that this is a reprint, but I think it belongs here.  Check out those vibrant hues!  Now good luck getting to sleep tonight.

Tinyville Town: I’m a Firefighter / I’m a Veterinarian by Brian Biggs

Print

tinyvillevet

These are fabulous!  They go through each occupation’s day from sunrise to sunset.  Though, if I’m going to be honest here, I’m pretty much just biding my time until the next in the series comes out: Librarian.

To the Rescue by Kate Riggs, ill. Nate Williams

totherescue

Really visually striking.  Not just for those kids already into firetrucks ,that’s for sure.

We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp, ill. Julie Flett

wesanghome

Flett’s having a good year!  And like My Heart Fills With Happiness, this book features a cast of First Nations children.


 

Interested in the other upcoming lists of this month?  Here’s the schedule so that you can keep checking back:

December 2 – Board Book Adaptations

December 3 – Nursery Rhymes

December 4 – Picture Book Readalouds

December 5 – Rhyming Picture Books

December 6 – Alphabet Books

December 7 – Funny Picture Books

December 8 – Calde-Nots

December 9 – Picture Book Reprints

December 10 – Math Picture Books

December 11 – Bilingual Books

December 12 – International Imports

December 13 – Books with a Message

December 14 – Fabulous Photography

December 15 – Fairy Tales / Folktales

December 16 – Oddest Books of the Year

December 17 – Older Picture Books

December 18 – Easy Books

December 19 – Early Chapter Books

December 20 – Graphic Novels

December 21 – Poetry

December 22 – Fictionalized Nonfiction

December 23 – American History

December 24 – Science & Nature Books

December 25 – Transcendent Holiday Titles

December 26 – Unique Biographies

December 27 – Nonfiction Picture Books

December 28 – Nonfiction Chapter Books

December 29 – Novel Reprints

December 30 – Novels

December 31 – Picture Books

Share

7 Comments on 31 Days, 31 Lists: 2016 Great Board Books, last added: 12/2/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
6. Poetry Quotes +

I am a sucker for great quotes about the power of poetry! 

In fact, I have compiled tons of them and am always looking for more. I've made a whole slideshow of quotes that I often use before a presentation because I love combining powerful quotes with evocative images. And if I were a tattoo-ing kind of gal, I think I would put one on my body! The problem is: which one? There are so many I love! The next best thing? Put them on Pinterest! So, if you like poetry quotes like I do, you'll find all of my favorites here at Pinterest. And if you have more to share with me that you don't find there, please do! Meanwhile, I'll also post a few below to whet your appetite and push you to Pinterest! Enjoy!









Meanwhile, I am also happy to report that the amazing, incredible, and awesome Lee Bennett Hopkins has been elected to the Florida Artists' Hall of Fame! So lovely to see him recognized in this way in his own home state. Janet (Wong) and I offered a special tribute to him here at the NCTE conference in Atlanta:


Now head on over to Friendly Fairy Tales for this week's Poetry Friday celebration hosted by Brenda. See you there!


0 Comments on Poetry Quotes + as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
7. Mikros Image On Board For ‘Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero’

It will be the first animated feature produced by Georgia's Fun Academy Motion Pictures.

The post Mikros Image On Board For ‘Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on Mikros Image On Board For ‘Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero’ as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
8.

Continuing to work on Cloud series....

Will teach Calligraphy again, and a newer class, Acrylic Painting.
Wouldn't teach Watercolor again 'till the Spring or Summer.

0 Comments on as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
9. The Oral History of ‘Space Jam’: Part 3 – Reflections on A Beloved Film

In the final part of Cartoon Brew’s oral history of "Space Jam," the crew reflects on long hours and the legacy of the film.

The post The Oral History of ‘Space Jam’: Part 3 – Reflections on A Beloved Film appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on The Oral History of ‘Space Jam’: Part 3 – Reflections on A Beloved Film as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
10. The way we stroll...

Some of us are supposed to be getting ready for a pop-up art sale next week
but we keep getting lost the woods!

The good news: new art flashcard sets are coming!
 I'll keep you posted.

Here's to finding light and joy in the midst of the wild & woolly this week.




0 Comments on The way we stroll... as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
11. Something’s Coming . . . I Don’t Know What It Is But It Is Gonna Be Great!

The title of this post isn’t entirely accurate.  I know perfectly well what’s coming.  Tomorrow starts off a magnificent run of Best Books lists.  Yes, starting December 1st I will begin running the 31 Days, 31 Lists streak.  I even have a catchy visual to go with it!  Check it out:

31days31lists

You’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the coming month.

The premise behind all this is simple.  For each day in December I will run a “Best Of” list of some sort.  The reason for this is that I’ve read so many books this year that it seems a shame that I only review roughly one a month.  This will be a way of celebrating everything I’ve failed to properly praise.  Also, some lists are more useful to folks than others, so why not provide a variety?  Here’s the schedule:

December 1 – Board Books

December 2 – Board Book Adaptations

December 3 – Nursery Rhymes

December 4 – Picture Book Readalouds

December 5 – Rhyming Picture Books

December 6 – Alphabet Books

December 7 – Funny Picture Books

December 8 – Calde-Nots

December 9 – Picture Book Reprints

December 10 – Math Picture Books

December 11 – Bilingual Books

December 12 – International Imports

December 13 – Books with a Message

December 14 – Fabulous Photography

December 15 – Fairy Tales / Folktales

December 16 – Oddest Books of the Year

December 17 – Older Picture Books

December 18 – Easy Books

December 19 – Early Chapter Books

December 20 – Graphic Novels

December 21 – Poetry

December 22 – Fictionalized Nonfiction

December 23 – American History

December 24 – Science & Nature Books

December 25 – Transcendent Holiday Titles

December 26 – Unique Biographies

December 27 – Nonfiction Picture Books

December 28 – Nonfiction Chapter Books

December 29 – Novel Reprints

December 30 – Novels

December 31 – Picture Books

Now the caveat.  I say I’ve read a lot of books for kids this year.  This is not an untrue statement.  However, I am no longer on NYPL’s 100 Books committee and I no longer have travel time to devote to books.  That means that my knowledge of longer nonfiction and novels is very limited.  I will strive to make it clear that those lists are limited only to what I have seen.  And, of course, being only one person I can only vouch for what comes my way.  There are definitely going to be gaps, but I refuse to include any book I haven’t read personally.

So get ready for an interesting test.  How will it go?  Will I be able to keep the pace?  Will be choices be slapdash crazy?

Stay tuned . . .

Share

2 Comments on Something’s Coming . . . I Don’t Know What It Is But It Is Gonna Be Great!, last added: 11/30/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
12. Stealing Time

I steal some time to write a poem
Though other chores are waiting,
For when I have a moment free
There is no hesitating.

I grab my pencil and my pad
And hope ideas are flowing.
Of course, at times, I have no clue
Just where they’ll end up going.

The papers waiting to be read,
What I need from the store,
The emails, dishes, floors to clean
Will have to wait some more.

‘Cause once my poem is written,
Other chores I will attack.
I can take the time I’ve stolen
And begin to pay it back.

0 Comments on Stealing Time as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
13. Picture Book Dos and Don'ts

Here are 20 tips about writing picture books from Mem Fox.  

http://memfox.com/for-writers-hints/for-writers-20-dos-and-20-donts/

0 Comments on Picture Book Dos and Don'ts as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. Fusenews: Some remedies are worse than the disease itself

Happy day after the day after Thanksgiving.  Today I’m going to start you off on serious news story and that will pretty much set the tone for the day.


 

hatespeechI live in Evanston, IL.  It’s home to Northwestern University and like a lot of college towns it’s a pretty liberal place.  We sit just north of Chicago.  We’re are ethnically and economically diverse.  We like to think we live apart from the rest of the world in a little bubble.  We don’t and it behooves us to remember that.  Unfortunately, we can be reminded in rather horrible ways sometimes.  Last Monday evening one of my librarians discovered that a number of books on Muslim topics had been defaced with hate speech, swastikas, and offensive comments.  Seven were specific to Islam.  One of them was Glenn Beck’s It Is About Islam.  The community responded swiftly and wonderfully, but it’s become a very big story.  I’m replacing the books now.


 

It’s almost here!  New York Public Library’s list of 100 children’s books is about to be officially released.  Recently renamed 100 Best Books for Kids (an unfortunate moniker but NYPL is very keen on the word “Best” these days) it has an interesting selection.  Odd choices too, like the fact that some of the nonfiction picture books in with the picture books section and some are in the nonfiction section.  Some titles I haven’t heard of too, so I’m super excited to look into those.  I did that list for something around 5-6 years, so my love for it is strong.  Additionally, there’s a new list of 50 YA books on there as well.  Win-win!


 

The Term “Graphic Novel” Has Had a Good Run. We Don’t Need It Anymore.  I have no horse in this race. Glen fails to mention libraries in the piece, which I don’t think is his fault.  He’s just ill-informed.  Getting comics into the mainstream meant getting libraries on board, and the term “graphic novel” was very useful when it came to justifying such a book on our shelves.  We still use it.  Maybe it’s outdated.  I dunno.  I could go any which way.  Still, until comics are used regularly in schools without massive quantities of eyebrow raising, I’ll not believe that comics have “arrived” quite yet.


 

The Undies are here!  The Undies are here!  If you haven’t voted over at 100 Scope Notes for the best case cover of a picture book in 2016, now is the time.


 

691. That’s how many children’s authors and illustrators signed The Brown Bookshelf’s Declaration in Support of Children.  In it, it states, “we will create stories that offer authentic and recognizable reflections of themselves, as well as relatable insight into experiences which on the surface appear markedly different.”  On the librarian side of the equation, bloggers like Roxanne Feldmann have published things like A Commitment to Social Justices and Compassion.  In the comment section Bob Kanegis posted the 1955 dedication written by the United Nations Women’s Guild in their book Ride With the Sun: An Anthology of Folk Tales and Stories from the United Nations.  It read:

The Children’s Charter
“There shall be peace on earth; but not until
Each child shall daily eat his fill;
Go warmly clad against the winter wind
And learn his lessons with a tranquil mind.
And thus released from hunger, fear, and need
Regardless of his color, race or creed,
Look upwards, smiling to the skies, His faith in man reflected in his eyes.”


 

badlittleRelated.  A not-really-a-children’s-book children’s book is coming out from Abrams called Bad Little Children’s Books by Arthur C. Gackley.  You’ve seen this kind of thing online before.  They take Little Golden Book styled illustrations and covers and then put some snarky comment with them.  This just collects a whole bunch of them.  No doubt some of you will receive it this holiday seasons from relatives who think, “You like children’s books therefore you will find this hilarious.”  And it wouldn’t even be worth mentioning except for one cover in there that sort of moves it from mildly amusing to not amusing at all.  One of the parody covers is called Happy Burkaday, Timmy. Accompanying it is a picture of a little girl in a burka holding a bomb.  So.  That.  Now you know.  Thanks to Sharon Levin for the info.


 

Let us turn our eyes to happier news.  When the Wichita, Kansas chapter of Black Lives Matter and the Wichita Police Department held a mutual cookout, this captured the attention of the publisher Tanglewood.  So moved, they decided to partner with libraries in some fashion.  They donated 250 copies of The Kissing Hand to libraries that agreed to host an event in a community where gun violence had occurred.  Then library partners were encouraged to work with a local chapter of Black Lives Matter (or similar organization) and the local law enforcement so both groups would have an equal part in delivering the donated books into the community.  “Library partners were encouraged to work with a local chapter of Black Lives Matter (or similar organization) and the local law enforcement so both groups would have an equal part in delivering the donated books into the community.”  Curious?  More information here.


 

Vicky Smith recently alerted us to an interesting topic.  While at the Maine Library Association conference she attended a workshop about the, “critlib movement in Maine. If you’re not familiar with critlib, it’s an attempt to marry critical race theory with librarianship in a pretty fascinating way. It encourages librarians to examine the ways the discipline privileges the dominant culture – for instance, Library of Congress cataloging places queer topics, consensual kink, and child sexual predation in the same conceptual bucket.”  FYI.


 

Daily Image:

I couldn’t say it better than Cameron Suey did.  “Damn, Aesop is subtweeting America, hard.”

hawkpigeons

Share

2 Comments on Fusenews: Some remedies are worse than the disease itself, last added: 11/28/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
15. दो पंक्तियाँ

तेरा मेरा साथ, बस एक पल का था,
इश्क़ में विश्वास, बस एक पल का था || 


जब हार के एहसास से तूने, मैदान छोड़ा था,
दो पल बाद दुश्मन ने, अपना हौसला तोड़ा था


जिस कब्र में देख, मेरा दर था,
उससे दो कदम मे, तेरा घर था || 



जो कल तक खुद को ग़रीब बोलते थे,
नोटबंदी में अब दर्द की दुहाई दे रहे है ||



बोलने को बहुत लोग आगे आए,
करने को वो आज भी पीछे रहे ||



फ़ैसला करने का हक़, तुझको है,
संग ना चलने का हक़, मुझको है ||



रास्तों को गुनगुनातें, जब देखा मैने,
मंज़िल से दूरी का भय, फेंका मैने ||  



रास्तों को गुनगुनातें, जब देखा मैने,
मंज़िल से दूरी का भय, फेंका मैने ||


  
कल जो गले लगाने को आए,
आज नज़रे मिलाने को कतराए  || 

0 Comments on दो पंक्तियाँ as of 11/18/2016 1:18:00 PM
Add a Comment
16. Beware of Exploding (Numbers of) Nutcrackers

nutcracker-1It sort of feels like someone took a starting pistol and called out to the universe, “Nutcracker picture books!  On your mark . . . get set . . . . GO!”  And off they went!

2016, for whatever reason, has turned out to be a VERY Nutcracker heavy year.  If you are unaware or only vaguely familiar with what The Nutcracker is, I will sum up.  In 1816 Prussian Romantic author E.T.A. Hoffman wrote an odd little children’s story called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.  It was this wild bit of imagining about a girl who receives a nutcracker from her uncle and the fantastical story that ensues.  There’s even a story within a story, which concerns the tale of the Princess Pirlipat and the nut she had to eat to break a spell.  It’s good and trippy.  There was even a version of it illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

In time this story was adapted by Alexander Dumas into merely The Nutcracker.  And from that tale we get the two-act balled choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Tchaikovsky.

nutcrackerballetFor a long time the ballet was done exactly the same way every year.  Then people started to get creative.  In 1983, Maurice Sendak (who had four years before adapted Where the Wild Things Are to the stage) designed the set for the Pacific Northwestern Ballet’s production of Nutcracker.  It was a massive hit partly, as Maria Popova puts it, because it embraced, “Hoffmann’s essential weirdness”.  Looking at the art Sendak did for the accompanying book, one really wonders why he never illustrated Struwwelpeter at any point in his career.  But I digress.

The Sendak production ran with the Pacific Northwestern Ballet until 2014 when it finally ended its run.  Weep not, little children, if you feel you might have missed a chance to see a true children’s book master’s hand on a Nutcracker production.  I come with tidings of great joy.  Here in Chicago the Joffrey Ballet is presenting from December 10th-30th a production of The Nutcracker choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, with puppets by Basil Twist and costumes and sets by Julian Crouch and our very own Brian Selznick.  Marvelous, no?  The show will this time be set during Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair.  Just bounce that thought around your noggin for a while.

nutcrackercomesOn the book side of things, stories about the Nutcracker are abundant.  Last year we saw a couple come out, as well as a nice behind-the-scenes story by Chris Barton called The Nutcracker Comes to America.  That may well be the only nonfiction title related to The Nutcracker you’ll find on your shelves, by the way.

This year Nutcrackers have multiplied like so many Mouse King heads.  I have found six for starters.  Yet for all that they’re now common, writing this book is an incredibly difficult affair.  The struggle each one of these books is figuring out how to tell a story that is both familiar to those kids who are either in the ballet or have seen it, and also has some relation to the original source material.  To put it plainly, there have been mixed results.

The Nutcracker by Grace Maccarone, ill. Celia Chauffrey

nutcracker5

This is one of those books that certainly feels as though it was created to appeal primarily to those kids that get to act in a production of The Nutcracker as party guests and mice.  The entire trip to the Land of Sweets is kept incredibly short.  All told it’s a pretty rote retelling of the ballet specifically.  Perfectly decent but not a top pick.

The Nutcracker by the New York City Ballet, ill. Valeria Docampo

nutcracker4

Apparently an entire ballet company is capable of writing a book together.  Here the fact that the show IS a ballet is never forgotten (the cover makes that much clear).  Yet the name of our heroine isn’t Clara, as most productions of The Nutcracker name her, but Marie.  That’s her name in the original Hoffman book!  Yet the book itself acts as a younger introduction for kids to the show.  The kind of title you’d read to a five-year-old who was about to go and see their first performance.

The Nutcracker by Kate Davies, ill. Niroot Puttapipat

nutcracker1

Just a quick note here.  Remember how I said that in the original Hoffman story there was an odd little subplot involving a character with the name Princess Pirlipat?  How likely is it that a Puttapipat would illustrate a book that originally contained a Pirlipat?  The editing gods work in mysterious ways.  This is one of the lovelier Nutcrackers out this year and for good reason.  The silhouettes are delicate and delightful and the small pop-up details even nicer.  Both the original Hoffman and the subsequent Dumas stories have been combined here to try and bridge the gap between ballet and text.

The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman, ill. Lisbeth Zwerger

nutcracker2

It’s not entirely fair to include this since this is technically a reprint, but the original has been unavailable for years.  This is Hoffman’s original story but instead of Sendak’s art you have Zwerger’s.  She doesn’t necessarily tap into the oddities of the text, but she has the dreamlike aspects down pat.  A lovely one.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, retold by Renate Raecke, ill. Yana Sedova

nutcracker3

I think that when it comes to the story and the mix of text and image, this may well be the most successful.  Like the Puttapipat version it does a good job of building a bridge between the ballet and the original story.  It also, as you can see here, is has some of the best art.  This is my own personal pick of the lot.

E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker by Jack Wang and Holman Wang

PrideAndPrejudice_COV_FnCrx.indd

Aww. The latest from Cozy Classics. I couldn’t finish this post without paying tribute to this one.  If you know a kid in a production of this show, just get them this book.  It’s quick.  It’s cute.  And it does a darn good job of showing a ballet slipper in flight in felt.  And what more, I ask you, do you really and truly need in this life but that?

Share

4 Comments on Beware of Exploding (Numbers of) Nutcrackers, last added: 11/26/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
17. Our Web of Nothingness

The only thing that is constant is ‘Change’. But do we want change? Aren’t we webbed by the nothingness in so many ways? Aren’t we lost the capability of being a problem solver and gained the persona of an immature activist that leads nowhere.

This blog is not for intellectuals, but for an average individual who understand a few things. As a citizen and a silent spectator of my own country, I have been through the technological and social revolution. I have seen telephones, pagers and mobiles. I have seen television and computers. I have seen cycles, cars, metro, education system and so many things changing. Yet I stand here today, realizing, we are still at the same place with regards to accepting or testing a solution. As internet opened up the million ways of absorbing knowledge, it also has given us, as individuals, a million paths to choose to paint the sky. On the other hand it also has given us a million reasons to divide.  

As we move up the ladder, the irony too climbs upward. With the power to affect million people, I also get the power to gain the wrath. As an individual it sounds thrilling, but as a leader it is the worst situation. Counting problems are so easy. If you stand at a tea stall, you will find people painting the sorry picture of the current affairs.

In a much deeper what problem we might be facing? Does it has to go with our beliefs or the force outside?

These genuine questions can be answered through the web of nothingness. Web of nothingness is a simple term that means we are messed up within ourselves so much that the resultant becomes null and void.

Anti Corruption Movement, Rape capital issue and now Demonitisation, these three major issues have happened in front of us and when I am at that sort of age where I can sync with the subject.
India Against Corruption was a move hailed by many, Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejrivaal and Kiren Bedi were the front runner instilling faith in many, of the brighter India. After a short span, the Crusaders split into parties. AAP cashed on the opportunity and tried to convince people for the change. The change started, but it got deviated. The ‘rape free’ city was promised and after the win there was not a single discussion/news or any sort of such thing happening in the capital and instead started the same old ‘blame game’. While capital burned in the same hope of change, Narendra Modi became PM, again hailed by a majority of people. With lots of people in the hope of change, the demon of ‘Demonetization’ again seems to divide people. While Demonetization has been a move taken not just by the government, but, also the RBI and so many intellectual brains behind it. Changing a leader is not a problem. We can do it after every 5 years or even in between.

So what is the Problem? BJP? AAP? Congress? Industrialists? The neighbor? God? Demons? Robber?

To be blunt, the problem is ‘We’the divided people. People those who approves crossing the red signal without helmet, giving an example of a politician. People who bribe a Gaswaala to give them more gas cylinders saying that rich people get. It seems as if they are mocking their own hope of change. For example, cleanliness drive? Is it indeed required? Few things are so obvious that it seems a bit odd when we discussing about them. Cleanliness is everyone’s need and want. We all clean our homes or places we stay/work. Yet if someone has to remind me of cleanliness isn’t it weird? This weird thing is real. People throw packets, spit and throw garbage in roads and when someone spills water on their table, they will go nuts.

Similarly, choosing a leader is an easy thing. Wake up, go to electoral booth, push the button and repeat after a certain time period. That’s it. Difficult is to support the move and re-evaluate it at the end to execute it better next time. Analyzing a situation is again an important aspect, but taking the decision, implementing it and supporting, are few major step. Even if one fails miserably, there will be something to learn, not only for the one who implemented, but also for the one who become a part of it.  While we try to blame others for our discomforts, we fall flat on our faces in terms of doing anything countable.

We are still not from inside, ready for a change. The change means a lot rather than just discussing. A small change in sleeping schedule of an individual affects a lot, then for a country it is actually uncountable. Improvisations are the only solutions that can help us and yet the support is needed indeed. Even for corporations, there is a Business Plan, a Latest Plan and then the Actual State of affairs.

It is fancy nowadays to speak about black money, joblessness, poverty, education system, dowry etc, but close to impossible to manage ourselves to solve any problem. It has become our habit, to make someone else accountable for our problems and play the blame game. If we have already assumed that nothing can become right, then there should be no hue and cry. If we believe otherwise, then we should support something wholeheartedly, give it ample time and then move on to the next option.
But because of too much dependency, lack of self awareness, lack of unity and useless aggression, we choose the war of words based on our choices rather than the solutions. We divide ourselves in so many parts that the resultant becomes zero and we remain in the web of nothingness.

To come out of it. Firstly, we have to stop demeaning each other, we should give time to any action and then act in sync to find another solution. Once we correct ourselves, it would not take any effort to correct others because we don’t have to do that. Secondly, we have to identify our power of doing good and spread these activities around.


As a citizen of my country, I hope we all would come out of this ‘Web of Nothingness’ and add up the good deeds to grow exponentially.  

0 Comments on Our Web of Nothingness as of 11/18/2016 1:18:00 PM
Add a Comment
18. Nexus VR Short ‘Rain or Shine’ Released as Latest Google Spotlight Story

"Rain or Shine" is the most interactive short to date in the Spotlight Stories series.

The post Nexus VR Short ‘Rain or Shine’ Released as Latest Google Spotlight Story appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on Nexus VR Short ‘Rain or Shine’ Released as Latest Google Spotlight Story as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
19. Walking and Talking with . . . Grace Lin!

Steve Sheinkin is back with his beloved series!  If you’re unfamiliar with it, Steve has a conversation with an author of books for kids or teens and then plucks from it the best parts.  So in spite of the fact that he has a brand new book out in early 2017 (Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team) he still took time to give us this great discussion with Grace Lin.  For the full list of interviews, see the links at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy!

gracelingracelin2

Catch up with the whole series!

Share

4 Comments on Walking and Talking with . . . Grace Lin!, last added: 11/30/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
20. Next Week in Montreal: Sommets du Cinéma d’Animation

The 15th edition of Montreal's Sommets animation festival takes place next week.

The post Next Week in Montreal: Sommets du Cinéma d’Animation appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on Next Week in Montreal: Sommets du Cinéma d’Animation as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
21. 2017 Picture Books I’m Really Looking Forward To

Ending on a preposition and regretting nothing.

Here are the 2017 books I’ve seen that I’ve found positively delightful.  These are all completely and utterly worthy.  Put them on your To Be Read list today:

Baby’s First Words by Christiane Engel

babysfirstwords

I like a good book for the little littles where the fact that a kid has two dads is part of the equation but not the focus.  Additionally, there’s a stay-at-home dad here that’s awesome.


 

Home and Dry by Sarah L. Smith

homedry

A peculiar little book, but I was very fond of its love of all things soggy.


 

Mrs. White Rabbit by Giles Bachelet

mrswhiterabbitIt is French.  It is funny.  You will enjoy it.  Particularly the Alice in Wonderland in-jokes.


 

My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo

mybeautifulbirds

A Syrian refugee picture book done in an entirely different medium – clay!


 

Prince Ribbit by Jonathan Emmett, ill. Poly Bernatene

princeribbit

Look. Any book that teaches kids to read everything critically is a necessary purchase in my book. Plus this is from the guys that brought us The Princess and the Pig, so that’s awesome right there.


 

Rabbit Magic by Meg McLaren

rabbitmagic

Books with tons of tiny details hidden within the pages are easy sells.  I love the delicacy of the art here.


 

There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi, ill. Laurel Molk

theremightlobsters

At first it just looks like a story about a dog overcoming fears, but the text reads aloud particularly well.


 

Tony by Ed Galing, ill. Erin E. Stead

tony

I won’t!  I won’t fall in love with this adapted poem about a boy and his love for the milkman’s horse!  I won’t, I say!  I . . . oh, darn it.  Too late.


 

The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering

alfredfiddleduckling

Ering tends to write longer picture books.  This was has more heart in its little finger than most books have in their whole bodies.


 

Waiting for Pumpsie by Barry Wittenstein, ill. London Ladd

waitingpumpsie

Kids could easily get the impression that after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier it was smooth sailing for African-Americans in baseball.  This book shoots down that myth elegantly and well.


 

When the Rain Comes by Alma Fullerton, ill. Kim La Fave

whenraincomes

Remarkably dramatic for something so short.


 

XO OX by Adam Rex, ill. Scott Campbell

xoox

The return of Scott Campbell!  The pairing of Adam Rex!  And I’m calling it now: The most fabulous romantic pairing of 2017.

Share

5 Comments on 2017 Picture Books I’m Really Looking Forward To, last added: 12/3/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
22. Bookstore Love

Events in Saskatoon and Winnipeg now just a happy memory, but I did leave signed copies behind for anyone who might be interested. Thanks to my publisher, Groundwood Books for sending me west. Big thanks to McNally Kids for being fabulous hosts!






A photo posted by McNally Robinson for Kids (@mcnallykids) on






0 Comments on Bookstore Love as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
23. 31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Two – 2016 Great Board Book Adaptations

31daysSo what do we mean when we say “Board Book Adaptations” exactly?  Well, you’re probably familiar with the phenomenon of taking a picture book and chopping it down into a board book  When this is done poorly the end product is strange and squished.  The most egregious example of this might be the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs board book.  With a long text appropriate for older readers, the type is tiny and even if you could read it you’d bore the toddler on your lap almost instantaneously.

That said, some board book adaptations from picture books are dead on the money.  Today, we celebrate those adaptations in 2016 that really went above and beyond the call of duty.


 2016 Board Book Adaptations

 

Black? White! Day? Night! by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

blackwhite

Actually, Ms. Seeger released a bunch of her books in a smaller, more board bookish format this year (Lemons Are Not Red, One Boy, and Walter Was Worried).  My favorite, however, remains this one.  A perfect little blending of lift-the-flap playfulness with some pretty stellar art.

 

Digger Man by Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha

diggerman

Actually, I have a bone to pick with this one  You know that insidiously clever thing publishers do when they’ll put the book jackets of related titles on the back of the book you’re reading to a kid?  And then the child will insist with all kinds of whines and moans and groans that they absolutely 100% MUST have the other books, and why aren’t we going to the library RIGHT NOW to get them?  I’ve been there.  And I’ve been there because of this book.  This feels like it should have been a board book in the first place, but that’s okay.  There is an advantage to looking at the other two books in the series (Train Man and Fire Engine Man).  I now can draw the connections between the toys on the hero’s floor (including the rainbow astronaut) from book to book.  Check it out.  You’ll see what I mean.

 

Edible Colors/Edible Numbers by Jennifer Vogel Bass

ediblecolorsediblenumbers

Utterly beautiful produce photographed against a white background.  Lois Ehlert may have cornered the market on alphabetical produce, but clearly colors and numbers were still up for grabs.  Great adaptations.

 

A Kiss Means I Love You by Kathryn Madeline Allen, photos by Eric Futran

akissmeans

Of all the books on this list, this was the one I was literally waiting for for years.  A Kiss Means I Love You (an insipid title that belies the brilliance inside) came out originally in 2012 when I my daughter was a one-year-old.  Naturally, the moment my second child grew old enough to appreciate books with thinner pages, that was when the board book version was released.  It doesn’t matter.  Run, don’t walk, to give it to a baby you know.  And, while you’re at it, also by the companion board book (also out this year) Show Me Happy, by the same author/illustrator team.

 

Night Owl by Toni Yuly

nightowl

Yuly has a style that was born for board books.  When Night Owl was first released I liked it just fine, but I think I actually prefer it in its current board book incarnation.  It just makes good clean sense.

 

Numbers by John J. Reiss

numbers

I think this constitutes the oldest book on this list adapted to a board book format since the original came out in 1982.  I’d love to know the sheer amount of work that went into this adaptation.  Did they find the original art?  Did they just get a book, scan it, and touch up the art’s brightness on a computer?  No idea.  Just a lovely product in the end.

 

Sing by Joe Raposo, ill. Tom Lichtenheld

sing

Of the books on this list, this is the one you can actually sing.  It was always a little too short to truly work as a picture book.  As a board book it’s a much better fit.  La la la la la . . .

 

This Train by Paul Collicutt

thistrain

I need to find the original picture book just to double check, but this book made for an ideal adaptation.  The limited word count, incredibly bright and beautiful pictures, and sheer swath of different kinds of trains works.  Be sure to also check out this year’s board book of This Plane, by Collicutt too.

 

Whose Shoes? A Shoe for Every Job by Stephen R. Swinburne

whoseshoes

When Tana Hoban died she left a great big concept-book-gap in the marketplace.  You can only reprint her books so many times before they get dated.  That’s why I’m eternally grateful for books like this one.   Shoes + occupations = a winning team.


Interested in the other upcoming lists of this month?  Here’s the schedule so that you can keep checking back:

December 1 – Board Books

December 2 – Board Book Adaptations

December 3 – Nursery Rhymes

December 4 – Picture Book Readalouds

December 5 – Rhyming Picture Books

December 6 – Alphabet Books

December 7 – Funny Picture Books

December 8 – Calde-Nots

December 9 – Picture Book Reprints

December 10 – Math Picture Books

December 11 – Bilingual Books

December 12 – International Imports

December 13 – Books with a Message

December 14 – Fabulous Photography

December 15 – Fairy Tales / Folktales

December 16 – Oddest Books of the Year

December 17 – Older Picture Books

December 18 – Easy Books

December 19 – Early Chapter Books

December 20 – Graphic Novels

December 21 – Poetry

December 22 – Fictionalized Nonfiction

December 23 – American History

December 24 – Science & Nature Books

December 25 – Transcendent Holiday Titles

December 26 – Unique Biographies

December 27 – Nonfiction Picture Books

December 28 – Nonfiction Chapter Books

December 29 – Novel Reprints

December 30 – Novels

December 31 – Picture Books

Share

1 Comments on 31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Two – 2016 Great Board Book Adaptations, last added: 12/2/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
24. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 282 - 11.16.16



The Paris Agreement has global buy-in. The time is now to hold ourselves accountable and to keep our focus on a low emissions future.

0 Comments on Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 282 - 11.16.16 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
25. Framing the Plot Part 3: Foes

Let's continue to add layers to our our story architecture by examining the role of the foes, those working against the solving of the overall story problem. They are the secondary characters that complicate things.

FOES
List the foe characters and their motivations and/or opinions on the central theme. List how these characters complicate or advance the protagonist's achievement of his goal.
Foe #1 Character Name:  ______________________________________________
Enters the story in Scene#___________     Exits the story in Scene#___________
This character complicates or advances the protagonist’s achievement of his goal by:________________________________________________________________
Foe #2 Character Name:  ______________________________________________
Enters the story in Scene#___________     Exits the story in Scene#___________
This character complicates or advances the protagonist’s achievement of his goal by: _______________________________________________________________
Foe #3 Character Name:  _____________________________________________
Enters the story in Scene#___________     Exits the story in Scene#___________
This character complicates or advances the protagonist’s achievement of his goal by:_______________________________________________________________
Foe #4 Character Name:  _____________________________________________
Enters the story in Scene#___________     Exits the story in Scene#___________
This character complicates or advances the protagonist’s achievement of his goal by: ______________________________________________________________
Foe #5 Character Name:  _____________________________________________
Enters the story in Scene#___________     Exits the story in Scene#___________
This character complicates or advances the protagonist’s achievement of his goal by: _______________________________________________________________
Foe #6 Character Name:  _____________________________________________
Enters the story in Scene#___________     Exits the story in Scene#___________
This character complicates or advances the protagonist’s achievement of his goal by: _______________________________________________________________
Foe #7 Character Name:  _____________________________________________
Enters the story in Scene#___________     Exits the story in Scene#___________
This character complicates or advances the protagonist’s achievement of his goal by: ______________________________________________________________
Foe #8 Character Name:  ____________________________________________
Enters the story in Scene#___________     Exits the story in Scene#___________
This character complicates or advances the protagonist’s achievement of his goal by: ______________________________________________________________
Foe #9 Character Name:  ____________________________________________
Enters the story in Scene#___________     Exits the story in Scene#___________
This character complicates or advances the protagonist’s achievement of his goal by: ______________________________________________________________
Foe #10 Character Name: ____________________________________________
Enters the story in Scene#___________     Exits the story in Scene#___________
This character complicates or advances the protagonist’s achievement of his goal by: ______________________________________________________________
List of tertiary characters (these are the walk-ons or any character that doesn’t have a motive or stake in the overall story problem):
Extra #1 Character Name: _____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #2 Character Name: _____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #3 Character Name: _____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #4 Character Name: _____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #5 Character Name: _____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #6 Character Name: _____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #7 Character Name: _____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #8 Character Name: _____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #9 Character Name: _____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #10 Character Name: ____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #11 Character Name: ____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #12 Character Name: ____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #13 Character Name: ____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #14 Character Name: ____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #15 Character Name: ____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Extra #16 Character Name: ____________________________________________
Appears in scene(s) #:_________________________________________________
Tune in next week as we turn our skeleton into a working synopsis.
For more about how to craft plots using conflict check out, Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of conflict available in print and e-book and check out the free tools and information about the series on my website.

0 Comments on Framing the Plot Part 3: Foes as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts