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This blog highlights children and school libraries in New York City.
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By: Miss O,
It is the perfect release date (for New York weather anyway)for Meghan McCarthy's new title Earmuffs for Everyone! How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs. It is amazing to think there is a history behind every object you own and wear. Earmuffs are no exception.
Meghan McCarthy's back page note explains, "I start work on every book with a bit of free association. For Earmuffs, I started doing searches on the internet-"unique inventors," odd inventions"-until ultimately I put in the word "kid inventors." That's when I read about Chester Greenfield, who was born in 1858. "Mary Bells of about.com wrote,A grammar school dropout, he invented earmuffs at the age of 15 (1873). While testing a new pair of ice skates, he grew frustrated at trying to protect his ears from the bitter cold...." Meghan McCarthy explains, "That's when I knew that Chester was going to be the topic of my next book.
The topic of the book led her to look for more information and the book starts off with an explanation of a few others that were associated with the invention of earmuffs. However, Chester is the one given credit for the invention. The story talks about his patent and explains what a patent is and how to get one. The people of Maine have even declared December 21 as Earmuff Day in his honor!
Here is a video clip of Maine celebrating Earmuff Day -
Just makes you wonder about all the things you don't know about!
By: Miss O,
I am happy to continue my interview and raffle a copy of Michelle Knudsen's latest title Evil Librarian. Just leave a comment at the end of the post.
Q - Illustrations are a big part of picture books. However your middle grade series and new YA title Evil Librarian are based on writing. Since you do not do the illustrations is the writing of the picture book easier or harder?
A- Picture books and novels are both challenging in their own ways. For picture books, it can be really hard to find the true core of the story -- there always seems to be a central piece that ether works or doesn't and without that, no amount of revising ever seems to make it right. And then even once you find it, there are still the challenges of telling the story in as few words as possible and making sure you leave room fin the story for the illustrator. The illustrators I've worked with have all done a wonderful job of contributing to and enlarging the story through the artwork.
For novels, there's obviously a lot more writing involved, and the plots are more complicated , wth more characters and events, I think that in some ways, though, all that material to work with makes it easier to work out the story ..there's a lot more room to figure things out in the first draft than with a picture book. But it's also a lot harder to hold the whole story in your mnd at one time, and a lot more to keep track of. I think that's why I'm almost always working on at least one picture book and novel at the same time--they're hard(and fun) n different ways, and it's nice to be able to go back and forth, and take a break from one by working on the other.
Q- What gave you the idea for Evil Librarian? How did you create Mr. Gabriel?
A- I started Evil Librarian while taking a break from a somewhat heaver novel -- I was feeling a bit weighed down and wanted to work on something a little fun. I didn't actually know what the story was going to be about when I first started it. Really all I had was the voice of the main character, Cyn, and I just started writing to see what she had to say, I don't think I even knew there would be a librarian until I got to the part where Annie first mentions him. But then I somehow knew right away he would be evil.:) It took a while to figure out exactly what Mr. Gabrriel wanted and why he was there, but his overall character and personality came very quickly. I liked him a lot from the start, even knowing he was going to be a very bad guy.
Q- Why a protractor and biology textbook (knife and shield) as the items used for protection? Did you consider any other items?
A- I liked the idea of the magic items taking the form of very mundane school objects. Both because things not being what they appeared was a constant theme running through the book, and because it just struck me as funny, I wanted Cyn to be completely unimpressed by the protractor and the book to not be entirely sure she could put her faith in them at first.
Q- There are so many different genres mixed in - Horroe, Mystery, Romance. Do you have a favorite genre to read and or write?
A- I am definitely a science fiction and fantasy girl more than anything else, probably because those where the first novels I came to love as a young reader. But I especially love cross-genre books. My favorite SFF stories are character driven and often have a dash of romance or mystery or horror mixed in. I try to read a variety of things, but I'm rarely drawn to contemporary fiction on my own-- I often really enjoy it, but it usually takes a trusted source making a recommendation before I'll pick something like that up. As for writing, I definitely prefer to write things with a fantasy or supernatural aspect, Even my picture books tend to involve unexplained strange things happening ( a lion coming to the library, bunnies that just show up one day for no discernable reason, etc).
Q- The deal included multiple trips to the demon world. Does ths mean ths might be part of a three part series?
A- I hadn't necessarily planned on a series at first-- I just liked the idea of leaving the story a little open-ended, so readers would know Cyn wasn't truly out of the woods quite yet. But I'm happy to say that there is an Evil Librarian sequel in the works, and I'm planning on a third one as well.
Q- I saw the title of your new picture book Marilyn's Monster
(release date March 2015). Were you writing this at the same time as Evil Librarian
? I just read a brief description that Marilyn might look for her monster. Can you reveal anything about this new title?
A- Yes, I was working on Marilyn's Monster during the time I was writing Evil Librarian. It's another story that involves unexplained events--monsters begin showing up as companions to children. Day by day all of Marilyn's friends and classmates acqure monsters, but the way it works is that you can't just go out and get one -- you have to wait for a monster to find you. Marilyn waits, and keeps waiting..but her monster still doesn't come. So finally she decides to take maters into her own hands, even if that's not supposed to work.
LEAVE A COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF EVIL LIBRARIAN!
By: Miss O,
It was an honor to get children's book author, Michele Knudsen
to answer some questions about her books. Here is what she had to share
Q - I love your picture books Library Lion and Big Mean Mike. I have read Big Mean Mike to many classes and the students love Mike. How did you get the idea for Mike? Also why did you select to pair him with bunnies?
It is always hard to pinpoint exactly where the initial idea for a story comes from. I do try to pay attention these days, though since I know people may ask me after a book comes out! I believe my first glimmer of the story for Big Mean Mike camd during a cab ride home form the airport in April 2007. Maybe, a big, though-looking guy rode by on a motorcycle, or maybe I noticed a dog in a passsing car, but for whatever reason, I started thinking about this big though dog character In my early thoughts he rode a motercycle, and by the end of the story the bunnies were all riding in the side car. I started trying to think about what kind of story this character might be part of, and I liked the idea of pairing him with something (or somethings) really different from what he was like. loved the contrast of this big, though dog with these tiny, adorable bunnies. I could easily imagine that Big Mean Mike might have trouble with those cute bunnies, and it was fun thnking about how he might try to deal with them.
Q- There is a constant highlighting of bullying today in schools. Where you thinking about this when you were writing Big Mean Mike?
I wasn't intentionally trying to write a book about bullying, but I am very glad that teachers have found ways to use Big Mean Mike as part of discussions about this issue, I don't think Mike himself s a bully, exactly -- he's big and tough and likes everyone to know it, but he mostly just does his own thing..he's not really interested in picking on anyone else. The bullying moment really comes later, when the other dogs begin to harass Mike for hanging out with the bunnies. That's when he needs to decide how much it matters to him what others might think or say, and whether he's going to stand up for himself and his new friends.
Q- The illustrations by Scott Morgan are just fabulous. When did you know what Mike would look like?
I agree! I love Scott's illustrations so much. I got a bit teary when I first saw the sketches of the bunnies-they were just perfect, so small and fuzzy and adorable! Scott did a couple of different versions of Mike before landing on the one that appears in the book, I think Mikde turned out just perfectly too and I especially love the outfit he wears to the gym.
Found this funny quote at Scott's site-
And remember, as Gene Weingarten once said, “always try to put the funniest word at the end of your sentence underpants.”
I will end on this note and continue with Part II with Michele Knudsen on Thursday as we talk about her newest book Evil Librarian and her future book Marilyn's Monsters.
By: Miss O,
By: Miss O,
This Thanksgiving Mark Fearing has a new book titled The Great Thanksgiving Escape.
Gavin thinks it is going to be another boring Thanksgiving at his grandma's house until he runs into his cousin Rhonda who reminds him, "sometimes you have to make your own fun." So the pair tries to sneak out of the house to play outside. They encounter some unexpected obstacles along the way. First, two vicious guard dogs are blocking the front door, Then Rhonda gets trapped in the "Hall of Aunts". However, there is no stopping these two. They finally make it to the back door only to find a surprise. And, it still does to stop them!
Also coming in the Spring is a new title by Carson Ellis
. The Holiday time often brings thoughts of home so I taught I would share a sneak peak. This book takes a simple look at the Home. The main question being, "This is my home, and this is me. Where is your home? Where are you?" It looks at various types of homes from many different angles, styles and cultures. Here is a sneak peak-
Also I can never talk about Thanksgiving titles without looking back on a old post for Balloons over Broadway
by Melissa Sweet. The Balloons over Broadway activity kit
at her site is just wonderful!
Plus, would just like to mention a new photography exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York Oct 15, 2014
- Feb 15, 2015
Pushing the boundaries of traditional documentary photography, Liao (b. 1977) creates large-scale panoramas by combining multiple exposures of the same location taken over the course of several hours. The resulting composite photographs are often fantastical; complex, hyper-real views that no single shot—or the eye—could capture. ONE OF THEM IS A PAST NEW YORK CITY THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE!
By: Miss O,
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.
By: Miss O,
IVY AND BEAN OCTOBER 18-NOV 9
IVY + BEAN, THE MUSICAL
book, lyrics & music by SCOTT ELMEGREEN
based on the books by ANNIE BARROWS
illustrated by SOPHIE BLACKALL
directed by ALISON BEATTY
Based on The New York Times best-selling children’s book series by author Annie Barrows
and Illustrator Sophie Blackall, Ivy + Bean, The Musical is the story of an unexpected friendship
between two very different second graders. The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy
knew they would never like each other. Bean is loud and wild and goofy. Ivy is quiet and full of ideas.
But when Bean plays a joke on her sister, and needs a place to hide, Ivy comes to the rescue.
When the two become a team, there’s mischief and laughter at every turn—along with lessons
to be learned about the challenges and joy of family, friendship, and love.
By: Miss O,
Check out these second graders at Daniel
By: Miss O,
Americans tend to lack imagination when it comes to breakfast. The vast majority of us, surveys say, start our days with cold cereal — and those of us with children are more likely to buy the kinds with the most sugar. Children all over the world eat cornflakes and drink chocolate milk, of course, but in many places they also eat things that would strike the average American palate as strange, or worse.
Here is one highlight from the article-
Tiago Bueno Young, 3 years old, São Paulo, Brazil
Tiago likes chocolate milk and often wakes up asking for it, but sometimes even that is hard to get excited about at 7 on a weekday morning when his mother, Fabiana, has already left for work and he still has to get ready for kindergarten. Cold cereal is the favored breakfast food of the three Young sons. Here, Tiago, the middle child, sits before cornflakes, banana cake and bisnaguinha, a sweet white bread popular with Brazilian children and served with a mild cream cheese called requeijão.
By: Miss O,
By: Miss O,
The Sendak trustees have served notice that they are exercising an option in a 1969 agreement between the author and the Rosenbach to reclaim all items owned by the estate - 98 percent of the Sendak collection housed at the Rosenbach. Sendak items will begin the migration to Connecticut in October in a process that may continue through the end of the year, said Rosenbach director Derick Dreher.
By: Miss O,
I don't think Mo Willems pigeon
would be a fan of this sign located all over a parking lot in Jackson Heights, New York. However, he might just walk right past it to visit this bakery
steps from the sign.
By: Miss O,
Jessica Verday is the New York Times best-selling author of The Hollow trilogy. She wrote the first draft of The Hollow by hand, using thirteen spiral-bound notebooks and fifteen black pens. The first draft of The Haunted took fifteen spiral-bound notebooks and twenty black pens. The Hidden took too many notebooks and too many pens to count. She lives in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, with her husband. You can visit her online at www.jessicaverday.com. She was happy to take some time to answer questions about her new book Of Monsters and Madness.
Q&A - OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS (I asked the questions in red).
1. I really enjoyed your book Of Monsters and Madness. How did you come up with this title? - I’m so glad you enjoyed OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS! I’m not really sure where the idea for this title came from. I was thinking one day about the book overall, and how it was sort of a mash up of mad scientists mixed with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and that made me think of monsters. Then the title just kind of popped into my mind. Originally, EDGAR & ALLAN was the title when I wrote the book, but it was changed after I had a discussion with my publishing team and we agreed that the title drew too much attention away from Annabel, our leading lady.
2. Why did you choose Edgar Allan Poe’s writing to connect with your ideas for this book? Do have a personal connection to any of his stories? - Like a lot of people, I grew up reading Poe and would be hard pressed to name just one or two stories that were my favorites, but I was always particularly drawn to Annabel Lee. The funny thing is that when I first had the idea for this book I was imagining what would happen if Edgar Allan Poe had been inspired by real life events to use as fodder for his dark stories. Once I had that idea, the connection to Annabel Lee came from there.
3. There are lots of unexpected moments in the book and surprise turns. Is there one part that you enjoyed writing the most? - I really enjoyed writing the medical scenes that took place in Father’s basement laboratory. They took me really far out of my comfort zone and I’m quite proud that I was able to write them. (Usually, I’m so squeamish that just the sight of blood makes me feel queasy!) But there was something uniquely fascinating about watching these scenes unfold.
4. Is there any hidden meaning behind Annabel wearing the scarf? - Ahh, very astute of you to pick up on this. There most definitely is a hidden meaning to Annabel wearing the scarf and while you see the reason why she wears the scarf at the end of this book, book two reveals even more!
5. I read you write all your books by hand using lots of notebooks and pens. Did you also write Of Monsters and Madness by hand? How many notebooks and pens did it take? Do you then type the whole thing? - OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS was initially started in a notebook, and then I switched to a computer as my deadline drew closer. I only used one notebook and three pens.
6. Do you want to share any ideas that you are developing for the sequel? - The sequel (tentatively titled OF PHANTOMS AND FURY) picks up where book one left off, and introduces another fantastic literary character -- Dorian Gray. Not only does he have quite the impact on Annabel’s life, but she learns more about her background and who she truly is. Book two was a really exciting book to write and I hope you like it as much as OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS.
7. Are there any other literature characters or authors you would like use in future stories? - I do have one famous author in mind that I’m working on a story for, but I can’t give it away just yet... I’m always on the lookout for interesting stories that can be retold or famous people to write about. I keep a running list of future stories to tell.There are so many to choose from!
Monday, September 08, 2014Book Briefs
Guest post and giveaway
Tuesday, September 09, 2014Mundie Moms
Review and giveaway
By: Miss O,
"The impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide. President Jimmy Carter, in 1978, proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day"
This year you might need to celebrate again in early October with the release of a new title Grandma and her Chocolate Labrador
by P.J. Fischer. In this touching story, Grandma's family moves away and she misses them dearly. She takes a visit to the attic to relive her childhood memories. In the attic, Grandma tries playing with a number of different things, but something still seems missing. Then Grandma thinks to herself, "I just miss my old dog Buddy". Grandma thinks to herself she is too old for a new dog, However, her neighbor has a special surprise for her and Grandma gets a new friend. As the saying goes, "dog is man's best friend" or in this story "dog is grandma's best friend".
Look for this title in early October from Minted Prose
publishing. Make sure you celebrate by reading a special story with your grandparent on Sunday!
By: Miss O,
By: Miss O,
This new picture book looks at a small dot that is feeling unimportant. The author uses a number of different pictures to look at all the uses for a small dot.
Dots have all sorts of purposes. "How can this little girl ask for ice cream without you on the question mark?" The author makes the dot realize how important it is in the world.
The reader learns that the whole world is seen as a dot if you go high enough.
This book takes a modernistic approach to explaining something simple and the illustrations do the same. The cover is a combination of New York City and Outerspace. The illustrations take me back images of the Jetsons.
By: Miss O,
The Floating Library is a pop up, mobile device-free public space aboard the historic Lilac Museum Steamship berthed at Pier 25 on the Hudson River in New York City. It will be open September 6- October 3.
"The library afloat on water is always on the verge to sail into the distance just as books contain the magic to transport our minds to unknown terrains. A reader is a dreamer/traveler/pirate as to open a book is to embark on an adventure into the wider world as well as dive deeper into oneself. Given this, the Floating Library celebrates boats and books to map a path towards a waking life, self-organization, citizen autonomy and fertile imagination." - Lilac Museum
By: Miss O,
Parents, get your reader on board with the Great Ivy + Bean Reread Challenge! This year’sInternational Ivy + Bean Day
is on Saturday, October 18th. And boy, have we got some treats (no tricks!) in store for your little reader.
Each week we’ll randomly choose a winner to receive a prize. Weekly prizes might include an Ivy + Bean personalized lunchbox, an Ivy + Bean Button Factory, a set of Ivy + Bean mini-notes, or an Ivy + Bean personalized folder.
How does that sound? Is your little reader ready for the challenge?
On your mark…get set…yow!
Here is a week-by-week breakdown:
By: Miss O,
New York New York
They say if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere. Well Little Elliot Big City
by Mike Curato
is about to take over New York. Little Elliot is an elephant who is trying to make his home in the big city. However, being small makes it hard for him to do everyday city things. He even gets ignored when he tries to buy a cupcake. Then he meets a mouse who is facing the same problem. Elliot knows just the right thing to help the mouse. The next day the mouse is able to help Elliot. In helping each other they become friends.
Here's to Elliot's success in the Big City starting August 26!
Check out the upcoming book trailer below.
As they say in New York First Come First Serve. I missed out on the official blog tour, but I did get a review copy so check out these other blogs for prizes during the tour. From Mike Curato
Elliot and I have been lucky enough to make a bunch of new friends who are super excited about Little Elliot, Big City. Some of them happen to be some pretty awesome bloggers who are each going to have a special Elliot post the week of the book release, August 26th! Not only will you learn some cool stuff about Elliot’s journey to your bookshelf, you might even win a free give-away! Be sure to check out the blogs on the dates below to find out how you can get a free copy of Little Elliot, Big City, a limited edition tote bag, and stickers!LITTLE ELLIOT BLOG TOURTuesday, August 26 Librarian in Cute Shoes
| @utalanizWednesday, August 27 Teach Mentor Texts
| @mentortextsThursday, August 28 Read. Write. Reflect.
| @katsokFriday, August 29 Kit Lit Frenzy
| @alybee930Saturday, August 30 Daddy Mojo
| @daddymojoSunday, August 31
The Trifecta:Sharp Reads
| @colbysharpConnect. Read.
| @mrschureadsNerdy Book Club
| @nerdybookclubMonday, September 1 Miss Print
Also, be sure to tune into the Let’s Get Busy podcast
on August 26th for a full hour-long interview!!
By: Miss O,
Whatever you geek, the public library supports you. Join Geek the Library in spreading awareness about the value of libraries and the critical funding issues they face. Here is one of the fun videos from the site -
- To love, to enjoy, to celebrate, to have an intense passion for.
- To express interest in.
- To possess a large amount of knowledge in.
- To promote.
Here is an article called Geek is the New Cool
What do you GEEK?
By: Miss O,
by Sally Sutton
and illustrated by Brain Lovelock. This is the third book by these creators following Demolition
and Road Work.
There are millions of books about building and children seem to love them all. Children love seeing a tall crane at work or a hole being dug in the street. Everytime I read a construction book I think of this catchy tune When I Build My House
. This book is not just about building a house. There is a very special place built at the end(I will let it be a surpise). This author uses lots of action words like Thonk, Clonk and Clap that kids will love acting out. Plus a full follow-up page at the end on machine facts. Children who are building fans will enjoy this title and they will love the place that is build at the end of the story.
By: Miss O,
New Florida University Unveils Bookless LibraryAs for the electronic-only aspect of the library resources, Miller emphasized that it’s the information that’s key, not its form, and the student’s appropriate use of it. “We want our students to recognize when they have an information need,” she says, “and be able to locate the relevant information to apply it in a scholarly and, ultimately, professional way.”
Kathryn Miller, director of FPU’s library, in The Commons
Photo courtesy of Florida Polytechnic University
By: Miss O,
Every year schools everywhere hold an International Night. I am always thinking to myself can the school get a new idea. Today, my interest in International Night event was renewed at a booktalk on a new release called International Night by Mark Kurlanksky and his daughter Talia Kurlansky. Kurlanksky expressed during the talk that the title had to be International Night because it was inspired by a game his family played by the same name. No other title would work. They game involved spinning a globe once a week and where ever Thaila's finger landed they would cook a meal from that place on Friday. For each country in the book(Hawaii and New Orleans are also included) they made an Appetizer, Main Course, and Dessert and Drink. Her father took notes and soon discovered this could be an idea for a book. Mark Kurlankshy work as a journalist has also allowed him to travel to many of the countries in the book and he loves to share stories about the countries which are included in the book.
This is a great way to introduce a child to many different types of food. It is also a fun way to introduce a food project to a class. Thalia expresses in her introduction to the book, "It is adults that think children cannot enjoy sophisticated cuisine. Restaurants often give children a "kids menu." She hopes children will be able to taste these foods as they learn about the cultures.
By: Miss O,
Children’s book author Jarrett Krosoczka shares the origins of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series, in which undercover school heroes serve lunch…and justice! His new project, School Lunch Hero Day, reveals how cafeteria lunch staff provide more than food, and illustrates how powerful a thank you can be.
By: Miss O,
View Next 25 Posts
Telephone Wires With Birds on Top?
Not unusual in the City!
There is a new book called Telephone
by Mac Barnett
and Illustrated by Jen Corace
that uses this idea to tell a delightful story. The book takes a spin on the old childhood game called Telephone where children whisper a message and it usually gets all mixed up.
In this book the author and illustrator have created colorful birds and fun messages. The Mama bird starts the message by telling a red birdie - Tell Peter: Fly Home For Dinner.
The message continues from bird to bird and bird and gets a little more mixed up each time.
The question is can the correct message reach Peter? Children will enjoy this title and will probably want to play a game of telephone just like the birds.
Pick up a copy
on September 9. On a side note check out the Bird Call Lady
who knows 146 bird calls.