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Aw yeah. I’m breaking out the big guns today. Cute kids trying to raise library funds. The catchy song and good cause don’t hurt much either. Seems a little town called Shutesbury has been having a difficult time raising funds for a new library. Their old one is, as you can see “wicked small”. So they’ve set up a lovely fundraising site but they still need help. It’s a good cause. If you’re feeling generous you might try to get a headstart on your yearly “giving”. Thanks to Rich Michelson for the link!
If you feel you haven’t gotten your quota on cute kids, this lot have accents. British accents. Can’t get much cuter than that. It’s a promo for the app for the Barefoot World Atlas. A rather lovely idea and a nice way to incorporate nonfiction into an app’s layout, don’t you think?
You know, I think we’re finally getting to the point where book trailers have distinctive flavors. For example, if you had not told me that this next trailer was produced by Chronicle, I think I would have guessed anyway. Something about their trailers just stand out. They are, simply put, better than the rest. See for yourself:
By the way, I’m particularly thrilled to see this book since we haven’t had a really good sign-related picture book since the days of Tana Hoban.
As you may know, Mr. Sharp and Mr. Schu along with their #nerdbery corps are dedicated to systematically reading through all the Newbery winners from the 1920s to today. Mr. Sharp offers his thoughts on the best and the worst. Of the 20s I confess to only having read The Trumpeter of Krakow (the actual Newbery Medal for this resides in my library, FYI) and The Dark Frigate. See how Mr. Sharp ranked them:
This next one’s fun. Years ago I was enamored of a picture book called The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky, illustrated by Andrew Joyner. That title’s a bit of a misnomer, by the way. No potty humor here. In any case, I was pleased to learn that the book had been adapted into a play for the preschool set. Now it’s coming to the New Victory Theater (just down the street from my library, as it happens) to play from April 26th to May 13th. Andrew Joyner told me that, “Then it does a week in Pittsburgh and a week in New Jersey. It’s a fun and energetic show – quite different from the book, almost like a clowning performance (although I think they give a straight reading of The Terrible Plop before the performance starts). I saw it a couple of years ago with the family and we all had a great time. It was put together by a local theatre company in Adelaide, South Australia, called Windmill Theatre.” Interested at all? After all, it does involve bunny puppets. Here’s the info and here’s the trailer:
Yep. A good old-fashioned bit of library/musical theater parody. Joyce Valenza got some students to explain curation things Broadway style. They do a good job. I was trying to think up other Fiddler-inspired MLIS songs but it’s tough. 20 points if you can come up with another.
I like to say that writing a really good picture book can be far more difficult than writing a YA novel at times. But seriously, why choose?
It really doesn’t matter what movie I watch sometimes. Whatever it might be, there’s always a children’s literature connection lurking in the shadows. Last night the resident husband and I watched Nobody’s Fool (1994) starring Paul Newman. At one point Newman’s grandson is seen reading the Tintin adventure The Blue Lotus, which is timely. After all, we’ve got a Tintin movie on the horizon so librarians everywhere? Stock your shelves!!! Little Brown has put out some great kid-friendly versions of his stories (now with less racism!) that you’ll probably want to get your hands on before the film comes out (though their smaller print size is unfortunate). Here, British author/illustrator John Fardell (The 7 Professors of the Far North) discusses Hergé’s style, why we like it so much, and how it has influenced his own art.
For this next book trailer . . . paging, Vivian Alcott. Alcott, party of one?
When lessons are taught on quality cheap book trailers, I hope this is used as an example. Thanks to Playing By the Book for the link.
Entertainment Weekly, of all places, had a really top notch interview with The Pigeon Man the other day. Along the way they showed off his Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App app. Durn. I may actually have to shell something out and get this one.
Writing huts! We all have them. And by “all” I mean “Laurie Halse Anderson”. But famous authors of the past also have had magnificent writing huts and one of them belonged to Roald Dahl. Now Dahl’s granddaughter Sophie is leading a fund-raiser to restore and relocate the hut. I would think she need only appeal to Wes Anderson for her needs. He’s a Dahl hut fan, this I know. Thanks to Playing By the Book for the link.
So this past Saturday was the Kidlitosphere Conference. Due to my maternity leave I was unable to attend but I did at least present via Skype a panel alongside Mary Ann Scheuer of Great Kid Books and Paula Wiley of Pink Me about children’s book apps. To begin, we showed this video for The Three Little Pigs, a pop-up version based on the book by Leslie Brooke. It is one of the smarter app trailers out there, and possibly my favorite.
Big time thanks to Paula Wiley for the link!
Speaking of trailers, I was a big fan of last year’s Blexbolex book Seasons. Here’s a trailer for the newest title by the Frenchman, People. I love the connections made between the images.
Recently Jules at 7-Imp wrote a fabulous post on Jack Gantos and his ambassadorial possibilities. Jack Gantos is a charming fellow, and well worth the price if you can ever hear him speak. Case in point, he recently presented at the Center for Children’s & Young Adult Literature (CCYAL) at the University of Tennessee’s first annual Focus on Children’s Literature Conference on April 2, 2011. Here’s a taste of what he was offering:
So. Richard Dawkins wrote a book for kids. Were you aware of this? Nor I. But here’s a trailer for it and everything. The art was by none other than Dave McKean (The Wolves in the Walls, etc.). The jury is out. Has anyone seen this?
A little more than a year ago I conducted a Children’s Literary Salon at NYPL with a bunch of talented female graphic novelists of children’s literature (Colleen AF Venable (Hamster and Cheese), Raina Telegemeier (Smile), and Tracy White (How I Made it to Eighteen)). It was recorded for posterity (unlike most of my Salons) and that was the last I heard of it. Then the other day I find out from J.L. Bell on Twitter that it’s up and running on the NYPL website. Glory be, who knew! So if you’ve ever been curious as to what a Literary Salon consists of, have at it.
Again, this was yet another pretty darn good week for videos. Trailers abounded, and not just for movies. The big news of the week was that a Bill Joyce picture book had been turned into what may be the most cinematic picture book app we’ve seen yet. It’s called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and is so gorgeous, in fact, that I’m going to do something I’ve managed to avoid until now. I’ll buy it. Here’s why:
Thanks to Ben Rubin and Paul Schmid for the link!
On the book trailer side of things is this one for what I’m going to call the most anticipated fall children’s book of 2011, I Want My Hat Back:
And then on the actual movie world, two trailers were released this week. One gives me hope. The other . . . not so much. So on the hope side of things is this new, longer Tintin trailer. I was always convinced that Tintin could never be done well because who’s going to allow a kid like him to handle a gun onscreen? I never counted on CGI to save the day. I usually hate this style of animation but here . . . it kinda works because it acknowledges how cartoony it can be. Oddly, I could only find a trailer online that had French subtitles. Ah well.
Nice yes? Well retain that happy feeling because the other trailer released was a bit of a disappointment. I don’t know why Martin Scorsese got it into his head that the title “Hugo” sounds better than “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”. Plain old &ldquo
So let’s get a grasp on what exactly it is I’m talking about here. Day of Dialog. A day when School Library Journal and roughly 1.5 billion children’s book publishers (read: 16, give or take) get together and attendees (who are mostly children’s librarians and children’s booksellers) get to witness a variety of interesting panels and previews of upcoming children’s books for the Fall season. It tends to be held on the Monday before BookExpo so that it doesn’t conflict with anything going on at that time. And since my library was closed that day for it’s big time Centennial celebration, I thought to myself, “Why not go? I could report on what went on and have some fun along the way.”
Of course I had forgotten that I would be typing all that occurred on Dead-Eye the Wonder Laptop: Capable of carrying at least two hours of charge in its battery . . . and then dying altogether. So it was that I spent much of the day seeking out outlets and either parking myself next to them or watching my charging laptop warily across a crowded room. Hi-ho the glamorous life.
Day of Dialog is useful in other ways as well. It means getting galleys you might otherwise not have access to. It means sitting in a nice auditorium with a belly full of muffin. Interestingly the only problem with sitting in the audience when you are pretty much nine months pregnant (aside from the whole theoretical “lap” part of “laptop computer”) is that you start eyeing the panelists’ water bottles with great envy. I brought my own, quickly went through it, and then found myself wondering at strategic points of the day and with great seriousness “If I snuck onto the stage between speakers, do you think anyone would notice if I downed the remains of Meghan McCarthy’s bottled water?” I wish I could say I was joking about this.
Brian Kenney, me boss o’ me blog and editor of SLJ, started us off with a greeting. He noted that he had placed himself in charge of keeping everything on track and on schedule. This seemed like a hazardous job because much of the day was dedicated to previews of upcoming books, and there is no good way to gently usher a sponsor off of a stage. Nonetheless, Brian came equipped with a small bell. Throughout the day that little bell managed to have a near Pavlovian influence on the panelists. Only, rather than make them drool, it caused them to get this look of abject fear that only comes when you face the terror of the unknown. For some of them, anyway. Others didn’t give a flying hoot.
Luann Toth came after Brian to introduce our keynote speaker though, as she pointed out, “Does anyone really need to introduce Katherine Paterson?” Point taken. Now upon entering the auditorium this day, each attendee had been handed a signed copy of a new novel by Ms. Paterson and her h