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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Mo willems, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 206
1. I Really Like Slop!

I Really Like Slop! Mo Willems. 2015. Disney-Hyperion. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: La! La! La! Hi, Gerald! Hi, Piggie! Yikes! What is that?! THIS is slop!

Premise/plot: Gerald and Piggie are best friends. Piggie really, really, REALLY loves slop. Gerald, well, let's just say that he thinks it smells HORRIBLE. Absolutely horrible. Can Piggie get Gerald to try slop? Will he survive the experience?

My thoughts: I enjoyed this one very much. I did. One person's idea of "yummy, yummy" food MIGHT just be another person's idea of slop. Though in this instance, it is actually slop. (The flies are a clue. As is the fact that Piggie herself says it has old shoes in it.) If Piggie had been eating broccoli or spinach, Gerald's bravery would have made more sense, and the illustrations would have been even funnier. That being said, I have no complaints about this one. Loved the text. Loved the illustrations. And, of course, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the characters.

Hint: Notice the endpapers!

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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2. The Story of Diva and Flea

The Story of Diva and Flea. Mo Willems. Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. 2015. Disney-Hyperion. 80 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: This is Diva's story. For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France.

Premise/plot: The Story of Diva and Flea is an early chapter book. Diva is a small dog; Flea is a large cat, a flaneur. You might think these two could never be friends--best friends--because they are so very different from one another. Diva stays in her apartment, or in the courtyard of the apartment building; she's frightened of people--of stomping feet. Flea, well, Flea is a loner, a bit mistrustful of humans, who seem to always be waving brooms at him. Every single day is an adventure for this wanderer. He never knows when his next meal will be, or what it will be, but oh the sights he's seen. Yet these two do become friends, and they bring out the best in one another...

My thoughts: The Story of Diva and Flea is giddy-making. I loved, loved, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. I loved everything about it. I loved the setting--Paris, France. I loved the characters--Diva and Flea. I loved the premise: two animals becoming the best of friends. I loved how it reminded me of some of my favorite Disney movies (Lady & The Tramp and The Aristocats). I loved the illustrations. I loved the writing. For example,
Flea did not even have a fixed name. Some people called him "Puss" or "Midnight" or "Richard," but he didn't care too much about what people called him. He liked the name "Flea." He thought it was a funny name because he was a large cat, and a flea is a small animal. Also, he may or may not have had fleas.
I expected to love it because it is Mo Willems. But I didn't expect to love it so very, very much!!!

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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3. The Story of Diva and Flea, by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi | Giveaway

Enter to win a BONJOUR, AMI prize pack that includes The Story of Diva and Flea, written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi (Disney Publishing, 2015). Giveaway begins September 11, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends October 10, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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4. The Story of Diva and Flea + a giveaway


by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi (Disney Publishing, 2015)

These duos, both Diva and Flea and Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi: true friends.

I love a good young chapter book, and this one is a real treat. Friends in Paris, small animals that shouldn’t be so sweet to one another, ribbons and shaggy hair and flâneur-ing.

From the publisher:

Diva, a small yet brave dog, and Flea, a curious streetwise cat, develop an unexpected friendship in this unforgettable tale of discovery.

For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. For as long as he could remember, Flea also lived in Paris, France–but at no fixed address. When Flea flâneurs past Diva’s courtyard one day, their lives are forever changed. Together, Diva and Flea explore and share their very different worlds, as only true friends can do.

I’m so excited to bring you an opportunity to win both a copy of this book and a friendship bracelet kit, because all great pairs need to wrap their love on their wrists. This prize pack is courtesy of Disney Publishing.


Comment below by midnight PST on October 13th, which is The Story of Diva and Flea‘s book birthday, and you’ll be all set to celebrate your very best friend.


Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity).Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. The celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as garnering four Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, Let’s Go for a Drive! and A Big Guy Took My Ball!).


Tony DiTerlizzi, a number-one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, created the middle-grade series The Spiderwick Chronicles with Holly Black, which has sold millions of copies, been translated into more than 30 languages and made into a feature film. He won a Caldecott Honor for illustrating The Spider & The Fly, and in 2014 he teamed up with Lucasfilm to retell the original Star Wars trilogy in a picture book featuring artwork by Academy award-winning concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife, daughter and dog, Mimi.

Bonne chance!


Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Disney Publishing.

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5. Best New Kids Stories | October 2015

Hot New Releases & Popular Kids Stories We think our list of the best new kids books for October is sensational! It highlights some amazing books from many different genres: non-fiction, reality fiction, and fantasy. Take a gander and let us know which titles and covers catch your eye ... Read the rest of this post

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6. The Books With No Limits: Exploring Child-Centered Storytelling

"...individual readers can make the experience more child-centered by engaging kids in a dialogue."

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7. Lisa Brown – Illustrator Interview

I invited Lisa onto Miss Marple’s Musings because I fell in love with her art for her latest collaboration—MUMMY CAT, written by Marcus Ewert! As a feline-fanatic, I this memorable story within a story set in Ancient Egypt is one … Continue reading

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8. Video Sunday: One Video Short

Been a while, hasn’t it?  Well, better late than never.  And you probably get a better level of quality videos if there’s a month’s gap, eh?

Today we begin with the video of the week.  The Wall Street Journal released this article about Brian Selznick’s puppeteering work on his own book trailer.  For me, it’s the waves that are the most impressive.

When I was sent a copy of Diva and Flea, written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi, I almost immediately found myself reading it to my kiddo.  For me, child of the 80s, it had a bit of an Aristocats vibe to it.  For my daughter, it highlighted Paris (a city she already knew through her Madeline and other kidlit texts) and was an interesting tale of miscommunications (her interpretation).  Consequently, Disney upped the ante with its video for the book.  Here’s Mo sporting some Raschka locks in a kind of Dinner with Andre for children’s literary fans.  Be sure you stay for the drawn image at the end.  I think Tony’s version of Mo is the best thing ever.

Did I ever tell you about that time I went to a Scholastic event and there were a bunch of authors standing about talking, and I got into a discussion with Barbara McClintock and this guy who was all in black?  Yeah, we had a good talk and the guy (who was NOT wearing a nametag) wanders off and I turn to Barbara and say, “Who was that?”  And she says, “Jeff Smith”.  Yeah.  So basically I met the guy and wasn’t able to say anything pertinent to him at all.  I’m pretty sure we discussed skunks.  I don’t know why.  That’s just how it came out (which, technically, is right up there with the only conversation I ever had in person with Judy Blume and it was about black and white cookies).  Anywho, I missed this video when it came out in May, but I assure you that the folks in it are just as cute now as they were then.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 11.55.40 PM

My beautiful beautiful first library.  Is it not gorgeous?  Wouldn’t you love to go there?  Do.  Plus the video shows a mysterious glass box in a tower that I’ve never seen before.  I would love a closer look!

Thanks to Marci Morimoto for the link

Here’s how long it’s been since I last did a Video Sunday.  I never posted this faux teaser trailer for the Series of Unfortunate Events video series.  Crazy, right?  It’s so beautifully done, particularly the choice of Amanda Palmer song (and she is a friend of Daniel Handler’s in turn . . .).

Do I really have to mention that Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club for Kids video isn’t, ah, appropriate for kids?  I don’t do I?  I mean, it’s Chuck Palahniuk, for crying out loud.

One video I’d love to show you and that I just don’t have on hand comes from a recent Children’s Literary Salon at NYPL that I help set-up but could never see.  There is footage out there, and I have seen it, of Rita Williams-Garcia, Jeanne Birdsall, and my former co-worker Christopher Lassen dancing like The Jackson 5.  I am not making this up.  I thought I might have a Facebook link but no go.  So if I find it, I will post it, but in the meantime please believe me that you live in a world where such things really do happen.

And for our off-topic video of the day, it’s a little old but there’s no reason not to do the Johnny Depp dressed as Jack Sparrow visiting sick kids in Australia video, right?  I do wonder . . . what did he smell like?  And do authors ever get asked to do this, visit sick kids?  Or write to kids as their own characters?


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9. Best New Kids Stories | June 2015

And we thought May was a tough month to select the best new kids books! June has so many awesome books to dive into this summer.

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10. I Will Take A Nap

I Will Take A Nap. Mo Willems. 2015. Hyperion. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: I am tired. And cranky. I will take a nap! I like to nap. I am happier when I am rested.

Premise/plot: Gerald, the elephant, is TIRED and CRANKY. What does Gerald need? A nap, of course! Will Gerald get a nap, a PROPER nap, that is?! Or will Piggie keep him from getting the rest he so desperately needs?!

My thoughts: I liked this one very much. Of course, I always like Gerald and Piggie very much. I adore this series so much. I liked it for all the reasons I like Elephant & Piggie. I like the relationship between Gerald and Piggie, their friendship. I like how these two balance each other out. They just make a great team. I like Gerald. I like Piggie. But together they are better. Together they are perfect. But one of the strongest reasons I like the series so much is how expressive the books are. I love the illustrations. Gerald and Piggie are drawn with such expression--such emotion--on every page. And these expressions are oh-so-easy to relate to! For example, I love Gerald's expression when Piggie wakes him up on page 12! And Gerald's expression when Piggie is doing all the snoring?! Loved it! That one is on page 34.

Have you read I Will Take A Nap? Did you like it? love it?

Do you have a favorite book in the series?

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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11. Book Expo America: Part I

Like many others I attended Book Expo America, but unlike many others I needed another week to recover before writing about it. I also needed a full week to get my voice back, but that's another part of the story.

Being from the Washington, DC area I was able to take advantage of a full range of choices of express bus services to New York, including Bolt Bus which drops off and picks up a block from Javits. We had a winner! The easy drop off before 2:00p.m. on Wednesday got me registered at BEA with my suitcase checked and still in time to make one of my priority author signing sessions, Tim Federle at 2:30p.m. I love his books, his Twitter feed, and - from the one time I chatted with him in Alexandria - him, so I was excited to get his new picture book, Tommy Can't Stop. Though I thought I would miss it, I had enough time to get Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight signed by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer. I also hopped in line to pick up Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet, by Nick Bruel - who signs with a little kitty drawing. I had added a book selection for my singer teen, VIP: I'm With the Band, by Jen Calonita.

With four great author signings done so quickly, I couldn't believe my luck when a book that I had seen online and hoped to purchase happened to be available at the next table. That was pretty cool. So I brought home a little bit of self-help in Healthy Brain, Happy Life by Wendy Suzuki. I also picked up an abandoned copy of The Song Machine, just because I could.

I had allotted myself time to wait in line for Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi, and wait I did. But it wasn't as bad as I expected - especially given that I ran into blogger and online buddy Emily Mitchell. We chatted a bit, the line moved quickly, and I got my book, poster and photo opportunity. The Story of Diva and Flea takes place in Paris, and the poster has that French feeling to it. Mo looked good from his year on sabbatical, which I believe I told him. Afterwards I got to talk more with Emily and her co-workers, and even got another brief chat with Mo about our kids. Almost like a normal person would do.
I'm sure I picked up a few more books along the way, but I was trying to stick to the signings where I wouldn't talk as much and save my strained vocal cords. My evening was a low-key visit with my rookie Liz Burns and our friend Jackie Parker-Robinson and her husband, Kyle. Then an early bedtime for two big days coming...

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

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12. Knuffle Bunny Statue May Be Installed in Brooklyn

Knuffle BunnyThe Friends of Park Slope Library group hope to secure $250,000 to build an outdoor storytelling garden. If they are successful, they plan to install a statue of Knuffle Bunny.

This character appears in Mo Willems’ Caldecott Honor-winning picture book Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale and the sequel Knuffle Bunny Too. In the past, Willems used to be a resident of this Brooklyn neighborhood.

Here’s more from DNAinfo.com: “The garden is one of several neighborhood upgrades that could receive funding through City Councilman Brad Lander’s participatory budgeting program, which kicks off April 14. Voters in Lander’s 39th District will choose their favorites from a list of 13 possible projects, and the top five vote-getters will split $1.5 million in taxpayer dollars from Lander’s discretionary budget. Now in its fourth year, the citizen-led budgeting initiative has paid for several local improvements that were dreamed up by residents, from new computers at libraries to bathroom renovations at elementary schools.” (via The Mo Willems Blog)

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13. Actress Constance Wu Stars in Speed Reading Video

Constance Wu, the lead actress from the Fresh Off the Boat TV series, took on First Book’s speed reading challenge. In the video embedded above, Wu reads aloud from Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit.

Wu (pictured, via) managed to recite 59 words in 10 seconds. Click on these links to watch speed reading attempts from author Mo Willems, two actors from the Agent Carter show, and two actors from the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show.

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14. Agent Carter Actors Star in Speed Reading Video

Two actors from the Agent Carter TV series, Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy, took on First Book’s speed reading challenge. In the video embedded above, Atwell and D’Arcy read aloud from Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad All Year. Altogether, they managed to read 73 words in only 10 seconds. Click here to find out how Mo Willems fared when he took on this task.

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15. Video Sunday: La la la!

Morning, folks.  We’ve a good store of goodies this morning, and I’m pleased as punch to give them to you.  First up, a short film.  A very short film, actually.  I’ve spoken in the past on how Hollywood views children’s writers and the creation of children’s books.  This film seems to believe that children’s books in general are being urged to be “darker”.  Even picture books.  An odd sentiment, but there you go.

Thanks to Stephanie Whelan for the link!

So, First Book is doing something called the Speed Read Challenge.  It’s being done to draw attention to First Book’s Be Inspired campaign, which is attempting to get 1 million books into the hands of kids.  You can see a whole slew of celebrities told to speed read book in ten seconds.  First, recent Newbery winner Kwame Alexander:

Next, Mo Willems:

I wanna do it.

As you may have heard from folks like Travis Jonker, Jimmy Kimmel started a regular feature where he has a bookclub with kids.  So far they’ve covered Goodnight Moon and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.  Naturally when it came time to embed one, I went with The Giving Tree. To know me is to know why.

Barb Langridge has made it her goal to get the ALA Youth Media Award titles back in the public eye and conversation.  Here she talks with the people of Baltimore about the recent winners.  Good stuff.


And for our off-topic video,  I had two really good choices.  Still, in light of last Sunday’s Oscars, this seemed like the link that made a bit more sense:


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16. There Is a Bird On Your Head | Class #2 2015

thereisabirdMo Willems has become THE master of easy readers. With pre-book work including Sesame Street and animation, he had the perfect training to create child- and teacher-friendly easy readers. I think he deserves every one of his many awards. What do you notice in this deceptively simple book? What does he do with simple shapes and lines in the art and very few words to create distinct characters? Would you share this book with children who are learning to read?

(Note to the Mo fans out there: I recommended a road trip to Amherst MA to visit the Eric Carle Museum. While you are out there, save some time to visit the R. Michelson Gallery in Northhampton where you can see — and buy — original Mo Willems sketches of Elephant and Piggie.)


The post There Is a Bird On Your Head | Class #2 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

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17. David Greene & Mo Willems Take on the First Book Speed Reading Challenge

Two writers, David Greene and Mo Willems, have taken on the First Book speed reading challenge. The video embedded above features Willems’ reading—what do you think?

Greene narrated 69 words from the first chapter of his nonfiction book, Midnight in Siberia, in 10 seconds. Willems only managed to utter 1 word from his picture book, Pigs Make Me Sneeze.

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18. Fusenews: Don’t Let the Pigeon Shoot First

  • Hi-ho, folks. Well, there’s a nice little second part to that interview I did with Kidlit TV last week.  Basically, if you’ve ever wanted me to predict the Newbery and Caldecott on air or offer up my assessment of the worst written children’s book of 2014, you are in luck.  I think there may even be some additional free copies of WILD THINGS: ACTS OF MISCHIEF IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE in the offering as well.
  • In other news, I wouldn’t call this next link workplace safe.  Not because it’s gross or inappropriate in any way.  More because it’s going to make you laugh out loud, probably in a rude snorting-like fashion.  The kind of sound a hippo might admire.  When I worked the children’s reference desk there were certain websites I was not allowed to read because they’d make me give great gulping guffaws and scare the little children.  And a close close examination of Goodnight Moon?  Yep.  That would be dangerous.  Ditto the author’s previous post on Knuffle Bunny.
  • Hey, New Yorkers! Those of you who happen to find yourself with time to spare this Sunday and need somewhere to be.  You like author Gregory Maguire?  You like Tuck Everlasting?  You like the idea of actually seeing Natalie Babbitt for yourself live and in person?  Well Symphony Space is having a heck of a cool event with all these elements put together, and I cannot help but think you’ll have a good time if you attend.  Just sayin’.
  • I come home from work the other day and my husband says, “So. You heard about that J.J. Abrams / Mo Willems thing, right?” Come again?  What the which now?  Yes indeed, there was a story going around the news about a case of mistaken identity between Mo Willems and Mo Williams.  It’s a funny piece, but I do wish they let us know if Abrams ever actually got in touch with Mo.
  • Full credit to Zetta Elliott.  She has created a list of all the 2014 African American Black-authored middle grade and young adult novels were published in the US in 2014.  She found 40.  An incredibly low number, but the list should prove useful to those of you preparing for some African-American book displays in your libraries and bookstores.

New Blog Alert: With two small children in the house (slash taking up valuable cranial real estate) I haven’t indulged in my blog readings like I used to.  I miss things.  So a picture book blog like Magpie That can exist for lord only knows how long before I see it.  And talk about content!  Or a beautiful layout!  If the plethora of illustrators providing magpies along the side are any indication, this site’s been up for a while. A lovely thing to stumble upon then.

Oo!  Thing!  So recently PW was kind enough to write up my last Children’s Literary Salon on the topic of science fiction for kids (as in, why the heck don’t we have any?). Now I know that some of you are planning on coming to NYC for the SCBWI Conference at the beginning of February.  I’m sure you have a lot on your plate, but if you just happen to be free on Saturday, February 7th at 2:00 p.m., take a stroll over to the main branch of NYPL for my (free!) Children’s Literary Salon on “Collaborating Couples“. The description:

Living together is one thing.  Working together?  Another entirely.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join married couples Andrea & Brian Pinkney (MARTIN & MAHALIA) and Sean Qualls & Selina Alko (THE CASE FOR LOVING), and Betsy & Ted Lewin (HOW TO BABYSIT A LEOPARD) as they discuss the pitfalls and pleasures of creating collaboratively.

For a full roster of my upcoming Salons (more are in the works) go here.

  • Speaking of NYC, there was an interesting piece in the Times on how we need a children’s literature mascot for the city.  London has Paddington, so what do we have?  Some good suggestions are on hand (Patience and Fortitude amongst them) and it’s tricky to come up with the best of the lot.  I guess if I had my wish it would be the original Winnie-the-Pooh toys.  They’re immigrants, they live in the library, and everybody loves them.  What more could you want in a New York mascot?
  • Daily Image:

The old Daily Image well appears to have run dry. Would you accept this picture of an adorable baby Bird asleep in his books instead?

Darn right you would.


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19. Best Selling Picture Books | September 2014

Our best selling picture book for the past month is Herve Tullet's completely awesome Press Here (Chronicle Books, 2011). As per usual, we've shared our hand selected list of the most popular picture books from the nationwide best selling picture books, as listed by The New York Times

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20. Please Don't Feed The Pigeons!

 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.

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21. What’s Your Favorite Animal?, by Eric Carle | Book Review

In Eric Carle’s What’s Your Favorite Animal, he collaborates with fourteen renowned children’s book artists to create mini storybooks about a favorite animal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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10 Comments on Fusenews: Bemoaning, Lamenting, and Generally Carrying On, last added: 10/29/2014
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23. Our Favorite New Favorites of 2014

Every week, we gather together a small pile of newly released titles that we agree should be on everyone's radar. We deem these titles our New Favorites (check out our recent picks here). Now that the year is winding down, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the standouts, in case you [...]

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24. Goodreads Choice Awards Winners Revealed

goodreads 2014Goodreads has announced the winners of this year’s Goodreads Choice Awards. With 46,154 votes, Landline by Rainbow Rowell has won in the Best Fiction category.

We’ve linked to samples of all the winning titles below. Did your favorite writer make it to the end?


New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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25. Two by Mo Willems

My New Friend Is So Fun! Mo Willems. 2014. Hyperion. 60 pages. [Source: Library]

I love Gerald. I love Piggie. I love Mo Willems. This is the twenty-first book starring Piggie and Gerald. I did enjoy it. How could I not enjoy it? I couldn't imagine not loving a book starring my favorite pig and favorite elephant.

In this addition to the series, Piggie becomes friends with Brian Bat, and Gerald becomes friends with Snake. Gerald and Snake are talking. They become worried, very, very worried. The more they talk, the more they think, the more they think, the more anxious and excited they become. What if Piggie becomes BEST, BEST friends with Brian?! What if Brian the Bat doesn't *need* Snake anymore?! What if Piggie doesn't *need* Gerald anymore?! What if Piggie decides that it is more fun to spend time with Brian?! Gerald and Snake would be doomed if that happened. They can't let that happen. They just can't. So they go to confront Piggie and Brian....

Will Gerald and Piggie stay best, best friends?

This one is cute enough. Of course, Gerald has nothing to worry about. Piggie is loyal through and through. (As is Brian the Bat.)

Waiting is Not Easy. Mo Willems. 2014. Hyperion. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

Note: This one will be Cybils eligible next year! Don't forget!

Did I love the twenty-second Elephant & Piggie book? I did! You know I did! I adore Gerald and Piggie!!!

In this addition to the series, Piggie has a surprise for Gerald. But it is a surprise that can't be given or shared right away. Which means that both Gerald and Piggie have to wait...and wait...and wait. Piggie, at least, knows why. But Gerald, well, he doesn't. And the suspense is torture for this oh-so-emotional elephant!

What I love best about the series is the expressiveness of the illustrations. Spotlight on Gerald!!! I love watching his expressions on every page of Waiting Is Not Easy. I think my favorite is Gerald's groaning. (p. 20/21, 30/31, 38/39).

The story is fun and playful. It is oh-so-easy to relate to Gerald's impatience and frustration!

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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