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.....Taken from sketches and watercolors, artist Gabriele Joy,www.gjoyfulbears.com, created a wonderful fantasy sculpture of our buddy Willoughby. He is now keeping me company in the studio... What a treat!
Willoughby is now available for custom order at https://www.facebook.com/DragonsRealmgjoyfulAdd a Comment
Lily returns to the darkness of Htrae to take the King’s message from the City of Light. Even though she doesn’t think she can fulfill this mission, with the help of Ruah she embarks on the difficult task of inviting others to the great forgotten city.
Noah and Isabela take a journey in Great Grandmother’s kitchen to discover the Easter story by coloring eggs Grandmother’s “old-timey-way.” Color meanings help them learn more about who Jesus is and who they are.
Rip, the night engine, constantly worries about his passenger’s comfort on overnight train rides. He knows bench seating is not comfortable for sleeping. His cars are redesigned as Pullman Palace cars equipped with sleeping compartments. He finally lives up to his name that means Rest In Pillows.
A young rabbit loves to tease his older brothers. He goes off into the woods by himself and boasts that he’s not afraid of anything. One night, he hears a lion roar in the house. He tells his brothers, but they ignore him.
Leaving the best 'till last. . .
Guardian Angel's indomitable, talented, and far-seeing CEO, Lynda Burch, told us authors the following:
"I am about to sign contracts for foreign rights is Asia. The first step will be getting our English content into Asia as is - both ebook and print.
China has recently mandated that every child should learn to speak English as a second language. This is great news for us at this time. Additionally 90% of children’s literature in China is imported from foreign publishers!"
NOTE: That noise you hear is GAP authors and illustrators dancing on the ceiling.
TAIL ENDERS . . . .
Hope to share the first illo for “Dreamtime Man”with you in my next GRAB BAG posting.
Here's an early taste of what's planned for my rhyming story about aboriginal tribes, and how badly they were treated after the white man colonized Australia.
The lack of diversity in children’s literature is a problem that affects all children, especially children from low-income families, who rarely see themselves, their families or their communities in the stories they read.
The problem is real. In a study last year, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center reviewed thousands of kids’ books, and found that:
only 3.3 percent were about African-Americans
only 2.1 percent were about Asian-Pacific Americans
only 1.5 percent were about Latinos
a mere 0.6 percent were about American Indians.
The teachers, librarians, mentors and program leaders we work with tell us time and again that one of the biggest challenges they face in helping kids become strong readers is the lack of stories featuring heroes and experiences they can relate to.
Today, at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting, hosted by President Bill Clinton, I announced First Book’s commitment to create a sustainable solution to this problem by dramatically expanding the market for diversity in children’s literature through The Stories for All Project.
First Book aggregates the voices — and purchasing power — of thousands of educators and program leaders who serve families at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Through The Stories for All Project, we’re showing the publishing industry that there is a strong, viable and vibrant market out there for books like these.
One more important thing: This isn’t just about kids from African-American or Hispanic families being able to read stories about characters who look like them. All kids should have access to stories featuring diverse characters, to see the world in all its true rich variety. We’re creating this market in order to make diverse content available to kids from low-income families, but once that content exists, it’s available for everyone.
First Book is truly eager to collaborate with everyone interested in really changing this landscape for all kids.
Add your name to First Book’s email list to recieve occasional updates about The Stories for All Project and other ways to get new books into the hands of kids in need.
I was in San Francisco last weekend and went by Chronicle Books to visit with an editor. Here’s a peek at the tour of their offices.
Mocha at Ironsides Cafe, which is right beside Chronicle Books.
Entering Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.
Social space, gallery space, party space: top floor of Chronicle Books.
Format Archive. This shelf holds copies of every print format Chronicle Books has published. It is used as reference when considering the formatting of a project.
The competition shelf. Major publisher exchange books, so each can see what the competition is doing. When considering a project, editors often visit this competition shelf to compare the project under consideration to "today's crowded market."
One editor's desk at Chronicle Books. In the four story building, one floor is the art floor with all the designers; another floor is editorial; one floor is business personnel.
The Cover Wall. These are covers of current Chronicle books.
Booklist recently announced their list of the Top 10 Graphic Novels for youth, and you have to give them points for originality. While there’s a couple titles on the list you might know (The Unsinkable Walker Bean, Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty), I’m willing to bet my cardigan (well, maybe an item of equal value) that there are a few you weren’t aware of. And really, isn’t that what makes a like this worth it? I’m off to find a copy of Return of the Dapper Men. Click here (or the image below) to read.
As you may have heard, there was a memorable meeting of pop culture and children’s lit this week on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. The contestants were tasked with creating a children’s book and boy did it entertain – often for completely unintentional reasons. Click below to watch.
On the first day of National Poetry Month (April 1st), I’m hosting a gallery of book spine poems (or centos, if you want to get technical) submitted by you. If you give it the ol’ college try, take a picture and post it to your blog, or send it my way via email (scopenotes (at) gmail (dot) com). Click here for some tips on creating your own. If you try it with kids, send those in too – I’m also putting up a gallery of student work on April 1st, which I’ll add to for the entire month.
In preparation for the big day, I’m posting a new book spine cento every Friday in March. I used books from my daughter’s library for today’s entry, and it’s one of my favorites. Best read by two voices – one voice for the first three lines, another for the last two:
Hang-wringing complete. It’s time for the quarterly look at upcoming releases I’m calling 10 to Note.
What follows are the 10 titles set to hit shelves in March, April, and May that had me most saying “Yeah, boiiiii!” (or something along those lines). Not a guarantee of quality, but a subjective list of books that struck my fancy as a K-6th grade elementary school librarian.
Middle Grade Fiction
The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin; illustrated by Kevin Cornell
Mar. 1, 2011 | Balzer + Bray | Grades 2-5
Diary of a Worm and Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type have made Doreen Cronin a well known figure in children’s lit. With The Trouble with Chickens, Cronin tries something she has never done – a middle grade novel. A mystery about a search-and-rescue dog (J.J. Tully) pulled out of retirement to crack a case of missing chicks, laughs are likely. And the “A J.J. Tully Mystery” tag on the front ensures more adventures to come. I’m anxious to see how this one turns out.
Invisible Inkling by Emily Jenkins; illustrated by Harry Bliss
Apr. 26, 2011 | Balzer + Bray | Grades 2-4
And hey, speaking of Diary of a Worm, the illustrator of that book, Harry Bliss, is handling the artwork for Invisible Inkling, written by Emily Jenkins. I love the premise of a boy with an invisible (I repeat: invisible – not imaginary) friend. When I hear the phrase “in the vein of Clementine”, my ears perk up, and that what the publisher is touting this middle grade title as.
Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider
May 2, 2011 | Clarion | Grades 2-4
No matter how many funny books come out, there will always be a clamoring mass of young readers ready for one more. This story about the lengths a father goes to to get his son to try new foods looks promising on the comedy front. A book that may speak to the scores of, ahem, selective eaters out there.
Nonfiction Picture Books
Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, Civil War Hero by Marissa Moss; illustrated by John Hendrix
Mar. 1, 2011 | Abrams | Grades 2-4
Have you heard of Sarah Edmonds? This woman who disguised herself as a man to fight in the civil war isn’t a household name, especially with kids. This picture book biography by Marissa Moss and John Hendrix should help bring Edmonds’ story to younger readers. Is it okay for me to have favorites? I’m not sure how that works since I review books and all. Alright, I’m just gonna say it – I’m a big John Hendrix fan. Big. Fan. If you know his work from When Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creekor the more recent
0 Comments on 10 to Note: Spring Preview 2011 as of 1/1/1900
I’ve been reading (and purchasing books for my libraries based on) librarian Tasha Saecker’s reviews for years at her blog Kids Lit. She recently switched blog monikers (to Waking Brain Cells) and moved locations – be sure to make the move with her. Click here to visit her new site and subscribe.
Over at Bookends, Lynn and Cindy share a genius reading promotion tool – the Good Books Bin. Steal this idea accordingly. Click the image above to read.
0 Comments on Morning Notes: Let a Book Be Your Roof Edition as of 2/8/2011 10:28:00 PM
The Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (a.k.a. the Cybils) were just announced and demand a look-see. Having served on the Fiction Picture Book panel, I’m thrilled to see David Ezra Stein’s Interrupting Chicken take top honors in that category. Click here to see all the winners.
If you throw an I Spy, a Where’s Waldo, and a fiction picture book into your children’s lit blend-o-matic and hit puree, what you get is Look! A Book! – pure entertainment in printed form. I can’t wait to start circulating this.
A boy and a girl pick up a book – the same book the reader is holding in their hands:
HERE’S a CRAZY
SEEK & FIND
With images of every kind!
So many objects,
big and small.
Let’s see if you
Can find them
From here on out, the spreads alternate between rhyming text set against bold colors and incredible seek and find illustrations. The conclusion of the book lists many more objects to go back and locate, ensuring hours of happy hunting.
Staake’s bright, abstract style has never been more detailed, with wildly creative results. Robots serving orange juice, dolphins wearing football helmets, clowns in shopping carts, seals operating machinery – the wackiness is seemingly endless. Kids will be pleased.
More than just an I Spy read-alike, the amount of care and consideration that went into Look! A Book! is impressive. Circular die cuts reveal objects that become part of the text. Staake smartly names only one object for the reader to locate on each seek and find spread, a decision that keeps the proceedings moving along during the first reading.
The verdict on this book is short and sweet. Get it. For your children’s collection, your kids, your neighbor’s kids – basically anyone that is or even vaguely resembles a youngster. It will receive a warm welcome everywhere.
An agreeable side effect of featuring cover lookalikes is that I occasionally find a suggestion in my inbox. Today’s Cover Curiosity is a perfect example. With credit and thanks to Cindy Dobrez, school librarian and Bookends blogger (a site you should be reading if you aren’t already), I bring you a possible trend in the making (and one that I quite fancy):
Stop motion has always been my animation of choice. It routinely beats out CGI in the character department. This pleasingly lo-tech method is used below to create one of the best book videos I’ve seen in a while. Many thanks to author Debbie Diesen for the link.
11:00pm – Motown Night at Chicago’s Empty Bottle. Loud and great. And loud.
Okay, now the day…
5:30am – Riiiiiiing! What’s that you say? I can’t hear you over my ringing ears. I question my decision to hang out in front of the huge speakers the night before. This may be a problem.
6:45 – MapQuested directions in hand, I head out to Naperville, IL.
7:30 – Dang, the Chicago suburbs are spread out. I arrive at the banquet hall expecting to see a pretty big group of people. I see a huge group of people. Lesson learned – never underestimate the draw of Weird Al.
7:35 – I meet up with fellow school librarian and Chicagoland local John Schumacher (he of the must-follow Twitter account @MrSchuReads and excellent blog Watch. Connect. Read.). He is also, thankfully, good at saving seats. The inevitable Anderson’s Bookshop swag (filled with all manner of poster, bookmark, button, and sticker):
7:45 – What do you know? It turns out I’m sitting at a whole table of Twitter folks. Here we are, not tweeting:
7:55 – I realize that author Tim Green is sitting at our table – my students love his books. I ask him if any other former NFL players have ever approached him about getting into the writing biz. He says “no”. Indeed the path from sports star to author is not a common one.
8:10 – I realize that Order of the Odd Fish author James Kennedy is scheduled to talk about his 90 Second Newbery project at the end of the event – nice!
8:20 – Words in the Dust author Trent Reedy is the first of five keynote speakers. He talks about the military service in Afghanistan and the true events that led to him writing his debut novel. A moving account.
8:45 – Anderson’s emplyees Jan Dundon and Kathleen March share a few of their favorite recent books, including Cat Secrets, A Pet for Petunia, Young Fredle, and Small Persons with Wings. I am instantly inspired to buy a bunch of books.
One one hand, basic ownership rights seem to apply. When a library buys a book, they own it, right? It isn’t the fault of libraries that ebooks never die. I like the idea that if we purchase a Beezus and Ramona ebook for my library, we own it forever. Well, ebooks are a bit different, as you don’t actually “own” an ebook – just the license for one.
But I can see where HarperCollins is coming from in terms of wanting to maintain the status quo.
I recently re-purchased almost every Ramona title for two of my school libraries. They were getting on in years, grungy, and were in need of a cover refresh. This sort of thing goes on at every library around the country. It isn’t a scam – the books break down over time or start to look dated and new copies are needed.
Now imagine if every Ramona book, at every library, never needed to be purchased again. No matter your opinion on ebooks, that’s a huge change.
But this 26 checkout business reminds me a little of Kurt Vonnegut’s short story Harrison Bergeron – it feels like an artificial handicap that can’t last.
On a purely technical level every book engages the reader, right? The act of reading or listening demands at least a small amount of participation. Then you run into a book like Cat Secrets, which shows the heights to which engaging can go, as it pulls kids into its participatory tractor beam. Confidently stepping into territory Mo Willems has been dominating in recent years, Cat Secrets takes a wrecking ball to the fourth wall and speaks directly to its audience. An audience that will be quite delighted.
Can you prove you’re a cat? Because that’s what you’ll have to do if you want to read Cat Secrets. Non-felines are not allowed. A trio of suspicious cats guard the book, and aren’t going to let just anyone crack the cover. They administer a couple tests to determine if the reader is a cat. Meowing and purring ensue, but the third and final test (napping) proves to be the cats undoing, as they can’t help but take a snooze themselves, leaving their book of secrets up for grabs.
The simplistic cartoon illustrations are an excellent match for the comedic text, creating a unified mood that screams funny. Bold colors coat every surface, with minimal backgrounds to focus attention (as if it were needed) on our main characters.
The conclusion is more calm then expected and no actual secrets are revealed – aspects that, while lending contrast and continuing the mystery, make the ending seem slightly abrupt.
Well-suited for read aloud settings, Cat Secrets will find plenty of kids eager to join in he fun.
Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers. On shelves June 28, 2011
Looks like we have a good ol’ blockbuster in the wings. Fun activity: put this on the shelf and see how long it is before you see it again.
Watch. Connect. Read. Has a great roundup of resources related to this and other books by Dav Pilkey. There’s even a video of Pilkey himself, which marks the first time I’ve ever laid eyes on the guy. Click here to check it out.
It would take a lot for me to give up the Dewey Decimal system for classifying books. It’s just…so…organized. But there are those shooting for a more bookstore feel. Click the image above to read.
April is National Poetry Month, or as I call it ’round these parts, National (Book Spine) Poetry Month. I actually do the air parentheses and everything. Last year, inspired by the amazing work of Nina Katchadourian, I tried my hand at creating a book spine cento. Here were the results:
I also encouraged all comers to give it a shot as well, and was amazed by what I saw.
Let’s kick off National Poetry Month in style. Create your own book spine poem, snap a picture, and send it my way (scopenotes (at) gmail (dot) com) or post it to your blog and let me know. Starting tomorrow, I’ll post one of my book spine centos every Friday for the month of March. On Friday, April 1st, I’ll post a gallery with all of the entries I receive from you.
I like special days where the method of celebration is clearly described in the title. Take today’s special day, for example – World Read Aloud Day. Grab a book and read it out loud – to your class, your child, yourself. Click here for details.
Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein. On shelves September 2011.
Chances are you’ve already seen this one, as it’s been making the rounds pretty swiftly this week. Clear space on the shelf.
Based on the massive hype surrounding every step The Hunger Games takes towards theaters, I’m predicting a modest to larger-than-predicted hit for this adaptation of the Suzanne Collins novel. Click the image above for the inside word on casting.
April 1st is a mere two weeks away, bringing with it the glory that is National Poetry Month. On that day I’ll be hosting a gallery of book spine poems (or centos) submitted by you. Interested in getting in on the action? If you give it a try, take a picture and email it to me (scopenotes at gmail dot com) or post it to your blog and let me know.
For those who want to try it with kids, I’ll also put up a students-only gallery on April 1 and add to it for the entire month.