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.
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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.
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.Add a Comment
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.
How do you create a book spine poem? Click here to read my tips.
I’m posting a new cento of my own every Friday until April 1, and today is no exception. Here goes:
Be sure to check out the Poetry Friday roundup at Liz in Ink.Add a Comment
Is your cover in need of something to make it stand out? Bag it.
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
How to Die of Embarrassment Every Day by Ann Hodgman
Zitface by Emily Howse
Any to add?Add a Comment
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:
Be sure to check out the Poetry Friday roundup at a wrung sponge.Add a Comment
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.Add a Comment
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.Add a Comment
Last weekend I traveled to Chicago to attend Anderson’s Bookshops 9th Annual Children’s Literature Breakfast.
Here’s how the morning went down:
Actually, I should start with the night before…
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:
@100scopenotes @mindi_r @akgal68 @mentortexts @mrschureads
(Thanks to Teach Mentor Texts for the photo)
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.
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HarperCollins recently made news for proposing a 26 checkout limit on their ebooks from public libraries.
This is crazy, right?
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.
Where do you stand?
(Top Image: ‘eBook Readers Galore‘ http://www.flickr.com/photos/43017881@N00/5052936803)Add a Comment
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.
Review copy from library.
Watch the book trailer for Cat Secrets:
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.Add a Comment
I’m especially curious to see who wins the Middle Reader category, as it is loaded with talent. Click here to read.
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators recently dished out their Golden Kite and Sid Fleishman awards. Some great choices to be seen. Click here to check out the winners.
(Thanks to A Fuse #8 Production for the link)
Photographer Yusuke Suzuki gives new meaning to the term “bedtime book”:
(Thanks to NOTCOT.ORG for the link)
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.
Over the weekend, I pAdd a Comment
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.
Here are my tips for creating a book spine cento
Do you want to try book spine poetry with your students during April? I’ll post a second gallery on April 1st exclusively for student poems, and add to it for the entire month.
So create your own, send it my way, and see your work in these here pages on April 1st.
I can’t wait to see what you come up with.Add a Comment
On April 1st, I want to kick off National Poetry Month with the bang it deserves.
But I’m gonna need your help.
I’ll post a new book spine cento here every Friday in March. On Friday, April 1st I’ll put up a gallery with your submissions. Click here for more information on creating your own book spine poem.
Give it a try, snap a photo, and send it my way (scopenotes (at) gmail (dot) com) or post it to your blog and let me know.
Here’s my first March poem:
Be sure to check out the Poetry Friday roundup at The Small Nouns.Add a Comment
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.
What was Seuss really saying with his classic books? Click here for the answer.
(Thanks to Bookshelves of Doom for the link)
Have you subscribed to author/illustrator Katie Davis’s podcast yet? It would do ye some good, as Davis consistently interviews children’s lit luminaries and provides reviews from the likes of Jennifer Hubert Swan (Reading Rants) and Betsy Bird (A Fuse #8 Production). This week, she interviews Terry Doherty (of Reading Tub fame) and even kindly shouts out my Covering the Newbery project. Click here to download.
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.
(Thanks to Omnivoracious for the link)
The interesting tale of an eBook success story. Click the tweet above to read.
0 Comments on Morning Notes: eBook Millionaire Edition as of 1/1/1900
They say that the hold shelf is a window into the soul.
Well, that might be overstating things a bit, but it is certainly a way to find out what kids are reading when given the freedom of choice. Let’s take a look at the books students are lining up to read at the 5th and 6th grade school where I work.
Rivers of Fire (Atherton series) by Patrick Carman
As Far as I Can See (My America series) by Kate McMullan
Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn
The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series) by Jeff Kinney
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur
The Burning Bridge (Ranger’s Apprentice series) by John Flanigan
School’s Out – Forever (Maximum Ride series) by James Patterson
I’m seeing two common themes here:
Look for more On Hold @ the Library next month.Add a Comment
The appropriately-titled Booklist went and created a book list. A rather sound book list. A top 10 list of black history books for youth, all published in 2010. Click the image below to check it out, and add to your collection accordingly.Add a Comment
In the past few weeks I’ve started following some new blogs, some of which might be of interest to you…
Have I mentioned that 2011 is the year ebooks explode? It’s time to start figuring these things out (so says the reluctant librarian). The group blog e is for book should prove pretty helpful in this pursuit, with a bevy of authors talking about the transition to the brave new eworld.
Author blogs can be a dicey proposition. The best of them go beyond self-promotion and interact with the children’s lit world as a whole. Jonathan Auxier, author of the forthcoming Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes takes this wide-angle view, highlighting interesting topics and sharing personal knowledge. Plus, there’s funny drawings.
Sample Post: Huckleberry Finn and Literary Alteration
Klickitat is the brainchild of librarian Julie Judkins, and even though she’s just 9 posts in, I’m digging what I see – a nice mix of reviews, link round-ups, and discussion starters. It also don’t hurt one bit that Judkins is a fellow Michigander.
Sample Post: Should Authors Rate Their Own Books in Social Media?
Started by a pair of children’s lit hobbyists, Reads for Keeps has all the reviews, book lists, and rambling editorials you could hope for. Bonus points for a cool header as well.
Sample Post: Top 5 Most Depressing Children’s Books
AASL Advocacy Tip of the Day
This one’s on the list for all the school librarians out there, but it may have some solid public library use as well. AASL Advocacy Tip of the Day is as straightforward as a blog can be – one post per day about how to generate support and spread good news about your school library. Brief, to the point, and useful.
Sample Post: Advocacy Tip #54Add a Comment
In the grand tradition of “oh, why not” I am attempting to recover every Newbery-winning book from 1922 to the present. Today, we begin the 1930s…
Side by Side:
Verdict: I’m not sure about the kid appeal level of my redo. Too retro?
Read Previous Covering the Newbery Posts:
0 Comments on Covering the Newbery (#9): Hitty, Her First Hundred Years as of 1/1/1900
A collection of our favorite authors and illustrators sat down to help us tell the story of First Book:
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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.
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.
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 Creek or the more recent 0 Comments on 10 to Note: Spring Preview 2011 as of 1/1/1900
Sad news. Brian Jacques, author of the iconic Redwall series – pivotal reading for scores of youngsters – passed away on Monday. Click here to read School Library Journal’s article.
A Fuse #8 Production has put out an all call for children’s lit related folks with ties to the mitten state. Click here to read and add your two cents.
You thought she was moody before, just wait until she appears on the silver screen. Yes, a film adaptation of the popular series by Megan McDonald is coming to theaters. Click here for details, including cast photos. Click here to read about the film in the LA Times blog.
(Thanks to Kidsmomo for the link)
Take a look, do you disagree?
Click here to buy.
(Thanks to Gizmodo for the link)
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
An impressive list.
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.Add a Comment
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.
Review copy from publisher
Watch the Look! A Book! trailer:
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
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):
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
And cover #2
I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson
Side by Side:
The similarities here are pretty clear – and you’ll get no complaints from me.
Did I miss any that fit in this group?
On a related note, how do you feel about UK cover for I Think I Love You?
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1. A book that has an eye-catching cover, but is poorly written.
Ooh – that looks like a good book.
Don’t bother dude – it’s total shelf candy. Worst book I’ve ever read.Add a Comment