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1. Best Selling Kids Series | April 2014

The New York Times bestselling "Pete the Cat" picture book series tops The Children's Book Review's best selling kids series list. And the list of hand-selected series from the nationwide best selling Children's Series list, as noted by The New York Times, features the same popular dystopian thriller series as last month from the likes of Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins, the adventurous Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, and the relatable Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney.

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2. Best Selling Kids Series | March 2014

The popular Who Was …? series tops The Children's Book Review's best selling kids series list. And the list of hand-selected series from the nationwide best selling Children's Series list, as noted by The New York Times, features the same popular dystopian thriller series as last month from the likes of Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins, the adventurous Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, and the relatable Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney.

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3. ‘Catching Fire’ First Official Trailer Released

During last night’s Movie Awards show, MTV revealed the first teaser trailer for Catching Fire, the second installment of The Hunger Games film franchise.

We’ve embedded the video above–what do you think? The trailer has already drawn more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.

The trailer offers the fans glimpses of several major events in the story and a first look at Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman as Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. This adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ young-adult novel won’t be released until November 22, 2013.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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4. Best Selling Kids Series Books | September 2013

This month's best selling kids series books are ... Read the rest of this post

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5. Entering the Dark Forest

 

  Raasepori-MoonLohja-summer2013 032

 The forest  has played a major role in children's literature from the earliest time.

The forest was mysterious, a place of unknowns and often darkness and fear.

From legends to fairy tales, the forest was a place of wonder and often a place of danger...from Winnie the Poo to Little Red Riding Hood

Eastern Finland-PunkaharjuThe forests are central to the Planet Of The Dogs and Castle In The Mist.

For readers, the forests, like the books whose stories embrace them, open the doors to the imagination.

This blog is dedicated to children's literature that opens the doors to the imagination. And to the amazing role of dogs in enhancing our lives. - 

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SLEEPING BEAUTIES VS. GONZO GIRLS By Maria Tatar  

In this fascinating article that moves through children's literature and cultural myths ranging from Gretel and Red Riding Hood to Katniss Everdeen and Lady Gaga, Maria Tatar explores the evolution of the female archetype today. Here are excerpts.

"We’ve come a long way from what Simone de Beauvoir once found in Anglo-European entertainments: 'In song and story the young man is seen departing adventurously in search of a woman; he slays the dragons and giants; she is locked in a tower, a palace, a garden, a cave, she is chained to a rock, a captive, sound asleep: she waits.' Have we kissed Sleeping
Beauty goodbye at last, as feminists advised us to do not so long ago...
Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy and Suzanne Collins’s “Hunger Games” series have given us HungerGamesJenniferLawrencefemale tricksters, women who are quick-witted, fleet-footed, and resolutely brave...  they are not just cleverly resourceful and determined to survive. They’re also committed to social causes and political change...

The female trickster has a long and distinguished lineage...Many of our female tricksters—often new inflections of the ones we know from legends and fairy tales—have complemented their DoreRedRidingHoodarsenals of verbal weapons with guns and steel.Little Red Riding Hood has been revisited again and again in recent years. The girl in red, often positioned as a seductive innocent who courts the predator as much as she fears him, is no longer a willing victim. When Buffy, from the popular nineties TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” dresses up as Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween...

These days, the trickiest of them all may be Lady Gaga... Lady Gaga draws us out of our LadyGagaKidscomfort zones, crosses boundaries, gets snared in her own devices. Shamelessly exploitative and exploratory, she reminds us that every culture requires a space for the disruptive energy of antisocial characters. She may have the creativity of a trickster, but she is also Sleeping Beauty and menacing monster, all rolled into one."

Maria Tatar chairs the program for folklore and mythology at Harvard University. She is the editor of the excellent Enchanted Hunters, the Power of Stories in Childhood.

The Illustration Of Red Riding Hood in bed with the wolf is by Dore...

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                   RedRidingHood2011Movie

In recent times, many versions of the fairy tales of old have been made for film and TV. Producers of these retold versions of Little Red Riding Hood have been inspired by the early versions of the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault with the ominous forest, the dangerous wolf, and the innocent young maiden. These retellings have often been heavily influenced by the quest for commercial success, and the reults have been decidely mixed. Often banal or cliched, they are examples of how commerce as well cultural change affects the retelling of fairy tales.

Here is a link to the trailer of the  2011 Movie film, Red Riding Hood

And here is an excerpt and a link to Roger Ebert's laugh out loud review.

"Of the classics of world literature crying out to be filmed as a sexual fantasy for teenage RedRidingHood2011moviesgirls, surely "Red Riding Hood" is far down on the list. Here's a movie that cross-pollinates the "Twilight" formula with a werewolf and adds a girl who always wears a red hooded cape...

What this inspiration fails to account for is that while a young woman might toy with the notion of a vampire boyfriend, she might not want to mate with a wolf. Although she might think it was, like, cool to live in the woods in Oregon, she might not want to live in the Black Forest hundreds of years ago because, like, can you text from there?

"Red Riding Hood" has the added inconvenience of being dreadfully serious about a plot so preposterous, it demands to be filmed by Monty Python..."

Like Mr Ebert, most critics gave the film a negative review. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the audience rating was 39%.

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RedRidingHood1997A sensual intepretation of Little Red Ridin Hood  from 1997 is found in this short film by David Kaplan adopted from Conte De LA Mere Grande...music by Debussy...the wolf moves like a seductive spirit of the forest...soft black and white images and a clever Red Riding Hood... 

Here is the Link: Red Riding Hood

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Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf

Roald Dahl wrote his own version of Little Red Riding Hood in the form of a RoalDahlhumorous,tongue in cheek poem. This is how it begins...

"As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
He went and knocked on Grandma's door.
When Grandma opened it, she saw
The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, "May I come in?"
Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
"He's going to eat me up!" she cried.
And she was absolutely right.
RedRidinghoodDahlHe ate her up in one big bite.
But Grandmamma was small and tough,
And Wolfie wailed, "That's not enough!
I haven't yet begun to feel
That I have had a decent meal!"
He ran around the kitchen yelping,
"I've got to have a second helping!"...

The image above is from a fun film made of Dahl's Red Riding Hood poem using stop-motion puppets. The imaginative creators, Hannah Legere and Andrew Wilson, certainly caught the spirit of the Dahl poem. Link here to this delightful film version of Roald Dahl's  poem...

The dog lover in the photograph is Roald Dahl.

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Artists and Illustrators...

LittleRedRidingHoodBookCover Wisnewski 14 different artist's versions of Red Riding Hood are posted on the  Art of Children's Books  blog site..here is an excerpt from their introduction...

"Folk tales and fairy tales are at the top of the list when it comes to vintage children's books. The Brothers Grimm* folk tale, Little Red Riding Hood, has been a beloved and enduring story. Originally titled Little Red Cap, the story has a strong lesson. Since it's publication, Little Red Riding Hood has been illustrated by many artists over the years. Here is just a sampling of the different artistic interpretations of Little Red Riding Hood."

 Book cover by Andrea Wisnewski...*The original version was published by Charles Perault.

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RedRidingHoodForestThe Forest and Imagination...
The influence of the forest on the imagination will 
always be with us, especially in legend, folk tales and children's stories.
Innumerable film and TV versions, including 
many annimated cartoons, of Little Red Riding Hood will continue to be made. And wonderful writers like Roald Dahl in the past, and Philip Pullman in the present, will continue to find the forests of fairy tales a timeless setting for timeless stories. 

 The illustration is by Arthur Rackham...if you look closely, on the path beneath the huge tree, you will see red Riding Hood and the wolf.

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Reading for Pleasure...opening the imagination, opening the mind...

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Reading for pleasure puts children ahead in the classroom, according to a UK study of the reading behavior of appoximately 6000 young people. Here are excerpts from a report that reaffirms the value early reading and bedtime stories.

"Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers, according to new research from the Institute of Education (IOE).

Jordyn castleThe IOE study, which is believed to be the first to examine the effect of reading for pleasure on cognitive development over time, found that children who read for pleasure made more progress in maths, vocabulary and spelling between the ages of10 and 16 than those who rarely read...

...Children who were read to regularly by their parents at age 5 performed better in all three tests at age 16 than those who were not helped in this way." 

The research was conducted by Dr Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown; To read the article, visit Pleasure Reading

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The Doors that Rose opens... 

“I consider myself a facilitator…if my dog could drive, she would not need me. Rose seems to enjoy seeing people multiple times and developing a relationship with the people… She is SusanPurseTDRose_01a working dog by nature and she just loves these jobs.  I am constantly amazed at the doors that Rose opens…she goes to places I could never get without her…reaches beyond my reach, touches a person deeper than my touch.  The restless or agitated patient who is calmed by Rose’s touch...the child in the classroom who won’t settle down and get to work but when Rose sits by them, they quiet right down and the hyperactivity seems to dissipate.  The child getting excited about reading to Rose every week; they wouldn’t do that for me, but they do it for Rose.  Lying with a dying patient who will smile, close their eyes and stroke her with a peacefulness that is so precious…I know I could not enter that person’s space without Rose…it really is all about occupying part of someone else’s space for just a short time be it in a school, home or hospital...” 

A former teacher, Susan Purser, and her Australian Cattle Dog, Rose, have been very active as a therapy dog team for several years in Sarasota, Florida. 

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Paws Giving Independence

 Paws Giving Independence is a recpient of a 2013 Planet Dog Foundation Grant. GIPGivingIndependeceBoyandDogPlanet Dog has this year donated $71,500 in new grants to 16 non-profit dog organizations..."The PDF grants will help fund assistance dog, therapy dog and search and rescue programs across the country and support a wide variety of non-profit programs that are helping children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities; injured service members; natural disaster survivors and many more people in need..."

"Paws Giving Independence is an all-volunteer organization that saves dogs from area shelters, trains them to be service/companion dogs, and places the dogs, free of charge, with those in need. GIPGivingIndependenceGirlDogKaraLogan Their Saving a Life to Change a Life project identifies suitable dogs in shelters and trains them to meet the specific needs of people with disabilities. They train dogs to open doors, pick up dropped objects, turn lights on and off, and other ways to assist in independence. In addition, they train dogs to alert for epileptic and diabetic seizures, and psychological assistance for military veterans with PTSD. PDF funds support veterinary care, special prosthetics and balance equipment and training."

 Paws Giving Independence was founded in 2008 by 3 Bradley University students who recognized the marvelous healing capabilities of dogs.

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for Dog Lovers and decent people...

Here's a Goodreads review that strikes home and makes sense for dog lovers and decent people...Passionate dog rescuer, animal rights advocate and author.C.A. Wulff wrote How to Change The World in 30 Seconds...

"At first i started reading this book as an animal rescuer myself. But as i started to go Arielchange world3edthrough all of the information in the book i realized that this book is a GREAT informative guide for people who have just dipped their toes into the realm of rescue. It is laid out in a way that focuses on an audience that may, or may not have already heard of some of the ideas. This way a novice rescuer can understand it, but the veteran rescuer isnt just wading through either. I saw several options that were detailed out even for someone in rescue many years. So really what im saying is.. it doesnt matter if you are new or old to it, this can give you great ideas, starting points and explanations for why so many rescuers are able to save lives on click at a time."

 Here is a link to the full review by Sylence of How to Change the World in 30 Seconds, in Goodreads... 

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 Much has been written of the importance of childhood experiences with books...books that meant a lot to an individual as a child and where the memory of the book remains important in their adult life. Here, thanks to Monica Edinger's Educating Alice blog, are excerpts from a rather fascinating converstion by two of the most prominent, respected, and imaginative writers of children's and YA literature...

FineBooksCollectionsLogo-top

 

 

 

Guest Blog: Gaiman & Pullman Talk Children's Books in Literary Oxford

BY REBECCA REGO BARRY ON AUGUST 26, 2013 8:40 AM Guest Blog by Catherine Batac Walder 

 "Gaiman talked about reading the Mary Poppins books when he was six or seven and how they helped form whatever worldview he had as a kid. 'The idea that the world is incredibly unlikely and strange secret things are always happening, that adults don't really explain to you, or in fact, that adults may be oblivious to'...


''His (Gaiman's) wonder was infectious as he recalled discovering the library when he was very GaimenCoverCoralineyoung and having that incredible feeling of power; discovering the card catalogue in which you could actually look up subjects like witches or robots or ghosts; or you could just take down books and read the interesting ones. Both authors talked about discovering American comic books and marveled at the speed in the stories, the size of them, with Gaiman adding, "Everything was alien, everything was equally as strange and unlikely, so skyscrapers, and pizza and fire hydrants were just as alien to my world as people in capes flying around..."

 

 

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   Aliceheader

Monica Edinger, a fourth grade teacher, and a passionate advocate of the wonders and benefits of children's literature, has a very lively and informative blog:  Educating Alice . Her new book, Africa Is My Home, is receiving excellent reviews.

Here are excerpts from her blog ;

                                The Unjournal of Children's Literature 

EdingerAfricaIsMyHomecoverThe “un” movement is an intriguing one. Until recently I had only heard about it in terms of unconferences, participant-driven events such as this one. But now there is another sort of un-thing, an unjournal. Created by children’s literature graduate students at San Diego State University, the inaugural issue of The Unjournal of Children’s Literature is up and ready for viewing, reading, and responding. Gorgeous to look at, clearly designed in terms of navigation, fascinating in terms of content, this is one elegant web publication.

And from an article on kids, books and reading: "Reading to me is many things and so I think we teachers need to provide many different experiences with reading and books.  My fourth grade students read all sorts of material on their own, for themselves, for all sorts of reasons..."  

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PALbanner

What do Therapy Dogs Do All Day?

Here are videos from Peple Animals Love (PAL), based in Washington DC, that document the wonderful work that their volunteers and their dogs perform. Click this link: PAL

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Fairy Tales as the Last Echoes of Pagan Myths...

Seth Lerner, in writing about the orgins and history of fairy tales and folklore, points out that Wilhelm Grimm, at the time the Grimm brothers books were being published in 1812 and 1815, wrote that fairy tales were the "'last echoes of pagan myths'. He GrimmRackhamHanselGretel(Grimm) went on:"A world of magic is opened up before us, one which still exists among us in secret forests, in underground caves, and in the deepest sea, and it is still visible to children.(Fairy tales) belong to our national poetic heritage..."

Lerner sees even more significance in Fairy tales. He goes on to point out that "what we find inside these secret forests, caves, and seas is not just a poetic heritage, but a personal one as well. For fairy tales are full of families, full of parents who bequeth a sense of self to children, full of ancestors and heirs whose lives play out, in little, the life of a nation from childhood to maturity..."

 Seth Lerer is Dean of Arts and Humanities and Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California at San Diego. The quotes and ideas above are from his informative and insightful book, Children's Literature, A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter

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NYPLlogoNYPL's Children's Literary Salon is pleased to announce our event on Saturday, October 12th at 2:00 p.m.

The ABC of It: Curator Leonard S. Marcus in Conversation
Join Bank Street’s Center for Children’s Literature, Interim Director Jenny Brown as she interviews historian and critic Leonard S. Marcus about his current NYPL exhibit and the importance of children’s literature as a whole.
This event will be held in the South Court Auditorium in the main branch of New York Public Library.
For any questions or concerns, please contact Betsy Bird at elizabethbird@bookops.org.

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Harry Potter's Textbook...

"J.K. Rowling will write her first movie script for Warner Bros., writing Fantastic Beasts and Where to
JKRowlingBookFind Them–a film based on Harry Potter’s textbook from his school for wizards.

The film is part of a planned series featuring the author of the magical book, Newt Scamander. Rowling published a book by the same name in 2001. She had this comment on her Facebook page:

"Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world..." Here is the link: JKRowling

 

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Dogs in the Forest...

The forest plays a very important role in the Planet Of The Dogs Series. Here is an excerpt from Castle In The Mist...

CITM-blog size-382KB"The dogs continued to lead the soldiers deeper into the woods.  Soon, it began to snow, slowly at first, and then, the wind increased and the snow was everywhere.  It became very difficult to see very far.  The leader of the soldiers told his men that they were to follow him.  They were returning to the castle. 

They started walking through the snow when one of the men, who was an experienced forest guide, said to the leader, “With respect sir, but I don’t think we are going in the right direction.” The leader was about to answer him when howling started.  It seemed to come from all directions.  Then the leader spoke, “You will follow me, I am certain that this is the way.”  They continued on through the swirling snow, unable to see, and surrounded by howling dogs..."

Here is an excert from a review:"Do you think it is possible for dogs to stop war? Author Robert J. McCarty has created a charming fantasy-allegory that can be read and understood on at least two different levels…a story about dogs who come from another planet to help people on earth.  But under the surface are the important messages of friendship, love, loyalty, and how to overcome evil with good…Castle In The Mist will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. 

Wayne Walker reviewing Castle in the Mist for Stories for Children Magazine, the Home School Book Review and the Home School Buzz wrote:


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Canadian Service Dog Foundation logoCANADIAN SERVICE DOG FOUNDATION

           CanadianCSDFdog_walker

The Canadian Service Dog Foundation trains and provides service dogs for a wide variety of human needs and services. They provide a wide range of vital services,,,ten major humanitarian objectives are listed on their website. Here are the first two:

  • "To improve quality of life for Canadians through the use of service dogs, assistance dogs, therapy dogs and emotional support animals. Provide opportunities, resources, and support through the use of trained service dogs for Canadians living with psychiatric disabilities so as to allow for greater functional independence, sufficient to make healthy choices and lead active lifestyles."
  • To support past or present military personnel, emergency service workers, and related professionals dealing with operational stress injuries through the use of specially trained service dogs.
  • Here is a link to learn more about their wide reaching canine services for people: CSDF Services 
  • ............................................

Read sample chapters of all the books in the Planet Of The Dogs series by Pod bookmark back_flat

clicking here:Books

Our books are available through your favorite independent bookstore or via Barnes  Noble, Amazon, Powell's...

Librarians, teachers, bookstores...Order Planet Of The Dogs, Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, through Ingram with a full professional discount.

Therapy reading dog owners, librarians and teachers with therapy reading dog programs -- you can write us at barkingplanet@aol.com and we will send you free reader copies from the Planet of the Dogs Series...Read Dog Books to Dogs....Ask any therapy reading dog: "Do you like it when the kids read dog books to you?"

And Now -- for the First Time -- E Books of the Planet Of The Dogs Series are coming on KDP Select...

Planet Of The Dogs will be available October 1...Castle In The Mist will be available on October 15 and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, on November 15...in time for the Holiday Gift Season... 


Any one of these books would make for a delightful—and one would assume cherished—gift for any child.  All three would be an amazing reading adventure. Darlene Arden, educator, dog expert, and author of Small Dogs Big Hearts wrote:  

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Finding Fido

"We are excited to announce that Barking Planet Productions is publishing a new book by C.A.Wulff.

"Finding Fido" will be available for purchase at amazon.com on September 30. "Finding Fido" is a handbook every pet owner will want to have in their library.

Between 3 and 4 million pets are put to death in shelters across the U.S. every year. Some of Fidofrontcover72them are owner surrenders, some are impounds, but the vast majority of them are missing or stolen pets.
 
C.A. Wulff and A.A.Weddle, the administrators of the service Lost & Found Ohio Pets, have compiled a guide to address this sad reality.  ‘Finding Fido’ offers tips for preventing the loss of a pet; advice for what to do with a stray pet you’ve found; and a step-by-step plan in case the unthinkable happens, and you lose a pet.  
 
This is an instructive and important tool every family with a dog or cat should have on hand… just in case.
 
100% of the proceeds from the sale of this book benefits The Beagle Freedom Project!"

 

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 WCDogsLogo

A Dog Health Update: here are excerpts from an article on Giardiasis – Parasitic Diarrhea in Dogs, Cats and Humans...The microscopic parasites known as Giardiasis are the most common intestinal parasites to be found in humans, dogs and cats. A protozoan parasite infection, it is the cause of a very serious diarrheal illness in the intestinal areas, known to be highly contagious but not lethal. However,  it is a parasite that can be transferred across species — from person-to-person or animal-to-person... The most popular locations for this parasite are on surfaces or within soil and food.However, drinking water and recreational water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from infected humans or animals are the most common methods of transmission. This includes untreated or improperly treated water from lakes, streams, or wells...

Here's the link to read this comprehensive, informative article: Way Cool Dogs

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       New England Conferences-Book Shows in October for           IPNE Small-logo-blue-white       Independent Bookstores and Libraries

 As members of the Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE), we will be exhibiting Circling the Waggins and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale at the New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA),October 6-8, in Providence, RI and the New England Library Association(NELA), on October 20-27, in Portland, Maine.

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Nyt-global-edition-masthead-logo

Green Eggs and E-Books? Thank You, Sam-I-Am By Julie Bosman

Here are excerpts from Julie Bosman's article...

"Dr. Seuss books, those whimsical, mischievous, irresistibly rhymey stories that have been passed down in print to generations of readers, are finally catching up with digital publishing...

DrSeussCatInHatThe Dr. Seuss canon will be released in e-book format for the first time, beginning later this month, his publisher said on Wednesday, an announcement that could nudge more parents and educators to download picture books for children...picture books have lagged far behind(adult fiction) . Several publishers said e-books represent only 2 to 5 percent of their total picture book sales, a number that has scarcely moved in the last several years.

But the release of the Dr. Seuss books, still hugely popular after decades in print, could move that number higher. The e-books will be available on color tablets, including the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook HD. The first titles to be released, on Sept. 24, include “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “There’s a Wocket in My Pocket!” and “The Lorax” (featuring an environmentally conscious character who might be happy about the announcement)."

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           LearEdmundBookofNonsensecover

''The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea 
In a beautiful pea-green boat, 
They took some honey, and plenty of money, 
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.''
Click here for information and videos of COROMANDEL , byTrevor Bachman's... Here is an excerpt from their site...A" vibrant musical odyssey for children and adults, Coromandel is a journey through the mind of poet Edward Lear"...playing in New York City in early October..." a fusion of rock, jazz, bluegrass, tango, musical theatre, and classical sounds makes for a diverse, delicious, and sonically satisfying evening. Told with a whimsical simplicity that appeals to children of all ages..."

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SunbearSqBigLogo

"We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace." 

—Albert Schweitzer, "The Philosophy of Civilization" -

I found this quote on

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6. ‘The Harvard Lampoon’ Parodies ‘The Hobbit’

9781476763675The Harvard Lampoon has written a Hobbit parody entitled The Wobbit.

Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone imprint will release the book in paperback format on November 26th. A reading event for this title will take place on December 12th at the Harvard Coop.

Here’s more from the press release: “When Aaron Sorkinshield and his band of Little People embark on a quest across Widdle Wearth to reclaim the hoard of Academy Awards stolen from them by the lonely Puff the Magic Dragon, senile wizard Dumbledalf suggests an unlikely and completely unqualified accomplice: Billy Bagboy, an unassuming wobbit dwelling in terrorist-riddled Wobbottabad. Along the way, the company faces internet trolls, moblins, one really big spider that must be at least an inch and a half wide, and slightly worse.”

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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7. 50 Million Copies of Hunger Games Trilogy in Print

Scholastic has over 50 million digital and print copies of the books in The Hunger Games trilogy in print.

The publisher broke down those figures for the individual books in Suzanne Collins‘ series as well: 23 million copies of The Hunger Games; 14 million copies of Catching Fire and 13 million copies of Mockingjay. These big sales drove significant increases in revenue last year.

Here’s more from the publisher’s earnings report: “In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, revenue rose 24% to $678.5 million, from $545.3 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2011 … Strong sales in Children’s Books and International, especially of The Hunger Games trilogy, again drove substantially higher results.  Consolidated earnings per diluted share were $1.76 in the fourth quarter, compared to $0.78 a year ago. In fiscal 2012, revenue was $2,148.8 million, up 14% from $1,887.9 million a year ago.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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8. August 2012: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 1, 2012

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

5 Family Favorites with Elizabeth Bard

Giveaway: Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen

Splash into Summer with 3 New Picture Books

How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development

Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

by Ian Falconer

(Ages 3-7)

Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Novel

by James Patterson

(Ages 13-17)

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 10-14)

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee: An Origami Yoga Book

by Tom Angleberger

(Ages 8-12)

Big Nate Makes the Grade

by Lincoln Peirce

(Ages 8-12)


THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

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9. Jennifer Lawrence to Earn $10 Million for Catching Fire

Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence will earn $10 million for starring in the sequel, Catching Fire. Lawrence only earned $500,000 (plus bonuses) for her performance in the first Hunger Games movie.

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “[Lawrence's] original deal with studio Lionsgate locked her into four planned films based on the best-selling Suzanne Collins trilogy, but producers — recognizing the success of the franchise — moved to renegotiate her contract as the film became an international sensation.”

Co-stars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson are also rumored to be seeking pay bumps.

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10. On the Shelf with Librarian April Hayley

Librarian Spotlight #1

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 17, 2012

April Hayley, MLIS

To kick off TCBR’s new column “On the Shelf,” which shines a spotlight on brilliant children’s librarians, April Hayley, MLIS, graciously  talked to us about becoming a librarian— among other great topics. Do you think you can guess which is the most checked out children’s book at San Anslemo Public Library in California? Read on!

Bianca Schulze: Why did you choose to become a librarian?

April Hayley: I was fortunate enough to discover the magic of reading at a young age, probably before I was out of the cradle. My mother, a librarian, read me stories and sang to me every night before bed and my father made up fairy tales for me. I didn’t discover my calling as a librarian until college one summer, working for the Chicago Public Library (my hometown). My job was to provide library services to children in some of the city’s most neglected and poverty-stricken neighborhoods. Instead of working inside the library, I brought books and literacy activities directly to the young people who needed it most. I visited three playgrounds a day, equipped only with a trunk full of picture books and a quilt to sit on. Once the kids figured out why I was coming around, they always ran over to join me, so eager to read stories, sing songs, and learn something new.Reading opened up new worlds for the kids I met. I could see it as they linked their eyes with mine, and for me that was a powerful, life-changing experience.

Most of the precious children I met that summer had never been exposed to the pleasures of reading, and none of them had ever visited a public library. When I witnessed the joy and curiosity that reading sparked in them, I understood the transformative effect of reading on young minds and I knew I wanted to be a Children’s Librarian. Once I entered graduate school to earn my Masters in Library Science, I had the opportunity to intern in the Children’s Room of the beautiful Mill Valley Library, and I knew I was on the right path; delivering traditional library services within the walls of a suburban public library could be just as fun and rewarding as literacy outreach in the inner city.

BS: Librarians are the ultimate evangelists for reading. How do you encourage students and children to read?

AH: Now that I work at the San Anselmo Library, I am lucky that many of the kids I meet already love to read. There is a culture of reading in San Anselmo that simply does not exist in places whose inhabitants must spend their time dealing with the dispiriting effects of poverty. Of course, I do a lot of work to promote reading for the children, babies, caregivers, and teenagers of our community. I lead several weekly storytimes for toddlers and preschoolers, which are designed to nourish a love of reading that will last a lifetime. It’s important to reach out to new parents and their babies as early as possible to show them how fun reading, sharing nursery rhymes, learning fingerplays, and singing can be. I also lead a book discussion group for elementary school students called the Bookworms, and a poetry club for yo

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11. September 2012: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: September 3, 2012

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

Gearing Up for Kindergarten

Best Halloween Books for Kids: Scary, Spooky, and Silly

Review: Scat by Carl Hiaasen

How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development

Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

Llama Llama Time to Share

by Anna Dewdney

(Ages 3-5)

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

by Eric Litwin

(Ages 4-8)

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs: As Retold by Mo Willems

by Mo Willems

(Ages 3-7)

Shatterproof (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, Book 4)

by Roland Smith

(Ages 8-12)

Caught (Missing)

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

(Ages 9-12)


THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

by William Joyce

(Ages 4-8)

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

by Eric Litwin

(Ages 4-7)

I Want My Hat Back

by Jon Klassen

(Ages 4-8)

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

by Sherri Duskey Rinker (Author), Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)

(Ages 4-8)

Press Here

by Herve Tullet

(Ages 4-8)

_______
CHAPTER BOOKS

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 10-14)

Insurgent (Divergent)

by Veronica Roth

(Ages 14 and up)

The Fault in our Stars

by John Green

(Ages 14-17)

Wonder

by R.J. Palacio

(Ages 8-12)

Heroes of Olympus, The, Book Two: The Son of Neptune

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 9-11)

_______

PAPERBACK BOOKS

Divergent

by Veronica Roth

(Ages 14 and up)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

(Ages 14 and up)

The Book Thief The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

(Ages 14 and up)

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

(Ages 12 and up)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

(Ages 12 and up)

_______

SERIES BOOKS

Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset Hunger Games Trilogy

by Suzanne Collins

(Ages 12 and up)

Maximum Ride

by James Patterson

(Ages 13-17)

Dork Diaries

by Rachel Renee Russell

(Ages 9-12)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Box of BooksDiary of a Wimpy Kid

by Jeff Kinney

(Ages 9 to 12)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3)Percy Jackson & the Olympians

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 9 to 12)

This information was gathered from the New York Times Best Sellers list, which reflects the sales of books from books sold nationwide, including independent and chain stores. It is correct at the time of publication and presented in random order. Visit: www.nytimes.com.

Original article: September 2012: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

©2012 The Childrens Book Review. All Rights Reserved.

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12. J.K. Rowling Breaks Goodreads Record

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling set a Goodreads record for the all-time biggest “started reading” day. Currently, more than 40,000 people have marked the book “to-read.”

The book unseated Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins as the book with the strongest “started reading” day. Insurgent by Veronica Roth holds third place. As of this writing, The Casual Vacancy has 38 percent five-star ratings on Goodreads.

Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler had this statement: “The Casual Vacancy is one of those stand-out books where people not only pre-order it, they start reading it as soon as they get their hands on it. On Goodreads, it beat the record for our previous all-time ‘started reading’ day which was set by Mockingjay.”

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13. Best Kids Stories – December 2013

Best Selling Kids’ Books & New Releases

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 1, 2012

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review and the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

20 of the Best Kids Christmas Books

Oliver Jeffers on Writing, Illustrating, and Bookmaking

Christmas Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development

20 Sites to Improve Your Child’s Literacy


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

Pandora the Curious (Goddess Girls)

By Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Ages 8-12

Huggy Kissy

By Leslie Patricelli

Ages 1-3

The Twilight Saga White Collection

By Stephenie Meyer

Ages 14 and up

The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 5: Trust No One

By Linda Sue Park

Ages 9-12

Deadly Little Lessons

By Laurie Faria Stolarz

Ages 12-17


THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

This Is Not My Hat

by Jon Klassen

Ages 4-8

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

By Eric Litwin

Ages 4-8

Llama Llama Time to Share

By Anna Dewdney

Ages 3-5

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

By Sherri Duskey Rinker (Author), Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)

Ages 4-8

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

by Ian Falconer

(Ages 3-7)

_______
CHAPTER BOOKS

“Who Could That Be at This Hour?”

By Lemony Snicket

Ages 9-12

LEGO Ninjago: Character Encyclopedia

by DK Publishing

Ages 6-12

Lincoln’s Last Days: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

by Bill O’Reilly

Ages 10-15

Wonder

by R.J. Palacio

Ages 8-12

Insurgent (Divergent)

by Veronica Roth

Ages 14 and up

_______

PAPERBACK BOOKS

Divergent

by Veronica Roth

Ages 14 and up

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

Ages 14 and up

The Book Thief The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Ages 14 and up

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

Ages 12 and up

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

Ages 12 and up

_______

SERIES BOOKS

Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset Hunger Games Trilogy

By Suzanne Collins

Ages 12 and up

Dork Diaries

By Rachel Renee Russell

Ages 9-12

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Box of BooksDiary of a Wimpy Kid

By Jeff Kinney

Ages 9 to 12

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 10-14)

Matched Trilogy

By Ally Condie

Ages 14-17

This information was gathered from the New York Times Best Sellers list, which reflects the sales of books from books sold nationwide, including independent and chain stores. It is correct at the time of publication and presented in random order. Visit: www.nytimes.com.

Original article: Best Kids Stories – December 2013

©2012 The Childrens Book Review. All Rights Reserved.

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14. Suzanne Collins Rules Most Read Books List on Facebook

Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games dominated Facebook this year, her trilogy taking the first, second and third spots on Facebook’s Most Read Books of 2012 list.

Above, you can see Facebook’s infographic about the top books of 2012. Below, we’ve listed the top five books on that list…

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3. Mockingjay by  Suzanne Collins
4. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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15. Most Frequently Challenged Library Books of 2011

The American Library Association (ALA) has released its annual list of the most frequently challenged library books of the year. We’ve linked to free samples of all the books on the list–follow the links below to read these controversial books yourself.

During the past year, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received 326 reports of “attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.” The list was part of the ALA’s 2012 State of America’s Libraries Report.

Here’s more eBook news from the report: “The rapid growth of ebooks has stimulated increasing demand for them in libraries, but libraries only have limited access to ebooks because of restrictions placed on their use by publishers. Macmillan Publishing, Simon and Schuster and Hachette Book Group refused to sell ebooks to libraries. HarperCollins imposed an arbitrary 26 loans per ebook license, and Penguin refused to let libraries lend its new titles altogether. When Random House raised ebook prices, the ALA urged it to reconsider.”

continued…

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16. Living with a Peeta-file, Part I

I took my son to the midnight showing of The Hunger Games the day it opened. So many people were wrapped around the building that they had to show it on two screens. In my small community, that’s pretty amazing. But I guess we’re just a reflection of what was going on in the big cities.

A group of smiling girls dragged my son into their part of the line. And while he still claims to hold to the belief that girls are strange, he didn’t fight them too hard.

I was ambivalent going into the movie. Most adaptations fail, in my opinion, to capture the essence of a book. And this book was so very good that the thought of seeing it ruined before my eyes, larger than life, left me with butterflies in my stomach.

When the lights finally went down, people cheered. The spectacle we’d waited so long to see was finally here. As the opening frames lit up the screen, their screams got louder, then died away. And the further we got into the story, the more I felt embarrassed by our exuberance. This wasn’t a rom-com, lighthearted flick. Children die on the screen. It’s not the sort of film you can walk away from without being moved.

Over spring break, Drew tore through the next two books. I warned him that I was depressed for a week after reading Mockingjay. But of course that didn’t stop him. Some things you just have to discover for yourself.

I don’t know if I’ll watch the sequels. I LOVE The Hunger Games. And I think they did an incredible job making it into a movie. I highly recommend it. I enjoyed Catching Fire, though I still have a major hang-up with them returning to the games. But Mockingjay? I don’t know if I could ever read it again, let alone watch it unfold in all its horror onscreen. Though maybe a watered-down theatrical version would leave me less disturbed.

My son and I have had some pretty in-depth conversations because of these stories, about right and wrong, choice and sacrifice. That, I think, is what sets this trilogy apart. All those layers to chew on.

And once we’re done discussing the “heavy” stuff, there’s always the endless debate: Team Gale or Team Peeta? I loved Gale from the opening pages, had my heart torn out by him in the final chapters. My son thinks Peeta is a much better character, (though that might have more to do with projecting himself into Peeta’s role since, y’ know, he winds up with the kick-ass heroine).

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17. Books at Bedtime: What Daddy Reads

Who does the reading to your child at night?  Mommy or Daddy?  And what books do they choose to read?  In our household, it’s mainly me who does the night time reading ritual with my daughter, but on occasion my husband has done the bedtime reading.  Of course, he picks different books than me and for today’s post, I’m featuring a book he’s been working on steadily with my daughter titled To Kill a Queen: An Elizabethan Girl’s Diary 1583-1586 by Valerie Wilding (Scholastic Canada, 2005)  This book is one in a series of Scholastic titles — the My Story collection — of girls living through historical events like the Great Plague, the Blitz, and the Irish Famine.

To Kill a Queen features an Elizabethan girl named Catherine Anne Lumsden, the 12 year old daughter of a former lady-in-waiting on Queen Elizabeth the I, Lady Matilda Lumsden and Sir Nicholas Lumsden, a secret agent in the service of the Queen.  With such a family so close to the Queen, it’s not surprising that they become embroiled in the intrigues of the court of the day, including a plot to kill the Queen.  So what happens to our dear diarist, Catherine?  Well, I don’t know since I’m not the one reading the book to her!  Since my husband is an English professor, specializing in the literature close to the period covering this book, I could see why he selected this title for his choice of a bedtime read.  How does my daughter like the book?  I assume she likes it well enough, but by now, she is quite used to her parents, particularly her mother, foisting interesting and unusual reads on her!  This doesn’t prevent her from voicing her opinions on the matter.  She came home one day wanting us to read the popular The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to her and so when Daddy went shopping recently, he picked up a copy for her to read to her at night.

Who does the bedtime reading in your household?  And what books do you or your spouse choose to read?

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18. Living with a Peeta-file, Part II


A lot of people feel that The Hunger Games is too brutal. They say the book is nothing more than glorified violence, that real people would never let something that horrific happen.

I respectfully agree. And disagree. Here’s why.

In the early 1960s, the United States increased their support of a war that was already in progress halfway across the globe. We didn’t have nearly enough soldiers to make a difference in that war, so in 1969a televised lottery was held. The draft. (Reaping, anyone?) Many of the young men sent to fight in Vietnam were poor; they had no means to avoid the draft. And according to a popular song from the 80s, the average age of those soldiers was 19.

The Vietnam War was the first televised war. Unlike the newsreels sent home from previous wars, the government didn’t get to edit the footage that was released to the American public. Technology had advanced too far and a growing mistrust of our elected leaders made news services all too eager to exercise their freedom of speech.

But here’s where we differ from the people of Panem. Those nightly images served up with a thawed out tray of mystery meat got to be more than Americans could tolerate. Rather than accept that this was our fate, that we had to send more of our children to die, people started protesting the war and demanding that our soldiers come home. It didn’t take twenty-four years for people to start a Rue Riot. Thank goodness.

I know the parallels aren’t exactly the same. But when people say the Hunger Games is too violent, I wonder if they’ve watched the nightly news. Because those smiling hosts are always happy to dish from the scene of the crime and replay the carnage until we’re numb. When people say that we would never let that happen, I say we already did.

And we still do.

Only these days, no one’s forcing us to watch. And I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, or not.

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19. Francis Lawrence to Direct ‘Catching Fire’

The New York Times reports that filmmaker Francis Lawrence has come on board as the director for the next installment of The Hunger Games movie series, Catching Fire. Lawrence started off his Hollywood career directing music videos. He has since progressed on to movies including literary adaptations such as Constantine (2005) and Water for Elephants (2011).

Here’s more from the article: “Mr. Lawrence said in a statement that he ‘fell in love with the characters’ of Ms. Collins’s novels, as well as ‘the themes and the world she created,’ adding that ‘this chapter opens all of these elements up in such a thrilling, emotional and surprising way.’” MTV reports that star actors Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson feel sad that Gary Ross did not sign up to direct the sequel film. However, they both look forward to working with Lawrence.

Lawrence is not the only new addition to The Hunger Games movie crew. Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who adapted Slumdog Millionaire (2008), penned the first draft of the script for Catching Fire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate is negotiating with Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Little Miss Sunshine (2006), to polish Beaufoy’s draft.

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20. Francis Lawrence to Direct ‘Catching Fire’

The New York Times reports that filmmaker Francis Lawrence has come on board as the director for the next installment of The Hunger Games movie series, Catching Fire. Lawrence started off his Hollywood career directing music videos. He has since progressed on to movies including literary adaptations such as Constantine (2005) and Water for Elephants (2011).

Here’s more from the article: “Mr. Lawrence said in a statement that he ‘fell in love with the characters’ of Ms. Collins’s novels, as well as ‘the themes and the world she created,’ adding that ‘this chapter opens all of these elements up in such a thrilling, emotional and surprising way.’” MTV reports that star actors Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson feel sad that Gary Ross did not sign up to direct the sequel film. However, they both look forward to working with Lawrence.

Lawrence is not the only new addition to The Hunger Games movie crew. Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who adapted Slumdog Millionaire (2008), penned the first draft of the script for Catching Fire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate is negotiating with Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Little Miss Sunshine (2006), to polish Beaufoy’s draft.

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21. May 2012: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: May 7, 2012

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

Five Family Favorites with Catherine Newman

Books for Boys: 5 Funny Kids Books

Best Young Adult Books with Andrea Chapman of Reading Lark

How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development

Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

The Serpent’s Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, Book Three)

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 9-11)

Theodore Boone: The Accused

by John Grisham

(Ages 8-12)

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

by Eric Litwin

(Ages 4-7)

The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)

by Michael Scott

(Ages 12-17)

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22. Robert Pattinson Will Not Be Cast in ‘Catching Fire’

Hunger Games fans have already started to speculate who will play the new characters that will be introduced in Catching Fire. Rumors flew that Twilight star Robert Pattinson was up for the role of Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games sequel.

In an interview with USA Today, Pattinson quashed those rumors: “I woke up this morning and saw all these things about me being cast in The Hunger Games. I was kind of curious for a second. So I called my agent… [my agent] was like no one’s going to offer you that part.”

To be fair, Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence had worked with Pattinson on the film adaptation of Sara Gruen‘s Water for Elephants.

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23. June 2012: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: June 2, 2012

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

Best Young Adult Books with Forever Young Adult

Books for Boys: 5 Funny Kids Books

How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development

Author Interview: Gary Paulsen

Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

by William Joyce

(Ages 4-8)

Bink and Gollie, Two for One

by Kate DiCamillo

(Ages 6-8)

Dork Diaries 4: Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess 

by Rachel Renee Russell

(Ages 9-12)

Dragons Love Tacos

by Adam Rubin

(Ages 3-5)


THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

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24. I Finally Read The Hunger Games

So I finally read The Hunger Games. It only took several (several) months of friends telling me, “You have to read this book!” for me to decide I didn’t want to read the damn book. Plus, there was the movie tie-in. I wasn’t interested in seeing the movie. Why would I be interested in reading the book?

I admit it was my pride. I don’t like reading books that are all the rage. My friend, Sam (who, by the way, is certifiably insane for The Hunger Games trilogy) refuses to read Fifty Shades of Gray for this very reason. Well, I read Fifty Shades of Gray, long before I realized it was “hip” to do so. Now that it’s so insanely popular, I’m kind of embarrassed to say I read it on our honeymoon. Regardless of my admitted affiliation with Christian Gray, I still didn’t want to read The stinkin’ Hunger Games.

Here’s how it happened: I was in the library the other day, because I love being in libraries. I was browsing through the young adult section, because Jake’s brother, Zach, got me on this gay vampire series and I wanted to see if I could find the third book. Instead of my gay vampire book, I found three copies of The Hunger Games. My fingers twitched when I saw the dog-eared paperback cover. I glanced to my right and left. I felt guilty—guilty to even consider going back on all I’d said about not wanting to read this Suzanne Collins trilogy. No one was looking, so I grabbed the stupid book and ran out the door (after checking out, obviously).

What happened next? I read the book in three days. Now, I know this is nothing to some of you who read the book in eight hours (Sam). But hey, let’s agree this isn’t Harry Potter. I could read a Harry Potter book in eight hours. I am certifiably obsessed with HP, which is why I’ve dedicated countless hours of my life to reading and rereading Rowling’s magnum opus in its entirety. I do not carry the same affinity for Collins and her games, but I did already pick up the second book, and I am avidly following Katniss and Peeta back through the woods.

I’ve had nightmares the past couple days—bloody ones, where people get killed in horrible ways. I had one where I had to say goodbye to Jake because I was one of the chosen tributes, and I knew I was going to die in the forest. I haven’t slept well at all; I blame The Hunger Games. It is an all-encompassing story. It has guts, gore, love, and revolution. I enjoy all these things.

Even more enjoyable, the writing is better than expected for the young adult genre, but as I’ve noticed, YA is no longer written for teens. I believe many YA authors are now targeting adults, and for that, I love them, because young adult literature is so honest—so black and white. There are good guys; there are bad guys; pick your side. If only life were so simple. In YA books, life is that simple. Hoozah!

Will I complete this trilogy I once dreaded? Of course. Like I said, I’m already almost finished with book two, Catching Fire. I blame my friend Sam. She’s the one who talked this book up, and she’s the one who went absolutely bonkers when she heard I was reading The Hunger Games. We had a deep, at-length discussion over dinner this past Saturday night about Collins and her characters. It had been a long time since I really delved into a work of literature with a good f

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25. July 2012: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: July 1, 2012

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

Best Young Adult Books with Galley Smith

Summer Reading List: Summer Sports, Baseball, & the Outside World

3 Kids Picture Books that Teach Good Manners

How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development

Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

Shadow of Night

by Deborah Harkness

(Ages 18 and up)

Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian

by Eoin Colfer

(Ages 9-12)

Big Nate Fun Blaster

by Lincoln Peirce

(Ages 8-12)

How to Train Your Dragon: Book 9

by Cressida Cowell

(Ages 8-12)


THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

by Eric Litwin

(Ages 4-7)

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