There is nothing quite like the feeling of clicking to one of your favorite book blogs and discovering your own book is the day’s entry.
Dad: Tell me about the “Thief” part of the title…
Lily: The girl’s dad was accused of theft-ing.
Gracie: You’re not even saying it right. It’s “thievering.”
The Prairie Thief at Bookie Woogie. I’m thrilled. And that art! ASTOUNDING.
P.S. Gracie really is the Blurb Master.
Today’s Google Doodle is a tribute to Little Nemo in Slumberland—one of their best Doodles ever, a tribute to Winsor McKay. Don’t miss it! And be sure to click the tabs. GeekMom has a nice post up with some background.
New Thicklebit! Me love that boy.
I worked alllllll weekend on the book recommendations master list, but I still have a long way to go. Happy with its progress, though!
Last day to nominate books and book apps for the CYBILs! The Book Apps team would especially appreciate your help—lots of great apps still waiting to be nominated.
Semicolon reviews The Prairie Thief: ”a delightful little tale.”
I also like the fact that this story for young readers doesn’t shy away from those wonderful, challenging vocabulary words that my young readers at any rate relished and gloried in. Ms. Wiley uses words like “obfuscating” and “predilection” and “amenities” and “laconically” just as handily and appropriately as she does the shorter, also vivid words like “pate” and “mite” and “frock”, all of which might enrich a child’s vocabulary as well as delight her mind.
(Amy at Hope Is the Word liked that part too.)
Fox and Crow Are Not Friends is reviewed in this month’s School Library Journal:
Children eager to move beyond easy readers and older students requiring simple text in a chapter-book format will find this title a good choice. As in many familiar folktale themes, Fox and Crow are trying to outwit each other….“That will teach you not to steal my cheese,” says Mama Bear, whose presence in the earlier chapters will be noted by astute observers of Braun’s lively, colorful cartoon-style illustrations. With its crisp writing and short sentences, this is a solid addition.
It also gets a mention in this SLJ piece: “Fresh and Fun Books for Emergent Readers“:
Melissa Wiley retells and expands upon an Aesop’s fable in Fox and Crow Are NOT Friends (Random House, 2012; Gr 1-3). Three entertaining chapters describe how these two enemies repeatedly—and humorously—try to outwit one another to earn bragging rights along with a tasty piece of cheese. Sebastien Braun clearly depicts the animals’ antics with lighthearted artwork in sherbet hues. The straightforward text, amusing illustrations, and hilarious rivalry will encourage developing readers to persevere.
More reviews here.
School Library Journal on The Prairie Thief:
“Wiley has created a charming, inventive tale that reads like a delightful mash-up of Little House on the Prairie and Tony DiTerlizzi’s ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ (S & S). Short chapters and the air of mystery and suspense keep the pages turning, and readers will be taken with Louisa, who is sweet and mild-mannered, yet has the strength to fight for what is right. The writing is breezy and lyrical…[a] top-notch story.”
• The Prairie Thief at Kirkus
• The Prairie Thief at Jen Robinson’s Book Page
• Fox and Crow Are Not Friends at Kirkus
• Brave Writer podcast with Julie Bogart
• Author Spotlight at Writing on the Sidewalk
• Authors Are ROCKSTARS! podcast
• Author letter at Ready-to-Read
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books review of The Prairie Thief:
“Frontier fiction and folkloric fantasy are an unusual combination, but they actually blend remarkably well here, and Wiley does a fine job of staying true to the pioneer inflections of Louisa’s story while effectively integrating the magical brownie…The effective mashup of popular genres will make this a hit with a variety of readers, so try handing it to Little House fans and folktale-lovers alike.”
School Library Journal, “Fresh and Fun | Books for Emergent Readers“:
Melissa Wiley retells and expands upon an Aesop’s fable in Fox and Crow Are NOT Friends (Random House, 2012; Gr 1-3). Three entertaining chapters describe how these two enemies repeatedly—and humorously—try to outwit one another to earn bragging rights along with a tasty piece of cheese. Sebastien Braun clearly depicts the animals’ antics with lighthearted artwork in sherbet hues. The straightforward text, amusing illustrations, and hilarious rivalry will encourage developing readers to persevere. Expand the reading experience by sharing other fables, and having your students come up with “what happens next…” scenarios.
(Bunch of other fun-looking books in that post I’m eager to check out.)
Choo-Choo by Virginia Lee Burton. (She’s one of Huck’s favorite author/illustrators, going by how often he requests her books.)
Freight Train by Donald Crews. (You may detect a theme.)
Little Witch by Anna Elizabeth Bennett. (Chapter 1, to Rilla. I remember riding my bike to three different library branches in search of this book—not all on the same day—because I’d read it and loved it so, and couldn’t remember the author’s name later, only that it began with B. Today it would take my mom ten seconds on the library website to locate a copy. Back then it meant a bona fide, muscle-burning quest, and all in vain. I couldn’t find it. Years later, when I took a job at HarperCollins, I discovered that it was a Harper book, still in print. And yet somehow I didn’t reread it. This go-round with Rilla will be my first time in decades. I’m eager to see if it holds up to the glowing memories I have of that first reading so long ago. Minikin, nicknamed Minx! I got goosebumps. It’s out of print again, I see: pity.)
Speaking of Little Witches, it’s time to put another round of Dorrie books on hold at the library. One, two, three, ten…there, I’m done, no bicycle required.
Karen Edmisten made my day with a delightful account of a Prairie Thief luncheon held by her daughter’s book club. Potato chowder, dried berry scones, a bucket of hazelnuts (brilliant!), and brownies, of course. They even brewed some horseradish tea, which demonstrates an impressive degree of commitment. Thanks, Karen, for that wonderful post.
This morning we discovered that the passionflower vine I planted ages ago had snaked its way halfway across the butterfly garden. We untangled the wandering tendrils and tied them up along the back fence. I have every suspicion that it is out there right now, busily untying itself, and I’ll find it embracing the hibiscus bush tomorrow.
Four more days to nominate books and book apps for this year’s CYBILs! Lots of suggestions for possible book-app nominees in the links in this post—please nominate them so I’ll have an excuse to play with them!
New Thicklebit today: Lunacy. I blame the father.
Simon & Schuster has put up a sneak peek of my next Inch and Roly book: Inch and Roly and the Very Small Hiding Place. (They’ve also got a pretty substantial chunk of The Prairie Thief there, if you’d like to preview it before you commit.)
As I’ve mentioned, I have three new books coming out this August. Whee!
Middle-grade novel. Margaret K. McElderry Books. Art by Erwin Madrid. He has posted the full wraparound cover on his blog. Gorgeous, isn’t it? What he does with light just blows me away.
A Step into Reading Level 3. Random House. Illustrations by Sebastien Braun. I am crazy about his depiction of my characters—so much humor and personality in their expressions and body language.
A Simon Spotlight Ready-to-Read Level 1. Simon & Schuster. Illustrations by Ag Jatkowska. When Rilla, who had been hearing my Inch and Roly stories for months, saw Ag’s cover sketch she squealed. “Mommy! They’re DORABLE.”
Yes, we are a little bit excited.
It’s Comic-Con week, and you know what that means. Likely to be crickets around here these next few days. Not to mention, a certain dearly-missed daughter comes home midweek.
But for now, how about if I share a bit of excitement? The official link went up today so I guess it’s okay for me to spill the news that’s had me giddy these past few weeks: The Prairie Thief is a Junior Library Guild selection for 2012! It’s a great honor and I am thrilled to bits. To bits!
(I loved Brian Farrey’s post about his book being selected. Wowsers is right!)