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1. Fusenews: Born and raised in South Detroit . . .

This blog has spoiled me beyond all hope or recognition.  Over the years I’ve used it to find nannies, to get books re-published, and now it has solved a mystery that lay dormant for years.  Back in November of 2009 I decided I wanted to track down a book from my childhood.  Writing stumpers into the internet ether is usually rather pointless and the post Thanksgiving: The Ernestine Mystery was no exception.  So imagine my surprise when reader Desiree Preston wrote me the following note this week:

“Speaking of happy childhood memories, I was able to track down what is for sure the book I was looking for when I read you article at http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2009/11/26/thanksgiving-the-ernestine-mystery/#comment-4765. I don’t know if it is really the one you were looking for, but I thought I’d let you know. It is called Good Old Ernie by Jerry Mallett. Shout out to my second grade teacher, Judy Gomoluch, who is still good friends with my fourth grade teacher Mary Kain, and saw and answered my Facebook post.”

Could this be true?  Jerry Mallett?  So I tracked down the cover and lo and behold  . . .

GoodOldErnie

That’s it, people.  I can’t believe it.  After seven years the mystery is solved.  Let that be a lesson to you, kids.  DON’T STOP BELIEVING! HOLD ONTO THAT FEEEEEEEELING . . . .


 

So what else is going on in the wild and wonderful world of children’s literature?  Well, since I’m already talking about Thanksgiving, it’s not much of a stretch to mention Christmas as well.  Now has anyone else noticed that there are a LOT of Nutcracker books out in 2016?  I honestly think I’ve seen five different picture book versions of the story, all from different publishers.  Now I’ve heard something that may interest my Chicago readers.  Brian Selznick has recently been working on some fun new projects, including a Chicago related ballet.  According to him . . .

“I’m writing the story for the new version of The Nutcracker (to be set during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair) at the Joffrey choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. It premieres this December! I think it’s going to be good…http://joffrey.org/nutcrackerbios.”

One glimpse at the folks behind it (Basil Twist! Christopher Wheeldon!) and I don’t merely “think” it’s going to be good.  I know it’s going to be good.  Sendak (the only other children’s book illustrator I know who had a hand in a reinterpretation of The Nutcracker) would be proud.  Hat tip to Brian for the tip.


 

Now let’s double back to NYC, since I’m sure there are folks in that neck of the woods that would like a little children’s literature-related fun.  Interested in a book festival that’ll get you out of the city?  Why not try The Warwick Children’s Book Festival?  As it was sold to me . . .

“Apple- and pumpkin-picking, farm markets, lovely shops, galleries and restaurants downtown…lots to enjoy for families looking for a fun afternoon on a holiday weekend.  And among other illustrious authors and illustrators such as Wendell Minor, Jane Yolen, Ame Dyckman, Brian Karas, Roxane Orgill, one of your Boston Globe/Horn Book 2016 award winners, will be there with Jazz Day!  And…the Festival is presented by Albert Wisner Public Library, winner of the Best Small Library in America 2016 award conferred by Library Journal!  We’re excited to invite everyone from the NY Metro Area to discover our festival, our library and our town.”

Go in my stead, gentle readers.  Go in my stead.


 

I’ll linger just a tad longer in the NYC area since to my infinite delight I found that the irascible, entirely delightful Brooklyn librarian Rita Meade has just been named a “Celebrity Librarian” and one of The Brooklyn 100.  Go, Rita, Go!


 

melodyprimaryNow I’ll hike back over to the Midwest again.  Maybe I’ll stop in Detroit on the way.  Why?  Because in a bit of absolutely fascinating news we’ve learned the the newest American Girl is Melody Ellison, a child of early ’60s Detroit.  Mental Floss also had this to say about the gal:

A six-member advisory board worked to craft her portrayal and included prominent members of the NAACP, history professors, and the President and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Along with author Denise Lewis Patrick, they worked together to ensure Melody’s story was as true to life as possible—including her hair. The texture of the doll’s locks was changed multiple times to reflect the era.

“In the late ’60s, the majority of African-Americans did have straight hair,” Juanita Moore, President and CEO of the Wright Museum, said to the Detroit Free Press. “It may not have been bone straight, but it was straightened.”

Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the news.


 

No doubt you’ve heard it elsewhere by now, but the saddest information of the week was that Llama Llama’s mama, Anna Dewdney, died recently.  I don’t think my family owns any full runs of picture book series . . . with the exception of the Llama Llama books.  There’s a lovely obit for her in PW worth looking on.  She will be missed.


 

Turn now to happy news.  They’ve announced the speakers for the upcoming ALSC Mini Institute, which will occur before the ALA Midwinter Conference in January.  Behold the speakers for yourself, then sign up.


 

Me stuff.  The very kind Suzanne Slade interviewed me about my picture book Giant Dance Party at the blog Picture Book Builders.  Woohoo!  Still in print, baby!


 

Pop Goes the Page at Princeton is still up to their usual tricks.  Today they’re wowing us with their tribute to Alice in Wonderland.  Try not to keen too mournfully when you realize you missed a chance to hear Leonard Marcus talk about the book’s relationship to surrealism.


 

Daily Image:

Not much on the roster today, so why don’t I just send you off with a picture of me reading the latest John Patrick Green graphic novel Hippotomister to my kids?  They adore it, by the way.  So two thumbs up from 2-year-olds and 5-year-olds equally over here.

HIppotomister

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2. Interview: Padma Venkatramen

NWD interview with author Padma VenkatramanAuthor Padma Venkatraman‘s most recent novel A Time to Dance was an Honour Winner in the 2015 South Asia Book Award and was chosen for inclusion in IBBY’s 2015 Selection of Outstanding Books for Young … Continue reading ...

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3. The Marvels

cover artWhat a beautiful book is Brian Selznick’s new graphic novel The Marvels! The cover is gorgeous, all blue and gold. The edges of the pages are gold too. The book is big and fat and heavy. The paper inside is thick and glossy. None of that of course makes a good story but when the story is good, all of it certainly enhances the reading experience.

And what a reading experience it was! The first half of the book is nothing but pencil drawings. No text. But the drawings manage to tell the story of several generations of the Marvel family from how they began in the theatre, made it famous as actors, and then a tragedy the ending of which we do not get to know because the drawings stop and text without drawings begins.

The text tells a different story. Joseph Jervis was sent to boarding school by his parents at a young age. They travelled a lot and found their son difficult and thought boarding school in England would be the best thing for him. They ship him off and rarely bother to call or write to him (it’s 1990). Feeling neglected and lonely, Joseph finally makes a friend, Blink, and they plan to run away together to London where Joseph has an uncle he has never met. But Blink’s dad takes him out of school and Joseph has no idea where they have gone. So, having planned out running away to London already, Joseph gets up his courage and runs off from school at the Christmas break without telling anyone where he is going.

He shows up unannounced at his uncle’s house. Albert Nightingale is himself a lonely man but he prefers it that way. Or at least he has convinced himself he does. He is not pleased at Joseph’s disruptive appearance in the middle of the night in a freezing rain. If the boy wasn’t obviously feverish he would be tempted to leave him out on the street to make his own way as he could. But Albert takes him in. Between Christmas and New Year’s both their lives are changed for the better as Joseph refuses to accept Albert’s silence on their family history.

Are they related to the Marvels? If so, how? Uncle Albert is apparently living in their house, there are clues everywhere and Joseph, along with Frankie, short for Frances, who lives a few houses away, try to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

What we ultimately get is a wonderful story about stories, family, desire, friendship, grief and love. It is all packed in there and even though Selznick writes for a younger audience, he is very subtle on many points and doesn’t slap you in the face with them. For instance Uncle Albert is gay and his partner, Billy died a few years ago of AIDS. And Albert himself is currently being treated for AIDS. But this is not dwelled on except very briefly when Frankie asks Joseph whether he knows Albert is sick. But it doesn’t need to be made more explicit, all the clues are there for anyone paying attention. However, younger readers who know nothing about the AIDS epidemic will very likely miss this aspect of the story.

There is a refrain that runs throughout, Aut visum, but non, you either see it or you don’t. And that is how Selznick has written the book, you either see the clues and put the pieces together or you don’t. By the end it is all crystal clear and I found myself loving every character in the book and wanting a happy ending. But, like Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale, which weaves its way throughout the story, endings are rarely completely happy or completely sad and often turn into beginnings.

After the text, we go back to just the pencil drawings again that pick up where they left off. This final section is short in relation to all that has come before, but the drawings speak more than words ever could.

Selznick based The Marvels on a real life house and some real life people whose story is as beautiful and touching as the one Selznick wrote. If you liked The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonder Struck, you are guaranteed to love The Marvels.


Filed under: Books, Children's Books, Graphic Novels, Reviews Tagged: Brian Selznick, Dennis Severs, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonder Struck

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4. Barnes & Noble Enlists 120 Authors to Sign Books for a Holiday Shopping Program

Barnes & Noble Union SquareBarnes & Noble enlisted over 120 authors to sign 5,000 copies of their latest books. This will be the second year that the bookseller has launched this special program to entice holiday shoppers.

Some of this season’s participants include The Marvels author Brian Selznick, Big Magic author Elizabeth Gilbert, The Alchemist author Paulo Coelho, Divergent trilogy author Veronica Roth, The Land of Stories series author Chris Colfer, and Humans of New York photoblogger Brandon Stanton. These autographed books will be made available at Barnes & Noble’s 650+ brick-and-mortar locations starting on Black Friday (Nov. 27).

COO Jaime Carey had this statement in the press release: “For the second year in a row, a huge array of authors have demonstrated incredible enthusiasm for participating in Barnes & Noble’s Signed Editions program, and we are thrilled to be bringing back this one-of-a-kind offering on Black Friday. There’s a creative gift awaiting everyone at Barnes & Noble stores and shoppers can delight the readers on their list with a truly meaningful gift – a book made special with a favorite author’s signature.

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5. Publishers Weekly Picks Best Children's Books 2015


Take a look at Publishers Weekly (PW) editors' choices of 2015 best books to discover outstanding new titles. The lists include picture books, middle-grade, and young adult books.

The picture books range from well-known authors such as Drew Daywalt (The Day The Crayons Came Home) and Dave Eggers (This Bridge Will Not Be Gray) and Mordicai Gerstein (The Night World) to debut authors such as Guojing (The Only Child), who writes about growing up under China's one-child policy.

Middle-grade books include bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson (My Diary from the Edge of the World) and the amazing Brian Selznick (The Marvels).

Young adult titles range from a nonfiction title by M. T. Anderson (Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad) to Chicago-area writer Laura Ruby's new novel (Bone Gap). 

For more information visit PW or click on any of the above links.

The Night WorldThe MarvelsThe Only Child

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6. Brian Selznick and Mindy Kaling Debut on the Indie Bestseller List

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7. Literary Events This Week: Brian Selznick and Salman Rushdie

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8. A Brian Selznick Prize Pack: Includes The Marvels | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a prize pack of books by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Brian Selznick; including a copy of The Marvels (Scholastic, 2015). Giveaway begins September 11, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends October 10, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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9. Video Sunday: Kinda makes you wanna watch more ballets, don’t it?

Boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.  So MUCH very very good stuff to show you today.  Honestly, I don’t even know where to start.  Hrm. Howzabout we begin with one of my favorite tropes: things that parody other things that you’ve never seen. It was Dana Sheridan who directed my attention to this video about The Queen of Hearts from an Alice ballet. A lot of time is spent explaining how one of her dances parodies a very specific dance from Sleeping Beauty. All I know is that we need more funny ballets in this world. Preferably based on children’s books in some manner.

Thanks to Dana Sheridan for the link.

In the book trailer world I came across this little trailer for Hilo.  I liked Hilo quite a bit and the animated portions of this video simple sweeten the pot.

And well . . . come on. It’s the viral video of the week. You don’t think I’d let this one go, do you? It’s practically the whole reason I’m doing a Video Sunday today. What I like to do is look at the book covers the kid’s being read. Lots of Margaret Wise Brown in there, but a nice shot of Global Babies and other beloved contemporary favs as well. Bravo, parents!

Me stuff and it’s audio, not video, but eh. Life’s short.  I was asked to speak with Chicago’s radio station WGN on Friday evening, so I did so about pretty much all things children’s literature.  Now I’ll admit right now that I should have made a better point about how picture books have a higher reading level than easy books and that reading them as an older kid is totally legitimate.  That’s the problem with live radio.  It just goes too fast.  But Justin Kaufmann was an awesome host and we had a great time with the yakkety yak.  In case you’re curious, the link is here.

betsybirdWGN

So full credit where credit is due to Travis Jonker for locating this remarkable Wall Street Journal interview with Brian Selznick about how his drawings become a book like The Marvels.  Brief it may be, but worth your time and attention.

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 9.49.34 PM

Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the link.

Okay.  The off-topic video.  I want to pay tribute to my new town.  And what better way to do so than to show you this truly dated and WONDERFUL history of Evanston, IL.  For fun, just skip to the section on “Evanston Today” at 12:10, sit back, and just soak it in.  Soak. It. In.

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10. Children’s Choice Book Awards Finalists Unveiled for 2012

The 2012 finalists for the Children’s Choice Book Awards have been revealed. Kids can vote from March 14th to May 3rd.

The winners will be announced live at the Children’s Choice Book Awards gala on May 7th. Nominees have been divided into four groups classified by different school grades.

In the Author of the Year category, middle-grade fiction writers dominate. The nominees include Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson, The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan and Dork Diaries 3: Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star by Rachel Renée Russell.

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11. Fusenews: Answer – The Horse

The laptop of my infinite sadness continues to remain broken which wrecks a certain special kind of havoc with my gray cells.  To distract myself, I plunge headlong into the silliest news of the week.  Let’s see if there’s anything here to console a battered Bird brain (something tells me that didn’t come out sounding quite right…).

  • The best news of the day is that Matthew Kirby was the recent winner of the Edgar Award for Best Mystery in the juvenile category for his fabuloso book Icefall.  My sole regret is that it did not also win an Agatha Award for “traditional mystery” in the style of Agatha Christie.  Seems to me it was a shoo-in.  I mean, can you think of any other children’s book last year that had such clear elements of And Then There Were None?  Nope.  In any case, Rocco interviews the two winners (the YA category went to Dandi Daley Mackall) here and here.
  • It’s so nice when you find a series on Facebook and then discover it has a website or blog equivalent in the “real world” (howsoever you choose to define that term).  The Underground New York Public Library name may sound like it’s a reference to our one and only underground library (the Andrew Heiskell branch, in case you were curious) but it’s actually a street photography site showing what New Yorkers read on the subways.  Various Hunger Games titles have made appearances as has Black Heart by Holly Black and some other YA/kid titles.  Just a quick word of warning, though.  It’s oddly engaging.  You may find yourself flipping through the pages for hours.
  • A reprint of Roger Sutton’s 2010 Ezra Jack Keats Lecture from April 2011 has made its way online.  What Hath Harry Wrought? puts the Harry Potter phenomenon in perspective now that we’ve some distance.  And though I shudder to think that Love You Forever should get any credit for anything ever (growl grumble snarl raspberry) what Roger has to say here is worthy of discussion.
  • And in my totally-not-surprised-about-this department… From Cynopsis Kids:

“Fox Animation acquires the feature film rights to the kid’s book The Hero’s Guide to Saving your Kingdom, per THR. A fairy tale mashup by first-time author by Christopher Healy and featuring illustrations by Todd Harris, revolves around the four princes from Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty. Chernin Entertainment (Rise of Planet of the Apes) is set to produce the movie. Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins Children’s Books release The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (432 pages) today.”

If y’all haven’t read The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your King

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12. 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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13. Top 100 Children’s Novels #39: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

#39 The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (2007)
50 points

Perfect and artful blending of prose and illustration. – Dee Sypherd

No book like it. It reinvents storytelling. It plays with our notion of “the book.” It takes great advantage of the physical nature of “the book.” In the end, the story celebrates many things, including that very book we hold in our hands. – Aaron Zenz

A picture book on the Top 100 Children’s Novels list?  Well, what would you have of me?  The trick to Cabret is that this book fits no single designation.  Folks nominated it for the Top 100 Picture Books List (it didn’t make the cut) and for this list as well.  Spoiler Alert: It is the only Caldecott Award winning book you will find on this list.  Or is that not too surprising after all?

The plot from my review reads, “Without Hugo Cabret, none of the clocks in the magnificent Paris train station he lives in would work. Though he’s only a kid, Hugo tends to the clocks every day. But there’s something even more important in the boy’s life than gigantic mechanics. Hugo owns a complex automaton, once his father’s, that was damaged in a fire and it is his life’s goal to make the little machine work again. To do so, he’s been stealing small toys from an old shopkeeper in the station. One day the man catches Hugo in the act, and suddenly the two are thrown together. Coincidences, puzzles, lost keys, and a mystery from the past combine in this complex tale of old and new. The story is told with pictures that act out the action and then several pages of text that describe the plot elements. The final effect is like watching a puzzle work itself into clarity.”

The wordy Roderick McGillis piece “Fantasy as Epanalepsis: ‘An Anticipation of Retrospection’” (found in the Dec. 2008 edition of Papers: Explorations into Children’s Literature) made a rather striking point about the book.  He says that, “The story may not be a fantasy, but it is surely about fantasy” at one point and “His last name suggests ‘cabaret’, the site of a mixture of performances.” in another.  Later he points out that, “The ‘invention’ of Hugo Cabret is both the discovery and fashioning of the character and, in turn, the character’s discovery and invention.”

Horn Book said of it, “While the bookmaking is spectacular, and the binding secure but generous enough to allow the pictures to flow easily across the gutter, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is foremost good storytelling, with a sincerity and verbal ease reminiscent of Andrew Clements (a frequent Selznick collaborator) and themes of secrets, dreams, and invention that play lightly but resonantly throughout.”

Said Library Journal, “Toss in a wild jumble of references and plot lines, a mean old man, a young girl, toys, secrets, and a fabulous train station, and you have the makings of a novel destined to enchant.”

The New York Times said, “It is wonderful. Take that overused word literally: ‘Hugo Cabret’ evokes wonder. At more than 500 pages, its proportions seem Potteresque, yet it makes for quick reading because Selznick’s amazing drawings take up most of the book. While they may lack the virtuosity of Chris Van Allsburg’s work or David Wiesner’s, their slight roughness gives them urgency.

If the Little Women covers were a bit ext

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14. 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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15. Caldecott - Past, Present, and Future

 http://www.ala.org/alsc/sites/ala.org.alsc/files/content/caldecott75_FBheader.jpg

With all the Newbery and Caldecott talk and predictions out there I thought it would be nice to take a look at not only what may be the next winner, but what has won in the past. If you have a favorite title you are rooting for post it in a comment. I would love to hear about it! Next week I will post my favorite book of the year that I think is Caldecott deserving in every facet of picture book brilliance.


PAST

image

From Publishers Weekly, with great interviews of winners from the past 5 years.
The Call That Changes Everything- or Not.

From The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) a look at the past.

Newbery Honor and Medal Books, 1922- Present
Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938-Present
2012 Newbery-Caldecott Awards Banquet

From Through the Studio door, an interesting look at what PW dubbed in 1963 "...a pointless and confusing story."
Before They Were Classics


PRESENT

http://www.publishersweekly.com/images/data/ARTICLE_PHOTO/photo/000/013/13306-1.JPG

For predictions for this years award winners check out:
ShelfTalker
A Fuse #8 Production
100 Scope Notes
The Horn Book- Calling Caldecott 
Country Bookshelf
Random Acts of Reading

FUTURE

http://www.ala.org/alsc/sites/ala.org.alsc/files/content/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/1203_c75logowlrg.jpg
75th Anniversary Logo by Brian Selznick

Mark your calendar for the Caldecott Medal 75th Anniversary!

The ALA will announce all the awards at 8 a.m. PT on Jan. 28 from the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The awards include the esteemed John Newbery Medal, Randolph Caldecott Medal, Coretta Scott King Book Awards and Michael L. Printz Award.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announced that John Rocco will participate in a Caldecott 75th Anniversary Facebook Forum at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Rocco won a Caldecott Honor in 2012 for his picture book Blackout.


Caldecott 75th Anniversary eBadgeWant to learn more about the logo 2008 Caldecott Medal winner Brian Selznick created especially for the 75th Anniversary celebration and the characters in it? Just click here.


And for a little more fun, read Brian's acceptance speech for The Invention of Hugo Cabret  here and watch the illustrated sequence that played on huge video screens during the speech here.

 

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16. Brian Selznick Creates Free Children’s Book Week Poster

The Invention of Hugo Cabret author Brian Selznick has created the beautiful 2013 Children’s Book Week poster embedded above, a tribute to authors and illustrators Remy Charlip and Maurice Sendak.

Schools and libraries can get free copies of the poster during April and May, encouraging kids to keep reading. To order a copy, you must pay for shipping. Here’s more information:

To receive a free poster(s) with activity guide, please send a 9 x 12 self-addressed envelope (for 1 or 10 posters) or a 10 x 13 self-addressed envelope (for 25 posters) with appropriate postage affixed. Note that Postal regulations have changed. Please use the USPS Postage Price Calculator to determine postage cost, or ask for help at your local post office … There is a 25 poster maximum per person. Due to the volume of poster requests, we cannot process any poster orders that do not include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

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17. Kids Can Vote for Children’s Choice Book Awards

The 2013 finalists for the Children’s Choice Book Awards have been revealed. Kids can vote from March 19th to May 9th.

The winners will be announced live at the Children’s Choice Book Awards gala on May 13th. Nominees have been divided into four groups classified by different school grades.

In the Author of the Year category, middle-grade fiction writers and young-adult novelists dominate. The nominees include The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 7: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, The Heroes of Olympus 3: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, and Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

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18. Halloween Costumes Based on Kid’s Books

hugo

Still looking for a Halloween costume? Bunnicula series author James Howe shared his ideas for costumes inspired by children’s books in Bookish article.

Howe encouraged kids to steer clear of conventional costume choices such as Harry Potter or Dracula. For those who want to play an orphan, Howe recommends the title character in Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

For those who want to adopt a witch persona, there’s the star of the Miss Nelson is Missing! picture book, Miss Viola Swamp. For those who still need more ideas, check out this Bookish infographic and  Time Out New York‘s interview with Rocket series author (and custom costume couturier) Tad Hills.

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19. Gene Luen Yang: ‘Our world is colorful, so our books should be too.’

When we last spoke with graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, his advice for writers is to “give up TV.” Since then, he has been hard at work on a collaborative project with artist Sonny Liew reviving the story of an Asian American superhero called The Green Turtle. First Second, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, released the print edition of The Shadow Hero earlier this week. We spoke with Yang (pictured, via) to learn his insights on diversity, collaboration, and mapping out a career in publishing. Here are the highlights…

Q: How did you land your first official book deal?
A: My very first book deal was for a two-issue comic book miniseries called Duncan’s Kingdom. It was written by me and drawn by the amazingly talented Derek Kirk Kim. It was published by Image Comics in the late 90’s. The story is now a part of The Eternal Smile, published by First Second Books.

A friend of ours named Jimmie Robinson was already published by Image. Jimmie has done several comics through the years, including Bomb Queen, Evil & Malice, and Five Weapons. He sent our submission directly to his editor. Throughout my cartooning career, friends have played key roles.

(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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20. The Caldecott Panel—Chris Van Allsburg, David Wiesner, Brian Selznick, Jennifer Brown—celebrates Children's Book World's 25th




Today is not just the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. It's the 25th anniversary of the remarkable, enduring, smart, and somehow simultaneously huge and intimate Children's Book World of Haverford, PA.

As part of the celebration, CBW hosted The Caldecott Panel at Friends' Central School—the very best of the very best right there on City Line Avenue. Chris Van Allsburg. David Wiesner. Brian Selznick. And Jennifer M. Brown as moderator of what quickly became a wide-ranging conversation about black and white vs. color, visual narratives, filmic translations, the plot power of the artistic media, the certain school of design attended by all three of these great storytellers (RISD), and who taught who, or who might have taught who, or who wished they had taught who.

There they sat on one long couch and two book-ending chairs, surprising each other, while Jenny Brown, who knows this business better than anyone anywhere (our Ambassador of Children's Literature, I've always said), asked her intelligent questions, sat back, and enjoyed the surprises, too.

A packed house. An eager audience. Dozens of hands flying up during the Q and A—half of those hands belonging to children.

You want to celebrate one of the top children's book stores in the country? I can think of no better way.

Congratulations, CBW. The lovely lady with the dark tresses, by the way, is CBW's own Heather Hebert.


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21. Brian Selznick Inks Deal For ‘The Marvels’

Brian SelznickCaldecott Medal winner Brian Selznick (pictured, via) has landed a deal with Scholastic for his new book, The Marvels.

Here’s more from the press release: “The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle’s puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries. How the picture and word stories intersect will leave readers marveling over Selznick’s storytelling skill.”

Scholastic Press executive editor Tracy Mack will edit the manuscript. The new book will feature 440 pages of original drawings and 200 pages of text. The publishing house has scheduled a release date for September 15, 2015.

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22. D.C. Public Library Hosts Brian Selznick Exhibit

Brian Selznick (GalleyCat)One branch of the D.C. Public Library is hosting an exhibit called “Building Wonder, Designing Dreams: The Bookmaking of Brian Selznick.”

This display showcases the works of the Caldecott Medal winner behind The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It can be found inside the Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

According to the organization’s website, visitors will be able to “enter Selznick’s books; the pages are 8’ tall and 18’ wide,” “open the drawers in the ‘Cabinet of Wonder,” and “play with a wooden automaton.” A closing date been scheduled for June 21st.

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23. Scholastic Unveils Book Trailer for The Marvels

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24. Video Sunday: One Video Short

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

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 11.55.40 PM

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

Thanks to Marci Morimoto for the link

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

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

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

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

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25. Best New Kids Stories | September 2015

Our list of the best new kids books for September highlights some amazing books from many different genres: non-fiction, reality fiction, fantasy, and even a beautiful picture book that addresses gender identity. Take a gander and let us know which titles and covers catch your eye ... Read the rest of this post

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