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Barnes & 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.“
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
#39 The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (2007)
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.
With all the NewberyandCaldecott 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.
Mark your calendar for theCaldecott 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.
Want 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 forThe Invention of Hugo Cabrethere and watch the illustrated sequence that played on huge video screens during the speech here.
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.
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.
Still looking for a Halloween costume? Bunnicula series author James Howe shared his ideas for costumes inspired by children’s books in a 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’sThe 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 withRocket series author (and custom costume couturier) Tad Hills.
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.
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.
Caldecott 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.
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.
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.
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?
Scholastic has launched a special educational website called “Teaching with Brian Selznick.” The free site offers virtual field trips of New York City’s American Museum of Natural History, the inspiration for Brian Selznick‘s latest illustrated novel, Wonderstruck.
The website also contains classroom resources for both Wonderstruck and The Invention of Hugo Cabret. In the video embedded above, Selznick takes viewers a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum.
Here’s more from the release: “The virtual field trip, which is also available in closed caption, is hosted by Selznick and museum president Ellen V. Futter, and takes students on a tour through three exhibits in the museum: the Wolf Diorama, the Ahnighito Meteorite, and the Giant Anopheles Mosquito, all prominently featured in Wonderstruck. Students will also learn about the museum’s history, exhibits, and collections from a museum curator, an exhibitions manager, and a senior scientist.”
Say what you will about the ceremony itself (I actually found it to be refreshingly tender and dignified, for the most part), Sunday night’s Academy Awards were a tribute to Oscar’s own medium – the history, customs, elders, and influence of cinema. From the retro popcorn girls in the aisles and the live band in the balcony, to the themes of the films and the longevity of the careers that were saluted, Oscar celebrated his own crib and the significant contribution the film industry has made to our lives.
For many of us, though, there was another medium honored throughout a surprisingly large portion of the evening – children’s books. Back in January, Publishers Weekly noted that 21 of the nominations were ‘nods for films based on kids books,’ specifically Hugo (11 nominations), War Horse (6), Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (3), and Tin Tin (1).
I would argue the number to be 24, if you count Puss in Boots, Jane Eyre (now widely considered to be a YA novel) and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, a children’s book app as well as a short film, that in and of itself celebrates books and reading.
This is great news for children’s book authors of all stripes (though it would have been nice – and politic – to hear Brian Selznick’s name mentioned at least once over the course of the evening’s 5 awards given to Hugo.) It demonstrates the enduring appeal of stories for and about young people, from classic fairy tales, novels and comics to the richness of today’s middle grade and YA fiction and the exciting possibilities that new media represents for the entire genre.
But for me there was a subtler connection at play between the mediums of film and childrens literature on Sunday night. The films on offer this year were notably less snarky, trendy or cynical than those of recent years. Those familiar Hollywood qualities were largely replaced by conscience, compassion and – dare I say it – hope. What’s going on? Even in the darkest realms of YA, these are the universal themes of childrens lit!
Whatever it is, I like it. Let’s hope it sticks around awhile… or at least for as long as some of Sunday night’s honorees have.
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.