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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Childrens Choice Book Awards, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 21 of 21
1. 2012 Children's Choice Book Awards

The votes are in from kids across the U.S. and the winners were announced on May 7 in New York City. The Children's Book Council sponsors the event each year, in which children choose the books they liked best. Click on the link to see what the results were for this year.

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2. Ypulse Essentials: Children’s Choice Book Awards, MySpace Declines Even Further, QR Codes On Campus

The Children’s Choice Book Awards (voting is open, with nominees from Suzanne Collins [Mockingjay] and Stephanie Meyer [The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner]. Elsewhere in YA news, Amanda Hocking, the self-publishing standout, lands a book... Read the rest of this post

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3. Children’s Choice Book Awards Finalists Unveiled

The 2011 finalists for the Children’s Choice Book Awards have been revealed. Kids can vote from March 14th to April 29th, and the winners will be announced live at the Children’s Choice Book Awards gala in May. Individual title nominees have been divided into four groups classified by different school grades.

In the Author of the Year category, teen fiction writers dominate. The nominees include Suzanne Collins for Mockingjay, Stephenie Meyer for The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner, Rick Riordan for The Lost Hero, Jeff Kinney for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth, and Cassandra Clare for Clockwork Angel.

Children of all grades are encouraged to vote for the Illustrator of the Year award. Those nominated for in this category include Loren Long for President Barack Obama‘s Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, David Wiesner for Art & Max, Mo Willems for Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion, Robin Preiss Glasser for Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique, and Nancy Tillman for Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You. Who do you want to win?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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4. Voting Opens Today For Children’s Choice Book Awards

Kids and teens can go and vote for their favorite books, author, and illustrator starting today, at bookstores, school libraries, and online. Voting runs until April 29, 2011.

You might find a new book that appeals to you in the finalists. I know I’m going to look through them.

The Children’s Choice Book Award categories and finalists are:

Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year:

Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year:

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year:

Teen Choice Book of the Year:

Author of the Year:

Cassandra Clare for:

Suzanne Collins

Jeff Kinney

Stephenie Meyer for:

Rick Riordan for:

Illustrator of the Year:

Robin Preiss Glasser for:

Loren Long for:

Nancy Tillman for:

David Wiesner for:

Mo Willems for:

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5. Children’s Book Week: May 10-16

2010_Poster_SmallThe 2010 installment of Children’s Book Week—an annual event that has been running since 1919 in the US—is starting today. Hurray!

The Children’s Book Council website has a list of official events taking place across the country, including the the Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala, happening tomorrow in New York. You can see some of the finalists here, and by visiting A Story Before Bed you can enjoy three finalists reading from their nominated books (A Story Before Bed is a cool site that allows you to record yourself reading a children’s book and to share your recording with others). Those on Twitter can keep tabs on the week’s various happenings by following the hashtag #kidsbookwk.

This year’s lovely poster was created by artist and author Jon J Muth, of Zen Shorts and Zen Ties fame. The lovely fuzzball on the poster is Stillwater, “the panda with a calm, Buddha-like demeanor”, who appears on both these books.

Now get into the spirit and follow Stillwater’s lead: snuggle up with your children and read books together!

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6. 2010 Children’s Choice Book Awards

The Children's Book Council hosts the Children's Choice Book Awards. The favorite book finalists for this year were determined by close to 15,000 children and teens. I highly recommend checking out these books!

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7. Children’s Choice Book Awards: 3rd-4th Finalists

Monday May 3rd marks the close of voting for the Children’s Choice Book Awards. Be sure to vote for your favorite book for the 3rd and 4th grade before time runs out!

The Book that Eats People
by John Perry, Illustrations by Mark Fearing

Legend has it there exists a book that eats people.
This is that book!
Many readers have been unable to escape its perilous pages.
But this isn’t that book.
Yes it is!
This is simply a story about that book.
Really. I mean, how could a book eat people?
So if you’re just dying to know the history of this literary monster, all you have to do is turn the page…
Don’t do it!

Coretta Scott
by Ntozake Shange, Illustrations by Kadir Nelson

Walking many miles to school in the dusty road, young Coretta knew, too well, the unfairness of life in the segregated south. A yearning for equality began to grow. Together with Martin Luther King, Jr., she gave birth to a vision and a journey—with dreams of freedom for all. This extraordinary union of poetic text by Ntozake Shange and monumental artwork by Kadir Nelson captures the movement for civil rights in the United States and honors its most elegant inspiration, Coretta Scott.

Gonzalo Grabs the Good Life
by Janice Levy, Illustrations by Bill Slavin

After Gonzalo wins the lottery, he decides it’s time to leave the farm and go out to find the good life. He tries everything, from golf to boating to solos in the church choir — but no matter where he goes or what new adventure he embarks on, Gonzalo still does not find what he’s looking for. What will make this sassy rooster happy? This rollicking story, with its bright, colorful illustrations, will remind readers that sometimes contentment is right in your own backyard.

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute
by Jarret K. Krosoczka

Serving justice . . . and lunch! Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes—she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY!

by Zoticus de Lesseps

What if a sixteen-year-old assistant traveled aboard the storied Nautilus, the narwhal-shaped submarine of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? And what if he were the sole survivor of the ill-fated voyage and went on to relay his adventures to a certain . . . Jules Verne? Find this brave young man’s own account in the lavishly illustrated Oceanology, a tale of an 1866 voyage of discovery that investigates diving bells and shipwrecks; coral reefs and ice canyons; sharks, giant octopi, and luminous sea monsters; underwater volcanoes, and even the legendary island of Atlantis.
Vote today and everyday for your favorite K-2 Children’s Choice Book Award Finalist! Don’t forget to

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8. Children’s Choice Book Awards: Teen Finalists

Don’t wait until it’s too late to vote for your favorite books in the teen category. In case you didn’t have time to read these great books or just want to see what the buzz is all about, here is some information about each finalist.

Blue Moon (The Immortals, Book 2)

By Alyson Noel

Ever is now an immortal and embracing her debut into the dark world of her love, Damen. Yet, something is seriously wrong. As Ever’s powers become stronger, Damen grows weaker. In a desperate attempt to save him she travels to Summerland, where she is forced to decide between saving her one true love or going back in time to save her family from the accident that killed them.

Credit: Macmillan, St. Martin’s Press

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4)

By Richelle Meade

In the latest installment of the Vampire Academy, Rose Hathaway, who is half human and half vampire, is put to the ultimate test: can she destroy the person she loves most? A group of evil vampires called the Strigoi attack St. Vladimir and claim Dimitri, the love of Rose’s life, as their own. She must abandon her best friend Lissa and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago.

Credit: Vampire Academy Official Website

Catching Fire

By Suzanne Collins

Katniss has won the hunger games and to everyone’s amazement, Peeta Mellark and her are still alive. Instead of feeling happy, Katniss is miserable when she returns home because everyone holds her at an icy distance. Worst of all, Katniss fuels an unrest she is afraid she cannot stop. The time comes for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour but things can go from bad to worst if they can’t prove their love for each other. This is a thriller that will surprise readers at every turn.

Credit: Scholastic

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, Book 3)

By Cassandra Clare

To save her mother’s life, Clary must risk everything and travel to the City of Glass, the home of the Shadowhunters. As Clary uncovers information about her family’s history, she finds an ally in a Shadowhunter named Sebastian. With the evil Valentine mustering his power to destroy all Shadowhunters and Downworlders, both groups must fight alongside their eternal enemies in order to protect their livelihood. Can Clary harness her newfound powers to help save Glass City-whatever the cost? This is the final installment of  bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

Credit: Simon and Schuster


By Maggie Stiefvater

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9. Children’s Choice Book Awards: K – 2 Finalists

Get ready, get set, and vote for your favorite book in the kindergarten to 2nd grade age range.  In case you don’t have time to read these fabulous books (although we highly suggest you do) here is some information about each of the K-2 Children’s Choice Book Awards Finalists!

The Birthday Pet

By Ellen Javernick, Illustrations by Kevin O’ Malley

All Danny really wants for his birthday is a turtle.  Turtles are fun to watch, quiet, don’t get fur everywhere and most importantly, don’t run away!  But Danny’s family has different ideas about what pets are best!  After a dog, a kitten, a bird and even a rat, Danny finally gets his birthday wish.  Follow Danny and his pet adventures with Kevin O’ Malley’s charming colored-penciled illustrations, and Ellen Javernick’s delightful stanzas.  A perfect story for any child who has ever had their heart set on a pet!

LuLu the Big Little Chick

By Paulette Bogan

LuLu has had enough of everyone telling her she is too small to do things!  Sure she is small, but she wants to be big, so LuLu decides to run away! On her journey to far, far away, LuLu encounters some big animals: a horse, a cow, a sheep and finally a very loud crow!  Luckily for LuLu her mom is not too far behind.  LuLu the Big Little Chick, a story of a little one’s  big determination and the power of a mother’s love, is the perfect story for any child who is ready (or not so ready) to take on the world!

Mouse was Mad

By Linda Urban, Illustrated by Henry Cole

Mouse sure is hopping mad, but he doesn’t know what to do about it!  Should he scream like Bobcat? Stomp like Bear? Or hop like Hare?  Finally Mouse learns that maybe his own way of being mad is better than anyone else’s.  Linda Urban’s story uses a charming mouse to teach kids about self-expression, and more importantly, that no one’s feelings are exactly alike. Check out a book review by our very own Erica Perl and her daughter Bougie.

The Odd Egg

By Emily Gravett

Every bird except for duck can lay an egg!  Since Duck feels left out, he finds his very own egg. Except Duck’s egg is not like anyone else’s.  While all of the other birds’ eggs start to hatch, Duck is left caring for his odd, but what he thinks is beautiful egg.  Little does Duck know he is in for quite a surprise when his egg finally hatches! With calming, clever

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10. Voting Is Now Open for the 2010 Children’s Choice Book Awards

The Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader are excited to announce that voting for the Children’s Choice Book Awards is now open on the Children’s Book Week website.  Reader will be able to vote for their favorite books until May 3.

Kids can select their age group and vote here.

Teens can go straight to the Teen Choice Book Award page to vote.

Teachers, booksellers, and librarians can enter group votes for their young patrons here.

Take a moment to spread the word and give young readers a voice in their reading choices!

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11. Maniac Monday: Children’s Choice Book Awards

You might have noticed this new widget I have on my sidebar, courtesy of JacketFlap and the Children’s Book Council. It is announcing several nominees for the Children’s Choice Book Awards. In case you didn’t know, the Children’s Choice Book Award nominees have been announced in each category: Kindergarten to second grade, third to fourth grade, fifth to sixth grade, teen choice, author of the year, and illustrator of the year. There are five books or people nominated in each category.

Here’s a little blurb about the contest from the CBC website: “The favorite book finalists were determined by close to 15,000 children and teens. Thousands more will be able to cast their votes for their favorite book, author, and illustrator at bookstores, schools, libraries, and at BookWeekOnline.com from March 15 to May 3.

The Children’s Choice Book Awards winners will be announced live at the Children’s Choice Book Awards gala on May 11 in New York City as part of Children’s Book Week (May 10-16, 2010), the oldest national literacy event in the United States.”

When looking at the list, I am just thrilled. Here are some of my favorites from the list of nominees:

*Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
*City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
*Carl Hiassen for Scat
*Rick Riordan for The Last Olympian
*James Patterson for Max
*Victoria Kann for Goldilicious (Illustrator)

To see the full list of nominees, you can go here.

So, mark your calendars to let your children or your students vote on their favorites. If you haven’t read these books, then go to the library or bookstore and check them out! You have until May 3 to vote, so that’s plenty of time to devour these titles. If you have a favorite from the list, let us know here. You can find some of these authors and their books on this site. Go to the second sidebar on the right-hand side of this page, go to the category they write (such as YA), and click on their name. I have reviewed and provided activities for Suzanne Collins, James Patterson, Cassandra Clare, and Carl Hiassen.

Happy reading!

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12. The 2009 Children's Choice Book Awards

For those of you have have not heard the buzz, this year's Children's Choice Book Award winners are as follows:

Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year:
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! written and illustrated by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Book Group)

Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year: Spooky Cemeteries by Dinah Williams (Bearport Publishing)

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year: Thirteen by Lauren Myracle (Dutton/Penguin Young Readers Group)

Teen Choice Book of the Year: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown and Company)

Author of the Year: Stephenie Meyer, for Breaking Dawn (Little, Brown and Company)

Illustrator of the Year: Jon J Muth, for Zen Ties (Scholastic Press)
The Children's Choice Book Awards are special because young people are the ones who decide who the winners are. You can find out more about these awards and this year's winners here.

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13. Winners of the Children's Choice Book Awards

The winners of the Children's Choice Book Awards have been announced.

Fellow examiner Lori Calabrese has a great article about it on The Examiner. Check it out at:

Lori is the National Children's Book Examiner, so you may want to consider susbcribing to her posts to keep up with publishing news.


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14. Celebrate Children’s Book Week 2009

Today marks the beginning of Children’s Book Week (CBW) 2009, an annual celebration of books and reading Children\'s Book Week 2009 Postersince 1919, hosted by the Children’s Book Council.

With events taking place in New York, Chicago, Boston and Seattle, Children’s Book Week is dedicated to making every child a reader. And, what better way to promote reading than to provide children with the ability to tell us what authors and books deserve praise?

On May 13th the Children’s Book Council will announce the winners of this year’s Children’s Choice Book Awards, which tallied 220,000 votes from kids nationwide! In the meantime, be sure to visit the Children’s Book Week Web site to order your 2009 CBW poster, illustrated by artist Ian Falconer and featuring Olivia. You can also download this year’s official CBW bookmark, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino.

Children’s Book Week provides children with a voice and adults with a way to dive back into their imagination. That’s right, not only are there events for children and teens, such as author signings and storytelling, but teachers, librarians, booksellers and publishers can also help and enjoy this year’s Children’s Book Week.

Find out more and what you can do for Children’s Book Week 2009 online and happy reading!

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15. Don’t forget to vote for the 2009 Children’s Choice Book Awards

About a month ago, we shared that voting had begun for the 2009 Children’s Choice Book Awards. Now voting is easier than ever, thanks to the widget (posted at left) provided by the Children’s Book Council and JacketFlap.

Teachers, librarians or booksellers can easily record votes from your students on the Children’s Choice Book Award voting site.

Voting ends May 3rd, so be sure to tell a friend and help the kids in your life make their voices heard!

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16. 2009 Children's Choice Book Awards Finalists Announced!

You know how I love children's book awards and I recently posted the finalists for the 2009 Red House Children's Book Awards, so I had to list the finalists for the 2009 Children's
Choice Book Awards
. Awards, awards, awards--say that ten times fast!!

To fill ya' in...Finalists were announced on February 26th by the Children's Book Council. The favorite book finalists were determined by close to 15,000 children and teens. But now it's in the hands of young readers to cast their votes at www.BookWeekOnline.com from March 16th through May 3rd.

Winners will be announced live at the Children’s Choice Book Awards gala on May 12th in New York City as part of Children’s Book Week (May 11-17, 2009), the oldest national literacy event in the United States.

But without further ado, the finalists are...

Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year:

The Donut Chef (A Golden Classic)
written and illustrated by Bob Staake
(Golden Books/Random House Children’s Books)

Katie Loves the Kittens
written and illustrated by John Himmelman
(Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy
written and illustrated by Mo Willems
(Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Book Group)

Sort it Out!
written by Barbara Mariconda, illustrated by Sherry Rogers
(Sylvan Dell Publishing)

Those Darn Squirrels!
written by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year:

Babymouse #8: Puppy Love
by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
(Random House Children’s Books)

One Million Things: A Visual Encyclopedia
One Million Things
by Peter Chrisp
(DK Publishing)

Spooky Cemeteries (Scary Places)
by Dinah Williams
(Bearport Publishing)

Underwear: What We Wear Under There
Underwear: What We Wear Under There
by Ruth Freeman Swain
(Holiday House)

Willow (Picture Books)
written by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan, illustrated by Cyd Moore
(Sleeping Bear Press)

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year:

100 Most Dangerous Things On The Planet
by Anna Claybourne
(Scholastic Reference)

Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper (Bk. 1)
by Kazu Kibuishi

The Big Field
by Mike Lupica
(Philomel/Penguin Young Readers Group)

Swords: An Artist's Devotion
by Ben Boos
(Candlewick Press)

by Lauren Myracle
(Dutton/Penguin Young Readers Group)

Teen Choice Book Award:

by Meg Cabot

Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4)
Breaking Dawn
by Stephenie Meyer
(Little, Brown and Company)

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
(Scholastic Press)

Lock and Key
Lock and Key
by Sarah Dessen
(Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group)

Paper Towns
Paper Towns
by John Green
(Dutton/Penguin Young Readers Group)

Author of the Year:
Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
(Amulet Books/Abrams)

Stephenie Meyer, Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4)
(Little, Brown and Company)

Christopher Paolini, Brisingr (Inheritance, Book 3)
(Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House Children’s Books)

James Patterson, Maximum Ride: The Final Warning (Maximum Ride: The Protectors)
(Little, Brown and Company)

Rick Riordan, The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4)
(Disney- Hyperion Books)

Illustrator of the Year:
Laura Cornell, Big Words for Little People
(Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Robin Preiss Glasser, Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly
(HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Mo Willems, The Pigeon Wants a Puppy
(Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Book Group)

David Shannon, Loren Long and David Gordon,Smash! Crash! (Jon Scieszka's Trucktown)
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)

John J Muth, Zen Ties
(Scholastic Press)

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17. The 2008 Children's Choice Book Awards

The children have spoken and the winners of the Children's Choice Book Awards are. . .

Kindergarten to Second Grade
Frankie Stein by Lola M. Schaefer, Kevan Atteberry

Third Grade to Fourth Grade
Big Cats: Hunters of the Night (Animals After Dark) (Animals After Dark)

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade
Encyclopedia Horrifica: The Terrifying TRUTH! About Vampires, Ghosts, Monsters, and More by Joshua Gee

Illustrator of the Year Award
Ian Falconer, Olivia Helps with Christmas (Olivia Series)

Author of the Year Award
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)

Click here to visit the official site.

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National Children's Choice Book Awards Announced...

You may have spied the Children's Choice Awards widget on the right side of my blog. Well the results are in for the award, announced last night at a Children's Book Council dinner in NYC hosted by Jon Scieszka. Here they are (in non-widget form), reinforcing for all of us that kids dig scary stuff, precocious pigs and boy wizards (drumroll please...):

  • Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year: Frankie Stein written by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Kevan Atteberry (Cavendish). I'm posting the cover of this one, because I really dig Kevan and his book. (Murray loves it too, but he's too young to vote.)
  • Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year: Big Cats by Elaine Landau (Enslow)
  • Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year: Encyclopedia Horrifica by Joshua Gee (Scholastic)
  • Illustrator of the Year Award: Ian Falconer, Olivia Helps with Christmas (Simon & Schuster)
  • Author of the Year Award: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic)

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19. Children's Choice Book Awards Widget

Children's Book Week is approaching, and a new feature of this year's Children's Book Week is a national child-selected book awards program called the Children's Choice Book Awards. Kids across the country can vote electronically online or in their school, library, or bookstore via paper ballot for the five favorite books published in 2007 in five categories - three grade categories: K-2, 3-4, 5-6 as well as Favorite Author, and Favorite Illustrator. The winner in each category will be named at a gala during Children's Book Week 2008 in New York City. You can see a list of the 25 finalists as well as information on voting at the following URL:

To enhance the awareness of the awards, the Children's Book Council worked with JacketFlap to create a Children's Choice Book Awards Widget. The Widget displays a different finalist book every time it loads on a web site or blog, and there are links where people can click to vote for the Children's Choice Book Awards. You can get the Widget for your own blog or web site here:

In the past 24 hours, Publishers, authors, illustrators, librarians, and children's literature bloggers have been adding the widget to their blogs and web sites, effectively bringing the voting to the places where people learn about children's books. Below are some examples where you can see the widget live from the 40+ web sites that have installed the Children's Choice Book Awards Widget in the past 24 hours:

Publisher blog examples:

Author blog examples:

Illustrator blog examples:

Librarian blog examples:

Children's Literature blog examples:

Robin Adelson and the team at the Children's Book Council have really done a great job with this year's Children's Book Week! Be sure to visit the web site at: http://www.bookweekonline.com


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20. New link added to the Fun Places to Visit List

Jessica Hoshi a cheerful and optimistic girl

“Looky at the new link that we got! It’s from our cheetah article from yesterday!”

Talitha Hayashi a shy and brilliantly intelligent girl
“This link is to one of the most popular organizations that helps wild cheetahs.”

Jessica Hoshi a cheerful and optimistic girl

“Yeah it’s called the Cheetah Conservation Foundation and they got lots of neat stuff about big cats that go real fast! We’re gonna put up some more neat links soon. Ja minna!”

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21. Meet some Cheetahs! Majani, Kubali and Karroo: Three of the fastest cats on Earth

Jessica Hoshi a cheerful and optimistic girl

“Konnichi-waaaaa minna san! It’s meeee Jessica Hoshi! Today we got a super treat for everyone. This is our first ever article with a video, because my friend Talitha-chan is super smart and can do anything with computers. This is an article that was written by a guest author and they said we could put in on our site. We love big kitties because Shannon-sama has a big kitty named Kishi that is a magical cat. So we got this article about three cheetahs at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Their names are Majani, Kubali and Karroo! The first two are brother and sister cheetahs. Majani is a Swahili word that means ‘grasslands,’ and Kubali is also a Swahili word that means ‘to accept.’ Swahili is a language that is spoken in Africa, which is where there are lots of cheetahs, but not so many now cause cheetahs are endangered. I’m gonna get Talitha-chan to put links in our Fun Places list about cheetahs so you can get involved and help out just like us! Arigato minna!”

Meet Majani, Kubali and Karroo

Zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds.

No, it isn’t the latest super car or souped up motorcycle. In fact, these “vehicles” have no metal parts, engines or wheels at all. They have names, though. They are Majani and Kubali, brother and sister cheetahs who reside at the San Diego Zoo and are featured every weekend at the San Diego Wild Animal Park’s Animal Shows.

Three cheetah cubs

Photo copyright © Patricia Tricorache/CCF

Majani and Kubali put on speed exhibitions at the new San Diego Wild Animal Park’s “Cheetah Run Safari” where guests line the track and can get an up close, thrilling view of the animals as they dash past, chasing a small mechanical lure at speeds well in excess of 60 miles per hour. Majani, whose name means “grasslands” in Swahili, is the larger brother of Kubali, whose name means “to accept” in Swahili. Majani also holds the distinction of being the largest and heaviest zoo kept cheetah in the country, weighing in at 144 pounds. The largest and heaviest cheetah recorded in the wild was scarcely one pound heavier at 145 pounds.

Because of her size and weight advantage, Kubali is slightly faster than her brother. This may also be due to the fact that, like many big cats, female cheetahs must develop better and more effective hunting skills since they are responsible for catching and providing food for their cubs.

But what is probably most charming about these two magnificent animals at the San Diego Wild Animal Park is the fact they have befriended two dogs from the local San Diego Humane Society. That’s right. Cats and dogs, living together. Clifford is a labrador and Bear is a labrador/chow who were “assigned” to Majani and Kubali respectively, and act as a calming influence on the big cats when they are performing for the public. Like all cats, cheetahs can be somewhat reclusive in unfamiliar situations, but with their companions around, it seems the brother and sister team have an easier time of it during the Cheetah Run Safari shows.

Just for fun, the park staff lets Clifford and Bear out on the track for trial runs before the stars of the show take to the starter’s blocks. While they are probably quite capable runners, as some dogs are, labradors don’t quite compare to the fastest land animal on the planet.

After their runs, the big cats are fed and spectators have an opportunity to listen as their loud purring is heard throughout Cheetah Outpost. The Cheetah Run Safari is available on weekends to spectators and guests by reservation and requires an additional fee which does not include admission to the San Diego Wild Animal Park or Zoo. The program includes refreshments and a 5×7 photograph of one of the cheetahs from the show.

The third “dog and cat” team at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park is also a dog and cheetah team like Majani and Clifford or Kubali and Bear. They are Karroo and Sven, a cheetah and golden retriever team that appears in the “Wild Ones” show in the San Diego Wild Animal Park’s “Cat Canyon” area.

A cheetah running

Photo copyright © Patricia Tricorache/CCF

Karroo and Sven Olaf are the current caretakers of a historical dog and cheetah tradition at the park’s Cheetah Run and Cat Canyon, signified by a plaque commemorating the original team at Wegeforth Bowl in the park. The original team, consisting of a cheetah named Arusha and a golden retriever named Anna, performed and worked at the park together well into their old ages. Chobe and Jessie followed, and now, the featured dog and cat team of Karroo and Sven continue to thrill and delight audiences at the San Diego Wild Animal Park’s many shows and attractions, including the Zoo’s show at the Hunte Ampitheater.

Cheetahs are a unique species, and are among the most specialized creatures in nature. Their bodies are a wonder of aerodynamics, agility, speed and strength, and there is undoubtedly still much to be learned about the way they hunt and survive in the wild. Cheetahs live considerably longer in captivity than in the wild, and this will hopefully provide more opportunties to help this spectacular big cat overcome some of the challenges that are facing the 12,000 remaining cheetahs in the world, including inbreeding, genetic defects and various viruses and infections that cheetahs are susceptible to.

But in the meantime, there’s no reason that people cannot marvel at the incredible abilities of Majani, Kubali and Karroo at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park. There is no better way to learn to appreciate wild animals, their habitat and humanity’s relationship with nature than to see nature’s strength and dignity in person, and that is precisely the opportunity shows like the Cheetah Run Safari and the Wild Ones provide. Endangered species like the cheetah and many others around the world are everyone’s responsibility, and learning more about both endangered species and species with healthy populations is an excellent way for people to develop a more profound understanding of both the world we live in and the challenges we share in preserving the natural world around us.

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