Monthly Archives: July 2010

Poetry Friday: Douglas Florian

Posted by | July 30, 2010 | No Comments

You couldn’t ask for a more stunning Friday here in New York – it’s sunny and 82 degrees with a light breeze.  Heaven.  In celebration, I give you this poem:

by Douglas Florian

Morning glories
Campfire stories
Picking cherries
And blueberries
Riding bikes
Mountain hikes
Bird calls
Curve balls
Short sleeves
Green leaves
Swimming holes
Fishing poles
Nature walks
Corn stalks
Skipping stones
Ice cream cones
Double plays
And barefoot days.

by Douglas Florian

KidLitCon 2010

Posted by | July 29, 2010 | No Comments

Have you heard of KidLitCon?  It’s the conference for children’s literature bloggers (which includes YA, of course) and 2010, I believe, will be their third year.  I attended last year in the D.C. area and absolutely loved it.  It really ran the gamut: there were authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, and enthusiasts in attendance.  Here is the information for this year’s event:

Where: OPEN BOOK Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: Saturday, October 23rd  (though there is usually an event on Friday night and Saturday night as well)

Check out the blog for hotel and travel information, follow KidLitCon on Twitter, and watch the Facebook page.

I’ll be there and – who knows – maybe I’ll have a galley or two to give away…

Here is a small sample of some other fabulous folks who have pre-registered:
Ernie Cox
Elizabeth Burns
Kathi Appelt
Cindy Dobrez
Alice Pope
Kelly Jensen
…and many others!

Hope to see you there!


Storytime Corner: Summer

Posted by | July 28, 2010 | 1 Comment

We’re in the thick of the summer heat, right?  While working in a library, I was known for choosing snow- and rain-themed storytimes during the summer, using a little reverse psychology.  For today, though, we’re going to celebrate summer with this bright and sunny storytime:



PICNIC by Emily Arnold McCully

SEA, SAND, ME by Patricia Hubbell, illustrated by Lisa Campbell Ernst


Baby Bumble Bee”

“Waves in the Sea” (courtesy of Storytime with Miss Brianna):

(Tune: “Wheels on the Bus”)

The waves on the sea go up and down,
[Raise and lower arms.]
Up and down, up and down,
The waves on the sea go up and down
All day long.

The shark in the sea goes snap snap snap..
[Clap your hands.]

The fish in the sea go swish swish swish..
[Swish back and forth.]

The boats in the sea go toot toot toot…
[Make blowing horn motion.]


Make the sun! Kids trace their hands on yellow construction paper – cut out four handprints total.  Cut a circle out of orange construction paper.  Arrange the handprints with fingers facing outward and glue the orange circle on top.  If desired, kids can make funny faces on the circle.


Big Nate

Posted by | July 27, 2010 | No Comments

BIG NATE creator, Lincoln Peirce, in the Washington Post.

I originally conceived this blog post as a “BIG NATE is an awesome read for boys!” booktalk.  But after reading the Post article a couple more times, what I took away from it was not that BIG NATE is a good “boy book” (though it is that); rather, I gained a better understanding of the importance of the mentoring relationship.  Don’t forget to read the comments on the article – each of them commends Jeff Kinney and Lincoln Peirce for being so generous with their time.

Jeff Kinney and Lincoln Peirce have a special relationship and this article reminded me that, ultimately, it’s the way we interact with others that matters most.  I know that the mentoring relationship is important among artists, writers, and in publishing but, having been a librarian, I know it’s important there too.  I recently discovered this article by librarian extraordinaire Sophie Brookover: “Mentors, What Are They Good For?”  It gives great advice to librarians seeking out a mentor – I highly recommend it.

That said, don’t forget that BIG NATE is a fantastic read for both boys and girls, certain to appeal to your DIARY OF A WIMPY KID fans.  Check out the BIG NATE website and watch an interview between Jeff and Lincoln.


Weekend Links

Posted by | July 26, 2010 | No Comments

Here is a sample of what we were reading and loving online this past week:

Hope you all had a great weekend!

~ L

Poetry Friday: Shel Silverstein

Posted by | July 23, 2010 | No Comments

Ever have one of those weeks?  Of course you do because don’t we all?  Then this is the poem you want to read – it’s the perfect pick-me-up.  And it’s never too early to instill the lesson it teaches to the kids you encounter everyday.

by Shel Silverstein

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me –
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

From Where the Sidewalk Ends
by Shel Silverstein

Visit the website and check out the teaching guide.

Maryrose Wood Visits North Shore Public Library

Posted by | July 22, 2010 | No Comments

Maryrose Wood:  An Author Visit
By Lori Blend and Katherine Welch

The Summer Reading Club Kick-Off with author Maryrose Wood was the opening event for North Shore Public Library’s Teen and Children’s Summer reading programs.  Preparations for our event began in early June with school visits to all of the students in our library district.  At that time, a power-point presentation introduced the students to the upcoming author visit as well as to all other Summer programs and activities.  Not only did we present the authors most recent titles, but were also able to offer to reserve a complimentary copy of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place to each family upon registration.  This distribution was made possible through a donation from the Friends of the Library and from a local memorial fund.

At the internal level, library staff was made aware of the author visit at a staff meeting to enlist their help in promoting the event.  We gave the staff an abbreviated version of our school presentation in order to keep them well informed, as well as enthusiastic about our programs.  Flyers, posters, and large eye-catching displays at the library’s entrance and points of service highlighted the event.

Everyone loves a party!  When we plan author visits, we always include a reception to follow with a book signing time for the guest author.  Our local baker prepared a decadent sheet cake featuring the cover art from the author’s most recent releases, The Poison Diaries and The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place.  Our support staff served the cake, along with iced tea, to the guests as they waited for a chance to have their book signed.

With a backdrop of scurrying squirrels, Maryrose Wood was introduced to our audience of over 100 guests of children, teens, and adults.   Attendees were attentive and enthralled by Maryrose’s energetic presentation.  Everyone loves a good howl!
Lori Blend, Head of Children’s Services
Katherine Welch, Head of Teen Services

North Shore Public Library
250 Route 25A
Shoreham, NY 11786

Check out our HarperCollins author visit information!

Additional information about Maryrose Wood’s books:

Visit Maryrose Wood on Facebook and Twitter!

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
Reading Guide

The Poison Diaries

Beezus and Ramona

Posted by | July 20, 2010 | No Comments

I had a mentor who was a librarian for 40 years before retiring.  Sitting in her cubicle one day, she confessed the following to me:

“I never read a single Ramona book that whole time.  I didn’t read my first one until about 10 years ago.”

You can imagine my shock.  How could she not have read a Ramona book?  How could she have escaped not reading Beverly Cleary’s definitive series for all those years?!

But my mentor made an interesting point: she didn’t need to read the Ramona books.  She didn’t need to booktalk them, for certain – they practically grew legs and walked off the bookshelves by themselves.  They were that popular.

Me?  I grew up obsessed with the series, knowing I was really a Ramona but desperately wishing I were like Beezus.  Which is what got me a stellar score on this quiz* about Beverly Cleary’s beloved series.  Take the quiz and share your score in the comments.  Don’t be shy – your score can’t be any worse than my mentor’s, right?

Looking for ways to introduce Beezus and Ramona Quimby to a new generation of readers?  Check out our teaching guide.

And I’m sure you’ve heard about the upcoming movie, Ramona and Beezus.  It’s in theaters on July 23rd, starring Joey King and Selena Gomez.  Here’s the trailer:

* Thanks to bookshelves of doom for the link to the quiz.

Meet our freelancer, Tony!

Posted by | July 19, 2010 | 5 Comments

My name is Tony Hirt, and I’m part of the School and Library Marketing team at HarperCollins Children’s Books.  Some trivia about me:

  • I have worn pantaloons professionally. (I once worked at a Renaissance Festival.)
  • I have jumped out of a plane from a very great height.  (And I lived to tell the tale.)
  • I believe the proper name of the game is “Duck, duck, grey duck” not “Duck, duck, goose.” (Yes, I know I’m crazy.  It’s a Minnesota thing.)
  • I love parenthetical statements.  (No, really, I love parenthetical statements.)
  • I also love libraries.  (In fact, I love them more than parentheses.)


When I was a geeky, gawky teenager, I spent many Saturday afternoons at the library.  I read many books of questionable literary merit.  But my librarians, to their great credit, always made me feel welcome when I approached the circ desk with an armload of cheap sci-fi paperbacks.  Now that I’m a geeky, gawky adult, I want to return the favor and welcome today’s teens to the library.  I’m currently working on my MLIS at Pratt Institute, and I hope to work as a teen services librarian after graduation.  In the meantime, I flex my library muscles by volunteering at Bard High School Early College in Queens, where I get to work with some incredibly bright teens.

At HarperCollins, I do a little bit of everything.  Some days I’ll be working on presentations for conferences.  Other days I’ll be sending out the latest ARC.  Still other days I might be scouring every RiteAid in Boston for gift bags while my cab driver explains the nuances of the exotic reptile market.  (Okay, that only happened once.  Still, it happened.)  But most days I assist librarians with arranging author and illustrator visits.  If you want to bring  Seymour Simon or Bryan Chick or any other HC author to your school or library, I’m your guy.  Take a look at our list of authors and illustrators and drop me a line.  (I’d love to hear from you.)


And the winner of the original art by Mo Willems is…

Posted by | July 15, 2010 | No Comments

Martha Cole, Children’s Coordinator, Chesapeake Public Library System in Chesapeake, VA! We reached Martha yesterday with the good news, and she said, “WOW!!!!!! I’m truly excited; this news has made my day.  What I had originally hoped to win at ALA was an IPAD.  This is way better!”

We’d like to give a big shout out to our partners School Library Journal and Baker & Taylor and to the more than 1000 librarians who took part in the KNUFFLE BUNNY FREE Passport Challenge at ALA last month.  We hope that those of you who completed the challenge are putting your Knuffle Bunny luggage tags to good use this summer.

KBF will publish on September 28th. If you just can’t wait and need a Trixie and Knuffle Bunny fix now – head over to to get a sneak peek from the book.  (Click on the Sneak Peek question mark.)  Thanks.


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