Monthly Archives: April 2011

Buzz Alert: Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe

Posted by | April 28, 2011 | No Comments

Today has to be perfect.
I look at the clock.
Saturday, 10:14 am.
Ten fourteen. One plus one is two plus four is six plus ten is sixteen minus one is fifteen minus two is thirteen. OK.

I turn from the clock and walk into the hallway. ‘Ready.’

COMPULSION is the story of 17-year-old Jake Martin, a soccer star who is hoping to win his third state championship.  Three.  A good number.  A prime.  Once he wins, he’ll finally be free of the numbers that go through his head and rule his life.  The numbers have to stop.  But what if they don’t?

Check out the reviews:

“A gripping, claustrophobic read.” ~ Booklist (starred review)

“A compelling entrée into the claustrophobic world of an OCD teen.  Taut, suspenseful and well-realized.” ~ Kirkus

“Achingly believable. Highly recommended.”  ~ VOYA

Acclaimed, award-winning author Francisco X. Stork said, “COMPULSION is a starkly honest, compelling read. It will grab you and plunge you into the unusual, yet strangely familiar mind of Jake Martin and you will come out different.”

And the blogosphere is buzzing too:

Reclusive Bibliophile
A Good Addiction
Young Adult Books Central

And lest you think it’s all about the book, we also can’t say enough about author Heidi Ayarbe – she is super nice and even sends us coffee treats from her home in Colombia!  Check out her website, as well as her blog, her Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

COMPULSION is on-sale May 3rd.

Read. Learn. Play.

Posted by | April 26, 2011 | No Comments

We love our Kindles.  We love our company-issued Sony Readers.  And of course we love our iPads.

But lately we’re particularly smitten with the Nook Color and their Read and Play interactive e-books (which you can buy in the…wait for it…eBooktique!).

Kids can read in the traditional way with “page turns” and either they can read to themselves or be read aloud to by a parent or caregiver.  There’s also a “read to me” feature with a pre-recorded voice.  And now, with the new interactive ability, there’s some animation and activities – while still staying true and respectful to the book’s original art and intent, we think (yes, we were skeptical at first too).  But  LITTLE WHITE RABBIT is darling when he hops.  SPLAT THE CAT hides under his bedsheets, peeking out periodically, making us giggle.  FANCY NANCY allows the reader to create and draw and interact.  It’s pretty darn cool.

Well done, Nook.

VIDEO: Little Bea by Daniel Roode

Posted by | April 22, 2011 | No Comments

It’s arrived in the office.  Big time.  It affects productivity.  It distracts us.  And it makes us feel trapped inside.  That’s right: it’s SPRING FEVER.  And all of us here in school and library marketing have caught it.

In light of our illness, this seems like the perfect video to share today:

Tailor-made for storytime, preschoolers will be enchanted as Little Bea buzzes around a field where butterflies flutter-flutter-flutter and owls say hoo-hoo-hooray.  The perfect way to celebrate a new season.

Happy holiday weekend to you all and see you next week!

written and illustrated by Daniel Roode
ISBN 9780061993923

NOTE: And check out Daniel’s two visits to the Greenwillow offices!

Turning the Page with…Heather Dixon

Posted by | April 21, 2011 | No Comments

In this breathtaking retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”, Azalea, the eldest princess, must fight to save her family—and her heart—from an ancient dark magic within the palace walls.  In its starred review for ENTWINED, Booklist said, “Full of mystery, lush settings, and fully orbed characters, [Heather] Dixon’s debut is both suspenseful and rewarding.”

And I can’t help but editorialize here: can you believe that cover?  Sooo gorgeous.  Do you think I can get away with wearing that dress to the Newbery-Caldecott banquet at ALA this year?  Or is that over-the-top?

Photo by John Paul Espinosa

We recently put Heather Dixon in the hotseat and, despite being a debut novelist, she handled our grueling interview with aplomb and deftness.

What time is your alarm clock set for?

4:30 am.  I hit the snooze about 37 times.

Favorite book from childhood?

<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>Crab Apple!

It’s the story of a crabby crab apple that goes around yelling at birds and worms.   I can tell you this book formed a lot of my comedic timing as a child.

If you weren’t an author/illustrator, what job would you like to have?

I think I’d like to be a professional taste-tester.  I’d wander around places like Costco and Sam’s Club and try out all their food samples and hoard the little spoons and plastic cups and stuff.  I pretty much do this all day now so how awesome would it be to get paid for it!!

How many stamps are in your passport?
What’s a passport?

Favorite word?

Fie.  It’s short and it is also fun to say.  Fiefiefiefiefie.

Scourge is a close second.

What are you reading right now?

“Making Money” by Terry Pratchett.

…and Crabby Crabapple.

Finish this sentence: “I always smile when…”

Oh, I always just smile.  It’s my favorite!

Funniest (or most interesting) question from a fan?

I actually haven’t met a talking fan yet.  I expect they’d say whirrrrrr.

Thanks, Heather, for answering our questions (and introducing us to the magic of Crabby Crabapple)!  Visit Heather at her blog, Story Monster (where you find out that she’s a stellar artist as well as a great writer!)!

New Voices: Crystal Allen

Posted by | April 19, 2011 | No Comments

In HOW LAMAR’S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY, 13-year-old Lamar is the maddest, baddest, most spectacular bowler at Striker’s Bowling Paradise but he seems to keep striking out with the ladies.  When an older kid talks Lamar into hustling at the bowling alley, he thinks it just may be his chance to get ahead.  Finding himself in trouble, Lamar realizes that sometimes the long way to success is better than the short cut.

In its starred review, Publishers Weekly said that “from the first sentence Lamar will have readers hooked.”

I have to admit that I have blatantly borrowed laugh-out-loud lines from Lamar.  My favorite?  “If I ever find the drama fairy who sprinkled all this drama dust in my life, I’ll personally pluck her wings.”  This debut novel is full of such gems and I dog-eared my galley every place where I snorted with laughter (hint: my copy was pretty heavily marked).


Speaking of gems, debut novelist Crystal Allen is one of them herself.  She recently joined us at the Texas Library Association conference, and we all adored her.  She is laugh-out-loud funny (much like Lamar) and her enthusiasm is contagious.  Want to know more about her?  Check out her website where you can get added to her mailing list and read fun trivia about her.  You can also friend Crystal on Facebook and read this great interview with Crystal at The Brown Bookshelf.


Let’s welcome Crystal to the school and library community!

Sneak Preview: Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!

Posted by | April 18, 2011 | 1 Comment

Mo Willems has a new picture book, HOORAY FOR AMANDA & HER ALLIGATOR!, on-sale next week on Tuesday, April 26th.  When we saw this video trailer, we just couldn’t resist sharing it with you a little early.  Take a look:


El día de los niños/El día de los libros

Posted by | April 7, 2011 | No Comments

This year is the 15th anniversary for El día de los niños/El día de los libros! Happy birthday to this wonderful celebration of children and books from all linguistic and cultural backgrounds!

There are lots of celebrations going on and one I’m particularly excited about is the Pura Belpré Celebración at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans this June.  Organizers tell us that they’re going to celebrate it as a Quinceañera with a traditional promenade.  It’s going to be fabulous – we only hope we can sneak away from our booth long enough to participate!

For your collections, here are some Spanish and bilingual books to consider for your Día celebrations:

This list is by no means exhaustive (many of these authors and illustrators are prolific with rich and beautiful books in their backlist), but hopefully it’ll help get you started.

And make sure to check out the Día website – there’s a wealth of information about hosting your own Día event, events going on around the country, and lots more information.

Happy 15th birthday, Día!

Carnegie Medal Shortlist

Posted by | April 4, 2011 | No Comments

Congratulations to Geraldine McCaughrean and THE DEATH-DEFYING PEPPER ROUX for being named to the Carnegie Medal Shortlist for 2011!  It received four starred reviews in the United States and we’re thrilled to see it nominated for this honor!

In its starred review, Kirkus said “[A] laugh-out-loud funny, picaresque adventure. McCaughrean’s frequently over-the-top metaphors mirror the delightfully implausible plot. [A] poignant, odd, wonderfully composed and vastly entertaining novel.”


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