Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sharks at ALA Annual!

Posted by | May 31, 2011 | 3 Comments

ALA Annual is around the corner and we’re knee-deep (okay, maybe higher…) in planning.  Want a sneak peek at the treats in our booth?  Check this out:

SHARK FANS!!!!!  These are to celebrate Bob Shea’s super-fun picture book I’M A SHARK…and heaven knows that you’ll need a fan in sultry New Orleans.  Check out the back of the fan:

We’ll have these in the HarperCollins Children’s Booth #1315 (while supplies last) so come by and ask for one while checking out this storytime-ready picture book (try making your own shark fans as a storytime craft!).

See you in New Orleans!


Posted by | May 24, 2011 | 1 Comment

Don’t listen to us gab about the newest picture book from Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace…check out the three starred reviews for THIS PLUS THAT!

“Teachers could use the book, perhaps paired with Betsy Franco’s picture book Mathematickles! (2003), to introduce math equations or to inspire students to create their own verbal equations. But first, just read this unusual book aloud and let it work its magic.” ~ Booklist (starred review)

“Clever premise + artful execution = sure winner.” ~ Kirkus (starred review)

“Corace’s tidy figures echo with prim grace the gentle theme of the book, that life can be parsed into the simplest terms that recombine to create something joyous.” ~ Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

Check out the adorable book trailer:

And check out these other great reviews:
A Year of Reading
Literacy and Laughter (look how she used it in the classroom!)
The BK Club (the Children’s Room at Memorial Hall Library)

SLJ’s Day of Dialog at BEA

Posted by | May 18, 2011 | 1 Comment

This Monday, May 23rd, we’ll be at the 2011 Day of Dialog.  Will you?

Hosted by School Library Journal, it’s a fantastic day-long event filled with panels, author signings, lots of swag, and networking.  And it wouldn’t be a BEA event if it didn’t end with a cocktail event, of course!

Patty and I will be there along with Donald Crews, editor Virginia Duncan, Thanhha Lai, Cindy Pon, and Rita Williams-Garcia.  For a full list of events, check out the schedule.

We hope to see you there!

~ Laura


Posted by | May 17, 2011 | 3 Comments

A bookstore cat

Let’s be honest. The bookstore cat is cliché.  Don’t get me wrong. I love cats, and I love cats in bookstores. There’s a reason why they are cliché. Bookstore cats are well-behaved (mostly) and safe (again, mostly) in exactly the way that a bookstore mongoose or bookstore badger is not. Still, I pine for variety now and again. And that brings us to my favorite local children’s bookstore, Wild Rumpus.

Wild Rumpus is nestled in Linden Hills. Linden Hills is nestled in Minneapolis. And within Wild Rumpus is nestled… other things. There’s a whole lot of nestling going on. It’s like a Russian doll thing, in indie bookstore form. Those other things include Mo the Dove, Amelia and Skeeter (a pair of chinchillas), Spike the Wise Lizard (which sounds like a Toad the Wet Sprocket cover band if you ask me), parakeets, chickens (that roam the store freely), and yes, even a cat or two (of the stylish Manx variety).

A chicken climbs a display for PERFECT SQUARE and MY HEART IS LIKE A ZOO, both by local author/illustrator Michael Hall

In addition to housing this menagerie, Wild Rumpus sells books. Really good books. I get the majority of my children’s and YA books from my excellent local library system. But when I absolutely positively can’t wait for my hold to come in, I go to Wild Rumpus. When I do, I also have to watch my wallet because of the temptation to bring the entire contents of their shelves home with me.

Wild Rumpus offers a weekly story time on Mondays and book clubs for all ages. Their ARRG! (that’s Advanced Reader Review Group) recently read YOU by Charles Benoit, one of my favorite books of 2010. I’m a librarian by training and inclination, so I sometimes get nervous when bookstores offer traditional library programs like book clubs and story times. But when the bookstore staff loves children’s literature–as the Wild Rumpus’ staff so clearly does–it’s hard to take offense. Hungry readers benefit libraries and booksellers alike.

I know I’m preaching to the choir when it comes to you Twin Cities readers, so this is for the rest of you. If your travels take you to Minneapolis, let your wild rumpus begin!


p.s. Katherine Hannigan, author of TRUE (…SORT OF) and IDA B, will be at Wild Rumpus TONIGHT, Tuesday, May 17 at 6:00PM!

IRA Conference

Posted by | May 12, 2011 | 1 Comment

We’ve just returned from the IRA conference in sunny Orlando!  We’re still getting our feet back under us and assure you that we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming soon.  In the meantime, though, here are a couple of highlights from our booth at the conference:

Happy 15th Birthday to the adorable Biscuit!

Attendees received a free My Weird School book when they signed up for Dan Gutman’s My Weird Classroom Club.

Thanks to all the teachers, librarians, and media specialists who made the IRA conference such a great time!

More pictures coming soon…

Gail Carson Levine at IRA Conference!

Posted by | May 5, 2011 | No Comments

Next week (May 8-11) we’re off to another conference: the International Reading Association Annual Convention in sunny Orlando!  We have a stellar line-up of authors and illustrators – for a complete list of authors and signing times, click here.

One such author is Gail Carson Levine, author of some of the best-known books in children’s literature, such as ELLA ENCHANTED and WRITING MAGIC.  She’ll be featured on a panel called “Engaging Readers K-5″ with Kristin Clark Venuti, Laurie Friedman, and Ethan Long.  The fabulous Kate Messner will be moderating.  If you’ll be at the conference, this panel will be on Tuesday, May 10 from 11:00am-12:00pm.

Gail will also be signing her new book, A TALE OF TWO CASTLES, from 12:30-1:30 after her panel.  In its starred review, Kirkus said that this is a “thoroughly delicious romp” and we couldn’t agree more.  Stop by booth #1220 and say hi to Gail!

We hope to see you in sunny Orlando!

Additional resources:
ELLA ENCHANTED discussion guide
A TALE OF TWO CASTLES book trailer
WRITING MAGIC discussion guide

Dan Gutman’s My Weird Classroom Club

Posted by | May 4, 2011 | No Comments

My name is Dan Gutman, and I love teachers and librarians!

Hey, the most amazing thing in the history of the world just happened.  But I’m not going to tell you what it is.   So nah nah nah boo boo on you.

Okay, okay, I’ll tell you.

I had to wait a million hundred years, but HarperCollins just started the My Weird Classroom Club!  It’s a club for classrooms, and it’s about My Weird School, so it has the perfect name.

My Weird Classroom Club is full of teaching guides, activity sheets, puzzles, games, comics, checklists, cards, Mad Libs, and other awesome stuff you can use in your classroom to get your kids excited about reading.*

“WOW!” (that’s “MOM” upside down)  This is the greatest day of my life.  If you ask me, HarperCollins should get the No Bell Prize.  That’s a prize they give out to people who don’t have bells.

The My Weird Classroom Club is cool.  So don’t be a dumbhead.  Go to today and  see it live and in person.

If you don’t, I’ll be so upset that I’ll have to go to Antarctica and live with the penguins.

*It’s gonna sell a lot of books too!  What a scam!

Divergent Day!

Posted by | May 3, 2011 | 16 Comments

So you might have heard about a little book called DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth*.  I joke, of course, when I say “little”.  It’s anything but.  It’s the epic story of a teenage girl who must make a decision on her 16th birthday that will determine the outcome of her life, as all 16-year-olds must do in this dystopian society.

Will she choose to join the Abnegation faction (the selfless)?  Or Dauntless (the brave)?  Perhaps Erudite (the intelligent) or Candor (the honest)?  Or will she choose Amity (the peaceful)?

Well, we all chose our factions** in the office today to celebrate the release of the book!

There’s Patty (Candor), Molly (editor of DIVERGENT and factionless, as this celebration was a surprise for her!), Stephanie (Dauntless), Robin (Erudite), and Laura (Amity).

To keep the celebration going, we’re hosting a giveaway!  We’ll be giving away five (5) copies of DIVERGENT, along with faction tattoos, to five lucky readers!

Tell us which faction you’d choose in the comments (and/or take the quiz) and we’ll randomly pick five names.  Enter by 11:59 p.m.  on Thursday, May 5th and we’ll announce the winners on Friday, May 6th.  U.S. and Canada only, please.

* Check out this interview with Veronica Roth at Brodart’s blog!

** Abnegation (the selfless – all grey, no jewelry); Amity (the peaceful – yellow, hippy, farmer-style); Candor (the honest – only black and white, no grey); Dauntless (the brave – all black, edgy, tattoos and piercings encouraged); Erudite (the intelligent – bright blue, glasses encouraged)

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