Monthly Archives: August 2011
It’s been an eventful couple of days: earthquakes! hurricanes! But even Mother Nature can’t put a stop to Book Birthdays! Today is the birthday for WILDWOOD by Colin Meloy (of Decemberists’ fame) and illustrated by his wife, Carson Ellis. We’re so thrilled that it’s out there for everyone to read now!
Check out the reviews:
“Meloy has an immediately recognizable verbal style and creates a fully realized fantasy world…. Ellis’s illustrations perfectly capture the original world and contribute to the feel of an instant timeless classic.” ~ School Library Journal (starred review)
“A satisfying blend of fantasy, adventure story, eco-fable and political satire with broad appeal; especially recommended for preteen boys.” ~ Kirkus
Get to know Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis:
And take a look at the book trailer to whet your appetite:
Happy publication day to WILDWOOD!
Having done a Storytime Corner on cats, it only makes sense that we’d have to do one on dogs, right? I’m a cat person myself, but these dog stories are completely irresistible. And to keep all your parents and kids happy, you could even consider mixing up the dog and cat stories to make an integrated “Pets” program!
IF YOU GIVE A DOG A DONUT by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond (On-sale 10.4.11)
THAT PUP! by Lindsay Barrett George
NO DOGS ALLOWED! by Anne Davis
TEN LITTLE PUPPIES/Diez perritos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, illustrated by Ulises Wensell
Usually when I do storytimes, I like to make some books available for checkout that follow the theme. Here are a few ideas of books you can display for checkout post-program:
CHARLIE THE RANCH DOG by Ree Drummond, illustrated by Diane deGroat
DOGS by Seymour Simon
HARRY THE DIRTY DOG by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham
HIP HOP DOG by Chris Raschka, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
I AM THE DOG by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by Jack E. Davis
MAGGIE’S BALL by Lindsay Barrett George
ZOOMER by Ned Young
I started compiling song, rhyme, and craft ideas…and then I realized that Storytime Katie had most likely already put together something fabulous for a dog-themed storytime. And she had. Check out her Puppies storytime, as well as her storytime for Pets. Wonderful ideas!
For better or for worse, as parents, librarians, and teachers, we rely a lot on series to get reluctant readers to keep reading. Heck, even very strong readers love the predictability and familiarity they have with characters and storylines they’ve encountered before. To that end, there are some #2 books coming out in new series this fall and they just might be the perfect recommendation for the kids in your library or classroom (or home):
THE FAMILIARS #2: SECRETS OF THE CROWN by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING EVERYTHING by Ben H. Winters
- In its starred review, Publishers Weekly called THE SECRET LIFE OF MS. FINKLEMAN, “funny, fast-paced, and highly original.”
MO WREN, LOST AND FOUND by Tricia Springstubb
THE MAGNIFICENT 12: THE TRAP by Michael Grant
- Receiving two starred reviews, Kirkus said that THE MAGNIFICENT 12: THE CALL was “a lighter-than-usual fantasy action-adventure that is sure to win many fans and fly off the shelves.” And don’t forget to check out the outstanding website that includes a section of educators!
What other series are your kids excited about?
Dan Gutman! When he first sent this photo, it sent us into gales of laughter:
Want in on the fun and laughs? Sign up for the My Weird Classroom Club for lesson plans, discussion questions, and more!
As book lovers, we all have something in common: there’s too much to read and too little time. When I’m having a hard time deciding, I’ll often as my colleague Heather Doss. She’s one of our National Account Managers and one of the most well-read and knowledgeable children’s/young adult folks I know. So when I asked Heather which teen books she was excited about for the upcoming fall season, here’s what she told me:
SWEET VENOM by Tera Lynn Childs
“I’m a sucker for anything that is a retelling or twist of classic myths so was drawn to this book from the initial description. With three main characters each having their own personalities, this is perfect for teens that have grown up reading Percy Jackson while watching reruns of Buffy.”
DEADLY COOL by Gemma Halliday
“A murder mystery with a snarky Heathers feel so funny I literally spit a French fry at a pigeon while reading…genius!
VARIANT by Robinson Wells
“As a voracious reader, I feel like I’ve read it all & can usually figure out the plot before page 100 (not that that will stop me from reading). This boarding school thriller had a plot twist that I did NOT see coming & still has me puzzled to this day as to ‘what it all means’.”
THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson
“A fantasy for those who think they don’t like that genre, a setting that is lush & exotic, a romance that develops naturally & not instantaneously, a female protagonist who starts off unsure of herself & finds her inner warrior: this one has all the elements of my favorite books combined into one fantastic read!”
FROST by Marianna Baer
“Call it the ‘attack of boarding school thrillers’ but this one had a very different feel from VARIANT: deliciously psychologically creepy while leaving you wondering by the end who or what was behind it all.”
THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin
“I’d had this debut from Simon & Schuster on my GoodReads list for over a year & dived into it the second I got my greedy little hands on the ARC: a psychological mystery wrapped in a steamy romance & a hint of paranormal activity.”
The kidlitosphere was hopping this weekend with news, reviews, and commentary. Here are some of the gems we uncovered while reading through our blogroll:
- Lee Wind at I’m Here, I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? went to the SCBWI Conference in Los Angeles and shared some of his favorite quotes. I loved this one from Donna Jo Napoli: “Any civilization is built on empathy. If dreadful things happen to you, you learn empathy. …And for the protected child …the safest way for them to develop empathy is through a book.” Yes.
- Oh, Roger. We adore you. Thanks so much for sharing your criticisms thoughts on the strike-through trend.
- Sarah’s YA Movie News posts on her blog GreenBeanTeenQueen are some of my favorites! She mentions the Hunger Games movie stills many of us have seen – I’m not a fan, I have to admit. Katniss and Peeta are fighting for their lives so why do they look so pretty and stagnant? And what do you make of the upcoming Snow White movies?
- Chicken Spaghetti shares a great list of picture books about New York. I’d also love to add SUBWAY by Christoph Niemann, which is one of my recent favorites that captures the energy and vitality of New York’s iconic subway system.
- Kiersten White’s blog is one of my favorite things – she is just completely charming and hilarious and silly. Sure, her book PARANORMALCY just got a director…but what Kiersten is really excited about is Saved by the Bell’s Mr. Belding tweeting about it! I would be too. I mean, it’s Saved by the Bell!
- It’s been all over the web but, just in case you haven’t seen it, these minimalist posters of children’s stories from Flavorwire are a must-see. Do you have a favorite? This is mine:
It takes a very good reason for vampires (and their fans) to brave the harsh light of day. An Alabama library found the perfect thing to coax them out into the hot summer sun. Gadsden Public Library’s Read and Bleed event challenged teens to donate money, time, and—most importantly—blood. Library director Amanda Buckner Jackson explains how Read and Bleed came about: “With all the destruction the State of Alabama and our area had faced in April, we wanted to do our part to help with the recovery efforts and to keep the need for assistance fresh in the minds of our community. The Red Cross has been such an integral part of the relief efforts, that partnering with them seemed like the most logical decision.” After some inspired brainstorming, Read and Bleed fell into place.
Gadsden Public Library reached out to an old friend who knows a little something about blood. Vampire Kisses author Ellen Schreiber had visited Gadsden for the library’s fantastic Geekfest. When asked to return, Ellen jumped at the chance to reconnect with Gadsden’s enthusiastic teens. She flew down from Ohio just for Read and Bleed. Teens came from as far away as Huntsville to see Ellen and give blood. A Red Cross van collected blood donations while Ellen signed books and read to the gathered fans. Ellen says she loved the goths who showed up in monster boots and corsets. But Ellen admits, “We were so hot we had to go inside for the rest of event. We vampires were melting in the sun!”
Ellen couldn’t give blood because she was getting on a plane right after the event, (and we’d hate to see her pass out at 30,000 feet). But she did donate her entire speaking fee to the American Red Cross. Ellen wasn’t alone in her generosity. The summer book club raised $1000 for the Red Cross. Amanda Buckner Jackson reports that Read and Bleed had close to 100 participants through fundraising, reading, donating blood, and helping to publicize the blood drive. Not only did the blood drive collect donations at a critical time, it also encouraged Gadsden’s teens to be more civic minded. As Amanda says, “We wanted them to see that just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t be the change you want to see in your community.” And that warms the heart more than a pint of AB negative.
I love making a storytime theme out of things that I personally enjoy – it keeps things fresh after your 100th storytime, not to mention I think that your enthusiasm really shines through for a topic in which you’re personally invested. So, if you’re like me, you can try a cookie-themed storytime:
“Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?”
COOKIES: BITE-SIZE LIFE LESSONS by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jane Dyer
IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
Food version – Use already-baked cookies and let kids decorate with sprinkles, frosting, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, raisins, and anything else delicious you can think of.
Non-food Version – Cut out circles of paper and let kids decorate their “cookies” with confetti, strips of paper, glitter (if your library allows it), stickers.