Posts Tagged: picture books
If you love Pete the Cat as much as we do, then, boy, do we have good news for you! Pete is back in THE WHEELS ON THE BUS, with his own very groovy version of the popular song. The book will be available on June 25th, and in the meantime, here’s a little treat for you and your students to enjoy on this lovely summer Friday:
As you may have heard, 2013 marks 50 years of the beloved, mixed-up housekeeper Amelia Bedelia. Our celebration continues with this heartwarming video featuring Herman Parish, footage of Peggy Parish, illustrators Lynne Avril and Barbara Siebel Thomas, Gretchen Siebel, editor Susan Hirschman, and everyone’s favorite dressed chicken. Hear about the history and evolution of Amelia Bedelia from the people who created her and those who have continued her legacy, and reminisce about your favorite moments from the books. (Dressing the chicken? Stringing the beans? Hitting the road? It’s tough to choose, but our favorite might be the “surprise shower.”)
In case you’d like to share the video with students or others whose attention spans are more suited for brevity, here’s a shorter (but equally warm and fuzzy) version:
Don’t forget to download an Amelia Bedelia Party Kit and join the celebration! Here’s to 50 years of hilarity and delicious baked goods.
Ms. Bird, a seasoned librarian who has put on many a storytime event, has kindly shared with us some great ideas for hosting a dance party in your library, classroom, or store that will get everyone moving and grooving. We hope you’ll use this guide to throw your own Giant Dance Party for your little giants. And don’t forget to check out the book, which Kirkus Reviews called “Full of pep and verve and enthusiasm . . . Sheer joy.”
Many thanks to Betsy Bird, and happy dancing to everyone!
From Betsy Bird:
In GIANT DANCE PARTY, we see what happens when some furry blue big ’uns cut loose on the floor. Now here’s your chance to have your very own Giant Dance Party in the comfort of your own store, school, or library. When hosting any kind of a dance event, it is important to remember the four essential elements of any good party involving kids:
- Loud music
- Fabulous snacks
- Fun costumes
- Goofy adults
You’re responsible for the goofy adults. For all other items, here are some ideas for having a GIANT DANCE PARTY to beat all other giant dance parties.
Food: It Gotta Be Blue
Are you the kind of person who quails at the thought of providing delicious, healthy, and one-of-a-kind snacks at a party? Well, quail not. Kids love specialized foods, but what they like even more is filling their bellies. And since the giants in GIANT DANCE PARTY are as blue as the sky above, try serving treats of a similar hue. Here are some simple party ideas that can be fancied up if you’ve a yen to do so.
Blue ice pops—In GIANT DANCE PARTY, Lexy turns into the human equivalent of an ice pop whenever she’s called upon to dance. Consider making some ice pops of your own.
Blue juice—Time to get nice and cozy with the Kool-Aid man, yet again. Find your favorite blue version and make up a nice big pitcher.
Blue popcorn—It can be done! Combine butter, oil, salt, corn syrup, and blue food coloring in a big bowl. Next, microwave the mixture for 30–40 seconds, just until butter melts. Stir to combine, and then add the unpopped popcorn kernels and stir so that the kernels get completely covered with the syrup mixture. Spread them out evenly in the bottom of the bowl. Then just cover the bowl with a vented lid and microwave on high for 3–5 minutes, or until there are 1–2 seconds between pops. Instant blue popcorn awaits you!
Cupcakes—Consider blueberry cupcakes with blue frosting and M&Ms for a topper. Healthier alternatives can include blueberry muffins or just big bowls of blueberries.
Suggested Tunes for Little Monsters
The number one most important thing you need when you host a dance party? Dancing! Now that you’ve gotten them hepped up on sugar, it’s time to let those kiddos strut their signature dance moves on the floor. Trust your gut when it comes to great music. If it has a beat, the kids will be able to dance to it. Some recommended selections include:
“Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” by C&C Music Factory
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (Cindi Lauper’s version)
“Walk Like an Egyptian,” by The Bangles
“Hey Ya!” by OutKast
“La Bamba” (Los Lobos version)
“Twist and Shout” (the Beatles’ version)
The Kidz Bop albums—You may roll your eyes when you hear the oddly infantilized versions of the latest songs on the radio. But hey, if it comes down to the dirty real lyrics and the ones Kidz Bop comes up with, you may as well go for the safe and secure, if only to avoid the glares of irate parents.
Big on Costumes
Everyone has a different idea of what a giant looks like. In GIANT DANCE PARTY the giants are huge (as per usual), furry, and blue. But leave yourself open to a range of different giant interpretations. Here are some great giants in pop culture you might want to consider replicating:
The giants in GIANT DANCE PARTY—Furry-and-blue is the name of the game here. Don’t want to go all out with a hot and heavy costume? Consider going to Etsy and purchasing a pair of furry blue boot covers for the legs alone. They’re sure to gussy up any outfit.
The Jolly Green Giant—The nice thing about this guy is that he doesn’t require fur. Just a toga of green, maybe some green tights, and some makeup for the skin. Toss in a little green dye for the hair, and voila! Instant giant.
Hagrid from the Harry Potter series—This is for your future motorcycle tough guy. All you need is a ginormous beard and maybe an old bathrobe, and it’s Hagrid in the flesh.
Finn MacCoul—He’s the most famous giant in Ireland, so run to your local library to pick up some books on him (we recommend Finn MacCoul and His Fearless Wife, by Robert Byrd, or Fin M’Coul, by Tomie dePaola). Next, construct an outfit. You can go all out with a kilt or just find some plaid fabric to make an appropriate sash.
Your standard Fe Fi Fo Fum giant—Bad teeth, warts, raggedy clothes, and maybe a club for grinding men’s bones into bread. Extra points if you bring along your own beanstalk.
King Kong—Who says all giants have to be humans? Go ape by dressing up as everyone’s favorite Empire State Building ascender. Consider attaching a couple of paper airplanes here and there for the kids to swipe at for fun (and don’t forget to carry a Faye Wray-esque doll around, too!).
Most important of all, have fun! There’s no wrong way to throw a Giant Dance Party. Each one, like each giant, is unique in its very own way.
Getting ready for Poetry Month? We’ve got some brilliant activities for Jack Prelutsky and Carin Berger’s STARDINES SWIM HIGH ACROSS THE SKY, brought to you by picture book and flannelboard maven Storytime Katie. With Jack Prelutsky’s signature sense of humor and Carin Berger’s stunning collage, shadowbox, and diorama illustrations, this fantastic new poetry collection can be paired with SCRANIMALS and BEHOLD THE BOLD UMBRELLAPHANT or used on its own for a rollicking Poetry Month celebration.
Many thanks to Katie for these great activities, and happy (almost) Poetry Month to all!
From Storytime Katie:
In STARDINES SWIM HIGH ACROSS THE SKY, Jack Prelutsky and Carin Berger team up to create an unforgettable recording of sixteen brand-new species unseen by humans before! To celebrate this amazing new book from Greenwillow Books, readers are invited to try their hands at these activities.
1. Create Your Own Animal. In STARDINES, Jack Prelutsky creates animals by combining two words with at least one similar syllable. For example, a panda who plans becomes a planda. Plan + Panda = Planda. Try making your own animal! If you get stuck, you can try using two of the words in the following lists:
Panda: Fan, Land, Sand, Stand
Buffalo: Fluff, Muff, Stuff, Tough
Butterfly: Blue, Flew, Mutt, Nut
Make sure to write out the definition of your new animal. (For example, a Bluetterfly is a butterfly who only lands on blue flowers!)
2. I Spy. In Carin Berger’s collage illustrations, she includes a lot of details to demonstrate each animal’s environment and personality. Can you find all fifteen items listed below in the pictures throughout STARDINES?
Items to find: Apron, Broom, Cactus, Clock, Feather, Fork, Guitar, Mushroom, Pretzel, Red Shoes, Rocks, Sailboat, Spoon, Tuba, Umbrella
3. Collage Art. Make your own collage using a variety of paper, found objects, and creativity. You can use whatever can be glued down on a piece of paper, as long as you have permission to use it! Try using milk caps, cardboard boxes, and newspaper to make a truly Earth-friendly recycled craft.
4. Animal Discoveries. While the creatures in STARDINES may not be real, new animal species are discovered regularly in our world. Do some research about when your favorite animal was discovered and find out who was responsible for the discovery. Write a poem about how your favorite animal was discovered—be imaginative!
We couldn’t be more excited to be heading to beautiful Seattle for the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association next week– where we’ll mingle with our dearest librarian and educator pals, make new friends, sing the praises of our upcoming books, become well acquainted with our umbrellas, and lure you into our booth with amazing galleys, posters, kits, and conversation!
Will you be in Seattle? If so, visit us in booth #2630!
Here’s a glimpse at a few of the galleys we’ll be shoving into your hands whether you like it or not:
THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA, by Mo Willems: Think The Artist meets I WANT MY HAT BACK meets The Pigeon! One day, a very hungry fox meets a very plump goose. A dinner invitation is offered. Will dinner go as planned? Or do the dinner plans involve a secret ingredient . . . ? A chorus of suspicious goslings beg for raucous audience participation, making this a joy to read aloud. Mo Willems has cornered the market on totally fresh and subversive picture books.
THE GIRL FROM FELONY BAY, by J.E. Thompson: A middle grade novel set in hot and steamy South Carolina that deftly weaves an exploration of race relations into a mystery revolving around the concept of heir’s property. And it stars Abbey Force—a spunky young heroine we can’t wait for you to meet. We would(humbly) compare it to MOON OVER MANIFEST by Clare Vanderpool.
ELVIS AND THE UNDERDOGS, by Jenny Lee: Another terrific middle grade novel, this one tells the hilarious and poignant story of a sickly boy whose life is turned upside down when he gets a therapy dog . . . who can talk (bonus: the dog– a Newfoundland– sounds like Frasier Crane)!
SEVERED HEADS, BROKEN HEARTS, by Robyn Schneider: A worthy successor to THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and John Green. This is about high school tennis jock Ezra Faulkner, whose life is irrevocably changed by a car accident. Ezra must re-examine everyone and everything in his life, and what he takes away from his misadventures is profound and memorable.
YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE, by Jennifer Castle: We are always absolutely delighted to read excellent realistic teen fiction—and this is it. Jennifer Castle is back with a powerful novel about five teenagers who struggle with friendship and self-identity while being filmed for a widely-acclaimed documentary film series that revisits their lives every five years. And by 16, living their lives on camera has made them question if who they are is who they really want to be.
Want to hear the inside scoop on even more HarperCollins Winter and Summer 2013 titles? Then visit our Book Buzz Event on Sunday morning– all are welcome, and we hope to see you there!
HARPERCOLLINS CHILDREN’S BOOKS 2013 TITLE PREVIEW
Washington State Convention Center, Room 608-609
Sometimes a publishing season comes around that is so full and great that you almost can’t believe it, and Winter 2013 is one such season for us in the picture book arena. There truly is something for everyone in this winter’s happy group: sneezing pandas, biographies, non-fiction, historical fiction, poetry, collage, dioramas, monsters, farm animals, and did we mention… unbearably adorable sneezing pandas? Neil Gaiman, Adam Rex, Melissa Sweet, Jack Prelutsky, and more– the talent pool is just too deep! Look forward to upcoming posts featuring the artwork of the following books that we think are going to be “picture-perfect” additions to your classroom, library, home, and heart.
by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Adam Rex
Beloved storyteller Neil Gaiman and acclaimed artist Adam Rex bring us Chu, a baby panda’s whose mighty sneeze produces disastrous and hilarious results.
Great for: reading aloud, storytime! (there’s a great library scene )
Starred Review: PW
BRICK BY BRICK
by Charles R. Smith Jr.
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
On the heels of the 2012 Presidential election comes this powerful story of the building of the White house. Coretta Scott King Award winners Charles R. Smith and Floyd Cooper capture the emotion and the toil that created this incredible structure, the home of our President. Built brick by brick, the White House was created by human hands, many of them slaves, whose hard labor created the symbol of this country.
Themes and applications: history, the United States, slavery.
by Brett Helquist
Goat has never had a single friend in his life. He doesn’t want one now. What he wants is to eat, and so he does! That is, until he stumbles upon a beautiful dandelion that stops him in his tracks. And once Goat opens his eyes to the beauty that surrounds him, he can’t help but open his heart as well.
Themes and applications: friendship, grief, the circle of life, animals, reading aloud!
by Kadir Nelson
In poignant verse and glorious illustrations, Kadir Nelson tells the story of a young boy’s determination to change South Africa and of the struggles of a man who eventually became the president of his country by believing in equality for people of all colors. Readers will be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s triumph and his lifelong quest to create a more just world.
Themes and applications: equality, justice, perseverance, Black History Month.
Two starred reviews! Kirkus, PW
by Michelle Markel
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
The inspiring true story of Clara Lemlich, a young immigrant girl who led the biggest strike of women workers in U.S. history. Caldecott Honor and Sibert Medal winner Melissa Sweet has used a variety of techniques—oil paints, watercolor, collage—to create a truly stunning picture book.
Themes and applications: Women’s history, equality, individuality, collage.
Starred Review: PW
MONSTERS LOVE COLORS
by Mike Austin
Different-colored monsters howl, growl, and roar for more as they mix and match primary colors to make new shades and hues. We (dare we say!) see this as the heir apparent to The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown.
Themes and applications: colors– primary and secondary colors, creativity, storytime!
STARDINES SWIM HIGH ACROSS THE SKY
by Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by Carin Berger
Sixteen mixed-up animal poems by poet Jack Prelutsky are paired with stunning three-dimensional collages, dioramas, and shadow boxes by Carin Berger. A faux natural history catalog of silliness, originality, and spectacular beauty.
Themes and applications: poetry, creativity, reading aloud!
TITO PUENTE, MAMBO KING
by Monica Brown
Illustrated by Rafael Lopez
A vibrant picture book biography of Tito Puente, the Mambo King. Rafael Lopez’ colorful illustrations make the story come alive.
Themes and applications: biography, music, creativity, storytime!
What do you think? Do any of these books look like ones you can use with your students, patrons, or your own kids? We’d love to know!
We’re back in the video spotlight again with our October book picks! (Did you miss September? Check them out here.) Our favorite thing about the conferences we attend is meeting YOU– teachers, librarians, specialists, readers, parents– and having those important conversations about what sparks interest in a reader. We’re hoping to replicate that experience a little bit with these videos, and we hope you’re enjoying and finding them useful. As always, we love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to comment away, ask for recommendations, and contribute your opinion!
Molly’s October Picks:
SEED BY SEED, by Esme Raji Codell, illustrated by Lynne Rae
PENNY AND HER DOLL, by Kevin Henkes
THE SPINDLERS, by Lauren Oliver
TEN, by Gretchen McNeil
Our NYC-area librarian pals were kind enough to join us last week for an early morning of ferocious book talking, coffee consuming, and oohing and aahing over our upcoming Winter (and early Summer) 2013 titles. It was an oddly hot and humid day to chat about Winter (10 weeks until Christmas…it’s really coming!), but we managed to get into the spirit and of course, had an absolutely lovely time.
A few snapshots:
Editorial Director Tara Weikum with CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS by Miriam Forster, and Executive Editor Erica Sussman with THE MENAGERIE by Tui Sutherland and Kari Sutherland, and MIND GAMES by Kiersten White.
Greenwillow editor Martha Mihalick with the stunning and creepy cover for ARCLIGHT, by Josin L. McQuein.
Our editors have truly outdone themselves with this season’s crop of really terrific “This Meets That” book descriptions… :
- “Tim Burton Meets the Natural History Museum” — STARDINES SWIM HIGH ACROSS THE SKY, by Jack Prelutsky, illustrations by Carin Berger
- “The Artist meets the Pigeon” — THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! by Mo Willems
- “Little Women with wings” — THE FAIRY BELL SISTERS series, by Margaret McNamara
- “Frog and Toad meets Law & Order” — PLATYPUS POLICE SQUAD: THE FROG WHO CROAKED, by Jarrett Krosoczka
- “Stephen King meets Veronica Roth meets The Passage” –ARCLIGHT, by Josin L. McQuein
- “X-Men meets The Godfather (with heart)” –TRANSPARENT, by Natalie Whipple
- “The Devil Wears Prada meets Disneyworld” –HOW ZOE MADE HER DREAMS (MOSTLY) COME TRUE, by Sarah Strohmeyer
Lo and behold, a new Preview blog post feature! These are books that, when mentioned, garnered an across-the-room-audible “awwwww!” from the audience:
- AMELIA BEDELIA– 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of our favorite mixed-up but wholeheartedly well-meaning friend Amelia! We’re reissuing the original picture book in a bit larger trim size with truly fantastic additional back matter.
- TIPTOE JOE, by Ginger Fogelsong Gibson, illustrations by Laura Rankin — I won’t spoil the payoff of this adorable picture book, but let me just say, you’ll lay your hand over your heart when you get to the end.
- GIANT DANCE PARTY– written by THE Betsy Bird! Illustrations by Brandon Dorman.
- RAMONA– We’re repackaging the entire beloved Ramona series in 2013, and let me tell you, the art is adorable. The consensus in the room (and from Beverly Cleary herself, of course) was that this is true Ramona- goofy, a bit scruffy, and every bit lovable.
And that, my friends, is the inside scoop!
We’ve teamed up with our brilliant Online Gurus here at HarperCollins Children’s Books to bring you something new on The Pageturn: monthly videos highlighting that month’s “picks,” featuring picture books, chapter books, middle grade and YA.
They’ll be brief booktalks of titles that we feel are perfect for your use in libraries and schools, both brand new and old favorites, directly from our hearts to yours. We don’t think we’ll be ever be YouTube stars (just wait for the blooper reel!), but our goal was to replicate as much as possible that great experience we have at conferences with you all, talking face to face, sharing what we love.
So here we go! Thoughts? Suggestions? We want to hear!
Molly’s September picks:
FANCY NANCY: NANCY CLANCY, SUPER SLEUTH, by Jane O’Connor, Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
THE CROWN OF EMBERS, by Rae Carson
This Wednesday, we plied our local librarian friends with coffee and treats to meet us very very very early in the morning to hear about our Fall 2012 titles, straight from the mouths of our truly masterful editors. Our attendees live-tweeted under the hashtag #harperfallpreview and it was really exciting for us to see those enthusiastic tweets roll in. Thanks, guys!
Everyone with their listening caps on.
Now, for some great This Meets That’s:
- “Dan Brown for 10 year olds” — THE SECRET PROPHECY, by Herbie Brennan.
- “Scott Westerfeld meets Lauren Oliver” — THE LOST GIRL, by Sangu Mandanna.
- “The Goonies meets The Walking Dead” — GRAVEDIGGERS: MOUNTAIN OF BONES, by Christopher Krovatin.
- “My So-Called Life meets Twilight” — DRAIN YOU, by M. Beth Bloom. (full disclosure… this one killed me!)
Can you believe that in a little more than a month, we’ll be at the ALA Annual meeting in Anaheim, California? Because we sure can’t (cue folders flying, frantic packing). But if you’ll be there too, please make sure to stop by, say hello, and grab galleys of the titles above. Booth #2558– see you there!