Thursday, November 24, 2011

National Day of Listening: Thank A Teacher

From NPR, November 24, 2011

StoryCorps started the National Day of Listening, a day when Americans are encouraged to record an interview with a loved one on the day after Thanksgiving.

This year, StoryCorps is asking people to take a few minutes to thank a favorite teacher — with a tweet, a Facebook post, a call, a card or a face-to-face interview.

Guest host John Donvan calls his ninth grade biology teacher to offer thanks, and talks with Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps and the National Day of Listening, about the project and the importance of appreciating teachers.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Peter Sis: The Conference of the Birds

A Feathered Gathering: All the birds of the world gather to hear the hoopoe bird speak in author and illustrator Peter Sis' The Conference of the Birds. Sis painstakingly painted thousands of birds by hand in to bring his new book to life.
From NPR, November 16, 2011

Twelfth century Persian poet Farid Ud-Din Attar's epic poem The Conference of the Birds is now adapted in a gorgeously illustrated book by Peter Sis. A MacArthur fellow and Caldecott award winner, Sis is known for his many children's books, where a boy might be transformed into a firetruck or a New York City neighborhood becomes a fantastical playground.

The Conference of the Birds is Sis's first book for adults. It's the story of thousands of birds who fly off on a perilous journey over mountains and oceans and deserts in search of a king.

Read the rest of the story here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kirkus Best Children's Books of 2011

Kirkus' Best Children's Books of 2011

Kirkus' "best of" list is much larger than others published so far, with 54 titles. In many ways, this is as it should be. Of the hundreds of children's titles published this year, there are more than a few outstanding books. With 54 books on the list, readers get a much better sense of the field. However, that doesn't really help those of us trying to whittle down our Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, etc., lists, now does it?!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Books 2011

Publishers Weekly has released its Best Children's Books of the Year list.

I agree with many of the books on the list: Monster Calls, Beauty Queens, Inside Out and Back Again, Dead End In Norvelt and Between Shades of Gray.

There are a few I haven't read (for example, Legend doesn't release for two more weeks) and a few others that I didn't think were that strong.

But, there was one obvious omission from the list: Okay for Now. Hmmm......

What did you think? What other titles do you think should or should not have been on the list?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

National Book Award Winner 2011 for Young People's Literature

WINNER: Thanhha Lai, Inside Out & Back Again
(Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers) - Interview

Franny Billingsley, Chime
(Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, Inc. ) - Interview coming soon.
Debby Dahl Edwardson, My Name Is Not Easy
(Marshall Cavendish)
Albert Marrin, Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy (Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) - Interview
Gary D. Schmidt, Okay for Now
(Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) - Interview

Young People’s Literature Judges: Marc Aronson (Panel Chair),
Ann Brashares, Matt de la Peña, Nikki Grimes, Will Weaver

In Persuit of Longer Picture Books

Make Way for Stories: There’s A Good Reason Why People Are Passing Up Picture Books is an article written in School Library Journal by author Anita Silvey in response to the NYT article Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children. Her premise: 

If I could chart a course to rescue picture books, I’d suggest that we establish the writer again as half of the equation. We need real stories, and long stories, that can be read more than once. I, by the way, don’t believe that critics change books. I believe geniuses—like Wanda Gag, Virginia Lee Burton, Robert McCloskey, Margaret Wise Brown, Maurice Sendak, Ruth Krauss, Chris Van Allsburg, and more recently Shaun Tan—reinvent the form. Someone who creates contemporary picture books is probably working right now on a title that’ll revitalize our understanding of and ideas about picture books.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Best of... Lists

Tis the season for the "best of..." lists, least of which is the New York Times Best Illustrated Books of 2011.

The Book Review annually asks a panel of judges to choose 10 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books from among the thousands of children’s books published during the calendar year. Here are the favorites this time around, ranked in alphabetical order. They put together a fantastic slide show of the titles.

That Saturday Children's Book section of the NYT also had a great collection of articles on children's and young adult books. Here are just a few:

Holiday Songs
Children’s books about holiday songs

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
Written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, reviewed by Walter Dean Myers

Picture Books About Unusual Animals
Two picture books concern adventures with unusual animals. Reviewed by Lisa Brown.

 Picture Books About the Alphabet
The alphabet leaps to life in these new picture books. Reviewed by Ben Zimmer.

Books About Mouse Adventures
Mice make a voyage by sea and roam Victorian London in these middle-grade novels. Reviewed by Elisabeth Egan

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club

NPR has a new book club -- for kids! The Back-Seat Book Club is for kid who likes to read. Every month, NPR picks a Back-Seat Book Club selection. After reading the selection, then readers can send in questions. At month's end, some of your questions to the book's author during our afternoon radio program, All Things Considered.

The first selection for the new book club started last month, was Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. This month the selection is the classic, Phantom Tollboth by Norton Juster. See photos sent in by book club members reading Phantom Tollboth.

So many of my friend listen to NPR during their daily commute to work. What a good idea to get them involved in children's reading by setting up a Back-Seat Book Club. Way to go, NPR!

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Hunger Games Trailer

Have you seen the new trailer for The Hunger Games, premiering today? If not, go check it out right now and let me know what you think!

In theaters March 23, 2012.