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This page features news in the area of children’s literature, events from around the blogging community, and announcements about KidLitosphere happenings. Primarily focused on literary news, special events, useful articles, and interesting posts from other blogs, it does not include reviews, interviews, or opinions.

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Entries in Children's Books (4)

Sunday
Nov082009

Sunday Afternoon Visits: November 8

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

It’s been a fairly quiet weekend on the kidlit blogs, for whatever reason. However, I have run across a few things of potential interest for you.

Jpg_book008At Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, Terry Doherty shares a monthly roundup of new literacy and reading-related resources. The new resources section was something that we spun out of our weekly children’s literacy roundups, in the event of streamlining those, and Terry’s been collecting ideas for this monthly column. I hope you’ll check it out. She’s got lots of useful tidbits.

NcblalogoThe NCBLA blog reports that the fourth episode of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is now available. This installment was written by Susan Cooper. The post adds: “And if you need further incentive to share the Library of Congress and the NCBLA’s reading outreach project with the young people in your life, take a look at Timothy Basil Ering’s electric new illustration for Episode Four!”

In the context of a recent graphic novel kick, Gail Gauthier muses at Original Content on how many books are “rigidly” formulaic. She says: “Maybe reading the same formula/pattern/storyline over and over again assists them in some way I’ve just never heard about.” In the comments, Becky Levine adds: “I wonder about this often—how many things we see as formulaic, “old” don’t feel that way to a child reading them—since they don’t have X number of decades of this kind of reading behind them.” What do you all think?

At Books & Other ThoughtsDarla D. wonders whether it’s a good idea for parents to “ink out all of the bad words” in books before giving them to their children. Darla says: “A discussion between this parent and child about unacceptable language and why the parent believes it is not a good idea for her daughter to use those words might be more productive than expurgating the text.” There are a range of opinions in the comments - it’s quite an interesting (and civil) discussion.

At Biblio FileJennie Rothschild discusses Amazon’s new capability to quickly share Associates links on Twitter, in the context of the new FTC disclosure regulations. She notes: “the way I understand it, you’d have to disclose ON YOUR TWEET that you’ll make money off the link. But how does one fit a link, why you’re linking to the product, and a disclosure all in 140 characters? That, I don’t know.” I don’t know, either. The idea of being able to share a Tweet that says “I’m reading this” and then get a small commission if anyone should happen to click through and buy the book, well, that has some appeal. But I think that the disclosure would be very tricky to pull off in any meaningful way.

Bookwormdock-3-300x249Lori Calabrese has started a new monthly meme (possibly to become a weekly meme, if there’s sufficient interest) in which she’ll link to book giveaways around the Kidlitosphere. Don’t you love her cute logo for Fish for a Free Book? She says in the launch post: “If you are hosting a children’s- young adult book-related giveaway, sponsoring a giveaway, or just found a really awesome giveaway that you’d like to share with us, please leave it here! (Please make sure it’s children’s book related)”.

Speaking of giveaways, I, like Betsy Bird, don’t usually link to them in my roundups (there are just too many). However, Betsy recently talked at A Fuse #8 Production about one that I think is brilliant. From the press release: “The YA and MG authors of the 2009 Debutantes are giving away a 46-book set of their debut novels to ONE lucky library, anywhere in the world! In light of recent budget cuts to libraries in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other communities, these debut authors would like to contribute their library to your library, offering up brand new novels for your patrons at no cost.” Pretty cool!

Quick hits:

And that’s it for today. Hope you’re all having a lovely Sunday.

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page. All rights reserved.
You can also find me on Twitter and at Booklights from PBS Parents.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

Saturday
Apr042009

Saturday Afternoon Visits: April 4

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Kidlitosphere_buttonSorry I’ve been so absent from the blog lately. I had to travel to the east coast for a funeral, a sudden, this was really NOT supposed to happen, funeral, and I’ve had neither the time nor the heart for keeping up these past couple of weeks. But I do very much appreciate the supportive comments that I’ve received (and I’m especially grateful to Terry for taking on last weekend’s literacy round-up). And now, I am ready to get back to some semblance of normal. Which is a good thing, because there have been crazy amounts of activity in the Kidlitosphere this week. Here are a few highlights:

First up, Pam Coughlan (MotherReader) reports that you can now start making hotel reservations for the Third Annual Kidlitosphere conference. The conference will be held October 16-18, in Washington, CDC. Pam also announced the date for the next 48-Hour Book Challenge (June 5th - 7th). Be sure to get both of those on your calendar.

30poets30daysVarious initiatives launched April 1st, in honor of National Poetry Month. There’s Greg Pincus’ 30 Poets / 30 Days at Gotta BookTricia Stohr-Hunt’s Poetry Makers series at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Jone MacCulloch’s Poetry Postcard project at Check It Out, and Elaine Magliaro’s various prizes at her new Political Verses blog. See also an interview with Greg about 30 Poets / 30 Days at Just One More Book!

NatPoetryMonth2009Also, as reported by Jules at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, “at Poetry for Children, Sylvia Vardell will be reviewing a new children’s poetry book every day. And at Pencil Talk — School Poems, author and teacher and blogger Anastasia Suen is inviting K-12 students during the month of April to write their own poems and send them to her. She will post them there at Pencil Talk.” Jules also notes that at 7-Imp “celebrations will occur in the form of some interviews/features with poets and poet/illustrators AND artists who have illustrated poetry titles, and I’ve got some new poetry collections and anthologies I’d love to share.”

National Poetry Month also inspired an enormous outpouring of posts for last week’s Poetry Friday (a year-round event by which KidLit bloggers focus on poetry on Fridays). Amy Planchak Graves has a simply amazing round-up. Also don’t miss Lynn Hazen’s Imaginary Blog, where Lynn is celebrating “Bad Poetry Friday”, with a poem written by Betsy Bird of Fuse #8 when she was 17 years old. Lynn is also the subject of a delightful ForeWord Magazine interview this month.

And speaking of Fuse #8, via Fuse News, I found a link to the International Edible Book Festival announcement, and I could not resist sharing. “This ephemeral global banquet, in which anyone can participate, is shared by all on the internet and allows everyone to preserve and discover unique bookish nourishments. This festival is a celebration of the ingestion of culture and a way to concretely share a book; it is also a deeper reflexion on our attachment to food and our cultural differences.” I do find the April 1st date somewhat suspicious… But did I ever mention that Mheir got me a chocolate book last Christmas? Well, it was a book, but when you opened it up there were delicious truffles inside. But close enough to being a chocolate book. He does know me.

Still speaking of Betsy (she is everywhere this week), please join me in congratulating her. Betsy just had two picture books acquired by Greenwillow. The timing seems particularly fortuitous, given that she’s just started releasing the results of her fabulous Top 100 Picture Books poll. You can find the results so far here and here. These are must-read posts for picture book fans. More than just listing the titles, Betsy also includes cover images and commentary. I find myself very curious about what books will be showing up on the rest of the list. I did chime in with my picks, but I haven’t yet been bold enough (or had time enough) to post my top 10 list here.

I’m also kind of curious to see what books show up on a list that Laurel Snyder has started: 100 Horrible Picture Books. She explains: “For the next week, I ask that you email me… and tell me the name of a picture  book you HATE! And please, if you can, a few words about why you detest it. Here’s the catch: It has to be a book other people love. A classic. A bestseller. A “gem” of some kind.” I’m pretty sure that there will be overlap with a book that’s already been featured on Betsy’s list… you all know which one I’m talking about.

CbstnwAnd as long as we’re being irreverent, Minh Le from Bottom Shelf Books and Farida Dowler from Saints and Spinners are running a contest called Unnecessary Children’s Book Sequels that Never Were. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but you can find the details here.  

Amy has a lovely post at Literacy Launchpad about children’s books as family heirlooms. She begins: “What if you had something in your family to pass down through the generations that was truly beautiful, appreciated, practical, valued, and could make your children (or grandchildren) smarter and more successful? I bet you do! Children’s books!”

And while we’re on the subject of adults who cherish children’s books as heirlooms, don’t miss Melissa’s recent rant at Kidliterate, asking adults to please stop apologizing for reading kids’ books. She says: “I don’t care if you don’t have kids. I don’t care if you have kids. It is okay to read books written for children and young adults. It is okay to enjoy them. It is okay for other adults to see you reading them. It is okay to tell other adults to shove it if they mock you for reading books written for children and young adults.” Hear, hear! 

IloveyourblogOne thing that brightened my own week was that Natasha Worswick from Children’s Books for Grownups (is that a great blog name, or what?) gave me an I (heart) your blog award. I’m not going to directly pass this one along, but of course I love all of the blog that I’ve mentioned here, and the others that I’ll be linking to in Monday’s Children’s Literacy Round-Up. Thanks for cheering me during a tough week, Tasha!

And finally, some quick tidbits:

  • The Readergirlz featured title for this month is Impulse by Ellen Hopkins.
  • My fellow dystopian fiction fan Adrienne has a fun post about The Top Five Things You Might Want to Read/Watch If You Want to Make THIS the Year You Start Canning.
  • On the subject of dystopias, Gail Gauthier links to a fascinating article by Farah Mendlesohn in the Horn Book Magazine about the state of science fiction for kids. I’m going to echo Gail in saying that Sheila Ruth must read this one.

I can’t even tell you how great it feels to be relatively caught up on the doings of the Kidlitosphere. Thanks for being here, guys!

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page. All rights reserved.
You can also find me on Twitter and at Booklights from PBS Parents.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

Sunday
Nov022008

Sunday Afternoon Visits: November 2

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I don’t have TOO much Kidlitosphere news for you today, because I did a visits post on Wednesday night. But a few things since then have caught my eye.

CybilsLogoSmallThere’s lots going on at the Cybils blog (thanks to fabulous Deputy Editor Sarah Stevenson and the equally fabulous committee organizers). I’m especially enjoying the Meet the Panelists posts. So far we’ve met the YA Fiction nominating panelists, the Fantasy/Science Fiction nominating panelists, and the Middle Grade Fiction nominating panelists.

Cynthia Lord mentioned a neat new literacy program on her blog this week. The New Hampshire Humanities Council is using children’s books in discussion groups with new American citizens. The Connections program “discussions offer adult new readers an opportunity to read interesting, beautifully-illustrated books and discuss them with other adult new readers and a trained facilitator.” Titles mentioned on the Connections website include The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen, by our own Mitali Perkins.

OK, still no politics on the blog, but I did appreciate this post by MotherReader about how there were three references to reading in Barack Obama’s infomercial the other night. I’m glad that Pam is on top of this stuff.

Susan has a way fun Children’s Book Pop Quiz at Chicken Spaghetti. How can a pop quiz be fun, you ask? Well, there’s a gorgeous graphic of a pencil… OK, I’m a geek. But I thought it was fun. There are blanks for the answers, and if you click on them, they’re really links.

Maureen from Confessions of a Bibliovore linked to a Chicago Tribune article by Tara Malone about how schools are trying to balance classics with contemporary fiction. What’s a bit sad, though, as Maureen points out, is that the contemporary fiction mentioned is all adult fiction, rather than YA. Like Maureen, I would prefer to see a balance there, too.

From Linda Ernst at the ALSC blog I learned about the Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award. “The award provides up to $4,000 towards the honorarium and travel costs of a writer/illustrator to visit a location where children might otherwise never have this amazing opportunity.”

Newlogorg200I have good news for all the non-MySpace people out there. The Readergirlz Divas are now also blogging at BlogSpot. And they have a new Diva - Melissa Walker of the Violet on the Runway books. The new Readergirlz featured title for November is, appropriately, Long May She Reign, by Ellen Emerson White (about the daughter of the President). It’s a great book (plus Ellen is a die-hard Red Sox fan, so I’m extra happy to see her featured). Finally, congratulations to the newest Postergirl, ShelfElf.

I also have good news for Babymouse fans. I learned from Matt Holm’s blog that the Babymouse series has the number one graphic novel circulation in Metrowest Boston’s library network (according to School Library Journal and Robin Brenner.

BlogTheVote-SmallThe Blog the Vote roundup is now available at Chasing Ray. Tons of bloggers have shared their stories about voting, and their reasons behind and enthusiasm for getting others to vote. I have to admit that I don’t have anything to add to their contributions. But I’m happy to send you to Chasing Ray to read other people’s smart workds on this topic.

And finally, the November Carnival of Children’s Literature will be held at Mommy’s Favorite Children’s Books. The theme is The Gift of Reading (including gift books). Coincidentally, I wrote a post on that very subject yesterday, though it’s a guest post that will be up at Shelf Space, instead of here. Anyway, I’ll be hosting the Carnival in December.  

And that’s all for today. Happy November!

© 2008 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page. All rights reserved.
You can also find me on Twitter and at Booklights from PBS Parents.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

Sunday
Aug172008

Sunday Afternoon Visits: August 17

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I haven’t blogged all that much this week, because I’ve been caught up in reading. I watched the movie Becoming Janeearlier in the week, and was then compelled to read something by Jane Austen (I chose Persuasion, which I somehow didn’t have a copy of, and had to go out and buy). I also read Breaking Dawn, and it held my attention until I had finished it (review here). And I read the latest adult novel by Deborah Crombie (Where Memories Lie), one of my favorite authors. But I have been keeping up on blog reading, and I’ve saved up a ridiculous number of links. Here is some Kidlitosphere news of potential interest:

  • The folks at First Book asked me to mention their What Book Got You Hooked campaign. They said “Now through September 15, visitors to First Book’s Web site are invited to share the memory of the first book that made reading fun, then help get more kids hooked by voting for the state to receive 50,000 new books for low-income youth… A number of celebrities have joined the effort, including: BARRY MANILOW, DAVID DUCHOVNY, EMMA THOMPSON, EDWARD NORTON, JOHN LITHGOW, MARLEE MATLIN, REBECCA ROMIJN, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, STEPHEN COLBERT and many more. You can see their responses featured on the Web site.” I just entered my choice, Little House in the Big Woods. It’s not my favorite of all time, but it’s the first book of the first series that I remember falling into, and being consumed by the need to know what happened to the characters.
  • Via Word-Up! The AdLit Newsletter, AdLit.org has a new booklist up: Nonfiction for Teens. I know from myreadergirlz postergirl days that good teen nonfiction can be hard to find, and I recommend that you check out this list. See also Jill’s excellent piece about reaching out to reluctant readers through nonfiction at The Well-Read Child.
  • I’ve seen several people posting lists this week ofplanned classroom read-alouds for the upcoming school year. See especially the lists at Literate Lives(from Karen) and The Reading Zone (from Sarah). There will be some lucky kids starting school in the fall, that’s all I have to say about these lists. Also from Sarah, a planned Teacher Swap, by which people will exchange care packages. Click through for details.
  • learned from Trevor Cairney at Literacy, families and learning that August 16-22 is Children’s Book Week in Australia. Trevor offers families some suggestions for celebrating. He also reports on the 2008 Children’s Book Council (Australia) Awards.
  • I’m a bit burned out on all of the various storms in the Kidlitosphere teapot that I’ve been running across lately (people criticizing blog reviewers, YA as a genre, people who read children’s books, etc. - see Confessions of a Bibliovore for the latest craziness). But I have had a particular interest in a discussion thats been proliferating about moral compasses in children’s literature. I read a post about this at Sarah Miller’sblog, which in turn linked to and quoted from an article at Editorial Anonymous. The discussion was also takenup by Carlie at Librarilly Blonde. I agree with Editorial Anonymous (and, I think, Sarah and Carlie) on this: “So I have no problem with a book being essentially moral because the author just writes that way, and I have no problem with parents influencing their children’s moral development. But I disagree that every children’s book should present a united moral front.” Personally, I feel strongly that the best books are the ones that steer clear of overt moral messages completely, and just tell a great story. But if books are going to have moral messages (let’s call them themes, instead of overt messages), then by all means, they should be diverse, and offer kids the opportunity to learn to make their own distinctions.
  • Presenting Lenore has an informative interview with a publicist from Penguin addressing questions about the importance of blog reviews, how blog reviewers are chosen, and the publisher’s response to requests for specific books. If you are new to book reviewing on your blog, this is a post to check out.   
  • Stephanie has a lovely post at Throwing Marshmallows about igniting “the fire of literacy” in her sons. She notes: “I think that one of the unspoken benefits of having “late” readers is that reading together is a very well engrained habit. (In fact, it was one thing that I had reassure Jason about…that we would always read together even once he could read on his own.)” and concludes “I am most definitely blessed to be able to share my love of books with both my boys. And blessed to have them share their enjoyment of books with me!” See also Stephanie’s recent post about “that ADHD serving a purpose thing”, Michael Phelps, and helping children to see what they can (rather than can’t) do.
  • Laurel Snyder is running a fun contest at her blog. She’s giving away signed copies of her new book. She says: “You’ll post  a little story to your blog, about atask/ job/situation/role for which you are thoroughly unsuitable (the FULL title of my book is “Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR the Search for a Suitable Princess”).” I already have an ARC of the book, so I’m not formally entering. But I would have to say that I would be thoroughly unsuitable for any job that required all-day interaction (face to face) with other people.
  • Janet shares a great story at PaperTigers about a young boy’s first experience with read-aloud. She asks readers “What was the first book you read aloud to your child?” Despite not having children, I borrowed a friend’s story, and shared it in the comments over there.
  • At Semicolon, Sherry Early shares ideas for a talk that she’ll be giving at her church on “Reading and How to Build a Home Library”. She says (among other things): “When we read we receive the wisdom of people, past and present, whom we would never have the opportunity to meet. And we and our children can examine things and ideas that we would never be able to or would not want to experience personally.”
  • Via my friend Cory, I learned of a recent NY Times article by Julie Bosman about the Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing group’s plans for more direct interaction (and more financially lucrative deals) withHollywood. Hmmm… a bit scary, I’d say, though I suspect that there will be an upside.
  • Nominations for the Carnegie Corporation’s “I Love My Librarian” Award for public librarians have just opened. Liz has the details at Tea Cozy. If you have a favorite librarian, this is your chance to put that person in line for some much-deserved praise, not to mention a cash award.
  • Just in, via Kelly at Big A little aAmanda Craig has ascience fiction round-up for children and teenagers in the Times Online. I really have got to read Unwind, byNeal Shusterman, soon. Craig says: “This is the kind of rare book that makes the hairs on your neck rise up. It is written with a sense of drama that should get it instantly snapped up for film, and it’s satisfyingly unpredictable in that its characters change and realise things about each other in a credible way.”
  • And last, but definitely not least, the latest Carnival of Children’s Literature is now available at Chicken Spaghetti. This one snuck up on me, and I didn’t manage to contribute, but Susan has lots of great links for you at this Beach Edition of the carnival.

And that’s all for today. Happy Reading!!

© 2008 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page. All rights reserved.
You can also find me on Twitter and at Booklights from PBS Parents.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).