Monday Morning Roundup

How to Steal a DogBar­bara O’Con­nor’s book How to Steal a Dog is a real chil­dren’s favorite. This book about a home­less girl’s plan to save her fam­i­ly by steal­ing a dog has, to date, been nom­i­nat­ed in twen­ty-one states for a chil­dren’s choice award. We’ve recent­ly learned that the book is a win­ner in three states, receiv­ing the William Allen White Chil­dren’s Book Award in Kansas, the Prairie Pasque Award in South Dako­ta, and the South Car­oli­na Chil­dren’s Book Award.

The Sky's the LimitCraft Project Alert! Being a crafty type, I was thrilled to see Ali­son Mor­ris’ blog entry, one of PW’s Shelf Talk­ers, about cre­at­ing a bird­house using Cather­ine Thimmesh’s book The Sky’s the Lim­it: Sto­ries of Dis­cov­ery by Women and Girls (illus­trat­ed by Melis­sa Sweet, Houghton Mif­flin). Note that Ali­son has used crayons and col­ored pen­cils for the bird perch­es. Oh, how crafty! I think this is a ter­rif­ic idea for class­rooms, art projects for all ages, sum­mer library pro­grams, and sum­mer camp projects. Be sure to have some­one read aloud from the book while every­one is work­ing … the sto­ries are inspir­ing … and each descrip­tion is just the right length.

For those of you attend­ing the Con­ver­sa­tion with Cheryl Klein on Sat­ur­day evening, here’s the link to the Scholas­tic Fall 2010 Librar­i­an Pre­view Web­cast. You’ll want to down­load the note-tak­ing PDF first so you can fol­low along and take a good look at the book cov­ers. This is the future, folks.

Climbing the StairsCon­grat­u­la­tions to Pad­ma Venka­tra­man on being giv­en the Chil­dren’s Book Award on Sat­ur­day evening by the Alliance for the Study and Teach­ing of Ado­les­cent Lit­er­a­ture at Rhode Island Col­lege. Pad­ma’s book Climb­ing the Stairs (Put­nam) was enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly reviewed  by CLN when it was first released, fea­tured as one of our 5×5 Selec­tions for that year.

Speak­ing of ASTAL, Pad­ma has joined the fac­ul­ty and will be part of their Sum­mer Insti­tute: Writ­ing for Young Peo­ple from June 23 – 29 at Rhode Island Col­lege. Oth­er fac­ul­ty are Kel­ly Eas­t­on, Mark Peter Hugh­es, Peter John­son, and edi­tor Kara LaReau. With a small stu­dent-to-teacher ratio, this week is a favorite with aspir­ing authors for adolescents.

My Best FrenemyOn April 20th, Eliz­a­beth Bird, a/k/a Fuse #8, gave men­tion to Julie Bowe’s Friends for Keeps series: “You know who’s pop­u­lar in my library? Julie Bowe. Girls just adore her My New Best Friend and My Last Best Friend. I don’t even have to rec­om­mend them. They just go out. Now her newest book My Best Fren­e­my is com­ing out in May.”

Graphic Content!I was grat­i­fied to see the good review Book­list gave to Natal­ie M. Rosin­sky’s Graph­ic Con­tent!: The Cul­ture of Com­ic Books (Pop Cul­ture Rev­o­lu­tions series, Com­pass Point Books). I think high­ly of the work Natal­ie does in research­ing and writ­ing her books, so it was good to see Book­list pay­ing atten­tion. Those of you who have hard my Graph­ic Nov­els pre­sen­ta­tion know that the top­ic is a pas­sion for me, and I encour­age inclu­sion of this sto­ry­telling form in schools. I believe edu­ca­tors and school librar­i­ans will appre­ci­ate this book. “Encom­pass­ing every­thing from Tintin and Wolver­ine to cen­sor­ship and com­ic cons, there’s a lot of mate­r­i­al to cov­er when talk­ing about the cul­ture of comics, and this slim and splashily designed book in the Pop Cul­ture Rev­o­lu­tions series does an admirable job of keep­ing things suc­cinct yet thor­ough.… As more and more comics make their way into class­rooms, this is a super resource to have on hand to give a broad­er con­text of the medi­um and its fas­ci­nat­ing history.”

Born YesterdayHere’s a shout-out to James Sol­heim’s Born Yes­ter­day: the Diary of a Young Jour­nal­ist (illus­trat­ed by Simon James, Philomel), his new pic­ture book writ­ten by the baby her­self from Day One of Year One. Rol­lick­ing fun for fam­i­ly night read-alouds, the illus­tra­tions and the sto­ry com­ple­ment each oth­er beau­ti­ful­ly. Born Yes­ter­day has received two starred revei­ws, one from Pub­lish­ers Week­ly and the oth­er from the Bul­letin of the Cen­ter for Chil­dren’s Books. It’s also a selec­tion of the Junior Library Guild. If you haven’t watched the book video yet, head to the CLN Through the Lens page, select­ing Pic­ture Books.

I Like Me!On Sat­ur­day, we lis­tened to a delight­ful accep­tance speech by author and illus­tra­tor Nan­cy Carl­son when she was hon­ored with the 2010 Ker­lan Award from the Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture Research Col­lec­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta. This award is “pre­sent­ed annu­al­ly in recog­ni­tion of sin­gu­lar attain­ments in the cre­ation of chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture and in appre­ci­ate for gen­er­ous dona­tion of unique resources to the Ker­lan Col­lec­tion for the study of chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture.” Nan­cy’s beloved books about Arnie, Louanne, Hen­ry, and George have endeared her to sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren (and Nan­cy’s not that old). We were treat­ed to many humor­ous sto­ries about the cre­ation of Nan­cy’s books and the child­hood that inspired them, along with a strong sense of her pas­sion for shar­ing sto­ries with young chil­dren. Check out the pho­tos on the CLN home page. A very sat­is­fy­ing award luncheon!

It was a live­ly week of book news. Hope you found two or three book sug­ges­tions here to tick­le your read­er’s curiosity.

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