Barbara 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.
Craft 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.
Congratulations 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 reviewedÂ 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.
On 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?Â Julie Bowe.Â Girls just adore her My New Best Friend and My Last Best Friend.Â I don’t even have to recommend them.Â They just go out.Â Now her newest book My Best Frenemy is coming out in May.”
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, thereâ€™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.â€
Here’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.
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.