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My Blue Is Happy by Jessica Young, illustrated by Catia Chien Colors can be seen in many different ways and the little girl in this picture book tends to see them very differently than her family and friends.  Her sister says that b...
My Blue Is Happy by Jessica Young, illustrated by Catia Chien Colors can be seen in many different ways and the little girl in this picture book tends to see them very differently than her family and friends.  Her sister says that blue is sad, but for her blue is happy like favorite jeans or the swimming pool.  Her mother says yellow is cheery, but for her yellow is worried like a wilting flower.  Her father says brown is ordinary, but it is also the color of chocolate syrup so it’s special too.  Useful for color identifying, this book takes it a level deeper to the feelings that colors evoke in each of us. Young has created something of a poem here in her prose.  She uses a format with repetitive structures, each new person and their reactions to colors a stanza and also a set of pages.  Within this strong format, the exploration of feelings is done with a confidence that will allow young readers to voice their own.  Young takes unusual reactions to colors and makes them concrete with her examples too.  Chien’s illustrations have a wonderful softness to them that frees the imagination.  Filled with the color that is being discussed, the illustrations celebrate each color and invite thoughts from children listening to the book.  A lovely take on colors, this picture book will lead to plenty of discussion and would be a great jumping off point for craft and art projects.  Appropriate for ages 4-5. Reviewed from library copy. Filed under: Book Reviews, Picture Books Tagged: colors, concepts, emotions
about 4 hours ago
THIS IS NOT MY FUSE NEWS Ok, stay with me here. The other day I noticed that I have a channel called Fuse and that they do a show called Fuse News. This may be funny (alright, mildly amusing) to librarians because the excellent blog A F...
THIS IS NOT MY FUSE NEWS Ok, stay with me here. The other day I noticed that I have a channel called Fuse and that they do a show called Fuse News. This may be funny (alright, mildly amusing) to librarians because the excellent blog A Fuse #8 Production does a weekly children’s lit link roundup with the same name. I was going to tweet a joke about being disappointed that they didn’t talk at all about children’s literature. But then, I saw that on the latest Fuse News they talked to Weird Al about his books for kids. Way to ruin my joke, Weird Al. It’s a slightly condescending conversation, but it’s hard not to like Mr. Yankovic. Click the image below to visit the Fuse website and watch. NOMINATE! Have you nominated a great book for the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (Cybils) yet? You only have a few more days. Click here to get your nomination in. BEST BOOKS FOR BEGINNERS School Library Journal has an article this month featuring some great new books for emergent readers. Definitely add these to your ordering plans (and pass the list along to parents/classroom teachers). Click here to read. READERS ARE LEADERS Scholastic did something cool. They got a slew of children’s lit luminaries (Kadir Nelson, Erin Stead, Harry Bliss, to name a few) to make a poster and film a short video around the theme of Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life. The whole thing turned out great. Definitely share-worthy. Click here to see them. DRIVE THE BOOK In unusual news of the day, BMW made a book that you can drive. (Thanks to Book Patrol for the link)
about 4 hours ago
I, like so many of you, loved The Maze Runner series by James Dashner. They were exciting page turners that fit really well into the dystopian genre. When the series ended, I knew it was going to be a tough wait until something new came ...
I, like so many of you, loved The Maze Runner series by James Dashner. They were exciting page turners that fit really well into the dystopian genre. When the series ended, I knew it was going to be a tough wait until something new came out, but that wait ended yesterday! The Eye of Minds takes a different turn from the world of The Maze Runner and introduces us to Michael, a gamer/hacker. I got spun up into the gaming world and cyberterrorists, hacking, crazy technology speak, and the thin line between virtual life and real life. It was a lot of fun. I'm not typically into books that rely on techno-speak or even on gaming as a plot, because it's just not my thing, but I fell into this world Dashner created and really enjoyed it. The pacing was a bit off at times -- super quick in some spots and overly slow in others, but I didn't mind. All in all, a fun read. A few flaws with the pacing and occasionally forced dialogue, but an interesting, quick read. The first in another trilogy, by the way! Great for fans of Dashner's earlier books or even Ready Player One.
about 6 hours ago
I do so like Waiting on Wednesday posts--it's nice to pretend that in the future I will be all caught up on my reading, with posts scheduled in advance (I failed to have a time travel book for yesterday's Timeslip Tuesday, which pained m...
I do so like Waiting on Wednesday posts--it's nice to pretend that in the future I will be all caught up on my reading, with posts scheduled in advance (I failed to have a time travel book for yesterday's Timeslip Tuesday, which pained me) and all caught up on home renovation projects, and in possession of children who require no help with anything....and I will order a book I want to read, it will come, and I will curl up (perhaps with cookies) and all will be well....And perhaps the book will be Death Sworn, by Leah Cypess, which comes out March 4, 2013 (which gives me time to do all of the above, assuming the children cooperate):From Goodreads: "When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world."I like school stories, and this sounds like it might count, kinda sorta.Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine.
about 7 hours ago
This one comes from the UK, a list of “100 books to read before you’re 14” (also can be seen here) created by Booktrust for Children’s Book Week.  They write: To celebrate Children’s Book Week 2013, we’...
This one comes from the UK, a list of “100 books to read before you’re 14” (also can be seen here) created by Booktrust for Children’s Book Week.  They write: To celebrate Children’s Book Week 2013, we’ve announced our ultimate list of the 100 books to read before you’re 14 – and we’re inviting you to VOTE to help choose the nation’s favourite children’s books. Details on how they selected the books here.
about 7 hours ago
Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me By Daniel Beaty Illustrated by Bryan Collier Little, Brown Books for Young Readers $18.00 ISBN: 978-0316209175 Ages 4-8 On shelves December 17th There is a perception out there amongst certain ty...
Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me By Daniel Beaty Illustrated by Bryan Collier Little, Brown Books for Young Readers $18.00 ISBN: 978-0316209175 Ages 4-8 On shelves December 17th There is a perception out there amongst certain types of parents that the only picture books worthy of their little geniuses are those that reflect their own lives perfectly. I’ve complained more than once about this before, but there is nothing more disturbing to me than when a children’s librarian shows a parent a perfectly lovely book only to be asked, “Do you have anything a little less . . . urban?” And this in the heart of New York City no less. Of course we all know what “urban” is code for. Black, obviously (if I’m feeling snarky I’ll then follow up their request with Precious and the Boo Hag or something equally black AND rural). The ideal use of picture books, on some level, is to provide windows and mirrors for the kiddos. Mirrors that reflect their own worlds. Windows where they can see how other children live. So while Daniel Beaty’s Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me is ostensibly about a child with an incarcerated father, to my mind this is a book that has far reaching applications. It can be used with any child missing a parent, for whatever reason. It’s one of the very few picture books to talk about the process of growing into adulthood. And the art? Stellar stuff. So though I’m sure kids that find themselves exactly in the protagonist’s shoes will get something out of this book, they are not the only ones. Not by half. It was the same every morning. The boy would pretend to be sleeping when his father went “Knock Knock” on the door. Then he’d “surprise” his father by leaping into his arms once he came in the room. That is, until the day his father didn’t knock anymore. The man is simply gone, poof! Like he was never there at all. Bewildered and lost, the boy writes his father a letter and leaves it on his desk in the desperate hope that maybe his dad’s in the apartment when the boy’s not home. He tells his dad that he was hoping that when he got older he’d teach him how to dribble a ball or shave or drive or fix a car even. Then, one day, there’s a letter from his father sitting on the desk. “I am sorry I will not be coming home,” it begins. It then proceeds to encourage the boy to seek his own path and grow to manhood without him. “Knock Knock with the knowledge that you are my son and you have a bright, beautiful future.” Years later when the boy has grown, his father returns to him. In his Author’s Note, Daniel Beaty discusses the effect his own father’s incarceration had on him when he was only three. As he puts it, “This experience prompted me to tell the story of this loss from a child’s perspective and also to offer hope that every fatherless child can still create the most beautiful life possible.” As you might imagine, I vetted this one with some of my fellow children’s librarians and one concern that arose stemmed from the fact that the boy isn’t told what happened to his father. One day he’s there and the next he’s gone. Shouldn’t a kid be told? To this I have a couple answers. First and foremost, remember that you are getting this tale through the eyes of a child. For that very reason, you have reason to question the narrative. It is all too easy to believe that the kid has been told where his father is and he simply cannot process the information. This might be one of those rare picture book unreliable narrators we come across from time to time. Second, if the kid isn’t willfully ignoring the evidence at hand, it’s just as possible that his mother isn’t telling him. Whether it’s for what she believes to be his own good or because she can’t bring herself to explain, there’s a reality at work here. But the explanation that rings truest to me is this; If the boy doesn’t know then it opens wide the possible applications of this book. The key to Knock Knock lies in the fact that Beaty’s tale is about an absent
about 10 hours ago
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about 11 hours ago
MONSTERS IN A THREE-LEGGED RACEFALL UPON THEIR MONSTER FACES.Everybody is out and about at the park for a monster mash on the playground--stretching, catching, twirling, hurling, tumbling and jumping rope, teeter-tottering and sliding on...
MONSTERS IN A THREE-LEGGED RACEFALL UPON THEIR MONSTER FACES.Everybody is out and about at the park for a monster mash on the playground--stretching, catching, twirling, hurling, tumbling and jumping rope, teeter-tottering and sliding on slides. A group of critters, some with horns and some with googly eyeballs on stalks atop their heads play ball and have a ball in the park until the hot and sweaty crew get too rough and ready and run out of monster steam.They slurp up water from the fountain with a gulp and some growls and cool then down with monster-sicles, and after some respite, a suitably endowed four-eyed monster-sitter imposes some monster manners until they all say " sorry" and lumber away with their party balloons.Mistress of vocabulary-building preschool rhymes Jane Yolen has a new story ready for the scary season for the youngest monster fans, her Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters (Candlewick Press, 2013). Rambunctious but never scary, her active critters star in the story, while Kelly Murphy's soft and rounded rowdies offer nothing to fear while providing plenty of popular monster fare. Pair this one with Yolen's earlier entry, Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters, for a duo of monster stories that won't keep a preschooler (and thereby the parents) awake.
about 12 hours ago
“Ok you better remember that or you will die. Ok I love you bye.” Maybe he should have been writing the blog all along.
“Ok you better remember that or you will die. Ok I love you bye.” Maybe he should have been writing the blog all along.
about 16 hours ago
October 6–12 is Fire Prevention Week, but growing up in my house every week was Fire Prevention Week, because my father worked as a firefighter in our town. This also meant my family had a lot of books about fire safety and firefighters....
October 6–12 is Fire Prevention Week, but growing up in my house every week was Fire Prevention Week, because my father worked as a firefighter in our town. This also meant my family had a lot of books about fire safety and firefighters. Scholastic Reading Club has great fire safety books to choose from, for all grade levels. I’d like to share some of my favorites. First up is Fire! ¡Fuego! Brave Bomberos by Susan Middleton Elya. This rhyming picture book features text in English and Spanish, and Dan Santat’s colorful illustrations really bring the action to life. I also appreciate that among the cast of cheerful and brave firefighters there is a female firefighter. Next up is another picture book, Firehouse! by Mark Teague. This one starts with a fire drill, takes readers inside a firehouse staffed by Dalmatians and other dogs, and introduces firefighting equipment with humor (like when a hose gets out of hand). For a more realistic look inside a firehouse, check out A Day at the Fire Station by Megan Faulkner, illustrated with photos by Michael Scott. This is a great choice to share with young readers to help dispel any fear of firefighters and introduce them to community helpers. It’s also a great way to prepare for an in-person visit to a fire station. Kids who are beginning to read independently can join a favorite character for a tour of the station in Ready, Freddy! #17: Firehouse Fun! by Abby Klein, illustrated by John McKinley. This early chapter book follows Freddy’s field trip to the fire station, where he is afraid to try sliding down the fire pole. (This is a fear I share! Even though plenty of friends and cousins have taken the opportunity to visit my dad and try out the fire pole, I’ve never been brave enough.) Lastly, The Great Fire by Jim Murphy is a fascinating nonfiction book that looks at one of America’s largest fire disasters, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Filled with historical accounts and incredible images, this book impresses readers with the magnitude of damage that fires can cause. The city of Chicago was virtually leveled within hours—some thought it would never rise again. This Newbery Honor winner also has great information about the history of fire service. Books like these are a great way to kick off discussions about fire prevention and the individuals who work to keep our communities safe. Bio about Author: Mia Cabana is a managing editor of online copy at Scholastic Book Clubs. She has also worked as a young adult librarian and dreams of someday joyriding around the country in her own bookmobile.
about 20 hours ago