Happy Mother's Day to all! This week I spent two days in Portland, and a third day teaching a class in San Jose. Saturday Mheir and I went wine tasting for the afternoon with the social club from church (I love the Bay Area!). All of which left me with not much time for the blogs this week. But here I am once again, watching the Red Sox on television (delayed via Tivo) and catching up. And there is plenty going on that's worth mentioning to you:
- This one is a bit off-topic, but caught my eye because of my love for all things related to chocolate. Zee Says writes about a new kind of baking pan designed for people who love edge pieces when they bake brownies. It's kind of a labyrinth of metal. The idea, apparently, is to distribute the heat more evenly. Click through for a picture.
- HipWriterMama has published what I think is an important list, books about cliques, friendships, and self-esteem for young girls. Vivian writes that "Most children's self esteem is strongly tied to their friendships and how others see them. I believe as parents, if we can help our children through their friendship problems with ease, we can keep our children confident with good self esteem." She offers books and links to help.
- Our own Pam Coughlan (MotherReader) and Robin Brande worked together last weekend, with Pam's husband Bill Coughlan, on an entry for the 48-hour film project. You can view their film here. I wasn't able to get my computer to display the film properly, for some reason, but it sounds great. A noir story. Very impressive, especially the written-in-three-hours screenplay.
- Jennifer Schultz has initiated a new feature at The Kiddosphere: Gonna Go Back in Time. She says: "In this feature, I am going to read and discuss past winners (and honor books) of the Horn Book, Batchelder, Bank Street, Margaret Edwards, Jefferson Cup, etc." She'll be starting with the Mildred Batchelder Award and the Aesop Award.
- Gwenda Bond, who blogs at Shaken & Stirred, put together the cover story of last week's Publisher's Weekly. Go Gwenda! She writes about more serious gay and lesbian fare. She reviews "some of the season’s most notable books tackling the complexities faced by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) community", as published by university presses.
- The readergirlz MySpace page offers a new feature: Little Willow's Book Bag, a weekly snapshot of which fabulous books Little Willow is reading. You can find this section on the left-hand side of the MySpace page, under Heroes.
- Franki Sibberson has a neat post up at A Year of Reading about her class's read-aloud experiences with The Invention of Hugo Cabaret. Franki also has an excellent article at Choice Literacy about jump-starting students' summer reading. The article mentions MotherReader's 48-hour book challenge, which is coming up, and includes strategies for inviting and celebrating summer reading. It's must reading for anyone trying to encourage kids to read this summer.
- Speaking of summer reading, author Rick Riordan recommends books "for kids to read while waiting for the next Percy Jackson" title. This list is up the minute, and includes Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (which I just received in the mail this week).
- Becky has a thoughtful discussion about book banning over at Becky's Book Reviews. She was inspired to write about this topic by her discovery of a group called PABBIS (Parents Against Bad Books In Schools). Their website lists many potentially "bad" books, and instructions for how to challenge particular books. It's a how-to guide for censorship. Becky moves on to her own views about book banning vs. parental involvement, and argues that "Trying to shelter kids/teens from the 'real' world is more dangerous than allowing them access to it." In a lighter post, Becky also asks readers: what do you look for in a YA romance?
- Jason Kotecki invites readers to play hooky over at Escape Adulthood, writing about a new campaign at FiveDayWeekend.org to reverse "the U.S. workweek so that Americans clock in for two good days of work, followed by five well-earned days off." While five day weekends seem a bit unrealistic, I do like the idea of encouraging people to take more time to recharge themselves, and enjoy life. We're tremendously overworked and over-scheduled in the US.
- And while we're on the subject of enjoying life, do check out Don Tate's happy dance, with which he celebrates news of his recent book acceptance. Congratulations, Don!
- Justine Larbalestier is also doing a version of the happy dance at her blog (in verbal form), because Magic or Madness (the first book in the trilogy) just won an Andre Norton award. I just picked up the second book in the series a few days ago. (Via Tea Cozy)
- The Old Coot wrote to me about a new reading challenge called By the Decade. The idea is to try to read as many books as you can from different, consecutive decades. Personally, I have too many books from this decade on my "to read" stack to try it out, but I think that it's an interesting idea.
- The Picture of the Day at Publisher's Weekly this weekend features children's author (and fellow Red Sox fan) Alan Silberberg, surrounded by piles of his book. The caption says (links mine): "After seeing a photo of a Reach Out and Read event featured in PW’s Picture of the Day, Hyperion author Alan Silberberg donated 100 copies of his YA book, Pond Scum, to the literacy organization. Alan stopped by the National Center in Boston to sign his books. ROR provides funds for pediatricians to purchase books for underserved children in the United States."
- And last, but definitely not least, submissions are due by May 17th for the 14th carnival of children's literature. You can find details on submission here. The carnival will be hosted at Chicken Spaghetti.
Happy reading to all!