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Sunday Afternoon Visits: Cybils Widget, Fibs, and Lookybook

Cybils2007whiteI hope that those of you from the US had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. It was a bit quiet on the blogs this weekend, because of the holiday, but I do have a few things to share with you:

  • Cybils nominations are now closed. There are roughly 17% more nominated titles, across all categories, than last year. You can find all of the lists of nominated titles at the Cybils blog. You can also download a very cool widget from JacketFlap that displays a new nominated title every time you refresh your page (see my left-hand sidebar for an example). It's very cool. You can even customize the background and text colors, and choose to only display titles from one category, if you like. 
  • Gregory K. has a great tip posted at GottaBook, for the upcoming Carnival of Children's Literature at MotherReader. Greg says "_________ what you love", where you fill in the blank as appropriate for you. Read, review, write, etc. I find it simple but profound, and an excellent guide for focusing activities. And if you haven't submitted a tip-based post to the carnival, you may still have time. The deadline has been extended to Tuesday, November 27th by 9:00 a.m. EST. The carnival will be posted Wednesday (or so).
  • And speaking of Gregory K., Deborah Haar Clark has a feature article at the Poetry Foundation about fibs (the Fibonacci-based poetry form invented by Greg last year). If you've missed learning about fibs up to this point, the article is a perfect introduction. And if you're already a fan, you're bound to enjoy it, too.
  • Jess has a post, quoting Diane Penrod, about ways in which blogging helps students "develop digital literacy (and *normal* literacy) skills". I found especially interesting Diane's comment that "Boys really respond to blogging", though Jess tends to disagree with this "gendering of blogging."
  • Ann Crewdson has a nice post at the ALSC blog about her thankfulness to be a children's librarian. She quotes a poem about success, noting that children's librarians are successful because they "win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children". Yay, librarians!
  • Colleen has some further thoughts on the NEA study about American reading at Chasing Ray. Her take is that if it's true that reading is on the decline, as appears to be the case, what's needed is concrete action to do something about it. Colleen's solution is: "LIBRARIES!!!!! Upgrade the damn libraries in every poverty stricken public school in this country. Upgrade them in every rural community, in every city combating urban violence, on every Indian reservation, on every small dot on the map that is struggling to hold on." As you can see, she feels strongly. This question of what to do about the situation is also addressed in several comments on this post at Shaken and Stirred.
  • ParentDish has a suggested top 10 books for a new baby's starter library. They are all pretty well-known titles, because the author, Nadine Silverthorne, is going for books that have stood the test of time. Thanks to Mindy at propernoun.net for the link.
  • Anastasia Suen (Create/Relate and Picture Book of the Day) is giving away 12 books in 12 days as an early start to the Christmas holidays. She's starting on Monday, November 26th. You can find the complete list, and instructions for entering, here.
  • Also in celebration of the holiday shopping season, see Becky's gift guides for fans of particular books at Becky's Book Reviews. She focuses on Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, the Little House books, Peter Pan, Narnia, Beatrix Potter, Pooh, Anne of Green Gables, Mother Goose, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and has brief links for other classics.
  • The Reading Zone has a post about how teachers do and don't find time for reading and writing, and the author's own experience in talking about personal reading, and sometimes abandoning of, books. My favorite part is this: "Sometimes, when I abandon a book I think it serves as a better advertisement than my book talks! Certain students flock to my abandoned books list because they know they enjoy books I usually dislike." Too funny!
  • Professor Nana has posted slides from a variety of last week's NCTE sessions on her blog (scroll down to find them, they are in various posts), including several sessions about engaging reluctant adolescent readers.
  • Don't miss this post, and comments, at Finding Wonderland about race and ethnicity and books. There is quite the civilized discussion going on around this sometimes difficult topic.
  • I read in Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf about a new website called Lookybook. On this site you can preview entire picture books, flipping from page to page. You can also review, rate, share, put on your online bookshelf, or purchase the books. The site owners say "We'll never replace an actual book in your hands, but we hope to show you new books and help you make informed choices for you and your kids." There are currently about 200 books available on the "preview site", with more to come. Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for reminding me to post about this.

And that's it for this week. Happy reading to all!