I miss the days when I could spend a whole day every weekend preparing my "Sunday Visits" posts, for which I'd skim hundreds of blog posts, selecting and blurbing the ones that most caught my eye. These days, with a seven-month-old and a full-time job, I'm lucky if I have time to read my email, let alone 300 blogs. I do have hopes of getting back into sharing Kidlitosphere news regularly, but for today, I just have a couple of tidbits to share that have come my way.
First up, a relatively new blog that I've been reading is Read Aloud Dad. I like this blog so much that I've subscribed to receive the posts by email. It's written by a father who reads aloud to his preschool age twins. He recommends whether you should buy, borrow, or pass on the discussed books. I love (and am somewhat envious of) his review policy: "All reviewed books were bought by Read Aloud Dad, after detailed consideration. I took great care to find the best books and editions for my kids."
Today Read Aloud Dad has a post about five ways to find the best real-alouds. It's a nice, succinct post, complete with examples and recommended resources (the Read-Aloud Handbook and several other titles). A great starting point for anyone struggling with this issue, or anyone new to parenthood looking to get started with the read-aloud process. (And yes, he did recommend my blog, but I would have recommended the post anyway - clearly Read Aloud Dad and I are kindred spirits on this matter).
The second thing I'd like to share is a contest that Leila just announced at Bookshelves of Doom, part of a planned week-long, cross-blog celebration of Alt History and Steampunk novels. The whole concept stemmed from some offline discussion about how sad it is that certain wonderful YA novels in this genre aren't receiving more attention (I'm reading one right now: The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson). And how part of the reason for that is that some of these books have covers that aren't doing the job of drawing in the target audience. Here's the contest, straight from Leila:
"Create a book cover -- something that would attract you (or an audience that you think is missing out on the series) WHILE ALSO reflecting the contents and tone of the story -- for one of D.M. Cornish's books (starting with Monster Blood Tattoo), for either Jenny Davidson's The Explosionist or Invisible Things, or for one of Ysabeau Wilce's Flora Segunda books. (Just one! You don't have to do one of each! I mean, unless you want to, obvs.)"
So, if cover design is your thing, check out these books and get started (more details here). There are prizes! And if you're interested in alt history or steampunk novels, stayed tuned for what promises to be some smart discussion the week of December 13th. This, folks, is the kind of thing that the Kidlitosphere can do. Bring attention to books and genres that are receiving less attention than they deserve, all the while celebrating individual creativity. [Steampunk week graphic created by the talented Sarah Stevenson]
Finally, my congratulations to Colleen Mondor from Chasing Ray on her new book contract! I'd recommend Colleen's recent post about this to any aspiring writers. Colleen shares her feelings on what it feels like to have a life-long dream fulfilled (and what it feels like to have deferred that dream for as long as she did). She also talks about the importance of the support of her blogging/reading/reviewing friends in making it this far. What I especially like about this post is that it's a reminder that online communities can be real communities, with friendships and support groups that matter.
I've missed spending time highlighting the accomplishments of my Kidlitosphere peeps as much as I once did (though parenthood is certainly worth it). Thanks for tuning in for these today!