Two Books for Boys Who Like Trucks and Tractors
Children's Literacy Round-Up: Franklin the Turtle, Beverly Cleary, and Valuing Books

Sunday Afternoon Visits: Gift Books, First Book, and d&g ARCs

It's been a very hectic weekend here, with Christmas parties and birthday parties and other outings. And we're about to leave to watch the Patriots / Steelers game with friends (who are Steelers fans - it's going to be interesting). It was tough to squeeze in much time for blog visits. But here are a few highlights for you.

  • ForeWord Magazine's Shelf Space blog (otherwise known, by me, as "place where some amazing kid lit bloggers guest blog") has two great posts this week. The first is by Anne Boles Levy, a summary of input from various Kidlitosphere book reviewers about writing online reviews. This is a must-read article for anyone who writes, or aspires to write, online book reviews (though I must admit to being quoted in the article, so I may be biased). The second is by Liz Burns, about ways to encourage reading. This I would say is a must-read article for anyone. My favorite part, in the section about discussing books with respect, is "There is a time and a place for critical examination of books and language and reading; but if your goal is to get people to know reading=fun, now is not the time to tear apart their favorite book, making snarky jokes about the writing."
  • Slightly off-topic, but Tina Nichols Coury recently interviewed children's author Gregory Pincus about the Writer's Guild strike. Greg explains the main issues driving the strike, in a concise manner that you might find useful if you are curious about the strike.
  • Over at Finding Wonderland, TadMack has a from-the-heart post about a book that she read aloud to a group of students who had been incarcerated for various reasons, to introduce them to "possibility." She says: "I will always remember the first book I read to my Crestmont students (Make Lemonade). They listened, then like small children, they asked if we could read it again."
  • As I predicted, Susan Beth Pfeffer has managed to obtain some additional ARCs of the dead & the gone from Harcout. Send her your name to be entered into a lottery for a chance to win a copy. It's worth the trouble - I promise.
  • At Wizards Wireless, Susan discusses how to buy a book for a baby. This isn't just a list of recommended titles. She explores questions like: "Is this a first baby? A twin?" and suggests general guidelines accordingly. Speaking as someone who is a huge fan of buying books for babies, I recommend this post.
  • Kelly Herold is currently accepting submissions for the December Carnival of Children's Literature. The theme is gift-books. Submissions are due by December 16th. I've seen lots of great posts recommending gift books around the Kidlitosphere (but I'm not linking to most of them now, since you'll find them in the Carnival when it comes out on December 19th). Though I will mention Cheryl Rainfield's four-part post about gifts for book lovers. Many of them would please me. See also MotherReader's three posts, each with 21 ways to give a book (e.g. books paired with appropriate toys). E. Lockhart also has a fun post on Gifts to Give Your Boyfriend ("assuming you are, say, age 14-30, and the budget is not enormous").
  • Also just in time for the holidays, Brighter Days for You and Me! offers 12 tips to help people slow down and relax. My favorite is "concentrate on one thing". I'm always doing one thing, while thinking in the back of my mind that I ought to be doing something else, and I can see the appeal of truly concentrating on one thing at a time.
  • Simon & Schuster has issued a challenge to long-time partner First Book. According to the First Book Blog, "between now and the end of the year, they (S&S) will match every dollar we (FirstBook) raise with an additional new book in the hands of a child — up to one million books!" Gotta love kids getting free books.
  • Over at A Readable Feast, Anne-Marie is having a contest (with some help from Little, Brown) to win a holiday gift basket of children's books. There are some great books included, such as We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr. Click through to this post to see how to enter. 

And now I'm off. Thanks for reading! And Go Pats!