Smash! Crash! (Trucktown): Jon Scieszka
Children's Literacy Round-Up: Family Literacy Day, Oral Storytelling, and Peter Pan

Sunday Afternoon Visits: Carnivals, Contests, and Time Travel

There continues to be more going on in the Kidlitosphere every day than anyone could possibly keep up with. But here are a few things that particularly caught my eye this week:

  • Carnival creator Melissa Wiley has set up a beautiful information page for the Carnival of Children's Literature, with links to all of the past carnivals, FAQs, and the call for submissions for the next carnival. For those unfamiliar with carnivals, she explains: "A carnival is a collection of blog posts about a specific topic. Most carnivals are monthly or weekly events. Bloggers submit their posts for consideration, and the carnival host compiles the submissions into one big post full of links for easy reading." Although anyone can participate, and I always try to, I think that carnivals are an especially great way for new bloggers to participate in the community, and draw some traffic to their blogs.
  • Camille has a helpful post with tips for authors about making school visits over at BookMoot. She notes that "School visits are NOT for the faint of heart", and makes tangible and witty suggestions, like "You have to develop a spine of steel and sang-froid."
  • Wizards Wireless has a thoughtful post about the importance of context in assessing books, using the "basic journalism questions of who, what, where, why, when and how." She makes some excellent points, such as how your impressions of a book may be different if you "read it on your lunch break and compressed it into fifteen minute time slots" vs. reading it all at once. I think this is fascinating. We tend to write our reviews as though they are fixed - this is my opinion of this book. But I know that I react differently to audio books than to printed books, and differently to books that I read when I'm sick vs. books that I read when I'm well. And so on. How about you?
  • 2k8logoThe Class of 2k8, an organization for authors with debut middle grade and young adult titles in 2008, is hosting the first of four quarterly contests. Their post about it explains: "This quarter we've gone with a virtual scavenger hunt. Simply find the answers to the ten questions below and email your correct answers to Once we've checked your answers we'll notify you that you've been entered into a drawing. Our grand prize this quarter - three books from our fabulous authors!" Click here for the questions.
  • Over at 7-Imp, Jules has another installment of her latest feature: 7 Picture Book Tips for Impossibly Busy Parents. This series is proving to be a great resource for parents looking for picture book ideas. I must admit that the only one I've read from this week's list is The Silk Princess, but I'm intrigued by some of the other titles. And, for a different take on picture books, MotherReader is reinstating her own prize, the Weird-A** Picture Book Award. She says "The WAPBAs are given to the books that make you go “Huhhh?” Awards are given for story, illustration, and cover art. The highest award goes to the picture book achieving outstanding weirdness in both illustration and text." She is accepting nominations now.
  • Over at Misrule, Judith Ridge has taken up the cause proclaimed by Agnes Nieuwenhuizen in an Age article called "How to Help Our Young Enjoy Reading". Judith says: "Agnes has alerted me to a school library's advocacy site, The Hub, which is picking up on Agnes's "cause". I'm going to check it out, talk to Agnes, and have a think about how we can make this a focused, national campaign. I realise I am now fortunately in a position to have a real voice in this campaign. So, as of now, I'd like to hear from Misrule readers ideas as to how they think such a campaign can work." I wrote about the original opinion piece in a previous Children's Literacy Round-Up, and thought that Agnes made some great points. I'm glad to see this cause taking root at Misrule, and will be following closely.
  • Sara Lewis Holmes and Liz Garton Scanlon have concluded their week of co-blogging about The Exercise of Writing (and how regular exercise helps with writing). In this post, Sara rounds up links to other posts and comments on this topic from around the Kidlitosphere.
  • Farm School, a blog hosted by Becky, Cybils MG/YA nonfiction nominating committee member extraordinaire and all-around excellent blog friend, has moved to a new location. Check it out - the template and layout are gorgeous.
  • Over at Finding Wonderland, TadMack shares news about a writing contest for children hosted by the UK's Writer's Magazine, a poetry contest that has kids as judges, and a contest for children's stories set in Wales. TadMack has the links and details.
  • Roarlarge Emse Raji Codell was kind enough to mention my blog in a recent post about the Shameless Lions Award (she want over her list of five - mine was kind of snuck in as a mention). I'm very grateful and honored, because I'm so impressed by the work that Esme does to get kids excited about reading. If you haven't visited her blog, PlanetEsme, I highly recommend it. The wonderful Shelf Elf actually granted me this award back in December (Kelly Herold and I are leading parallel lives once again). I was very appreciative at the time, but it was during my holiday travel, and although I mentioned the award, I never did do my job and pass on the award to five other blogs. The truth is that all of the blogs that I feature in my weekly Sunday Visits posts should have this award for "people who have blogs we love, can't live without, where we think the writing is good and powerful." I couldn't possibly pick five. So, if I've ever linked to you in one of my "visits" posts, consider yourself granted "A Roar for Powereful Words" award. And feel free to pass it along.
  • Congratulations to Mitali Perkins on this week's launch of her second First Daughter book: White House Rules. I wish that I could attend her book launch party at Wellesley Booksmith next week. Maybe for the next one...
  • On the Through the Magic Door blog, Thing-Finder, Charles Bayless has a fantastic post comparing and contrasting recent lists of favorite children's books by the New York Times in the US and the Daily Telegraph in the UK. It's interesting seeing which titles and authors overlap across the pond, and which ones don't. Charles, President of TTMD, clearly knows children's books. If you're not familiar with TTMD, it's an online independent children's bookstore that "exists to foster a life-long love of reading in children and to kindle or reignite that love among parents". It's well worth checking out.
  • Also worth checking out, Minerva66 shares a categorized list of time travel books at Book Advice. I enjoy reading time travel books from time to time, and am looking forward to reading my recently acquired advance copy of The Time Thief, second book in Linda Buckley Archer's Gideon series (thanks, LW!).

And that's all for this week. I will likely not have a post next Sunday, because, you know, the Patriots are in the Superbowl!. But I'll try to get you some links sometime over the weekend. Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

This post is (c) 2008 by Jennifer Robinson. All rights reserved.