The Second Annual Kidlitosphere Conference: Portland, OR
The Battle of the Labyrinth: Rick Riordan

Saturday Afternoon Visits: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

It is pretty quiet out there on the blogs this weekend. I hope that you're all outside, enjoying the holiday weekend (in the US it's a holiday weekend, anyway). My friend Cory is here, and we thought that we would be sitting outside sipping margaritas right about now, but it's unseasonably cold, and the air is smoky from a fire nearby (not near enough to be a danger, but near enough for the air to be smoky, and for my heart to go out to the people who have lost their homes this week). So anyway, we're inside, Cory is reading, Mheir is hard at work assembling the new grill, and I figured I would share a few links:

  • Tasha Saecker recently published two excellent posts related to literacy at Kids Lit. In the first, she responds to Esther Jantzen's OpEd piece in the L.A. Times (which I mentioned in my last literacy round-up). She says, among other things, "The best part of the article is its call to action. How do we as caring adults, involved citizens and librarians get our communities investing in literacy, educating parents and really addressing this monumental issue? Well, it can't be to sit in our comfortable offices and work cubicles and moan about it. We have to be out working with Headstart children, WIC families, and visiting those areas of our community where we worry about safety.  If children live there, then we can venture there." Great stuff! Please go and read the whole post. In her second post, she talks about the reading habits of teachers. She links to an article "on research into teacher reading habits by the Centre for Literacy and Primary Education which finds that many teachers do not regularly read children's literature and therefore tend to select books from a narrow band on authors." I agree with Tasha that there seems to be an opportunity for children's librarians to fill the gap, and help the teachers to recommend a wider range of books for kids.
  • As part of the second anniversary of Just One More Book!, Andrea and Mark are redesigning their website, and seeking artwork that promotes a love of reading. Various artists have submitted logo-like illustrations in this vein, and JOMB now has a Love of Reading Gallery. There's some great stuff there already, so do check it out. Also, congratulations to Just One More Book! and Chicken Spaghetti for being "Best of Blogs" finalists. You can find links here at JOMB to vote for them (they are in different categories, so you can vote for them both). Go Susan, Andrea, and Mark!!
  • In other blog redesign news, Jill from The Well-Read Child is seeking feedback from readers about what they are looking for from her blog. If you have any input on types of books that you'd like to see Jill review, or other types of content, you can find the survey here.
  • I know, I know, I keep linking to Jackie Parker's guest posts at ForeWord Magazine's Shelf Space blog. But she keeps getting better and better over there. In her latest post, Jackie discusses the way that blogging has changed her reading habits, and asks readers: "What are you reading? What are you looking forward to? How has blogging or blogs affected your To Be Read pile?" If you have time to comment, I know that she would appreciate your input. (Though I must say that I swear that I left a long comment, and I don't see it there now... Maybe I got filtered somehow.)
  • At the conclusion of the Summer Blog Blast Tour, Colleen Mondor answers some questions about how the whole thing was put together, and why these cross-blog interview events aren't open to the general public for participation (though other events that she organizes are). She also offers to give pointers, if anyone else wants to organize a similar event. You can find the full SBBT wrap-up, with links, at Lectitans.
  • I haven't participated in Weekly Geeks yet, mostly because I'm barely keeping up with the things I'm already doing on my blog, such that I simply can't take on anything new. However, I have been watching with interest. Every week Dewey at The Hidden Side of the Leaf suggests a topic, and various people blog about that topic. Last week's topic was "Choose a political or social issue that matters to you. Find several books addressing that issue". And I could not resist linking to Becky Laney's response, in which she writes about the importance of literacy, and shares various books to help people raise readers (such as the Read-Aloud Handbook, of course, but she has many others). This is one to save, and share with new parent friends. See also Jenny's post about equality in education at Read. Imagine. Talk.   
  • And last, but definitely not least, there's going to a Scaredy Squirrel television show!! 100 Scope Notes has the scoop. Personally, I think it's a great idea. Scaredy is a very engaging character to young children. And perhaps, since he started out in a book, he'll be able to recommend other books, too. See my interview with Scaredy's author Melanie Watt here. I had asked if there would ever be Scaredy stuffed animals, and it seems like the answer is probably yes now.

And that's it for today. I think I have time to read some Percy Jackson before our other guest come over. I wish you all a weekend of peace.