312 posts categorized "Children's Books" Feed

MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge is Approaching

48hbcAre YOU ready for MotherReader's third annual 48 Hour Book Challenge? It's coming up! The chosen weekend is June 6-8. Here's the gist (from MotherReader herself):

"Read and blog for any 48-hour period within the Friday-to-Monday-morning window. Start no sooner than 7:00 a.m. on Friday the sixth and end no later than 7:00 a.m. Monday...But the 48 hours do need to be in a row."

Why would you want to read and blog as much as possible over a designated 48-hour period? Well, for those of us who want to do something like that every weekend, this provides an excuse to do so, and company, so that it's not such a lonely pursuit. Plus there are prizes! But what it really boils down to is this: if you participate in the 48 Hour Book Challenge, you'll be able to prioritize reading and blogging about books over a two-day period. And you'll be amazed at how much you can accomplish if you really set your mind to it. You don't have to get carried away, of course. Showering and sleeping and things are certainly allowed.

I wasn't able to participate last year, but this year I am ready. I haven't been reading nearly as much as usual lately - still catching up after my move, and trips, and guest and all sorts of things. I think that the 48 Hour Book Challenge will be just the thing to get me back on track.

My current top 10 list of candidate books is:

Why did I pick these books? Well, they're already on my shelf, so they are easy to come by. They're all books that I've been wanting to read, and that seem fun (spooky or scary in some cases, but still fun). And they're all medium length, mostly middle grade titles (they're supposed to be for fifth grade and above). If I'm going to spend so much time reading and blogging, I don't want to get too bogged down on any one book (though you can read long books - I think that there will be prizes concerning pages read and time spent, not just books completed). Of course my list is subject to change, should I happen to read some of the books ahead of time, or should something irresistible show up in the mail.

My plan is to set up skeleton blog posts ahead of time for each of the books that I'm thinking of reading, so that I don't have to waste time pulling in the cover shots, etc., during the challenge. (And I don't think this is cheating, since I won't count it as time spent). I'm going to start as early as my work will allow on Friday. My plan is also to convince a certain better half that Saturday, June 7th, would be an excellent day for him to spend golfing. It's also fitting for me to be participating in a reading challenge on June 7th because that was my Grandmother Robinson's birthday, and she loved books, especially children's books. Kind of a nice tribute, really.

Anyway, if you want more information about the 48 Hour Book Challenge, stay tuned to MotherReader.

May Issue of the Edge of the Forest

Sheesh! I go one day without reading any blog posts (because of, you know, that whole work thing, plus taking 3 hours out to go to the event at Hicklebee's). And that's the day that Kelly Herold publishes the new issue of The Edge of the Forest (THE online children's literature journal). Isn't that always the way? But seriously, it looks like another great issue. Here are the highlights (borrowed from Big A little a):

Happy reading! The Edge of the Forest will be back in early June.

The Battle of the Labyrinth Launches Tomorrow

The Battle of the LabyrinthJust a head's up, for those who haven't been paying attention. The fourth Percy Jackson and the Olympians book, The Battle of the Labyrinth, will be released TOMORROW, May 6th. Advance copies were not released of this title, so there's a lot of excitement among readers wondering what to expect. I think that this will be THE summer reading book for the 10 to 14 year old set (and doubtless will appeal to many older readers, too).

Personally, I'm holding out to buy my copy at Hicklebee's on May 15th, when author Rick Riordan will be visiting. I've been very determined in protecting my schedule that day. But it will be hard to wait... I'm dying to know what role Rachel Elizabeth Dare plays. If I still lived in Austin, I'd be camped out at BookPeople.

Meanwhile, here are some links to keep you occupied:

March/April Issue of the Edge of the Forest

The March/April issue of The Edge of the Forest is now available. Via Kelly Herold, here are highlights from the new issue:

The next issue will be out in early May. The Edge of the Forest is a can't miss publication for all fans of children's literature.

Children's Book Council Launches Second National Initiative this Year to Promote Reading Among Children

I received this announcement earlier in the week. Although it's probably old news for most of you at this point, I thought that it was still worth sharing:

Children’s Book Council Launches Second National Initiative this Year to Promote Reading among Children, Announces Finalists for the First Annual Children’s Choice Book Awards

NEW YORK, NY March 24, 2008 – The Children’s Book Council (CBC) in association with the CBC Foundation, launches the Children’s Choice Book Awards program with the announcement of 25 finalists in five categories. The Children’s Choice Book Awards program was created to provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them and to help develop a reading list that will motivate children to read. Children will be able to cast their vote for their favorite books, author, and illustrator at bookstores, school libraries, and at www.BookWeekOnline.com until Sunday, May 4, 2008.

The Children’s Choice Book Award winners will be announced live at the Children’s Choice Book Award gala on May 13 in New York City as part of Children’s Book Week (May 12-18, 2008), the oldest national literacy event in the United States. This initiative is a new component of Children’s Book Week and follows on the heels of the appointment of the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a national program initiated by the Library of Congress and Children’s Book Council.

“The program will allow children from across the country to discover what other children like to read,” said Robin Adelson, Executive Director at Children’s Book Council. “We believe that by empowering children to express their opinions, it will positively impact their perspective and interest in books and bring a renewed excitement to reading.”

The Children’s Choice Book Award finalists are as follows:

Favorite Book for Grades K-2:

  • Dino Dinners, by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom (Holiday House)
  • Five Little Monkeys Go Shopping by Eileen Christelow (Clarion)
  • Frankie Stein written by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Kevan Atteberry (Marshall Cavendish Corporation)
  • Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark written by Ken Geist, illustrated by Julia Gorton (Cartwheel Books/Scholastic)
  • Tucker’s Spooky Halloween by Leslie McGuirk (Candlewick Press)

Favorite Book for Grades 3-4:

  • Babymouse: Camp Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House Books for Young Readers)
  • Big Cats by Elaine Landau (Enslow Publishers)
  • Monday With a Mad Genius written by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca (Random House Books for Young Readers)
  • The Richest Poor Kid written by Carl Sommer, illustrated by Jorge Martinez (Advance Publishing, Inc.)
  • Wolves by Duncan Searl (Bearport Publishing)

Favorite Book for Grades 5-6:

  • Beowulf: Monster Slayer written by Paul D. Storrie, illustrated by Ron Randall (Lerner Publishing Group)
  • Encyclopedia Horrifica by Joshua Gee (Scholastic Paperbacks)
  • Ghosts by Stephen Krensky (Lerner Publishing Group)
  • The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley by Amy Lissiat and Colin Thompson (Kane/Miller Book Publishers)
  • When the Shadbush Blooms written by Carla Messinger with Susan Katz, illustrated by David Kanietakeron Fadden (Tricycle Press)

2007 Author of the Year

  • Anthony Horowitz, Snakehead (Alex Rider Adventure) (Philomel/Penguin)
  • Erin Hunter, Warriors, Powers of Three: The Sight (HarperCollins)
  • Jeff Kinney, Diary of Wimpy Kid (Abrams)
  • Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse (Disney Book Group)
  • J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic)

2007 Illustrator of the Year

  • Jan Brett, Three Snow Bears (Putnam/Penguin)
  • Ian Falconer, Olivia Helps with Christmas (Simon & Schuster)
  • Robin Preiss Glasser, Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy (HarperCollins)
  • Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic)
  • Mo Willems, Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity (Disney Book Group)

The finalists were determined from the IRA-CBC Children’s Choices program, a joint project of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the CBC since 1975. Publishers submit hundreds of titles to be evaluated and voted on by 10,000 children. The Author and Illustrator of the Year finalists were selected from a review of bestseller lists by the CBC and CBC Foundation.

Can I cast my vote for Rick Riordan? Surely J. K. Rowling got sufficient kudos in 2007...

February Edition of The Edge of the Forest

Making it in just under the wire, the February edition of The Edge of the Forest was published late last night (thank goodness for Leap Year Day). The Edge of the Forest is an online journal dedicated to children's literature, created and edited by Kelly Herold from Big A little a. Christine Marciniak of The Simple and the Ordinary is the recently appointed Features Editor. Here is the list of this month's highlights, borrowed from Kelly:

For fans of children's literature, The Edge of the Forest is not to be missed. This looks like another excellent issue, one which I look forward to savoring. 

February Carnival of Children's Literature

Happy Leap Day! The February Carnival of Children's Literature is now available at Anastasia Suen's Picture Book of the Day blog. In honor of today, February 29th, Anastasia has chosen "Leap into Reading" as her carnival's theme. For those unfamiliar with carnivals, a carnival is a collection of links to posts, all on the same general topic, each post contributed by a different person. People generally contribute their best post from the past month, making carnivals a source of high-quality content and a way to learn about new blogs.

Anastasia proposes that we all "use this extra day to leap into a book". While I certainly agree with that idea, I suggest starting by leaping into reading this carnival. There are simply tons of great posts included.

Have a great day! And if it's your birthday today, I hope it is four times extra special. I send particular birthday greetings to my friend Nick, and warm thoughts to Al's family, spending his day without him for the first time, but celebrating in his honor.

January Edition of The Edge of the Forest

The January edition of The Edge of the Forest, an online journal dedicated to children's literature, is now available. In this issue (highlights taken from Kelly's post):

What lovely reading to have for a rainy holiday.

Lucky Charms and Spiderwick Chronicles

Via Publisher's Weekly:

"Simon and Schuster has partnered with General Mills for a 10 million-box, five-brand cereal promotion tied to the Spiderwick Chronicles. Running from January 1 to March 1, the promotion’s timing is tied to the Spiderwick film being released in February. But its focus is entirely on the books. In fact, when the two companies started talking about the partnership, the film was optioned but didn’t have a green light, so it wasn’t a factor in the deal, according to Laura Ferguson, S&S director of premiums, CDP and corporate sales.

Specially marked boxes of Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Reese’s Puffs, Cookie Crisps and Honey Nut Cheerios will include one of three collectible books based on the second title in the Spiderwick series, The Seeing Stone."

See the full article here.

First U.S. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature to be Revealed on January 3, 2008

I received the following news release today, and I thought that you all might be interested in the news. I personally think that it's great that we're going to have this position of National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in the US, and I look forward to learning who it will be, and what his or her plans are. Maybe someday there'll be a National Virtual Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and I'll be able to apply. Anyway, here's the announcement:

NEW YORK, NY December 13, 2007The Children’s Book Council (CBC), in association with the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, will announce the inaugural National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a children’s laureate for the United States, on January 3, 2008. Appointed for a two-year term, the post was created to raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to literacy, education, and the development and betterment of children’s lives. The National Ambassador will choose a platform accordingly, also to be revealed on announcement date, and will advocate this policy throughout his/her travels and tenure.

The National Ambassador was chosen by a selection committee based on a number of criteria, including the candidate’s contribution to young people’s literature, known ability to relate to children, dynamic and engaging personality, among other considerations. The five members of the inaugural selection committee include:

  • Leonard Marcus – preeminent children’s book historian and critic. He has directed parenting magazine’s annual Best Books of the Year Awards since its inception and is a three-time judge of the New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year prize. He is a standing member of The Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award committee.
  • Hazel Rochman - editor at ALA Booklist and now a contributing editor, reviewing books for children and young adults. She has served on numerous book committees, and chaired the National Book Award committee for young people’s literature.
  • Maria Salvadore - Coordinator of Children’s Service for the DC Public Library until 2000. Her work for numerous local and national organizations includes the Kennedy Center Education Department, Reading Is Fundamental, BPS Ready To Learn Service, WETA’s Reading Rockets, among many others.
  • Henrietta M. Smith - professor emeritus, School of Library and Information Science, University of South Florida. Service to ALA includes membership on Newbery, Caldecott, Batchelder, Carnegie and Notable Film committees and chair of the Wilder committee.
  • Jewell Stoddard - co-owner of the Cheshire Cat Book Store in Washington DC—one of the first children’s bookstores in the country. She has served on the Caldecott and Boston-Globe Horn Book Award committees, and chaired the 2002 Award committee for the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Award for Nonfiction.

Cheerios® is the leading sponsor of the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature initiative. Through its Spoonfuls of Stories® program, Cheerios gets books into children’s hands and encourages families to read together. Over the past 6 years, Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories has distributed more than 30 million books free inside cereal boxes, and donated more than $2.5 million to First Book®, a national children’s literacy organization.

Additional financial support for this program is provided by Penguin Young Readers Group, Scholastic, Inc., HarperCollins Children’s Books, Random House Children’s Books, Holiday House, Charlesbridge, National Geographic Children’s Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, Harcourt Children’s Books, Candlewick Press, Marshall Cavendish, and Macmillan Publishers.

About the Children’s Book Council

The Children’s Book Council, established in 1945, is the non-profit trade association of publishers of trade books for children and young adults in the United States. The CBC promotes the use and enjoyment of trade books for young people, most prominently as the official sponsor of Children’s Book Week, the longest running literacy event in the country. The goal of the Children’s Book Council is to make the reading and enjoyment of books for young people an essential part of America’s educational and social goals, as well as to enhance the public perception of the importance of reading by disseminating information about books for young people and about children's book publishing.

About The Center for the Book

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 by Public Law 95-129 to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. Its entire program is supported by private funds. To carry out its mission, the center has created two national networks: affiliates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and national reading promotion partners, mostly non-profit organizations such as the Children’ Book Council, that promote books, reading, literacy, and libraries. The Center for the Book plays a key role in the development of the National Book Festival, held each year on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

November/December Edge of the Forest

The November/December issue of the online children's literature journal The Edge of the Forest is now available. This issue introduces Christine Marciniak as Features Editor. And I must say that the features are especially impressive in this issue. Here are the highlights (as posted on editor Kelly Herold's blog):

I found Little Willow's feature to be particularly comprehensive (she collected input from many authors and bloggers, myself included). I found myself nodding again and again as I read other people's remarks about books that opened their eyes. The 'Tis the Season feature, with various lists of recommended gift books, is also not to be missed. And there's lot's of other great stuff, too. Go and check it out.