31 August 2007

Am I Famous?!

I've made the Encyclopedia Britannica! While Googling myself (always an interesting experience) I found a reference to "The Golden Lion", my folktale retelling that Cricket published in 2006. Evidently it has been used as a source in an entry about Sicilian people. I find that curious. It is, after all, a folktale and not a factual representation of Sicilians by any means. I tried to access the link, but I don't have access to EB online. Can I demand royalties? No, no, probably not. But wow--I'm a source! Not bad, considering my family comes from the other end of Italy.

Bedtime Stories

The Dancing cat (Rendal, Justine)
The Midnight unicorn (Reed, Neil)
The Last little cat (DeJong, Meindert)

A trio of old fashioned stories tonight. I particularly liked "Little cat" for its simplicity of text and story. It tells the story of a kitten born in a kennel who befriends an old blind dog. There is a lot of repetative text and well placed illustrations to help early readers. As for helpful illustrations, "Midnight Unicorn" has textured illustrations, which had me thinking that the girl in the story was blind (hence, the pictures that the reader can feel.) But by the end of the story I realized that I was incorrect. So why the braille effect?

What I am Reading Today--The Journey

The Journey (Lasky, Kathryn) is the second volume in the Guardians of Ga'hoole series. It is an animal fantasy series for 8-12 year olds with owls as protagonists. I loved the inaugural volume, The Capture. This one--eh. It is not as gripping. The series currently stands at 13 volumes, so I will probably continue at least for a few more, especially as there is a film version in the works.

26 August 2007

Top 5 Picture Books

This list was taken from the 26 August 2007 New York Times

1) Bad Dog, Marley! (Grogan, John; illus. Richard Cowdrey)
2) Fancy Nancy (O'Connor, Jane; illus. Robin Preiss Glasser)
3) Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy (O'Connor, Jane; illus. Robin Preiss Glasser)
4) Dog (Van Fleet, Matthew; photog. Brian Stanton)
5) Pirates Don't Change Diapers (Long, Melinda; illus. David Shannon)

Julie Moodring--the American Girls enter the 70's

The New York Times reports that September will see the release of two new American Girl dolls, Julie, and her Chinese-American friend, Ivy. There will be six books in the new series, penned by Judy Moody creator Megan McDonald, which take place in the 1970's. So the question is--will they count as historical fiction? What exactly makes historical fiction is something which I think is up for debate. By my definition, historical fiction is fiction which tells a story and makes a point of doing so during a specific period in the past. So by those standards, The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Sphere, Elizabeth George) is historical fiction, whereas Little Women (Alcott, Louisa May) is not. Sphere wrote a story during a period of which she herself was not contemporary, and she used that era as part of the story (the story would not have the same impact if it was set at the Alamo, for instance.) Alcott based her story during the American Civil War (at least, that's when the story started) a time not far removed from her own, and that era is really inconsequential to the telling of the story. The war serves to keep Mr. March away from home and the main action of the book, but it does not shape Jo's ambitions. The fact that Kit Tyler in "Witch" lives in a Puritan town during a time of superstition and a fear of witchcraft influences almost every event in the story.

So where does that leave Julie and Ivy and the events of their stories--a mere 37 years ago? I guess if you are an 8-12 year old reader of these books, 37 years ago might as well be 100. And the stories are clearly set in "a context", judging by the earlier AG series. My guess is, I will be adding these to the "Historical Fiction" reading list at work. But the Hardy Boys, chock full of details about life in the 30's, 40's, and 50's are still just detective novels.

24 August 2007

Bedtime Stories--Haven't I Read This Already?

Gingerbread baby (Brett, Jan)
My friend is sad (Willems, Mo)
Casey back at bat (Gutman, Dan)

My daughter has now read My friend is sad more than once. Now that she is familiar with the words and the story, she has started to pay attention to the punctuation and the way Willems uses font and the illustrations to express the characters' feelings. It was quite a spirited rendition this evening. It's fun to watch her develop as a reader.

As for Casey back at bat....I loved it, then I was disappointed. I love the newsprint illustrations, the effortless verse, and the fact that it could classify as a fractured fairytale (of sorts.) But once the ball left Casey's bat and then headed across time, space and history, I realized that I have read this book already, and it is called Hurray for Snail! Except that Snail succeeds where Casey flies out. And to be honest, the part about knocking off the Sphinx's nose and causing the dinosaurs to become extinct was just plain silly in a distracting, disjointed way. I would have preferred it if Joe Stoshack had managed to travel into literature to visit Casey. That would have been more convincing--and relevant--than the ball's excellent adventure.

23 August 2007

Baited Breath--Books I'm Waiting to Read

There's a number of books coming out (or just released) that I am waiting to get my hands on. And reading them should coincide with the end of the baseball season, which is excellent timing.

In no particular order:

Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World (Konigsburg, E.L.) release date 25 September 2007
Don't know much about it--I just like E.L. Konigsburg.

Starcross (Reeve, Phillip and David Wyatt) release date 16 October 2007.
The sequel to the EXCELLENT Victorian (yes, as in Queen Victoria) Space Novel Larklight.

The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio (Alexander, Lloyd)--released 7 August 2007
I'm just waiting for this to make its way through Tech Services at work. This is the last book he wrote, just before he died.

Snowbone (Weatherill, Cat) released 10 July 2007
The companion to the unassuming Barkbelly. I'm on the waiting list for this one.

It is Called Delaware (Anderson, M.T.) no release date yet as far as I'm aware. I simply read an excerpt in the back of The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen, where he dissed Delaware again with the line: "The New York cheesecake tasted more like Delaware". I wonder what Mr. Anderson has against The First State.

What I'm Reading Today--Among the Hidden

Here's another off my "to read" list. Among the Hidden (Haddix, Margaret Peterson) is the first in the "Shadow Children" sequence. It tells the story of a totalitarian society (presumably the USA, considering the description of the Rose Garden at the President's house) where citizens are restricted to a two child maximum. Any deviation from this rule can result in penalties ranging from crippling fines to execution.

Meet Luke Gardner, a forbidden "Third Child" hidden in his parent's home where he officially does not exist. One day, he spies another forbidden child in a neighbor's window.....

About half-way through this one I thought I was not even going to bother reading any more in the series; just complete the first volume so that I had a taste of it to help with recommendations. But by the heart-wrenching end, I was ready for more. I was initially so annoyed, not so much by the Population Police who enforce the insane laws. No--what really distressed me was the class divide. When Luke does finally meet Jen, the other Third Child in his neighborhood, he discovers that she is a Baron--a member of a class that is not just wealthy but privileged enough that they can break the rules which oppress everyone else. The injustice was infuriating! Perhaps this is because, while the population control scenario was so extreme, the class imbalance was not. One aspect of the story is Orwellian fantasy. The other hits a bit close to home.

This is just the sort of book I was thinking of when I named this blog "Not Just for Kids". And adult could be riveted by this book, just as easily as its intended audience of 8-12 year olds.

22 August 2007

Bedtme Stories

Cordurouy (Freeman, Dan)
Cat Traps (Coxe, Molly)
Dimity Dumpty (Graham,Bob)

It's a mixture of classic and contemporary tonight (well, last night by the time of this writing!) When we settled down to read, I realized we had plenty of time for an extra story and found a copy of Corduroy on my daughter's bookshelf (and, really, everyone should be able to find a copy of Corduroy on their shelf.) But it was Dimity Dumpty that really caught my attention. In telling the story of Humpty Dumpty's little sister, it joins a long tradition of fractured fairy tales. Just this year alone I can think of Lisa Ernst's The Gingerbread Girl, and Mini Grey's The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon. Graham has envisioned a story where the Dumpty's are tumblers in a circus, all except Dimity who is shy and prefers to stay out of the spotlight. Humpty's great fall comes about because he is a rascally tagger. The King's Men are a couple of paratroopers stationed in a nearby barracks who take little pity on the cracked Humpty because he is "only an egg". It's not clear from the story why they are stationed in the small town where the Dumptys are currently performing, but their presence in camo fatigues and their callous disregard for damage to the locals, was a bit jarring when I first read it (but they make up for it later with a bedside visit to the recuperating Humpty.) It is only Dimity's fast thinking and bravery that saves her brother from leaking away. Interesting, but slightly odd.

19 August 2007

Coming and Going--Grandfather's Journey

I've been away at a writer's workshop this weekend. I wasn't too far from Boston--only as far north as New London, New Hampshire. A mere two hours away. As I finished up this morning and left Rte 11 (which doubles as New London's Main Street) and joined 89 South, I saw a name that never fails to excite me--Boston. I've read that name in airport departure lounges, in train stations, and on the highway as far away as Pennsylvania. I seek it out whenever I travel. It lets me know that I'm on the right path, headed home.

Now, while having breakfast at the B&B on Saturday morning, I was reading an article in National Geographic Traveler about London. My heart is there, too. I pine for England, almost on a daily basis. Six years was not nearly enough time to see everything I wanted to see there. By the time I left I had finally figured out the one way traffic patterns in the city where I lived. I had never felt more at home in England than I did the day I got on the plane to leave.

Okay--so what does my homeland schizophrenia have to do with Children's Literature? Well, it's this: author Allen Say wrote a picture book which is the best book about the immigrant experience that I have ever read, and it instantly came to mind when I read the magic word "Boston" on that sign. It is called Grandfather's Journey and is about his own grandfather, who for awhile lived in Japan, then in California, and then in Japan again. While in one country, he never failed to miss the other. He passed on his wanderlust to his grandson, just as my parents passed it on to me. I believe that my Mom and Dad were both happy with where they finally settled, while I still feel that I have one foot on each side of the Atlantic. I can tell that one life will never be enough to satisfy the desire to be in each place. Had Allen Say not written his beautiful book (which, not surprisingly, won a Caldecott Award in 1994--the year I moved to England) I would not have known that there was a gentleman all the way in Japan who felt the same way that I do. And knowing that he existed is a comfort.

Bedtime Stories

The Cat who wanted to go home (Tomlinson, Jill)
The Owl and the Pussycat (Lear, Edward; Anne Mortimer, illus.)
Hooray for Snail! (Stadler, John)

In trying to discover whether or not Hooray for Snail is still in print (thankfully, the answer is yes!) I discovered a little bit of back story by author John Stadler. I also discovered that there are some other Snail stories, which I did not know (although a guru, I can still learn!)

Anne Mortimer's version of The Owl and the Pussycat is a bedtime favorite in our house and has enjoyed repeat readings. I have been a fan of her artwork for many, many years, ever since I first came across Tosca in the supermarket check-out line (there are treasures to be found even in the $3.99 rack.) As far as I am concerned, there is no one who draws cats like she does (although Lesley Anne Ivory is another favorite.) My daughter simply likes the fact that there is a wedding in the story.

16 August 2007

What I'm Reading Today--The Saint of Dragons

I didn't know a lot in advance about this one. I'm reading it because I read a favorable review of it's sequel, Samurai, in a review journal. And since I'm always on the look out for 1)fantasies to recommend and 2)books to recommend to boys, this one looked like a winner. (Also, being married to an Englishman, I'm partial to St. George.) So far so good. The book is fast paced and believable with definite crossover YA appeal.

Art Appreciation

More cats at bedtime! Meredith Hooper and Bee Willey's Celebrity Cat tells the tale of Fellissima, an artistic cat who is distressed by the lack of feline recognition in great art. To her, Van Gogh's Chair is incomplete without a cat curled up in it's wicker seat. And the mystery of Velazquez's picture puzzle The Family of Philip IV is obvious--they are looking at a cat. After gaining fame by introducing the missing cats to the world's masterpieces, Fellissima tires of the celebrity life and through her desire for anonymity realises the mystery of the missing cats--they were there, in their artists' lives but simply chose not to be in the paintings. Because choice is a cat's birthright.

It's a cute story, and a nice way to introduce young readers to some of the world's masterpieces. The art and picture book worlds have merged before. How could they not? Here are some of my favorites:

1) Pablo the artist (Kitamura, Satoshi)
Pablo the elephant is suffering terrible artist's block, which is particularly ill-timed because there is a big art exhibit coming up, and he wants to participate. This is a great way to show children that art of any kind is not created in a void, and is often a collaborative effort.

2) The Incredible painting of Felix Clousseau (Agee, John)
To call Felix Clousseau's canvases life-like is an understatement! Even though his living paintings wreak havoc, they eventually set things to right in this imaginative and visually stimulating story.

3) When Pigasso met Mootise (Laden, Nina)
Based loosely on the real life relationship--and rivalry--of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, this is a playful tip of the hat to differing artistic philosophies.

4) You can't take a balloon to the Museum of Fine Arts (Weitzeman, Jacqueline Preiss)
This wordless picture book starts at the MFA then takes the reader all over Boston. Along the way readers catch art masterpieces and New England luminaries. Previous balloons have visited the National Gallery in Washington D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. But of course I'm partial to this one!

5) Katie's Sunday afternoon (Mayhew, James)
James Mayhew's Katie was interacting with paintings long before Fellissima. This is my favorite of the series because here she takes a dip with Georges Seurat's Bathers at Asniers. I spent a lot of time admiring that painting, hanging in the National Gallery, when I lived in London. It's a sentimental favorite and so receives this guru's seal of approval.

14 August 2007

Bedtime Stories

The Story about Ping (Flack, Marjorie and Kurt Wiese)
Ballet sisters: the duckling and the swan (Ormerod, Jan)
The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon (Grey, Mini)

"Ping" is on my daughter's summer reading list. It's a good list IMHO, because it includes newer titles alongside the classics (and I think it's fair to say that "Ping" has reached canon status.) "Adventures" merited a repeat reading. Then again, she's a huge fan of Traction Man--also by Mini Grey-- so I am not surprised she liked this one. She didn't even get many of the visual jokes (my personal favorite: the poster for "Lost Cow" attached to a lamppost 25 years after a disgraced spoon returns home from prison.)But the story struck a cord. No doubt she's gone to sleep with visions of dancing spoons and dishes.

Haven't I read this already?

I didn't anticipate this becoming a regular feature of the blog. However, while I was (again) preparing for story time (theme: hats) I stumbled upon Inga Moore's Fifty Red Night-Caps. The similarities between it and the classic Caps for Sale by Espher Slobodkina are breathtaking. I suppose "fifty" could be called a retelling of "caps", but there is no reference to the original source material. And to be honest, there is no comparison between the two: "caps" has a rhythm to it that is non-existent in "fifty". Stick with the original.

13 August 2007

Haven't I read this already?

While preparing for this week's story time(theme: kiddie fun,)I was rereading the books I'll be using tomorrow. And as I read Nicola Smee's Clip-Clop, I couldn't help but notice a certain resemblance to John Burningham's classic Mr. Gumpy's Outing. Each book tells the story of a vessel in motion (in one case a horse, in the other a skiff on a river)and an increasing overloading of passengers. I certainly can't say if Ms. Smee had "Gumpy" in mind when she wrote her book. In any event, both are excellent for read-a-louds (how's that for an endorsement!)

What I'm Reading Today--The Abracadabra Kid

I run a book discussion group for 4th-5th graders at work, and our current selection is The Whipping Boy, by Sid Fleischman. In preparation for our meeting this week I am reading Flesichman's autobiography, The Abracadabra kid: a writer's life. It's a wonderfully fluid book, chock-full of personal stories from his early days as a fledgling magician, to his service time in World War II. It reminds me of Harpo Speaks! by Harpo Marx, only much shorter. It's also a great testament to the hard work a writer puts into his craft. All young writers (and those who are older, like this one here) should take note.

12 August 2007

Top 5 Picture books in New England

This list was taken from the 12 August 2007 Boston Sunday Globe:

1)Puff the Magic Dragon (Yarrow, Peter and Lenny Lipton; Eric Puybaret, illus.)
2)Bad dog, Marley! (Grogan, John; Richard Cowdrey, illus.)
3)Where the wild things are (Sendak, Maurice)
4)Let's find Pokemon! (Aiha
ra, Kazunori)
5)Fancy Nancy and the posh puppy (O'Connor, Jane; Robin Preiss Glasser, illus.)

I am assuming that the Pokemon book is a legitimate picture book and not a graphic novel mislabeled. And I find the inclusion of "Wild Things" interesting, in light of a conversation I had recently with a colleague. We debated whether it was a book still popular with children, as opposed to a book remembered fondly by parents. I find that children certainly know the book, but it is not a title I hear them ask for on a regular basis. It is also listed in the Amazon bestsellers list for 4-8 year olds (at least as of this writing. The list is updated hourly.)

11 August 2007

Lost Treasures--The Church Mice books by Graham Oakley

One of the many joys of my job as a librarian is, of course, the opportunity to work with books. Although every book is sacred, to borrow a phrase from Monty Python, there are times when I have to do what's known as weeding--get rid of old, dirty, and (sadly) unread books. Weeding hurts but, like digging out a splinter, is necessary (and, like the laundry, seemingly never ending!) Who wants to borrow a filthy book that looks like it's contagious--and I don't mean with the love of learning. Some books are worn out because they are so popular and have been read and adored by countless patrons. These are pulled out with a clean conscience, safe in the knowledge that they are books which have served their purpose and had a satisfying book existence. You order a new copy. All is right with the universe.

Then there are those books that have been loved to pieces, and really need to be replaced, but--oh no!--they are out of print. What to do? There are only so many times you can glue and tape and recover and rebind a book before it really has to go. At that point you pray to the book gods that someone in their right mind will see fit to reissue that book, so that such difficult decisions need never have to be made again.

The Church Mice books are just the sort of books I am talking about. PLEASE! Somebody reissue them!

If you have not yet read the Church Mice books--quick!--get yourself to your local library and look for them, before they fall apart from years of love and have to be withdrawn. Because I guarantee these books have not been sitting on the shelf ignored for the last thirty years. The inaugural volume, The Church Mouse, tells the story of Arthur and Sampson, a mouse and a ginger tabby cat who live in the vestry at St. John's Church, Wortlethorpe, England. They are soon joined by every mouse in the city. Despite the fact that cat and mouse are mortal enemies, they are all good friends, because Sampson has listened to so many sermons about brotherly love that he would never dream of harming the mice--although it is just such a dream which nearly proves to be the rodents' undoing in one of the many hilarious, detailed picture sequences later in the book. These books are jam packed with droll humor in one of the most successful marriages of words and images in the history of Children's Literature (I kid you not!) Picture books are so often reduced to ABC's and 123's and considered "for babies." Not so in this case! These stories are to picture books what BBC comedies are to TV. They are a joy to read and a joy to look at with more hidden treats and puzzles than a Where's Waldo anthology. The Church Mouse and its sequels elevated the craft of the picture book to a level of sublimity not often seen in the age of celebrity books and cartoon knock-offs, and if there is any justice in this world, they will be reissued sometime soon. Let the campaign start here!

10 August 2007

What I'm reading today--I Believe in Unicorns

Michael Morpurgo is the former UK Children's Laureate. I've read the picture book Wombat goes walkabout, and that's about it! It's time to broaden my Morpurgo horizons with one of his most recent offerings. Plus, librarians get good publicity in this one!

09 August 2007

Celebrity Authors--they get on my nerves!

Publisher's Weekly reports that Laura and Jenna Bush have signed with Harper Collins to release an as yet untitled picture book in 2008. The book will come with some pedigree: Jenna Bush is already an author with a YA novel scheduled for a late 2007 release; this new book will be illustrated by Denise Brunkus, illustrator of the Junie B. Jones series; and of course, Laura Bush is the US First Librarian, if you will. So perhaps this new book will be more than just another big name cash-in. But books by celebrity authors are a dime a dozen these days, and I can count on one hand those that I think are any good. Was there really a hole in the market for soppy-adoring-parent books that was plugged by Spike and Tanya Lee's Please Baby Please, despite the fine illustraions by Kadir Nelson? Has any child been uplifted by Katie Couric's Blue Ribbon Day? Or had their sensibilities realigned by Harvey Fierstein's The Sissy Duckling? And there was just NO excuse for those Madonna books.

But they say that a broken clock is correct at least twice a day. And there are in fact some books by celebrity authors which are really worth reading. So here is my handful:

The Remarkable Farkle McBride (Lithgow, John)
Where do ballons go? An uplifting mystery (Curtis, Jamie Lee)
Let George do it (Foreman, George)
Lu and the Swamp Ghost (Carville, James--with help from Patricia McKissick)
The Last of the really great whangdoodles (Edwards, Julie Andrews)

08 August 2007

For the Voracious Reader

For children just starting to appreciate the craft of a tale well told, here are two picture books that celebrate the joy of the written word: Winston the book wolf (McGee, Marni) and The Boy who loved words (Schotter, Roni.) The idea that shared stories have a healing or protective power has been explored in chapter books as different as Kathryn Lasky's Guardians of G'Ahoole adventure series and Alan Armstrong's barnyard fable Whittington. In keeping with the premise that the picture book is a format and not a limitation, it's satisfying to see complex ideas presented in a way that the youngest reader, or listener, can experience and learn from them.

What I'm Reading Today--The True confessions of Charlotte Doyle

I'm a big fan of Avi. I say that, even though I have only scratched the surface of his extensive body of work. I have read three novels, two picture books and one collection of short stories, and each book is as different as can be from the other. He is a wonderful craftsman, and it seems that no genre is beyond his talents. "Charlotte Doyle" has been on my "to read" list for quite some time. I'm pleased to finally be settling down with her.

07 August 2007

Bedtime Stories

These all passed muster with my six year old girl!

My pony Jack at the horse Show (Meister, Carl)

Ballet Kitty (Ford, Bernette and Sam Williams)

Mr. Pusskins, a love story (Lloyd, Sam)

06 August 2007

What I'm reading today--Lily Quench and the black mountain

I'm always on the look-out for comparison reccommendations (i.e. "My daughter loves the Magic Tree House series. What should she read next?") And with Harry Potter mania far from dead, all those kids who have left Hogwarts will need something new to read now that the series is complete. The Lily Quench series in an Australian import (late 90's/early 00's) featuring an intrepid girl, half dragonslayer/half botanist. Unlike her ancestors, Lily no longer slays dragons but works with them to preserve peace and justice in a place called Ashby Water, recently liberated from the clutches of the Black Count. The first title, Lily Quench and the Dragon of Ashby, was enjoyable enough that I've come back for more. This is setting up to be a solid middle grade chapter book series with a strong female protagonist.

05 August 2007

Around the Horn--my favorite baseball books

It's West Coast baseball for the Sox this weekend, which means late nights for me. As I watch the boys hold on to a 4-2 lead against Seattle (bottom of the 7th--I hope I'm not jinxing them!) this is the perfect opportunity to draw up a list of my favorite books about my favorite sport. They are in no particular order. And to keep with the theme--I'll only list nine.

1) The Boy who saved baseball (Ritter, John)
I said these aren't in any particular order, but this is always the first basbeall book I recommend to patrons. It's magical and believable all in one charming package.
2) Zachary's ball (Tavares, Matt)
This picture book of one boy's dream of leading the Red Sox to a World Series win seemed like fan boy wish fulfillment until 2004. But as a testimony to the magic of the game, it's timeless.
3) Shoeless Joe and me (Gutman, Dan)
This is the fourth installment of the Baseball Card Adventures involving the time-travelling Joe Stoshak. Gutman wears his heart on his sleeve in this one with a compelling and compassionate portrayal of Shoeless Joe Jackson and his alleged role in the 1919 Black Sox World Series betting scandal. (Note to Gutman: I'm still hoping for "Ted and Me". Any hopes of Stosh meeting the Splendid Splinter?)
4) Teammates (Golenbock, Peter)
The courage of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player in the Major Leagues, is well documented. This picture book focuses a single moment of courage by one of his white teammates, Pee Wee Reese, who put his arm around Robinson in solidarity against the racial taunts and abuse during a Dodgers away game.
5) Free baseball (Corbett, Sue)
This book is unique in that the action is based around a minor-league team, far removed from the glamor of the limelight of the major league clubs. The author's love and knowledge for the game is evident from the books dedication (I'll forgive her loving words for Mookie Wilson, a person infamous in Red Sox history, because I enjoyed the book so much!)
6) Thank you Jackie Robinson (Cohen, Barbara)
Jackie Robinson's influence and example transcended baseball, as is shown in this fine chapter book about the friendship between an elderly African American man and his young Jewish neighbor.
7) Moon ball (Yolen, Jane)
A struggling Little Leaguer dreams of home run glory in this atmospheric picture book by a master fantasist.
8) Yang the Youngest and his terrible ear (Namioka, Lensey)
Yang's father wants him to be a master violinist, like the rest of the family. Yang just wants to play baseball and fit in at his new school. Yang's friend Matthew would love to play the violin, but that doesn't sit well with his blue-collar dad, who prefers bats to bows. Can the two boys devise a plan to show both their dads that their talents are best applied where they see fit? Check out the rest of the Yang family in the series' previous three volumes.
9) Bats about baseball (Little, Jean and Claire Mackay)
I hope you like puns!

03 August 2007

A New Project

I stand before you--the Children's Literature Guru! Well, maybe only in my own mind. But the fact remains that I know an awful lot about Children's Literature. And I have reached a point in my career where I would like to be recognized as a guru. And until someone will pay me to pontificate about Children's Literature, I'll do it for free.

My Guru qualifications: I am a Children's Librarian. I am a reviewer of Children's books for School Library Journal (I even had a short stint with The Horn Book Guide.) I write for children. I am a candidate for a Masters of Arts in Children's Literature. I read more kids books than you can shake a stick at. I'm a mom (that pretty much qualifies you for everything!)

I don't plan to post many reviews here, although one may slip through every now and then. But I'd love to introduce some of my favorite titles and present a forum for the general appreciation of books written for children.


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