MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Upcoming Events for Children's Librarians
California Summer Reading Program Ideas:
Visit the California Library Association's website www.cla-net.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=330 for training videos with ideas for the 2012 Summer Reading Program Dream Big - Read! Along with the videos, they provide links to powerpoint presentations and handouts. Thank you to the members of CLA's California Summer Reading Program Advisory Council for presenting such great ideas on the topics of:
Amelia Bloomer Project 2012 List:
Go to ameliabloomer.wordpress.com for their list of recommended children's and young adult books featuring positive depictions of females, published in 2011. Each year the Amelia Bloomer Project, sponsored by the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of ALA, selects a list of recommended feminist books, fiction and nonfiction, for young readers from preschool through age 18.
Jan Berenstain Dies:
Jan Berenstain, who with her husband, Stan, wrote and illustrated the Berenstain Bears books that have charmed preschoolers and their parents for 50 years, has died. She was 88. Berenstain, a longtime resident of Solebury in southeastern Pennsylvania, suffered a severe stroke on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, and died Friday without regaining consciousness, her son Mike Berenstain said.
The first Berenstain Bears book, "The Big Honey Hunt," was published in 1962. Over the years, more than 300 titles have been released in 23 languages - most recently in Arabic and Icelandic - and have become a rite of passage for generations of young readers. Stan and Jan Berenstain, both Philadelphia natives, were 18 when they met on their first day at art school in 1941. They married in 1946, after Stan Berenstain returned home from serving as a medical illustrator at a stateside Army hospital during World War II. During that time, Jan Berenstain worked as a draftsman for the Army Corps of Engineers and as a riveter building Navy seaplanes. Stan and Jan Berenstain created hundreds of books until Stan Berenstain's death in 2005 at the age of 82.
About 260 million copies of Berenstain Bears books have been held in the hands of children and their parents since the earliest books were published with the help of Theodor Geisel, a children's books editor at Random House better known as Dr. Seuss. Mike Berenstain said his mother worked daily at her home studio in an idyllic part of Bucks County, north of Philadelphia, which served as inspiration for the books' setting. He said he will continue writing and illustrating future Berenstain books.
Allison Angell receives 2012 Bechtel Fellowship:
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee have awarded the 2012 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to Allison Angell. The Bechtel Fellowship is designed to allow qualified children's librarians to spend a month or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Childrens Literature web.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/baldwin/baldwin.html, a part of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, Gainesville. The Baldwin Library contains a special collection of 85,000 volumes of children's literature published mostly before 1950. The fellowship is endowed in memory of Louise Seaman Bechtel and Ruth M. Baldwin and provides a stipend of $4,000.
Angell is the head of youth services at the Benicia (Calif.) Public Library, and an active member of ACL. She will pursue the topic of school studies at the Baldwin Library, especially the degree to which school stories are a mirror of other publishing trends. "Tales about school range from those that describe experiences very familiar to most children (such as books by Andrew Clements), to the many recent books about schools of magic," said Angell. "This chance to spend a period of time thinking and writing about how children and schools connect will inform my work with children at my library by giving me a fresh perspective on this critical aspect of children's lives." To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC's website at www.ala.org/alsc .
Eric Barbus receives Penguin Young Readers Group Award:
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2012 Penguin Young Reader's Group Award to ACL Member and Distinguished Co-Chair Eric Barbus, San Francisco-North Beach Branch, San Francisco Public Library, along with Heather Schubert, Hill Country Middle School Library, Eanes ISD, Austin , Texas; Linda Klein, Anchorage Public Library, Anchorage, Alaska; and Donna Alvis, Ephesus Public Library, Roopville, Ga. The $600 stipend, made possible by an annual gift from Penguin Young Readers Group, enables up to four children's librarians to attend their first American Library Association's Annual Conference. Applicants must demonstrate an involvement in ALSC as well as other professional and educational associations. New programming or innovations initiated by the applicants is highly important. Less than 10 years of experience of working directly with children in elementary, middle schools or public libraries is required.
According to the ALSC release announcing the award, "Creating a better and more accessible collection is Eric Barbus' goal at the North Beach branch. An outreach storytelling program with the public schools to promote reading and the public library are also part of his work. Additionally, he reviews for the Association of Children's Librarians of Northern California and is co-chair of the Distinguished Books Committee."
ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children's and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC's website at www.ala.org/alsc .
Patty Wong Receives ALA Equality Award:
Patricia (Patty) M.Y. Wong, county librarian/chief archivist of the Yolo County Library (Calif.) is the 2012 recipient of the American Library Association Equality Award. The annual award, $1000 and a framed citation of achievement donated by Scarecrow Press, a member of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, is given to an individual or group for outstanding contributions toward promoting equality in the library profession.
From the beginning of her career Patty Wong has been a consistent and diligent champion of library services to the whole community. Growing up in a culturally and ethnically diverse community herself, she has made it her mission to reach out to underserved groups in order to put libraries at the heart of the community.
She is known for her work for the California State Library on initiatives for service to diverse communities, including the writing of several seminal publications. She was APALA president (1999) and has been an active member and advocate of the five ethnic caucus associations since 1990.
The Equality Award jury noted Patty Wong's outstanding efforts in teaching and mentoring students. As an instructor at the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University since 2006, a participant on many Spectrum scholarship committees and a mentor for many students from diverse backgrounds, she reaffirms on a daily basis her commitment to making libraries more diverse and a core part of the communities they serve.
In 2006, she received the JCLC Advocacy Award from APALA for being a "steadfast advocate for communities of color." In recognition of her strong commitment to the communities with which she has worked, she was selected as Yolo County's Woman of the Year in 2009 by California's 5th Senate District. She has been active within the American Library Association for many years serving in a leadership role on numerous ALA Committees including elected roles as a member of ALA Council and ALA Executive Board.
Below you will find the 2012 Annotated Rainbow Project List, sorted by book category. The Rainbow Project Book List is list of recommended books dealing with gay, lesbian, bisexual, trangendered and questioning issues and situations for children up to age 18. It is administered by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table and Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association.
Will is having trouble understanding why his brother changed his name to Hope, grew his hair long, and began wearing dresses. With gentle understanding and unwavering support, Hope and her parents help Will to understand and accept.
It's a very BIG day for young Donovan-get ready, get dressed in his best with a bow tie and be the ring bearer when Mommy and Mama get married!
When his father comes out, Cisco is suspended from school for fighting and then accused of putting old man Patterson into a coma.
After the Germans bomb their beloved castle on the tiny island nation of Montmaray, the young royal family flees to pre-war England, carrying the horrifying awareness of Hitler's deadly potential with them.
Kaede and Taisin journey to the Fairy Queen to save not only their kingdom but also the entire world. Will their mission bring them together forever, or tear them apart?
Fifth graders Shuichi and Yoshino find each other during the first days of school, discovering that they share a love of many different things including the secret that each wants to be the gender that the other was born.
Supportive parents and a girlfriend-what more could any out-lesbian, goth-girl, want? Yet Ava decides to explore the idea of 'normal'-to attend prep school, kiss a boy, and even (gasp!) wear matching pink sweaters.
Most teenage boys dream of being makeout artists. Carlos Duarte, on the other hand, dreams about being a makeup artist!
Though he was born Jennifer, he knows in his being that he is completely male, just born into the wrong body. Can he make his family and friends understand what he knows, that he is J?
In this wildly hilarious novel, contestants from the Miss Teen Dream Beauty Pageant crash on a remote tropical island where danger and wild adventures lurk around every corner!
Running away from home during a Brooklyn summer to lose the pain through music, sixteen-year old Kid finds acceptance and more in Scout, another soul lost in the music.
Two teens, two voices: Declan-an emo goth into Finnish death metal and violent video games-is a loner with a crush on classmate Neilly Foster; Neilly-popular, smart, and a gymnast-happens on Declan's father and her mother. Together.
Entering suburban Drift Falls High School in 1988, Mel and her best friend Frank discover that a student suicide five years earlier was a closeted gay teen.
Hiding secrets from his family and friends, Evan is desperate to find a way to make all the pieces of his life fit. But, when his best friend Davis falls under the spell of the charismatic Chasers leader, he has to choose which part of his life to save.
Sixteen-year-old Esme is a witty, wisecracking out lesbian with a tight circle of accepting friends. Together they form a hip-hop crew called “Sister Mischief.”
Cara is struggling with her parents' ideals of perfect, but will that cause her to lose out on a new kind of love and being true to herself?
Escaped from his parents and fleeing incarceration and torture in an anti-gay rehab center, Ahmed (now Ben) finds temporary refuge in a so-called safe house.
After her once-best friend, Patrick, falls victim to a vicious hate crime and neither local nor federal law enforcement seems interested finding the culprits, Cat sets out to discover who in her town could have hated Patrick enough to have beaten him and left him for dead.
After her father disowns her for being gay, can Alyssa pick up the pieces of her life and believe in herself again, in a new town, living with a mother she never knew?
As Ethan begins a relationship with handsome classmate Max Modine, he also deals with his parents' divorce, his brother's increasingly self destructive behavior, and the fundamentalist Christian beliefs of both his brother and his best friend Jorja, while violence erupts around the local school board election.
Paul Landon's fear of being thought gay brings him to the point of helping kidnap and torture a gay classmate. Then, when Paul's older brother dies in Vietnam after telling Paul of his love for a fellow soldier, Paul is left keeping another family secret.
Twins Kyle and Judy both find themselves drawn to Garrett, a goth boy living with their family while finishing out the school year.
The tale of a quadrangle of relationships between Sergio, Lance, Allie, and Kimoko-one bisexual, one questioning, one gay, and one lesbian-and how their loves affect their interwoven friendships.
This baker's dozen short stories, for and about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender teens, encourage teens to “speak out,” be proud of who they are, and stand up for each other.
Torres' acclaimed first novel is an impressionistic examination of a family of mixed race and ethnicity. Though fiercely loving, how will the family react to the youngest son's growing awareness of his homosexuality?
Bordertown is where the mundane and magical worlds overlap, where elves, runaways, gay kids, and misfits come together, bringing their histories, music, machines, and talents-as well as their fears and terrors.
Choose your side in the epic battle: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn! Everyday teen issues are taken to wild extremes as zombies invade and unicorns attack in these short stories.
Demystifying queer issues for all teens, GLBTQ or not, this straightforward book gives answers to many topics facing youth today, from how to know if you're queer to coming out, from dealing with queerphobia to relationships.
Seventy authors tell their own stories of bullying-some as victims, some as perpetrators-in order to let others know it can happen to anyone, how to identify bullying behavior, and ways to get it to stop.
A companion to the “It Gets Better” internet campaign, this collection of essays and new material brings hope to LGBTQ youth facing prejudice, bullying, and other forms of harassment. It includes a list of resources for teens and adults.
Actress Jane Lynch shares her life story, letting readers in on her path to stardom as well as her struggles with alcoholism and being true to herself.
This tapestry of powerful and personal photo-essays maps the rich cross-section of Gay America, one distinct and memorable voice at a time.
Board Book Round-Up
Spring is upon us, and that means it is time for our semi-annual Board Book round-up! Here are some of the board books published over the past few months, that you may want to consider for library purchase:
Davies, Benji. Bizzy Bear series. Nosy Crow/Candlewick, 2011, 2012. $6.99 each.
Let's Go and Play, ISBN 9780763658809.
Fun on the Farm, ISBN 9780763659793.
These chunky, sturdy board books have sliders that allow the child to push and pull different elements, including a train going over a bridge, a sailboat bobbing in the water, and truck dumping dirt. I only saw two of the four books in the series, but they seem to have a lot of "boy" appeal, with many machines. The animals dressed as humans characters are appealing, with cartoon-style illustrations done in deep bright colors. The rhyming text repeats Bizzy Bear's name in each couplet, so these would even work for a toddler interactive storytime if the group was not too large.
McKee, David. Elmer the Elephant series. Anderson Press USA, 2012. $7.95 each.
Elmer's First Counting Book, ISBN 9780761389996.
Elmer's Opposites, ISBN 9780761389989.
McKee's colorful patchwork elephant Elmer is a beloved character from picture books. Here, Elmer is featured in original board books (not picture book adaptations), that help a toddler learn concepts. The text is very brief: "Elmer is BIG. Bird is SMALL. Tiger is FAST. Tortoise is SLOW." Although these do not carry a story with plot, they are still engaging, due to the brightly saturated full color paintings used for illustration. They are also effective at demonstrating the concept; for example, the counting book has both the numeral and word for the number, and the related number of animals to count. Libraries will want these for their board book collections.
Kubler, Annie. Small Senses series. Child's Play, 2011. $3.99.
What Can I Hear? ISBN 9781846433771.
What Can I See? ISBN 9781846433788.
What Can I Feel? ISBN 9781846433740.
What Can I Taste? ISBN 9781846433757.
What Can I Smell? ISBN 9781846433764.
Kubler's cuddly rotund babies star in this set of books celebrating the five senses. Although toddlers may not understand the concept, preschoolers do, and the five senses are part of many Kindergarten curriculums. The text of each book involves answers to the title questions; for example, in What Can I Feel?, the answers include "Tingling toes…shivery, quivery snow on my nose." The phrase captions a cartoon of a baby demonstrating the phrase.
The cartoon-style art, which appears to have been done with pencil and watercolor wash on clean white backgrounds, features infants of diverse ethnicities. Kubler's style of illustration is somewhat similar to that of Helen Oxenbury. Some of the babies wear glasses, an eye patch, or a hearing aid, which is a nice touch. These may not be as popular as Kubler's board books focusing on popular rhymes and fingerplays, but they do achieve the goal of giving examples of the five senses.
Jordan, Christopher. My First NHL Books series. Tundra, 2011. $6.95 each.
Hockey Animals. ISBN 9781770493445.
Hockey Colors. ISBN 9781770493490.
Hockey ABC. ISBN 9781770493469.
Hockey Shapes. ISBN 9781770493483.
Hockey 123. ISBN 9781770493476.
Hockey Opposites. ISBN 9781770493452.
Color photos illustrate this set of concept board books, that are similar in book design to Eyewitness board books. The backgrounds are done in deeply saturated colors, but too often the item in the photo is small, so it will be difficult for even preschoolers to see what is pictured. Also, these are definitely for hockey fans only. For example, to show the opposites, the text reads "A Zamboni is big. A hockey puck is small." Or for shapes, "Goalies wear oval-shaped helmets called masks to protect against flying pucks. Ouch!"
But hockey fans (father and son?) will really enjoy these, although they seem intended more for children ages 5-8 than the normal toddler or preschooler that uses a board book (perhaps they should have been developed as easy nonfiction hardback books). For the concept of colors, team jerseys are shown that feature that color, along with the famous players from that team. The animals are all those that are part of the team name of NHL teams, from Anaheim Ducks to San Jose Sharks. If your library serves a sizable hockey franchise and its fans, you may want this; otherwise it is best left for the hockey arena gift shop.
Braun, Sebastien. Peekaboo Baby. Candlewick, 2012. $6.99. ISBN 9780763659332.
With sturdy flaps, this features several babies peeking out from behind blankets, bibs, and hats, or from behind toys, with the text asking "Who is hiding behind…?" "Peekaboo" is repeated as each flap is lifted in a book perfectly suited to a one or two year old. The clean cartoon-style illustrations in bright colors feature babies of different ethnicities. A wonderful choice for a baby storytime, where the audience will call out the repeated "Peekaboo" phrase.
Wolf, Laurie, and Abrams, Pam. Candy 1 to 20. Illus. with photos by Bruce Wolf. Chronicle Books, 2011. $8.99, ISBN 9781452102931.
In this large square board book, photographs of various types of candy are displayed, to demonstrate the numbers one through twenty. For example, four lollipops are laid in the shape of a 4, twelve Hershey's Kisses are set in the shape of 12, and twenty candy corn are set in the shape of the number 20. Two preschool groups read this, and everyone could identify the numbers, count the candies that made up the shape of the number, and even name the candies. The candy is set on bright white backgrounds to facilitate counting. There is no story, but it does a great job at encouraging toddlers to count.
Seibold, J. Otto. Count, Dagmar! Chronicle Books, 2011. $8.99. ISBN 9780811877732.
Count Dagmar, a vampire similar to the Count on "Sesame Street," is having a Halloween party. In each opening, the Count needs to count something hidden under a flap, in preparation of the party. For example, he counts the pumpkin decorations and finds eight. The colorful artwork is heavy on black and other dark colors, but it is easy to find and count each object. Another plus is the text, which gives both the numeral and the word for each number the reader is asked to count, from one to nine. The heavy board pages and sturdy flaps should allow this to hold up to library circulation, and the Halloween theme will be popular with preschoolers.
Potter, Beatrix. Friends Forever. Peter Rabbit Naturally Better series. Warne, 2011. $6.99. ISBN 9780723267065.
Using Potter's famous Peter Rabbit character, this board book is more of a Valentine card than a story, so it is not suited to libraries. With a very brief text, including "Friends are for hugging," and other declarations, the soft pastel illustrations show bunnies, kittens, and mice as friends. The book concludes with a Valentine card that opens on the last page, making this a gift purchase.
Wellington, Monica. Mr. Cookie Baker. Dutton, 1992/2011. $5.99. ISBN 9780525423720.
One of the rare picture books that is equally enjoyable as a board book, Mr. Cookie Baker celebrates his 20th anniversary in publication. The board version has all the text and artwork of the original, except the cookie recipe that appeared at the end of the picture book. The story is very toddler friendly - we see a baker make cookies in the predawn morning, and then open his shop to sell his cookies to his many customers. The artwork is also very appropriate for babies and toddlers, with simple cartoonlike characters, and solid colors used in both the illustrations and borders.
Bruin, Jessica. The Cube Book. Tundra Books, 2011. $16.95. ISBN 9781770493254.
Packaged and sold as a set, these are actually six separate board books, which can be assembled like a jigsaw puzzle. They can be formed flat, or as a cube. You can read each book separately, so this is suitable to a library collection. It may work best in the noncirculating toy area of the library.
The theme of the set is endangered animals. Each page has a striking full color photo facing a paragraph of text on the animal, so this is for older preschoolers. Each book describes four animals with something in common; for example, the book with dolphins on the cover describes the orca, clownfish, seahorse, and white shark. The book with a parrot on the cover describes four different birds, and the book with a white tiger on the cover describes four animals in the big cat family.
The text is told in first person from the point of view of the animal pictured, which adds interest. Children will appreciate the hands-on element of the puzzle, the full color photos, and the informative text, making this an exceptional gift book, that can also fit into a library collection.
Juster, Norton. The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth. Illus. by Jules Feiffer, annotations by Leonard S. Marcus. Knopf, 2011. $29.99. ISBN 978-0-375-85715-7.
It has been 50 years since Phantom Tollbooth was published, and it is arguably as popular as ever. This annotated version includes a wealth of material on how the book was created, with notes on each page of the original explaining cultural references, puns, plays on words, and other delights. For fans of the book, and for librarians and teachers, this is an amazing celebration of a book that still brings joy, and stands up to multiple readings.
Leonard Marcus begins with an introduction of 33 oversized pages, detailing how Juster came to write a children's book. He was an architect who received a grant to write a book on urban planning, and ended up writing a fantasy novel for children (with great appeal to adults as well), that often skewered bureaucracy, government contradictions, and other illogical aspects of life. There is also biographical material and photos, of both Juster and illustrator Jules Feiffer, who were not just neighbors but roommates and friends.
Librarians will find the section on how the book came to be published quite interesting. Feiffer's girlfriend (and later his first wife) Judy was friends with Random House editor Jason Epstein, who she urged to read the manuscript. Overall, reviews of the book were very positive, except those from children's literature journals, with Horn Book not reviewing it at all. Marcus concludes the introduction by describing Juster's and Feiffer's later works and what they are currently doing. Personal b&w photos are included which add a nice touch.
The bulk of the book is made up of the original Phantom Tollbooth pages, both text and illustration, set down with wide outer margins for the annotations (which are printed in blue ink). The annotations show how amazingly rich the work is; for example, explaining how both Juster's main character Milo, and the Milo of Joseph Heller's Catch-22, also published in 1961, both end up exposing the illogical nature of most bureaucracies.
This isn't a book for those who have never read The Phantom Tollbooth; it is best to read that first with no distractions. Then read the annotated version, to grasp things you missed the first time, be validated about inferences you observed and find out you were correct, and to learn about the book's creators. Many teachers use The Phantom Tollbooth in their classes; this would make a great gift to one of those teachers.
The book concludes with reproductions of a few of the hand-written lined pages Juster used in creating his work. There is also an index, list of professional reviews, a bibliography, and picture credits.
Thurber, James. The Wonderful O. Illus. by Marc Simont. Simon & Schuster, 1957. 73p.
When I was compiling the list of Phantom Tollbooth readalikes, I knew Thurber's The Wonderful O would be my first choice. I read this as a kid, and have re-read it a few times since then, and always found it clever, original, and entertaining. A new picture book by Tom Lichtenheld, E-mergency! (Chronicle Books, 2011), has a similar theme. In E-mergency!, the letter E has an accident and must rest in the hospital, so everyone must stop using that crucial letter. In The Wonderful O, a pirate named Black hates the letter O, and banishes the use of it when he takes over an island in search of treasure.
The most memorable parts of the story are the descriptions of which words can be used, and which cannot. For example, music if fine, but not orchestra, opera, voice, violins, pianos, woodwinds, etc. "All they have is fife and drums and cymbals," gloated Black. "And zithers and guitars," said Littlejack. "And dulcimers and spinets, and bugles, harps, and trumpets." "Much good they'll get from these," said Black, "or any others. I haven't finished with the O's in music, in harmony and melody, that is, and compositions. They'll have no score, and what is more, no orchestra, or podium, or baton, and no conductor. They can't play symphonies, or rhapsodies, sonatas, or concerti. I'll take away their oratorios and choirs and choruses, and all their soloists, their baritones and tenors and sopranos, their altos and contraltos, and accompanists." The alliteration, rhythm, and rhyme occur throughout the book, adding to the fun of the clever plot.
Although Thurber was a well-known cartoonist, his work often seen in The New Yorker magazine, Marc Simont illustrated The Wonderful O. Simont's style was similar to Thurber's, so it was a good match. Because of Thurber's failing eyesight, he stopped drawing in 1951, and only wrote, so he would not have been able to do the illustrations himself.
Besides cartooning, Thurber also wrote humorous essays, often for magazines, that were collected into anthologies. He was also a popular playwright, co-authoring with Elliot Nugent such plays as The Male Animal. His stories were adapted into films, including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and the stage show A Thurber Carnival, for which Thuber won a Tony Award.
The Wonderful O was not Thurber's only book for children; he also wrote the novels The White Deer in 1945 and The 13 Clocks in 1950, as well as picture books Many Moons in 1943 and The Great Quillow in 1944.
You may have some adults asking for Thurber's books - there has been a recent increase in his popularity. Television political commentator Keith Olbermann reads a James Thurber short story at the end of his Friday broadcasts, a tradition he began when his show was on MSNBC. When Olbermann's show Countdown moved to Current TV, he continued the tradition of reading a Thurber story every Friday, and Thurber's work has seen a sharp increase in sales on Amazon.com.
But children who have never heard of Thurber will enjoy his fantastic stories, which are imaginative and funny, and use rich vocabulary. In the case of The Wonderful O, the ink and blue watercolor wash artwork sprinkled throughout the chapters adds interest. It is also a relatively brief novel - at 73 pages many tweens can read this in one sitting. Add The Wonderful O to your list of humorous books, or list of short books for tweens.
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