Professional Review & Classic Revisited / Children's Program Ideas - The Lorax
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Upcoming Events for Children's Librarians
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The 26th Bay Area Storytelling Festival:
May 19-20, 2012, Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, CA: The 2012 Bay Area Storytelling Festival is proud to feature Tlingit Raven dancer, storyteller and musician, Gene Tagaban , Celtic harper and storyteller, Patrick Ball, and lively stories from America's heartland told by Beth Horner. It will bring the world folktales to our own backyard with showcase tellers Jill Johnson and Michael Katz. In addition to the storyteller's concerts, we offer a children's program, storytelling workshops, open mic sessions, and for the first time this year, a story slam. To cap off the weekend, they have scheduled a solar eclipse for Sunday evening; astronomers and telescopes will be on hand to enhance the viewing. See www.bayareastorytelling.org/ for the festival schedule, ticket information, and location.
Caldecott Medalist Maurice Sendak Dies:
Maurice Sendak, the children's book author and illustrator who saw the sometimes-dark side of childhood in books like Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, died May 8, 2012. He was 83. Longtime friend and caretaker Lynn Caponera said she was with him when Sendak died at a hospital in Danbury, Conn. She said he had a stroke on Friday. Sendak received the international Hans Christian Andersen medal for illustration in 1970. In 1983 he won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association.
Where the Wild Things Are earned Sendak a prestigious Caldecott Medal for the best children's book of 1964 and became a hit movie in 2009. President Bill Clinton awarded Sendak a National Medal of the Arts in 1996 for his vast portfolio of work. Sendak didn't limit his career to a safe and successful formula of conventional children's books, though it was the pictures he did for wholesome works such as Ruth Krauss' A Hole Is To Dig and Else Holmelund Minarik's Little Bear that launched his career. For more information, see: New York Times
Author/Illustrator Thomas Locker Dies:
Author and artist Thomas Locker, who illustrated more than 30 children's books, died in Albany, N.Y. on March 9, 2012. He was 74. Born in New York City in 1937, Locker began his career as a landscape painter in the 1960s, exhibiting work reminiscent of the 19th-century Hudson River School of painting. It wasn't until 1982 that he turned to writing and illustrating children's books. His first, Where the River Begins, edited by Phyllis Fogelman and art directed by Atha Tehon, was named one of the 10 best illustrated children's books of 1984 in the New York Times Book Review. He went on to illustrate more than 30 works for young readers, many of which he also wrote, and garnered numerous additional honors.
California Library Association announces 2012 Beatty Award winner:
Joanne Rocklin will be honored at the Beatty Award Luncheon on Saturday,November 3. The luncheon will take place during the annual California Library Association conference which will be held in San José, CA, November 2-4, 2012. The John & Patricia Beatty Award honors the author of a distinguished book for children or young adults that best promotes an awareness of California and its people. The award is sponsored by Book Wholesaler's Inc. 2012 Beatty Committee members: Stefanie Gyles (Kaplan College), Karen Holt (Roseville Public Library), Kristin Lane (San Bernardino County Library), Rachelle Lopez (Ontario City Library), Nicole Powell (Sacramento Public Library), Suzanne Roybal (Dominican University), and Barbara Sutton (San Diego County Library).
Ezra Jack Keats Award Announced:
The Ezra Jack Keats Awards honor new authors and illustrators of children's picture books whose work reflects Ezra Jack Keats' values-the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family and the multicultural nature of our world.
The winner of this year's New Illustrator Award is :
The recipient of the
New Writer Award is :
The members of the Awards Committee were Rita Auerbach, Chair; Miriam Lang Budin; Nina Crews; Pat Cummings; Barbara Genco; Ginny Moore Kruse; Marisabina Russo; Karen Patricia Smith; and Lisa Von Drasek. For more information, see www.ezra-jack-keats.org/2012-ejk-book-award-winners
IBBY ANNOUNCES HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN AWARD FOR 2012:
The Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) announces that:
The Andersen medals and diplomas will be presented to the winners at the international IBBY congress in London on Saturday, 25 August 2012. Read more here: www.ibby.org/index.php?id=257.
Canadian Library Association Announces 2012 Book of the Year for Children and Young Adult Book Awards:
The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliotheques (CLA/ACB) has selected its 2012 winning title for the Book of the Year for Children Award.
The CLA's Book of the Year for Children Award Jury has also selected two Honour Books this year:
The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques is also pleased to announce the 2012 Young Adult Book Award winner and Honour Books for books published in 2011.
The Honour Books are:
A complete list of the 2011 finalists, as well as information on past winners, is available on the CLA web site, www.cla.ca.
California Young Reader Medal Winners Announced:
The California Young Reader Medal winners for 2011-2012 were announced May 1, 2012: californiayoungreadermedal.org
Crystal Kite Awards:
SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Crystal Kite award winners (regional awards from around the world) were announced last week. Check out their website to see the 15 winners: www.scbwi.org.
Eisner Awards Nominations:
Check out the Eisner Award Nominations, celebrating comic books and graphic novels, at www.comic-con.org .
2012 Indies Choice Book Awards and E.B. White Read-aloud Awards Announced:
Given by the American Booksellers Association, the 2012 Indies Choice Awards were announced April 4, 2012. Check out news.bookweb.org for all the winners.
Notable Books for a Global Society 2012:
This list is sponsored by the Children's Literature and Reading Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association - clrsig.org/ .
Board Books Part II
Last issue we had our regular Spring board book roundup, but several other board books came in after the March issue went to press. Here are some you may want to consider for purchase:
Billet, Marion. Noodle series. Nosy Crow, 2012. $8.99 each.
Noodle Loves the Beach. ISBN 978-0-7636-5898-4.
Noodle Loves to Eat. ISBN 978-0-7636-5897-7.
Noodle is a panda, and these two board books show him doing activities many toddlers will recognize - visiting the beach, and eating. Each page features a tactile insert - a fuzzy cloth for the bread, yellow plastic for the cheese, sandpaper for the sandcastle, and both conclude with a mylar mirror. The full color artwork resembles animated cartoon artwork, and the rhyming text features repeated phrases that will engage the audience. These are sure to be popular and stand up to multiple rereading. This original and toddler-friendly series has two earlier titles, Noodle Loves Bedtime, Noodle Loves to Cuddle, and two more due out in a few months. Libraries can look to these as great examples in the board book format and very age-appropriate.
Katz, Karen. Hello Undies series. G&D, 2012. $7.99 each.
My Big Boy Undies. ISBN 978-0-448-45705-5.
My Big Girl Undies. ISBN 978-0-448-45703-1. These two board books on potty training feature a cloth panel set into the cover, showing the child's underwear. The text in both is very similar, with just the child's gender different in each book as the titles indicate. Katz's brightly colored cartoon children, representing various ethnic groups, are always pleasing and popular. These will be popular with library patrons and as a gift item, and could be used in a small toddler storytime.
Teckentrup, Britta. Animal series. Chronicle, 2011. $12.99 each.
Animal 1, 2, 3. ISBN 978-1-4521-0993-0.
Animal Spots and Stripes. ISBN 978-1-4521-0994-7. These two oversized books feature gatefold flaps, revealing another item in the title concept. For example, in “Spots and Stripes,” open the leaf-shaped flap to see a spotted leopard next to striped tigers. In the counting book, see seven penguins - open the flap shaped like the numeral 7 to see a baby penguin and the numeral 8. The counting book was clearer to preschoolers than the books on stripes and spots; in Kindergarten, patterns are emphasized so that may be a better audience than preschoolers. The flaps are quite sturdy, so both books will be popular and hold up to circulation. The distinctive artwork has brightly colored and patterned animals in gouache paint, and interesting graphics. Both would be fun for storytime and carry to a sizable crowd.
Crane, Jordan. Keep Our Secrets (to be read in a whisper). McSweeney's McMullens, 2012. $15.95. ISBN 978-1-936365-52-4.
Although this has board pages, Keep Our Secrets seems best suited to older children due to several factors. First, each page has black sections that illuminate when warmed by a hair dryer! For example, heat up the vacuum's bag and see that it is full of bugs, or the refrigerator which is full of rats! Many of the people's clothes, upon heating, reveal an x-ray of their skeletons or other physical oddity. This is certainly one of the weirdest children's books I have ever seen.
The main characters are a boy and girl who walk through their house encountering many adults (the parents may be having a party), and dialogue balloons contain all the text, another indication this is for older children who read comic books. The narrative is just the children's comments on what they are seeing “hidden” in the black areas (once they are heated), ending with them sitting up in a tree looking at the moon. Nearly all of the adults are pictured from the shoulders down, so we can't see their faces. The pictures are competently executed and painted in dusty colors, but they may frighten many younger children. Perhaps adults are the best audience for this unusual, creepy book.
Light, Steve. Trains Go. Chronicle, 2012. $8.99. ISBN 978-0-8118-7942-2.
This companion to Trucks (2008) has the same unusual shape - it is only six inches tall but twelve inches wide - so when it opens, the spread is two feet wide! The size is perfect for depicting a train, and Light includes a freight, diesel, steam, and mountain train. The speed train resembles a BART train, with a blue stripe, and the book concludes with a caboose. The text names the train and depicts the sound it makes, which will be a big hit with storytime listeners. Highly recommended for library use.
Callahan, Sean. A Wild Day with Dad. Illus. by Daniel Howarth. Whitman, 2009/2012. $ 7.99. ISBN 978-0-80752295-0.
The note on the back cover states "An abridged board book edition of A Wild Father's Day," which is still in print. The father and his children hop like kangaroos, stretch like cats, swing like monkeys, and finally fall asleep like puppies. The full color cartoon-style artwork appears to be done with gouache, and does a nice job showing the family and then animals doing the various movements. This would work well for a Father's Day toddler storytime, where the audience can act out the motions. But the original picture book has more examples of activities and should be the first choice.
Roth, Carol. Will You Still Love Me? Illus. by Daniel Howarth. Whitman, 2010/2011. $7.99. ISBN 978-0-8075-9116-1. Various animals ask their parents if they will still be loved once their new siblings are born, and all are reassured by the parent. This theme has been explored many times over, from Ruth Bornstein's Little Gorilla (Clarion, 1979), to Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny (Harper, 1942). The full color illustrations and the overall format remind me of Little Golden Books, and there will be some interest in this, but stick with the full-size picture book edition.
Somar, David, and Davis, Jacky. Ladybug Girl Makes Friends. G&D, 2012. $5.99. ISBN 978-0-448-45764-2. Although this is not adapted from one of the popular Ladybug Girl picture books, all the illustrations are taken from previously published books, with a new text. The pictures feature the title character wearing her wings, red tutu, and boots, interacting with various friends. These include both children and her dog Bingo. We see her play, do artwork, help a neighbor, and enjoy everyday activities. This is best suited to fans of the series, but there isn't much of a story.
Fasick, Adele M. From Boardbook to Facebook: Children's Services in an Interactive Age. Libraries Unlimited, 2011. 157p. Grade: Professional. $35. ISBN 978-1-59884-468-9.
With a catchy title that is sure to draw some interest, Fasick's new book on children's library services lives up to that title by offering ideas for blending traditional library services with new technological innovations such as ebooks, ipads, electronic media, online resources, and the growing revolution libraries are facing at this time due to these changes.
The book begins with an overview of the services most public libraries offer, along with how we put up barriers to new technology. For example, some libraries put more restrictive limits on the amount of time a child can use a computer compared with an adult, or value only the reading of paper books, and not reading done online. She also discusses the changes in the lives of children (broken down by age groups), from children in daycare who cannot attend storytimes, to the ever-present cell phone for a teen.
The next section examines how libraries can adapt to these changes, and use technology to do so. Literacy is still a big issue for many children, and we can use online services to facilitate literacy, both traditional reading and visual literacy, to help children identify accurate online resources for information.
A key chapter discusses how physical libraries need to adapt to allow for the inclusion of more technological resources, as well as making the library's online presence a fundamental aspect of the library - as if the library's website is another branch or another room of a library. It can be a major way to offer services (such as having ebooks to download), and as a major marketing tool. If your library is undergoing renovation, this chapter should be a key component in your planning. But even libraries that are not due for an upgrade can adapt many of these ideas with relatively little cost. Fasick's clear description of the "blended" library, offering both books, electronic resources in the building and to online patrons, and a physical space for children to study and interact is an essential part of this book.
The last two chapters focus on how we as children's librarians and managers can help make these changes, so we can form a blended library offering traditional services still in demand, along with incorporating technology into these services. For example, offering an online storytime for those who cannot get to the library doesn't replace the "in person" storytime, which is still the best choice, but offers an alternative for those who need it. The whole idea is not books versus technology, but how books and technology can help each other.
This is an essential read for anyone in our profession, and lucky for us Fasick has an inviting, smooth writing style. I enjoyed reading this as much as I do narrative nonfiction - she is clear, to the point, and offers great examples of what she is discussing. Whether you are a youth services librarian who started before we had computers, to those "digital natives" who are newer librarians, this will have something for you. It is wonderful that Fasick is so positive and optimistic - it is clear the "death" of the library is just not true, especially if we are able to lead our communities which are already embracing technological innovations.
Enright, Elizabeth. The Saturdays. Holt, 1941.
New York City serves as a character in several wonderful children's novels, including Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy, Cricket in Times Square by George Selden, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (and many more). Elizabeth Enright's The Saturdays also makes Manhattan, and Central Park, a key element of the book.
Four siblings, Mona, Rush, Randy, and Oliver live with their father and nanny Cuffy in Manhattan, near 5th Avenue. They decide to pool their weekly allowance, and use it to take turns to go on special outings in the city. Randy goes to an art museum, Mona to the beauty parlor, Oliver to the circus, and Rush to the opera (he is a pianist). The destinations are fun, but the encounters that happen to and from are what are most memorable. Rush finds a dog on his way home, Randy meets an older neighbor who takes her to tea, and Oliver gets a ride home on a policeman's horse.
Although this was published in 1941, there is little mention of the news of the day - no real concern about the Great Depression, or about the impending World War II. Luckily, there is also very little that would be offensive to today's audience regarding ethnic groups. Mona comes off as vain and unpleasant but many contemporary novels have equally annoying girls; luckily, Randy (short for Miranda) seems more "liberated." In fact, it was her idea to pool their allowances to start the Saturday excursions.
The second book in the series of four is The Four Story Mistake (1942), where the Melendy family moves to the country into a ramshackle old house with three floors and a cupola. The book's title is the nickname for the house, and the plot removes the Manhattan quality that was so charming about the first book. But the sequel is interesting, with the family adjusting to a new school and the country life. They learn to ride bikes and ice skate, and befriend some neighborhood adults, but like the first book, the siblings don't appear to have friends their own age, outside of each other.
World War II has a minor presence in this novel - Mona and the kids put on a show to raise money to buy war bonds, and Rush gets the job as church organist when the previous one goes into the military. But they don't appear to deal with rationing, either gasoline or food, or other aspect of life on the home front. Still, it is an enjoyable sequel and will satisfy fans of the original.
There are two more books featuring the Melendy siblings: Then There Were Five (1944), and Spiderweb for Two: a Melendy Maze (1951). I have not read these yet, but reviews state There There Were Five focuses more on the impact of WWII, and the last book focuses only on Randy and Oliver and is considered the weakest of the four books.
Many librarians noticed the similarities to The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (Knopf, 2005 ), when it was first published. Both have four children and no mother, and a father who appears to be a work most of the time. There are also other books featuring multiple siblings who seem to be get along well with each other, with few outside friends. So when a reader enjoys The Penderwicks, you can offer them The Saturdays as a read-alike.
In fact, readers who like other "old fashioned" books will enjoy this, as well as conservative parents who are looking for "traditional" books. It has a charm about it, with characters who create their own fun, rather than rely on videogames or other static pursuits. It may surprise young readers to hear that children in the past were allowed to walk to places alone - something that rarely happens now due to safety concerns.
Another pleasant surprise about the series is the rich vocabulary Enright uses - she never limits the terms the children or adults use in their dialogue. It will be refreshing to readers to hear that people used multisyllabic words to describe how they feel, or what they are thinking. For those seeking books about large families, city life, or books set in the 1930's or 40's, recommend Enright's fanciful Melendy family.
With the hit film based on Dr. Seuss's The Lorax due on DVD in July 2012, many libraries are planning programs with The Lorax as the central theme. Because of the plot's celebration of trees and the environment, you can also save these for an Earth Day program next year.
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Submitted by : Penny Peck
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