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March 2013

Calendar / News & Notes / Program / Board Books / Classic Revisited


MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Upcoming Events for Children's Librarians

  • Fri, April 12, 2013     ACL Institute            San Leandro History Museum

  • Fri, May 10, 2013     ACL Meeting      9 am         Oakland PL


  • Fri, May 17-19, 2013     Bay Area Storytelling Festival              Richmond, CA


  • Fri, June 14, 2013     ACL Meeting      9 am         Oakland PL


  • Fri, June 28-July 2, 2013     ALA Conference              Chicago, IL

NEWS AND NOTES


APALA AWARDS:
The 2013 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature were posted on Feb. 3, 2013.

  • The winner in the Picture Book category is Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth by Joan Schoettler, with illustrations by Jessica Lanan.
  • The winner in the Children's Literature category is Chegli and the Silk Road Caravan by Hildi Kang.

  • Check their website for Honor books, and winners in the Young Adult and Adult categories:
    www.apalaweb.org/2013-asianpacific-american-award-for-literature-winners .


    Cybil Awards Announced:
    The Children's and Young Adult Blogger Literary Awards were announced on February 14, 2013. Among the winners are A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead, Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter, and Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Check the website for all the information and full list of winners: www.cybils.com/2013/02/the-2012-cybils-awards.html .


    SCBWI Awards:
    The Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators announced their 2013 Golden Kite Awards, for excellence in books for young readers.

  • The winner for fiction is Joanne Rocklin, for The Five Lives of Our Cat, Zook (Amulet/Abrams).
  • The winner for nonfiction is Jeri Chase Ferris for Noah Webster & His Words (Houghton Mifflin).
  • Mara Rockliff won for Picture Book Text for Me and Momma and Big John (Candlewick),
  • and K.G. Campbell won for Picture Book Illustration for Lester's Dreadful Sweaters (Kids Can)

  • Honor books were also named; see their website for all the information: www.scbwi.org/Pages.aspx/2013-Golden-Kite-Award-Winners .


    2013 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Awards:
    were announced on March 4, 2013. The awards are for writers and illustrators of picture books in the spirit of Ezra Jack Keats, and who have written and illustrated no more than three previous picture books.

  • The winner of the EJK New Writer Award is Julie Fogliano for And Then It's Spring (Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan).
  • Honor winners are Mara Rockliff for My Heart Will Not Sit Down (Knopf/Random House), Jennifer Lanthier for The Stamp Collector (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), and Don Tate for It Jes' Happened (Lee & Low Books).
  • The winner of the EJK New Illustrator Award is Hyewon Yum for Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten! (Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan).
  • Honor winners are K.G. Campbell for Lester's Dreadful Sweaters (Kids Can Press) and Sanjay Patel for Ganesha's Sweet Tooth (Chronicle Books).
  • The awards will be presented at the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival at the University of Southern Mississippi on April 11: www.ezra-jack-keats.org/ezra-jack-keats-award-winners .



    Ted McCoy:
    Ted McCoy, 2013 ALSC Emerging Leader, is featured in the current issue of American Libraries (in the form of a trading card!). The digital version is available here: viewer.zmags.com/publication/a11df2f8#/a11df2f8/32 .


    Otfried Preussler:
    A German children's author whose books about wizards, witches and water spirits sold 50 million copies and whose half-century-old word choices recently inspired fierce debate, died on Feb. 18 in Prien am Chiemsee, Germany. He was 89. His publisher, Thienemann Verlag, announced his death. He is survived by a daughter.

    Mr. Preussler's books were read aloud to generations of German children. They adored his characters, among them a freedom-seeking scarecrow; young wizards who can turn into ravens at any second; and, most famously, Hotzenplotz , a robber who deftly outwits Dimpfelmoser, an inept policeman. Otfried Preussler was born into a family of teachers in Reichenberg, Czechoslovakia (now Liberec in the Czech Republic), on Oct. 23, 1923. As a boy he loved hearing the old German and Slavic folk tales, and he began writing his own stories at 12. He was drafted into the German Army after graduating from high school in 1942 and served on the Eastern front. He spent five years as a captive of the Soviets.

    When he was released in 1949, he moved to the Bavarian town of Rosenheim, where he was a teacher and principal in a primary school, supplementing his income as a reporter for a local newspaper and a writer for children's radio programs. His first success came in 1956 with The Little Water Sprite. In 1962 he created Hotzenplotz. The first book sold 7.5 million copies worldwide and spawned two sequels and two movies. He once said his life's mission was providing food for fantasy.


    I See What You Say: Visual Stories and Narrative Art at the Cartoon Art Museum March 16 - July 7, 2013:
    I See What You Say: Visual Stories and Narrative Art explores narrative as expressed through a wide range of illustrative media - in picture books, comics, editorial art, and beyond. The participants are not just artists, but storytellers, joining their artistic practices with their own narrative styles. Contributors include some of the most wonderfully versatile visual storytellers at work today.

    Artists include:

  • Eleanor Davis, a cartoonist and editorial illustrator. Her books include the childrens' comic, Stinky and contributions to Fantagraphics' MOME,
  • Carson Ellis, whose work can be seen illustrating The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket, Dilweed's Revenge by Florence Parry Heide, and the Wildwood series by her husband, Colin Meloy,
  • Jon Klassen, a writer and illustrator of picture books including This Is Not My Hat, which received the Caldecott Medal for illustration in 2013, and Caldecott Honor book Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett,
  • Aaron Renier, a cartoonist and illustrator known for his children's graphic novels Spiral Bound and The Unsinkable Walker Bean,
  • Christian Robinson, a picture book illustrator, animator, and art teacher. His latest book is Harlem's Little Blackbird, by Renee Watson,
  • Sara Varon, a printmaker, graphic novelist, and picture book author. Her books include Sweater Weather, Chicken and Cat, and Odd Duck, by Cecil Castelluci.
  • The exhibition opens on March 16, 2013 and runs through July 7, 2013 at San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum. A public reception will be held on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 5 pm, and will include appearances by guest contributors Jon Klassen, Roman Muradov, and Christian Robinson, among others. Christian will be signing his new book, Rain! by Linda Ashman, and Jon will be joined by local author Lemony Snicket to sign their new picture book, The Dark. Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission Street - San Francisco, CA: www.cartoonart.org.


    Announcing a new free webinar from Infopeople:
    "'Whats New in Childrens Literature" , presented by Penny Peck on Thursday, April 11, 2013, 12 Noon - 1:00pm Pacific Time.

    Discover the new books that you can recommend to children who use your library! Hear about books published in Fall 2012, and upcoming Spring 2013 titles, that will be popular with children ages 0-12. These include picture books, easy readers, transitional fiction, genre fiction for middle grades, graphic novels, poetry, nonfiction, and more! Hear about books that will appeal to the "reluctant reader," boys who may have drifted away from reading, and books that will have popularity with a wide audience of children. This webinar will be of interest to: any library staff or volunteer who serves children ages 0-12, in either public or school libraries.

    For more information and to participate in the Thursday, April 11, 2013 webinar, go to infopeople.org/whats_new_childerns_lit_2013.


    Bay Area Storytelling Festival:
    The annual Bay Area Storytelling Festival is scheduled for May 17-19, 2013, and will be held at the Craneway Pavilion Conference Center in Richmond, CA. "Stories Build Bridges" is this year's theme, featuring NPR commentator Kevin Kling, and storytellers Len Cabral, Megan Wells, Yvette Brandy, and Will Hornyak. Go to www.BayAreaStorytelling.org for ticket prices and registration information.




    Board Book Round-Up

    Spring is upon us, which means it is time for BayViews semi-annual review of new board books. There are some great and not-so-great board books being produced - thankfully, fewer board books that are adapted from picture books. Let's hope for more excellent board books as it is an important type of book to build preliteracy skills for many very young children.

    New Single Titles / Series / Adapted from Picture Books


    BOARD BOOKS - Single Titles

    Global Fund for Children. Global Baby Girls. Charlesbridge, 2013. $6.95. ISBN 978-1-58089-439-5.
    Color photos of female babies from around the world are priceless; they don't even need the minimal text celebrating girlhood. The name of the country of origin is set on each photo, and the color blocks framing the pictures add interest. If you liked Global Babies (2006) you will like this - I look forward to a "Global Baby Boys".


    McPhail, David. Ben Loves Bear. Abrams Appleseed, 2012. $8.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0386-7.
    A thick reinforced cover and board pages indicate this is a board book, but it will also serve as a very easy reader for many Kindergartners. Ben and his stuffed teddy bear go throughout their average day, depicted in McPhail's soft-focus watercolor illustrations. The very brief text captions the artwork: "Bear picks a book. Ben tells a bedtime story." The artwork adds humor and fills in the story, and makes it easier for emergent readers to guess the words on the page. The warm, reassuring story is memorable, and will appeal to a wide audience.


    Symes, Sally. Whose Toes Are Those? Illus. by Nick Sharratt. Candlewick, 2012. $7.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6274-5.
    In this entertaining guessing game/board book, the reader sees something hidden behind a flap, and is given three clues. "Whose tail? Whose toes? Whose twitchy nose?" leads a child to open the half-page flap (which resembles a piece of cheese), to see the mouse underneath. With only five spreads, this is very brief, but the two toddlers group who heard it guessed all five answers correctly. The deeply saturated color illustrations are blocky, without too much detail, which is perfect for babies and young toddlers, the key audience for this successful book. Perfect for baby storytimes due to the interactive nature of the book, and the bold illustrations which will carry to a group.


    Gomi, Taro. Peekaboo! Chronicle, 2013. $6.99. ISBN 978-1-4521-0835-3.
    Perfect for the abilities of a baby, this is both simple and clever! Each spread is the face of someone - a bear, cat, penguin, monster, etc. The bold colors and the white backgrounds make this handheld book one that could even be enjoyed by a small group, because each illustration is a close-up of the subject's face. The brief text explains what the subject likes, and what is its name. That would be enough, but this book has an extra element - die-cut holes for the eyes. The reader can hold the book up like a mask, and look through the eye holes, and call out "Peekaboo!"


    Gomi, Taro. Mommy! Mommy! Chronicle, 2013. $6.99. ISBN 978-1-4521-0834-6.
    Two little chicks look for their mother hen, and so will the listeners. Gomi's distinctive painted figures on white backgrounds have child appeal, and at times the hen is slightly hidden for the child to find. The combination of very brief text, a guessing game, and the color block illustrations make this perfect for babies and toddlers.


    McBratney, Sam. Guess How Much I Love You Colors. Illus. by Anita Jeram. Candlewick, 2013. $4.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6476-3.
    Maybe it's time to retire the little nutbrown hare. Each spread features the word for a color set against a background of that same color, facing an illustration of the nutbrown hare in a meadow. Serviceable but too similar to a greeting card to be memorable. Stick with the original picture book featuring these characters.


    Pallotta, Jerry. Butterfly: Colors and Counting. Illus. by Shennen Bersani. Charlesbridge, 2013. $5.95. ISBN 978-1-57091-899-5.
    The text of this beautiful book is simple - just the numeral, word for the number, and color are listed. These three words are set against the background, next to an illustration of butterflies of the corresponding amount and hue. All the butterflies under one number are the same species; these are listed on the back cover. Great as a simple counting and color concept book, and fun for budding butterfly fans.


    Balsey, Tilda. Lotsa Matzah. Illus. by Akemi Gutierrez. Kar-Ben, 2012. $5.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-6629-4.
    Soft watercolor cartoon illustrations and brief couplets describe how matzah came to be, and its use in Passover. Starting with Moses and the Jews escaping Egypt before the bread could rise, to a contemporary family using matzah in Passover traditions, this would be useful in displays on Spring holidays.


    Karwoski, Gail L. and Gootman, Marilyn E. Thank You, Trees! Illus. by Kristen Balouch. Kar-Ben, 2012. $5.95. ISBN 978-1-58013-973-1.
    This celebration of trees would be great for Arbor Day or Earth Day, as well as the traditional Jewish Tu B'Shavat in January (the Jewish version of Arbor Day). The simple rhyming text describes how much trees do for people, from giving fruit to shade. Full color stylized illustrations show planting trees, dancing the Hora, and a diverse group of people showing appreciation for trees.


    Newman, Vivian. Tikkun Olam Ted. Illus. by Stephen Mack. Kar-Ben, 2012. $5.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-9040-4.
    Little Ted likes to help make the world a better place, so his family nickname is Tikkun Olam Ted, because he embodies the mitzvah of Tikkum Olam or good works. The brief story also mentions the days of the week, and would work for Earth Day since much of what Ted does involves recycling and volunteering. Illustrated with bright color cartoons, this has appeal for teaching preschoolers kind works, as well as teaching a Jewish principle.




    BOARD BOOKS - Series Titles

    Patricelli, Leslie. Huggy Kissy . Candlewick, 2012. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-3246-5.
    The bald, diapered baby with one curly hair sticking out of his head is back in another amusing board book by Patricelli, author of Potty, Tubby, Yummy Yucky, and several other board books. In a bouncy rhyming text, baby describes various hugs and kisses he receives: “Cozy and snuggy huggy on the ruggy.” The deeply colored cartoon illustrations have a think black charcoal outline and shading that adds appeal to a book both babies and their caregivers might enjoy, because it is sweet without being sappy. But there is one major flaw that is off-putting: the use of the outdated phrase “Eskimo Kiss” to show baby and a darker skinned toddler rubbing noses. This isn't just politically incorrect, it is offensive.


    Christelow, Eileen. Five Little Monkeys Jump in the Bath. Houghton, 2012. $7.99. ISBN 978-0-547-87527-9.
    Although these monkeys were first seen in Christelow's picture books, this is an original board book, not an adaptation. After eating ice cream cones, the monkeys need a bath, which is depicted in delightful soft watercolor cartoons. The text is full of onomatopoeia such as “Slippy, sloppy, goopy, gloopy!” There is also repetition, making this ideal for storytimes with small audiences (so they can see the illustrations).


    Murphy, Mary. Quick Duck ! Candlewick, 2012/2013. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6022-2.
    Murphy, Mary. Slow Snail . Candlewick, 2012/2013. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6023-9.
    Opposites and prepositions are the focus of these two engaging board books. Snail slides “s-l-o-w-l-y” down her flower, over a stone, and so forth while Duck goes down the hill, through the reeds, until he gets back to his family. Both books have a great combination of an engaging story as well as clear representations of the opposites. Murphy's charming colorful characters are seen on white backgrounds. The snail leaves a silver foil trail across each page, and the duck leaves brown footprints one each page, which will engage children on re-reading.


    Billet, Marion. Noodle Loves the Farm . Nosy Crow, 2012. $8.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6275-2.
    Labeled a “Touch and Feel” book, panda Noodle sees animals on the farm, depicted in color cartoon-style illustrations, with a simple descriptive rhyming text. Aside for the popular main character of Noodle, the thing that makes this stand out is the inclusion of bits of fake fur or other cloth to add interest, and to let the reader experience the book in a tactile way. For example, a child can “pet” the fur on the cat, touch the plastic inset that represents the pig's skin, or look in the mylar mirror that is the pond. This is the sixth book in the series.


    Meyer, Emily F. Happy Hanukkah, Curious George . Illus. by Mary O'Keefe Young. Houghton, 2012. $7.99. ISBN 978-0-547-75731.5.
    Preschool and daycare groups who want a very simple story on Hanukkah celebrations will find this useful. The popular book and TV character Curious George, created by H.A. and Margret Rey, is introduced to customs such as lighting the menorah, playing with a dreidel, making latkes, etc. although the historical significance of the practices are not included. In a sturdy board book with tabs, the adult reader can use the story to help young children have some grasp of the holiday, while parents or religious classes can fill in the gaps. The illustrations closely resemble those of the original “Curious George” books.


    Bryant, Megan E. Countasaurus . Illus. by Luciana Navarro Powell. Chronicle, 2012. $9.99. ISBN 9781452107479
    Bryant, Megan E. Shapeasaurus. Illus. by Luciana Navarro Powell. Chronicle, 2012. $9.99. ISBN 9781452108155
    These oversized board books are irregularly shaped - they seemed to have been cut to represent the shape of the dinosaur on the cover. Both books focus on real dinosaurs, not fictional ones, successfully demonstrating counting and shapes as the titles indicate. The full color artwork is also very pleasing, and appears to be done with collage or computer generated artwork. Overall, these will be popular with preschoolers; they are a little too long for babies or toddlers. Two books in the series, Alphasaurus and Colorsaurus, were published in July 2012 and were reviewed in the September issue of BayNews.


    Belle, Trixie and Caruso-Scott, Melissa. "Les Petits Fairytales" series. Illus. by Oliver Lake. Holt, 2012. $7.99 each.
    Cinderella . ISBN 978-0-8050-9624-8.
    Snow White . ISBN 978-0-8050-9623-1.
    The series title led me to jump to the conclusion that these would be in French, but that is not the case. These are very, very simple adaptations of the popular fairy tales - with just one or two words per page. It is the full color cartoon style illustrations that really tell the story. We see Cinderella polishing the shoes of two scary women, with just the words “Mean Stepsisters.” Or, Snow White sleeping in a bed surrounded by little men in beards, captioned with the word “Dwarves.” So it is the adult caregiver who will have to fill in the details of the story. But many will find these a fun way to share quality time with a toddler, who will enjoy the caregiver telling his or her own version of the tale, and some emergent readers will enjoy reading the brief text.


    Graux, Amelie. "I Love To…" series. Houghton, 2012. $9.99 each.
    I Love to Eat . ISBN 978-0-547-84842-6.
    I Love to Sleep . ISBN 978-0-547-84843-3.
    In a series of tactile board books, there are illustrations of things a baby would use - toy, diaper, blankie, etc. The word for that item is printed in English in large type to resemble crayon, then in slightly smaller typeface in French and Spanish, making for a trilingual book. The item pictured also has a tactile element imbedded into the item - soft cloth for the pajamas, bib, and so forth, or plastic, foil, or sandpaper for other things. Very useful and age appropriate for babies, this series is highly recommended. Originally published in France in 2011.


    Davies, Benji. "Bizzy Bear" series, Nosy Crow/Candlewick, 2013. $6.99 each.
    Fire Rescue ! ISBN 978-0-7636-6518-0. Pirate Adventure . ISBN 978-0-7636-6519-7.
    Bizzy Bear is back in two new adventures, illustrated in a colorful style reminiscent of TV cartoons. In one he is a fire fighter, in the other, a friendly pirate. The rhyming text has the pattern of the “Teddy Bear Teddy Bear” jump-rope rhyme, and the books have doors that slide open, wheels that move, and elements that slide back and forth. These movable portions are well integrated into the board pages, so these should hold up to repeat readings. These are the fifth and sixth books in the series.


    Siminovich, Lorena. "You Are My Baby." Chronicle, 2013. $8.99 each.
    Farm . ISBN 978-1-4521-0643-4.
    Safari . ISBN 978-1-4521-0642-7.
    These books have an unusual format: each are approx. 7 inches square, with a 3 ½ inch smaller book imbedded into the larger. The larger book focuses on the parent animal, and the smaller book on the baby. The full color illustrations have wonderful textured-looking backgrounds and fabric-like pieces that make up the figures; this appears to be cut fabric collage. Although these are not tactile elements, the appearance of the photographed fabrics really bring these to life. The narrative is straightforward, describing an element of the animal such as the pig's curly tail, then “You are my baby…” with the name of the baby (piglet), and the animal noise (oink). The narrative invites the listener to call out the repeated phrases and make the animal sound. Because of the small imbedded portion, this may not last too long in a library but it is worth a try.


    Child's Play. "Classic Books with Holes. Various illustrators. Child's Play, 2012. $5.99 each.
    Hickory Dickory Dock . ISBN 978-1-84643-510-2.
    Itsy Bitsy Spider . ISBN 978-1-84643-509-6.
    Little Miss Muffet . ISBN 978-1-84643-511-9.
    Mary Had a Little Lamb . ISBN 978-1-84643-512-6.
    These retellings of traditional Mother Goose songs all begin with the well-known rhyme, then add verses. Small die-cut holes are in each right hand page, and they accumulate as the reader goes through the book (there are more holes on each successive page). Full color cartoon style illustrations and the holes add appeal, but the texts are too long for board books. Each spread features six to eight lines of rhyme, which is fine for a preschooler but too much for babies and toddlers. These would be hits at storytime if republished in a larger format so they could carry to a crowd. First published in the United Kingdom.


    Child's Play. "First Time." Illustrated by Jan Lewis. Child's Play, 2012. $5.99 each.
    Performance . ISBN 978-1-84643-487-7.
    School . ISBN 978-1-84643-491-4.
    School Trip . ISBN 978-1-84643-489-1.
    Sports Day . ISBN 978-1-84643-488-4.
    First published in the United Kingdom, these are not truly board books because the pages are not thick cardboard. These are small paperback books, with the pages coated in plastic, so these should hold up to library circulation. Each book focuses on something the reader is likely to experience in preschool or Kindergarten - their first school play, first field trip, etc. The full color cartoon-style illustrations appear to have been done with watercolor and pastel chalk, and add a lot of appeal. The multi-ethnic group of students reflects what we see in our classrooms, and the text describes common experiences. Teachers may want to share these before the class does one of these things, to prepare the children.




    BOARD BOOKS - Adapted from Picture Books

    Stein, Peter. Cars Galore. Illus. by Bob Staake. Candlewick, 2012/2009. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6148-9.
    Originally published in 2009 as a picture book, this rhyming celebration of cars does not seem suited to babies. The text is a little too long, and the illustrations a little too detailed, to appeal to the normal board book audience. Older toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy the story, but libraries will probably find the picture book version more useful, especially if it is used for storytime crowds (luckily, it is still in print). The jaunty rhyming text is a little like Eastman's classic Go, Dog, Go, (Random, 1966), and the full color 1950's retro style cartoon illustrations are very appealing.


    Thompson, Lauren. Polar Bear Night. Illus. by Stephen Savage. Cartwheel, 2013. $8.99. ISBN 978-0545485586.
    With the sequel Polar Bear Morning being released in picture book format, the original Polar Bear Night (2004) is now available as a board book. A baby polar bear wanders out into the moonlight where he marvels at the stars. The block illustration style is perfect for this audience, but the overall story is a little too symbolic for very young children. But they will enjoy the pictures.


    Scheffler, Axel. Pip and Posy: the Little Puddle. Nosy Crow/Candlewick, 2011/2013. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6161-8.
    A rabbit and mouse dressed in human clothes have a playdate, and Pip is having so much fun he forgets to go potty. All is handled with grace as Posy loans Pip some dry clothes. The original picture book was small with a padded cover, so this board book is not that different and will definitely appeal to toddlers.



    Spanish Titles

    Sutton, Sally. Construir Una Carretera. Illus. by Brian Lovelock. Candlewick, 2008/2013. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6494-7.
    Adapted from the 2008 picture book Roadwork, this board book in Spanish is relatively large, and should have great appeal. Like the original version, this has plenty of onomatopoeia, including “Pum, pam! Tris! Tras!” and other terms. The full color artwork shows a road being constructed, with detailed illustrations of the machines used in the process including dump trucks and cranes. Two women are seen as part of the crew, so offer this to young construction and vehicle fans.





    Classics Revisited


    From time to time, we will reread classics or award winning children's books from the past to see how they might be viewed in our current day.

    McSwigan, Marie. Snow Treasure. Dutton, 1942.

    Based on a true story, this World War II novel would be considered historical fiction now, but when it was published, it was about an incident that occurred just two years before. Children in Norway helped to move gold bars to a ship, which took the gold to the U.S. to keep it out of the hands of the Nazis. This edge-of-your-seat tale is tightly written and is sure to be of interest to any 4th-7th graders who like adventure stories. In fact, Snow Treasure was chosen for its Alameda County Library's Booklegger program, where volunteers visit school classrooms and do booktalks to promote titles they believe will be popular.

    A few aspects of the writing will grab contemporary readers - the story begins rather quickly, describing how the gold must be moved under the eyes of the Nazis without them discovering what is happening. Instead of spending several chapters describing how Norway was invaded, it is described in just a few sentences, and by the third chapter the children have started their mission of sledding to the ship's dock with gold hidden on the sleds. Another plus is the fact that the mission is led by two boys and two girls, making this a book that will appeal to both genders.

    Recently several children's librarians were discussing Margi Preus's Shadow on the Mountain (Amulet, 2012), a new tween novel set in Norway during WWII. Also based on a true story, this involves a group of teens who spy on the Nazis who have taken over their village, and the teens also pass messages and help the adults working for the Norwegian anti-Nazi underground. Alan Bern of Berkeley Public Library mentioned that Shadow of the Mountain would appeal to those who read Snow Treasure, which is still popular at his library. I hadn't read it, so I looked for it at my library and had to place Snow Treasure on hold since all the copies were checked out!

    Although these two books are based on actual events, they describe different missions that took place in Norway. But both involved the bravery of young people who wanted to participate in saving their country from the Nazis. Both books make the reader feel the snow and cold, and tension that the characters had to feel when engaging in their missions. Both combine adventure with the seriousness of what was occurring without being dour. A great old movie on how Norway's citizens used underground tactics to fight the Nazis is "Commandos Strike at Dawn" starring Paul Muni.

    If you have tweens seeking out adventure books, or books set during World War II, Snow Treasure is a great book to recommend.





    BayNews needs you! BayNews welcomes any articles, news, ideas on storytime or programs, etc. Just send any articles as a Word attachment to email, to Penny Peck at [email protected]. Thanks!










    Submitted by : Penny Peck


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