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June 2015

Calendar / News & Notes / Awards / Board Books / Reviews / Program

Storytimes : Sizes   /   Dinosaurs

Readalikes : Paper Towns by John Green


Upcoming Events for Children's Librarians


Jacqueline Woodson Named Young People's Poet Laureate:

Chris Riddell Named U.K. Children's Laureate:

Berkeley School Libraries Offer Summer Reading Suggestions:

Librarian of Congress Appoints Juan Felipe Herrera Poet Laureate:

    Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Juan Felipe Herrera as the Library's 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, for 2015-2016. Herrera, who succeeds Charles Wright as Poet Laureate, is the first Hispanic poet to serve in the position. The new Poet Laureate is the author of 28 books of poetry, novels for young adults, and collections for children, most recently Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes (2014), showcasing inspirational Hispanic and Latino Americans. His most recent book of poems is Senegal Taxi (2013).

    Herrera was born in Fowler, California, in 1948. As the son of migrant farm workers, he moved around often, living in tents and trailers along the road in Southern California, and attended school in a variety of small towns from San Francisco to San Diego. In 1972 he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a bachelor's degree in social anthropology. He then attended Stanford University, where he received a master's degree in social anthropology, and in 1990 received a Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Marissa Moss Finishes Amelia's Notebook Series:

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Jane Addams Awards Announced: Neighborhood Sharks - book cover image

    The 2015 Jane Addams Book Awards, celebrating peace and social justice, were announced on April 28, 2015.

  • The winner for Younger Children is Duncan Tonatiuh's Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation.
  • The winner for Older Children is Teri Kanefield's The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Both books were published by Abrams.

    Two honor books in the Older Children category were named:

  • Revolution by Deborah Wiles (Scholastic)
  • Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal (HMH)
  • Two honor books were also named in the Younger Children category:

  • Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren (Kar-Ben)
  • Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by John Hendrix (Abrams)
  • .

2015 Lambda Literary Awards Announced:

Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards Announced

Do-It-Yourself Program Ideas

Robots at the Library!

A great program you can hold at almost any size library, and at any time of year. The program features robot demonstrations and hands-on projects, geared to different age groups to introduce the concept of robotics to children and tweens.

If possible, see if there is a high school robotics club that can be a partner, volunteering to help at the activity stations listed below, as well as offering some hands-on experiences using some of the robots they may have available.

  • Icebreaker activity:
  • Budget:
      Cost of supplies for arts and crafts, etc.: Approx. $120 for craft supplies, coin cell batteries, electric toothbrushs, LEDs, fiber optic fabric. Other craft materials are already on-hand. Cost of refreshments (food, beverages, and paper supplies): $50 for water and fresh fruit.
    Volunteers needed and their duties:
      Twenty high school volunteers, to man all the stations, plus Friends volunteers to man the refreshment table.

    What kinds of book displays and/or related booklists or handouts will you prepare? Books on robots and robotics, as well as children's books on electronics in general. This display would include:

  • Murphy, Maggie. High Tech DIY Projects with Robotics. Powerkids, 2015.
  • Clay, Kathryn. "Cool Robots" series, Capstone Press, 2014-15.
  • Kloepfer, John. Galaxy's Most Wanted. HarperCollins, 2014.
  • Richards, C.J. The Junkyard Bot. Houghton Mifflin, 2014.
  • Mercer, Bobby. The Robot Book: Build & Control 20 Electric Gizmos, Machines, and Hacked Toys. Chicago Review Press, 2014.
  • Also check out Steven Engelfried's "Robo Reads" in School Library Journal, April 2015, v. 61, no. 4, p. 48-51.

    Penny Peck,
    SJSU iSchool

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    Professional Reading

    Willems, Mo. . Don't Pigeonhole Me! Two Decades of the Mo Willems Sketchbook.. Disney, 2013. 280p. $40. ISBN 978-142314436-6.

      Don't Pigeonhole Me  - book cover image

      Although he may be best known for his books that began with Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Mo Willems should not be pigeon-holed as a writer solely for young people. This compilation shows his adept touch as a cartoonist for adults, with humor that includes asides to politics, sex, marriage, and other topics. Adults who are fans of Willems will enjoy this compilation of sketchbooks that began as mini-portfolios to obtain work. Most of the things included in the early chapters are one-panel cartoons, similar to what you would see in New Yorker magazine. These were also published by Erzatz, a humor magazine. This led to Willems' career in animation and later as an award-winning writer and illustrator of books for children.

      Each chapter begins with a brief introduction on what was going on in Willems' life at the time of that sketchbook. Also, each chapter has a different colored background which helps to keep them separate. The large size and book design makes this perfect for the coffee table. Some of the sketchbooks later evolved into picture books for children, featuring the pigeon character, or Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Because they are arranged chronologically, they show his evolution as an artist. The first books are mainly skilled ink cartoon drawings, but later works show him using shading, watercolors, crayons, and other media.

      One thing that is consistent is Willems' clear sense of humor, which has a wide appeal. Some cartoons are purely visual, while others rely on a caption or dialogue for the joke. Although some cartoons will have child appeal, there are nudes and adult jokes that are not appropriate for young readers; this is fine for teens. It would make a great gift for fans of the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum.

      Penny Peck,
      SJSU iSchool

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    Spring Board Books, Part II

    Last month in Part I of our semi-annual Board Book Round-up, we discussed new board book series and individual titles released in early 2015. Today in Part II we will finish the Round-up with new books featuring popular characters, and board books derived from picture books.

    Favorite Characters / Board Books from Picture Books

    BOARD BOOKS - Favorite Characters

    Cousins, Lucy. Maisy's Tractor. Candlewick, 2015. 16p. $5.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-7305-5..

      Maisy's Tractor - book cover image Maisy the little white mouse is back in this simple description of farm activity. Part of a series of Maisy board books that focus on transportation, many Maisy fans may not know what a tractor is, but that's fine. There is a push for children to learn more about where their food comes from, so this farm story will help meet that goal. The deeply saturated full color cartoon illustrations are a great match to the text. Another "Maisy" success!

    Anon. "Tiny Tab" series. Illus. by Jannie Ho. Nosy Crow, 2015. 8p. $7.99 each.
    Cutie Pie Looks for the Easter Bunny. ISBN 978-0-7636-7599-8.
    Pookie Pop Plays Hide-and-Seek. ISBN 978-0-7636-7600-1..

      Cutie Pie Looks for the Easter Bunny - book cover image This series debuted last year, with sturdy tabs that a toddler could use. Often tabs are too fragile or too small for this age group, but that is not the case with this charming series with a "hide and seek" theme. Each book has four very sturdy pull tabs (two on the side, two on the top), that the child can pull to reveal characters or items hidden in a cut-out. For example, pull the tab and see where friends are hiding, or where Easter eggs are hidden.

      The full color cartoon style illustrations are charming and suit the stories; the mechanics of the book naturally fit into the pictures. The cut-outs in trees or flower beds are painted the same colors as the backgrounds so they also are incorporated into the pictures in a natural way that doesn't break up the illustrations. Jannie Ho is an accomplished illustrator.

      The text, which is not attributed to an author, is straight-forward and helps the child know what to find. For example, it asks "Is the Easter Bunny in the playhouse?" This series is very successful and will be popular.

    Davies, Benji. "Bizzy Bear" series. Nosy Crow, 2015. 8p. $6.99 each. Bizzy Bear Knights' Castle. ISBN 978-0-7636-7602-5.
    Bizzy Bear Zookeeper. ISBN 978-0-7636-7603-2..

      Bizzy Bear Knight's Castle - book cover image In this series of board books with sliding tabs, a bear is involved in different vocations. The text has the rhythm of a jump-rope rhyme: "Bizzy Bear, Bizzy Bear, at the zoo. Bizzy Bear, Bizzy Bear, I see you!" The repeated name will encourage toddlers to participate in reading the simple story.

      The sliding tabs help to reveal aspects of the story, from opening a croc's mouth to moving Bizzy's sword. The color cartoon illustrations and the sliding tab mechanics work well together and should please the intended audience.

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    BOARD BOOKS - Board Books from Picture Books

    Lee, Mark. 20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street. Illus. by Kurt Cyrus. Candlewick, 2013/2015. 30p. 2013/2015. $7.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-7650-6. Spanish edition: 20 Camiones Grandes en Medio de la Calle. ISBN 978-0-7636-7651-3..

      20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Stree - Board Book cover image With short and bouncy two-line rhymes, toddlers can count the many vehicles in this realistic story of a traffic jam. The artwork may have been digitally generated but has a warm feel, while depicting a variety of trucks that kids can identify (garbage, mail, tow, delivery, and more). There is a great overhead illustration where the child can count each of the trucks. This is fun, has a counting element, and will certainly be popular.

    Martin, David. Peep and Ducky. Illus. by David Walker. Candlewick, 2013/2015. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-7243-0..

      Peep and Ducky - book cover image The board version of this sweet story is successful, since the original picture book was relatively small in size. Plus, the simple cartoon illustrations (mixed media that resembles watercolors with ink outlines), on white backgrounds, work well in this small size. Each spread features the title characters, a blue bird and yellow duck, in a park, without a lot of extraneous detail. The text features four line rhymes per page, describing their playtime, which includes a potty break, making this perfect for toddlers.

    McBratney, Sam. There, There. Illus. by Ivan Bates. Templar, 2013/2015. 32p. $7.99.ISBN 978-0763675653..

      There, There - book cover image Father bear consoles Hansie who has several accidents (skinned knee, etc.), with the title phrase. Listeners will repeat the title anytime someone has an injury, but the text is somewhat lengthy for the toddler audience. The full color artwork resembled color pencil with deep watercolors, and is adept but like the text, a little on the sweet side. The picture book version is preferred over the board book, but this is not as memorable as McBratney's popular "Guess How Much I Love You" series.

    McCourt, Lisa. I Miss You, Stinky Face. Illus. by Cyd Moore. Scholastic, 1999/2014. 32p. $6.99.ISBN 978-0-545-74848-3..

      I Miss You, Stinky Face - book cover image The narrative of this book is very similar to Brown's Runaway Bunny - mom tells her child over the phone that she will get back home no matter what. The child offers various scenarios that could interfere: what if the plane forgets how to fly, or the balloon runs out of hot air? The child's dialogue is in a deep blue typeface that looks hand-lettered, and Mom's is in a small, regular font, but there is too much text for a board book. In the picture book, the text and detailed illustrations look fine, but don't work in the board version as they are too small

    Mitton, Tony. Dinosaurumpus! Illus. by Guy Parker-Rees. Scholastic, 2002/2014. 30p. $6.99.ISBN 978-0-545-69480-3..

      Dinosaurumpus - Board Book cover image One of my favorites to offer at a dinosaur storytime, the picture book version is the preferred edition of this colorful rhyming book. Each page has several sentences of text, describing various types of dinos (eight different species), with onomatopoeia and a repeated chant that will inspire audience participation. But the board version is too small to hold all of that text and the full color cartoon illustrations; stick with the picture book version.

    Stein, David Ezra. Dinosaur Kisses. Candlewick, 2013/2014. 30p. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-7389-5..

      Dinosaur Kisses - book cover image Dinah hatches and stomps and eats many things in her path, but wants to try a kiss. Unfortunately, that involves biting whatever she is kissing, even another newly hatched dinosaur. This is fun and silly, and doesn't really make sense, but toddlers will relate to the anarchy and the full color cartoon dinos and very brief text.

    Surplice, Holly. Guinea Pig Party. Nosy Crow, 2012/2015. 24p. $7.99.ISBN 978-0-7636-7604-9..

      Guinea Pig Party - book cover image In this rhyme similar to "Ten in a Bed," (the popular storytime fingerplay), guinea pigs star as party guests. The illustrations feature cartoonish guinea pigs, easy to pick out and count, due in part to the cream colored backgrounds and pleasing but limited amount of detail. This is a very successful adaptation, since the toddler audience can count the expressive characters, see both the numeral and word for each number, and guess each answer due to the rhyming text. Even if your library owns the picture book version, you will want to own multiple copies of this board book.

    Willems, Mo. Who Says That, Cat the Cat? Balzer+Bray, 2010/2014. 20p. $6.99.ISBN 978-0-06-230654-8..

      Who Says That, Cat the Cat - book cover image Previously part of What's Your Sound, Hound the Hound?, an easy reader, this board book is similar to Sandra Boynton's humorous animal board books. As they prepare for a tea party, Cat asks each animal to make a sound, which the audience can call out - Woof, Moo, and so on. But when Cat gets to Bunny, it gets complicated! The cartoons are in a deeper shade than Willem's "Pigeon" series, making it easy for very young children to guess the animal shown. This is a successful adaptation of the picture book.

    Wilson, Sarah. Love and Kisses. Illus. by Melissa Sweet. Candlewick, 1999/2014. 22p. $6.99.ISBN 978-0-7636-7391-8..

      Love and Kisses Perfect for Valentine's Day, this simple tale describes a kiss that is passed from one animal to another, like a game of "Telephone." The kiss begins and ends with a young girl and her cat, and the rhyming text is clear - ask the child to identify each animal that is shown. Sweet's inviting watercolors focus just on the girl and one or two animals per page, making this a book that is accessible to toddlers.

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    Submitted by : Penny Peck
    SJSU iSchool

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