Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cybils nominations have closed

Well, the Cybils nominations period is closed. Hundreds of books were nominated. Go over to the Cybils website and check out the complete lists for each category. It is mind-boggling how many books the different committees are reading. I have big stack on the floor of my office that I'm reading. And there are more to come...

You can also get a really cool widget (that you see on your right) that displays different Cybils nominees. Go get the widget from Jacketflap and dress up your blog!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Poetry Friday--E.E. Cummings

E.E. Cummings: A Poet's Life
by Catherine Reef
Clarion, 2006

Did you know that E.E. Cummings actually prefered his name to be capitalized, even though he utilized lowercase letters so often in his poems? Catherine Reef's E. E. Cummings: A Poet's Life is a wealth of information of the often misunderstood poet. Cummings, like so many other famous writers, didn't have the perfect life, and had his work vastly criticized. I recommend this biography to middle school and high school fans of Cummings' poetry. Reef not only gives a thorough depiction of Cummings' life, but she also covers this world history that he lived through.

In honor of Poetry Friday, I give you E.E. Cummings poem "If"


If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
And measles were nice and a lie warn't a lie,
Life would be delight,-
But things couldn't go right
For in such a sad plight
I wouldn't be I.

If earth was heaven, and now was hence,
And past was present, and false was true,
There might be some sense
But I'd be in suspense
For on such a pretense
You wouldn't be you.

If fear was plucky, and globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly and tears were glee
Things would seem fair,-
Yet they'd all despair,
For if here was there
We wouldn't be we.
The Poetry Friday Roudup is at Susan Writes

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christmas Ideas

Looking for a wonderful Christmas gift for a child who loves fairy tales or an adult who loves children's books? Look no further...

Ruth Sanderson, exquisite illustrator, has a redesigned website with a large selection of artwork, cards, tiles, and books for sale. Check out her new website here. Her artwork dons the walls of my office and the walls of my daughter's room. I just ordered a print and book from The Snow Princess. I remember seeing the original artwork for The Snow Princess one summer at Hollins. She invited all of us Children's Lit. people from Hollins for an open house to view the artwork before it went off to the publisher. Gorgeous!!

You can even sign up for her newsletter.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

National Book Award Winner

The National Book Award Winner was announced this week. For Young People's Literature, the winner was:

I have heard so many wonderful things about this book on various kidlit blogs. I have been on the waiting list to get this book from my library for weeks now. I can't wait to read it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

What I've Been Reading--October AND Mystery Solved

A few days ago I reported that a journal had gone missing! The mystery is solved. I found in the middle of a large stack of picture books that have been nominated for the Cybils in the picture book category. I had an AHA moment this morning when I walked into my office this morning and groaned at the unsightly stacks of books around my office. They are in organized piles, but they are not pretty. I thought--hmm, I never checked in the middle of these stacks. Sure enough, there was my tiny journal, sandwiched between the picture books I had already read.

In that lovely journal was my list of books I read in the month of October.

Picture Books (I also read about a dozen Cybils picture books, but I didn't include those on the list):

In Aunt Giraffe's Green Garden by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Petra Mathers

A Closer Look by Mary McCarthy

Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Ann Jonas

Fire! Fire! said Mrs. McGuire by Bill Martin Jr, illustrated by Vladmir Radunsky

Aliens are Coming: The True Account of the 1938 War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast by Megan McCarthy

Good Boy, Fergus! by David Shannon

Beauty and the Beaks: A Turkey's Cautionary Tale by Mary Jane and Herm Auch

I Spy Colors in Art by Lucy Micklethwait

Dreaming of America: An Ellis Island Story by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ben Stahl

I See a Kookaburra! Discovering Animal Habitats Around the World by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter, illustrated by Giselle Potter (my review here)

Middle Grade

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen (my review here)

Horns and Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson

Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Young Adult

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Sean Qualls (my review here)


Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars by Douglas Florian

Today at the Bluebird Cafe: A Branchful of Birds by Deborah Ruddell, illustrated by Joan Rankin

Poetry Friday--Sijo Poems

Sijo (Poems) by Linda Sue Park
Illustrated by Istvan Banyai
For Poetry Friday this week, I thought I would open up a new book that I just received from I have read about this book in various reviews and knew I had to have a copy. I love books with unusual forms of poetry.
Sijo is a form of poetry that originated in Korea. It has three lines with fourteen to sixteen syllables in each line. Sometimes it is broken into 6 lines. The tradition is to not concentrate on syllables as much as the number of stresses in each line. The first line tells about the topic, the second line tells more about the topic, and the third line presents a twist or joke about the topic.
If you like poetry that follows certain rules, try it. It's rather like putting a puzzle together.
Park's collection includes observations about everyday life, but also includes poems about school and nature.
In the spirit of the season, I give you Park's poem about Thanksgiving:
November Thursday
I don't often talk to my stomach,
but this morning I do:
"Rest up, now. Relax, get ready,
because you will need to S-T-R-E-T-C-H. . . "
Turkey! Pie! And--best of all--
stuffing myself with stuffing!
--by Linda Sue Park
Poetry Friday roundup today is over at a wrung sponge.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Best Books of 2007

It is November. Only a few more weeks and we'll be ringing in 2008. That's why book lists are starting to coming out. The best children's books of 2007.

Publisher's Weekly Best Books of 2007

Kirkus Review Best Books of 2007

(thanks to KidsLit for these links)

Others to be watching:
November 13, 2007 National Book Awards will be announced.

January 1, 2007 Cybils finalists will be announced. You can still nominate books until November 21, 2007.

February 14, 2007 Cybils Awards will be announced

Mystery to be solved...

I can't believe it's already November! I am in a dilemma--I have lost a journal! Not my current writer's notebook journal, but still, a very important journal. One of the things in the lost journal is my list of books I read for the last several months! I haven't saved my October books yet, so I have been frantically searching for it. My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. All I want is for him to build me wall to wall bookshelves in my office. Right now there are STACKS of books everywhere.

A Children's lit. class stack.
A Cybils stack.
A to be read stack.
A "I have no more shelf space stack".

Maybe when I reorganize after my shelves are built, the mystery journal will appear.