Monday, March 2, 2015

Read Across America Day and Nonfiction Monday

It's Dr. Seuss's birthday AND Read Across America Day.

Here's all about the Read Across America Celebration  and neat things you can do with children on this day.

Here's an essay by Dr. Seuss himself (Theodore Geisel) about the importance of children's books. "books for children have a greater potential for good or evil, than any other form of literature on earth"

And here is why children need to read BOOKS for information and why they fail when they try to find information on the internet.

It's Nonfiction Monday and although Dr. Seuss wrote silly stories, he would approve of all the new nonfiction books for children available today

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Indoor and Outdoor Offices

When I lived in Maryland, this was my office. (picture to the left.) There was barely enough room to turn around in, but just enough room for bookcases all around me, a filing cabinet behind me, plus desks in front and behind me. Most of my books were written (and revised. and revised again) here.

Now that I live on the west coast, THIS is my office. (see picture to the right.)
 Well, actually the floor plan of this condo said it was supposed to be the dining room - but I needed an office space more.

Yes, you can see that I've expanded from one filing cabinet to three. And the bookcases? They are all over the house.

 When I want a break nowadays , I can go to the beach. It's good for exercise. Good for blowing cobwebs out of your mind, and sometimes you find groups building sandcastles!

What's your office like?
Where do you go to think?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Newbery/ Caldecott and other ALA winners

Yesterday (yes, on Groundhog Day), the American Library Association announced their choices for most distinguished books and other media.  They even stream the announcements LIVE for book addicts like me, and many others.

I was amazed at how many of the winners and honor book winners I had some real or some faint connection to.

For example - I'm working on getting an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) from the wonderful college, Vermont College of Fine Arts.  We students of Writing for Children and Young Adults have always joked about the fact that we were working toward World Domination.
That our books would take over the world.

Yesterday we proved that this is so.
1. Kekla Magoon - Coretta Scott King Honor book - How It Went Down
2. Jandy Nelson - Printz Medal winner - I'll Give You the Sun.
3. Jandy Nelson - Stonewall Book Award - I'll Give You the Sun.

4. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson won three awards:
-- Coretta Scott King Award winner!  (for text)
-- Newbery Honor Book (silver medal)
-- Robert Sibert Honor (this one is for nonfiction)

5. And Julie Berry was awarded an Odyssey Audio Book Honor for her book, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place.   

Celebrate their victories with us at The LaunchPad! 

Do I know the Newbery Winner?
He's a member of the Children's Book Guild in Washington, D.C. - one of the groups I also belong to.
Kwame Alexander, who wrote The Crossover.

Deborah Taylor, (also a member of the Children's Book Guild as the representative of Enoch Pratt Free Library to that group) was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mo Willems gathered up another Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for his new book, Waiting is not Easy. If you haven't met Elephant and Piggy, you've gotta go get several right now. This is their latest adventure.   (Funny thing - Elephant's name is Gerald, but we still don't know if Piggy has any other name than - Piggy.)

I don't exactly 'know' Mo, but he did come to speak to the Guild and is a perfectly charming, funny guy.

The only way I 'know' Dan Santat, the Caldecott winner for The Adventures of Beekle, is because Lisa Yee constantly features him on her blog and on her Facebook account - having lunch or dinner with the illustrator of her books.

A full list of all the award winners can be found here on the American Library Association web page press release.

A GREAT overview of the amazing aspects of this year's selections for these Awards can be found here at the Unadulterated blog.

Okay, I'll stop now.
Congratulations to ALL the winners.           !!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Groundhog Day

What did your local Groundhog predict today?
Will Spring be early?  or late?

All over Facebook, people were insisting that THEIR groundhog agreed or did not agree with Punxsutawney Phil. (who predicted that spring would be late.)  Since he's correct less than half the time, you'd better believe your own local groundhog.
If you want to find out if your area has a groundhog predicting spring, they're all listed in my book.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Looking ahead

It's that time of year again.
Winter has just began and already we are waiting for the Groundhog to tell us is Spring will be early or later this year.

If you are planning a Groundhog Day party, look no further.
Groundhog Day party plans are in this book.
(Which is one of the reasons why it's called - Facts and Fun)
I used many of these party plans in my Groundhog Day programs at my library.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Looking ahead to a bright New Year - full of possibilities

Monday, December 29, 2014

Nonfiction Monday - Stripes of All Types

Darned if I know where the rest of the Nonfiction Monday's links are, but here's my Nonfiction Monday book:  Stripes of All Types, written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale (that's her in the picture), in English and Spanish. Peachtree Publishers, 2014. Available now.

Click here for a great article by her at the Peachtree Publisher's blog talking about how she got the idea to create this book.

And below you can see two illustrations from the book.
Look -- some jelly fish have stripes!  I already knew that garter snakes, sometimes called green grass snakes, have stripes because my brother collected them when we lived in northern Illinois.  (Mom made him stop collecting snakes when we moved to the Ohio Valley of West Virginia because some of the local snakes there were poisonous.)

Everyone knows that skunks and zebras and tigers have stripes. But this book includes lots of unexpected stripes in the animal world.

As you can see in the pictures, this is set up so that young readers can figure out the words, with a  phrase in both English and Spanish on each page. (hmm. this picture only shows the English) By the time they have read the whole sentence - on several pages - it becomes apparent that this is also a poetry book. (at least in English; not so sure about the Spanish part.)
There's a fun quiz to identify the animals near the end of the book. (answers upside down). And finally a section with paragraphs containing more information about each animal (again in English and Spanish).