Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mo Willems Simulcast in Maryland!

The Harford County Public Library (Maryland) is one of 200 libraries/schools chosen to host the Mo Willems Simulcast next week. What is a Simulcast? Well, instead of doing a fall tour this year, Mo will instead bring cameras into his studio and show us what it is like to create one of his books. His newest book, Elephant and Piggie: Pigs Make Me Sneeze, will be the book that he focuses on, but I’m sure the Pigeon will have to get his two cents in.

Here are the basics:
--What: Mo Willems Simulcast – a LIVE video visit.
--Where: Bel Air Branch, located in Bel Air, Maryland.
--When: Tuesday, October 6th 2pm
--Who: Mostly for the kids that love Mo’s books, but if adults or teens want to sit in we won’t turn anyone away – we’ll just fill up the room to its capacity.
-- Why: Because HCPL is awesome!

If you happen to live in Harford County or nearby, and want to attend, please call the Bel Air Branch and let the children's department know if you plan on bringing any students.

It's in the middle of the day to accommodate those schools getting the simulcast, but homeschoolers are certainly welcome at the public library's simulcast.
-wendie old
Children's Librarian, HCPL

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nonfiction Monday -- A Little Bit of Everything

Welcome to the home of Nonfiction Monday for September 28.
Bloggers, please leave your information and links in the comments section and I will post them periodically during the day.
I can't wait to see what you are talking about today.
(mine is in the message below, or you can click here.)
-wendie old

1. Mary Ann Scheuer at Great Kid Books has reviewed Heroes of the Environment, an inspiring look at 12 individuals who have taken action to help the environment. The families & teachers who looked at it with her agreed that it's perfect for upper elementary and middle school students.

2. Sarah N. at In Need of Chocolate posted about Many Luscious Lollipops.

3. Laura Purdie Salas has written about Emperor Qin's Terra Cotta Army.

4. Heidi Bee Roemer at the Wild About Nature blog has reviewed Laura Purdie Salas' book, Home on the Earth: A Song About Earth's Layers.

5. Jules at 7-Imp has an interview with Bonnie Christensen, who has illustrated---or both written and illustrated---many nonfiction titles, including her latest about Django Reinhardt.

6. Angela at Bookish Blather reviewed"Michelle Obama: An American Story by David Colbert.

7. Lori Calabrese Writes! highlights the Gotcha for Guys booklist that lists nonfiction books to get boys excited about reading.

8. Cindy Dobrez says that her Bookends Blog features I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous and Obscure. We include our own teens' six-word book reviews and memoirs and some ideas for using this activity in school.

9. Amanda Snow at A Patchwork of Books has a review of The Secret World of Walter Anderson.

10. Shirley at SimplyScience has The Prairie Dog’s Town.

11. Amy Graves at The Art of Irreverence has reviewed It's Perfectly Normal for Banned Books Week.

12. Jone at the Check It Out edublog is tying together Banned Book Week and the 1st Amendment.

13. Sally Apokedak at All About Children's Books reviewed Sand to Stone and Back Again, by Nancy Bo Flood and Tony Kuyper.

14. Loree Griffin Burns has a Nonfiction Monday post up at her blog where she muses about why she loves nonfiction and recommends two of her favorites.

15. Barbara Kerley reminds us that over at INK: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids, they have new posts by authors David Schwartz, Anna M. Lewis, April Pulley Sayre, Melissa Stewart, and Linda Salzman.

16 Liz B joins in with a review of The Betsy Tacy Companion by Sharla Scannell Whalen.

17. Anastasia Suen at her Picture Book of the Day blog (she has several blogs) discusses Stonefish: Needles of Pain by Meish Goldish.

18. 3T (which stands for three library turtles) has a guest review by Ami about a new book series from PowerKids Press.

19. Bri Meets Books reviewed Sea Soup: Zooplankton by Mary M. Cerullo.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nonfiction Monday -- Under the Snow

Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart. Illustrated by Constance R. Bergum. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Publishers, 2009. Available now.

It's time for a new book about what animals do in the wintertime. The others are getting old and out-of-print. This one will do nicely.

The book opens with a huge winter scene, mostly white space with a snow covered village tucked in dead center. A few children playing in the snow on the right hand side leads us to turn the page to discover that "under the snow lies a hidden world."

Great illustrations of a mass of ladybugs, and over there a snake, tucked into a stone wall the children are passing.
Next page shows a vole tunneling under the snow, alive and active.

And so it goes -- combining hibernating animals with those who are active during the winter.

Spring comes at the end of this 32 page picture book -- repeating the first scene of children playing on the right hand side foreground with the village tucked in the middle of the double page spread, except this time it's a springtime view.

(added later) I just got a message from Melissa Stewart. She invites you to come over and visit her on her blog. She has a nice website, too, over here.

Surprise! All the Nonfiction Monday reviews are here at my blog today!
-wendie Old

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wendies at KidLitCon09

More information keeps flowing in about this conference being held the weekend of October 17th at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, just south of Washington, D.C.
(open to bloggers about Children's Lit, people who want to begin blogging about this, and to authors of same)

If you'd like more information and a list of who is coming, so far, then click here for the list and how to register for the conference. I'm very impressed, myself.

A-hem. Notice how many who have the name -- Wendy !
Blew my mind it did.
(So far I'm the only Wendie coming, but there are more of those around so one or two of them might show up, also.)
Four Wendy (s) and one Wendie so far.
Confused? Take a gander at the spelling of the names.

MotherReader's blog entry says that hotel reservations at our low conference price has ended, but the hotel still has open rooms and might be talked into giving you the conference price. Do ask. See you there?
-wendie old, blogger and author and librarian and grandmother and ....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nonfiction Monday -- Life in a coral reef

Life in a Coral Reef by Wendy Pfeffer. Illustrated by Steve Jenkins. Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2. New York: Collins (an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers), 2009 Available now.

Well, the paperback is available now on Amazon, but I see no record of a hardback edition, despite the fact that I'm holding a hardback in my hand. Hmmmmm. However, when I check the publisher's website, I find that a hardback IS available. (cross-checking with Amazon, using the hardback's ISBIN, does force a hardback to show, but it doesn't show when you do a title search. This is weird.

Ah hem. Enough with the Librarian-tech stuff. Back to the review.

DISCLAIMER -- I love, love, love the Let's-Read-and-Find out series! I have noticed in the past few years that some of the older editions were being re-issued with new illustrators. This isn't one of them; this is newly written by Wendy Pfeffer who has been writing books for this series ever since the 1990s.

And look at the illustrator! Award-winning Steve Jenkins! His amazing papercut illustrations use texture as well as shape to create very life-like pictures.

Since this is a level 2 science book, the sentences are longer and more complicated than the usual Let's-Read-and-Find-Out book. But you need that to describe the complicated interactions of life underwater. There are still only a few sentences per page.

Before you ask, "But did she include the current problems in the coral reefs?", let me show you the last two pages of the book -- Find Out More About Coral Reefs. Yes, she did. Plus various fun facts.

Other Nonfiction Monday posts are located here. Scroll down to see the whole list.
-wendie old

Thursday, September 17, 2009

KidLitCon 09

For authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers in the area of Children's and Young Adult literature, the October 17th Kidlitosphere Conference in Arlington, VA offers an incredible opportunity to learn more about online reviewers, blog book tours, blog writing, and social media. Participants will also talk to book reviewing bloggers one-on-one about their books in a Meet the Author session. The dinner gives everyone a chance to socialize, talk, network, and collaborate.

And all for a low $100 registration fee, which includes breakfast and dinner on Saturday.

Featured sessions for authors/illustrators include:

* It´s Not All About Your Book: Writing Ideas for Author Blogs
* Social Networking for Fun (and Profit?).
* Building a Better Blog: Best Practices, Ideas, and Tips
* Building a Better Online Presence
And more.

Time: 8:00-5:00 p.m
Attending authors will have the opportunity to set up a table and show their books to bloggers. This is a great opportunity to connect with the blogging community and promote fall titles.

For more information, click here.

or e-mail the organizer: MotherReader AT
-wendie old (who will be on one of those panels)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Harry Potter Theme Park here in the US of A

Oh my.
Important news for Harry Potter fans.
Another reason to go to Orlando.
(quick, when is the next time ALA meets in Orlando? Darn, not until 2016. Okay, what else can I use for an excuse to go?)

A Harry Potter theme park is due to open Spring 2010.
Click here for all the info.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nonfiction Monday -- Mule Train Mail

Mule Train Mail by Craig Brown. Charlesbridge, 2009. Available now.

In 1896, there were no cars, trucks, or airplanes. Everything you bought in a grocery store was delivered by horse- or mule-pulled wagons, or in large bundles on the backs of mules. Even the mail moved along the roads this way.

Can you imagine a place in 2009 that still gets everything delivered in bundles on the backs of mules, including the mail? That town is Supai --one mile deep on the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Anthony Paya delivers the mail to this town every day.

This easy reading picture book begins: "Anthony the Postman doesn't wear a uniform. He wears a cowboy hat, chaps, and spurs." Instantly we want to know more about this Anthony guy. Why doesn't he wear a uniform? Why is he riding a horse and what are those other animals tied together following him? (turn page) Oh, he drives a mule train. Look at all those bundles and packages that are gonna have to be loaded on the mules, along with the mail, before he can lead them down, down, down the wall of the Grand Canyon to his customers.

Soon the illustrator turns the book sideways, because he needs two pages top to bottom to give the feeling of the long zig-zag path going deeper and deeper into the canyon. Once the mule train reaches the canyon floor, the book returns to the wide doublepage spreads.

This book works well both as a simple picture book story and a factual description of a different way to deliver the mail. LC has put it into J383.143 -- along with other books about mail and the post office.

(Which reminds me. Something I've put down on my materials assessment for several years is that we need new books about the modern post office. The books in print were written in the 1990s and I know the handling of mail has changed since then. Anybody want to write this?)

A portion of the sales will be donated to the Havasupai Head Start program to help children in Supai develop early reading skills. For more information about this Native American tribe and how the author/ illustrator researched this book, check out the Charlesbridge site here.

Other Nonfiction Monday posts can be found here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labour Day

It's Labor Day, and my urge to do a Nonfiction Monday post is on vacation.

It's the last day the pool is open, but I have no desire to go. The sky was cloudy all day, threatening rain and temperatures stayed cool. Definitely not pool weather.

On the other hand, it's also the last day of the Maryland State Fair. My husband and I took the 9-year-old and her friend to the fair yesterday. Today -- her friend's family took her and several other 9 - 12 year olds to the fair, again. What a weekend for her. She fell asleep quickly tonight.

And yes-- I do realize that the header for this post is using British spelling. Sometimes words just look better that way.

Friday, September 4, 2009

September is Spider Month

September is spider month.
With Global Warming, October will be, too.
Those of you who have kept up with this blog, might remember my adventures with spiders at the library's Information Desk last year. If you don't, click here to revisit and here.

Don't expect a picture with THIS blogpost. I can hardly bear to go into the 500s in the spider section to weed books. yuck.

Anywho, I just checked the position of the Children's Info Desk. And moved it a couple of more inches thisaway -- to make sure that I'll be sitting in the space between the lights -- not under the lights. Spiders drop from those lights all month long. Now, in order for them to get me, they'll have to drop a strand of web, then get it swinging in my direction.

No. Don't tell me that simply by getting up to help people find material, I'll start a breeze that will help them swing. Nooooooo!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'll never drown

A friend and I were writing e-mails back and forth this morning. Since we both were online, it was almost like Instant Messaging. (except we could spellcheck our messages before we sent them.)

First we discussed the fires near Los Angeles. (near her) Then heat. (It was 100 degrees there, today.) Then water. Then somehow we got on the subject of drowning. (From Fire to Drowning. go figure)

I said:
I've long ago decided that I'll never die by drowning -- since I've already drowned twice.

Once when I fell (was pushed?) out of a boat into a pond at age 3 or 4. I blacked out and came-to on the shore with no idea how I got there.

Then again at age 5 or 6, when a cousin tried to show how he could 'rescue' me, while we were 'swimming' in a river. I fought so hard that we both were pulled under and were rescued by a passer-by. I was still angry and ended up flailing at the passer-by (after she had pumped water out of my lungs), not being grateful or courteous at all, and stomped on home. Not caring if my cousin found his way back to my house, where he was staying for a while.
Unfortunately he didn't get lost and ended up getting home right after I did.

After that, my mother decided it was time I had real swimming lessons. -wendieO