Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play

An extra-large image of Ridley Pearson greets students as they enter the school library. Ridley’s face and books are visible on lockers, in bathrooms, at the circulation desk, and up and down every hallway. Readers are devouring the Kingdom Keepers series. Why? Because he's dropping by on April 20th to chat about Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play.

As you may recall, I am the king of eavesdropping. Here’s what I've overhead students saying about Ridley's upcoming visit:

*I think Ridley has a cool job. He gets to do tons of Disney stuff.

*Ridley really likes to say his name.

*Ridley Pearson is my favorite author.

*Do you think he'll tell us any secrets about Disney World?

*Ridley's books make me want to visit Disney World.

*Mr. Schu brings the coolest people to our library. We are pretty lucky.

*I'm going to order all of his books.

*Did you know Ridley gets full access to Disney World when the park is closed?

Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play will be released on April 5, 2011.

You can help Ridley Pearson in his Race to Save the Magic.

Read about the Kingdom Keepers series.

Ridley provides a video overview of the Kingdom Keepers.

Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn takes place inside Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow takes readers inside Disney's Epcot.

"Adults have embraced it as much as kids." -Ridley Pearson

Play the Kingdom Keepers games.


Borrow The Kingdom Keepers from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bink and Gollie


Readers eagerly follow Bink and Gollie on their whimsical adventures. These spunky gals turn even the most mundane tasks, such as sock shopping, into amusing experiences.

Don’t be fooled-- although it may appear short, Bink and Gollie’s banter keeps even the advanced reader engaged and entertained. Tony Fucile’s illustrations add to the whimsy of the story--the final illustration of Fred, the fish, will cause much laughter. Your students, children, grandchildren, niece, mail carrier, and, most importantly, YOU, need this book. (Travis and I named Bink and Gollie the #1 book of 2010.)



Browse inside Bink and Gollie.


Play Bink and Gollie games.


Download a Bink and Gollie discussion guide.


Johnny Boo implores you to read Bink and Gollie.



Take a tour of Kate DiCamillo's writing room.


"Life makes more sense when I write." -Kate DiCamillo



Borrow Bink and Gollie from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Search for Wondla


My friend Donna and I had the following text message conversation about The Search for Wondla.




Browse inside The Search for Wondla.

Tony demonstrates how augmented reality is used in The Search for Wondla.


Download the D’Fusion Player to experience augmented reality.


Teri Hatcher narrates The Search for Wondla audio book.


Can you spot the difference?

The Search for Wondla was featured on Al Roker's Book Club for Kids.

Tony draws a mummy.


Tony has always loved coming up with stories. He talks about writing and illustrating Kenny and the Dragon.

Watch Tony and Angela DiTerlizzi read Big Fun.


Tony and Angela discuss Meno (includes multiple outtakes).


Angela DiTerlizzi wishes she could draw REALLY WELL.



Planet Meno has downloads and information about the series.


Tony is the product of teachers, librarians, and parents who encouraged him to draw and write.



Download Spiderwick activities and design your own Sprite.


Download Spiderwick reading group guides.



The Spiderwick Chronicles movie was released on February 17, 2008.


Borrow The Search for Wondla from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2011 Baker's Dozen

When I grow up, I want to be a cross between Anita Silvey and Steven Herb. Steven is a professor at Penn State University and serves on the Advisory Board of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book. He is on the selection committee for The Bakers Dozen--an annual list that names 13 of the best picture books for children. The committee uses the following criteria:

  1. Recent outstanding trade books whose text and illustrations are particularly suited to the interests and developmental characteristics of children between three and six years of age. Fiction and non-fiction as well as wordless books are considered.
  2. Books that are accessible to adults enrolled in family literacy programs, particularly those characterized by:
    • Text that is easily approachable because of attributes such as these:
    • Print that is easy to read because of features such as these:
      • large lettering with ample space between letters and words
      • few sentences per page without many sentences that break to the next page
      • print that appears at about the same place on each page, and generally reads left to right and top to bottom
    • Illustrations that support and extend the text
  3. Books that are enjoyable for reading aloud and have appeal to a wide range of families.

I was lucky enough to take Stevens Library Materials for Children course when he was the Follett Chair in Dominican’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science. One day he brought in boxes of recently published children's books and passed out the selection criteria for a Baker’s Dozen. We spent the morning reading and identifying the best books. B-L-I-S-S!

The committee released this year's list a few weeks ago. Take a look....

number 2 Copper Number 0 number 1 number 1

Bunny Days by Tao Nyeu

Chalk by Bill Thomson

City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems, illustrated by Jon Muth

Dogs by Emily Gravett

Frankie Works the Night Shift by Lisa Westerberg Peters, illustrated by Jennifer Taylor

I Am a Backhoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines

Little Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby

Soup Day by Melissa Iwai

Mad at Mommy by Komako Sakai

Our Grandparents: A Global Album by The Global Fund for Children

Please Take Me for a Walk by Susan Gal

Roly Poly Pangolin by Anna Dewdney

We Are in a Book by Mo Willems

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eric Wight and Frankie Pickle

"Reading is Awesome" -Frankie Pickle 3/18/11

Eric Wight is the creator of the popular Frankie Pickle series. He visited my school library this past Friday. His presentation was highly engaging and interactive. Every student listened attentively and clung to every word. I can guarantee that dozens of readers will create their own Frankie Pickle adventures.

Thank you, Eric Wight, for a quality chapter book series with comic book-style art.

letter V letter i letter D letter E letter O letter S



"I try to find music similar to what I'm writing about." -Eric Wight




Eric likes to write by his favorite lake.



"Why do you think readers are drawn to graphic novels and comic books?"



I wrote about Frankie Pickle on February 12, 2011.



Borrow the Frankie Pickle series from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!



I have not read Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! It will be released on April 26, 2011. I will share it with my students on April 27 and update this post shortly thereafter.

To be continued...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Moving and Shaking


Congratulations to the 2011 Library Journal Movers and Shakers. I am honored and humbled to be named a 2011 Mover and Shaker. I find it hard to believe that I appear on the cover of Library Journal with such innovative, hardworking, and inspiring librarians.

Thank you, Library Journal, for naming me The Xtreme Librarian. I will work my hardest to live up to the title.

Thank you to my mentors: Michael Stephens (technology), Anita Silvey and Anderson's Bookshop (children's literature), and Shannon Miller (collaboration.) You are fantastic role models. Thank you to Donna Kouri for traveling around the country with stuffed animals and me. Thank you for the notes and words of encouragement. (Those of you who know me in person know I do not easily accept praise.)

Last, thank you to Jon Scieszka, the former Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, for declaring me "The Best Librarian in the World." ;-)



2011 Library Journal Movers and Shakers - 3/15/11

2011 Library Journal Movers and Shakers


View the full list of the 2011 Movers and Shakers.


Advocates--2011 Movers and Shakers: Tracy Crawford, Rosalind K. Lett, Me, Diane Walden, Donna Walker, and John Watts.






"Ten of those dynamos who are helping shape the future of libraries work with children or teens." -School Library Journal