Friday, October 31, 2014

Author Mac Barnett

Author Mac Barnett dropped by Watch. Connect. Read. to celebrate Halloween and picture books. We chatted about birds, Jen Corace, school libraries, and time travel. I wrote the words in orange, and he wrote the words in black. Thank you, Mac! I hope you're having a spooky Halloween! 

The book trailer for Telephone was made using unpaid child labor, in the form of adorable voice actors.

Mama Bird wants Peter to fly home for dinner in the book, but in general I think she probably wants him to study hard, to stay out of trouble, at least mostly (because she wants Peter to get into a little bit of trouble, the kind of trouble that teaches him who really he is), to go to a good college, if he wants to that is (but who is she kidding—she wants him to want to, she reads the news and she’s terrified that if Peter doesn’t get a degree he’ll be stuck in a job that doesn’t pay, although she knows Peter and deep down trusts that he could find his own way), to have his heart broken once, so that when he meets the right bird he’ll know how fragile and terrifying and wonderful love can be, and of course she wants him to meet that bird, the bird who will make him want to fly—not home, not for dinner, but to fly for the sake of flying, to fly because his heart is happy and the sky is wide and blue—you know, what any mother pigeon hopes for her son.

Jen Corace’s illustrations are bold and vivid, but still wonderfully detailed, so they can be enjoyed when the book’s at the front of the classroom or sitting on your lap.

The Echo Park Time Travel Mart is a real store I built in Los Angeles that sells robot toupees, dinosaur eggs, and other great holiday gifts, the purchase of which helps a nonprofit writing center pay the rent.

I think Halloween has a pretty compelling claim to Best Holiday.

School libraries go a long way to ensuring all kids can choose the books they want to read.

Picture books are a form, not a genre.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what I’m dressing up as this year.

Borrow Telephone from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

2014 Best Books Lists

Welcome to the time of year when Best Books lists start popping up left and right. In order to have all the lists in one place, I will update this blog entry with Best Books lists from October 31 until late January 2015. 

We kick off the BEST OF season with The New Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2014

Draw by Raúl Colón

Shackleton's Journey by William Grill 

Haiti My Country by Haitian Schoolchildren and Roge 

Harlem Hellfighters by J. Patrick Lewis and Gary Kelley 

Time for Bed , Fred by Yasmeen Ismail 

Here is the Baby by Polly Kanevsky; illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

Where's Mommy?  by Beverly Donofrio; illustrated by Barbara McClintock 

The Promise by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Laura Carlin 

The Baby Tree by Sophia Blackall 

The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine De Saint-Exupery by Peter Sis 




Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual won the 2014 Kirkus Prize for Young People's Literature. 

(Updated on 12/17/14) 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Holdshelf Gallery: October 2014

I have a large group of students who visit the library almost every day to place books on hold and to check on the status of their holds. After they place a book on hold or pick up a special book that is waiting for them on the hold shelf, they often look at displays, have conversations with me, and find something they didn't know they needed. The hold shelf brings readers to the library. 

Let's take a look at what readers around the world are excited to read. 

 Mr. Travis Jonker's shelf 

My shelf 

Danielle Wing's shelf 

Dana Paulson's shelf 

Mrs. Burkemper's shelf 

Laura Given's shelf 

Chris Abbott's shelf 

Diane Brown's shelf 

Kathy Kaldenberg's shelf 

LeeAnn Miller's shelf 

Michelle Splat's shelf 

Jennifer Gordon's shelf 

Erica Bretall's shelf 

Jamie Little's shelf 

Mary Clare O'Grady's shelf 

WMJH's shelf 

Sandy Richards' shelf 

Carolyn Vibbert's shelf 

Tammy Langeberg's shelf 

Stacy Ford's shelf 

Coonley's shelf 

Lauren Newman's shelf 

Brooke King's shelf 

Elsa Prettol's shelf 

Marci Johnstone's shelf 

Carter Higgins' shelf 

Rebecca Wynkoop's shelf 

Erin the Librarian's shelf 

Matt Ostrowsky's shelf 

Abby Cooper's shelf 

CWE Media Center's shelf 

Amy Kline's shelf 

Cherity's shelf 

Lori Lieberman's shelf 

Franklin School's shelf 

Mary Clark's shelf 

Jen K's shelf 

Rio Community Library's shelf 

Gayle Rosengren's shelf 

Tonya Tjarks' shelf 

Paige Ysteboe's shelf 

Rena Citrin's shelf