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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November Carnival of Children's Literature

Step right up! It's here at last-- 
November’s grand event!
Leave the chilly air outside.
It's cozy in the tent. 

Come and see what’s on display.
There’s quite an eclectic mix…
recommended children’s books and
illustration tricks,
writing tips and interviews,
stories, poems, and art.
The list goes on, and as your host,
I’m pleased to do my part. 

Live from New York it’s...
the November Carnival of Children's Literature!

With so much to read, how does one choose?  
Check out all these BOOK REVIEWS!  
Andromeda Jazmon presents Giving Thanks: A Native American Morning Message. Author Chief Jake Swamp, a force for world peace who, before his recent death, served on the Council of Chiefs in the Mohawk-Iroquois Nation, shares a poem and prayer for peace and thanksgiving. I give thanks to Andromeda (also know as "cloudscome") for sharing this timely post.

At Storied Cities, Erica indroduces us to Musical City: Gabriella's Song. This charming picture book by Candace Fleming celebrates the gentler sounds of the Venice, including the slap-slaps of laundry, the bump-bump of gondolas. Erica says she looks for books that highlight cities other than the overly famous New York City.  

Anastasia Suen at Weekend Reads introduces the early chapter book The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost BoyDori Hillestad tells the story in first-dog narrative!

At Passionate about Picture BooksSandie MourĂ£o shares one of her favorite picture books: Chris Raschka's Caldecott winner, Yo! Yes?. This witty, offbeat book is about the budding friendship between a black boy and a white boy. Its vibrant, colorful illustrations and minimal text give the book a dynamic energy.

Mary Ann Scheuer presents Ninth Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes, an inspiring story about 12-year-old Lanesha who doesn't have enough money to escape New Orleans during the evacuation pre-Hurricane Katrina. Mama Ya-Ya encourages Lanesha to believe in herself, which gives Lanesha an inner-strength that helps save them both. Mary Ann describes Rhodes' writing as "beautifully evocative".

At Wrapped in FoilRoberta Gibson introduces Travels With Gannon and Wyatt: Botswanathe first book in a new series by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet. With the feel of non-fiction, this fictionalized account of the real-life adventures of two boys is told via journal entries written by the two boys. Travels With Gannon and Wyatt: Botswana won a Silver Moonbeam award for Best First Book.

What's new at Brimful Curiosities? Janelle has been comparing different versions of the story of Rapunzel. So far, she's found two versions that were written before the Grimms' Rapunzel--and she plans to continue updating the post. The most recent version can be seen in the new Disney movie, Tangled.  

At NC Teacher Stuff, Jeff Barger presents the picture book, Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog. "Jon Agee's illustrations are humorous and intelligent," says Jeff, who believes the book's word play would be great to read in the classroom.

Jen Robinson's Children's Literacy and Reading Roundup: November 1, is chock full of events, blogs, articles, and news about children's literacy and reading. Jen strongly suggests sharing blog posts or literacy on Twitter. She quotes author/father James Preller, who believes that "one of the most powerful, positive factors to encourage and inspire boys to read is, very simply, to see their fathers read." 

At SimplyScience Blog, Shirley Duke, in her 100th post, introduces us to her non-fiction book: Infections, Infestations, and Disease. Shirley says, "This book is a starting point for kids interested in what makes you sick or those who are curious about the world and themselves." The book is filled with fascinating facts for eager young scientists and includes two germ-free activities for kids.

Danette M. Schott, at Help! S-O-S for Parents presents the delightful picture book, Harry the Happy Caterpillar Grows, Helping Children Adjust to Change. Danette believes the book will help parents teach their children how to adjust to change. Psychologist and author Cindy Jett touches on two changes that children typically encounter: switching schools and growing up. Great for children with special needs.

At Book Aunt, Kate Coombs shares her passion for the books of the late Eva Ibbotson. Ibbotson has a gift for creating quirky, creepy wizards, ogres, witches, and ghosts. For example, The Chewer, a headless ghost, had a head "so stuck up with chewing gum that he had left it on the train". Ibbotson's books include The Secret of Platform 13, Which Witch?, The Ogre of Oglefort, and Dial a GhostFind out which book "charmed the socks off" Kate Coombs.   

Bridget Nicholson presents 50 Best Poetry Books for Kids. I was happy to see that my childhood favorite--Piping Down the Valleys Wild--was on the list.

At Read, Write, Repeat, Pat Zietlow Miller shares what Sonia, a kid reviewer, has to say about Patricia Polacco's The Junkyard Wonders. Sonia says the story is based on an incident in the author's life when she was part of a classroom, known as the junkyard, consisting of kids with perceived "issues" that made them feel like misfits. Fortunately, her teacher saw every child as a genius waiting to be discovered.   

Zoe Toft shares her admiration of the British illustrator Karin Littlewood and her latest book Immi at Playing by the book. Immi, an Inuit girl, goes ice fishing and catches not a fish but a surprise. Zoe shows us how she and her daughters took the book one step further and built an indoor ice-cube igloo. Find out how!

At The Children's WarAlex Baugh gives a detailed account of the re-released Cherry Ames Veterans' Nurse, by Helen Wells.  In this book, Cherry Ames, a character who appears in 27 mystery novels first published by Grosset and Dunlap between 1943 and 1968, joins the Army Nurse Corps and works in a VA hospital where she's put in charge of five wounded veterans.

Tarie at Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind updates us on the first Manila International Literary Festival, which took place in the Philippines on November 18-20. British author Andy Mulligan and Australian author Chris Cheng spoke about the children's book market, and Andy Mulligan's YA novel Trash, which School Library Journal named one of the best books of 2010, was featured.

At Apples With Many SeedsTammy Flanders suggests we inspire kids "artsy" sides by introducing them to books like Hanoch Piven's My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil (a book of fun similes and metaphors) and Jane Wattenberg's Henny-Penny. The collages in both books are brilliantly funny and creative. 

You might want to cover your ears before reading Jama Rattigan's review of Holler Loudly, by Cynthia Leitich Smith and Barry Gott! at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup. Holler, the main character, has such a LOUD voice it blows off rooftops, upends desks at school, and gets him thrown out of a movie theater. The spreads SCREAM for our attention, and just when our ears need a rest, we're served a bowl of delicious looking alphabet soup--to be SLURPED LOUDLY. The sweet, desserts at the end look yummy!  

...and speaking of LOUD...

Wendy Wax wants to know Who Took the Quiet Out of Libraries? Have you noticed how loud libraries have become?

Whistle and shout! Clap and cheer!  

Margo Tanenbaum interviews author Kristin O’Donnell Tubb at The Fourth Muskateer about her second book Selling Hope, which is set during the comet hysteria of 1920. Kristin says she came across this great idea while she was doing a research project for an activity book. "I discovered that Earth actually passed through the tail of the comet on May 18 and 19, 1910," she says. When Kristin read that all the hype led to people selling "comet pills", she knew she had to write Selling Hope.

Children's book author Lizann Flatt interviews Rebecca Upjohn, author of Last Loon, Patrick's Wish, and Lily and the Paper Man at The Flatt PerspectiveHow does the author create through the clamour of her busy life? Lizann asks. Rebecca shares the way she juggles the different parts of her life.

At Rick Sincere's News and ThoughtsRick Sincere reminds us that it's the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee's 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Independent film maker Mary McDonagh Murphy has written a companion book, Scout, Atticus and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird, to go with her new documentary. Mary believes that teachers assign To Kill a Mockingbird to their classes year after year because of the indelible characters, social message, and race and class issues.  

Carl Schwanke shares An Interview With Someone Who's Both a Reader Guy AND a Writer Guy at Boys Rule Boys Read! Twelve-year-old "Dark Omen" talks about the science fiction novel he is writing which is filled with adventure and mystery--but no romance. "Why waste words on romance and all that stuff when there are space battles?" says Dark Omen.

Find out how the art gets made.

Jacquitta McManus presents 3 of the Author's Favorite Illustrations in Labyrinth's Door - Anyia "Dream of a Warrior" at Journey of a Storyteller. Jacquitta says, "I started writing children stories years ago. It came out of a desire to create characters I felt my daughter could relate to. It also came from a desire to create stories that would excite her imagination when she laid in bed at night. This is my Journey." (The name of the talented illustrator--Toujour Byrd--whose illustrations are featured in the post should really be mentioned in the post!)

In Traditional + Digital = TRADIGITALGinger Nielson says there's no reason to frown upon "digitized" artwork. Ginger shows how she mixes traditional and digital styles in her own work. Her traditional sketch and watercolor study are lovely, as is the final painting done in a digital painting program, which only enhances her original artwork. 

At Daily Art Food, Wendy Martin presents Illustration for Picture Books. "What makes a great picture book?" says Wendy. "It’s a combination of stellar text and outstanding pictures, of course. This two part article covers the basics and gives lessons on how to begin your own book dummy."
WRITINTIPS are always key.
What works for you may work for me.
At The Poem Farm, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater shares a poem called Just Write, which she wrote to encourage young writers. Also included are two great book suggestions for teachers.   

Carmela Martino presents Mary Ann Rodman's post Writing with Your Gluteus Maximus. How does this "Master Procrastinator" get herself writing? She uses the "B-I-C" rule, which she explains simply. A must-read for easily-distracted writers.

A mom and dad are very fond
of taking books ONSTEBEYOND.

At Blah, Blah, Blog, Pamela Jorrick talks about the deep connection she feels with "Ma Ingalls" from the Little House books. When Pamela read the Little House books with her kids, they were actually living "off the grid" in the California mountains with a wood stove, very little electricity, and an oil lamp to read by. Pamela likes what her kids gained from the experience and continues to remind them of that way of life. She even recruited "Pa" to make lanterns with the kids--a craft that, rather than collecting dust, can actually be used.

Read Aloud Dad presents Why Reading Aloud to Your Children is NOT Important. "Whenever I tell someone that I read to my kids every night," says Read Aloud Dad, "I tend to keep a small secret to myself. It's not whether you do it that matters. It's mostly about HOW you do it."   

That's it for now. November's done.
Next we'll have some December fun!