Kids Love Books!!

Children’s Author to visit Wenatchee Public Library

Angela Morris - Tuesday, February 21, 2012
 

Come meet Lisa Ard who has written her first book called“Fright Flight!. Lisa grew up in Wenatchee and now lives in Portland. Wenatchee Public Library has copies of her book if you’d like to read it before you come hear her speak. Fright Flight is the first of the Dream Seekers series, and it’s based on a really interesting idea that a 12 year old boy and his family experience dreams in a much more significant way than normal people – whatever they dream while they are asleep is actually happening. A good example is that the book’s main character Patrick, often has dreams about sweet treats – and consequently wakes up very sick after a night of dreaming of gorging on ice cream sundae! You can imagine the consequences of dreaming about something really dangerous! His mom is also a dream seeker but has more highly developed skills in managing what happens in her dreams, so there is hope that Patrick will grow into a more mature dreamer that can handle anything that happens in his dreams. Meanwhile, he has great adventures – and more to come as the series unfolds. It is a fast read – and I think most kids 8-12 would really enjoy it – it might even spark some fun writing ideas for teachers and kids alike.    Wenatchee Public Library March 11 at 2:00.

Caldecott Medal 2012

Angela Morris - Monday, February 13, 2012
  A couple weeks ago I wrote about the 2012 winners of the Newbery Medal which is an award for excellence in chapter books. This week I wanted to give you the titles of the Caldecott Medal winner and honors that were announced in January. Remember, this award is given for “excellence of execution of artistic technique, interpretation of story/theme/concepts, appropriateness of style, and excellence of presentation for a child audience”. In other words, it is an award given for a book that is superior in how well the illustrations help tell the story, the art quality is of the highest standard and it is pleasing to the eye of a child. Think how hard it would be to make a decision! – there are so many wonderful books published every year.

The winner of the Caldecott Medal is “A Ball for Daisy” by Chris Raschka. The Caldecott committee says it is the story “of an irrepressible little dog whose most prized possession is accidentally destroyed”. The colors and illustrations are bright and bold and in a very kid-like style.

The first honor book is “Blackout” by John Rocco. It takes place in a large city where the electricity goes out one night – see people's first reactions and then find out how they cope. This link will take you to the author's website to view his Book trailer – very interesting. http://roccoart.com/blackout.html

The second honor book is “Grandpa Green” by Lane Smith. I love the whimsical illustrations in this book.

The third honor book is “Me....Jane” by Patrick McDonnell. This is a story about a young Jane Goodall – and the beginnings of her love for chimpanzees.

North Central Regional Library has all of these books in our collection, so what are you waiting for?

Book Award Season

Angela Morris - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It seems that the award season is upon us, and I don’t mean the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards, of course I mean the coveted Newbery and Caldecott Medals given for outstanding books for kids!  Last week it was announced that the Newbery Medal for 2012 was awarded to Jack Gantos for “Dead End in Norvelt”.  I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but the publisher says “In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.”  Surely it is somewhat autobiographical if the character’s name is the same as the author.

 The Newbery Honor books went to “Inside Out & Back Again” by Thanhha Lai.  This story set in Viet Nam is written in free verse which I thought I wouldn’t like, but it is an amazingly rich story.  The publisher says this about it “Inspired by the author's own childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam as a refugee and immigrating to Alabama, this tween novel told in verse is sure to capture young readers' hearts and open their eyes.

 

The other Newbery Honor goes to “Breaking Stalin’s Nose” by Eugene Yelchin.  The publisher notes say “In the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, ten-year-old Sasha idolizes his father, a devoted Communist, but when police take his father away and leave Sasha homeless, he is forced to examine his own perceptions, values, and beliefs.

 

What books would you have nominated for a Newbery Medal?  Remember the award is given to books for excellence in interpreting a theme, presentation of information, development of plot/characters/setting, and appropriateness of style. 

 

Next time…. The Caldecott Medal!

Favorite Picture Books of 2011

Angela Morris - Friday, January 20, 2012

What were your favorite picture books of 2011?  I would love to hear about them, and as always there are far too many to decide which is the best.  There were a few that come to mind that you may want to check out from your local library.  The first is "If You Give a Dog a Donut" by Laura Numeroff.

 

  Fans of the "If You Give" series will love this latest installment.  Bright, clear colors illustrate this circular story of the chain of events that are triggered if you give a dog a donut.  Cute dog!

An interesting picture book that came out last year is "I Want My Hat Back" by Jon Klassen.  I love the droll illustrations in this book - especially those eyes!

 Kids and adults will enjoy this humorous story of a bear looking for his hat by going from animal to animal asking if anyone has seen it.  Of course no one has seen his hat (some don't evenknow that a hat is!).  Bear is forever polite despite his growing consternation.

The 2011 Jerry Pinkney book is absolutely lovely.  "Twinkle Twinkle LIttle Star" is great because of it's beautiful illustrations by well-known illustrator Jerry Pinkney.  His style is always incredibly detailed, colorful and magical.

 The lyrics to "Twinkle Twinkle" serve to direct the actions of a cute chipmunk who flies off on an adventure.

Finally, the surprise hit of the 2011 picture books is "Press Here" by Herve Tullet. 

 You and your child will enjoy using your imagination to make this book work.  You will marvel at how a low-tech book can seemingly do so many things simply by "pressing" on the yellow dot.  Lots of fun.

What other books can we add to the list of greats of 2011?

The Hunger Games on the Big Screen

Angela Morris - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

 

Everyone that loves The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is eagerly awaiting the release of the movie version that will be released in March – and I’m certainly excited!  I can totally picture The Hunger Games as a movie since the book is such a page-turner.  If you haven’t read The Hunger Games, then I highly recommend it.  The story is set in a future where the oppressive government mandates that each year each of the districts in North America send a delegate to participate in the Hunger Games (only one person can win this fight to the death battle).  If the story was just tension and violence, I wouldn’t be interested, but the main character, Katniss, has a personality that pulls you right in to her story.  She’s 16, tough and gritty when she needs to be, which is often because she hunts wild game to provide food for her family.  She is also capable of great love and tenderness.  She is truly a noble warrior in the body of a 16 year old girl. 

 

                                                                                  

Be sure to read all three in the trilogy– and you will have time to read them before the March movie release!  Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

                                                           

 

Here are a few more books that you will surely enjoy if you love The Hunger Games:  The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, and Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.  Enjoy!

 

Eric Carle - Picture Book Illustrator Extraordinaire!

Angela Morris - Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Eric Carle is known for his striking collage illustrations.  Many of the books he illustrated  are considered children’s classics - “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” by Bill Martin Jr., “The Very Lonely Firefly”, and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” among many others.  Recently I heard a great interview with Eric Carle on NPR and he was talking about children, their artwork and how they should not be taught to “color in the lines”.  This is a concept that some of us have trouble with – knowing when it is the right time to teach children that there is a “right” way of doing things, but also that it is important for them to be free to create in their own way.  You can listen to this interview at:  http://www.npr.org/2011/10/08/141057271/the-blue-horse-that-inspired-a-childrens-book  If you were to ask young children what it is about Eric Carle’s illustrations that appeals to them (and they were able to articulate it) I think they would say that the colors are vibrant and the style is informal and abstract – qualities that often come through in children’s artwork.

        

Eric Carle was born in the United States but is of German descent and lived in Germany for many years during World War II.  When he was a boy he saw the stylized images and unconventional colors of the German expressionist artists and was particularly impressed with the artwork of Franz Marc.  Eric Carle’s latest book, “The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse”, illustrates how Franz Marc influenced his style in a series of boldly colored animal images.  In the back of the book he shows Franz Marc’s own Blue Horse, so we can easily see the idea that became his own trademark style - colorful animals.

 

North Central Regional Library has MANY of Eric Carle’s books, so please CHECK THEM OUT!  If you would like more information about Eric Carle or the Eric Carle Museum of Children’s Art go to these web links:

http://www.eric-carle.com/home.html    has coloring pages, a newsletter from Eric Carle and merchandise for sale.

 

http://www.carlemuseum.org/Home   explore Eric Carle’s website devoted to his museum, read articles and blogs in children’s literature, and see what exhibits are being shown at the Amherst, Massachusetts museum.

 

What’s your or your kids’ favorite Eric Carle book? 

Avi in Wenatchee!

Angela Morris - Friday, October 21, 2011

Avi will be in Wenatchee next week!  Come listen to him talk about his books, answer questions, and sign books.  Books will be for sale by "A Book for All Seasons" bookstore.

Join us  Tuesday, October 25th at 7:00 at Wenatchee Public Library for this wonderful literary event for kids and families!

For more information call  Angela Morris 509-663-1117.

 

 

Avi is coming to Wenatchee!

Angela Morris - Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are you an Avi-ophile? (lover of books written by Avi).  If so, you are in luck!!

Beloved author, Avi, will be making an appearance at Wenatchee Public Library on Tuesday, October 25 at 7:00, so mark your calendars now!  This event will feature a presentation given by Avi followed by a booksigning.  A Book for All Seasons bookstore will be on site selling books.

 

Avi has written more than 70 books for young people including the popular “Poppy” series, “Nothing But the Truth”, “True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle”, and “The Seer of Shadows”.  He has received two Newbery honor awards and the Newbery Medal for “Crispin, Cross of Lead” (What’s the Newbery Medal? Click here  http://tinyurl.com/4usuwp.)

          

He is known for writing in many different genres including: historical fiction, humor, mystery, and adventure stories.  My personal favorite is “The End of the Beginning” which is a sweet story of a snail and an ant who go on an adventure – to the end of the branch! It is told with droll humor in the style of “Winnie the Pooh”.  Another favorite Avi book is “Traitor’s Gate” told in a Charles Dickens style and is full of mysterious doings and suspicious characters set in 1849 London.  Fourteen year old John sets out to solve the mystery and free his father from debtor’s prison. 

  

Look for Avi’s newest book “City of Orphans” at your public library branch.

Please join us for this free family event at Wenatchee Public Library – bring your kids and their teachers!

What’s your favorite Avi book?

Brian Selznick's "Wonderstruck"!

Angela Morris - Friday, September 30, 2011

Brian Selznick was a well-known children's book illustrator until he gained even more popularity when he won the Caldecott Medal for "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" in 2008.

Winning the Caldecott was rather controversial because the award is given for outstanding children’s book illustrations and “The Invention…” is a combination of novel, picture book and graphic novel.  It is a wonderfully imaginative story that uses words and illustrations to move the narrative along.  You will find several pages of text and then several pages of illustration that moves the plot along without words.  It is the story of a young orphan boy in turn of the century Paris who takes care of mechanical clocks in the main train station.  It gets exciting when he discovers an “automaton”, or mechanical man, and attempts to secretly fix it to see what it will do.  Though it is listed for kids 9-12, I think people of all ages will enjoy it - I certainly loved it.  To find out more about the book and the upcoming movie to be released later this year go to this link:

http://www.theinventionofhugocabret.com/about_hugo_intro.htm

 Brian Selznick’s latest book out is called “Wonderstruck”.  It is written in a similar text/illustration style except this time there are two plots going on simultaneously.  Ben’s story is written in text and takes place 50 years apart from Rose’s story which is told with illustrations.  Both characters are solving a mystery and by the end of the book their stories are intertwined in a surprising finish!  To find out more about “Wonderstruck” go to: http://www.wonderstruckthebook.com/

Look for all of Brian Selznick’s books at your public library!  Anyone else enjoy “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”?  I can’t wait to see the movie!

Author Erik Brooks Wins Award

Angela Morris - Monday, September 19, 2011

Washington Center for the Book announces 2011 Washington State book Award Winners!

 

Last week it was announced that one of our own local authors, Erik Brooks, won the Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award in the category of picture book for writing and illustrating “Polar Opposites”.  Congratulations Erik!

 

 NCRL has had a long relationship with Erik Brooks who lives in Winthrop, WA.  He has been our Summer Reading Program author in residence several times and in 2009 he collaborated with area children to write “The Adventures of Super Princess Madam Zorony”.  Erik wrote and illustrated this book with the help of children at every branch he visited that summer by facilitating a brainstorming session at every program.  It was so cool to watch the kids collaborating with a real author!

A few of Erik’s wonderful books that he wrote and illustrated are:

“The Practically Perfect Pajamas”

“Slow Days, Fast Friends”

“Octavius Bloom and the House of Doom”

      

He also illustrates books for other authors including Betsy Byers’ “Boo’s Dinosaur and his latest collaboration with Laura Hulbert “Who Has These Feet”.  You can find out more about Erik Brooks artwork and books at www.erikbrooks.com.

 

   

 

NCRL is especially proud that Erik created our logo for our library storytimes “Links to Literacy”.  You may have seen these beautiful pictures of lynx in your branch library, on our delivery vans, bookmobile and now on library cards!

             

We are so lucky to have this kind of talent in our area!  What’s your favorite Erik Brook’s book?


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