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March 2007
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May 2007

Children's Literature Blogs at The Horn Book

Elizabeth Bird, the NYC librarian behind the Fuse # 8 blog, has written a swell article, "Blogging the Kidlitosphere," for the May/June issue of The Horn Book. She talks about how she started blogging, describes why she likes comments, and explains some of the conflict her blogging caused when she served as a Newbery judge recently. Betsy asks some tough questions, too, continuing a conversation that's been going on at the lit blogs this year:

... insofar as a blog doesn’t make money, it isn’t  beholden to anyone. The minute cash comes into play, all that will  change. Some book bloggers already place advertising banners on their sites. How will readers take this into account when weighing a blog’s credibility?

Go, read!

Announcement: Carnival of Children's Lit No. 14

Humanhtml The 14th Carnival of Children's Literature will be held right here at Chicken Spaghetti on Monday, May 21st. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, May 17th.

There's a theme: Fiesta! A Multicultural Celebration. The theme is for fun; I love a good fiesta. If you have a book-related post on another subject, that's fine, too. (No web-based original fiction, please. That's another carnival altogether.)

The focus of each Carnival  is children's books and reading. One entry per person is welcome. (Decide ahead of time which entry you would like to submit. I wish I had time to pick them myself, but, alas...) When submitting the link to your Fiesta! post, include these particulars:

1. Your name
2. The name of the blog, the title of your post, and the post's URL.

You can submit your links in two ways.

1. Email me at c_spaghettiATyahooDOTcom (Replace the AT and the DOT with the real things.) Write "Carnival of Children's Literature" in the email's subject line.


2. Use the form at the Blog Carnival site, which forwards email to me.

If you're wondering what a blog carnival is, I wrote an explanation back in March. Also check out Jen Robinson's wonderful April Carnival of Children's Literature.

Spread the word, and polish your party shoes!


"Red and Green" photograph courtesy of Natthawut Kulnirundorn for openphoto.netCreative Commons license: Attribution-ShareAlike

Poetry Friday: "Cat Poems"

9781590782873 Cat Poems, by Dave Crawley, is a picture book sure to please 4 to 9 year old  feline fans. Adults may find the collection of poems a little sing-songy after a while, but the book's kid appeal is strong. There's much to like here, as in the chaos depicted in "Seventeen Cats,"

Cat-loving Kevin
has seventeen cats.
They flop on the counter.
They hide in his hats.

Crawley knows cats; he could be talking about our big orange tabby when he writes, in  "Picking Friends,"

He always goes
to those
who don't much care
for cats

Lively full-color illustrations by Tamara Petrosino enhance the text. Several poems are laid out in cartoon panels of 12, a clever way of presenting verse.

You'll find a round-up of all of today's Poetry Friday participants at the blog A Wrung Sponge.

Children's Mysteries Honored

Last night at the Edgar Awards (sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America), the following children's books were recognized. (Many books for adults were honored, too, of course.)

  • Buried, by Robin Merrow MacCready--Best Young Adult Novel
  • Room One: A Mystery or Two, by Andrew Clements--Best Juvenile

Sarah Weinman sums up the Edgars goings on, at her blog, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind.

Guys Read, 1st Grade Version

Recently I took two books in Mo Willems' new "Elephant and Piggie" series to the Maple Street School, where I read with some first graders who need extra practice. Robert and Jeffrey took turns reading from My Friend Is Sad, and liked it a lot, especially when a robot appears. They were proud to read a book so long, 57 pages. (Much of that is illustration, a fact I kept to myself.) The text proved a little bit hard-going for Jeffrey, who becomes discouraged when he does not recognize words, which happens more often that he would like. Robert tried cheering him up, much as Piggie does with Elephant in the book. Robert helped Jeffrey out when he did not know a sound or phrase, plus Robert provided the entr'acte conversation that tickled me as much as the reading.

Robert, smiling, to me: I have a girlfriend.

Jeffrey: You do?

Me: Is she in your class?

Robert: Yeah. But she doesn't like me.

Jeffrey: Who is it?

Robert: She doesn't even speak to me, but I still like her.

Jeffrey: Who?

Robert: Daniela. But don't tell her. Please don't tell her.

Jeffrey, looking sad: I don't have a girlfriend. I don't like girls that much.

Robert: You like cars!

Jeffrey, face lighting up: Yeah. I like cars!

I gave the books to the teacher, so that the kids could read them during their independent reading time, which Robert was excited about. I left smiling. Next time I'll bring a book about cars.

Hubbell, Kann, Prince, But No Stewart

Anyone remember the Primarius Corporation? I didn't think so. Martha Stewart decamped Westport for New York's Westchester County, but that hasn't stopped the high life in the Connecticut town.

On Saturday, April 28th, at 2:30, a fun trio of children's book authors—Patricia Hubbell (Rabbit Moon), Victoria Kann (Pinkalicious), and Josh Prince (I Saw an Ant in a Parking Lot)—gathers at the Westport Public Library to read and chat.

No registration necessary. For additional information, hopscotch over to the library's web site.

Tracking Trash; Readathon; Dangerous Book; LA Fest

Loree Griffin Burns talked to WBUR radio's "Here & Now" about her book, Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion. The nonfiction book for 9 to 12 year olds garnered a starred review from School Library Journal. (Scroll down on the page at SLJ to find the review.)

The blogger MotherReader announced the second annual 48 Hour Book Challenge for June, in which you read and blog about as many children's books as you can in a two-day period. I participated last year, and it was fun! Sign up at the blog.

The Dangerous Book for Boys, a British bestseller, arrives on American shores May 1. The Standard, of Hong Kong, posts a story about the book.

Exuding the brisk breeziness of Boy Scout manuals and Boy's Own annuals, The Dangerous Book is a childhood how-to guide that covers everything from paper airplanes to go-carts, skipping stones to skinning a rabbit.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is happening April 28th-29th. Authors and panels abound.

Australia's Best, 2007

Australia's Children's Book Council announced its "Book of the Year" short lists. Margo Lanagan seems to make the roster every year; her story collection Red Spikes is included in the "Older Readers" section. Another title that sounds intriguing is All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome, by Kathy Hoopmann, in the "Information Books" category. The web site of the CBC of Australia also features annotated lists of 91 notable books. (news via Original Content)

"Mama's Saris"

Pooja Makhijani, who has contributed several fine guest columns to Chicken Spaghetti, sent me a copy of her first book, Mama's Saris. (The official publication date is May.) What a wonderful picture book! Illustrated in richly detailed patterns and vibrant hues by Elena Gomez, the story tells of a the first time a little girl gets to dress in one of her mother's saris. Mama wears saris on special occasions, so the little girl wants to wear one for her birthday. She turns seven today, after all. Almost grown! The warm mother-daughter connection that Pooja portrays so lovingly makes the book a great Mother's Day gift, not to mention birthday present.

Congratulations on your first book, Pooja!


13th Carnival of Children's Literature

For a whole Tilt-a-Whirl of good reading, head right over to the April Carnival of Children's Literature. Jen Robinson's Book Page is where you'll find the spinning enterprise, which is well-organized and easy to navigate, unless you stop for too long at the deep-fried Twinkie booth. (Take it from me: have the Twinkies after the rocking Pirate Ship.)

The next carnival will be right here at Chicken Spaghetti on Monday, May 21st. The deadline is Thursday, May 17th.

If you are new to the blogging world and want to know more about the children's literature carnivals, see this Chicken Spaghetti post from March.