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Stamp That "Latin Jazz"

463540_600x600 On Monday, September 8th, the U.S. Postal Service will issue a first-class stamp saluting Latin jazz. That's it, to the left.

Michael Bartalos, a children's book author as well as  a designer, created the stamp.

He wrote and illustrated the rhyming picture book Shadowville, published by Viking in 1995. His book does indeed feature bold graphics like the ones in the stamp as it tags along with shadows at night: "Crossing oceans and a hill/They all head to Shadowville." The lively bunch in this imaginative story play, eat, and snooze, and then it's time to go back to work. Ideal for preschoolers and kindergarteners, Shadowville is well worth tracking down at your library.

You can read an autobiographical portrait by Bartalos at the Graphic Artists Guild and examine his Bartalk type design at the website My Fonts. If your mini hepcats want to hear some musica (by Machito, Tito Puente, and others), visit Lincoln Center's Jazz for Young People Curriculum Online; click through to the "Latin & Afro-Cuban Jazz" section.

The stamp image comes from the United States Postal Service web site.

The 39 Clues, in the Book and on the Web

Author Rick Riordan talks to Motoko Rich at the New York Times about "The 39 Clues," a new mystery series for kids, which launches next week. Rich reports,

Scholastic has deployed its considerable marketing fire power behind the new series, which is tied to a Web-based game [...] and collectors’ cards. The publisher, which thrived on the enormous success of the Harry Potter novels, is now facing the reality that many children are now as engrossed in the Internet and video games as they are in books.