Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Road Trip!

I have happily arrived at my parent's home outside of Buffalo, NY.  I will be resting and relaxing, and celebrating my Grandmother's 90th birthday.  Then, my dad and I head off on a road trip to Los Angeles where I will be putting some roots in the ground, finally!

This week I am also getting my books ready for the road trip.  I'm thinking this might be a good time to read Moon Over Manifest.  Although, I do have a couple hundred children's books stashed all around the house.  As you can see, I need a place where I can finally give all my books a home!  So, the task begins to pick some perfect road trip books.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Nikolas, the world's most well traveled cat, resting from part one of our trip.

In case you are interested, here is the route we plan on taking.  One day to Missouri, one day to New Mexico, camp for a couple of days in the Grand Canyon, and then off to LA!

View Trip Across with Dad in a larger map

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rapper's and Reader's Delight!

Last week, my students had the pleasure of meeting local (to the Boston area) children's book author and DJ, a pretty amazing combination,  Jef Czekaj (pronounced check-eye) created a comic for Nickelodean Magazine (Grandpa and Julie: Shark Hunters) and has now published a few books.  And they are awesome!  He gave a great presentation, laying down some cool beats so the kids could rap along with the lyrics in his book Hip and Hop Don't Stop. We were getting down and reading, what could be better!?  Here are my favorites!

Hip and Hop Don't Stop
This retelling of the classic tortoise and the hare story puts Hip and Hop as two rappers.  Hip, the turtle, raps real slow.  Hop, the rabbit, raps real fast.  Coming from two different sides of the swamp, they battle in a rap off.  Check his amazing trailer below.  What makes this awesome for the grown-ups?  The references to real hip hop culture when the two main characters are listening to "J-Zebra," "Luda-fish," "Queen La-Treefrog," and more.  What can I say? Gangsta!

Cat Secrets
I don't know if anyone could appreciate this as much as my students and I, as we got to see Jef dress up in his amazing cat costume, but it's worth a try.  In this book, the cats discover that someone is trying to discover all their cat secrets...YOU!  This book gets the reader involved as the cats try to see if you are a cat, or someone trying to steal their secrets. Watch this trailer too.

A Call for a New Alphabet
The letter X is sick and tired of his place in the alphabet and how he is so rarely used in words.  He gathers up all the other letters and they decide it is high time for a change.  But when he goes to sleep, his dreams teach him all the rules of the other letters and he starts to second guess his idea.  Will the alphabet change?  Only one way to find out!

Want more?  Check out his website HERE!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bookstore For Sale in LA!

Yet another independent bookstore item in the news today!  I found this through LAist.com.  This woman owns an independent bookstore in downtown LA and she needs to take care of someone in her family so she can no longer run the store.

Qualifications?  "business will remain a bookshop" and "people who are 'known in the Los Angeles book store community.'"

So who wants to tell them that I am "known in the bookstore community"...anyone!?

Read the Article Here!

Monday, June 6, 2011

So Long, Curious George Bookstore!

Just heard this on NPR and found the article on boston.com.  Curious George, one of the BEST children's bookstores ever is closing it's doors.

We need a revolution!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Good News and Bad News for Readers in LA

I am making my trek back to Los Angeles and recently read about some updates in the book world over there.

First, the good news.  Book clubs are popping up everywhere!  No mention of a children's book club so it looks like I have a market!

Second, the bad news.  Two more independent bookstores are closing their doors. 

Summer Reading...Suggestions?

Oh summer, the time I usually get to catch up on my reading.  Tunnels has been neglected as I prepare to pack, teach, and move across the country for (hopefully) the last time.  However, I plan on doing my summer reading.  After Tunnels, the top of the list is Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.  This book won the Newbery Medal and I have yet to turn it's pages.  I will also add a Gabriel Garcia Marquez book to the list, which one yet I am not sure.  I have read one of his book's every summer for the last 8 years.

I am looking for my faithful followers to make some suggestions for me, or anyone else who reads this blog!  Post them on here and I'll see how many I can get through!