Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November?! How Did That Happen??

I don't know how we managed to get all the way to November, but here we are!  I'm about to get all dressed up to head to the annual West Hollywood Halloween Parade.  It is by far one of my favorite events of the year.  This year I wanted to be Coraline, but I didn't start it in time to get all the right costume elements.  So I settled for Peter Pan...I know, not really settling.  I will be on the lookout for any bookish characters tonight and will be sure to post soon!

In the meantime, here are some events in November.  (Candlewick Press just published ALL their events for November/December.  You can find them here!)In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I know Books of Wonder in NYC was closed as of today.  Boston seems to have missed the brunt of the storm and just suffered from closed schools and businesses for a couple of days.  Want to help?  Go back and support those small businesses for your holiday shopping this year!

Los Angeles

November 3
Marla Frazee and I
* The Children's Literature Fall Gala, at the Skirball, with keynote speakers Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann, 9:00 am - 12:30 pm.  More info here
*  Cornelia Funke, author The Thief Lord and Inkheart, will be reading and signing at Children's Book World, 5 - 7 pm.  10 % of all proceeds will benefit Book Roots.
*  Marla Frazee, author and illustrator, introduces her new book Boot and Shoe, Vroman's, 10:30 am

November 4
*  Marla Frazee, author and illustrator, introduces her new book Boot and Shoe, Once Upon a Time Bookstore, 2:00 pm

November 8
*  David Shannon, author of No, David!, will present Jangles, Mrs. Nelson's, 5 pm

November 10
*  Author Jean Reagan will host a special Storytime, Mrs. Nelson's, 11:00 am

November 11
*  David Shannon, author of No, David!, will present Jangles, Once Upon a Time Bookstore, 2 pm

November 19
* Carrie Arcos & Ann Redisch, read and present Out of Reach and Where It Began, Vroman's, 7 pm

November 28
*  Author and illustrator Salina Yoon will be reading and signing books at Mrs. Nelson's, 11 am

November 3
*  Joshua Glenn, author of Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, presents his book at Brookline Booksmith, 5 pm
* Leeza Hernandez presents her first book, Dog Gone!, The Eric Carle Museum, 2 pm
* Lise Friedman and Mary Dowdle present their book Becoming a Ballerina: A Nutcracker Story, Porter Square Books, 1 pm

November 4
*  Award-winning illustrator, Janice Hechter reads from her newest picture book, The Great Elephant Escape, The Eric Carle Museum, 2 pm

November 5
*  Catherynne M. Valente, author of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, presents the sequel The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, Brookline Booksmith, 7 pm. 

November 7
* Rosemary Wells will be reading Max & Ruby's Treasure Hunt, The Curious George Store, 10:30 am

November 11
* In celebration of The Eric Carle's 10th anniversary, a Book Signing Bash has been planned.  This is taken from their website: The 10th Anniversary celebration continues with book signings from Iconic Images artists, special concert by the South Hadley Children’s Chorus, and “Doodles for Dollars” featuring Eric Carle, Tony DiTerlizzi, and Peter Laird ($10 per doodle.) Please note: Doodles will go on sale at noon the day of the event. There is a limited number for each artist and we expect to sell out.
November 17
* Author Coleen Paratore presents a special storytime, Wellesley Books, 10 am
* Diane Lang reads selections from her new book, Vulture Verses: Love Poems for the Unloved, The Eric Carle Museum, 2 pm

November 18th
* Emily Neuburger, author of Show Me a Story, a book about cool crafts for kids, Brookline Booksmith, 2pm (NOTE - I just received this book as a gift from a fabulous parent at my rocks!)
* Storyteller Dr. Gail N. Herman and songwriter Sally Rogers put on a special storytelling event at The Eric Carle, 1 pm, tickets required.
* Brett Axel reads from his new book Goblinheart: A Fairy Tale, The Eric Carle, 2 pm

Washington DC

Politics and Prose features the following authors: Mr. Gabe on 11/5, Henry Cole on 11/7, Kate Kelly on 11/14, Margie Preus on 11/19, Arthur Dorros (author of Abuela) on 11/20, Allie Condie on 11/29, and Jordan Jacobs on 11/30.

Horray 4 Books in Arlington, VA features cartoonists, crafters, and a bunch of book club opportunities. Check out their events here.

Busboys and Poets features a weekly storytelling event for children.  Check out their schedule here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Should Children Read Up?

Would you let your 2nd grader
read this book?
As a teacher and someone obsessed with children's books, I often find myself in this ongoing battle.  Should I let kids read books that are too advanced for their age or should they stick with books that are more "developmentally appropriate?"  I posed this same question in another post.  I often have parents ask me the same question.  It started with the popular Harry Potter series.  Then, when The Hunger Games came, I had a lot of parents asking if their child should read it...when they were in 3rd grade.  On one hand, I don't want to discourage kids from reading books, on the other, I want them to enjoy the story as it is meant to be enjoyed.

Roseanne Parry wrote this article for the Horn Book's online blog today.  Here she poses the same question, only as a mother, not as a teacher.  I found her point of view, and the change in her thinking, very interesting.  She explains how her mother always encourage her to "read up"  When Parry had her own children she wanted to follow in the same tradition.

Parry goes on to explain how Harry Potter waltzed it's way into their household, how she fully embraced the desire for everyone, her eight, eleven, fourteen, and sixteen year olds, to read the book.  Soon, however, Parry realizes some unforeseen downsides to letting her youngest children read up.  One notion I found interesting was that because it took her youngest so long to read the first six books, an entire school year, she missed out on all of the other books that other 2nd graders were reading.  Is that type of sacrifice worth it?

I found the article very intriguing and more of a practical way of explaining why kids shouldn't always be encouraged to "read up."  It has nothing to do with reading levels, grade level, or tests.  It simply has to do with making sure kids are really, truly, enjoying the books they read.  Check it out!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What the Tweet?!?

Lately, it seems, Twitter and Blogger haven't been getting along.  Want to see what we have been tweeting? Check it out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to Us!

It was 2 years ago today that I started this blog, dedicated to children's literature.  I am loving every single second of it and I truly appreciate your support!  We are nearing our 10,000 view mark, we have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and sometime soon a real grown-up website will be up and running.  THANKS!!!!!

Here's to many more years of good books!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Charlotte and Wilbur!

It was 60 years ago today that the classic Charlotte's Web by E.B. White was published.  How lucky are we?  To hear more information, check out this report from NPR this morning. 

My favorite line is at the very end of the book. 

"It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.  Charlotte was both."

Happy birthday to the entire family at Mr. Zuckerman's farm!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The New Celebrity

This student won a trip to an author visit
with me at a silent auction last year.  He chose
to visit Jon Klassen!

Living in Los Angeles, one of the things my friends from elsewhere often ask me is, "Have you seen any celebrities?"  Of course I always answer with the slew of names that I've acquired in the 5 years since my relationship with LA began.  However, there has never been a celebrity that I've gone gaga for as much as I have with some of my favorite authors.

I guess I'm just still that nerdy little girl I have always been, but I get jumping-out-of-my-boots excited when I see or meet someone whose book has changed my life.  Imagine, someone once sat in their office, room, a cafe, etc. and wrote words or drew pictures on a piece of paper that can make me laugh, cry, and ponder.  They don't get paid millions of dollars.  They don't have their name and face plastered on a cereal box.  They just do what they do best, send it out into the world, and hope people like it.

My mission?  To help the next generation join me in celebrating the new celebrities, people who write and illustrate books.  Whenever I meet an author/illustrator and get a book signed, I put the photo of us in the front of the book and bring it to school.  My students and I read the books over and over again.  We talk about the books.  We look at websites.  Sometimes we even write letters.  These authors and illustrators become the celebrities of our classroom.

Last year it was Jon Klassen, author and illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, who became our biggest celebrity.  We read I Want My Hat Back who knows how many times and we jumped on Extra Yarn when it came out.  This year, we added Klassen's characters to our classroom walls.  And this past Tuesday, when I told my kids that Jon Klassen would be celebrating the release of his new single Super Bowl win movie children's book, This is Not My Hat, well, we showed up!  There were 18 kids in all, including siblings.  Lots of parents filled the room and we definitely were the biggest group there.  I beamed as kids showed up, running up to me saying, "I saw him! I think I saw him!"

We listened to Jon read the new book and the sibling of one of my students held the book for him as he read.  When Klassen asked if anyone had questions, I couldn't help but burst with pride as my students and their parents asked many questions.  They kept looking back at me with these big, silly grins on their faces.  "That's really him!!"

After the reading, we basically sold Skylight Books out of most of his books.  Some kids didn't even get a copy.  But they stood in line and found something for him to sign.  Jon was lovely enough to take a minute away from the huge line and get a group picture with us. (With camera flashes going off from all the parents, it felt like paparazzi!) Words can't describe the feeling I had walking back to my car Tuesday night.  Or Wednesday morning when they all rushed into the classroom to see if I had posted the group picture in the book (I did) and to show me their signed copies.  They kids who didn't make the event were  high-fiving their friends and wanted to know when we could read the book.

One of my favorite moments was the day after meeting Jon Klassen, when one student said, "Meg! Meg!  When is the next author coming??" Yep, the new celebrity.  My mission has begun!

The sibling who got to hold a book for a real celebrity!

Slightly blurry, but I think it captures our excitement!

Thanks Jon Klassen!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Happy Mad Hatter Day!

I'm MAD for hats!
Today is Mad Hatter Day!  How do I know?  I follow this wonderful blog called Children's Book-A-Day Almanac written by children's lit expert Anita Silvey.  Not only does she post about an amazing book every single day, she also has fun bookish events listed on a side panel.  It is a "This happened today" for children's literature.

If you want to keep track of great books and fun book-related should check her out!  If you are in need of a good hat, Bostonians should head to my personal favorite hat store...Salmagundi in Jamaica Plain.

Happy Mad Hatter Day!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Events

As most of the country welcomes a cool, crisp change in weather, we here in LA are trying not to move as the temperatures reach triple digits again.  One way to stay cool in LA is to attend one of these author events!  East Coast folk, you have the Boston Book Festival coming up at the end of October with some great authors.  It seems like the author events have really amped up this fall.

There is a bonus for you folks on the East Coast.  Last month my sister attended an author event in DC.  She had such a great time that she requested I start posting author events in the DC area.   I will start with the stores I know but if you know spots I am missing please let me know!

Los Angeles

October 2
*Arthur Salm presents his book Anyway, 2 pm, Mrs. Nelson's

October 3
* Dominick Domingo reads and presents his book The Nameless Prince, 7 pm, Vroman's Bookstore

October 5
* Sharon Creech presents at a school site.  The event is open to the public.  For information contact Children's Bookworld

October 6
* Bob Balaban presents his book Creature From the Seventh Grade, 6:30 pm, Once Upon a Time Bookstore

October 8
* Annie Barrows, author of the Ivy & Bean series, reads and presents her books, 5 pm, Mrs. Nelson's

October 9
* Jon Klassen reads and signs his new book This is Not My Hat, 7:30 pm, Skylight Books (If you show up you may see me and a few students there!)
* Barney Saltzberg presents his new book Andrew Drew and Drew, 9:45 am, Children's Bookworld
* Ken Baker signs and presents Fangirl, 7 pm, Vroman's Bookstore
* Artist Loren Long reads and presents Nightsong, 5 pm, Mrs. Nelson's 

October 10
* Annual Teacher's Night at Vroman's Bookstore! 5 pm
* Lauren Oliver, author of Leisel & Po and her new book The Spindlers, 7 pm, Mrs. Nelson's
* Artist Loren Long reads and presents Nightsong, 7 pm, Once Upon a Time Bookstore

October 13
* David Derrick signs and presents Animals Don't, So I Won't, 10:30 am, Vroman's Bookstore

October 14
* Betsy R. Rosenthal presents her new book Looking for Me, 11 am at Temple Beth Israel in Pomona
* Libba Bray signs and presents The Diviners, 1:00 pm Children's Bookworld and 5:30 pm, Vroman's Bookstore

October 21
* Pop-Up artist Matthew Reinhart hosts a Star Wars Extravaganza, 2 pm, Once Upon a Time Bookstore
* The Class Acts Tour stops by Mrs. Nelson's, 1 pm
* Authors David Levithan and Rachel Cohn read and present their books, 3 pm, Santa Monica Public Library

October 22
*Authors David Levithan and Rachel Cohn read and present their books, 7 pm, Mrs. Nelson's

October 24
* Susan Zeidler presents her books The Practice Room and Flying Through Music at MY school!  8:45 am
*Dave Pilkey signs and presents his latest Captain Underpants book, 5 pm, Mrs. Nelson's
* Diane DeGroat speaks at a school site, event open to the public.  For information contact Children's Bookworld

October 25
* Dav Pilkey, author of the Captain Underpants series, presents at a ticketed event, 5 pm, Children's Bookworld

October 26
* Derek Taylor Kent reads and presents his Scary School Books, 5 pm, Mrs. Nelson's

October 27
* Illustrator David Harrington presents his book Pecos Bill Invents the Ten Gallon Hat, 11 am, Mrs. Nelson's
* Vroman's hosts a Harry Potter Halloween Party! 5 pm

October 28
* Georgia Bragg presents her book How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous, 2 pm, Once Upon a Time Bookstore


October 5
* Jan Brett reads from Mossy at the Wellesley Public Library, 5 pm

October 6
* MO WILLEMS!!! and Tom Warburton present at the Cambridge Public Library, 11:00 do I always miss him??!?!?!
* David Shannon shares his new book Jangles, 2 pm, Wellesley Books
* Frane Lessac and Mark Greenwood present their book, The Greatest Liar on Earth, 2 pm, The Eric Carle Museum

October 7
* Gina Damico presents his new YA novel Scorch, 5 pm, Brookline Booksmith
* Susan Hood presents her new books Spike and The Mixed-Up Monster, 2 pm, The Eric Carle Museum

October 13
* Annie Barrows, author of the Ivy & Bean series will present her books at The Children's Book Shop, 3:30 pm

October 20
* Iza Trapani presents her book The Bear Went Over the Mountain, 2 pm, The Eric Carle Museum

October 22
* Newbery author Lois Lowry reads from her new book in The Giver series, Son, 7 pm, Wellesley Books

October 23
* Newbery author Lois Lowry (seriously, go to one of these!!) reads from her new book Son, 7 pm, Porter Square Books

October 26
* NOT a kid's event but one I have to support!  As part of the Read Local, Drink Local series at Porter Square Books, Pretty Things Beer will represent with Brewed Awakenings author Joshua M. Bernstein.  This is one of my favorite local brews in Boston folks...head on out!

October 27
* Boston Book Festival!  Head on over to see great authors and children's lit experts such as M.T. Anderson, Harry Bliss, Rachel Cohn, Jef Czejak, Jo Knowles, Leonard Marcus, Kadir Nelson, Lemony Snicket, Roger Sutton, and Maria Tartar.  Check it out for more info!

Washington, DC

Politics and Prose just won the award for "HOLY COW, FOR REAL?" author events of the month.  Check out all of their amazing events here.   I love that this bookstore has a separate calendar for kid's events...makes my job easier.  My favorites include: Judith Viorst on October 9, Lois Lowry on October 16, Class Acts tour including Jon Scieszka on October 18, and Jon Klassen on October 23.

Horray 4 Books in Arlington, VA has a slew of amazing events, including Jon Klassen!  He is really doing well with his new book. Check out their events here.