Friday, September 25, 2009

Author: Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo will be a speaker for the COOL BRAINS! INPRINT READINGS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE series Sunday, October 18, 2009 at Pershing Middle School, 3838 Blue Bonnet @ Stella Link

3 pm (doors open 2:30 pm)

The event is free to the public.

Her acceptance speech for the Texas Bluebonnet Award for Because of Winn-Dixie is the stuff of legend. All these years later, people are still looking for a video or transcript of her talk.

Here DiCamillo reads from her new book The Magician's Elephant.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Book Explosions

Greg Pincus at The Happy Accident has a highly entertaining post "To-Be-Read Piles – Small, Large, and Extra Large!" Go read it!!! You will feel better.

Nice to see I am not alone. My niece said my " collection" was "a book EXPLOSION!"

I had it all sort of organized but this summer, things got away from me. Improvements are in the offing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Movie: The Lightning Thief

A little more of The Lightening Thief. Thank you, entling no. 3.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Movie: Alice in Wonderland

Clever entling no. 1 pointed me in the direction of this un-embeddable official trailer to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. I had not seen it yet.

The trailer was released in June (2009.)

Also, more art and images at:
First look: What a weird 'Wonderland' Burton's made
By Susan Wloszczyna, USA TODAY

...and speaking of Helena Bonham Carter

Monday, September 14, 2009

Books to the Screen

Coming soon, hopefully, to an American television screen:
Helena Bonham Carter will play Enid Blyton in an upcoming biopic of the writer's life.

I note that Matthew Macfadyen and Denis Lawson (!!!!Wedge Antilles!!!!) will play her two husbands.

Be still my heart.

This BBC4 Trailer will NOT play on this side of the pond. A lashing of ginger beer, anyone?

Then Matthew Macfadyen led me to...

The Pillars of the Earth(IMDB) announced

Rufus Sewell is Tom Builder and Matthew Macfadyen is Prior Philip!

Pillars of the Earth website

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Horse Crazy

Horse Crazy: The Silver Horse Switch. Book 1, by Alison Lester; illustrated by Roland Harvey, Chronicle Books, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-8118-6554-8 Originally published in Australia as The Shadow Brumby in 2007. -- Book retailer supplied review copy

The first thought that came to mind after I finished this book was "what a jolly little series!" Jolly as in 1 a (1) : full of high spirits : joyous (2) : given to conviviality : jovial b : expressing, suggesting, or inspiring gaiety : cheerful 2 : extremely pleasant or agreeable : splendid synonyms see merry

Two friends, Bonnie and Samantha, love horses. They know all the horses in Currawong Creek. It is their familiarity with the different personalities and manners of these horses that help them figure out that the horse Sam's father uses for his police work has traded places with another brumby mare that is the same color and size. The girls work with the new horse to train it for the job so Sam's father will not detect the switch.

Roland Harvey's watercolor and ink illustrations take this story to the next level. Countless tiny, humorous details of life in Currawong Creek are depicted and invite the reader to study the pages closely, shades of "Where's Waldo." The characters and horses are expressive and full of life. The illustrations will beautiflly support emerging readers who are just beginning to read with fluency and discovering the pleasures of "chapter books."

Alison Lester has provided a little glossary of Australian terms so 'yanks' will understand expressions like "double-dinking" and "brumby" -- although the context of the story and the pictures make clear what the expressions mean.

A very 'jolly' little series to be sure!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't As Scary

Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't As Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents who disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Could Not Finish So Maybe You Can Help Us Out, Stories by Nick Hornby, Neil Gaiman, Jon Scieszka, Jonathan Safran Foer and more. Delacourt, 2005 -- publisher supplied review copy

I would just like to point out that the introduction to this book of short stories by Lemony Snicket is utterly and completely laugh-out-loud perfection.

It served as an outstanding introductory read for eighth grade English classes making their first visit to the school library this school year. Now eighth graders are a tough audience. They have heard the library spiel for two years in a row. They know where the Fiction is, They know where the NonFiction is shelved. They know they have to have their ID with them to check out books.

My lesson plan, as the substitute librarian, was to deliver the stern warnings about book damage, overdue items and other "cheerful" library topics.

-- sigh --

As first period slouched in, they fell on their chairs and draped their shoulders into a position on the table tops to best cradle their heads for sleep.

After the teacher arrived, I opened this book to the title page and began to read the "title without end." Heads began too pop up. I continued to the introduction. By the time I finished Snicket's first paragraph, every pair of eyes was on me and as I proceeded, tired faces began to assume a degree of alertness and mouths began to turn upward. When I arrived at the "tedious" snippets from "tedious" stories, they were completely with me. Laughter was filling the library. The kids completely got the artful skewering of the children's literature standards and afterwards, at least half the class asked where the library copy of this book could be found.

"Well, the library does not have it yet, but I've left a note for your librarian to get it."

Oh , I hope she does.

Buy this book for the introduction alone. The quirky, off beat and NEVER "tedious" short stories are a bonus. Also, the cover completely drew their attention. The last story in the book is served up with an unlikely set of characters and ends abruptly, with a request that the reader finish the story. I would love to read what they come up with.

This title is the next recommendation for fans of Guys Write for Guys Read: Boys' Favorite Authors Write About Being Boys.

This is A MUST HAVE.
Elementary school libraries, junior high, high school, go ahead. Put is on your acquisition list RIGHT NOW!

Yes, NOW!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Author: Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor's first book, Blackbringer, is in my "in case of reading emergency, open this book" kit that I take along when I substitute. (Oh, the first chapter with those empty shoes...)

The stunning cover art by (her husband) Jim DiBartolo compels you to reach for the book.

Now, Laini reports that 4 weeks after the birth of their beautiful Clementine, she is writing whole chapters. Honestly, 4 weeks after the birth of my children, I thought I was having a great day if I could get a shower.

My brain was in such a hormonal stew, I was happy to remember where I put the entlings, much less WRITE A BOOK.

I stand in awe, Laini.

She has shared some of Jim's art from her new book, Lips Touch, Scholastic, 2009. Here's a trailer.

They will be reaching for this one!

Now, where did I leave entling no. 3?

Oh, that's right, she is at college.

Movie: Where the Wild Things Are

Bringing ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ to the Screen interview with Spike Jonze about the movie from the NYTimes Magazine.

Related: Footage from You Make My Heart Sing
Footage from "Tell Them Anything You Want," a coming HBO documentary about Maurice Sendak directed by Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze, which airs on October 14.

And in case you have not seen the trailer yet:

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Thank you, Reading Rainbow

This story from NPR makes me very sad.

Reading Rainbow comes to the end of its 26-year run on Friday; it has won more than two-dozen Emmys, and is the third longest-running children's show in PBS history — outlasted only by Sesame Street and Mister Rogers.

My family watched Reading Rainbow from Day 1 and continued tuning in for years and years and years. The theme song was uplifting and inviting, "Take a look, it's in a book - Reading Rainbow." It became a sort of soundtrack for our day when my children were younger.

entling no. 1 was a wee tyke when the first Reading Rainbow episode aired. Lavar Burton was an enthusiastic and gracious host. I was raised listening to Robert Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo) read classics like Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel and Make Way for Ducklings.

Reading Rainbow celebrated the NEW classics. This was when we became aquainted with Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, Imogene's Antlers, Perfect the Pig, and A Three Hat Day. The kid's reviews at the end of the show were a new twist. Let the kids, speak for themselves and recommend book titles. That had never been done before.

The books were wonderfully narrated, with clever pan and scan editing of the illustrations. This series celebrated reading-aloud and the stories leapt through the television screen and into our hearts.

I can go anywhere!
Friends to know and ways to grow - Reading Rainbow.