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… unless you have a Mars lander June 16, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction.
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There’s nothing to do on Mars is the title of a fun picture book by Chris Gall, but NASA begs to differ. Here’s the latest from the agency’s Phoenix Mars Mission:

June 13, 2008 New observations from NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander provide the most magnified view ever seen of Martian soil, showing particles clumping together even at the smallest visible scale.

In the past two days, two instruments on the lander deck — a microscope and a bake-and-sniff analyzer — have begun inspecting soil samples delivered by the scoop on Phoenix’s Robotic Arm.

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Waldo hits drinking age June 16, 2008

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Waldo turns 21 this year! Expect new books this fall, a new website, and there’s a cool game going on right now on Flickr.

Going, going, Gon June 16, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J fiction, J is for Juvenile, manga.
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From Cynopsis Kids:

Japanese publisher Kodansha enters into a deal with Korean production house Daewon Media to produce a animated new TV series based on Gon, a non-verbal early 1990s manga series by Masashi Tanaka for air in 2010, per Anime News Network. Gon revolves around a small and cute orange dinosaur. Several years back Sprite Animation Studios, which announced it was at work on a movie version of Gon, but not word on what happened to that endeavor.

This adorable wordless manga title can be hard to find, but it’s perfect for the kid who still struggles with reading – keeps that kid holding books and turning pages until the reading thing gels.

Hollywood comes to Chewandswallow June 16, 2008

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Anna Faris and Saturday Night Live’s Andy Samberg will be two of the voices in the feature-length animated movie adaptation of the evergreen children’s favorite Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

As reported in MTV’s Movies blog:

The blockbuster will be the next from the studio that made “Open Season” and “Surf’s Up,” and is based on the 1982 book by the wife-and-husband author/illustrator duo Judi and Ron Barrett.

Targeting a March 27th release date, the film will build on the book’s brevity by digging deeper into the origins of Chewandswallow, a town that rains breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.

Martial arts mayhem June 5, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, manga.
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With the release of Kung Fu Panda (and all of its attendant merchandizing, and believe me, they’re merchandizing the heck out of this one), we are sure to see additional interest in martial arts books (796.8) and DVDs. Don’t forget manga, Jeff Stone’s Five Ancestors series, and  biographies of Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan!

To infinity… and beyond! May 30, 2008

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From Cynopsis Kids:

Buzz Lightyear has a big weekend coming up as he, actually a 12-inch Buzz action figure, heads for the Space Station aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery, which is set to liftoff from Kennedy Space Center this Saturday, May 31 at 5:02p. Buzz’s adventure is part of the Space Ranger Education series, which in turn is part of NASA’s Toys in Space initiative. So, while Buzz is on his “to infinity and beyond” trip, he will help introduce facts from space to kids in science and math classes nationwide. The toys in Space program builds on NASA’s effort to encourage kids to study science, technology and math subjects. Developed by Disney and NASA, Toys in Space includes downloadable materials for educators to use in class as well as online, educational games linked to each key component of the mission. The series can be accessed via www.nasa.gov , and will be available throughout 2008. Ah, yes, the mission also coincides with the official opening of the Toy Story Mania! attraction at Walt Disney World this Saturday and on June 17 at Disneyland Resorts California.

Capitalize on this kooky NASA initiative by giving juvenile books on space, science, technology and math deserve their own space in the sun.

Kid-a-palooza May 29, 2008

Posted by sneaks in CDs, J is for Juvenile, JCDs, summer.
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From Cynopsis Kids:

Buena Vista Concerts and AEG Live unveil plans for the Disney Music Block Party Tour (www.disneymusicblockpartytour.com), a kid/family-targeted festival style live concert series featuring a range of artists.  Sponsored by Playskool and NAMM, the afternoon concert events will also feature variety of on-site activities, including: trying out new toys at Playskool’s Play Experience area; make their own music at NAMM’s Wanna Play? Musical instrument area; games; dance floors; and a tent where kids can watch Playhouse Disney.  The 23-date national concert tour kicks off Friday, July 25 in New Jersey. Participating artists on select dates will include They Might Be Giants, Imagination Movers, Barenaked Ladies, Dan Zanes, Ralph’s World, and Choo Choo Soul, and special guest host Raven-Symone.

Something Disney concert Playskool… blah blah blah… huh-whuh?! Dan Zanes? Barenaked Ladies? They Might Be Giants?! Dude, we’re goin’!

We’ll keep an eye on this – if it comes to our area we’ll want to showcase CDs by the artists on the tour.

World Refugee Day, June 20 May 29, 2008

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The UN adopted June 20 as World Refugee Day to bring attention to the plight of the millions of people around the world who have been displaced from their homes by persecution, war, natural disaster, scarcity, and other reasons.

The refugee challenge in the 21st century is changing rapidly. People are forced to flee their homes for increasingly complicated and interlinked reasons. Some 40 million people worldwide are already uprooted by violence and persecution, and it is likely that the future will see more people on the run as a growing number of push factors compound one another to create conditions for further forced displacement.

Today people do not just flee persecution and war but also injustice, exclusion, environmental pressures, competition for scarce resources and all the miserable human consequences of dysfunctional states.

The task facing the international community in this new environment is to find ways to unlock the potential of refugees who have so much to offer if they are given the opportunity to regain control over their lives.

A display on natural disasters, recent conflicts (i.e. Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Tibet), and the countries recently affected by catastrophic events (Myanmar, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia) would be a great way to commemorate this day.

Local Events: The Creative Alliance hosts Somalia on these Shores Friday June 20 and Saturday June 21 at 8pm.

Has it been ten years already? May 27, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J fiction, J is for Juvenile.
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Wow. Was there really life before Harry? (Kidding!) From Cynopsis Kids:

Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine will publish a special anniversary edition of J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in the US on September 23, 2008. The anniversary edition will include exclusive bonus material from Rowling and feature new cover art and frontispiece (an illustration facing the title page) by illustrator of the US Potter books, Mary GrendPre, featuring 11-year-old Harry looking into the Mirror of Erised.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first published in the US in September 1998.

So don’t weed all your copies out – there’s life in this franchise yet!

Someone’s in the kitchen with the kids May 22, 2008

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The other day, The New York Times noticed that kids are interested in cooking, and that people publish cookbooks aimed at kids. Really?!

When was the last time you did a kids’ cookbook display?

Here are a few new(ish) kid cookbooks and a few golden oldies to consider for a spring display:

Kitchen playdates : easy ideas for entertaining that include the kids, 70 delicious recipes, plus menus, activities, and 10 playdates / by Lauren Bank Deen. 642.4 D

Holy guacamole! : and other scrumptious snacks / by Nick Fauchald ; illustrated by Rick Peterson 641.53 F

Yum-O! : the family cookbook / by Rachael Ray. 641.555 R

Cool lunches to make & take : easy recipes for kids to cook / Lisa Wagner. 641.53 W

Cool foods for fun fiestas : easy recipes for kids to cook / Lisa Wagner. 641.5972 W

The Spatulatta Cookbook by Isabella and Olivia Gerasole. 641.5123 G

Pretend Soup and Salad People by Mollie Katzen

 

 

2008 Beyond Margins Award Winners May 22, 2008

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The PEN/Beyond Margins Award celebrates outstanding books by writers of color published in the United States during the previous year. 

This year’s winners are:

Chris Abani, Song for Night
Amiri Baraka, Tales of the Out and the Gone
Frances Hwang, Transparency
Naeem Murr, The Perfect Man
Joseph M. Marshall III, The Day The World Ended at Little Big Horn

Previous Beyond Margins winners when you click “more”.

(more…)

It’s a small world – when you’re small May 22, 2008

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Have you ever noticed how beautiful the Korean picture books in BCPL’s collection are? Don’t you wish you could read them?

Well, at the International Children’s Digital Library Foundation’s web site, you can! Some of them, at least – not all of the outstanding children’s books from around the world that the Foundation has scanned and put online have been translated. But you can look through all of them page by page, read summaries, and compare versions of stories such as The Three Little Pigs from around the world.

The mission of the International Children’s Digital Library Foundation is to excite and inspire the world’s children to become members of the global community – children who understand the value of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online.

The scanned books are indexed by title, and by country.

Summer Reading Buzz May 22, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J is for Juvenile, summer.
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Supplement your Summer Reading Club book suggestions with some titles from the booklists that Scholastic has compiled for their summer reading program, “Summer Reading Buzz“. What a coincidence!

Go, Speed Racer, Go! May 16, 2008

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Supplement a display of auto racing books, picture books of race cars, and biographies of drivers with a few books on how to draw anime characters – Speed Racer is more than just a movie right now, with Speed Racer: The Next Generation on Nickelodeon and Speed Racer: Classic being rebroadcast all around the world. The old animated series has also been released on DVD.

Cheetah Girls go to India May 16, 2008

Posted by sneaks in DVDs, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, YA.
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Disney Channel’s new original movie, The Cheetah Girls One World, will premiere on the Disney Channel on Friday, August 22 at 8p. In it, the Cheetah Girls (Chanel, Dorinda, and Aqua, and yes we had to look that up) travel to India to star in a Bollywood movie.

To support the premiere of The Cheetah Girls One World, which was filmed on location, Disney will feature a 12-part “making of” series of segments, The Road to The Cheetah Girls One World, starting Friday, May 16 at 8p on Disney Channel and http://www.disneychannel.com . New segments will premiere biweekly in May, June and July, and weekly in August.

This seems to call for a little list of J and teen authors who write about India or Indian-Americans. It is our pleasure to oblige:

Mitali Perkins
Uma Krishnaswami
Vandana Singh
Kashmira Sheth
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Rudyard Kipling
Tanuja Desai Hidier
Narinder Dhami

You might beef up any display with a selection of Bollywood movies. Most are suitable for young people. Best way to find them in CARL is to do a keyword search on “motion picture India”.

Girl, you’re beautiful May 16, 2008

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From Cynopsis Kids:

Tween girls 8-12 are spending some $500 million annually on beauty products according to the NPD Group’s newest report, Insight Into the Youth Beauty Market, which in addition to tweens looks at a broader spectrum of youth consumers 8-24 years old. In the survey tween girls report first using beauty products at 10 years old.

Enough reason for a mini-display of beauty books in Young Adult, wouldn’t you say?

Hospital reading May 15, 2008

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The Baltimore Sun ran an article this morning about book clubs in hospitals (“Hospital staff turn the page”). The organizers of the book club at Mercy Medical Center and more than 100 other hospitals around the country hope that book clubs that engage both staff and patients will contribute to the doctor-patient relationship. They envision “care becoming less rushed and institutional and more comprehensive and personal.”

The list of books in the Sun includes such perennial favorites as Tuskegee’s Truths: Rethinking the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. If you’re not finding that on your shelf (you won’t), suggest these other books with a medical theme, from the Sun’s list, BCPL’s catalog, and the minds of librarians:

Fiction

The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

The Things they carried by Tim O’Brien

Bloodletting & miraculous cures. Short stories by Vincent Lam

Lifelines / CJ Lyons

Life class / Pat Barker

Where the river ends / Charles Martin

Father Michael’s lottery : a novel of Africa / Johan Steyn

Nonfiction

The diving bell and the butterfly. Bauby, Jean-Dominique. 362.43 B

The spirit catches you and you fall down : a Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures / Anne Fadiman. 306.46 F

Better : a surgeon’s notes on performance / Atul Gawande. 616 G

Head cases : stories of brain injury and its aftermath / Michael Paul Mason. 617.481 M

Intern : a doctor’s initiation / Sandeep Jauhar. B JAUHAR

What patients taught me : a medical student’s journey / Audrey Young. 610.92 Y

Swimming in a sea of death : a son’s memoir / David Rieff. B SONTAG

The middle place / Kelly Corrigan. B CORRIGAN

The Chronic May 9, 2008

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It’s that time again… massive summer family fantasy movie time, that is.

Prince Caspian, the second movie of The Chronicles of Narnia, opens May 16. Bust out your C.S. Lewis, your Philip Pullman, your Lloyd Alexander and your Madeleine L’Engle (hey and isn’t it about time for another attempt at adapting A Wrinkle in Time?).

Other authors to put on the display:

  • Holly Black
  • Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Garth Nix
  • Susan Cooper
  • Brian Jacques
  • Cornelia Funke
  • Christopher Paolini
  • Tony DiTerlizzi
  • Gerald Morris
  • Tamora Pierce

What Kids Are Reading May 8, 2008

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Renaissance Learning has announced the largest survey ever of youthful reading in the United States.

What Kids Are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in American Schools (PDF) is the first comprehensive report to provide detailed information about books school children are actually reading. While Amazon.com and other online booksellers boast lists of best sellers and a local librarian can advise on which books are in frequent circulation, neither can tell you if any of these books were ever opened, much less if they were read cover to cover. Renaissance Learning has unique insight into the books kids are reading, and we are pleased to share this information with you for the first time.

Within the report’s 56 pages are lists of the top 20 books read in 2007 by students in grades 1–12—overall, by gender, by U.S. region, and by reading achievement level.

Green Eggs and Ham, If you give a mouse a cookie, Charlotte’s Web, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Bridge to Terabithia, and Hatchet top the lists for first through sixth graders. It’s an interesting read!

Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winners announced May 8, 2008

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The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award was established in 1985 to recognize and encourage authors and illustrators new to the field of children’s books. Many past winners of the EJK Book Award have gone on to distinguished careers creating many books beloved by parents, children, librarians and teachers across the country.

2008 New Illustrator-Award
The Apple Pie that Papa Baked
Illustrator-Award Winner Jonathan Bean
written by Lauren Thompson
Simon & Schuster

2008 New Writer-Award
Leaves
Writer-Award Winner David Ezra Stein
G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Edgar Awards announced May 8, 2008

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NEW YORK, May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce its Winners for the Edgar Allan Poe Awards 2008, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television and film published or produced in 2007.

BEST NOVEL
Down River by John Hart (St. Martin’s Minotaur)

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
In the Woods by Tana French (Penguin Group – Viking)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Queenpin by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)

BEST FACT CRIME
Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi (W.W. Norton and Company)

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL
Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower and Charles Foley (The Penguin Press)

BEST SHORT STORY
“The Golden Gopher” – Los Angeles Noir by Susan Straight (Akashic Books)

BEST JUVENILE
The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh (Hyperion Books for Young Readers)

BEST YOUNG ADULT
Rat Life by Tedd Arnold (Penguin – Dial Books for Young Readers)

BEST PLAY
Panic by Joseph Goodrich (International Mystery Writers’ Festival)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
“Pilot” – Burn Notice, Teleplay by Matt Nix (USA Network/Fox Television Studios)

BEST MOTION PICTURE SCREENPLAY
Michael Clayton, Screenplay by Tony Gilroy (Warner Bros. Pictures)

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD
“The Catch” – Still Waters by Mark Ammons (Level Best Books)

The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.

Children’s Book Week, May 12-18 May 8, 2008

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Check out the Children’s Book Week page on the Children’s Book Council website for information about the Children’s Choice Book Awards and other programs that put the words “Children’s” and “Books” in close proximity.

There are word searches and puzzles to print out, story starters and book lists.

Warriors read-alikes May 8, 2008

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No, not the awesome late-70’s gang movie… the kids’ adventure series with all the cats!

From the Hornbook, an excellent set suggestions for kids who can’t get enough of Erin Hunter’s Warriors series (cool website by the way).

Q: My fourth grader has become a voracious reader thanks to the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. Other suggestions? — L. Everett, Arlington, MA
A: Two direct corollaries to the Warriors series come to mind (for those of you without pre-teens, the series is a multi-volumed, multi-tiered fantasy drama about sentient, heroic cats).
There’s SF Said and Dave McKean’s two Varjak Paw books, about a street cat gifted in martial arts.
And in a few years (the target age is a little older), try Clare Bell’s five-volumed Named series (beginning with Ratha’s Creature), about the epic struggles of giant prehistoric cats.
Moving beyond the feline subset, though, there’s a rich array of animal fantasy out there. Brian Jacques’s iconic Redwall books are a strong choice, but don’t overlook more recent series such as:
M. I. McAllister’s Mistmantle Chronicles (beginning with Urchin of the Riding Stars), which follow the exploits of a spunky squirrel page
Kenneth Oppel’s bat quest-adventures (Silverwing, Sunwing, and Firewing);
and Clem Martini’s Feather and Bone: The Crow Chronicles (the world-changing journeys of a young outcast crow, beginning with The Mob).
If your child is partial to the triumphant underdog theme, you might also try moving into the human realm with Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small Quartet, about the training and trials of a fantasy kingdom’s first legally sanctioned female knight,
or Suzanne Collins’s Underland Chronicles, which, starting with Gregor the Overlander, tell the tale of an eleven-year-old boy who fulfills his destiny as the prophesied hero of a nightmarish underworld.
All these titles offer plenty of action and intrigue, as well as the chance to return time and again to beloved characters and worlds. —Claire E. Gross

May is National Barbecue Month May 5, 2008

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Throw some cookout cookbooks on the grill. Here’s a BBQ-inspired playlist to put you in the mood.

Best New Horror May 5, 2008

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There’s a new award in town! Finalists for the 2007 Shirley Jackson Awards were recently announced. 

In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. 

Among the nominees are Baltimore, by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden; Sharp Teeth, by Toby Barlow; and Like You’d Understand, Anyway by Jim Shepard. Check ’em out!

Life-changing books: Recommendations from 17 leading scientists April 24, 2008

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From New Scientist magazine, here’s a fascinating list (click each title for details) of “books that have left a lasting impression on some of the world’s top scientists, including Oliver Sacks, Michio Kaku, Jane Goodall, and more.”

1. Farthest North – Steve Jones, geneticist

2. The Art of the Soluble – V. S. Ramachandran, neuroscientist

3. Animal Liberation – Jane Goodall, primatologist

4. The Foundation trilogy – Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist

5. Alice in Wonderland – Alison Gopnik, developmental psychologist

6. One, Two, Three… Infinity – Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist

7. The Idea of a Social Science – Harry Collins, sociologist of science

8. Handbook of Mathematical Functions – Peter Atkins, chemist

9. The Mind of a Mnemonist – Oliver Sacks, neurologist

10. A Mathematician’s Apology – Marcus du Sautoy, mathematician

11. The Leopard – Susan Greenfield, neurophysiologist

12. Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior – Frans de Waal, psychologist and ethologist

13. Catch-22 / The First Three Minutes – Lawrence Krauss, physicist

14. William James, Writings 1878-1910 – Daniel Everett, linguist

15. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Chris Frith, neuroscientist

16. The Naked Ape – Elaine Morgan, author of The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

17. King Solomon’s Ring – Marian Stamp Dawkins, Zoologist

New music spotlight April 19, 2008

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Does your branch pay much attention to merchandizing CDs? Many don’t – popular CDs circulate pretty well without our help. But are all segments of the library user population aware of what we have to offer? Specifically, do teens take advantage of our CD collection?

Many radio stations post their playlists online. For new alternative music, go to WTMD’s Playlist Guide and select New Release Show from the pull-down menu at the top. For hip-hop and R&B, try 92Q‘s playlist. And nobody says you can’t keep an eye on who’s playing local venues such as Ram’s Head Live!, the Recher Theater, and the 8×10. Alternatively, find that CA on your staff who lives for music, and ask him or her to pick some new CDs to spotlight.

Ladies First April 19, 2008

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Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, John Coolidge, and Mrs. Herbert Hoover sitting in the yard of a house. Chicago Daily News, Inc., photographer. 1928. DN-0085098A, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

Dear First Lady: Letters to the White House is soon to arrive at BCPL. The book’s author, Dwight Young, has been making the rounds, and was recently featured on NPR.

What a terrific reason to make a display highlighting America’s First Ladies, from Martha Washington to Laura Bush. It can be tough to get at these in CARL, so print this list of presidents in alphabetical order, to make your stroll through Biography a little easier.

 

Loch Ness literature April 19, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, spring.
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New on DVD this week: The Water Horse, a family movie featuring the Loch Ness Monster, based on a book by Dick King-Smith.

You might take this opportunity to pull a selection of Dick King-Smith’s books (including Babe, the Gallant Pig, the basis for the movie Babe)… or a selection of books about cryptozoology – the study of mythical(?) creatures such as the yeti, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, mokele-mbembe, etc.

A CARL search on “loch ness,” cryptozoology, or monsters will bring up plenty. Don’t forget Roland Smith’s Cryptid Hunters and Alice Flaherty’s fun picture book The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster.

Baby elephant walk March 31, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, spring.
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Congratulations to mother and zoo on the recent birth of the first pachyderm born in Baltimore since the last ice age! Despite much-publicized financial problems, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore was able to care for the mother, 24-year-old Felix, sufficiently well during her 22 months of pregnancy, that delivery of the 290 pound calf was relatively smooth.

Support the zoo by fanning the flames of interest in our new Marylander with a display of elephantine materials. Scour the 599’s, pull books about Africa from 960 and 916, and highlight Alexander McCall Smith’s Akimbo and the Elephant.

PrintableBaby elephant coloring pages available here and here.
.

And I won’t quit til I’m a star March 25, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, Fall, J is for Juvenile.
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…on BROADWAY!!!

Has William Steig’s gruesome ogre Shrek achieved enough? Three blockbuster movies, video games, his face on a box of breakfast cereal, Happy Meal toys that make parents want to scream, and Stanley Tucci reading his words on tape are apparently not enough for the big green farting machine.

This fall, Shrek and Fiona, Donkey and Dragon and all their pals will appear in a Broadway musical entitled, “The Outsider in Postwar Children’s Literature”. No, no. It’ll be called “Shrek the Musical“. Casting is just about complete.

Children’s Choice Book Awards March 25, 2008

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Vote early! Vote often! Wait, no, only if you’re a kid.

These are the Children’s Choice Book Awards, awarded in honor of Children’s Book Week (May 18-12). INNTERESTING nominees. There is series nonfiction in there, graphic novels, and one of the seemingly endless number of recent Beowulf adaptations.

“Favorite Author” seems a little more predictable, putting J.K. Rowling up against Jeff Kinney and Erin Hunter. “Favorite Illustrator” pits Jan Brett against Mo Willems and Brian Selznick, among others, heavyweights all.

Stay tuned for the exciting results! 

It ain’t easy being green March 22, 2008

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, nonfiction, spring.
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El Mariachi

Here’s a cute idea courtesy The YA YA YAS, a trio of Young Adult librarians in Hawaii. For March, Gayle made a green-themed display, with books on money, veggies, the environment, and other subjects associated with the color green.

Does it work for other colors?

Blue: blues music, depression, the tropics, the moon

Yellow: the sun? cowardice? bananas? Ok, it doesn’t work for yellow.

Red: Communism, Chinese history, Russian history, the Red Baron, apples, various sports teams, anger, volcanoes, fire

Orange: Florida, citrus fruits… doesn’t really work for orange either.

Purple: royalty, grapes, wine, mountains

Truth and consequences March 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, nonfiction.
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In light of all the publicity surrounding Margaret B. Jones‘s faux memoir, Love and Consequences, and BCPL’s decision to keep the book, but label it as fiction, how about a display of recent popular autobiographies, both real and fallacious?

Running with scissors and other books by Augusten Burroughs (true)

Misha : a mémoire of the Holocaust years by Misha Defonseca (false)

The discomfort zone : a personal history by Jonathan Franzen (true)

A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard, by James Frey (false)

The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy by Robert Leleux (true)

Sarah by J. T. LeRoy (false)

Confessions of a video vixen and The vixen diaries by Karrine Steffans (true, but pretty hard to believe)

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (true)

Fragments : memories of a wartime childhood by Binjamin Wilkomirski (false)

Keeping tabs on the scribblers March 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, great ideas, J is for Juvenile.
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Whenever an author speaks in our area, we notice an increase in queries about that person. Wouldn’t it be great to know ahead of time when someone like Michael Chabon or Lisa See was going to be in town? Then we could merchandize that author’s books, along with similar works by other authors.

Now you can, with the online database BookTour. Started by Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, BookTour magically ascertains your location and tells you which authors are planning a visit, as well as letting you browse the schedule of your favorite author or your favorite venue. You can get updates via email, on your calendar – you can even zoom around the world and through time to find your favorite authors, using BookTour’s GoogleEarth interface.

LibraryThing Local offers similar listings, though it is more venue-centric than author-centric. Between the two of these tools, it’s a lot easier nowadays to keep abreast of local literary happenings.

For teens, history is so last week March 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, J non-fiction, nonfiction, YA.
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A recent study undertaken by the new educational research and advocacy organization Common Core has found that:

many of America’s high school students do not possess the basic knowledge they need to succeed in the world or to achieve their full potential as democratic citizens. The report, entitled Still at Risk: What Students Don’t Know, Even Now, shows that, twenty-five years after the publication of the landmark study, A Nation at Risk, America’s children continue to demonstrate a stunning ignorance about basic facts of U.S. history and literature. Overall, the 1,200 17-year-olds surveyed earned a “D.”

  • Nearly a quarter cannot identify Adolf Hitler, with ten percent thinking Hitler was a munitions manufacturer.
  • More than a quarter think Christopher Columbus sailed after 1750.
  • Fewer than half can place the Civil War in the correct half-century.
  • A third do not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees the freedom of speech and religion.
  • Half have no idea what the Renaissance was.
  • Nearly half think that The Scarlet Letter was either about a witch trial or a piece of correspondence.

Ouch! Take the test yourself (PDF), and then how about putting together a display of historical fiction, classics, and the most gripping history books you can find? You could even print copies of the quiz and challenge parents and teens to compare their scores.

Not for wimps only March 3, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J fiction, J is for Juvenile.
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid is an unusual book. A combination of cartoons and writing, it’s well beyond your average illustrated chapter book, but it’s not quite a graphic novel. It’s not an adventure novel, there are NO elements of fantasy in it, and the main character, Greg, learns no valuable life lessons. It is funny, and anarchic, and full of farting.

In short, it is a gift from above for 5th grade boys. Luckily for them, there are 5 books planned for the series, and Fox 2000 has just signed on to do a movie. The second book in the series has just come out. Called Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, it is more of the same, except blue.

The author, Jeff Kinney, was interviewed in the Baltimore Sun this weekend, and as of this morning, all copies of both books are checked out – with a hold queue.

Click “more” for some read-alike suggestions for a “Wimpy” book display:

(more…)

Finding yourself in the world February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, fiction, nonfiction, spring.
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London during the Great Exhibition of 1851 by George Shove. ca. 1851; printed map on leather. The National Archives, U.K.

This spring, the Walters Art Museum presents four exhibitions about maps and mapping. Including such fascinating oddities as a map of London on a kid glove (above) and such technological marvels as maps of the universe taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, these exhibitions are in conjunction with Baltimore’s Festival of Maps, a citywide celebration organized by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance to encourage Baltimore residents and visitors to explore museums, theaters, galleries and educational institutions. There’s even a downloadable GoogleEarth layer showing where on earth the

The Festival of Maps runs from March 16 through June 30, 2008.

Take this opportunity to put out a display of atlases and maps, books of exploration, and movies and fiction with plots involving maps.

“Super” kids program idea February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile.
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SpeedMan

From American Libraries Direct:

CHICAGO – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has awarded children’s librarian Lisa M. Shaia with the 2008 ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant for her program “Superhero Club” at the Bristol Public Library.

Shaia’s program, Superhero Club, encouraged children to use their imagination by creating a superhero alter-ego, complete with a costume, accessories, superpowers and a sidekick. Each club member then drew a comic book starring his superhero and at the end of the session, used their superhero powers to compete against supervillains in an obstacle course.

The program, which ran for five weeks in the spring and then eight weeks in the summer, introduced club members to the superhero genre and encouraged them to read from the library’s growing graphic novel collection. It is Shaia’s hope that introducing young readers to pleasure reading, such as comic books and graphic novels, will keep them interested in reading through their ‘tween and teen years and into adulthood.

“I believe this program is so successful because the superhero genre transcends age, race, sex and children’s interests,” said Shaia. “The club provides children with a way to use their imagination that they don’t get a chance to do any other way. Instead of watching a television show or playing a video game, they can create a persona and lose themselves in their own story.”

She’s a super-cool exploradora February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J is for Juvenile, spring.
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And she reads! Dora the Explorer has signed on to help ALSC and REFORMA in celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). Día’s mission is to spread “bookjoy” by linking children of all cultures with books. Celebrate! Celebremos! The celebration is held on April 30 each year.