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BOOK FIGHT! AMAZON AND MACMILLAN DUKE IT OUT OVER EBOOK PRICES

I have many mixed emotions about this – most of them not good. Click here to get the facts from EarlyWord.

‘CALVIN AND HOBBES’ CREATOR SPEAKS; RECLUSIVE WATTERSON GIVES RARE INTERVIEW

You have to give Bill Watterson credit for creating something great, ending on a high note, and never looking back. Click here to read the interview. Click here to find out how the interview happened.

DICTIONARY BANNED, UNBANNED

If you get your permission slip signed, you may use the dictionary at Oak Meadows Elementary School in Riverside County, CA. This is nuts.

100 SCOPE NOTES MOVING

…to a sharp-looking self-hosted site. More information to come soon.

The Newbery and Caldecott awards don’t just help the medal winners. This week, the honors also join the bestseller party (click here to see the entire list). My only question? Where is The Almost True Adventures of Homer P. Figg?

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon. #2 in Picture Books.

Red Sings From Treetops by Joyce Sidman. #9 in Picture Books.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Li. #7 in Chapter Books.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. #10 in Chapter Books.

Troubling news out of Washington.

How can you resist podcasts with great authors? Just follow the above link from @alscblog and start downloading.

On The Children’s Lit Project blog, Aurthur A. Levine talks about the early grassroots support for Harry Potter.

STICKY SITUATION MADE LESS STICKY; WHITEWASHED ‘BENEDICT’ COVERS TO BE CORRECTED

There has been plenty of talk recently about how the character “Sticky” Washington was Caucasian-ized on the covers of all three Mysterious Benedict Society books. Publisher Little, Brown just announced they will be changing the covers. School Library Journal has the scoop.

APPLE TABLET ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY

Today Apple announces their much discussed tablet computer, which is rumored to come equipped with Barnes & Noble ebook capabilities. *Update* the iPad will be connected to a new iBook Store. The world of electronic books may be about to shift in a big way. And if you’re a fan of independent bookstores, it might not be in the direction we’d like.

BOARD CONFUSES CHILDREN’S AUTHOR, MARXIST WHEN EXCLUDING SCHOOLBOOK

Real headline alert! Turns out there’s more than one Bill Martin. (Thanks to @PWKidsBookshelf for the link)

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. On shelves April 20, 2010.

It turns up on Collecting Children’s Books, it’s an upcoming Junior Library Guild selection, A Fuse #8 Production Spring Previewed it, and Publishers Weekly Galley Talked it. A sufficient amount of buzz, I’d say.

A while back I heard that Martin Scorsese’s company bought the rights to Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret. From @PWKidsBookshelf, I see that the project is getting closer to becoming a reality, with Scorsese to direct. Click here to read the article in Variety.

Wes Anderson recently won a “Special Filmmaking Achievement” award from the National Board of Review for his film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Naturally, he accepted the award as a stop-motion… ferret (I think)?

ALA MEDIA AWARDS ANNOUNCED

If you’re looking for the full info rundown, I quite like the Horn Book roundup of winners. Get more in depth with this New York Times article.

TWITTER SPOILS EVERYTHING; NEWBERY WINNER LEAKED

In what must have been an unfortunate case of finger-slippage, Random House spilled the beans a bit early on When You Reach Me‘s Newbery win (see the Tweet o’ the Week below).

TERRORISM THREAT PUTS SNAG IN NEW ROBERT MUNSCH BOOK

Actually, this headline is real.

The Newbery/Caldecott bump was in full effect after the Youth Media Awards were announced Monday. Take a look at the Amazon sales rankings:

When You Reach Me jumped from #631 pre-Newbery to #5 as of this posting.

The Lion & the Mouse rose from #1,187 pre-Caldecott to #7 as I write this.

Thanks to Earlyword for the pre-awards figures.

Wow. Who knew that a comic book played an important role in the civil rights movement? The above post at Book Patrol (compete with interior images) is a must-read. Fascinating stuff. Many thanks to librarian.net for the link.

This is the time-corrected version of the Newbery-announcing tweet.

If you prefer your children’s lit-related videos entertaining and interactive, you’ll like this. See if you can guess the titles in Kidsmomo Pictionary. I am now convinced that Team Kid’s Book Pictionary should be an event at ALA Annual. Who can I talk to about this?

SCIESZKA BODY DOUBLE OUT OF WORK; KATHERINE PATERSON NAMED NEW CHILDREN’S LIT AMBASSADOR

A wonderful choice. Read all about Paterson in this New York Times feature. And did you miss A Year of Reading’s tribute to our outgoing Ambassador? Click here read.

KIRKUS IS DEAD; LONG LIVE KIRKUS

Looks like the literary review journal may not be six feet under after all.

BLOGGERS ENCOURAGE COMMENTING AND LISTING

MotherReader is organizing Comment Challenge 2010, while A Fuse #8 Production is asking for your help in compiling the top 100 fictional chapter books.

We all know that vampires are popular, but I didn’t realize that currently 40% of the best selling series are about blood-suckers. Take a look:

Jacket Whys put forth three of their favorite covers of 2009. Some eye-catching picks, to be sure.

It appears that book publishing industry site GalleyCat is getting in on the review game. Not clear if children’s lit will be included, but this could be interesting. Thanks to @SueGreenbergPR for the tip.

Did you know they made a Where the Wild Things Are video game? I did not. Bonus points if you can guess what Max’s special power is.

What does “Twixmas” mean?

THE MASSES DECLARE ‘WE’RE NOT BUYING IT’; FREE EBOOKS PROVE WILDLY POPULAR

Ebooks? More like FreEbooks (100 Scope Notes Lame Joke of the Day©). Amazon recently announced that they sold more ebooks than traditional books over the holidays. Turns out they were padding the stats with freebies.

FANFARE 2009 ARRIVES; MUSIC LOVERS DISAPPOINTED

You see, it’s a list of books, not a blast of brass instrumentation. The Horn book recently released their annual list of favorites from the past year. As far as end of the year lists go, this one is short and sweet. A nice collection of titles.

STORYTUBES 2010 IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

The public library sponsored student video contest is back. Kids are invited to share their favorite book in two minutes or less. The ALSC blog has the scoop.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. Currently #10 on the NYT Picture Book Bestseller list.

A curious return? Not seen on the New York Times bestseller list since the golden days of August, Brown’s winningly subtle comment on environmentalism is back in the top 10. Nice to see.

Franki and Mary Lee of A Year of Reading are looking to celebrate Jon Scieszka’s run as the first Ambassador of Children’s Lit. January 4th is the day to post your tribute. Click the image above to read more and join in the fun. This much is true: Scieszka will be a hard act to follow.

In terms of reading, maybe the kids are going to be alright. @CherylRainfield brings to light a study that links the rise of the internet with an increase in reading.

And in lieu of BOOKS ON FILM, a bonus category…

T-SHIRT DESIGN OF THE WEEK

Irate Primate at Threadless Tees. Thanks to Popped Culture for the link.

KIRKUS REVIEWS NO MORE

The venerable literary journal will be closing up shop. See Tweet o’ the Week for more info.

THIS JUST IN: WORLD OF CHILDREN”S BOOKS ‘ROCKING’

Try to not get pumped up about the current state of children’s lit while reading Jon Scieszka’s report to the LA Times. The man makes it difficult. (Thanks to Meghan Newton for the link)

BLOGGERS TO EXPOSE SEEDY UNDERSIDE OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Elizabeth Bird (A Fuse #8 Production) Peter Sieruta (Collecting Children’s Books), and Jules Danielson (7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast) are teaming up to tell the scandalous, scurrilous, and shocking untold stories of children’s lit. Can’t wait until 2012. Read the announcement at Fuse #8, Collecting Children’s Books, 7 Imp.

LOCAL RESIDENT, BACKSTREET BOY RELEASE CHILDREN’S BOOK

Uh, actually, this is a real headline.

This tweet by @medinger (with a link to Publishers Weekly article) was the first I heard of Kirkus shutting its doors.

This outstanding clip from The Onion sneaks into the running for children’s lit video of the year. (Many thanks to Underage Reading for the link)

SESAME WORKSHOP GETS INTO EBOOK GAME

Is it just me, or does it seem like ebook news is coming fast and furious lately? The LA Times reports that the folks who bring Sesame Street to the world will also begin offering digital books.

BEST COMICS OF 2009 ANNOUNCED; MICHIGAN LIBRARIAN’S BUDGET STRAINED

I love/have an issue with “best of” lists from reliable sources. Why the conflict? There are always undiscovered gems that pop up and make me further overspend my budget. That’s a good problem though, right? Good Comics for Kids has just released their best of aught nine picks, and it’s loaded with great titles (like the outstanding Toon Treasury, which I finally looked through at the bookstore this week – required purchase), and some I’m looking forward to checking out (I’ll be keeping an eye out for Leave it to PET!).

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner. Release date: March 23, 2010.

A bit YA for these pages, but what the heck. Whether Bookends was asking for it as a stocking stuffer, Educating Alice was looking to discuss it further, or Charlotte’s Library was reviewing it and giving it away, the latest from Megan Whalen Turner (click here for a WBBT interview of Turner by HipWriterMama) was getting plenty of buzz.

How do decide which books to save first? Smell them.

Cover designer and recent interviewee @boydesigner (Chad W. Beckerman) points us to a recent New York Times essay by Joe Queenan about the odd discomfort he felt when reading a beloved book with a bad cover.

Jon Scieszka stops by the CBS Early Show to share some great children’s lit gift-giving picks. Scieszka is awesome. (Thanks to A Fuse #8 Production for the link)

UNRELATED STORIES: SLJ SETS A BAD EXAMPLE, NAMES BEST BOOKS

After upsetting some over last month’s bars ‘n bloggers cover (see the Tweet o’ the Week below for more on that), School Library Journal reminds us all what they do best by posting their best of ’09 picks. A list not to be missed.

NEW CHILDREN’S LIT AMBASSADOR TO BE NAMED ON JAN. 5; SCIESZKA TO HAND OVER KEYS TO ARMORED LIMO

Jon Scieszka announced via FaceBook that the time for a new National Abassador of Young People’s Literature will soon be upon us. It’ll be sad to see Jon go.

EBOOKS COMING TO NINTENDO DS; AUTHORS RACING TO WRITE MARIOKART: THE BOOK

In the UK, Electronic Arts is bringing ebooks by the likes of Enid Blyton and Eoin Colfer to the handheld Nintendo DS. With all the talk about ebooks lately, it will be interesting to see how this goes over.

Lego Star Wars: the visual dictionary by Simon Beecroft. Currently #3 on the New York Times Picture Book Bestseller list.

Every October, two of the schools where I work host book fairs. This year there was one clear winner in terms of popularity: Lego Star Wars. Both schools promptly sold out of the book – which is something considering the costs: 22 bones. Soon thereafter it popped up on the NYT bestseller list. I’m thinking it will be calling the list home for a while. If you’re looking for high interest titles to add to your collection, you can’t do much higher than this.

New school, familiar story. Teacher wants to use certain books for teaching, higher-ups don’t like said books and try to remove them. It’s too bad. Click the image above to read about the craziness in a Kentucky high school at A Chair, a Fireplace & a Tea Cozy.

A legitimate cover controversy? I was honestly surprised to learn that a number of School Library Journal subscribers were not pleased with the bar setting for November’s “This Blog’s for You” cover. Call me oblivious, but I didn’t think twice when I saw it. @FuseEight links to their letters to the editor.

Apparently, children’s books also make good ping pong paddles. The UK staff of HarperCollins Children’s Books is at it again. Last time it was the world’s longest children’s book domino rally, this time it’s Tollins table tennis. I need to work here someday.

BEST OF ’09 LISTS CONTINUE

Kirkus released their choices for aught nine’s best this week. Many wonderful titles to add to your wishlist.

NOOK SOLD OUT; BABIES, UNDERSTANDABLY, NONPLUSSED

The Nook, Barnes & Noble’s recent entry into the ebook scrum, is already sold out.

FORMER CINCINNATI BENGALS PUNTER TO AUCTION OFF INCREDIBLE CHILDREN’S LIT COLLECTION

It’s a bad day for fans of stereotypes. Former NFL player Pat McInally is putting his impressive chilren’s lit collection on the block. On a related note, I didn’t know that referring to traditional mail as “old-school” was acceptable journalistic practice.

City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems; Illustrated by Jon J. Muth.

Does it strike you as odd to see a Mo Willems book without his distinctive artwork gracing the pages? Strikes me that way. In a blog post, Mr. Willems describes this Summer ’10 teamup with Jon J. Muth a departure. In this interview with School Library Journal, Mo has this to say:

This summer will see City Dog, Country Frog, a more serious picture book that I wrote with pictures by the great Jon J. Muth. I’m very excited about the collaboration and hope that both of our audiences will be surprised by the book; pleasantly if possible.

Looking forward to it.

(Thanks to BoingBoing for the link)

While I don’t endorse not being a fan of Harry Potter, I do enjoy this literary take on time management by @BorowitzReport. If you’re unfamiliar with Andy Borowitz, he writes a daily satirical news blog called The Borowitz Report. He also hosted the recent National Book Awards.

Speaking of those NBAs, video of the whole event is up on the C-SPAN 2 site. Click below to watch the festivities.

Jen Robinson’s Book Page does it. A Fuse #8 Production does too. Abby (the) Librarian also takes part. What is it? The link roundup. I enjoy those posts, so I’m throwing my hat in the ring with Morning Notes. I’m thinking this will be a weekly feature.

NBA WINNERS TO BE ANNOUNCED  TONIGHT; CONFUSED KOBE BRYANT BUYS NEW TUX

The National Book Award Winners will be announced tonight (Wednesday, Nov. 18). Will Stitches continue to make waves by taking home hardware in the Young People’s Literature category? Click here to review the nominees. Click here to follow the National Book Awards as they happen on Twitter.

WINTER BLOG BLAST TOUR CONTINUES

Chasing Ray is hosting a slew of insightful author and illustrator interviews this week. Be sure to stop by.

‘FANTASTIC MR. FOX’ A HIT WITH CRITICS; EMAIL TO BECOME THE PREFERRED METHOD OF MOVIE DIRECTING

While some are claiming Wes Anderson directed The Fantastic Mr. Fox via email, the results have nonetheless been well received. To quote the A.O. Scott of the New York Times:

In some ways his (Anderson) most fully realized and satisfying film. Once you adjust to its stop-and-start rhythms and its scruffy looks, you can appreciate its wit, its beauty and the sly gravity of its emotional undercurrents.

Click here to see what more critics are saying.

Here, I’ll be covering books (both great and not so great) that are currently making moves at the schools where I work, in the kidlitosphere, and on the bestseller lists. I’m starting with a not so great one…

The Christmas Sweater: A Picture Book by Glenn Beck. Currently #2 on the NYT Picture Book Bestseller list.

Oh no. I wasn’t aware that Glen Beck had written a children’s book until I checked this week’s bestsellers. Turns out that this is a picture book adaptation of his first novel, also called The Christmas Sweater. Here’s the Publisher’s Weekly take on that book:

“Beck’s lightweight parable cruises on predictability, repetition and sentimentality.”

Yikes.

If you like talking book covers, you’ll dig this post at Jacket Knack.

A recent (and hilarious) post at Bookends has me thinking of listservs this week. Looking for a good one? @LizB provides some direction.

If you’re familiar with the blog Awful Library Books, then you’ll like this. ALB authors Holly and Mary appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week. They brought books with them.

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