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Really, nobody said it better than Dvice, who called the Performance Book Caddy “a cheap way to kill yourself”. Hey, I’m all for reading, but this is not a good purchase. Click the image to view.

(Thanks to Neatorama for the link)


Scholastic has a student contest that caught my attention. From the source:

Mark Teague, illustrator of the How Do Dinosaurs series, uses his imagination to help dinosaurs learn about lots of important things—how to say good night, play with friends, go to school, even to say “I love you”!

Now It’s Your Students’ Turn! Create a book cover by filling in the blank: How Do Dinosaurs __________? Then draw the cover you imagine!

1 Grand-Prize Winner will receive a classroom visit from Mark Teague!

10 Runners-Up will receive a 10-book Mark Teague library!

Click here for more information. I could see students getting into this one. Personally, I’d like to see a How Do Dinosaurs Prevent Their Own Extinction cover. A lot of directions you could go with that one.

This is a repeat post, but definitely worth mentioning twice.

The speculation is over. Near is the day when we all can look back at our wildly inaccurate Newbery and Caldecott predictions and share a hearty laugh. The ALA Youth Media Awards will be announced in Boston on Monday morning. Bookmark this site and come back Monday morning at 7:45 a.m. EST (or earlier) to watch a live webcast of the event.

Top Image: ‘Me back in 1984 with my Commodore Vic 20

While I could try to convince you otherwise, this post is really the equivalent of a cute cat video. So, without any further beating around the bush, click here to see cakes based on kids books (via Cake Wrecks, a site that is pretty funny if you take a look at some of the posts).

Is that a conch shell I hear? Indeed, the alarm has been sounded. Finalists have been announced for the 2009 Cybils awards, and there are good books to be perused in nearly every conceivable children’s/YA literature category. I was among the judges for the Fiction Picture Book wing of the awards this year, and it’s always fun to see our picks up on the board. To be pleased with what made it, and outraged at what didn’t, click here.

Artist Jane Mount paints bookshelves. Or rather, what’s on the shelves. I particularly like the children’s titles in Ideal Bookshelf 5, TRE (above) – a nice mix of classics (e.g., Pippi Longstocking) and outstanding recent releases (e.g., 365 Penguins). The best part? Shell out 20 bones and you can have a copy. Click here to do that.

Click here to visit Jane Mount’s Etsy store (she’ll even paint the books on your shelves if you would like).

The conversation you are about to read actually took place.

The Scene: BookMine, an old and rare book dealer

Customer: Hi, I am looking for an old book.

Book Dealer: What’s the title?

Customer: I don’t remember.

Book Dealer: OK. Who is the author?

Customer: Sorry, can’t remember that either.

Book Dealer: OK, you are making it a little tough here. What was it about?

Customer: I don’t remember. But it was my favorite book when I was little.

Book Dealer: I don’t think I can help you.

Customer: OK, thanks for your help.

At the BookMine website, they have a page devoted to the many, shall we say, unusual phone, email, and face to face interactions with customers that have occurred over the years – including the one above. Hilarity comes early and often. Click here to read.

(Thanks to BoingBoing for the link)

(Top Image: ‘untitled

The Kindle. The Nook. EBooks – where do you stand? For? Against? Or do you reside in the “wait and see” camp? That is where I have planted my tent stakes for the time being.

But as time passes, we’ll only be moving toward ebooks, not away.

Illustrator/author Lucy Knisley offers her take on the ebook debate in comic form, a method always appreciated by this children’s lit blogger. Click the image below to read.

(Thanks to BoingBoing for the link)


Carrying around a list of the All-Time Top 10 Saved by the Bell episodes? Not very useful (I really need to clean out my wallet). A detailed list of 2009 children’s books that have received starred reviews? Now you’re talking. Over at Shelftalker, they have generously crafted such a list. Each and every aught nine title to get a star from one of the major review journals (Kirkus, Horn Book, etc.) is named.

It’s even broken down by how many stars each book has received. If you’re looking for some of the best (and/or just interested in seeing which books made it into the elite “Five Star” club), you’ll want see this. Click here to head over to Shelftalker and take a look.

(Top image: ‘Cumulated Small Rhombicuboctahedra


Let the “Best of 2009” deluge commence. As a librarian, I naturally have an unhealthy obsession for annotated lists of all kinds. Seriously, if someone put an annotated list of the best manhole covers of 2009 in front of me, I’d be delighted. Delighted, folks.

If you’re interested in staying on top of all things “best of” in the children’s lit world, be sure to keep an eye on The List of Lists over at Chicken Spaghetti. She’ll be keeping track as everyone names their aught nine favorites. Let’s take a look at a few:

New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2009


I like the variety of this list. The surprises are Tales from Outer Suburbia (since it’s a book for those older than the typical picture book audience) and White Noise (as it is a pop-up book). While there are certainly books I would like to add to the mix, I can’t find much fault with their picks. I was pleasantly surprised with the inclusion of A Penguin Story, a nice title that I think might get overlooked by other “best of” lists.

Amazon Top 10 Picture Books of 2009


An interesting group. The biggest surprise for me was The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book. I don’t know, it seems akin to putting the digitally remastered version of The Beatles’ Rubber Soul on the top albums of 2009 list. A classic in a new format doesn’t seem to fit.

Amazon Top 10 Middle Readers of 2009


Be prepared to see When You Reach Me and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate on just about every “best of” list that makes it to print – these two outstanding Newbery contenders deserve it. I was happy to see Toby Alone included among this group – a uniquely pleasing book.

(Thanks to EarlyWord and Chicken Spaghetti for the links)

(Top Image: ‘Rainy Day / 雨の日

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