If you’re a librarian, and you like your music full of librarianship references, then you’re in luck. Reference Librarian by Rob Lopresti is just the song for you. A few of the topics covered: bibliographies, microfiche, CD-ROMS – the list goes on and on. And on. Click the play button below to listen. You’ll be chanting “I’ve got that M-L-S!”  before you know it.

Click here to head over to Rhapsody and listen

*Update* As I was writing this post, I saw that this week’s ALA Direct linked to Flavorwire’s 10 Best Songs About Libraries and Librarians. So now you can continue to enjoy the sweet library sounds.



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.


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.


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)?

Recently, the parent organization at my school graciously gave each teacher $200 to spend on classroom needs. My classroom? The library. My needs? Books for students. So just after the new year, I headed to the bookstore. It struck me as a novel idea to snap photos along the way. Click here to see what went down.

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.

With all the recent scrutiny over the Caucasian-ized covers of Magic Under Glass (which Bloomsbury has announced it will rejacket) and The Mysterious Benedict Society, I thought I might humbly offer my services for jacket overhauls. I like to call them Cover Covers. Click here to read my first Cover Covers post and learn the rules I abide by for these redesigns (basically, I have to take the images that randomly come up on a search and I only get 5 minutes to create the new cover). Let’s get started…

Side by side with the original:

(Source Image: ‘amazingglasscirclehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/58117789@N00/131681040)

This one didn’t turn out too bad. Maybe not the most eye-catching, but a worthy effort. Let’s just focus on the glass, okay?

Side by side with the original:

(Source Image: ‘Foggy Foresthttp://www.flickr.com/photos/51035603401@N01/210480)

Hmm. Not very good. This redesign makes it seem like a creepy forest story. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of the Benedict brouhaha.

Let the hype commence. The trailer for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film was just released and it’s looking pretty good. The humor seems to be in line with what you find in the book, which makes me hopeful. It also doesn’t hurt that the cheese touch makes an appearance. Click the image below to head over to Mishaps and Adventures and watch.


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.


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).


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?

As has become the tradition, Jerry Pinkney and Rebecca Stead (the 2010 Caldecott and Newbery winners, respectively) appeared on the Today Show this morning. While I preferred last year’s Al Roker interview, Ann Curry and Natalie Morales conduct a capable, if brief, Q & A (is it just me, or are the length of “segments” on the Today Show slowly approaching negative numbers?) . Cool to see how thrilled these two are. Click the image below to watch.

Two recent cover curiosities have me perplexed for the same reason – characters described as decidedly not Caucasian in the text are presented that way on the book jacket. Both are unacceptable.

The first, concerning Jaclyn Dolamore’s YA title Magic Under Glass, has already been nicely discussed and fully linked at Abby (the) Librarian and Chasing Ray. Basically, it breaks down like this. Read the following excerpt from Magic Under Glass (courtesy of Charlotte’s Library):

“I knew how the men of Lorinar thought, what they wanted. To him, I was dark and foreign and crude.” (page 4)

And then take a look at the cover:

It ain’t a match. Not even close. A very disappointing sight to see. Be sure to visit the links above to learn more.

The second controversy is about The Mysterious Benedict Society series, and has been bothering me for a while. A Fuse #8 Production pointed it out a while back, and a post this week at Bookshelves of Doom got me riled up again. The character Sticky Washington, described in the book as having brown skin, has appeared on the covers of the three Benedict titles as such:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

No, it wasn’t enough to make him white, they made him albino with rosy cheeks. Seeing as how this has happened three times, I’m wondering why it has barely made a ripple. Is it due to the fact that it’s a book for younger readers? Probably not. Is it due to the fact that it’s an illustration rather than a photograph? There might be something to that. Or is it just because Sticky is one character out of many and isn’t the focus of the cover? The most likely explanation?

The ALA Youth Media Awards have been announced. All that’s left to do is discuss the three categories that are most in my wheelhouse, so let’s commence…

Newbery Award: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Honor: The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
Honor: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Honor: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Honor: Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose

Nice. It seemed like When You Reach Me was experiencing some “everybody loves this book, but it can’t be that great” backlash in recent weeks, so it was nice to see it take top honors.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate also appeared to be losing steam, which caused some worry on my part as I found it to be a great book. Good to see it didn’t fall out of favor.

Claudette Colvin is a wonderful choice for Newbery regardless of genre (although it does make me glad to see a nonfiction selection).

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was also garnering a large dollop of praise since it was published, so it was no surprise to see it end up on the list.

The biggest surprise was the inclusion of The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg. A Fuse #8 Production mentioned it as a Newbery contender back last summer and Literate Lives reviewed it in their Looking for Newbery series, but it didn’t receive much more than a mention on the Heavy Medal blog. I’m kicking myself because this book has been sitting on my to-be-read shelf for months. I’ll be cracking it open today. If my Cover Covers post serves as my Newbery picks, then I was 3-5. I’m happy with that.

Caldecott Award: The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Honor: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee
Honor: Red Sings From Treetops by Joyce Sidman illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

No real surprises here – just some very wise choices. When Pinkney’s book arrived on shelves, it felt like a statement. It appears that the Caldecott committee heard The Lion & the Mouse loud and clear. Impressive on all fronts, this was the frontrunner heading into the awards.

All the World was also not a shocker, having appeared on most mock Caldecott lists and generating plenty of buzz. This book has continued to grow on me since the first time I saw it, so I was happy it got hardware. Very deserving.

Red Sings From Treetops was another very nice book that was in the discussion as the awards approached. I picked two of the three winners in my Caldecott predictions.

Geisel Award: Benny and Penny in the Big No-No by Geoffrey Hayes
Honor: I Spy Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
Honor: Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith
Honor: Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends by Wong Herbert Yee
Honor: Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day by Kate McMullan

Did you notice that four of the five books on this list feature mice? Interesting. I have to admit that I forgot about Benny and Penny in the leadup to the awards. I read it, loved it, toon reviewed it back in March, and then it fell off my radar. Seeing it turn up is the definition of a pleasant surprise. I also was happy to see I Spy Fly Guy on the list. Ted Arnold’s series continues to be a huge hit among the young readers I work with.

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