Archive | November, 2010

Guys Read: Funny Business

30 Nov

Let’s go back to May of this year. I was looking at the panels for the Book Expo of America conference and my eyes landed on the panel for Guys Read, and I thought, hey, this could be interesting. Then I saw the panelists: Adam Rex, Mac Barnett, Jon Scieszka, Jeff Kinney, and David Lubar! How could I not go to this thing?

The panel was amazing, hilarious, and informative. They spoke about why they wanted to participate in this short story compilation and it was simple: They wanted to do this because guys reading humor doesn’t mean that it has to be gross—it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Needless to say, I was hooked. Then (as if I wasn’t already dying to read this book) they showed the audience a book trailer featuring all the authors.  I’ll let the trailer speak for itself:

This book, which you can find in December’s Arrow catalog, is perfect for not only reluctant readers, but anyone who loves a funny story. From a story about a kid who has no superpowers in a class where everyone does, to a story about a kid whose parents give his bedroom to a biker, this book has everything.

And if that’s not enough, check out the list of authors that have stories in this book: Mac Barnett (Brixton Brothers), Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl), Adam Rex (Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich), David Lubar (Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie; the Weenie books), Kate DiCamillo (The Magician’s Elephant; The Tale of Despereaux), Jon Scieszka (Spaceheadz; The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales), David Yoo (Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One Before), Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Christopher Paul Curtis (Bud, Not Buddy; Elijah of Buxton), Paul Feig (the Ignatius MacFarland series), and Jack Gantos (Hole in My Life; the Joey Pigza books).

Teachable Moments: Footprints in the Snow

29 Nov

Wolves get a bad rap! At least, that’s what Wolf thinks in Mei Matsuoka’s Footprints in the Snow. He’s tired of reading about “nasty, scary, and greedy” wolves! So he decides to write his own story about a character named Mr. Nice Wolf. All Mr. Nice Wolf wants to do is make friends with whomever left footprints in the snow, so he sets off to follow the prints. As the story continues, Wolf surprises himself by slipping into the same trap as other storytellers (I’d say more, but then I’d give away the ending!). Is he really so different after all?

This is a great book for teaching the importance of writing and storytelling. The way the text interacts with the artwork will keep kids engaged, and the twist ending will have them asking all sorts of questions! Matsuoka’s text will open up discussion about how to tell a story. Footprints in the Snow is a great read-aloud as well as an excellent tool for the classroom.

You can find Footprints in the Snow on SeeSaw this November, both as a stand-alone and in the SeeSaw Picture Book & CD Library!

December Dollar Books!

24 Nov

Hey BookTalkers, we have a special Thanksgiving eve treat for you and just in time for the holidays…it’s the December $1 books! Click through for more! Continue reading

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Awesome Truth

23 Nov

Well, it’s been two weeks. I’m sure some of us have read and re-read the fifth installment in the Wimpy Kid series. One thing is for sure, kids love these books! On the publication date (November 9, 2010) Scholastic Book Clubs sent out copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth to 300,000 classrooms (see map below). I thought we at the office were excited for this book. That was nothing compared to the reaction I saw from flipcams we sent to various classrooms around the country. Check it out:

Map Key

  • Each spot is a U.S. City

White point: 1000 to 9999 shipments in city

Yellow point: 100 to 999 shipments in city

Red point: 10 to 99 shipments in city

Black point: 1 to 9 shipments in city

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Thanksgiving!

23 Nov

It’s almost here, everyone–Thanksgiving is just around the bend. To celebrate, we thought we’d talk about some of our favorite books for this Thanksgiving!

Thank You Bear

Though not a traditional Thanksgiving picture book, Greg Foley’s Thank You Bear is a beautiful story about recognizing the value of thoughtfulness. Some of the other animals may not think that Bear’s gift for Mouse is anything special, but Bear’s doubts are laid to rest with Mouse’s exclamation that his present is the “greatest thing ever!” The soft illustrations and moving story make this a perfect book for younger and older readers alike. You can find Thank You Bear on Firefly this November!

I SPY Thanksgiving

On SeeSaw this November we have a brand new I SPY reader from Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick: I SPY Thanksgiving! This is a wonderful way to help your kids gain reading confidence and get them excited about all the traditional trappings of Thanksgiving!

 

Happy Thanksgiving, Curious George

What can we say? It’s Curious George and Thanksgiving, so you can be sure there are a lot of laughs and heartfelt moments. George is so excited about Thanksgiving, he loves everything: the food, the parade, and especially his family and friends. Told through a series of fun, rhyming poems, this tabbed board book is perfect for little fingers. Find it on November’s Honeybee!

Muggle Quidditch!

22 Nov

Also known as “Squib Quidditch” and “Real-Life Quidditch”

On November 14, Trevor and I attended the fourth Annual Quidditch World Cup! And just in time for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (and you know how excited we were about that)! It came to NYC that weekend, it was free, and we got to go. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to be truly excited. I didn’t know much about real-life Quidditch, but it did sound a little silly. This all changed within five minutes of being at the makeshift stadium in Dewitt Clinton Park. As I sat on the curb waiting for my friends, a girl dressed in a yellow jersey, gold sequined shorts, and yellow socks ran by me at top speed. Moments later, her pursuers flew by, identical looks of determination on their faces and brooms in hand. I had just seen the two opposing Seekers attempting to catch a Snitch. It was awesome.

We ended up watching several of the matches, including both the semifinal and final games. As the day wore on, we were more and more excited. Of course, this Quidditch differs quite a bit from the Quidditch in J. K. Rowling’s world. We’re still not witches and wizards (much to my everlasting disappointment) and so we can’t exactly, you know, fly.

Players run with brooms between their legs, the Snitch is a human being who taunts the Seekers until one of them grabs a small ball tied to the Snitch’s waist, and Bludgers are closer to dodge balls than lethally fast balls that could break your arm. Other rules remain the same: The Quaffle is still the ball that scores the points, Beaters still protect the Seekers, and the Keeper still guards the three rings at each end of the field.

The college where Muggle Quidditch was invented took the cup home, once again. Middlebury College beat out Tufts for the trophy, in what was a very exciting and well-played match. And we were screaming and cheering just as hard as any seasoned Quidditch fan!

Here are some of the pictures we grabbed that day:

If I wasn’t already rereading the books for the movie, you can bet that this event would have pushed me right back into this wonderful series.

You can find the complete Harry Potter set on Lucky and Arrow this November!

Muggle-less No More

19 Nov

That’s right. Sticking to the deadline I set for myself, I have finished all seven of the Harry Potter books just as the movie releases today! I am Muggle-less no more!

We were going to do another riveting video with our amazing puppets, but some people went to the midnight showing last night and came into work a wee bit tardy (cough, Preeti, cough). Not to worry though, I am here to entertain you with my thoughts on the series for the next hundred or so words!

Like everyone, I received my honorary scar on my forehead after turning the last page—wait, what? Not everyone gets that? Um…maybe I should head to Diagon Alley to have that looked at then…. Anyway, I loved, LOVED, LOVED the last book and am equally excited to see the first installment of the movie this weekend. For me, the best thing about this book was that I didn’t know what was going to happen. Like I said before, I had seen the movies previous to reading the other six, so there wasn’t much of a surprise to any of them, whereas in Deathly Hallows there was a twist and turn on every page. I can’t believe I waited this long to read them, and yes, this is a series that I will read over and over again.

Time for some awards without spoilers:

Favorite character: Severus Snape. He’s just fascinating!

Favorite moment: The ending, but of course!

Favorite charm or spell: Patronus or Stupefy. (I really like saying “stupefy”!)

And last, but not least…favorite book:

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I loved all of the books, but the third one, for me, was where I really got into the world Rowling had created and started to really care about the characters.

All right, I better get back to work so I can leave on time to catch the movie. If you haven’t read Harry Potter yet, I highly recommend it. You can find the books in November’s Holiday Gift Books catalog.