Congratulations Jeanne and Lil' Bit!
Monday, February 28, 2011
The winner of Lerner’s February 21-25, 2011 contest celebrating Elaine Landau’s THE BEST CATS EVER series
And the winner of the contest celebrating Elaine Landau's THE BEST CATS EVER series is -- drum roll, please -- Jeanne Kraus and her cat Lil' Bit.
Here's Lil' Bit:
Congratulations Jeanne and Lil' Bit!
According to a recent review of YAFI'S FAMILY: AN ETHIOPIAN BOY'S JOURNEY OF LOVE, LOSS, AND ADOPTION by Linda Pettit and Sharon Darrow and illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist, "...this title is specific to Ethiopia and will particularly appeal to African adoptees seeking a book about children who resemble them. The illustrations offer realistic depictions of the people and are infused with charming warmth. This is an excellent addition to any collection, but especially libraries seeking books about international and transracial adoptions."
Friday, February 25, 2011
ATTENTION WRITERS: Authors, Gerald and Loretta Hausman, offer writing workshops in Las Vegas, NM in July 2011
|To be re-released as WHY DOGS DON'T TALK LIKE PEOPLE|
Each year, Gerald and Loretta Hausman, authors of such titles as THE AMERICAN STORYBAG, DOGS OF MYTH (which is soon to be re-released by BookPartners as WHY DOGS DON’T TALK LIKE PEOPLE), and TOM CRINGLE: THE PIRATE AND THE PATRIOT, offer writing workshops in New Mexico. This year, the July workshop will take place in Las Vegas, NM on July 14 to 17, 2011 and is filling up fast. It's a great experience for writers of all kinds and dispositions. Attendees usually have high praise for the communion with other participants as well as the small, informal daily lessons and practical information on the how-to of writing for publication. Gerald and Loretta Hausman have spent more than 35 years in the field, both as editors and writers. Alice Carney is the director of the Writer's Workshop.
Last year's writers included an Hispanic radio announcer who won the lottery. He really didn’t know if he was a writer or not. He did know he was a good radio commentator. Now, as a result of this workshop, he is completing the story of his life. A well-published children's book illustrator, who had never really thought of herself as a writer, attended the workshop and is now finishing a full-length YA novel.
One of things Gerald and Loretta Hausman like best about the workshop is that it’s located in historic Las Vegas, New Mexico, in the Old Town Plaza. Their meetings are in the Plaza Hotel, in the back of which Billy the Kid escaped from incarceration and roamed free for a while.
When the three days are over, some of the writers are teary-eyed. They want it to keep going, and it’s no coincidence that many have returned, year after year. Many of last year's participants are signed up again. The July workshop in Las Vegas is repeated in Sacramento at the end of October. During the winter months Gerry and Lorry help their writers find their market with publishers they work for in a variety of ways.
For cost and further information, go to the Green River Writer's Workshop.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
S.A. Bodeen’s THE COMPOUND nominated for CT’s 2012 Nutmeg Book Award and MD’s 2010 Black-Eyed Susan Book Award
Long known for her award-winning picture books, including ELIZABETI'S DOLL, which earned her the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, S.A. Bodeen (aka Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen) has been getting quite a bit of attention as a young adult writer as well. Her first YA book, THE COMPOUND, is a teen nominee for Connecticut's 2012 Nutmeg Book Award, as well as Maryland's 2010 Black-Eyed Susan Book Award.
Her second young adult novel, THE GARDENER, was recently named a 2011 ALA Quick Picks for Young Adult Readers.
Her most recent picture, A SMALL BROWN DOG WITH A WET PINK NOSE, was published the same year as THE COMPOUND and, according to KIRKUS, "should please young readers...."
This versatile author is definitely a keeper, no matter what your age.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
LitWorld is spreading the message that Words Change Worlds with its 2nd annual World Read Aloud Day on March 9, 2011
Founded on the belief that change through literacy needs to happen through advocacy and education, LitWorld is spreading the message that Words Change Worlds through its second annual World Read Aloud Day on March 9, 2011. Last year, this event reached over 40,000 people in 35 countries, and through partnerships with organizations including Global Action for Children, Global Campaign for Education, Reader's Digest, Scholastic, and Penguin and The Pearson Foundation's We Give Books initiative. For more information go to the project page on their website.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
ATTENTION CAT LOVERS: Lerner launches a week long contest from Feb 21 to Feb. 25 to celebrate Elaine Landau’s THE BEST CATS EVER series
To celebrate the launch of Elaine Landau new series, THE BEST CATS EVER, Lerner Publications is holding a contest. To win a free set of all eight books, readers just have to post a picture of their favorite cat on the Lerner Publications Facebook page. Go here to enter the contest, which is only for this week and ends on February 25, 2011. If you win, let us know and we’ll post it on the Balkin Buddies blog!
Johanna Reiss, author of the Newbery Honor book THE UPSTAIRS ROOM, and the adult companion book A HIDDEN LIFE, talks about her current works-in-progress
We recently asked Johanna Reiss what she was currently working on, and she told us about her new manuscripts:
“I have just completed a non-fiction manuscript about the 1953 flood in Holland,” Johanna told us. “The story, novella in length, is based on several visits I made in the eighties to the area hardest hit: an island off the south west coast with the almost unpronounceable name Schouwen Duiveland, where I talked to survivors of that storm; it was as big as any the Dutch had ever known, destroying much, killing many. This past August, I spent a week on the island, only this time as a tourist, taking in all the beauty it once again offers.
“I am now starting a memoir, which will include my sisters, Rachel and Sini, and it will continue the story begun in THE UPSTAIRS ROOM into our adult lives. I had been thinking about writing it for quite a while, but ever since Sini had a serious accident this past year (she seems to be recovering well), it became clear to me that I must begin writing it now or I never will. This winter I am going back to Holland for ten days to spend time with both of them.”
We’ll keep you posted on when they’re published. In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed a taste of books to come.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Wendell Minor’s new book, NIGHT FLIGHT: AMELIA EARHART CROSSES THE ATLANTIC, releases tomorrow, February 22, 2011. A striking picture book biography detailing Amelia Earhart's legendary 1932 solo transatlantic flight, it features Wendell Minor’s striking paintings that are so vivid, readers will feel as if they are riding alongside her. A bibliography, internet resources and quotes are included in the afterward. Here’s what critics recently had to say:
"A worthy new addition to the recent spate of books about the famous aviatrix..." --Booklist starred review
"This gorgeous book presents a lyrical account of Amelia Earhart's 1932 solo transatlantic flight..." --Kirkus
"A gripping narrative and dynamic art immediately pull readers into the story of Earhart's historic 1932 solo transatlantic flight.... Hearts will be racing." --Publishers Weeklystarred review
And here’s what a couple of other historical figures had to say:
"NIGHT FLIGHT is a dramatic picture book that allows the young readers to fly along with Amelia as she makes history!" --Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut
"As a teenager, I wanted to be Amelia Earhart. Reading NIGHT FLIGHT sends chills up my spine!" --Eileen Collins, Astronaut/NASA's first female Space Shuttle pilot
You can also hear Wendell Minor discussing the extensive research he did for the book in this Simon and Shuster interview.
You can also hear Wendell Minor discussing the extensive research he did for the book in this Simon and Shuster interview.
We hope you enjoy the book as much as we do!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Here’s How It Works:
Round 1: Post the first 50 pages of your YA novel onto Wattpad by March 30th. The top 100 entries with the most votes by March 30th will be read by The Gatekeepers Post Staff. The story cannot have been started on Wattpad before February 1st, 2011.
Round 2: Those writers selected by The Gatekeepers Post staff from Round 1 will be invited to post the next 50 pages of their novel onto Wattpad by April 30th. Top editors and agents (check out the list below!), will read and select the nominees for Round 3.
Round 3: The nominees selected in Round 2 will be invited to post the remainder of their work onto Wattpad by May 30th. A winner will be announced on June 25th.
Prize: $500 cash prize to the grand prize winner!
To be considered for the contest, please tag your story: Gatekeeper.
Must be at least 13 years of age to enter and a member of Wattpad. The story cannot have been previously shared on Wattpad before February 1st, 2011. The most popular stories will be determined from an entry’s most popular chapter. Stories cannot be rated higher than PG-13.
Barbara Lalicki (SVP and Editorial Director at HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Sara Megibow (Literary Agent, Nelson Agency)
Selena James (Executive Editor, Dafina Books)
Anica Rissi (Executive Editor Simon Pulse)
Sarah Shumway (Senior Editor Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins)
Caryn Wiseman (Literary Agent, Andrea Brown Literary)
Jean Feiwel (Senior VP and Director, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group)
Jennifer Klonsky (Editorial Director, Simon Pulse)
Claudia Gabel (Senior Editor at Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins)
Jenny Bent (Literary Agent, The Bent Agency)
Evette Porter (Editor, Kimani Tru / Harlequin)
Ann Behar - (Literary Agent, Scovil Galen Literary)
Brenda Bowen (Literary Agent, Sanford J. Greenburger)
Jen Rofe (Literary Agent, Andrea Brown)
Stephen Fraser (Literary Agent, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency)
Andrew Karre (Editorial Director, Carolrhoda Books)
Suzie Townsend (Literary Agent, FinePrint Literary Management)
Jessica Sinsheimer (Literary Agent, Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency)
Alyssa Eisner Henkin (Literary Agent,Trident Media Group)
Andrea Somberg (Literary Agent, Harvey Klinger Inc.)
Stephen Barbara (Literary Agent, Foundry Literary + Media)
Tamar Rydzinski (Literary Agent, Laura Dail Literary Agency)
Irene Kraas (Literary Agent, Kraas Literary Agency)
Sara Crowe (Literary Agent, Harvey Klinger Inc.)
Elana Roth (Literary Agent, Johnson Literary)
Mary Kole (Literary Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency)
Jamie Weiss Chilton (Literary Agent, Andrea Brown Literary)
Amy Tipton (Literary Agent, Signature Literary)
Kevan Lyon (Literary Agent, Marshal Lyon Literary)
Leticia Gomez (Literary Agent, Savvy Literary)
Laurie McLean (Literary Agent, Agents Savant)
Jodie Rhodes (Literary Agent, Jodie Rhodes Literary)
Sarah Barley (Associate Editor, HarperCollins Children's)
Kendra Levin (Editor, Viking Books)
Christina Hogrebe (Literary Agent, Janet Rotrosen Agency)
Nancy Mercado (Executive Editor, Roaring Brook Press)
Brendan Deneen (Editor, Thomas Dunne Books)
For more information go to Wattpad.
Friday, February 18, 2011
You may know her as the author of the "Something Queer" mysterious she did with Mordicai Gerstein. You may know her from the "Invisible Inc." mysteries or some of her novels, like MY LIFE AS A FIFTH-GRADE COMEDIAN or TACKLING DAD.
But did you know she was in Egypt with Bruce Coville, doing school visits together when the protests against Mubarak broke out? Liz chronicles her experiences on her website and blog, and Rocco Staino interviewed Liz and Bruce when they were finally able to get home for an article he wrote for School Library Journal.
Liz is now writing the "Mystery at Sea" series, a new series also illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein and published by Roaring Brook. The first title, DANGER AND DIAMONDS, came out in 2010; the second, A PARROT IN PERIL," is scheduled for this August. And will a future mystery take place in Egypt?
Stay tuned to find out.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Reprints of two of William Durbin's books were recently released, and plans for the filming of EL LECTOR are underway
The latest reprint news is that, in January 2011, the University of Minnesota Press, deciding that his Finnish novels were culturally and historically important, re-released two of William Durbin’s historical fiction novels. THE DARKEST EVENING, which was originally published by Scholastic, tells the story of a Minnesota family that emigrates to Karelia, Russia in the 1930's, gets trapped there, and attempts to escape. It won the Minnesota Book Award in 2005. SONG OF SAMPO LAKE, originally released by Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, tells the story of a Finnish family starting a homestead in the wilderness of N.E. Minnesota in 1900. Both titles were re-released with new covers.
Furthermore, the film option on his Florida novel, EL LECTOR, is also moving forward. Jane Startz Productions and Lucky Monkey Pictures recently announced that Victor Nunez has committed to direct the project, and he recently spent three months researching Ybor City, FL (the setting of the novel) and writing a second draft of the screen play.
As we hear more news, we'll pass it along.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Congratulations to Marilyn Singer, whose MIRROR MIRROR: A BOOK OF REVERSIBLE VERSE is the winner of the 2010 CYBILS (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary) Award in the Poetry category.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Elizabeth Cody Kimmel and I would like to share with you a very sweet email from a young fan of hers. Here it is below. And by the way, in addition to Indonesian that Beth mentions in her response, SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL is also in French, German, Japanese, Turkish, and may soon be in Portuguese. To borrow a word from her young fan here, isn't she the awesomest!
From: A fan of the SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL books
To: Balkin Buddies
I am 11 years old. I live in the Philippines, I don't know if you've heard of that country though. Now, hear me out, as a good agent of Elizabeth, encourage her to add at least two more books to SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL. I rally need this, SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL is one half of my life! I finished all the books. If Elizabeth doesn't make those two other books, then please ask her to make a sequel. Everytime I get on a plane, a SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL book would be my constant companion. Tell Elizabeth that the sequel should be about Kat, Jac AND Ben going on supernatural adventures. The two other books should have Ben in them, too, and together, with a little help from Orin, they confront the old man living next door that Kat encountered in book 2... somehow, they get in to the house.... Please, ask Elizabeth, from an 11 year old, please, these are my dreams!
P.S. If you can, please tell me Elizabeth's e-mail address. (not forcing)
P.P.S. Reply soon!
Elizabeth Cody Kimmel's response to her young fan:
Dear (Name withheld),
Thanks so much for your e-mail. Catherine forwarded it to me. I have indeed heard of the Philippines. I have a friend who was born there, and every year she travels back to visit her family. She tells me the weather can be very hot.
I'm very glad to know you like the SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL books so much. Have you read all four of them? I would like very much to write a fifth SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL book, but I have to wait for the publisher to ask me. If they do, I will keep your suggestions in mind, and I promise Ben will be on every adventure! In the meantime, I am making plans for a new series about scary things.
I heard something neat the other day - the first two SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL books are going to be translated into Indonesian and published there. I'm sure many kids here are not sure where Indonesia is, but I bet you know!
Thanks for writing, and more importantly, thanks for reading!
And the young man's response to Beth's response:
Oh my gosh! No way!! Thanks Elizabeth, you're just the awesomest! Peace!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Take a minute and a half ride with Amelia Earhart in this trailer for NIGHT FLIGHT, by Robert Burliegh and illustrated by Wendell Minor, which releases on February 22, 2011.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
School Library Journal (SLJ) reviews books by Wendell Minor, Lesa Cline-Ransome, James Ransome, Jake Halpern, and Alex Flinn
The February 2011 issue of SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL featured book reviews by two artists and three authors represented by Balkin Buddies, so we decided to share a few comments from the reviews. Here goes:
Of Wendell Minor's MY FARM FRIENDS for Pre-Schoolers and Kindergarteners, SLJ has this to say, "Minor's naturalistic watercolor and gouache paintings will win over readers of many generations with their retro ambience.... 'My Farm Friends Fun Facts' is appended for additional tidbits about each of the featured barnyard denizens.'"
Of his NIGHT FLIGHT: AMELIA EARHART CROSSES THE ATLANTIC, by Robert Burleigh for grades three to five, SLJ says, "Burleigh's suspenseful text and Minor's shifting perspectives work in tandem to pull readers into the drama as they experience the anxiety and exhilaration that accompanied this historic flight."
Of BEFORE THERE WAS MOZART: THE STORY OF JOSEPH BOULOGNE, CHEVALIER DE SAINT-GEORGE, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by her husband, James Ransome, SLJ says, "In elegant prose and handsome paintings, the book recounts the rise to European fame of a talented boy from the West Indies."
In WORLD'S END, by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski, Alfonso Perplexon must journey underground to try to find the ancient Dormian city of Jasber in the second installment of the DORMIA SERIES, geared toward grades five to nine. "Intricately developed and interweaving plotlines, strong characterizations, and a zestfully imagined fantasy world make for a pleasurably meandering and satisfying read," says SLJ.
CLOAKED, by Alex Flinn is a fractured fairytale for grades six to nine and features a young cobbler who designs his own line of footwear, a hot princess with a brother who has been turned into a frog, an evil witch, a magical cloak and some headphones, and a dangerous journey that takes the young cobbler and his friend, Meg, from Florida to Europe to New York. According to SLJ, "Rapid action and amusing situations make it a quick read that will easily entice even reluctant readers."
We hope you enjoy their books as much as we do.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Judy Young has been enjoying a lot of popularity lately. Here are a few recent nominations her books have received:
The Hidden Bestiary of Marvelous, Mysterious, and (maybe even) Magical Creatures
* a 2012 LA Young Readers Choice Award Nominee
The Lucky Star
* a 2011 MO Show Me Award Nominee
Minnow and Rose
* a 2011 PA Keystone to Reading Book Award Nominee
* a 2011 AL Camillia Book Award Nominee
* a 2011 DE Diamonds Book Award Nominee
* a 2012 MO Show Me Readers Award Nominee
Minnow and Rose also won the 2010 Storytelling World Award.
Way to go, Judy.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
TEACHINGBOOKS.NET LETS YOU LISTEN TO THE AWARD WINNERS OF THE NEWBERY, CALDECOTT, SIBERT, PRINTZ, CORETTA SCOTT KING, PURA BELPRE AND THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL AWARD – FOR FREE!
TeachingBooks.net is offering a great deal. You can listen to the authors and illustrators who were recently recognized by various ALA committees (specifically the winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, Sibert, Printz, CSK, Pura Belpré, and Geisel) talk about their books for free.
The folks at TeachingBooks.net spent the past few weeks calling the winners and compiling quality online resources so that everyone can have the opportunity to learn about the craft of book making (and the creation of these award-winning books) directly from these book creators. Listen for free, but you might want to consider subscribing to TeachingBooks.net.
An online database of thousands of multimedia resources you can use to explore children's and young adult books and their authors, TeachingBooks.net offers useful materials and programs (short movies, audio book readings, book discussion guides, and more) that add a multimedia dimension to reading in the classroom, library, and home. Their resources are also perfect for lesson planning, author studies, and Professional Development to support the many ways books can be integrated into all subject areas in the K–12 curriculum.
But start with the free stuff. Go take a listen to the recent award winners. I believe their "Author Name Pronunciation Guide" is also free, and the authors and artists say their names themselves.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Collaborators Eloise Greenfield and Jan Spivey Gilchrist are nominated for the NAACP Image Award for THE GREAT MIGRATION
Already honored with starred reviews in Horn Book and Booklist, THE GREAT MIGRATION: JOURNEY TO THE NORTH by Eloise Greenfield and illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist has recently been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work for Children. The awards show will air on Fox on March 4, 2011. We asked the author and illustrator for their reaction to the news, and here’s what they had to say:
I didn’t realize that the time had rolled around again, for the NAACP to announce the nominations for its annual Image Awards. I was at the computer, concentrating, when I received an email from Phoebe Yeh, my editor at HarperCollins THE GREAT MIGRATION: JOURNEY TO THE NORTH had been nominated. I stared at the computer screen, then read the email again, to be sure I had read it correctly. My daughter was standing nearby, having a phone conversation with my son. I interrupted them and told them the exciting news, and we had a mini-celebration – exclamations and congratulations. Then I went back to the computer, this time to the NAACP site, to read about the nominations, and to extend and savor that special moment.
JAN SPIVEY GILCHRIST
The email advising me of the NAACP nomination for THE GREAT MIGRATION: JOURNEY TO THE NORTH came during an historic blizzard in Illinois. Snow drifts were beginning to pile up against my windows. Driving was virtually impossible, and I didn’t even want to venture outside my door. But inside my studio, all was cozy, bright and sunny, for I could truly smile and say, "Let it snow!"
Monday, February 7, 2011
Matt Novak, author and illustrator of A WISH FOR YOU, receives a robot at a recent school visit to celebrate his book, THE ROBOBOTS
Author/illustrator Matt Novak told us a fun story about his recent school visits to the Lower Dauphin School District. Here's what he had to say:
"Every time I do an author visit I make new friends. Most of the time I make friends with kids and teachers, but recently I visited East Hanover Elementary as part of a district wide visit, and I made a new friend who wasn't even human. Perhaps I should have said that I had a new friend made for me? A really cool full size robot based on my book, THE ROBOBOTS. My overall experience at Lower Dauphin was really great. I was able to visit my brother-in-law’s school (he’s a principal), Nye Elementary, as well as South Hanover, Conewago, and Londonderry Elementary. The librarians and teachers did a great job preparing the kids for the visit. Great questions, even from the littlest ones, and they all seemed excited to learn a little bit about how books are created, from idea to completion."
Matt's latest book is A WISH FOR YOU, published by HarperCollins, which SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL calls, "a great choice for cozy sharing with a beloved child."
Friday, February 4, 2011
Jan Spivey Gilchrist’s acrylic painting titled "By and By" features her father, Rev. Charles Spivey (1914-2004) (R, standing) and her maternal grandfather, Mr. Albert Jones (1887-1991) (L, kneeling)
In the Beginning -- Were Art, Words, and My Father's Loving Voice
by Jan Spivey Gilchrist
I would find myself, as a child, running my fingers over the elaborate paintings in my father's oversized Bibles and religious books. My mind would be filled with the stories he had read to me while I sat with him on his large chair. I couldn't read the words but the pictures and his voice carried me from Genesis throughout Revelations. I never once believed that I couldn't read those beautiful books.
After time I would amaze my parents and the church people when my father asked the congregation to locate chapters to read along with him on Sundays by finding the chapters. I can actually remember the first chapter and verse I located and recited. It was John 3:16. It wasn't long before I could find verses faster than anyone in the congregation.
I remember now my strong desire to paint pictures which told stories. When I was given the opportunity to create art which worked together with words for children to enjoy as I had as a child, I knew that I had found my niche. My tremendous love for art and words began in those days with my father's gentle and loving voice, the beautiful illustrious art and words which came to meaning with the combination of all three.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Margie Palatini's new book, GOLDIE AND THE THREE HARES, which was just recently released, is already garnering reviews and giggles. "Perfect for story hours or lap-sits..." says the Booklist review. According to PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, "this very funny fractured fairy tale..." has "plenty of visual laughs in both the Hares' wide-eyed, innocent dismay and Goldilocks' overweening narcissism."
Some of those visual laughs can be seen on YouTube -- take a look.
Once again, Margie's sense of humor will tickle everyone's funny bone.