Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Booklist’s Top 10 SF/Fantasy for Youth was named in their May 15, 2011 issue, and Diane Stanley’s THE SILVER BOWL was among them. “In this striking historical fantasy of great evil and enduring loyalty,” goes the annotation, “a young scullery maid must decide whether to share the visions she has of the future and risk being seen as a witch, or keep mum and imperil the royal family.”
Congratulations, Diane. Well done.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Nancy Elizabeth Wallace’s new FACT-tion program – a new presentation for her school visits within driving distance to Connecticut
Many of you know Nancy Elizabeth Wallace as the author of such popular books as ROCKS, ROCKS, ROCKS and SEEDS! SEEDS! SEEDS! Recently, Nancy developed a new program for a school visit she did in March called “Research, Writing and Illustrating ‘FACT-tion,” and she’ eager to share it with more students when she does author appearances. In this fun and very interactive program, Nancy shares many of the ways she does research for writing and illustrating her non-fiction within fiction stories, finding the WOW! facts, the thumbnail stage, and how to present facts in interesting ways. Teachers/students are encouraged to read two or three of her FACT-tion books and to think about questions for the Q & A. For grades one and two, this program works best with no more than 25 children attending each 35 to 40 minute program and she can do up to three programs per day.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
We’re pleased to announce that Diane Stanley’s THE SILVER BOWL receives a starred review in the June 21, 2011 edition of Kirkus.
concocts a delicious blend of familiar fairy-tale motifs and intriguing, well-rounded characters to create an engaging fantasy,” begins the review. “ Stanley ’s writing is smooth and compelling, making her characters come to life and ensuring that readers can easily follow the twists and turns of the inventive plot,” it continues, and ends with “Touches of humor lighten the tone at times, while suspenseful sequences heighten the tension. A most worthy and enjoyable entry in the “feisty female” fantasy genre.” Stanley
This is the second starred review we know of for THE SILVER BOWL, the first one being in Booklist.
If you haven't already done so, we hope you'll pick up a copy of the book today -- and feel free to share your own review with us.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Elaine Scott's SPACE, STARS, AND THE BEGINNING OF TIME has been nominated for ND's Flicker Tale Children's Book Award
Somehow we overlooked the fact that SPACE, STARS, AND THE BEGINNING OF TIME: WHAT THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE SAW, by Elaine Scott, is on North Dakota's Flicker Tale Children's Book Award 2012 nomination list in the Non-Fiction Book category.
As previously mentioned, the Flicker Tale Children's Book Awards, sponsored by the North Dakota Library Association, are voted on by children of all ages in mid April.
Please join us in congratulating both Elaine Scott and Marilyn Singer on their nominations!
We wanted to share with you how well a recent Skype chat went for some Texas students with Elaine Scott:
"The chat with Elaine was wonderful.... The children really enjoyed what she had to say. They were able to ask several questions and Elaine answered them thoroughly. It was a great success!! I am so happy I was able to work with Elaine and am looking forward to her new book in November. Thank you so much for this opportunity!"
(Schertz Public Library, Schertz, TX)
If you’re interested in having your own kids Skype with Elaine, you can find more information about her Skype chats on Balkin Buddies.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
In February 2011, the regional advisor of SCBWI France contacted us about a writer's retreat at the Moelan Sur Mer on the coast of France from May 12-15, 2011. She wondered if Diane would be interested in working with a mix of about ten authors and illustrators of books for kindergarten through young adult. Diane loved the idea and off she and her husband went to France, where Diane did some workshops and worked one-on-one with the participants.
The retreat made the news, and the photo and article shown below appeared in OuestFrance, the largest newspaper in the country, probably comparable to USA Today here in the States. We thought you'd like to see it….
Diane sent us some more informal photos as well. The food was so good, she said, she was glad to come home before she gained too much weight….
But the scenery was inspiring....
And it was a cozy place for a writers' retreat....
And everyone of all nationalities had a great time....
As you can see, Diane Stanley loves to travel. She has done author appearances at international schools in Jakarta, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Manila, Tokyo, and Seoul. She may do more international workshops for SCBWI. If you would like to host her for a school visit or speaking engagement in the U.S., Europe, or just about anywhere else in the world, send us an email and we’ll be happy to work with you.
Friday, May 20, 2011
We are pleased to announce that Neal Shusterman's BRUISER has been selected for the 2011-2012 Florida Teen Reads Award List!
Sponsored by FAME (Florida Association for Media in Education), which began in 1972 when the Florida Association of School Librarians, the Florida Audiovisual Association, and the Florida Association of Educational Television voted to merge into one association, a committee of 13 media specialists chooses books for this list that engage high school students, reflect interests of high school students, and represent a variety of genres, formats, reading levels, viewpoints, and ethnic and cultural perspectives. Florida students vote for their favorite book and the winner is chosen each May.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Eloise Greenfield’s THE GREAT MIGRATION, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist, and NIGHT FLIGHT, illustrated by Wendell Minor, are on the Capitol Choices’ 2012 In Progress list
We’re pleased to see some Balkin Buddies – Eloise Greenfield (who lives in Washington, D.C), Jan Spivey Gilchrist, and Wendell Minor – included in Capitol Choices’ In Progress list for the 2012 the Capitol Choices list:
THE GREAT MIGRATION, by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist (HarperCollins)
NIGHT FLIGHT, by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Wendell Minor (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster)
Capitol Choices includes librarians, teachers, booksellers, children's literature specialists, and magazine editors who work in cities, suburbs, and rural areas in and around Washington, D.C. Most of them work directly with young people, and each year they select a list of outstanding titles for children and teens which is distributed in libraries, schools, and bookstores throughout the District of Columbia metropolitan area. Each March they start building their In Progress list, offering a complete list of titles under consideration for the current year, as well as summaries of the discussions for each title. You are welcome to join in the Capitol Choices discussion and add your voice to what titles get chosen for the list.
For further information about Ms. Greenfield, Ms. Gilchrist, and Mr. Minor, and also about their appearances in schools, libraries, conferences, festivals, etc., please visit Balkin Buddies.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
We couldn’t resist sharing this review of a recent chat Wendell Minor did with a school in Ohio:
The chat couldn't have gone better. SKYPE worked out just fine. The tech run through was helpful because it made us realize we needed to bring in extra lighting so Wendell would be able to see the children's faces. We had 40 children in front of a Promethean Board screen and they were able to hear and see just fine, although it is true that the picture on our computer was better than the picture on the big screen. (I guess we have to work on our projector.) We found just the right spot for the children asking questions to stand, so Wendell could see and hear them. He was wonderful with the students. He pitched his talk at just the right level. Certainly, his passion for what he does shone through everything he shared and talked about. And, of course, we loved his paintings.
Our children were well prepared for this talk. They had read or listened to many of the books he had illustrated (Arctic Son; Reaching for the Moon; Look to the Stars; Luck; Seashore Book; Morning, Noon and Night; The Last Train; If You Were a Penguin). They had shared his books with book buddies. They had discussed and written about many of the things they'd noticed in his artwork. They tried out painting the sky with watercolors. They had come up with questions they had wondered about. They were really excited about being able to talk to him. Soria walked in this morning and said she had woken up extra early because she just couldn't wait to meet him. Lilian left at the end of the day and said, “This is the best day of the year!”
Thank you so much for making this opportunity possible. Gail and I are busy thinking of the next authors we can have an online chat with!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
198 E. College St .
Oberlin, Ohio 44074
If any other educators would like to have Wendell Minor Skype with your students, please contact Balkin Buddies
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Marilyn Singer's MIRROR MIRROR nominated or ND's Flicker Tale Children's Book Award and China's Panda Award
We're pleased to announce that Marilyn Singer's MIRROR MIRROR (published by Penguin) has been nominated for North Dakota's Flicker Tale Children's Book Award for Non-Fiction and shortlisted for the Panda Award for Middle Readers in China.
Named for the panda, which holds a special place in the hearts of the Chinese people as it is a symbol of peace and a token of forging friendly ties, the Panda Book Awards encourages young people to read quality books selected by international librarians throughout China. The program starts in the fall and the voting takes place in the week after the Chinese New Year.
Sponsored by the North Dakota Library Association, the Flicker Tale Children's Book Awards are voted on by children of all ages in mid April. Marilyn Singer's book is in good company. Past winners include: in 2002, Ben Mikaelsen's RESCUE JOSH McGUIRE, published by Hyperion; and in 1996, Barbara Robinson's BEST SCHOOL YEAR EVER, published by HarperCollins.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Of Marilyn Singer's I'M YOUR BUS, this is what KIRKUS has to say: "As a first-day-of-school reassurance for newly minted kindergartners, for whom the school bus is an often anxiety-producing rite of passage, this one's top-notch." Of the same title, this is what a young fan wrote to the author: "How many flowers are in your book?"
And another young lady wrote:
"Hello, I was thinking about doing a report on you for author day and can you give me an idea of what to wear because we have to dress up as someone. What is your style? Please respond. Thank you."
Here’s how Marilyn responded:
“Well, you could wear pajamas--I get up late and I do a lot of writing while I'm still in my pjs, robe, and slippers. I have pjs with dogs, with stars, with frogs, etc., and a robe with poodles on it because I have a standard poodle. Does that help?”
And the answer that came back:
“Thank you that is very cool. I have a purple robe and snowflake pj pants. Does that seem ok?”
“Sounds good to me.”
If only we could all go to work in our pjs!
Friday, May 13, 2011
We're very pleased to announce that Emily Arnold McCully is the 2012 recipient of the Knickerbocker Award.
Sponsored by the New York Library Association (NYLA), the Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature, which was named for a group of 19th century New York State authors who wished to nurture a national literature, recognizes a New York State author or artist who has demonstrated, through a body of work, a consistently superior quality which supports the New York State curriculum and the educational goals.
Members of the School Library Media Section (SLMS) of NYLA vote for the winner in May, who typically speaks at the SLMS Spring Conference.
Please join us in congratulating this distinguished New Yorker!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Joanne Rocklin recently Skyped with some children at the Inglewood Public Library in Inglewood, California. Said the librarian who organized the event:
“The chat was awesome. I can't say enough good things about Joanne. She connected well with the children and we had a great time. The kids and the parents really enjoyed it. We gave away signed copies of her book, This Book is Haunted, to the kids at the end and served cookies. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity.”
If you are interested in having Joanne Skype with your students, library patrons, teachers, librarians, or parents, please contact Balkin Buddies.
Joanne Rocklin’s ONE DAY AND ONE AMAZING MORNING ON ORANGE STREET is on the Summer 2011 Kids' Indie Next List
Booksellers throughout the country have once again voted with their nominations, and we are pleased to share with you that ONE DAY AND ONE AMAZING MORNING ON ORANGE STREET, by Joanne Rocklin (publised by Abrams) has been chosen to appear on the Summer 2011 Kids' Indie Next List --- "Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers."
This list is put out by IndieBound, which was created by the American Booksellers Association, to help people in the U.S. get together and share and find independently-owned businesses. IndieBound members create book lists, post comments and reviews of bookstores, share information on bookstores (store hours, etc.), add new or additional independent bookstores, and more. For further information, see their website.
The Summer 2011 Kids' Indie Next List flyers will be distributed to bookstores May, and flyers will also be on display in the ABA Lounge at BEA. The announcement of the full Summer 2011 Kids' Indie Next List will appear in the 5/12/11 edition of Bookselling This Week.
We are delighted Joanne's book was chosen for this list, and hope you'll recommend it to your own kids as a great summer read.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
If we could, we'd print the whole 4/25/2011 article that Bryan Curtis, a national correspondent at The Daily Beast, wrote about Robert Lipsyte and his new memoir, but because of its length, we can't, so here are just a few snippets:
"When a young man on the make tells me he wants to be a sportswriter, I tell him to read one book. It's called SPORTSWORLD by Robert Lipsyte," this in-depth article begins. "Starting next month, I'll tell him to read another: AN ACCIDENTAL SPORTSWRITER, which is functionally Lipsyte's sequel."
Elsewhere Mr. Curtis writes:
“As a sports columnist, Lipsyte was a swaggering sociologist….”
“Taken together, SPORTSWORLD (1975) and AN ACCIDENTAL SPORTSWRITER are a sustained attack on the mythos encrusted on sports and the journalists who helped to maintain it….”
“Most sportswriters aren't noxious. They're adrift. They haven't solved Lipsyte's riddle, which is: What is a sportswriter supposed to do? (They may have been waylaid by another mystery: What do website-clicking sports fans want?)”
“The new writers haven't inherited Lipsyte's moral muscle but they have inherited his hipness, his suspicion. Which is something….”
“Though he raced away from the Times at 33, Lipsyte never managed to get away from sports. He interviewed Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle for CBS News Sunday Morning and wrote several young adult novels about sports. His yellowing columns and features had a nice afterlife, too. When David Remnick wrote King of the World, his book about Muhammad Ali, he installed Lipsyte—not Red Smith—as the Greek chorus….”
And finally, Mr. Curtis’s conclusion:
"I'd like to call him the most important sportswriter of the 20th century. Bob convinced me that pompous declarations are for lesser mortals."
Is your curiosity piqued? Read the entire article in The Daily Beast.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The 2012 Utah Beehive Book Award nominations include books by S.A. Bodeen, Marilyn Singer, and Neal Shusterman
The following books by Balkin Buddies authors have been nominated for the 2012 Utah Beehive Book Awards:
S.A. Bodeen's SMALL BROWN DOG WITH A WET, PINK NOSE, published by Little Brown (Picture Book category)
Marilyn Singer's MIRROR MIRROR, published by Penguin (Poetry category)
Neal Shusterman's BRUISER, published by HarperCollins (Young Adult Category)
Winners are chosen from the nominated books by the children of Utah, who vote for their favorite books and are usually celebrated in the spring.
These awards are sponsored by the Children's Literature Association of Utah (CLAU), a volunteer organization of individuals who have a personal or professional interest in children's literature. The organization encourages the reading, study, and writing of children's literature; provides a forum for all points of view and levels of experience in children's books; and gathers and shares information about children's literature.
Please join us in congratulating these authors on their nominations.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Darcy Pattison visited Cross Country Elementary School in Cherry Valley, AR on May 4, 2011, and here is what Teressa Davis, the literacy coach had to say:
"Thank you so much for a great day! Even today our kids continue to talk about your visit. In the after school program yesterday I had students giving me possible plots for a new Oliver. I told them they had to write an outline and submit it to me. I was carrying the Oliver I had hanging in my window and every child I passed said, "That's the woodman!" I printed the picture you sent of you and the girls and gave one to each. You would have thought I handed them a gold bar! Of course, you may use our picture on your blog. That would be an honor for me! Again, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit us. Some teachers are already asking to do it again next year."
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Jan Spivey Gilchrist's YAFI'S FAMILY, written by Linda Pettit with Sharon Darrow, wins a Skipping Stone Award, a Mom's Choice Award and is a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards
We're pleased to announce that Yafi’s Family by Linda Pettit with Sharon Darrow, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist, and published by Amharic Kids, has won a Skipping Stones award, a Mom’s Choice award, and is a finalist in two categories -- the picture book category and the Family/Parenting category -- in the Midwest Book Awards.
Founded in 1988, Skipping Stones is a nonprofit magazine for youth that encourages communication, cooperation, creativity and celebration of cultural and environmental richness, and each year, they recognize outstanding books and teaching resources that promote an understanding of cultures, cultivate cooperation and encourage a deeper understanding of the world’s diversity, ecological richness, respect for multiple viewpoints and close relationships within human societies.
The Mom’s Choice Award spotlights books and other products that help families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually; are morally sound and promote good will; are inspirational and uplifting.
MIPA is the Midwest Independent Publishers Association, and the winners of their 21st annual Midwest Book Awards will be announced at their awards event on May 11, 2011 in Bloomington, MN.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Not long ago, Gerald and Loretta Hausman Skyped with some children at the Henrico County Public Library in Henrico, VA. The librarian who organized it had a few words about the chat that we’d like to share:
“The teachers and the kids were so appreciative of having time to speak with the Hausmans,” she said. “Today, they (the kids) were talking among themselves as the left the library about being able to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Hausman. While they were quiet and a little shy during the chat, they left with smiles and great conversations about what they had heard.”
If you would like to see similar results with your own kids, we hope you’ll contact Balkin Buddies about an online chat with the Hausmans.
Every month Gerald Hausman, author of THE AMERICAN STORYBAG, writes a column for Stay Thirsty Media in Chicago. This month his column is about Orson Welles, his mother and...
Do you remember when you were just a kid and people's reactions to THE WAR OF THE WORLDS sounded unbelievable? Reading Gerry's column now, as an adult, might not just give you a whole new perspective but make you shudder at what we consider reality.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
"It went so well!!" the teacher said. "Kim was amazing!! She was so informative and entertaining. She held the attention of 125 children for a hour! They were very interested in everything she said."
(Cameron Park Elem. School
If you are interested in arranging a Skype chat with Kim, please contact Balkin Buddies.