Tag Archives: authors

Books as Gifts

29 Jul

pexels-photo-264771.jpegIt’s no surprise that for every gift giving event, I purchase books. Now, I don’t always buy everyone on my list a book, but there’s usually at least one book per holiday that is bought. For my nephew and a few other little ones in my life, I started before they were born to give them a signed copy of a book. So, usually I’ll send out a book for a birthday and Christmas (which is what most of my friends celebrate) or another holiday and then if we get a chance to see them, they get another book. My close friends with kids don’t live close by, so when we do get to hang out, it’s a special event!

I started this practice when my good friend had her first baby girl. It was a special gift that I could give, that I knew the family would appreciate. Since then (6 years ago!), I’m now giving signed books to seven kids including my nephew and so-to-be new niece/nephew. Often, I’ll get the books personalized for each child, but I also keep a stash of just signed books for emergency gift giving.

The books come from conference, book expos, author events and more and at first with one child it was super easy, now I’ve got way more kids than books, so it’s becoming more difficult to get so many titles, plus I’m really starting to forget what I’ve given each child. But, even with the difficulties, I love that I can provide these kids with books just for them in a collection they’ll be able to treasure forever. So while my family’s in town this weekend, I’ve got to find the perfect little book for my nephew… which one will it be?

Book Review: Funny Girl – Funniest. Stories. Ever.

27 Jul

26158710.jpg

My favorite picture books are funny picture books – ones that make you think and pay attention and are filled with moments where you can’t help but laugh out loud. And the other commonality? Many of them are written by men. It’s not a bad thing necessarily, but if kids read funny books mainly by guys, do they know that women can be funny too?

That’s the idea behind this anthology of stories edited by Betsy Bird from 27 women – many are children’s authors while others work in television, are artists, editors and more. The stories range from family disasters, friendship drama to growing up and many others that are just fun to read.

This is a great collection of stories to share with middle grade girls (and guys) who are looking for new authors to read and enjoy funny stories. It’s also a great book for reluctant readers as each story is only a couple pages long. I also want to point out that Betsy was very specific in collecting stories from a very diverse group of women, which is awesome. The book doesn’t have to scream DIVERSITY, it just is.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): “Girls are funny. Period. It’s time for the world to know it.” Funny Girl is a must-read book for funny-book-loving kids!

Title: Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.
Editor: Betsy Bird
Publisher:  Viking Press for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Page Number: 224 pgs.

Authors Who Write for Adults & Kids

30 Jun

authors.png

A number of authors dabble in different genres, but not as many attempt to write for both adults and children – it’s not easy! A book written for middle grade readers is going to sound differently than something written for teens which will also be different from something written for adults. But, authors do it all the time, some better than others, but I thought you might like to see a few authors that can cross the age brackets to write very different books for very different audiences. I could only fit a few authors on my fun graphic, but don’t forget others like James Patterson, John Grisham, Madeleine L’Engle, Ursula K. Le Guin, Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson, Kelly Armstrong and so many others. Spend some time trying out these authors’ work and see what you think – can they write for both adults and kids? Or should they stick to one age group?

Must Listen: Book Lover’s Podcasts

22 Jun

get-booked-logo-e1441883061578I love the Get Booked podcast – it’s a book recommendation podcast where people submit questions for reading suggestions for themselves, as gifts, for their book club, etc. and receive suggestions from the hosts and Book Riot contributors. 9 times out of 10, I know very well that I’ll never read the books they suggest, but I love hearing about them – it’s a great way to hear about books from a wide-variety of genres and the ladies who host are so fun!

 

artworks_mediumIf you’re a kid lit author or illustrator and like to drink (both alcoholic and non) this is the group for you. I’m neither an author or illustrator, but I enjoy this podcast just the same – it’s fun to listen to other people geek out as much as I do about kid lit! They talk writing, interview authors, and in general have a lot of fun together – which is awesome!

 

downloadThis is a podcast hosted by a 5th grade teacher focusing on middle grade books. She talks classroom shop – always looking for ways to connect middle grade students to books they’ll love. My favorite part of this podcast is when she offers up suggestions and the format she uses is great – a quick overview of the story and three reasons why she loves the book. She’s got some great ideas to encourage readers and reading habits!

 

The-Yarn-logo-500-300x300The Yarn is hosted by Colby Sharp and Travis Jonker and each season has had a little bit of a different focus – but it’s always enlightening with a focus on kid lit author interviews. The first season of the podcast the guys focused on looking at Matthew & Jennifer Holm’s book – Sunny Side Up from many different angles – book designer, author, illustrator, colorist, editor and more.

 

These are just a few of the podcasts I listen to and if you’re looking for some more great examples, check out Brightly’s article, Press Play: 8 of the Best Kids’ Lit Podcasts (and a Few for Grown-Ups Too)!

 

BEA in a Day

5 Jun

image1
My co-worker and I went up to Book Expo America (BEA) on Friday, just for the day. We couldn’t go for all three days and got up extra early on Friday to drive to New Jersey to grab the NJ Transit up to Penn Station and then walked the few short blocks to the Javits Center. With commuting time, we spend over 12 hours on an epic trip that napped us some really great SWAG and some awesome author autographs.

If you’re unfamiliar with BEA, it’s a yearly expo of publishers promoting upcoming titles for the summer and fall season, sometimes even hitting titles for early the following year. For many of the publishers, they spend the three days in meetings with authors, potential authors and working really hard to provide a quality experience for booksellers, educators and librarians.

It’s a chance for us, as librarians to become familiar with upcoming titles for picture books, middle grade and young adult genres. It’s so much fun talking with publisher reps who are as excited about books as we are and they have so much great knowledge about titles that they not only enjoyed, but truly loved reading.

image2

So here’s what actually happens, there’s a large convention space for all publishers and as a librarian, we walk around talking with reps and picking up Advanced Reader’s Copies or ARCs – books that are planning on being published in the next six months or so. These prints usually have some editing that needs to be done, some are without artwork or color, while others can be missing entire sections of the book.  But, for the most part you can snag some pretty awesome titles. For example, at a conference last year I got an ARC for The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill which later won the Newbery Award (and I was later able to get my ARC signed by the author which is pretty awesome). So, as you can see, I got the most recent title in the  Mr.Lemocello’s Library series, due out on October 10, 2017, along with 36 other titles, mainly middle grade and YA, but also a few picture books as well.

The Expo also has some really great talks going on through the three-day event including promotional talks, talking about diversity, and more. We were able to stop by the editor book buzz on middle grade fiction out this fall and got to a great afternoon talk which you can see in the picture below!

image3

The other exciting part of conferences and expos like BEA is the chance to meet authors and illustrators – this year we got to get book signed by Caldecott winner, Dan Santat, Chris Grabenstein, Lindsay Eager, plus (drumroll please…) Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), Chris Harris author and producer of How I Met Your Mother and Neil Patrick Harris, yes that Neil Patrick Harris.

I was completely exhausted by the end of the day, but we had an awesome time and I’m hoping that next year, I’ll actually be able to spend the whole three days in New York! A great big thank you to all the publishers, authors, and illustrators who worked so hard to make this event a success! It was awesome!

%d bloggers like this: