Tag Archives: kid lit

Director’s Thoughts #12 – Office Space (or Mantras to Work By)

12 Aug


My office has some fairly hideous carpet – dark green border with a pale lilac faded interior color, which makes decorating my office extremely difficult, but what I did find were some of these absolutely adorable children’s book posters that I use as my director mantras (it also helps that I chose them in shades of purple to offset the carpet. Coming from a children’s librarian perspective, these are not only the perfect fit, I adore them! Take a look at Bookroo for a variety of amazing posters and if I were independently wealthy, I’d probably by them all… I’m especially eyeing The Polar Express as it carries a lot of memories for me around the holidays. But, let me explain to you the reason I specifically chose these three posters.

Lily and the Perfect Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes is about a small mouse named Lily who has a really difficult day at school which causes a lot of frustration and anger on Lily’s part. But, she learns from her ever-inspiring teacher that tomorrow is a new day and learns how to comprehend strong emotions, taking turns and be considerate of others. My director’s mantra from this book: Try again tomorrow.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is the story of a young woman who grows up to travel the world, live by the sea and as her grandfather says, “…do something to make the world more beautiful.” And so, everywhere Miss Rumphius travels, she plants lupine flowers all around her town, which makes her little corner of the world beautiful. This is a quiet story with beautiful illustrations and a lovely message. My director’s mantra from this book: Make the world more beautiful.

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch is the story of a young princess named Elizabeth who is having a really rough day – a dragon destroyed her castle, lit everything she owns on fire and took off with her prince, so with nothing to wear Princess Elizabeth dons a paper and sets off to find her prince. When she finally reaches him, the prince is less than impressed with Elilzabeth’s messed up, tangled hair, her paper bag and her appearance in general and demands that she goes back to the castle and come back to save him when she looks more presentable. Elizabeth decides the prince isn’t worth in the end. My director’s mantra from this book: Sometimes you have to say, “Screw it” I’m going to make the decision that is best for us (even when you don’t think it is).

I love all three of these stories and find their messages help me get through my tough days, my great days and all the days in between. How do you decorate your office (or what are your mantras)?

Transgender Characters in Kid Lit

28 Jul


As I’ve stated previously on my blog, I choose not to make this blog political, that being said, because I have a platform that reaches more than my immediate circle of friends, I also feel that it’s important to take a stand. These are just a few of the transgender characters I found in children’s literature. I’ve also talked about how important it is that kid and teens see themselves in the books they read, so it’s our duty to make these books available to them! And just like any other character in children’s literature each transgender character is different, there’s not a single mold in which they’re all created, so if you don’t like one story, try another!

  1. Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
  2. George by Alex Gino
  3. Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
  4. Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
  5. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susak Kuklin
  6. Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
  7. Luna by Julie Anne Peters
  8. Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
  9. TomboyA Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince
  10. Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Book Reviews and Reviewers

20 Apr

I love books, it’s pretty simple and I love talking to other people who love books too, especially the same types of books – middle grade and young adult books. Every year, I attend the Kutztiwn Children’s Literature Conference held at Kutztown Univeristy.  They bring in 3-4 authors and illustrators as well as offering a book review session right after lunch (it’s one of my favorite parts!)

Karen Maurer is a retired youth services librarian who has a passion for children’s literature that is apparent when she talks about books and she gives her honest opinion, not mincing words when it comes to something she’s not fond of. I think for the first few years I went to the conference, her list was made of a majority of books I had either never heard of or ever read.  Now, as I’ve gotten better about getting more reading done each year, the majority of the list, I’ve read or at least read reviews of, but she’s always got a few that seem to have slipped through the cracks and are now on my “must read” list.

Oh her top six books for the past year, I’ve only read half! That means I’ve got to add three more books to my list: Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi, The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and Enchantment Lake: A Northwoods Mystery by Margi Preus.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Karen Muarer’s book review list, check out her blog, Books ‘n’ Stories.

Children’s Book Council Resources

16 Mar

“The Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the nonprofit trade association of children’s book publishers in North America, dedicated to supporting and informing the industry and fostering literacy.”  I am currently an ALA intern serving a two-year term with the CBC meeting in New York twice a year to talk about what they’re doing to support literacy.  The CBC has some great resources for families as well as librarians to encourage literacy.

Building a Home Library  – every two years a new list comes out with classics as well as newly published material perfect for different age groups.

The Children’s Choice Book Awards – the only national book award where winners are voted for by kids and teens

Diverse Kids’ and YA Lit – an extensive list of children’s literature that deals in some part with diversity

Mathical: Books for Kids from Tots to Teens – recognizes popular, math-related fiction and nonfiction for very young children through teenagers, with a view toward inspiring children of all ages to cultivate a love of mathematics in the world around them.

The CBC offers a lot of other resources as well including a new section with information pertaining to the Common Core.  The CBC also assists in sponsoring Children’s Book Week (celebrating it’s 96th year – May 4 – 10, 2015) administered by Every Child A Reader.

Definitely take the time to visit CBC online to find out more about what this nonprofit does to promote children’s literature!

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