Sunday, May 29, 2011

Look What's Coming Out in the Publishing World - Part Two

     Publishers Weekly has put out their Fall 2011 preview. There are several books highlighted which peek my interests from favorite authors! Here are some additional details about these upcoming books:

     Esme Raji Codell is a smart and humorous author that has written such texts as Fairly Fairy Tales (Alladin, 2011) and Sahara Special (Hyperion, 2004).  On September 1st, Codell's newest book will be published entitled Basket Ball (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011). In this picture book, a young girl playfully named Lulu is disappointed to not be a part of the playground basketball team made up of boys. So, Lulu puts the ball in her own court and creates the Basket Ball, an event that marries both sports loving girls with girly ways, including sequined jerseys and dress shoe sneakers. Included in the book is an extensive glossary of basketball terms to keep any reader shooting 3 pointers when it comes to understanding the game. :) Explore Codell's abundance of wisdom as a "readologist" on current children's literature as The Planet Esme Plan blog. You can also learn more about this knowledgeable lady in one of my previous posts.

     Speaking of dogs, a new installment in the "If You Give..." series will be coming out, too! Author Laura Numeroff and illustrator Felicia Bond team up once again to please fans of the series with a book entitled If You Give a Dog a Donut (Blazer + Bray, 2011). I'm certain that if I gave my Yorkie a donut, it would not last long enough to pose for a picture like the one on the front cover! :) This is a great series for K and 1st graders to talk about cause and effect as a comprehension focus. Little ones will surely clamor around read aloud time for another addition to this humorous series. Bond and Numeroff make a great duo together. Be sure to check out the Mouse Cookie Books site by Felicia Bond as well. I also have an autobiography that is small in size but can be perfect under the document camera entitled If You Give an Author a Pencil (Richard C Owen Publishers, 2003) which is great extension of an author study to provide encouragement for young authors.

     Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011) is written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beth Krommes. I previously posted about Sidman's book Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night which you can visit again by clicking here.) I am a fan of her work with blending nonfiction subject matter and the descriptive observations in a poem format. In this particular book, Sidman's focus is with how spirals are present or occur in nature. I'm certain that her eloquent language brings a whole other level of appreciation to an aspect of life that is easily taken for granted. As you will see in my previous post on Dark Emperor, I highlighted the poem on a snail. What a perfect text to text connection during an author study that would make!

A few more titles from favorite picture book authors and crowd pleasing series are:
  • Two Little Monkeys by Mem Fox and illustrated by Jill Barton (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, release date uncertain at this time)
  • Frog and Friends and Frog and Friends: Party at the Pond by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Josee Masse - easy reader format (both from Sleeping Bear Press, 2011)
  • Happy Birthday, Hamster by Cynthia Lord and illustrated by Derek Anderson (Scholastic Press, 2011)
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday? by Jane Yolen and illustrate by Mark Teague (Blue Sky Press, 2011)
  • Llama Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney (Viking, 2011)
  • Zoozical by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown (Knopf, 2011) This is the follow up to this author/illustrator's text Wild About Books (Knopf, 2004)

Monday, May 23, 2011

New App from Pioneer Valley

     Pioneer Valley Books, who is well known for their quality beginning readers, has just announced that they have a new app for the iPad! The site, Who Can Read?, is currently offering eight titles for free. There will be numerous other titles available for 99 cents per download. That is a great deal! There are screenshot samples which help to illustrate the simple format. On the home page, there are three options: my bookshelf, bookstore to buy more books, and information about levels. The levels are aligned with Guided Reading levels, which is a well known and accepted leveling system for emergent readers. We love Pioneer Valley in our school reading room, so this app is sure to be an additional fantastic way of reaching readers!  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Scholastic: Fall 2011 Sneak Peek and Summer 2011 Reading!

    Don't you just love to get a peek at what is coming our way for books? I know I certainly do! Scholastic has just put out their Preview for Fall 2011 video. This video shows the entire presentation, but if you click on the link for "Preview for Fall 2011 video" above, you can go to the Scholastic page and select the portions you would like to view individually. The sections include picture books, nonfiction, graphic novels, books for middle grades, and young adult. In the picture books feature, there is a new selection from Harry Bliss featured entitled Bailey, as well as a new book from Jon Agee entitled My Rhinoceros. A favorite easy reader series, Fly Guy written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold, will be featured in a new installment called Fly Guy Versus the Fly Swatter. These books along with several other texts, are featured in the beginning of this video.  In the segment on books for middle grade readers, an exciting preview for Brian Selznick's greatly anticipated Wonder Struck is featured. Selznick himself explains the graphic novel's storyline. After the brilliant Invention of Hugo Cabret, I cannot wait to see what his new book entails.

     Scholastic is also featuring their "Scholastic Summer Challenge" for both teachers and for parents at home. Children can spin the virtual prize wheel after logging in minutes online for independently reading. There are message boards about books, polls on reading, and a lot of other social media influenced aspects once the student has permission via a parent/teacher confirmation email. On their post on "Keep Kids Reading All Summer Long!", there are suggested reading lists for various age brackets, resources, and activities for both students and adults.  These Five Fantastic Summer Challenges can give responding to reading a different pace. Scholastic and PBS Kids have also partnered up awareness on iVillage for their Summer Reading Central site. Whether a parent, teacher, or a student, summer reading motivation awaits on Scholastic!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Look What's Coming Out in the Publishing World - Part One

The Newest from favorite author Kevin Henkes:

     Kevin Henkes is a versatile author who works expand from simple books for preschoolers to chapter books for older elementary students. His newest book is entitled Junonia (Greenwillow, 2011) and it will be released on May 24th. The main character is a nine year old girl named Alice who is an only child and celebrates her birthday during the annual family vacation. Alice and her parents return to a beach cottage called the Scallop on Sanibel Island in Florida. She has a clear love and curiosity about the seashore habitat and can't wait to see who will get to see what sights first for that season. Apparently the junonia shell has been an elusive search for Alice, since she is hoping that this summer will be the summer she finds it. Changes occur in Alice's life, but she likes the predictable aspects of life better. You can preview the beginning portion of the book by clicking on the Harper Collins widget here. You can see how seaside sketches are incorporated into the beginning of the text, much like a sketch in a nature notebook. In this YouTube clip, Kevin Henkes is interviewed about Junonia in his writing studio. I always love to hear the perspectives of authors as well as when you get to have a sneak peek at their creative spaces. :)


New from the Skippyjon Jones series:
     Judith Schachner's popular Skippyjon Jones series will be coming out with a new installment on July 12th called Skippyjon Jones Class Action (Dutton, 2011.) It sounds like it might be a fun read aloud for the beginning of the new school year! It also comes with an audio CD recording of the text which can be great for a listening center in your classroom. You can download Judith Schachner's curriculum connections PDF file here. You can see how you could tie in some fun with literacy and learning towards the tail end of the school year with other favorites in the Skippyjon Series. Be sure to check out Skippyjon's website. It is so humorous and adorable! You can check out a webisode about Skippyjon in the new Class Action book here as well.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Judy Moody Coming to the Movies!

     Popular chapter book character Judy Moody created by author Megan McDonald is coming out in the movies soon! The Judy Moody series and her brother Stink, who has his own spin-off chapter book series, will both be showcased in this movie. I'm not sure if the movie is going to do justice to the quirky humor of the books. :) Here's the official movie trailer: