Wednesday, April 30, 2014

KBWT - Magazines


I decided - last week - to feature magazines on KBWT and then, I saw this cute little clip on Facebook and that led me to my friend's Instagram account which reminded me that my LinkedIn page could use some oomph so I went on YouTube and discovered the Easter videos I uploaded and then I got a.... never mind.

So here a week - and a day- later are some links to kids' magazines that offer parents/educators information, some games and info on how to subscribe.

Let's start with that staple of pediatrician's offices, Highlights.
Highlights offers THREE magazines, Hello! is for babies through 2 year olds and it's so cute!
High Five! is for children up to age 6.
The Highlights that we all know and love claims to be for children between the ages of 6 and 12.  The magazine does offer stories and articles and different reading difficulties.  Personally, I think children tire of just about everything except the hidden pictures - NO ONE gets tired of the Hidden Pictures, EVER - by the time they are 10.  No matter.  This is a solid, well designed, advertisement free, magazine for the whole family.

Next up is MY favorite family of Kids Magazines from Cricket Magazine.
 Kids magazines from Cricket

 The link below leads you to descriptions of all their magazines from the adorably durable Babybug (ages 0 to 3) through Cicada, a literary magazine for teens.  Besides award-winning literary magazines for all ages, Cricket offers FIVE non-fiction magazines for kids - magazines that encourage learning through well-written and well illustrated articles about the world; science, history, math, cultures, geography - AWESOME! 

Kiki Magazine is geared to girls between the ages of 10 and 14.  There are no advertisements in Kiki and the articles center around fashion, finance and entrepreneurship.  Yeah!  Heady stuff!  But the magazine is colorful and age appropriate and no one needs to worry about an advice column that discusses "uncertain" topics.
Here's another magazine that targets the same demographic as Kiki -
New Moon Magazine for Girls
This looks amazing!  I have never seen this magazine in person but the website is cool.  Take a look, all you girls between the ages of 8 and 14.  There is something in here for you.  And it says that the editors and a lot of the authors are girls themselves.

Which brings us to....
Stone Soup Magazine 
Since 1973, Stone Soup magazine has been entirely written and illustrated by kids!  Whoa! And they publish books by kids, too.

 Once boys hit 11 or 12, there is a dearth of magazines geared to their interests.
SI for Kids - mirrors the adult Sports Illustrated, without the swim suits and with kid-friendly advertisement.
Boys Life - the official magazine of the Boy Scouts offers a lot of great articles about the outdoors, sports, technology and the values of the Boy Scouts.  It was a long time ago, but I LOVED reading my brother's copy of Boys Life.

There are dozens of magazines for children and teens - science magazines, sports magazines, classroom magazines that cater to teachers.  A lot of non-fiction magazines offer children's versions, such as National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Little Kids.

And don't forget Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr (formerly Your Big Backyard) and Humpty Dumpty and Boys Quest and Hopscotch...  I could go on and on but it took me over a week to get THIS post up.  I'll stop now.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Clean your sofa!

 What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World

What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World by Henry Clark - now, THAT is a title.  It's the kind of title that will make some kids - and adults - snatch the book up.

Most readers will get exactly what they want - an adventure pitting kids against an evil alien who is plotting to mwahahahahahahaha TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!!! and maybe the entire universe.

River, Freak and Fiona live on the edge of Hellsboro, as a section of their small town is called.  Underground coal fires have turned a huge portion of the town into a nightmarish landscape surrounded by tall chain link fences.

One day, a sofa appears at the end of the driveway of an abandoned mansion.  The three search in the sofa and find a coin, a double-six domino, and a zucchini colored crayon.  So which of these items will save the world?

The new owner of the mansion, an odd man named Alf, enlists the three friends' help in flushing out the criminal behind the chemical spill that created Hellsboro.  Is this fiend merely an industrialist with no conscience or is he - dum, dum, DUMMMMM- an evil alien?  Alf makes no bones about the extra-terrestrial nature of this megalomaniac - a person so evil he beheaded his own daughter. 

What follows is pretty exciting - with mind controlled henchpersons that dress up as dogs, furniture that thinks for itself, underground portals, slingshots and a whole bunch of narrow escapes.  Enjoy.  (Foe grades 4 and up.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stoker & Holmes

It took me a long, long time to finish The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason.  But now the foundation has been set and I look forward to more of this partnership between the sister of Bram Stoker and the niece of Sherlock Holmes.

Gleason set herself a monumental task.  Not only did she need engaging characters who somehow embodied their family traits, but Gleason created a steampunk London that outlawed electricity and was built on three levels with steam powered elevators between.  AND she incorporated a 21st century time traveler. 

Young ladies of society are taking their own lives - or so someone wants the police to believe.  Somewhere near each corpse, or in the victim's belongings, a scarab mechanism is found, causing Irene Adler, -yes, THAT Irene Adler - who works at the British Museum, to call on Mina Holmes and Evaline Stoker for help in hunting down this connection. 

The atmosphere of suffrage unrest and Egypt-mania that existed in Britain at the end of the 19th century is the perfect breeding ground for this mystery.  

What will Evaline and Mina tackle next?  Will their 21st century visitor find a way home?  And the character they know as the Ankh, just who was she - or he?  Wait for the next book to find out.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Picture book title brainstorm

I am brainstorming picture book titles here and I have come up with a template:

(Name), the brave little (animal, household appliance, vegetable, shape or person) who (verb past tense) to find a (place or group)

So here how it works.

Choose a name - like Hortense.

Then choose a thing, preferably non-human but... well, anyway, how about plunger?

Then insert a past tense verb - how about tabulated?

And last but not least, a place or group.  Usually this is something cuddly but not always.  Let me riffle through my dictionary here.    Hmmmm, pride.

So the title of my picture book will be:

Hortense, the brave little plunger, who tabulated to find a pride.

That will generate a lot of excitement in the publishing world.  I will just wait for the offers to pour in.

You can change the template, too.  Maybe your brave little whatever went on something.

Hortense, the brave little plunger, might go on a mop.  Or, your brave little something-or-other could learn something.  Hortense, the brave little plunger, who learned to sleep.  Awesome!

Yep.  Hortense and I are going to RULE the picture book market.

(Obviously, I am at a loose end, today.  I think I'll take a walk.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Patterson's Latest and KBWT

Homeroom Diaries

Jame Patterson - whew!  When does that guy sleep?  I bet he has electrodes attached to his brain to transcribe his dreams so when he wakes up, he has new ideas.

In July, his latest book series begins, The Homeroom Diaries.  Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke, back from a brief sojourn in a mental hospital, tries to get all the warring factions of her high school to bury the hatchet.  Really, that's all you need to know.  The possibilities for mayhem that exist in that premise are infinite, indeed.  Patterson's great-grandchildren will inherit this franchise when all high schools will be virtual - but the problems will be the same.  Sigh.  Unless "Cuckoo" is successful and real teens use her stories as a model of peaceful behavior.  Hope springs!

Kids Book Website Tuesday!!!
1.  Cops 'n' Kids  Last Wednesday, I visited the Cops'n'Kids Reading Room on the Southside Northampton Community College campus.  What an inviting - and exciting - place!  While I was there talking to Bev Bradley, who manages this organization, two children came in with parents and walked out with FREE their-very-own-to-keep books.  Studies have shown that children who grow up with books in their homes, books that STAY in their homes, have an advantage in education.  As a librarian, I worry about the unintended slight to libraries a little bit.  I know and understand the deep attachment that children have for their very own books and I applaud Cops-n-Kids for making book ownership a possibility for everyone.  If you live in the Lehigh Valley, visit the Reading Room on Wednesdays or Saturdays.  If you live elsewhere, look at what they do to copy, or find a similar group near you.

2 Slimekids   So this site just might KBWT extinct.  Andy Fine, the creator of SlimeKids collects book review sites, book trailers, links to authors websites and more on this one website.  Thanks, Andy.  Now, what will I do on Tuesdays?

KU Addendum

 Kutztown University Children's Literature Conference  The official logo of the Kutztown University Children's Literature Conference.

My KU Addenda ( or "um", I can't remember which) is up on the Lists page.  But here is the link if you need immediate gratification.

And here is the link to the list I handed out at the KU Children's Literature Conference on Saturday.

Thanks.  Stay tuned for more book stuff.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

KU Children's Lit Conference

The Kutztown University Children's Literature Conference occurred today and it was, as always, wonderful.  Thanks so much to all the people who pull this conference together.  The keynote speakers, Frank Serafini, Jim Murphy and David Wiesner, were amazing and the book reviews were, too.  (She lowered her eyes, modestly.)  The problem with being a book review presenter is that you can't see what the other reviewer is doing.  I put out a booklist.  I wonder if she does, too. My booklist is up on the Lists page but check back in a day or two to see The Titles That I Forgot!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stories - April 6th

My accordion is ready with her very own mustache and so am I.
Ready to sing (badly), play (loudly) and tell lots of fun stories.  I have stories about people with mustaches and animals without mustaches.  I have songs and games to play.

So bring your mustaches with you tomorrow - real or fake - to Godfrey Daniels at 2 pm for the LAST Children's Series Storytelling event of the year.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Winnah! SLJ's Battle of the Books

Winner final whole The Big Kahuna Match: Between Boxers & Saints, P.S. Be Eleven, and Eleanor & Park

Nuff said.  Another great contest, another astonishing result!  Whoo Hoo!

Children's Book Review

The Children's Book Review is 6 years old today.  Check out their Happy Anniversary Win-a-Kindle Contest.

Good luck, everyone! 

Panel 0  PS.  If you win, let me know!