Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Marya: Where did the idea of someone having a savvy come from?
When Mibs’s savvy arrives it is not what she hoped for at all, and at first she cannot imagine how her savvy could ever be useful. She has to experience certain things before she is able to see how her savvy could be an asset.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Ages 9 to 12
Penguin, 2008, 978-0-8037-3306-0
Mibs is about to turn thirteen and in her family this particular birthday is very important. The reason for this is that this is the age when people in her family get their “savvy,” their special gift or talent. When Mibs' brother Fish turned thirteen he caused a hurricane, and he has struggled with his storm creating tendencies every since. Her other big brother Rocket attracts electricity, and his gift not only breaks appliances but it also runs the family car.
Mibs is eager to find out what her savvy will be, and then all her hopes for a special birthday celebration are dashed. Her father is involved in a terrible multi-car pileup on the highway, and soon Mibs’ mother heads for Salina to be with her injured husband. Mibs stays at home with her bothers and her grandfather in the care of the preacher’s wife. Which is why Mibs finds herself in the church on her birthday attending a party that she does not want, and surrounded by people she does not really like. All Mibs wants to do is to go to Salina to be with her mother. She is convinced that she will be able to use her savvy will help her father.
And this is when Mibs gets the brilliant idea. While the party is going on, she sneaks onto the pink bus that a bible salesman drives, thinking that he must be going back to the city. Her brothers Fish and Sampson, and the preacher’s children also get on the bus. Unfortunately the driver goes north instead of south, in the wrong direction, and Mibs begins to wonder when she will be able to be with her father. She is also very worried about her savvy, which has arrived on time. It is not at all what Mibs expected, and she cannot help wondering what use it will be to her.
In this powerful book, Ingrid Law explores friendships, she looks at an important rite of passage, and she shows her readers how well meant plans can go hopelessly awry – in both sad and funny ways. This is a memorable book filled with beautiful language, splendid imagery, and colorful characters.
A Christian Worldview of Fiction, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Booking Mama, Cafe of Dreams, Dolce Bellezza, Fireside Musings, Hyperbole, KidzBookBuzz.com, Looking Glass Reviews, Maw Books Blog, Never Jam Today, Olive Tree, Our Big Earth, The 160 Acrewoods, Through a Child’s Eyes
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Illustrated by Linda Holt Ayriss
Ages 6 to 9
Sleeping Bear Press, 2009, 1-58536-428-2
Today, perhaps more than ever before, people around the world are growing to appreciate that “every little bit helps” when it comes to protecting the environment. There are many things that children and their families can do to make this world a cleaner, greener, and healthier place to live.
To help children to see that there are so many things that they can do Sleeping Bear Press put together this clever alphabet book. For each letter of the alphabet, the author has found an environmental topic to explore. Many of the topics include suggestions that show children how they can make green choices every day. For example, on the C page we see a child riding to school so that fuel is conserved and so that less pollution ends up in the air. The L page talks about eating food that is grown locally. Eating food that is fresher and that does not have to travel many miles to get to us is a good strategy.
For every letter of the alphabet, the author gives his readers a poem to enjoy. Younger children will like listening to or reading the two rhyming stanzas that compliment the artwork. In addition to the poems, the author has also written a longer piece of descriptive text. This explores the highlighted topic in more detail. This format allows children of a variety of ages to appreciate this valuable title.
This is just one in a series of informative alphabet books published by Sleeping Bear Press.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
I was always writing them, have always loved children's books. It just took me longer to break into this field. My first grown-up book was published in 1998. My first children's bookwas published 7 years later. Still have a sizable bump on my head from all the brick walls I kept running into on my path to get into the children's book arena.
Why, the Idea Store of course!
OK, two serious answers to that question.
a) I don't really know where I get the ideas to be honest.
b) I have started to realize that maybe it's like this: I simply am a collector of ideas. And when you collect something-- whether it's baseball cards or antiques or coins or ideas-- you are always on the lookout for them; you train yourself to always sort of be on high alert for them. And that's how it is with me. Because I love and collect ideas, I'm always keeping an eye out for them.
To some degree, sure. Hard to say where the line is drawn. I mean, would I have written these same exact children's books if I didn't have kids, or if I had different kids? Probably. But who knows! I will say that my kids, all three of them, have helped me with my manuscripts, improving, suggesting, adding, tweaking. They all have really good observations and insights. I've credited each of them in different books...and more of that to come.
4. Which of your books is your favorite?
Yes, that one.
5. Do you have a regular writing schedule, or do you just write when the muse hits you?
I would accomplish nothing if I waited for the muse to arrive. She is one elusive little creature! I have a regular writing schedule; I write in the afternoons. And then additionally I do a lot of critical thinking when I'm driving, showering, practicing yoga, falling asleep at night, you know, in the quiet in-between spaces of life.
6. Do you think that you are going to write another “Little” book to join “Little Pea,” “Little Hoot,” and “Little Oink?”
7. What kinds of books did you like to read when you were a child?
Fortunately, by Remy Charlip.
Put Me In the Zoo
and lots of nonfiction... I loved reading biographies when I was a kid, the junior editions sort. couldn't get enough of those. still the same way.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
“That’s okay,” I tell him. “I can wait.”
He nods like he knows I have no choice.
I wave a bundle of papers at him. “You see this?” I say. “It’s a character study. I’m going to fill it out today, and then, then, I’ll know better who you are.”
He raises his eyebrows and walks away. This is typical behavior for him.
I grab my pencil and get to work. I know he’ll talk sooner or later."
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Match 1: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves vs Ways to Live Forever
Match 2: The Graveyard Book vs The Trouble Begins at 8
Match 3: Chains vs Washington at Valley Forge
Match 4: Here Lies Arthur vs Tender Morsels
Match 5: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks vs We Are the Ship
Match 6: The Hunger Games vs The Porcupine Year
Match 7: Graceling vs The Underneath
Match 8: The Lincolns vs Nation
The judges for this first round are:
Are there any other books that you think should be in the competition? Let me know what you think and do visit the Battle of the (Kids') Books Blog. It is going to be fun to watch this battle take place.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The Bookish Events for this month are:
I hope you will be able to enjoy some of these events with the children in your lives.
In addition to the "Books and Libraries" feature I looked at books about spring. Then there are the titles that are linked to the Bookish Calendar. If you want to read about Easter, Thomas Jefferson, or Earth Day, you will find links to books about these subjects - and many others - here.
The book that I chose for the Editor's Choice for April is Trainstop by Barbara Lehman. This superb wordless picture book is a joy to look at, and children will have great time talking about the magical story. Readers will see that doing others a kind turn can be wonderfully rewarding, and in this case at least, the giver is given a priceless gift to thank her for her kindness. By the by, all of Barbara Lehman's books are memorable and magical.
I hope you enjoy this month's issue of Through the Looking Glass Book Review.