Friday, April 27, 2007

Library News

I have been catching up on my library-related stories of the day and have a few that were of particular interest to me and so I must share:

"'Shhh' -- the one thing you won't hear in a library" from the L.A. Times

"Trolley book wins odd title prize" from the BBC

"Libraries Must Follow Rules of Secrecy to Get New 'Potter' Book" from Fox News

And finally, a sad one, "Bookstore gets perilously close to final chapter" from the Chicago Tribune

Monday, April 16, 2007


Oh my gosh!

My colleague just forwarded me this great website for Shannon Hale's new adult novel Austenland. If you are a reader of this blog you KNOW what an Austenite I am and this is the book for me! I also just adore Hale's award-winning young adult novels, so this is really going to be a treat.

The novel doesn't hit shelves until May 29, and I'm tempted to make a countdown chain like at Christmas! This book is not only for Austen freaks but also for those fans obsessed with the BBC's wonderful mini-series of Pride and Prejudice. If you check out the website, be sure to read Hale's letter to Colin Firth (the best Mr. Darcy ever). Fun, fun, fun!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New Socks

New Socks
Bob Shea
A little chick named Leon wants to show you something new. Is it his glasses? No! It’s his great new socks! They’re orange, they slide on hardwood floors, and they help make Leon brave on the big kids’ slide. Leon thinks the socks can help him do anything. When the President calls and invites Leon to the White House, it seals the deal. Now Leon can’t wait to get new pants too! Simple three-color digital graphics are vivid and eye-catching and give the book a retro feel. While the pictures and text convey obvious enthusiasm, that’s as far as this book goes. The disconnected and overwrought incidents may amuse adults, but kids might not sit through the whole thing or ask for a repeat telling. Similar in design and attitude to Mo Willems’ Pigeon books, the chick central to Bob Shea’s first foray into picture books lacks the humor and sparkle that make Willems’ books so fun for kids. Rather, this title has the feel of an art school assignment, with the text stuck on as an afterthought.
BIBLIO: 2007, Little, Brown, Ages 3 to 6, $12.99.
FORMAT: Picture Book
ISBN: 0-316-01357-9
ISBN: 978-0-316-01357-4

My Weird School: Mr. Macky Is Wacky!

Mr. Macky Is Wacky!
Dan Gutman
Pictures by Jim Paillot
A.J. hates school and when he grows up, he’s going to be President so he can outlaw school for everyone! President’s Day is coming up, so the teachers at A.J.’s school want the students to elect a school president and do oral reports about United States presidents. All A.J. wants is the day off from school and maybe a big screen TV! This is a weird school though, so elections and reports are not as boring as they sound–on Crazy Pets Day, a ferret runs for school president against the teachers! Mr. Macky, the wacky reading specialist, dresses up as all of the presidents to help the kids learn quirky facts, like how FDR’s mom made him wear a dress until he was five years old or who was the shortest president. This fun story sneaks in other information too, such as how a democracy works and which famous Americans are on our money. The comic illustrations help the reader get an idea of how A.J.’s mind works. Filled with goofy humor, this fifteenth title in the “My Weird School” series will attract the most reluctant reader.
BIBLIO: 2007, HarperTrophy/HarperCollins, Ages 7 to 10, $3.99.
FORMAT: Chapter Book
ISBN: 0-06-114151-8
ISBN: 978-0-06-114151-5

New Job, New Reviews

Just look at this! It's been well over a month since I last wrote anything! I do have to say that this may have been the busiest month ever, though. I travelled to San Francisco and Seattle, had a friend in from Boston, got a new job, and started reviewing for the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database. Whew!

I'm going back to full-time children's lit, so my posts may start to mirror that again. Sorry adult interest readers! We'll see if I have time to read adult stuff, let alone write about it! And I'll be reading tons of stuff for Children's Lit, so I'll post all that stuff on here too.

Exciting times!

In the meantime, all my favorite authors have had terrific new novels out this spring and they're keeping me on my toes. Why does it happen this way? I mean, I understand the publishing cycle, but even "retired" Maeve Binchy had a new book and how often does that happen? I'm just swamped! Here's a quick list of my favorite people and their new books:

Whitethorn Woods, by Maeve Binchy
Friends in High Places, by Marne Davis Kellogg
Aunt Dimity Goes West, by Nancy Atherton
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, by Alexander McCall Smith

I'm also currently reading the young adult samurai mystery The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Thomas and Dorothy Hoobler. It's really great so far.

In addition to all this reading, I'm trying to re-design my landscaping and I'm reading tons of dry land gardening books. We'll see how far I get either on the gardening or on the reading! Ha!

This weekend I also finally put my home library in Dewey order. I know, NERD, right? What else is a librarian supposed to do at home for fun! :)

Your Friendly Librarian