Great website for children

ALA has a link that features a “site of the week” for librarians and parents — see below:

Great Web sites for Kids icon
Connect to THE best sites for kids, parents & educators!
This week the featured link is to SCBWI  (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) which is chock full of information. Check it out when you have a chance. One thing though, we need to download a new version of Adobe Reader for the graphics, which has to be done by an administrator.

Why people come to the ‘brick and mortar’ (library)

Yesterday’s front page article the “Bookstore’s Last Stand” also had a lot to infer about the future of libraries.  “For all publishers, it’s really important that brick-and-mortar retailers survive…”  Publishers want Barnes and Noble to survive because they will make more money. The article also cited the browse factor of bookstores which is where, I believe, there is a correlation between bookstores and libraries. We provide the browse factor that used to be available more widely (think of Walden Books, B. Dalton, Borders, etc.) .  I like to  browse and hope that libraries will continue to exist to provide that service and convenience.

Girls and science fiction

In the Book Review section of the Sunday’s  NYT, Pamela Paul’s essay entitled “I Was a Sci-Fi Heroine” touches on several interesting points.  She reminds us that Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery classic, “A Wrinkle in Time”, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.  Paul also discusses how difficult it was to get the book published and how unlike most science fiction, it was a crossover hit with both boys and girls.   L’Engle’s trilogy might, however, be one of the exceptions. According to a study quoted in the article, girls/women are not fans of science fiction.  Why? She suggests that one reason might be the “boyness of the covers” with brutal images of fire and destruction.

Paul further reminds us that science fiction is not about science alone.  Science fiction books delve into political, social, and theological issues.  Subjects that both men and women want to read about.  “A Wrinkle in Time” is a great example of how L’Engle wove all of these ideas into a true timeless classic without a vampire in sight.

New title by Mo Willems

One of my favorite picture books to read to kindergarten and first grade classes is the Caldecott Honor Award winner “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” by Mo Willems. You are probably all familiar with it, but if not, it is a simple plot. The book begins with a bus driver explaining to the reader that he is taking a break from driving his bus. He then asks the reader to keep an eye on the bus, and, oh yeah, “don’t let the pigeon drive it either”. The pigeon then spends the rest of the book begging you to let him drive it. He even offers you “5 bucks” as a bribe. The kids get caught up in the hilarious responses and everyone has a good time. I was pleasantly surprised to read in Kirkus that Willems has written a new title in the pigeon series, ” The Duckling Gets a Cookie !?” and will be released on April 3rd. Keep an eye out for it!!