Welcome One, Welcome All - to the fabulous, fan-tabulous, and fun collection of the best blog posts from the world of children's literature blogs this month...
As your M.C., the post of the month that most resonated for me was my link to a very brave 15 year old's blog. Brent is a Teen who is openly Gay, and fighting prejudice to have books with Teen GLBTQ characters - the same books listed here on this blog - included in the collections at his school and public library. Brent, at 15, is standing up and being real in a way I wasn't brave enough to do at his age. He's standing up for not just himself, but for everyone else's right to read these books as well, and I am SO proud of him.
What are the posts YOU and your colleagues from the world of Children's Literature are most proud of from this month?
Check out these amazing posts:
Pride and Books and YOU!
Susan Gaissert talks about Immigration books for Kids - the older books, and the newer false myths of immigration that our culture spins today. She ends with an inspirational story of immigration that we should all take to heart. I really loved this post - go check it out!
As part of National Refugee Week in the U.K., Zoe Toft shares about a selection of refugee-themed picture books in her piece, Fantastic Fiction for Kids – Thinking about life as a refugee. She includes "The Arrival" by Shaun Tan - which was amazing and I completely recommend it, too!
Laurina Cashin contributes her post, co-written with her wife Bobbie, Read LGBT family stories to ALL kids, which was written for the LGBT Families Day hosted on the Mombian blog. It's heartfelt and brave and so true - the more "other" stories are read by all of us, the more our common humanity comes through. Knowledge and familiarity are enemies of prejudice, and books are powerful tools of change. It's why the two-dad penguin picture book, "And Tango Makes Three" has been the # 1 challenged book in the U.S.A. for the last three years - if we can change the mythic lie that gay people can't be good parents to the truth that of course gay people can be parents - it's LOVE that makes a family - we'll be erasing hate and making our world safer for us all.
Book Reviews - Picture Books
Katie Fries is in with an elegant connection to our theme: "In keeping with this month's carnival theme of PRIDE, I have chosen to share my post about Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore and Kristi Valiant's marvelous picture book, Cora Cooks Pancit. In this book, Cora, the young title character, takes on a very grown up role and helps her mother prepare dinner for her family. In the end, Cora takes pride in helping to prepare the meal and surprising her siblings and other family members." Read Katie's review of the book, and check out what happened when SHE cooked Pancit, too! (What a great idea, to make the food featured in the book - in fact, Katie's whole blog explores pairing recipes and children's books...)
Mary Lee from A Year Of Reading contributes her review of "The Secret Lives of Princesses"
"One of the joys of this book lies in the diversity of the princesses. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, skin colors and cultures. (There is even one princess who is a prince.) They have incredibly unique talents and personalities...just like the reader, who is encouraged to find someone familiar (perhaps yourself?) in these princesses."Intrigued? I know I am!
Deborah Freedman gives us an illustrated dialog with... her blog - and shares a suggested picture-books-about-friendship reading list!
Mary Ann Dames shares a post she loves from back during Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month at her blog, Reading, Writing, and Recipes. Among the picture books she reviews is "Yoko Writes Her Name" by Rosemary Wells, in which Yoko is teased about writing her name in Japanese. This is a good book for anyone who is teased about being different, whether it is for speaking/reading a different language or for being taller or shorter or any of the myriad things kids tease each other about.
Book Reviews - Chapter Books
Anastasia Suen book talks "Bad to the Bone," a funny chapter book that was the 2010 Cybil's Awards Early Chapter Book Winner!
Book Reviews - Middle Grade
Peggy Tibbetts from Advice From A Caterpillar shares her review of the MG graphic novel, Diary of a Wimpy Vampire: Because the Undead Have Feelings Too. Think "Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Twilight!"
Swapnil over at switch2life is in with a review of “The Magician’s Nephew” by C.S. Lewis.
Janelle from Brimful Curiosities contributes her review of the Middle Grade novel "It's Raining Cupcakes" by Lisa Schroeder. Isabel, the main character, desperately wants her mother to be happy with life. She tries to do the right things, and show her mother how much she loves her. In the end of the book it is clearly evident that her mother is very proud of her and thankful to have her as a daughter.
Sally Apokedak is in with her review of 100 Cupboards, the first in a MG fantasy series by N.D. Wilson, an author she's thrilled to have discovered. The books are full of faeries, a kid hero who's braver than he thinks, the demon/witch/destroyer of all life, and of course, cupboards that take you to different worlds!
Brenda Kahn from proseandkahn contributes her review of "Countdown" by Deb Wiles. Twelve days in October, 1962 told from the POV of Franny, an eleven-year-old Air Force Brat. Air Raid Drills, an embarrassing Uncle, conflict with her best friend, and the heat of the cold war (after all, how can you duck and cover for a nuclear attack if you're outside on the playground and there's no desk to get under to protect you?)
Book Reviews - Young Adult
Author Lori Calabrese is in with a review of the self-publishing success story - "We Hear The Dead," historical YA fiction about two sisters whose prank of pretending to commune with spirits ends up snowballing bigger than they ever expected.
Tammy Flanders is in with a proud celebration of this week's National Aboriginal Day in Canada, recommending Middle Grade and YA books by First Nations writers from Canada.
Angela of Bookish Blather shares her review of the Young Adult novel "God is in the Pancakes" by Robin Epstein. Assisted suicide, questions of Faith, a suddenly-hot friend, and pancakes... there's a lot of great stuff in the batter on this one!
Charlotte Taylor contributes her review of the fantasy "The King Commands" by Meg Burden Magical gifts and bad guys out to stomp out the people with those gifts, a war, politics, intrigue, five brothers... sounds great, and Charlotte loved it! And then, quite artfully, Charlotte weaves our carnival theme of pride into her post with a post-script exploration of the power of the Cybil awards (those amazing book blogger awards for books!) as the previous book in this series, "Northlander," had been shortlisted for the 2007 Cybils.
Margo Tanenbaum of The Fourth Musketeer contributes her review of "Once," by Morris Gleitzman, just published in the U.S. She writes for the Carnival, "It's perhaps the most unusual Holocaust novel I've read--one that made me laugh out loud as well as cry. What does this have to do with pride? I guess I have a perverse sense of pride that we Jews (or at least Morris Gleitzman) can find something to laugh at in the worst calamity in Jewish history. I think that's how the Jewish people have survived for so long..."
And MotherReader shares a book trailer (proudly created by her own teen reader) and discussion of the lesbian love story twist in the Cinderella re-telling "Ash" by Melinda Lo. It's wonderful to see teen readers get so passionate about books that they create their own trailers for them!
The Creative Process
Jennifer, of From the Mixed-Up Files of Jennifer Bertman, gives us all A Peek at the Creative Space of writer and illustrator Diane deGroat. You need to see Diane's taxidermy collection! And it's part of a series - lots of great stuff in Jennifer's files to explore...
Hilary Hattenbach and Jason White from Totally Writeous share a mysterious interview with Pseudonymous Bosch, author of "The Name Of This Books Is Secret." But Shhh! it's Top Secret, so click on over quietly... And then spread the word!
Kakie Fitzsimmons over at Bur Bur & Friends Blog shares a guest post by Jo Anne Pastel, a mother and author who is using a character in her children's book series to create awareness of neurofibromatosis, the children's tumor disorder that her own daughter was diagnosed with.
Our goal in creating the Nina character is to help parents and children dealing with NF1 and other disorders to know they are not alone and to see themselves reflected in our stories.
I think that's so much of what books can do - let people know that they are not alone in their life journeys.
Roberta Gibson over at Wrapped In Foil contributes her review of "Remarkable Women Writers," a non-fiction collection of ten biographies from Jane Austin to J.K. Rowling.
And Sara Wilson Etienne shares an awesome tip for us writers in her blog post, Hearing Your Story. It's really useful!
The Business of Children's Books
Megan Frances (Abrahams) took part in the blog tour for Diane Browning's debut picture book, "Signed, Abiah Rose" - and posted an interview with Diane's editor - Abigail Samoun of Tricycle Press. It's a great story of how Abigail 'discovered' Diane's work in a portfolio display at an SCBWI conference, and what she saw that made her take notice!
Dee White, of the Dee Scribe Writing Blog, shares her Tuesday Writing Tip, "How To Cope With Rejection." Good stuff to keep in mind - kind of like this T-shirt I'm always wearing that says "Life is not a race, but a Journey."
Colleen Mondor has a great post about BRANDING for writers: What it Means To Say "Brand Me!"- Colleen is thoughtful and articulate as always, and while I have a different take on it than she does, it's definitely a post that's worth checking out. (And there's an hysterical anecdote about Maureen Johnston's 'Brandability' that'll have you cracking up!)
Julie Musil joins in with a funny entry on the lessons in being tenacious she's learning from her 10 year old twins - and how that's really an important part of being a writer (she wonders if her kids are reading blogs for tips on how to best nag her for cell phones!)
Fiona Ingram is in with a true story that made me tear up. It's her story - and the story of her adopted daughter. In "The Rainbow Child and Her Paper Mom," Fiona tells of an underprivileged African child's journey from illiteracy to a new future, filled with books, learning, and academic success! It's a story of sacrifice and empowerment, of love and of how reading can truly be life-changing. I am so grateful I got to read this post - and I urge you to go check it out!
Pat Oaklief is in with a short and sweet article on getting boys to read more which gives a nice shout-out to Jon Scieszka's awesome Guys Read.
Aaron Mead is in with part 5 of his series for adults, "Children's Books: How To Choose Them," focusing on "Story."
And Some Poetry...
Kate Coombs, Book Aunt, is in with her review of four books for children about writing! They sound great, and I particularly am excited to read "Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech - a novel in verse about a boy who starts out not wanting to write poems (that's girl stuff, right?) but ends up finding out he has a lot to say! Thanks, Kate!
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater shares her poem, HOME, and tells us about a project focused on building pride in a small town at The Poem Farm (Day #86 of a new children’s poem each day.)
Greg Pincus, poet, author, and social media guru shares his poem, "Hello, Summer!" which pretty much captures a kid heading into summer perfectly. Here's a taste:
And days when I’m just lazybones
While eating melty ice cream cones.
Sounds like a plan!
Current Events and Kid Lit
The Oil Spill in the gulf. How in the world can you talk to your pre-schooler about it? Well, Elizabeth Baldwin shares how she's approaching it with her own child in her post, "What's the Deal with the Oil Spill?" over at her blog Learn Live Laugh, a resource for stay at home moms (though I'm sure stay at home Dads will benefit from reading it, too!) who want to make every day full of learning, fun, and rich experiences. Sound good? It is.
Eva, from Eva's Book Addiction, has a fascinating post aimed at recent library school grads who'll be out interviewing for jobs in a tough market... her advice? Remember that interviews are just another kind of story!
And Ami, from the brilliantly named "Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian," gives us all a peek at the Daddy-Daughter Fancy Nancy Tea Party Event they had as their library's Father's Day Celebration. It looked fancy, and sparkly, and deee-licious!
That's our June Carnival. Did you miss the deadline for sharing YOUR best post of the month? Add it here in comments...
Next month’s Carnival will be hosted by Zoe at her blog, Playing by the Book. Please submit your July blog article (it has a July 28 deadline and will go live on July 30, 2010) to the Carnival of Children’s Literature by using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. My thanks to Anastasia Suen for overseeing the Carnival tour...
And thanks to all of you for sharing the fun! Enjoy summer (and okay, winter, for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere!)
Go forth and explore, comment, and enjoy the diversity and genius of our kid lit community!
It's been great fun (and a great honor) being your Carnival Ringleader,