Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm Probably Gonna Regret This

Maureen Johnson keeps getting people bugging her to blog, even though she has lots of things to do, mainly concerned with writing really good books. But she has listened to the voice of the people, or at least those people that are really loudmouthed, and has promised to blog every day in April.

She made the mistake of capitalizing Blog Every Day in April when Twittering about it, and now people think it's, like, a Thing. That You Do. With Capitals. And lo, it has become a Thing That You Do With Capitals.

This sounds like a good idea, especially since I've been lazyish about blogging lately. Plus, you know, people named Maureen are frickin' brilliant. Before I sober up, I hereby pledge to Blog Every Day in April. On both my blogs. Oh my god, you people, what am I getting myself into?

If you want to Blog Every Day in April, stop by Maureen Johnson's blog and find out the rules. It being Maureen Johnson, there aren't that many that don't involve zombies or coconut cream pies. If you Twitter about it, add the tag #BEDA.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Trailer

Okay, you guys, I know this has totally been the Where the Wild Things Are Movie Blog of late, so this time I'm posting about . . . another book-to-movie adaptation. Oy. I need to start reading books again.

Anyhoo, here's the trailer for the upcoming Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. I can't embed because YouTube won't let me, but follow the link.

I remember this book well from childhood. In fact, it was my brother's favorite. (That same brother is now a meteorologist. Coincidence? I think not.) Hamburgers falling from the sky? Grape-juice rain? Awesome.

Having established my love for the original, I gotta say, uh, I kinda hate this trailer. From what I can tell, the movie is going to bear about a 25% resemblance to the book--too far to be satisfying as an adaptation, too close to go "Heck with it, let's just call it something else and pretend we've never seen the book in our lives."

I hope I'm wrong, but I fear I'm right. What do you guys think?

Thanks to EarlyWord for the heads-up.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are Trailer

Okay, you guys, I've seen this on every single one of my blogs including Scanner, which I'm not going to link directly because OMG NSFW, but Google it when you're safely at home by all means.

Thoughts? I'll go first.

Love the horned shadow reveal. Love the childlike all caps handwriting, and the way they wrote hope, fear, and adventure. And his wild thing costume is great.

I wonder about the added bits with parents and school. I know you have to do something to turn a 32 page picture book into a 90 minute movie--the wild rumpus is only gonna be good for about ten minutes at the absolute outside.

Max is a bit older than I expected. I always thought of him as being about five or six, but he seems to be closer to 10 or 11. Unless that's supposed to be later on in his life or something.

I don't hate anything yet.

I dread the time when parents will go, "Oh, honey, you don't need to check out the book, we've got the movie at home."

Weigh in!

ETA: Apparently my brain's automatic-playback loveloveloves the music. Gah, brainworm!

Monday, March 23, 2009

More Wild Things News!

Drop by 100 Scope Notes to see the newest "Where the Wild Things Are" poster.

I like the looks of Max, but I'm kinda fifty-fifty on the Wild Thing. On the one hand, I wish we could see all of him. On the other, it's pretty cool that he's so big he wouldn't fit on the poster.

What do you guys think?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Googling Eric Carle

If you stopped by Google today, you might have been greeted with a very familiar graphic. It's to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its publication. Hee! I love it when kidlit classics make their way into the grown-up world.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Edgy Picture Books and the Weirdos Who Love Them

Remember how much I loved Sylviane Donnio's I'd Really Like to Eat a Child? Or maybe you don't. Point is, I did, because I'm a strange and twisted person who likes a little bit of an edge in my sweet little picture books.

Jen Robinson pointed me at this post from Book Aunt, titled Picture Books with Bite, in which she discusses that very topic and indeed that very book. Awesome.

What are some of your favorite edgy books?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beth Krommes Interview

I ran across this interview a few weeks back with 2009 Caldecottian (and I've just determined that's a very fun word to spell) Beth Krommes. The winning work, The House in the Night, (written by Susan Marie Swanson) was the announcement that elicited the loudest shriek from me on award morning. I luuuuuuurve this book.

Anyhoo, Krommes was apparently gobsmacked to get the award.
''I'm not a big name in the industry and I don't turn out a lot of books,'' she said. ''I work slow. Most illustrators do two books a year. I've done six books in 10 years. . . . It seems too much,'' she said. ''It's intimidating.''
Don't be so modest. But also don't try to speed up. Slow and steady seems to be working really well for you.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Book Review: What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd

Book: What Pet To Get?
Author: Emma Dodd
Illustrator: Emma Dodd
Published: 2008

Jack wants to get a pet, but doesn't know which one. An elephant? A lion? A Tyrannosaurus Rex? Mom shoots them all down, one after the other. Oh, dear! How will Jack ever decide what pet he wants?

This book takes a familiar situation and puts a hilarious spin on it. My favorite part was that Mom doesn't give adult-based reasons like, "It's too expensive," but instead offers practical considerations like, "How would we take it on vacation?" You can't put an elephant on the roof rack; it would squash the car. Dodd's big, simple illustrations are just goofy fun, especially in spreads that show the possible disasters that Mom predicts. And of course, the last page will provide you a big laugh just before you close the book.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Share a Story, Shape a Future Begins Tomorrow!

Well, that header really says it all, doesn't it?

Tomorrow kicks off a big week in the kidlitosphere--the (hopefully First Annual) Share a Story, Shape a Future literacy blog tour. Drop in over at the official blog to see the full schedule.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Book Review: The Sea Serpent and Me by Dashka Slater

Book: The Sea Serpent and Me
Author: Dashka Slater
Illustrator: Catia Chien
Published: 2008

One day, a little girl is taking a bath when a sea serpent slips out of the faucet and into her tub. She promises to take him home to the ocean, but it has to stop raining first. They make friends, the sea serpent telling her all the wonders of the sea. Every day, he grows bigger, until she can't even fit him in the tub, much less hold him in her hand. He has to go back to the sea--but how can she let him go?

The art is what first captured me about this book. Even though they don't make it to the beach until the last quarter of the book, every page evokes the sea with aquatic colors and beautiful sweeps of watercolor like waves. There are also smile-provoking details. For instance, the text describes "fish shaped like guitars." In the illustration, there are fish with long skinny necks and lines running down and floating off their back, like loose strings.

When I got into the book, however, the beauty of the language caught me just as much as the art. There is a bedtime story quality about the text that makes you want to read it aloud.

With picture books, the art and language have to match in tone, and this book succeeds in that so well that I had to double-check that the author and illustrator were in fact two different people. Try The Sea Serpent and Me for a beautiful picture book you won't soon forget.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Neil Gaiman Picture Book Trailer

Found this one over at Cheryl Rainfield's blog, where she asks, "Do you think it will help sell the book?"

Well, it worked for me. What a beautiful video, and Neil Gaiman has that perfect bedtime story voice. Love.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What Are Your Top 10?

Time for me to fire up my LibraryThing. Betsy Bird of Fuse #8 fame has asked for our Top 10 Picture Books. She's going to compile them all and get back to us with a list of 100 not-to-be-missed, bestest-ever picture books of all time.

By the way, this doesn't include early readers like Elephant and Piggie. Apparently, that poll is coming up.

This is gonna be hard, you guys. We've only got until March 31st.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Children's Choice Finalists

Tasha Saecker over at KidsLit alerted me to this one. The Children's Choice award finalists are up!
Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year:
The Donut Chef by Bob Staake

Katie Loves the Kittens by John Himmelman

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! written and illustrated by Mo Willems

Sort It Out! by Barbara Mariconda, illustrated by Sherry Rogers

Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
The other age groups are posted at the link. Congrats to all finalists! Come April, you can drop by Book Week Online and cast your vote.

The Children's Book Council will announce the winners in May, just in time for the recently-moved Children's Book Week.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Share a Story, Shape a Future

So remember how Jen Robinson wanted to get a National Day of Reading Aloud going? This looks like a good start. It's a great blog tour, not with an author, but with an idea.

The "Share a Story, Shape a Future" blog tour starts March 9, with articles from teachers, parents, librarians, and other literacy fans on such topics as Raising Readers, Selecting Reading Material, and Reading Aloud. Check out this post at Book Dads for more information.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Reading Roundup February 2009

By the Numbers
Picture Books: 25
Early Readers: 2

Writing: Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
Illustration: Oodles of Animals by Lois Ehlert
Overall: The Black Book of Colors by Menina Cotten

Because I Want To Awards
Prompted the Loudest Squee, Because I Wasn't Expecting It: Good Luck Bear by Greg Foley
Title That is Almost Longer Than the Book: Why I Will Never Ever Ever Ever Have Enough Time to Read This Bookby Remy Charlip
More Fun for Adults: The Retired Kid by Jon Agee
Coolest Non-Speaking Character: the dog in Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis