Thursday, June 25, 2015

Queens Museum Children's Book Celebration

Queens Museum
Children's Book Celebration
Jul 11
12-4pm
Celebrate summer reading for kids of all ages at the Queens Museum! Enjoy readings and art making presented by local award-winning children’s book authors and illustrators in partnership with the Queens Library Summer Reading Program. Free and open to the public. First 200 attendees get a free poster!
  • Meet children’s book authors and illustrators: Mike Curato, Melissa Guion, Frank Dormer, Roxie Munro, Kelly Light, Kat Yeh, Joyce Wan, Sergio Ruzzier, David Ezra Stein, Anna Raff, Adam Auerbach, Kirsten Hall, Dasha Tolstikova, Mike Herrod, Sam Ita, Jen Hill, Ame Dyckman, Adam Lehrhaupt, Carla Torres, and Rowboat Watkins
  • Enjoy storytime in English, Spanish, Korean, Bengali, and Mandarin
  • Practice your reading skills with a Reading Partners volunteer
  • Visit the Books of Wonder pop-up shop for a wide selection of books and get them signed by your favorite author/illustrator
  • Recycle or trade in your old children’s books at our Children’s Book Exchange
  • Sign up for a library card, enroll in the Summer Reading Program, and check out children’s titles at the Queens Library kiosk

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

THE STARS OF SUMMER

LOOKING BACK AT ALL FOUR STARS AS TARA DAIRMAN RELEASES HER NEWEST TITLE THE STARS OF SUMMER.

ALL FOUR STARS  BY TARA DAIRMAN!

This new title- All Four Stars by Tara Dairman explores the world of cooking through the eyes of a sixth grade girl named Gladys.  Gladys cooks in secret but lands herself in trouble from her parents when the kitchen almost burns down.  After that Gladys parents do not want her to cook.  However, she needs to write a essay for a school contest about her future.   Gladys tries to write about another topic, but the teacher convinces her and inspires her to write about cooking.  This leads to her contest entry getting mixed up and her being asked to be a professional freelance reviewer for The New York Standard.   Alot of adventure occurs, but she does get her review done and published! 

A delightful read about the impact of a great teacher and a sixth grade girl with strength and personality.  This is a light read for the summer.   Make sure you have a great dessert to eat while you are reading.  If you get inspired by what Gladys cooks the author listed recipes for some of  the desserts on her site.


Here's to looking back on an older post from my blog for another foodie related titled called The Tea Shop Girls.

Also kids are inspired by creative teachers and creative progams.  Plus they never forget them.   Take a look at one of my first library cooking programs!

Monday, February 02, 2015

ALA ANNOUNCES 2015 AWARD WINNERS !


American Library Association announces 2015 youth media award winners

For Immediate Release
Mon, 02/02/2015

Contact:

Macey Morales
Media Relations Manager
American Library Association
312-280-4393
mmorales@ala.org
CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.
A list of all the 2015 award winners follows:
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:
“The Crossover,” written by Kwame Alexander, is the 2015 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Two Newbery Honor Books also were named:
“El Deafo” by Cece Bell, illustrated by Cece Bell and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.
“Brown Girl Dreaming,” written by Jacqueline Woodson and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:
“The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend,” illustrated by Dan Santat, is the 2015 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Dan Santat and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Six Caldecott Honor Books also were named:
“Nana in the City,” illustrated by Lauren Castillo, written by Lauren Castillo and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
“The Noisy Paint Box: The  Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art,” illustrated by Mary GrandPré, written by Barb Rosenstock and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
“Sam & Dave Dig a Hole,” illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett and published by Candlewick Press.
“Viva Frida,” illustrated by Yuyi Morales, written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book.
“The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus,” illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant, and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
“This One Summer,” illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki and published by First Second.
Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:
“Brown Girl Dreaming,” written by Jacqueline Woodson, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
Three King Author Honor Books were selected:
Kwame Alexander for “The Crossover,” published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing.
Marilyn Nelson for “How I Discovered Poetry,” illustrated by Hadley Hooper and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Books (USA) LLC.
Kekla Magoon for “How It Went Down,” published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:
“Firebird,” illustrated by Christopher Myers, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book was written by Misty Copeland and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
Two King Illustrator Honor Book were selected:
Christian Robinson for “Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker,” by Patricia Hruby Powell, published by Chronicle Books LLC.
Frank Morrison for “Little Melba and Her Big Trombone,” by Katheryn Russell-Brown, published by Lee and Low Books, Inc.
Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award:
“When I Was the Greatest,” written by Jason Reynolds, is the Steptoe winner. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:
Deborah D. Taylor is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton.
Taylor’s career in public service began more than 40 years ago with the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, where she is currently coordinator of School and Student Services. Her career has been spent as mentor, educator and literacy advocate for young adults. As an inspiring young adult librarian, leader in national associations and university instructor, she has been distinctly effective in introducing young people and her professional colleagues to the outstanding work of African American authors.  
Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
“I’ll Give You the Sun,” written by Jandy Nelson, is the 2015 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company.
Four Printz Honor Books also were named:
“And We Stay,” by Jenny Hubbard, and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., a Penguin Random House Company.
“The Carnival at Bray,” by Jessie Ann Foley, and published by Elephant Rock Books.
“Grasshopper Jungle,” by Andrew Smith, and published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company.
“This One Summer,” by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, and published by First Second.
Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:
“A BOY AND A JAGUAR” written by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrated by Catia Chien and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, wins the award for children ages 0 to 10. 
“RAIN REIGN” written by Ann M. Martin and published by A FEIWEL AND FRIENDS BOOK, is the winner of the middle-school (ages 11-13).
The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is “Girls Like Us,” written by Gail Giles and published by Candlewick Press.
Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:
“All the Light We Cannot See,” by Anthony Doerr, published by Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
“Bellweather Rhapsody,” by Kate Racculia, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
“Bingo’s Run,” by James A. Levine, published by Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
“Confessions,” by Kanae Minato, translated by Stephen Snyder, published by Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
“Everything I Never Told You,” by Celeste Ng, published by The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
“Lock In,” by John Scalzi, a Tor Book published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
“The Martian,”  by Andy Weir, published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
“The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice,” by Zak Ebrahim with Jeff Giles, published by TED Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
“Those Who Wish Me Dead,” by Michael Koryta, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
“Wolf in White Van,” by John Darnielle, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video:
Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard, Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of “Me…Jane,” are the Carnegie Medal winners. This transcendent adaptation of Patrick McDonnell’s 2012 Caldecott Honor draws viewers into the childhood of a young Jane Goodall who, with beloved stuffed chimpanzee, Jubilee, is transformed by what she observes in her own backyard, a “magical world full of joy and wonder.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.
The 2015 winner is Donald Crews, whose award-winning works include “Freight Train,” which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1979, and “Truck,” a Caldecott Honor Book in 1981. He has been consistently excellent with a wide range of titles, such as “Harbor,” “Parade,” “Shortcut” and “Bigmama’s,” all published by Greenwillow Books.
Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:
The 2015 winner is Sharon M. Draper, author of more than 20 books, including: “Tears of a Tiger” (1994), “Forged by Fire” (1997), “Darkness Before Dawn” (2001), “Battle of Jericho” (2004), “Copper Sun” (2006), and “November Blues” (2007), all published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.
2016 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children's literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site.
The 2016 Arbuthnot Lecture will be delivered by Pat Mora. Pioneering author and literacy advocate Pat Mora has written more than three dozen books for young people that represent the Mexican American experience.
Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States:
“Mikis and the Donkey” is the 2015 Batchelder Award winner. The book was written by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman, translated by Laura Watkinson, and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Two Batchelder Honor Books also were selected:
“Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust,” published by First Second an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership, written by Loic Dauvillier, illustrated by Marc Lizano, color by Greg Salsedo, translated by Alexis Siegel.
“Nine Open Arms,” published by Enchanted Lion Books, written by Benny Lindelauf, illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova, translated by John Nieuwenhuizen.
Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States:
“H. O. R. S. E. A Game of Basketball and Imagination,” produced by Live Oak Media, is the 2015 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Christopher Myers and narrated by Dion Graham and Christopher Myers.
Three Odyssey Honor Recordings also were selected:
“Five, Six, Seven, Nate!” produced by AUDIOWORKS (Children’s) an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc., written by Tim Federle, and narrated by Tim Federle;
“The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Julie Berry, and narrated by Jayne Entwistle;
“A Snicker of Magic,” produced by Scholastic Audiobooks, written by Natalie Lloyd, and narrated by Cassandra Morris.
Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:
“Viva Frida,” illustrated by Yuyi Morales, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner.  The book was written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book.
Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were named:
“Little Roja Riding Hood,” illustrated by Susan Guevara, written by Susan Middleton Elya, and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
“Green Is a Chile Pepper,” illustrated by John Parra, written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, and published by Chronicle Books LLC.
“Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation,” illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh, and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.
Pura Belpré (Author) Award honoring Latino authors whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience:
"I Lived on Butterfly Hill" is the 2015 Pura Belpré (Author) Award winner. The book is written by Marjorie Agosín, illustrated by Lee White and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
One Belpré Author Honor Book was named:
"Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes," written by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Raúl Colón and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:
“The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus,” written by Jen Bryant, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Five Sibert Honor Books were named:
“Brown Girl Dreaming,” written by Jacqueline Woodson, and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
“The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, & the Fall of Imperial Russia,” written by Candace Fleming, and published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
“Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker,” written by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by Chronicle Books LLC.
“Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands,” written and illustrated by Katherine Roy, and published by David Macaulay Studio, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press.
“Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation,” written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.
Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:
“This Day in June,” written by Gayle E. Pitman, Ph.D., illustrated by Kristyna Litten and published by Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association, is the winner of the 2015 Stonewall Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award.
Three Honor Books were selected:
“Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out,” by Susan Kuklin, photographed by Susan Kuklin and published by Candlewick Press.
“I’ll give you the sun,” written by Jandy Nelson, published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
“Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress,” written by Christine Baldacchio, pictures by Isabelle Malenfant, published by Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press.
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:
“You Are (Not) Small,” written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant, is the Seuss Award winner. The book is published by Two Lions, New York.
Two Geisel Honor Books were named:
“Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page,” written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard, and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
“Waiting Is Not Easy!” written by Mo Willems, illustrated by Mo Willems, and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.
William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:
“Gabi, a Girl in Pieces,” written by Isabel Quintero, is the 2015 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Cinco Puntos Press.
Four other books were finalists for the award:
“The Carnival at Bray” written by Jessie Ann Foley and published by Elephant Rock Books.
“The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim” written by E.K. Johnston and published by Carolrhoda Lab™, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.
“The Scar Boys” written by Len Vlahos and published by Egmont Publishing.
“The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender” written by Leslye Walton and published by Candlewick Press.
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
“Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek,” written by Maya Van Wagenen, is the 2015 Excellence winner. The book is published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group.
Four other books were finalists for the award:
“Laughing at My Nightmare” written by Shane Burcaw, and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan’s Children’s Publishing Group.
“The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia” written by Candace Fleming, and published by Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.
“Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business—and Won!” written by Emily Arnold McCully, and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.
“The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights” written by Steve Sheinkin, and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s experts, the awards encourage original and creative work.  For more information on the ALA youth media awards and notables, please visitwww.ala.org/yma .
Contact:
Macey Morales
Media Relations Manager
312-280-4393
mmorales@ala.org
Heather Cho
Media Relations Specialist
312-280-4020
hcho@ala.org

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New York City Weather Calls for Earmuffs-EARMUFFS for EVERYONE! by Meghan McCarthy

It is the perfect release date (for New York weather anyway)for Meghan McCarthy's new title Earmuffs for Everyone! How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs. It is amazing to think there is a history behind every object you own and wear.  Earmuffs are no exception.



Meghan McCarthy's back page note explains, "I start work on every book with a bit of free association. For Earmuffs, I started doing searches on the internet-"unique inventors," odd inventions"-until ultimately I put in the word "kid inventors."   That's when I read about Chester Greenfield, who was born in 1858.  "Mary Bells of about.com wrote,A grammar school dropout, he invented earmuffs at the age of 15 (1873).  While testing a new pair of ice skates, he grew frustrated at trying to protect his ears from the bitter cold...." Meghan McCarthy explains, "That's when I knew that Chester was going to be the topic of my next book.


The topic of the book led her to look for more information and the book starts off with an explanation of a few others that were associated with the invention of earmuffs.  However, Chester is the one given credit for the invention.  The story talks about his patent and explains what a patent is and how to get one. The people of Maine have even declared December 21 as Earmuff Day in his honor!

Here is a video clip of Maine celebrating Earmuff Day - 


Just makes you wonder about all the things you don't know about! 

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Michelle Knudsen - Part II Writing, The Evil Librarian and Marilyn's Monsters

 I am happy to continue my interview  and raffle a copy of Michelle Knudsen's latest title Evil Librarian.  Just leave a comment at the end of the post.




Q - Illustrations are a big part of picture books.  However your middle grade series and new YA title Evil Librarian are based on writing.  Since you do not do the illustrations is the writing of the picture book easier or harder?  

A-  Picture books and novels are both challenging in their own ways.  For picture books, it can be really hard to find the true core of the story -- there always seems to be a central piece that ether works or doesn't and without that, no amount of revising ever seems to make it right.  And then even once you find it, there are still the challenges of telling the story in as few words as possible and making sure you leave room fin the story for the illustrator.  The illustrators I've worked with have all done  a wonderful job of contributing to and enlarging the story through the artwork. 

For novels, there's obviously a lot more writing involved, and the plots are more complicated , wth more characters and events,  I think that in some ways, though, all that material to work with makes it easier to work out the story ..there's a lot more room to figure things out in the first draft than with a picture book.  But it's also a lot harder to hold the whole story in your mnd at one time, and a lot more to keep track of.  I think that's why I'm almost always working on at least one picture book and novel at the same time--they're hard(and fun) n different ways, and it's nice to be able to go back and forth, and take a break from one by working on the other.

Q- What gave you the idea for Evil Librarian?  How did you create Mr. Gabriel?

The Evil Librarian
A- I started Evil Librarian while taking a break from a somewhat heaver novel -- I was feeling a bit weighed down and wanted to work on something a little fun.  I didn't actually know what the story was going to be about when I first started it.  Really all I had was the voice of the main character, Cyn, and I just started writing to see what she had to say,  I don't think I even knew there would be a librarian until I got to the part where Annie first mentions him.  But then I somehow knew right away he would be evil.:) It took a while to figure out exactly what Mr. Gabrriel wanted and why he was there, but his overall character and personality came very quickly.  I liked him a lot from the start, even knowing he was going to be a very bad guy.

Q- Why a protractor and biology textbook (knife and shield) as the items used for protection?  Did you consider any other items?

A- I liked the idea of the magic items taking the form of very mundane school objects.  Both because things not being what they appeared was a constant theme running through the book, and because it just struck me as funny,  I wanted Cyn to be completely unimpressed by the protractor and the book to not be entirely sure she could put her faith in them at first.

Q- There are so many different genres mixed in - Horroe, Mystery, Romance.  Do you have a favorite genre to read and or write?

A-  I am definitely a science fiction and fantasy girl more than anything else, probably because those where the first novels I came to love as a young reader.  But I especially love cross-genre books. My favorite SFF stories are character driven and often have a dash of romance or mystery or horror mixed in.  I try to read  a variety of things, but I'm rarely drawn to contemporary fiction on my own-- I often really enjoy it, but it usually takes a trusted source making a recommendation before I'll pick something like that up.  As for writing, I definitely prefer to write things with a fantasy or supernatural aspect, Even my picture books tend to involve unexplained strange things happening ( a lion coming to the library, bunnies that just show up one day for no discernable reason, etc).

Q- The deal included multiple trips to the demon world.  Does ths mean ths might be part of a three part series?

A- I hadn't necessarily planned on a series at first-- I just liked the idea of leaving the story a little open-ended, so readers would know Cyn wasn't truly out of the woods quite yet.  But I'm happy to say that there is an Evil Librarian sequel in the works, and I'm planning on a third one as well.


Q- I saw the title of your new picture book Marilyn's Monster (release date March 2015).  Were you writing this at the same time as Evil Librarian? I just read a brief description that Marilyn might look for her monster.  Can you reveal anything about this new title?



A- Yes, I was working on Marilyn's Monster during the time I was writing Evil Librarian. It's another story that involves unexplained events--monsters begin showing up as companions to children.  Day by day all of Marilyn's friends and classmates acqure monsters, but the way it works is that you can't just go out and get one -- you have to wait for a monster to find you. Marilyn waits, and keeps waiting..but her monster still doesn't come. So finally she decides to take maters into her own hands, even if that's not supposed to work.




LEAVE A COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF EVIL LIBRARIAN!







































Tuesday, January 06, 2015

The Past, Present and Future - Interviewing Michelle Knudsen about her books (Part I)




It was an honor to get children's book author, Michelle Knudsen to answer some questions about her books.  Here is what she had to share



Q - I love your picture books Library Lion and Big Mean Mike.  I have read Big Mean Mike to many classes and the students love Mike.  How did you get the idea for Mike?   Also why did you select to pair him with bunnies?

It is always hard to pinpoint exactly where the  initial idea for a story comes from.  I do try to pay attention these days, though since I know people may ask me after a book comes out!  I believe my first glimmer of the story for Big Mean Mike camd during a cab ride home form the airport in April 2007.  Maybe, a big, though-looking guy rode by on a motorcycle, or maybe I noticed a dog in a passsing car, but for whatever reason, I started thinking about this big though dog character  In my early thoughts he rode a motercycle, and by the end of the story the bunnies were all riding in the side car.  I started trying to think about what kind of story this character might be part of, and I liked the idea of pairing him with something (or somethings) really different from what he was like.   loved the contrast of this big, though dog with these tiny, adorable bunnies.   I could easily imagine that Big Mean Mike might have trouble with those cute bunnies, and it was fun thnking about how he might try to deal with them. 


Q- There is a constant highlighting of bullying today in schools.  Where you thinking about this when you were writing Big Mean Mike?

I wasn't intentionally trying to write a book about bullying, but I am very glad that teachers have found ways to use Big Mean Mike as part of discussions about this issue,   I don't think Mike himself s a bully, exactly -- he's big and tough and likes everyone to know it, but he mostly just does his own thing..he's not really interested in picking on anyone else.  The bullying moment really comes later, when the other dogs begin to harass Mike for hanging out with the bunnies.  That's when he needs to decide how much it matters to him what others might think or say, and whether he's going to stand up for himself and his new friends.

Q- The illustrations by Scott Morgan are just fabulous.  When did you know what Mike would look like?

I agree!  I love Scott's illustrations so much.  I got a bit teary when I first saw the sketches of the bunnies-they were just perfect, so small and fuzzy and adorable!  Scott did a couple of different versions of Mike before landing on the one that appears in the book,  I think Mikde turned out just perfectly too and I especially love the outfit he wears to the gym.


Found this funny quote at Scott's site- 

And remember, as Gene Weingarten once said, “always try to put the funniest word at the end of your sentence underpants.”


I will end on this note and continue with Part II with Michele Knudsen on Thursday as we talk about her newest book Evil Librarian and her future book Marilyn's Monsters.