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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Project Book Babe Auction has begun!

The online auction for Project Book Babe has begun. From the site:

ONLINE AUCTION:

Since there are so many items that have been donated they will be auctioned in groups of about ten at a time, every Monday and Thursday after 6 pm MST. We are using ebay and the active auction items will be listed in the sidebar on this website. Items will be listed for one week! Check back each Monday and Thursday for new items.

Project Book Babe Auction page
Ebay auction page

Have fun!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Everything on a Waffle

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath

The books my mom recommends to me are always good ones.

This one was great. It centers around Primrose Squarp -- a young girl who is dogged in her belief that her parents, lost at sea, will be back shortly. But for all intents and purposes, she is an orphan. All kinds of antics ensue around who the State is going to get to be her guardian.

The book is quite tasty. Sprinkled with recipes (the one for tuna casserole was a hit with us!) and with situations wacky enough to be fun and believable enough to keep you hoping for the best, it's no wonder its a Newbery Honor.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Project Book Babe!

Project Book Babe is a charity event for a bookseller who has cancer.

But, more than that, it is a gathering of tons of awesome authors! And a chance to hear them on a panel and win prizes! It will be held in Tempe, AZ on April 4th.

There is an online auction and place to donate as well as an auction and a raffle that will be happening at the event. There are TONS of amazing things you can bid on, and all the money goes to help a bookseller pay her medical bills. (Radiation, anyone? Chemo? Yuk!)

I mean, seriously. This is the most awesome thing happening right now, probably.

And I am going to be there!!! I can hardly contain my excitement. I'm thinking I need, like, an Everead shirt or something to wear. What do you think? I am excited to see Shannon Hale as Mistress of Ceremonies. I mean, this is gonna be good! I'm excited to see Pel & Dano & Kara duke it out over Stephenie's Eclipse Prom Dress. How much do you think that thing is going to sell for? I'm also excited to hang out with my family and show my mom all my baby's new tricks (tooth #3 today!)

The only things I'm not excited about are the flights, the time away from Jacob, and the fact that a lovely bookseller had to get cancer to make this all happen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Everywhere Babies

Post by Alysa
Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, illustrated by Marla Frazee

This is my new favorite board book. Let me say, first, that I love Marla Frazee! Her illustrations are just adorable -- and it can be tough to draw those weird little animals known as babies.

Susan Meyers has done a great job with the text, too. Honestly, it makes me happy to be a mom. Like, "It's ok, babyhood and motherhood are happening everywhere! Life is great!"

As an added bonus, the book is laid out so that it has a larger kind of idea-phrase at the top of the page, and the smaller text that follows rhymes. This is genius, because I can read whole thing to Benjamin if he's in the mood, or just the top titles for when he's feeling impatient.

Recommended for moms and babies. . . everywhere! (cheesy grin)

Other work by Marla Frazee:
Clementine's Letter
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever (Caldecott Honor Book)
Walk-On!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are---the movie!

It recently came to my attention that this classic children's book is going to be made into a movie. I am both intrigued and worried. Do we have another Jumanji on our hands? A movie where the directors take only the basic idea of the book and run completely wild with it? Because really, there's not much to the plot of this children's book---even less than Chris van Allsburg's classic. Max gets sent to his room without dinner. He imagines an island inhabited by Wild Things over whom he becomes king. Then he leaves, even though they don't want him to. The end. I'm not seeing what the real driving angst in this film is going to be. Come October of this year, I guess we'll find out! Here's hoping for a good one!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Permanent Rose

The third installment in the series by Hilary McKay about the hilarious Casson family. There is a great part about a chocolate cake/swamp. So that's why you really don't want to miss this one.

It moved the Casson's story right along, and I'm looking forward to Caddy Ever After -- I think it will be more fun and less . . . disturbing (though the Cassons are charming as ever in this one and you get to know blundering David).

Previously:
Saffy's Angel
Indigo's Star

Gaiman interviewed by Colbert

I quite enjoyed this little clip of the most recent Newbery winning author. Here he is interviewed by comedian Stephen Colbert and assures him that after the books opening line (which Colbert recently made fun of), "it gets better." :)

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/221843/march-16-2009/neil-gaiman



Thanks to Leila for posting this.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just One Wish giveaway

Melissa over at Book Nut is giving away a copy of Just One Wish. I already have one, so I thought I'd tell y'all. Click here. The contest is open until Thursday at midnight. :D

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Report: Rick Riordan visits Champaign

Benjamin meets Rick Riordan:We were lucky to be able to attend a Rick Riordan event at the Champaign Library on Monday March 9th. The author of the amazingly awesome Percy Jackson and The Olympians series came to the town to visit the library on Monday and do a few school visits on Tuesday.

He was scheduled to sign books from 6 to 7 p.m. after which he would make a presentation in the library's largest conference room for the next hour. Then he would sign books again. Since the library's largest room seated only 500, and since Rick Riordan and his series are so popular, the event was ticketed. Tickets were only available to students in grades 3-12 in Champaign schools. Needless to say, no one in our family qualified. However we had been told that the presentation would be live streamed into other parts of the library.

We arrived at the library around 5:40, full of hope and expectation. As we queued up to have our books signed, though, we noticed our camera was out of battery. So the shots you get are from Jacob's cell phone.

About 5 minutes later Rick (I can call you Rick, right Rick?) showed up to start signing books! More than punctual, this guy was early! And as we slowly made our way up the line I noticed how amicably the author greeted each fan and chatted with them before signing their book. Rick seemed especially adept at making nervous preteen boys open up for a little bit of conversation. I loved that he complimented one boy on his homemade Camp Half-Blood t-shirt, saying "That's better than the one I have. I always tell people, 'If you want a really good one, make it yourself.'"

On our way to the front we talked for a moment with Betsy Su (Champaign librarian extraordinaire and organizer of the event). She seemed happy that everything was going so well, and told us that we'd be able to watch the presentation from the cafe area of the library. Yes! :D If you love books and want to organize book signing events like Betsy, then see some librarian degrees offered by accredited institutions.

As Rick Riordan signed our books, we told him about how The Lightning Thief had been just perfect for our drive out from Utah when we moved here. (Thanks Laura!) We had a good little chat and got the picture above.

As we waited for the presentation to start we fed Benjamin the rest of his dinner, and I watched kid after kid emerge from the signing room grinning. Awesome job Mr. Riordan!

And the presentation itself was quite fun. It was geared well to his audience, complete with stories of his own school days, his first rejection letter (which he got in the 8th grade and which his mother framed. Odd thing: When his mother's house burned down the letter was untouched amongst the wreckage! She has since re-framed it.), upcoming movie news, and Greek mythology quiz with prizes! He really did an excellent job.

He also read a bit from the beginning of the 5th book, and if you know Rick Riordan, you know he gets straight to the action. I'm pretty much dying to read the rest already! Luckily for me book 5 comes out on 5-5.

Links:
Everead reviews of Percy Jackson Books
Rick Riordan's Website
Rick Riordan's Blog

Monday, March 9, 2009

Just One Wish

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison.

This is Janette Rallison's newest! It has been released, but I didn't see it at my Barnes and Noble last weekend. I'm sure it'll be on the shelves soon, though!

This is the story of Annika Truman and her little brother Jeremy, a cancer patient. Jeremy is going in for surgery soon and Annika is willing to do anything to help him feel confident about how the surgery will go. So when Annika discovers that Jeremy's biggest wish is that Teen Robin Hood (of his favorite TV series) would come and teach him some archery, she goes to Hollywood to make it happen.

This is another good Rallison book -- it's got laughs and romance and some hiarious hijinks! I loved being on the set of Teen Robin Hood -- it took me back to my days (okay, day; there was only one) on set as an extra. Oh, and the opening scene in the shopping mall was quite hilarious.

No swearing or other questionable-ness that I remember in this one. It's safe for all ages, but will probably be enjoyed most by the female teen crowd. Thumbs up!

Ashley is reading it now, so we'll give her a little while and then let her post her thoughts on it, too.

Previously:
Interview with Janette Rallison
Revenge of the Cheerleaders
Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To-Do List

Friday, March 6, 2009

Worst fictional character names ever!

Last night my husband and I decided that there are some truly terrible names in fiction. Our top four were
  • Bilbo (JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings)
  • Renesmee (Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn)
  • Katniss (Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games)
  • Slartibartfast (Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

Please vote on which of these is the worst on the poll to your right. If you have any other similarly terrible names, please feel free to list them in comments. Also note that we love all of these books. But that doesn't mean we can't heartily laugh at the characters names! (*stifled chuckle*)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School

Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School, written and illustrated by Nathan Hale.

Nathan Hale, you may remember, also illustrated Rapunzels Revenge (and is finishing up its sequel now). He's also the mind behind The Devil You Know, which is superfun and smart. Given this kind of record, its wonderful that ...

This book is so fantastic! The spare prose combines with the lush illustrations so well. The story is believable and fantastical at the same time.

I love that the schoolchildren are a mix of kids and monsters. Now that is some subtle social commentary a teacher can appreciate! (How cute some of those monsters are! How monstrous some of those kids can be!) But don't worry -- no scary monster situations. No, the conflict in the story will hit much closer to home for kids. Because we all have lost or misplaced something at school, and it is traumatic!

One of Jacob's favorite things about the book is that the words tell a different story than the pictures do. Or, that is to say, the pictures add a whole new dimension to the story. One of my favorite things is that there is so much to look at! You could read through this book pretty fast, if you wanted to (and that's the way that Benjamin likes it right now) but you could also spend a lot of time with it, too.

Highly Recommended. "On a scale of one to ten, you. . . are an eleven!" -- Iago imitating Jafar, Aladdin.
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