Book Buzz Blog

The Bear Books by Karma Wilson

Our family - with kids ages 3, 6, 9, and 11 - all love the "Bear books" written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. The first one, Bear Snores On, is the story of Bear, slumbering at the end of winter, and his woodland friends gathering in anticipation of his awakening. The artwork is wonderful and the text is lyrical, with wonderful repetition that the kids pick up on right away.

There are six Bear books currently. Here are the additional five titles, with lots of copies available for checking out at the library:

Bear Wants More

Bear Stays Up for Christmas

Bear's New Friend

Bear Feels Sick

Bear Feels Scared

For more fun, visit Karma Wilson's Web site. In the teacher's section, she has ideas for activities and things to print out.

Celebrate National Library Week with Neil Gaiman

National Library Week is April 11-17, and this year's honorary chair is author Neil Gaiman, recent winner of the Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book.  Check out his web site for younger readers, www.mousecircus.com. Browse our catalog for Neil's books for kids.

Take a look at these videos about two of Neil's newest books:

Blueberry Girl written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess

Instructions written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess
(not available until 4/27/2010)

"Please Play Along!" by Patches, resident faux hamster @ Salem Church Branch

I took up residence on the Children’s Desk at the library about one year ago. Although I have been adored and admired by many, some people actually give me the cold shoulder. Can you believe that people say things like, “Oh, it’s a fake hamster. Whatever!” or “Let’s go. It’s not real.” I have even been called a rat! I want you all to know that I am listening, even if I don’t always physically react (my batteries run low sometimes, don’t yours?). And just for the record, I prefer the term faux.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

If there's one series that I can count on my kids to read again and again, it's the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney. My 11 and 9 year-old have both re-read each book multiple times, laughing along at Greg Heffley's antics. For anyone who has not yet picked up a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book (and there are now four in the series, with a fifth one due out sometime this year), here's a trailer to tell you a little more about them. You can also check out the series' Web site at http://www.wimpykid.com/. There's even a movie coming out on March 19th.

Ask Cornelia Funke a Question

Cornelia Funke, author of the Inkheart trilogy, Dragon Rider, The Thief Lord, and more kid favorites, has written a new book called Reckless that is due to be published in September. Curious about her new book? Want to know more about how she comes up with her cool ideas? Email her a question through Kidsreads.com! Selected questions will be answered in an online video right from Cornelia Funke. Go to Kidsreads.com and read all about it on the homepage.

Snow Day Fun

What's the best thing about a snow day? Is it the thought of building the biggest, best snowman ever, taking a run down a sledding hill, or just spending a day away from school? Some people just enjoy how quiet nature seems to be under a blanket of winter white. Others can't wait to get out and get moving, even if it means shoveling the walk first!

The Secret Life of Dolls

The African-American dolls on display at the Headquarters Library in Fredericksburg include a ballerina, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and an African queen.  Collector Myra Dicks even has a Jackie Robinson action figure in its original box.  Kids who are fascinated by the dolls will enjoy meeting Miss Hickory, Tottie, Traction Man and other great doll characters from children’s books.   

Re-enacting turns real

    Stonewall Hinkleman is a typical twelve-year-old boy whose parents are ardent Civil War re-enactors.  This means that every weekend he’s dragged (his word) to another Civil War battle site.  His father reveres an ancestor, Cyrus Hinkleman, who fought and died in the war, despite the fact that, as Stonewall puts it, “He was shot in the butt… Which can only mean one thing.  He was running away when he was shot.”  Dressed in a scratchy wool uniform and dragging a bugle that he barely knows how to play, Stonewall sulks around wishing he could play his Game Boy.

The Timeless Stories of Jane Yolen

She's been compared to Hans Christian Andersen and that clever fable maker Aesop. For children (and adults!) in today's world, her carefully crafted stories sing with a timeless rhythm and an honest truth. Her family's Russian-Jewish roots have given her the jumping-off place for many a tale (And Twelve Chinese Acrobats, Firebird, and Baba Yaga), but some stories seem to drawn from the heart of the world itself.

Jane Yolen, born in New York City on February 11, 1939, showed a talent for writing early on when she wrote and composed the words and music to her grade school pageant, starring as the lead carrot. She seems to have never slowed down during her years in high school: news editor of the school paper, Spanish club vice president, singing with the a capella choir, and captain of the varsity basketball team. Summers spent at a Vermont camp run by Quakers influenced her deeply. Several of her later books (The Gift of Sarah Barker and Friend: The Story of George Fox and the Quakers) relate to this period of spiritual growth.

Newbery Medal Winner: "When You Reach Me" by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead has won the 2010 Newbery Medal!

When You Reach Me, set in 1979, is about a twelve-year-old New York City girl who is in the midst of reading A Wrinkle in Time when she begins to receive a series of mysterious notes from an anonymous source that seem to defy the laws of time and space.

Rebecca Stead is also author of First Light, about New York City boy who accompanies his parents on a research trip to Greenland where he meets a mysterious 14 year-old girl named Thea who lives below the ice.

See the other award-winning children's books!