Book Buzz Blog
Listen and watch a video of Kadir Nelson and you will get to know one of the most wonderful children’s book illustrators of our time. The soft-spoken Nelson has accomplished, before the age of 30, many things. He has worked on a Stephen Spielberg film, Amistad, and won the Caldecott Honor Award for Illustration for Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led her People to Freedom, in 2007 and in 2008, won it again for Henry’s Freedom Box: a True Story from the Underground Railroad.
Born in Washington, D.C, Kadir began drawing at the age of 3 and at the age of 12 was apprenticed to his uncle, an artist and art instructor himself. Nelson won many contests and ultimately won a scholarship to and attended the Pratt Institute of Art in Brooklyn, New York. He currently lives and works in San Diego, California.
Nelson has a passion for African Americans and their plight and has illustrated beautifully many books and has created many works of art for celebrities that have sought him out.
Summer is the perfect time to sit down and read some poetry. Grab a picnic and a blanket, and lay down under a shady tree with a few of the books in our new booklist, Poetry Breaks. You'll have a fun afternoon laughing at Lee Bennett Hopkins' poetry in "Oh No! Where are My Pants?" or musing over the "reversible verse" in Mirror, Mirror that puts a twist on familiar fairy tales. Poetry is so much more than just a haiku assignment at school. It can be hilarious, sad, clever, and profound, sometimes all at once.
“Alec heard a whistle—shrill, loud, clear, unlike anything he had ever heard before. He saw a mighty black horse rear on its hind legs, its forelegs striking out into the air. A white scarf was tied across its eyes. The crowd broke and ran.”
Walter Farley first imagined the Black Stallion, a wild creature of blazing speed and mysterious origins, when he was a teenager and high school track star in 1930s. He kept working on the story, sometimes turning parts of it into class assignments at college. After graduation, he began writing for a New York advertising agency, but he still kept working on his horse stories.
At our house, there are little collections of Legos in every room, in different stages of construction. But the Legos that are most coveted by every kid are part of the Lego Star Wars collection. To learn more about these, we checked out Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary, which is a truly awesome compendium of all minifigs, vehicles, and other vital brick facts from the original Star Wars and the Clone Wars. You can also see a cool timeline of all of the Star Wars Legos that have ever been made, although I'll warn you now that you will be really wanting some of the older, impossible-to-find models.
Here is a clip to inspire your Star Wars Lego building:
Rick Riordan, author of the incredibly popular "Percy Jackson & The Olympians" 5-book series, has left behind ancient Greece in favor of a new mythology: that of ancient Egypt. Riordan's new series launches today with the release of "The Red Pyramid."
Here's the book description:
"Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a 'research experiment' at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs."
Sounds really cool, doesn't it? There is a pretty sizeable hold list right now for the book at the library, but once you've placed your hold you can read and listen to the first chapter through Amazon here: http://amzn.to/dCVY5r
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:
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)
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.
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.
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.