Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dolly Gray Awards Announced

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award Winners (For Portrayals of "Individuals with Developmental Disabilities")

Source: Tina Taylor Dyches, Ed.D.
Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award Chair
Brigham Young University

The Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award was presented Jan. 19 at the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD) international conference in Miami Beach, Florida.

The intermediate/young adult award was presented to Kathryn Erskine, author of Mockingbird (Philomel, 2010) and Beverley Brenna, author of Waiting for No One (Red Deer, 2011).

In the picture book category, the awards went to Rebecca Elliott, author/illustrator of Just Because (Lion, 2011), and Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete (authors) and Shane W. Evans (illustrator) for My Brother Charlie (Scholastic, 2010).

The Dolly Gray Award recognizes high quality fiction/biographical books for children, adolescents, and young adults that authentically portray individuals with developmental disabilities. Special Needs Project, a worldwide leader in the distribution of books related to disabilities, co-sponsors this award.

Fran Prezant, disability consultant, author, presenter, and Dolly Gray Award panelist notes, “Engaging books that feature people with disabilities as individuals with personalities, strengths and talents as part of the story line, have the exponential power to change attitudes and promote inclusion in education, jobs and community life. These are important, not only for young readers with and without disabilities, but for parents and teachers who read books to them and model societal attitudes through words and actions.

"This year, it is wonderful to see so many positive contributions to the literature choices compared to a decade ago when people with disabilities were rarely featured in positive ways if at all, in children's books. The Dolly Gray Award has been a positive vehicle to call attention to this and authors and progressive publishers should be commended and encouraged to put more of these books into the hands of readers.”

Children's Writers Meeting on Cape Cod in March

Cape Cod Children’s Writers Retreat on Saturday, March 31

by web editor on January 31, 2012

Cape Cod Children’s Writers Retreat is set for Saturday, March 31, 2012, at Riverview School, 551 route 6A, East Sandwich, MA 02537.

Interested writers may contact Joan Walsh at irishseaside2@aol.com for more information.

NYTimes Review of Royal Shakespeare Company's "Matilda," excerpt

Theater Review | 'Matilda'

Sugar and Spice, and Something Sinister

Manuel Harlan

The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Roald Dahl's "Matilda" at the Cambridge Theater in London

LONDON — Smells like pre-teen spirit at the Cambridge Theater, where a throng of irresistibly fed-up boys and girls are storming the barricades of adult oppression. “Revolting children” they call themselves in the rousing final number of the musical “Matilda,” the fattest, sassiest hit of the season here. And the words have special savor for these kids because they’ve been used before, in another way.
Manuel Harlan.

From left, Paul Kaye, Josie Walker and Peter Howe in "Matilda" at the Cambridge Theater in London. The Royal Shakespeare Company production is based on Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s novel.

“Revolting children” is what their sadistic headmistress had been calling them. And now, led by a polysyllabic little girl with the gift of telekinesis, they’ve turned an insult into a battle cry. These newly armed, formerly downtrodden creatures have learned one of the first lessons of revolution: who owns the language has the power.

This dictum is one of the morals of “Matilda,” which is based on Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s novel. A Royal Shakespeare Company production, with a book by Dennis Kelly and songs by Tim Minchin, “Matilda” is a sweet and sharp-witted work of translation, which — like its story-spinning title character — turns dark and sodden anxieties into bright and buoyant fantasies.

And not just the anxieties of being a little kid who knows monsters are lurking under the bed. If you think about it (not that you will while you’re watching this show), “Matilda” addresses many of the national worries that dominate the daily news here: an enfeebled and ineffective education system, corrupt business practices, abuses of power, organized crime, the mind-rotting effects of bad television, the imperilment of public libraries and the popularity of those tacky dance competitions.

Directed by Matthew Warchus (with such inventiveness that I forgive him for “Ghost: The Musical”), “Matilda” is hardly a sugar fest. It stays true to the tartness of Dahl, who reveled in the sinister and knew that children do too.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thank You to Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana

My SDSU colleague Jerry Griswold and I want to thank the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana for inviting us to the 18th Annual Leadership Awards Gala January 26 at the Marriott Del Mar. As the past and current directors of SDSU's Center for the Study of Children's Literature, Jerry and I were privileged to see children's author/ illustrator and Caldecott Medal-winner Allen Say on stage to receive the Society's Reischauer International Education Award, and we got to talk with him before sitting down for a fine dinner at SDSU's table with other colleagues from the President's Office, KPBS, Japanese Studies, Women's Studies, and Psychology.

Thanks especially to SDSU alumna Katherine Nakamura for including us and our spouses.

And very best wishes to Mr. Say on the publication of his moving autobiographical 2011 picture book, Drawing from Memory. It fits in so well with his Grandfather's Journey of 1994.

(SDSU reviews of Mr. Say's books can be found by clicking on the marquee icon on the top right.)


Friday, January 27, 2012

32nd Annual Northern Illinois Univ. Children's Lit Conference March 16, 1 unit credit, open to publishers

Children’s Literature Conference will explore ‘Right Book for the Right Reader’ March 16

Book cover of “Kid vs. Squid” by Greg van EekhoutNIU’s College of Education will host its 32nd annual Children’s Literature Conference Friday, March 16. This year’s theme is “The Right Book for the Right Reader.”

All sessions take place in the Holmes Student Center, beginning with the 8:15 a.m. welcome. Registration and a continental breakfast are scheduled for 7:30 a.m.

Featured speakers are author/illustrator Nic Bishop; non-fiction author Sneed Collard III; illustrator Floyd Cooper; and science fiction author Greg van Eekhout.

Breakout sessions are planned on:

  • reaching reluctant readers;
  • the best new books for children and young adults;
  • a discussion on e-book readers; and
  • how award-winning books are chosen.

An autograph session will complete the activities for the conference, and a bookstore also will be available that features children’s books by these and other authors.

Teachers and librarians will be able to listen to and interact with the authors, network and learn tips for helping reluctant readers connect with books.

Book cover of “Back of the Bus,” illustrated by Floyd CooperParticipants who would like to eat lunch with an author or illustrator should indicate their preference on the registration form. Seating is limited; tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

CPDUs also will be available.

NIU also offers the opportunity to earn one hour of graduate credit. Registration for the conference is required to enroll for the graduate credit course. For complete information on registering for graduate credit, call (815) 753-3005.

Meanwhile, local authors and illustrators also are invited to purchase table to display their books and meet with participants from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 16.

The cost for the full conference is $125 (if paid no later than Thursday, Feb. 16) or $135. The NIU alumni rate is $115 (early bird) and $125. Registration includes handbook, breakfast and lunch, and all sessions. Meals cannot be guaranteed for those who register after Monday, March 5.

To cancel a registration, contact Outreach Registration in writing no later than Monday, March 12, by email at Outreachregistration@niu.edu or fax at (815) 753-6900. A $25 processing fee will be assessed. After March 12, no refund is available. Substitutions are permitted.

For more information, contact Marti Jernberg at (815) 753-3005 or mjernber@niu.edu.

Bi-lingual Book Publishers for kids, reprint

from Spanglishbaby.com

If you visit your local major bookstore or library you will probably believe there are very few children’s books being published in Spanish and/or bilingually.

Well, that’s just not the case. Here’s a list of publishing houses that are gathering the best in Spanish language and bilingual authors of children’s books.

  • Arte Público Press–”the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovery literature by U.S. Hispanic authors.” Their imprint for children and young adults is Piñata Books.
  • Barefoot Books–children’s books dedicated to culture, diversity and the global community.
  • Bilingual Readers–brand new publishing company providing bilingual resources for families and communities.
  • BrickHouse Education–”an educational publisher designed to meet the needs of teachers seeking high-quality, creative, and affordable materials.” Their titles are available in English and Spanish.
  • Candlewick Press–Publishers Weekly called them “the fastest growing children’s publisher in the U.S.”
  • Cinco Puntos Press–With roots on the U.S./Mexico border, Cinco Puntos publishes great books which make a difference in the way you see the world.
  • Groundwood Books–publishing works by people of Latin American origin living in the Americas both in English and in Spanish.
  • Lectorum–Biggest distributor in US of books in Spanish for adults, teens and children.
  • me+mi publishing–producing dual language products that allow children to function at a high level equally well in English and Spanish.
  • Scholastic–Scholastic is the largest publisher and distributor of Spanish-language books in the United States. The Scholastic en español imprint publishes over 100 Spanish-language and bilingual titles each year with a variety of books for children of all ages including original Spanish language works and translations of the newest bestsellers.
  • Raven Tree Press–independent publisher committed to providing high-quality picture books in a variety of formats.
  • Santillana USA–bilingual and Spanish language educational resources and materials.

****(Also see our SDSU children's program book reviews--click on the marquee on the top right. A.A.)

Kids' Book Favs in Britain, reprint

Very Hungry Caterpillar is most read children’s book in Britain

Millions of school kids read the classic children’s book nine times a year, new study reveals

Posted: 26 January 2012
by Jemelyn Yadao
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Is this hungry caterpillar your child's favourite book character?

Eric Carle’s 1969 classic about a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly has been named the most popular children’s book in Britain. A study has revealed that ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ is read an average of nine times a year by 5.5 million primary school children.

Cinderella was named the second most popular book with each family found to read the fairytale around 8.7 times a year.

The Mr Men series, Peppa Pig, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat also made the top 20 most read children’s books list, compiled by 2,000 parents with children under 10.

With many old classics making the list, the study also revealed that more parents are encouraging their children to read books they read when they were young themselves.

“A huge amount of parents are familiar with the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and it’s a book that has obviously been passed down through the generations,” said Nicki Tracey, Head of Brand Communications for Early Learning Centre who commissioned the study.

The study also found many children are keen little readers, with ninety per cent of parents saying their kids read or were read to at least three times a week.

For others, getting their kids to read isn’t so easy, with one in five parents admitting they had bribed their children to read by offering pocket money. However, two thirds said that their children loved reading and little encouragement is needed.

Nominations Open for Next Irish Children's Lit Laureate, reprint

irishtimes.com - January 26, 2012

Nominate your next Laureate na nÓg

Laurence Mackin

Nominations are now open for the next Laureate na nÓg. Siobhan Parkinson, whose books include Sisters No Way!, Amelia and Kate, recently finished her tenure and now the search is on for the next author to hold the position.

Nominees must be Irish and they should be an “internationally recognised author or illustrator who has made a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature in Ireland”. Sure we’ve heaps of those. Individuals or organisations can make nominations, and the deadline is February 24th 2012.

For details click here. Laureate na nÓg is an Arts Council initiative with the support of the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland.

Oscar Buzz for Children's Book Movie Adaptations, Publisher's Weekly excerpt

Children's Books Get 21 Oscar Nominations

Who woulda thunk that big, bad Hollywood needs humble children’s book publishing to bring some razzle-dazzle to the 2012 Oscars? But included in Tuesday morning’s announcement of the 84th annual Academy Award nominations were a whopping 21 nods for films based on kids’ books, demonstrating that children’s books rule in Hollywood – for this year at least.

Hugo, based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, leads the pack with the most – 11– nominations, including Best Picture. War Horse, based on Michael Murpurgo’s 1982 novel, is not far behind, with six nominations (also including Best Picture). Both books were published by Scholastic. Only The Artist garnered more nominations than War Horse, with 10, while Moneyball is tied with it at six.

In addition to the Best Picture category, Hugo and War Horse will compete head to hoof for awards in Art Direction, Cinematography, Music (Original Score), Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. Hugo also nabbed nominations for Costume Design, Visual Effects, and Writing (adapted screenplay).

Although both had powerhouse directors (Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg respectively), only Scorsese received a directing nomination. Nor did Spielberg get the nod for his other movie based on a children’s book: The Adventures of Tin Tin, which was pretty much snubbed, getting only one nomination – for Music (Original Score).

Though Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was the highest-grossing movie of the year, with more than $1.3 billion in worldwide ticket sales, it got only three nominations, all of the not-so-glamorous I think-I’ll-grab-a-snack-while-they-announce-them variety: Art Direction, Make-up and Visual Effects. Still, Harry was one of very few sequels that the Academy deigned to notice at all.

Apparently children’s books provide such great movie fodder that it doesn’t matter who the actors are. Of the four films based on children’s books that were nominated, not one captured a nomination for best actress, best actor, best supporting actor, or best supporting actress. And now with children’s books snagging so many nominations, perhaps we’ll soon see a new award: Best Children’s Book Author Whose Book Was Adapted to Film. Here’s hoping...

NPR Adolescent Book Picks for February, reprint, excerpt

February Book Picks: 'Shooting Kabul' And 'The Hundred Dresses'

January 26, 2012

America is full of families who originally moved to the country from somewhere else, and our next reading adventure for NPR's Backseat Book Club explores this theme in two books. These books, published more than 60 years apart, both explore what it's like to try to create a new home while still yearning for the home you've left behind. We selected two stories that teach important lessons about accepting others, and going against the crowd when classmates are teasing or making harsh judgments.

Each month, we ask young people and their parents to read along with us and then join in the conversation with that month's featured author. In this case, readers can read one or both books and then send in questions and observations.

'The Hundred Dresses'

Info about Joining YALSA


Our Mission

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens.


  • Current membership is more than 5,400 members
  • Founded in 1957 and headquartered in Chicago, YALSA is a division of the American Library Association, a financially stable 501(c)3 charitable association.

Mission Statement

Find out more about YALSA's mission.

Vision Statement

Read our vision for teens and libraries.

Bylaws (PDF)

The governing rules for YALSA

Strategic Plan

Updated every five years, the strategic plan outlines the current goals of YALSA


Find volunteer forms, committee information, governing documents, and more information about YALSA in the handbook.

Lee and Low Books Expands

Lee & Low Books Acquires Children’s Book Press Assets

–Foresees Increasing Demand for Diversity Texts–

–Two Latina Books Win Top Library Awards–

NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2012 /NEWS.GNOM.ES/ – Continuing to expand despite a difficult economy, Lee & Low Books, an independent publisher of high quality books for children and young adults with a focus on diversity, announced today that it has acquired the assets of San Francisco-based Children’s Book Press, the first specialty publisher of multicultural children’s books in the United States. With this addition Lee & Low Books becomes one of the largest independent multicultural children’s publishers in the country, with over 650-titles in print.

Terms of the cash transaction include the acquisition of tangible assets such as books in inventory and intangible assets such as copyrights and trademarks, including the Children’s Book Press name. Lee & Low will assume Children’s Book Press contracts with authors, illustrators, customers and suppliers. The sale price was not disclosed.

“This acquisition is a tremendous honor for us– to keep the prestigious collection of Children’s Book Press alive and to have the opportunity to build on its 36-year history,” said Jason Low, publisher of Lee & Low Books.

Lee & Low Books also announced that two of its titles were recipients Monday, Jan. 23, of top American Library Association-sponsored children’s book publishing awards. Under the Mesquite, by Guadalupe Garcia McCall won the 2012 Pura Belpre Award Author Medal. Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combinia, by author Monica Brown and illustrator Sara Palacios won the 2012 Pura Belpre Award Illustrator Honor. Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match is one of the titles acquired from Children’s Book Press.

CFP, Conference, June, Monterey Bay CA.

CFP: June conference in Monterey Bay!

Becky Rosenberg brosenberg@csumb.edu via calstate.edu

As the culminating event in a project funded by Lumina Foundation for
Education, we are hosting a conference in June 2012 on "Teaching 21st Century
Students: Fostering Postsecondary Success for All Learners," with an
emphasis on transitions--including transitions from
high school to college (for example, through developmental and GE
courses, stretch programs and FY Seminars) and from 2-year to 4-year
colleges. We welcome session proposals, due by Feb. 29. The
conference will be June 8-10 on the Monterey Peninsula. It's a lovely
time to visit and we've been able to hold the registration rate low
and negotiate a very modest hotel rate, which is in effect for 3 days
before and 3 days after the conference, for anyone who wants to turn
it into a vacation.

Please review the link to our website and consider making a proposal
or simply attending the conference:


Monday, January 23, 2012

American Library Assoc. Announces Major Awards: Gantos Wins Newbery; Raschka Wins Caldecott

ALA Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 23, 2012

Contact: Macey Morales

American Library Association announces 2012 youth media award winners

DALLAS - The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audiobooks for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Dallas.

A list of all the 2012 award winners follows:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:

Dead End in Norvelt,” written by Jack Gantos, is the 2012 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Farrar Straus Giroux.

Two Newbery Honor Books also were named: "Inside Out & Back Again," written by Thanhha Lai and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers; and "Breaking Stalin’s Nose,” written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin, and published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

A Ball for Daisy," illustrated and written by Chris Raschka, is the 2012 Caldecott Medal winner. The book is published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Three Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Blackout,” illustrated and written by John Rocco, and published by Disney · Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group; "Grandpa Green" illustrated and written by Lane Smith, and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership; and “Me … Jane,” illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell, and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:

Where Things Come Back,” written by John Corey Whaley, is the 2012 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

Why We Broke Up,” written by Daniel Handler, art by Maira Kalman and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group; “The Returning,” written by Christine Hinwood and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group Young Readers Group USA; “Jasper Jones,” written by Craig Silvey and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.; and “The Scorpio Races,” written by Maggie Stiefvater and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans,” is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Two King Author Honor Book recipients were selected: Eloise Greenfield, author of “The Great Migration: Journey to the North,” illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; and Patricia C. McKissack, author of “Never Forgotten,” illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon and published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

Shane W. Evans, illustrator and author of “Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom,” is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book is a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.

One King Illustrator Honor Book recipient was selected: Kadir Nelson, illustrator and author of “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans,” published by Balzar + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:

Ashley Bryan is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime achievement. The award, which pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton.

Storyteller, artist, author, poet and musician, Bryan created his first children’s book in first grade. He grew up in the Bronx and in 1962, he became the first African American to both write and illustrate a children’s book. After a successful teaching career, Bryan left academia to pursue creation of his own artwork. He has since garnered numerous awards for his significant and lasting literary contribution of poetry, spirituals and story.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:

The Jury chose not to award a book in the category for children ages 0 – 8 because no submissions were deemed worthy of the award.

Two books were selected for the middle school award (ages 9 – 13): “close to famous,” written byJoan Bauer and published by Viking, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group; and “Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures,” written by Brian Selznick and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic.

The teen (ages 14-18) award winner is “The Running Dream,” written by Wendelin Van Draanen and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:

  • Big Girl Small,” by Rachel DeWoskin, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • In Zanesville,” by Jo Ann Beard, published by Little, Brown & Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
  • The Lover’s Dictionary,” by David Levithan, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens,” by Brooke Hauser, published by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
  • The Night Circus,” by Erin Morgenstern, published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
  • Ready Player One,” by Ernest Cline, published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.(ISBN: 9780307887436)
  • Robopocalypse: A Novel,” by Daniel H. Wilson, published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
  • Salvage the Bones,” by Jesmyn Ward, published by Bloomsbury USA
  • The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures,” by Caroline Preston, published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
  • The Talk-Funny Girl,” by Roland Merullo, published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video:

Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of “Children Make Terrible Pets,” are the Carnegie Medal winners.

The video is based on the book written by Peter Brown, and is narrated by Emily Eiden, with music by Jack Sundrud and Rusty Young, and animation by Soup2Nuts.

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:

Susan Cooper is the 2012 Edwards Award winner. Her books include: The Dark Is Rising Sequence: “Over Sea, Under Stone”; “The Dark Is Rising”; “Greenwitch”; “The Grey King”; and “Silver on the Tree.”

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:

Michael Morpurgowill deliver the 2013 lecture.

Born in England, Morpurgo was teaching when he discovered the magic of storytelling and began writing. His books are noted for their imagination, power and grace. In 1976, he and his wife established the charity Farms for City Children. He is an officer of the Order of the British Empire and served as Britain’s third Children’s Laureate. His novel, “War Horse,” has wowed theater audiences in London and New York and movie audiences all over.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children's book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States:

Soldier Bear” is the 2012 Batchelder Award winner. Originally published in Dutch in 2008 as “Soldaat Wojtek,” 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.

One Batchelder Honor Book also was selected: “The Lily Pond,” published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., written by Annika Thor, and translated by Linda Schenck.

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States:

Rotters,” produced Listening Library,an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc., is the 2012 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Daniel Kraus and narrated by Kirby Heyborne.

Four Odyssey Honor audiobooks also were selected: Ghetto Cowboy,” produced by Brilliance Audio, written by G. Neri and narrated by JD Jackson; “Okay for Now,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc., written by Gary D. Schmidt and narrated by Lincoln Hoppe; “The Scorpio Races,” produced by Scholastic Inc., Scholastic Audiobooks, written by Maggie Stiefvaterandnarrated by Steve Westand Fiona Hardingham;and “Young Fredle,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc., written by Cynthia Voigt and narrated by Wendy Carter.

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours,” illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Two Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred,” illustrated by Rafael López, written by Samantha R. Vamos and published by Charlesbridge; and “Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match /Marisol McDonald no combina,” illustrated by Sara Palacios, written by Monica Brown and published by Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee and Low Books Inc.

Pura Belpré (Author) Award:

Under the Mesquite,” written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, is the Belpré Author Award winner. The book is published by Lee and Low Books Inc.

Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named: “Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck,” written by Margarita Engle and published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.; and “Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller,” written by Xavier Garza and published by Cinco Puntos Press.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:

Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade,” written by Melissa Sweet, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Four Sibert Honor Books were named: "Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor," written by Larry Dane Brimnerand published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc.; "Drawing from Memory," written and illustrated by Allen Sayand published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; "The Elephant Scientist," written by Caitlin O’Connell and Donna M. Jackson, photographs byCaitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwelland published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; and "Witches!: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem" written and illustrated by Rosalyn Schanzerand published by the National Geographic Society.

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:

Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy,” written by Bil Wright and published by Simon & Schuster BFYR, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division,is the winner of the 2012 Stonewall Award. The award is given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experience.

Four Honor Books were selected: “a + e 4ever,” drawn and written by Ilike Merey and published by Lethe Press, Inc.; “Money Boy,” written by Paul Yee and published by Groundwood Books, an imprint of House of Anansi Press; “Pink,” written by Lili Wilkinson and published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins; and “with or without you,” written by Brian Farrey and published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:

"Tales for Very Picky Eaters," written and illustrated by Josh Schneider, is the Geisel Award winner. The book is published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Three Geisel Honor Books were named: "I Broke My Trunk,” written and illustrated by Mo Willems, and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group; "I Want My Hat Back," written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, and published by Candlewick Press; and "See Me Run," written and illustrated by Paul Meisel, and published by Holiday House.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:

Where Things Come Back,” written by John Corey Whaley is the 2012 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.

Four other books were finalists for the award: “Girl of Fire and Thorns,” written by Rae Carson, published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; “Paper Covers Rock,” written by Jenny Hubbard, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books; “Under the Mesquite,” written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, published by Lee and Low Books; and “Between Shades of Gray,” written by Ruta Sepetys, published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group USA.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults, ages 12 – 18, each year:

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery” written by Steve Sheinkin, is the 2012 Excellence winner. The book is published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Four other books were finalists for the award: “Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science,” written by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos, published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; “Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition,” written by Karen Blumenthal, published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; “Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way),” written by Sue Macy, published by National Geographic Children’s Books; and “Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein,” written by Susan Goldman Rubin, published by Charlesbridge.

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 visit the ALA Web site at www.ala.org.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

43rd Annual NAACP Image Awards Nominations, Children's/Teens Books, reprint from Reuters

Outstanding Literary Work - Children

• "Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band" - Kwame Alexander (Author), Tim Bowers

(Illustrator) (Sleeping Bear Press)

• "Before There Was Mozart" - Lesa Cline-Ransome (Author), James Ransome (Illustrator) (Schwartz & Wade Books / Random House Children's Books)

• "Heart and Soul" - Kadir Nelson (Author/Illustrator) (Balzer + Bray, an imprint of

HarperCollins Children's Books)

• "White Water" - Michael S. Bandy (Author), Shadra Strickland (Illustrator) (Candlewick


• "You Can Be A Friend" - Tony Dungy (Author), Ron Mazellan (Illustrator) (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Little Simon)

Outstanding Literary Work - Youth/Teens

• "Camo Girl" - Kekla Magoon (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Aladdin)

• "Eliza's Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diary" - Jerdine Nolan (Author), Sadra

Strickland (Illustrator) (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Paula Wiseman Books)

• "Jesse Owens: "I Always Loved Running"" - Jeff Burlingame (Enslow Publishers, Inc.)

• "Kick" - Walter Dean (HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books)

• "Planet Middle School" - Nikki Grimes (Bloomsbury Children's Books)

Julia Mickenberg on Inside Higher Education Link, reprint

Politics of Children’s Books
January 17, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, the University of Texas at Austin's Julia Mickenberg discusses how the political climate of the 20th century influenced children’s literature. Mickenberg is an associate professor in the American studies department at UT-Austin and co-editor of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature and The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature. Find out more about her here. A transcript of this podcast can be found here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Atlantic, reprint

The Unexpected Inspirations Behind Beloved Children's Books

By Tom Hawking
Jan 19 2012

The acid trips, war wounds, and survival stories that led to your treasured childhood fantasies


If he were still alive, Alan Alexander Milne—you may know him as A. A. Milne—would have turned 130 years old yesterday. If you're a fan of Milne's books, you probably know that you can go and see the original teddy bear that inspired the character of Winnie-the-Pooh if you visit the New York Public Library—it's on display there along with a selection of other similar stuffed toys that inspired Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet.

The fact that the books were based on Milne's son's toys is just one of a number of fascinating stories behind beloved children's classics, and we've related a few more such tales below.

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Inspiration: Stuffed toys

Milne’s inspiration for the anthropomorphic protagonists of his stories came from a collection of stuffed toys owned by his son (whose name was, yes, Christopher Robin Milne) — Winnie-the-Pooh himself was a teddy bear that Christopher received for his first birthday. There seems to be some debate as to to what extent Christopher came to resent the attention that the books brought him — his biography describes being taunted by his schoolmates about them, and also claims that “my father had got to where he was by climbing upon my infant shoulders, that he had filched from me my good name and had left me with nothing but the empty fame of being his son,” although the book also seemed to suggest that by his later years he’d reconciled himself to his father’s legacy. There’s more information here, if you’re interested.

Full Screen click here for slide show

CFP, Conference: Ethics and Children's Literature

Ethics and Children’s Literature: A Symposium

September 13-15, 2012

Hosted by The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics
DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana

Deadline for 500-word Abstracts: April 15, 2012

Organized by:
Claudia Mills, Robert and Carolyn Frederick Distinguished Visiting Professor of Ethics, DePauw University

Keynote Speakers:

Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Newbery Honor author of Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow and They Called Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group

Claudia Nelson
Author of Family Ties in Victorian England; Little Strangers: Portrayals of Adoption in America, 1850-192;, and Boys Will Be Girls: The Feminine Ethic and British Children’s Fiction, 1857-1917

Symposium Theme:

Even as children’s literature has evolved from its origins in didactic Sunday School tracts and moralizing fables, authors, parents, librarians, and scholars remain sensitive to the values conveyed to children through the texts we choose to share with them. No field of human endeavor is exempt from some form of moral scrutiny, so ethical criticism of literature is in principle a viable approach, despite the worries it raises about censorship. Children’s texts often explore value questions, depict moral development of their characters, and call into attention shared moral assumptions. This conference brings together children’s authors, philosophers, and scholars of children’s literature to explore ethical questions posed by children’s literature and posed about children’s literature, understood in the broadest possible sense.

Call for Papers:

Possible topics for papers include, but are not limited to:

  • Ethics in fantasy versus ethics in “realistic” stories
  • Values – concerning personal morality, social justice, or gender, race, and class – conveyed by any particular work or series
  • How children’s literature both reflects and shapes moral development
  • The role of moral emotions in children’s books (anger, resentment, forgiveness, etc.)
  • Children’s books in which generally admirable characters behave in arguably immoral ways (lying, cheating, stealing)
  • Moral dilemmas faced by characters in children’s literature
  • Ethical criticism of children’s literature
  • Recent controversies over whether young adult literature is “too dark”
  • How moralizing is handled in children’s literature in different historical periods

Papers should be twenty minutes reading time (10 pages).

Send to claudiamills@depauw.edu

For more information, please visit eclconference.org

American Library Assoc. Newbery, Caldecott, and More Awards Announced Monday morning, Jan. 23

2012 ALA Youth Media Awards

The eyes of the publishing world will turn to Dallas at 7:45 a.m. CT on Jan.23, 2012, when the American Library Association (ALA) announces the top awards in children’s and young adult literature as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 20 - 24.

The ALA Youth Media Awards honor children’s and young adult authors and illustrators, as well as producers of children’s audio and video materials. Known worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards are selected under a cloak of secrecy by national judging committees composed of librarians and other children’s literature experts.

The ALA will announce 18 awards, including the renowned Caldecott and Newbery Medals, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and Printz award. The books honored serve as a guide for parents, educators, librarians and those interested in providing children and teens with the very best reading and viewing materials.


The ALA will host a live Webcast from the Dallas Convention Center begining at 7:30 a.m. CT, Jan. 23. Virtual seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

ALA Youth Media Awards Videos

For the lastest ALA Youth Media Awards video please visit our YouTube Channel .

New AmbassadorWalter Dean Myers on Kids' Reading

Literacy Leader: Reading Is Not Optional

Walter Dean Myers says that equality of opportunity is meaningless if black kids aren't literate.

Literacy Leader: Reading Is Not Optional
Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers, the award-winning author of more than 100 books, including the New York Times bestseller Monster, was sworn in this week as the national ambassador for young people's literature.

The position is designed to raise national awareness of the importance of an appreciation for books to the betterment of children's lives. In other words, Myers will be leading the charge to get kids to understand that reading, as he says in the slogan he's chosen for his campaign, "is not optional."

The setting for many of Myers' books is New York City's Harlem neighborhood, which is where he grew up, a high school dropout who hid his books so he wouldn't be teased. His characters recall that experience -- they're often black teenagers grappling with tough issues, unsugarcoated: drug addiction, gangs and war.

Myers' message isn't sugarcoated, either: He's adamant that you cannot be successful if you don't read well. He wants parents to expose their babies to books from the age of 2 months. He calls the black illiteracy rate a national disaster.

The Root talked to Myers about his message that reading can help all kids be successful, his advice to black parents and his insistence that those who miss out on literacy will be lost.

The Root: You've said, "To do well in life, you have to read well," and "Reading is not optional." How do you plan to communicate that to kids who see athletes and reality-TV stars doing pretty well, with no mention of reading or literacy?

Walter Dean Myers: Right, but they [athletes and TV stars] actually represent such a tiny, tiny percentage of the population. Like when I was working with the NBA ... Take all the players in the NBA, and their grade schools have more people than everyone in the NBA. These people are such exceptions that it's meaningless. If you look at 99 percent of all people in America, you will find that the ones who are successful are the ones who read well.

You can even throw in the celebrities and the NBA guys and the footballers. I work with the NBA, and I know a lot of [former] NBA players who, if they didn't hang on to that money when they were in the NBA, are not doing very well. It’s the people who read well who are going to have a good life.

Last Chance for Survey on Russell Hoban's Books, from The Kraken, reprint

The survey I started on 28th December has had an excellent response, so
much so that I've had to create a duplicate....

I will be closing the survey in one week's time (28th January) so if you
haven't already taken it, don't miss out - go here pronto:


Here also is the link to the duplicate survey should you be unable to
access the original link:


As I say, the second survey is exactly the same as the first one, so
there's no need to take it again. In fact please don't, as that would just
be cheating :)

Also, I hope you're all busy thinking up quotes to share and fun ways of celebrating SA4QE's 10th birthday on the 4th February!

[Febuary 4th is Russell Hoban's birthday, when his readers place their favorite Hoban quotes from any of his writings in spontaneous places around the globe, for other readers to chance upon.]



Bookbird/IBBY CFP

We invite submissions for a Special Issue of IBBY's journal, Bookbird, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Education Trust (CET) in January 2013.

The full call for papers is attached or can be read below.

Lydia Kokkola

Call for Papers: 'Children's Literature from the Commonwealth of Nations'

We invite submissions for a Special Issue of Bookbird in conjunction with the Commonwealth Education Trust (CET). The CET has promoted education, literacy and literature throughout the member states of the Commonwealth of Nations for 125 years. Their work has much in common with IBBY. Papers are invited on the literatures of Commonwealth countries, as well as on literacy education, the development of the imagination and critical thinking through reading, and other practical uses of literature. Papers of 4000 words are invited on, but not limited to, the following topics:

* National identity in literature for children and teens
* Literacy programmes which incorporate children's literature
* Thematic developments in national literatures
* Indigenous and diasporic literatures for children
* Multilingual children's literature
* The impact of colonization and/or Empire on national literatures for children
* The oral tradition and/or literary retellings
* Trends in illustration techniques
* Prizes for children's literature
* Non-fiction publishing for children and teens

Titles and abstracts of 250 words should be sent to both editors by 15th May 2012.
Roxanne Harde (rharde@augustana.ca) and Lydia Kokkola (lydia.kokkola@utu.fi). The full papers will be expected by 30th June 2012. Please see Bookbird's website at www.ibby.org/bookbird for full submission details.
In addition, short reviews of recently published children's literature (c.a. 300 words) or of research on children's literature (c.a. 750 words) are warmly welcomed.
Papers which are not accepted for this issue will be considered for later issues of Bookbird.
Bookbird Jan 2013 CFP.docBookbird Jan 2013 CFP.doc
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Children's Book Reviews by Jerry Griswold, click on the icon to the right to read our special review section.

University of Redlands, CA. Festival, March 2-3

Children's literature festival draws award-winning authors

16th Annual Charlotte S. Huck Children's Literature Festival

Brian Pinkney, Eric Kimmel and other authors

Where: University of Redlands, 1200 E. Colton Ave.

When: 8 a.m. March 2 and 3

Cost: Tickets start at $125

Information: 909-748-8791, redlands.edu.

REDLANDS - Tickets are now available for the 16th annual Charlotte S. Huck Children's Literature Festival planned for March 2 and 3 at the University of Redlands.

The two-day event will feature the best in children's literature today and their creators, along with award-winning speakers, including Brian Pinkney, Eric Kimmel, George Ella Lyon and Caroline Arnold.

The event was designed to bring authors and the people who have a passion for reading into one place, said Charlotte G. Burgess, vice president and dean of student life at U of R. She is also a co-organizer of the event.

"I think people miss the fact that the event is not just for teachers and librarians, but for people who might be grandparents or childcare workers or anyone who enjoys children's books or someone who thinks about writing one," she said. "As a person who is not in the field, I find it immensely inspiring. You just get all kinds of new ideas from incredibly creative authors and illustrators."

The event is inspired by Burgess' aunt Dr. Charlotte S. Huck, a internationally-known author and children's literature expert.

Her many works include "Princess Furball" and "Secret Places."

Huck died April 7, 2005 at her home in Redlands.

She moved to the area after retiring from teaching at Ohio State.

Huck was also known for organizing the first course in children's literature at Ohio State in 1955, where she built a nationally respected program that offered both a master's and doctorate in the subject.

In Redlands, she helped found the evening read aloud program and annual Family Day at Smiley Library, the annual Children's Literature Festival and various discussion groups in the area.

She also served on the board of the YWCA and Redlands Day Nursery.

Last year's festival brought close to 165 to the area with the farthest traveling from the Chicago-area.

Burgess hopes to see more Redlanders attend this year's festival, as the event is held right in their very own backyard.

"It's a real jewel in this town that more people should take advantage of," she said.

Tickets are $150 per person until Feb. 24. The price will increase to $175 after.

The festival is also offering a deal for those who register a party of three or more. Tickets will be $125 per person under that special offer, Burgess said.

Events start at 8 a.m. on both days for registration, with events kicking off officially around 9 a.m.

For more information, visit redlands.edu or call Colleen Quesada at 909-748-8791.

Reach Kristina via email, or call her at 909-793-3221.

Link to The Horn Book's Recommended Mythology Books, reprint

Reading recommendations for mythology buffs

young zeus Reading recommendations for mythology buffsWe’ve just put up a list of recommended mythology-related books, published and reviewed in the Magazine in the last few years. Enjoy!

NY Times reprint, excerpt, Maria Tatar quoted

Do Tablet Apps and Ebooks Spell the End of Pop-Up Books?

It’s too early to say that pop-up books are dead, but it seems clear that a lot of the fun they presented has been channeled into ebooks and book apps for kids.

Are pop-up books dying? We remember pulling our first paper tab and seeing a book miraculously come to life. But a lot of kids these days are getting that kick on iPads and other fancy tablets. Which makes one wonder if the steady stream of interactive ebooks aimed at kids means that this generation won’t have childhood memories of Pat the Bunny, Where’s Spot, or Peter Rabbit?

Anyone worried about the future can exhale—sort of. Pop -up books aren’t dead, they’ve just turned into book apps. The apps for, say, Peter Rabbit or Alice in Wonderland are the easiest to compare to old fashioned pop-up books, thanks to their traditional stylings and digital pull-tabs. They inhabit a strange middle ground between ebook and app: not strictly text but also not quite Angry Birds. They are what ebooks would look like if their illustrations came to life....

Magazine apps and book apps for kids may be the new pop-ups, but that doesn’t mean we should go all Fahrenheit 451 just yet.

Pop-up books, pretty much anything on paper that has moving parts or appears in 3D, first showed up in the 1300s but didn’t really start catering to kids until about 500 years later. In the 90s, thanks to some improved printing know-how and artistic gumption, things like The Daily Express Children’s Annual sprouted up. Innovators like Vojtech Kubasta in Prague and Waldo Hunt in the U.S. tried to blend high-level paper cutting with charming titles featuring Babar, Sesame Street, and Disney characters.

Despite their popularity, pop-up books have never been an over-populated field. “There aren’t that many people that make pop-up books,” says Maria Tatar, a Harvard professor specializing in childhood literature. “My guess is that there are probably less than 100 [authors] that have done it successfully. So you have a very dangerous ecology. You could imagine that it would disappear overnight.”

Pop-Up Books

It’s too early to say that pop-up books are dead, but it seems clear that a lot of the fun they presented has been channeled into e-books and book apps for kids., Fred Dufour, AFP / Getty Images

Jump forward some decades and the number of ebook designers is comparably small. Tatar is understandably a big fan of the printed page despite owning an Amazon Kindle.

Pop-ups have occupied a strange place in between art and literature.Tatar says pop-ups are largely left out of the children’s literature canon despite general admiration for them as art objects. That art also makes pop-ups more fragile. An expensive iPad usually wins the durability contest.

Now, instead of kids ripping out paper tabs, they can happily bash the Queen of Hearts as her court gleefully wobbles under an iPad screen.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chicago Tribune reprint, excerpt

'Houdini Box' is another Brian Selznick story set loose from the page

 Illustration from "The Houdini Box," the book, by Brian Selznick.

Illustration from "The Houdini Box," the book, by Brian Selznick. (January 17, 2012)

"I'm not someone who has a lot of my own ideas," the charming children's author Brian Selznick observed last week at Cullen's Bar & Grill on Southport Avenue. "Most of the things I've done have been brought to me."

Well, it's certainly true that Selznick, who is 46, has illustrated, beautifully, more books than he has written. But if you were someone who'd seen the Martin Scorsese movie"Hugo" over the holiday season, wherein former Chicago writer John Logan adapted Selznick's book, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," that statement would have been enough to make you choke on your drink.

There are enough ideas in "Hugo Cabret" to satisfy some of us for a lifetime. It was hardly a conventional story. "I really didn't know whether anyone would want to read a book about French silent movies for kids," Selznick admitted. Turns out they did.

The story of a young boy who tends to the clocks of a Parisian railway terminus, "Hugo Cabret" is a huge book, running to some 600 pages. Selznick said it took him 21/2 years to write.

"Off and on," I suggested, scribbling that quote down and barely looking up.

"No," he replied, catching my eye. "On."

The movie has a different ending from the book (in the book, the book is the ending) but is otherwise fairly faithful to the text. Selznick clearly enjoyed the experience. "I got to walk the red carpets," he said, dryly. "Turns out, I love it."

And the movie, he says, was done right.

"People ask me all the time what it was like to have your book made into a Martin Scorsese movie," Selznick said. "I always said I highly recommend it for other authors."

But before "Hugo Cabret," there was "The Houdini Box," which is also getting its first dramatic adaptation — as a stage musical, or at least a play with music, rather than a movie. It's not the work of Logan and Scorsese, but adapter/lyricist Hannah Kohl, composer Mark Messing and director Blair Thomas. "But in terms of a group of artists coming together, the process this time is really not so different," Selznick said.

The live version of "The Houdini Box" opens next weekend at the Mercury Theater. Jackie Russell, the artistic director of the Chicago Children's Theatre, said the production will use puppets and live actors.

"Houdini," published in 1991, actually was the first book Selznick ever wrote. "It started out as a project I did for a college in class in the 1980s," he said, whipping out his laptop and showing me some of the original visual concepts. "And it's about a guy who happened to have been my hero as a kid."

In "The Houdini Box," a kid gets to meet the great escapologist (kids invariably do remarkable things in the Selznick oeuvre). The book has proved popular over the years; at one point, pretty much every schoolkid in Texas was reading it. Selznick has taken it to a lot of classrooms. "I must have read this book aloud, like, 5,000 times," he said.

"Besides knowing that I'm not going to curse and that there will be no sex, I'm really not thinking about kids when I write," he said. "Everything is about the story I am trying to tell."

NewEditorial Director for Hodder Children's Books

Appleton to head fiction at Hodder Childrens Books

Jon Appleton has been appointed to the newly-created post of editorial director for fiction at Hodder Children’s Books and will be joining the company on lst February.

Appleton joins from Hachette Australia, where he was children’s publisher during 2011. Previously to that he worked as editorial director at Orion under Fiona Kennedy.

Publishing director Anne McNeil said, “Jon Appleton is the ideal person to drive our fiction to its maximum potential. He joins a well established group of fiction editors – Beverley Birch, Rachel Wade and Naomi Pottesman – along with our other newcomer Ellen Holgate, who has come to us from Walker.”

Hachette has also recently appointed Karen Lawler as licensing executive manager across the group imprints.

Hodder’s authors include LJ Smith (Vampire Diaries), Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon), Robert Muchamore (CHERUB and Henderson’s Boys), David Almond (Skellig) and Hilary McKay (Caddy’s World).

Appleton said, “I am very excited to be taking up this new position. I relish bringing new authors to the list and will enjoy helping to consolidate the careers of the Hodder rising stars. I am delighted to be back in the UK and to be joining Hodder at such an exciting time.”