Archive for the ‘Childrens and YA’ Category

DARK WILD Wins Guardian Prize

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

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Saying, “It feels amazing to be one of the prize’s least-known winners,” author Piers Torday won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize this week for his middle grade novel, The Dark Wild, (Penguin/Viking Juvenile), to be published here on January 22.

Begun in 1967, The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize is awarded by a jury of children’s authors. The longlist for this year’s Prize included Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo as well as We Were Liars by E. Lockhart,

The book is the second in a trilogy, following The Last Wild, (Penguin/Viking Juvenile), a title  featured in our Penguin Young Readers program, which gives librarians the opportunity to read galleys and chat with rising star children’s authors. View the chat with Torday here.

Join us for our next author chat, this Wednesday, with Kim Bradley, author of The War That Saved My Life, (Penguin/Dial), this Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 5 to 6 p.m., EST.

The NYT BEST ILLUSTRATED:
A Judge’s Experience

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

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The New York Times Book Review issue with the “Best Illustrated Books” list arrives in print this Sunday (see my takes on each specific title).

As those of us who have been watching this list for years know, it typically contains a surprising mix of books with popular appeal and those with arty sophistication. Although it is tempting to second guess and speculate on why one particular title made the list and another was left off, these conversations rarely reflect the actual considerations that went into the selections.

I had the honor to serve as a judge one year. At the time, children’s book editor Eden Ross Lipson encouraged us to write and share our process and deliberations. This is an outlier attitude. Most book selection juries, from the American Library Association’s Newbery to The National Book Awards, are asked to keep the discussions confidential, to allow for more free of expression of opinions. I recall that the only requirement imposed on the NYT Best Illustrated judges was to keep their appointments a secret until the announcement was made public. I was bursting but honored the request, even taking a vacation day from work for the deliberations so I didn’t have to disclose my participation to my library director.

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The NYT BEST ILLUSTRATED:
Lisa’s Takes

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

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The NYT Book Review‘s selection of the ten best illustrated books of the year is offered as simple list, with no annotations. Librarians may want a bit more background on the titles. Below are my takes.

9781442494923_22c98  THE PILOT AND THE LITTLE PRINCE  The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry  9781568462462_ab869

Draw!, written and illustrated by Raul Colon (S&S/Paula Wiseman)

A word-less masterpiece, a sweeping tribute to the power of imagination, this is a technical tour-de-force.

The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antione de Saint-Exupery, written and illustrated by Peter Sis (Macmillan/FSG/Frances Foster)

Anyone who has had an eye on this year’s output recognizes that The Pilot and The Little Prince is another Peter Sis classic. The exquisitely detailed illustrations beg readers to pore over them again and again, revealing new insights with each reading.

Harlem Hellfighters, written by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Gary Kelley (Chronicle/Creative Editions)

Pairs J. Patrick Lewis’s fact based poems and Gary Kelly’s dark, haunting illustrations combine in a very personal profile of this World War I brigade that fought in France.

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Time for Bed, Fred, written and illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail (Walker Books/Bloomsbury)

With spirited watercolor, Ismail coveys emotion and motion with a loose line, indicating the form of the resting or restless or bouncy body of the shaggy dog. A winner for bedtime, story time, or any time.

Where’s Mommy?, written by Beverly Donofrio, illustrated by Barbara McClintock (RH/Schwartz & Wade)

This sweet but not saccharine story of a girl and a mouse parallel lives above the stairs and below is depicted with skill as readers enjoy all the tiny details of a “day in the life” The quiet humor of the text is matched in form and color. The very example of a child-centered picture book.

9780375867316_c1525  THE BABY TREE

Here Is the Baby, written by Polly Kanevsky, illustrated by Taeeyun Yoo (RH/Schwartz & Wade)

It is easy to overlook the obvious and familiar. I am grateful that the Judges brought attention to Here is The Baby, a quiet perfect book reflecting day in the life of a toddler. Kanevsky’s rhythmic, repetitive text makes it good to read aloud. Taeeun Yoo, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award for new illustrator, skillfully expresses emotion and light, climate and comfort with specificity of line and color. This is a sleeper that shouldn’t be missed.

The Baby Tree, written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen)

I was delighted. Simply delighted to see this on the list. Anytime I had been in a judging situation, humor was the toughest to sell to my colleagues. Blackall has nailed the subject (misunderstanding grown-up explanations of “where babies come from”) with empathy, kindness AND fun.

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Shackleton’s Journey, written and illustrated by William Grill (Flying Eye Books)

Published by a small press in the U.K., this was not reviewed by the professional journals and therefore is not owned by many libraries.  Shackleton’s various arduous expeditions into the Antarctic have been covered in many books and a TV series starring Kenneth Branagh. An example of the arty but accessible (click on the title link to see some of the interior pages), the sketches evoke the feeling of a naturalist’s diary with an almost documentary feeling as we peek into the mundane (six months provisions) isolating hardship (crossing the ice fields) and relief (rescue and survival). Supplies at wholesalers are limited, but this award is sure to result in a reprint.

Haiti my country, written by Haitian schoolchildren, illustrated by Roge (Fifth House Publishers)

As we enter the culture and the land of Haiti through portraits of teenagers, we find ourselves entering their lives and struggles. This picture book can pair well with Youme’s award-winning Selavi: That IS Life, A Haitian Story of Hope, (Cinco Puntos Press, 2004), a book that is essential to all well-rounded collections. (Good news — the publisher tells me that a reprint of this one is coming and it should be at wholesalers in December).

THE PROMISE

The Promise, written by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin (Candlewick Press)

An urban “Johnny Appleseed” about a young girl whose life as a thief is transformed when she is tricked into planting acorns and witnesses how the resulting trees improve people’s lives. I have to admit that this one did not work for me. As Kirkus puts it, this is “yet another heavily earnest parable,” adding dryly that the idea is “Valid as metaphor though much less so as a feasible plan of action.” Booklist, however, gave it a star.

Lemony Snicket To NetFlix

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

lemony_snicket_a_series_of_unfortunate_events_the_bad_beginning_coverA Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket is making the leap from big screen to small screen. All 13 titles in the book series have been acquired for adaptation by Netflix.

The first book was adapted as a movie  in 2004, starring Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep and Jude Law. It was originally planned as the beginning of a  film franchise, but that never materialized.

There’s no news yet on who will star, or when it is likely to debut.

The press release quotes the author,

“I can’t believe it,” Mr. Snicket said in a statement from an undisclosed location. “After years of providing top-quality entertainment on demand, Netflix is risking its reputation and its success by associating itself with my dismaying and upsetting books.”

That sense of humor will serve Snicket, (aka Daniel Handler), well when he hosts the upcoming National Book Awards.

The trailer for the movie, below:

PAPER TOWNS Begins Shooting

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Of course, author and exec. producer John Green is VERY excited that filming has begun for the adaptation of Paper Towns.

He’s coy about the specific location, but it’s already been reported that the shoot is in Charlotte, N.C.

The movie is scheduled for theatrical release on June 19, 2015.

Teens Name ELEANOR & PARK Their Favorite

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Twelve thousand teens have voted and selected their favorite 2013 books for the YALSA Teen’s Top Ten. The winners are announced in the video below, by Willow Shields (aka Primrose Everdeen of The Hunger Games). The number one title is Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin).

The author is clearly a librarian favorite, as well. Her YA title Fangirl topped the very first LibraryReads top ten list, as a crossover title for adult readers, and the author’s adult title, Landline, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin), was on the July list.

The winners are also announced in more prosaic list form.

Voting was based on the following 25 nominees:

NYT BOOK REVIEW’s
Best Illus. Books 2014

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

 

 

The New York Times Book Review‘s annual selection of the ten best illustrated books, chosen this year by judges Jennifer M. Brown, director of the Center for Children’s Literature at the Bank Street College of Education, and author/illustrators Brian Floca and Jerry Pinkney, has just been released online, in the form of a slideshow, with interior illustrations (our slideshow of the covers, above). The printed list will appear in the 11/9 issue.

Our downloadable spreadsheet rounds up the childrens and YA best books picks to date, 2014-Best-Books-Childrens-and-YA-V.2

PADDINGTON Finds
A New Trailer Home

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

The U.S. release of the film adaptation of Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear has been moved from Christmas to  Jan. 16, but it is still set to open in the U.K. on Nov. 28 and a new trailer has been released

Official Movie Site: Paddington.com (which includes a look at Paddington as envisioned by various illustrators)

For tie-ins, check our Edelweiss collection.

Mark Rylance is THE BFG

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

The BFGMark Rylance, who stars as Thomas Cromwell in the upcoming BBC production of Wolf Hall (recently wrapped, no U.S. release date yet), is set to play the lead in the live-action adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1982 picture book, The BFG, (Macmillan/FSG YR). To be directed by Steven Spielberg, it will be the director’s next film, according to The HEsio Trotollywood Reporter, after he finishes his current project, St. James Place, an original Cold War thriller starring Tom Hanks (with Rylance in a supporting role).

This raises a question about what has happened to another Dahl adaptation, BBC One’s TV movie based on Esio Trot, starring Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman. The Weinstein Co. acquired the U.S. rights for its fledgling TV business back in August, and no further announcements have been made. It is set for release in the U.K. in December.

GROUP HOPPER vs TFIOS 2

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Saturday Night Live has been sending up YA film adaptations.

Last week, dystopian movies got the treatment:

The week before, it was a “grounded” YA film:

PADDINGTON Switches Holidays

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Originally scheduled for release on Christmas Day, the Weinstein Co.’s adaptation of Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear has been moved to a different holiday, the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Jan. 16.

Official Movie Site: Paddington.com (which includes a look at Paddington as envisioned by various illustrators)

For tie-ins, check our Edelweiss collection.

MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, The TV Series

Monday, October 13th, 2014

City of Bones Tie-in

What do you do when the first movie in a planned YA series bombs at the box office?

You may want to consider another medium, television.

The producers of The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, based on the first in the Y.A. fantasy series by Cassandra Clare, are doing just that, with wrier-producer Ed Decter (HelixUnforgettableIn Plain Sight and The Client List) as showrunner.

There’s no information on whether the cast of the movie will be returning. On her blog, author Clare addresses that question, declaring, “I have absolutely no idea! I am sure they are not casting at the moment and probably nobody knows. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever I could possibly ever do to influence whether they kept the same cast (assuming they were available) at all, so I will be waiting, like you, to see if they cast new people, and hoping that if they do, those people will be good.”

Cassandra Clare’s series consists of six books, as well as a 3-part prequel series, Infernal Devices, which concluded with Clockwork Princess, (S&S/ Margaret K. McElderry, 3/19/13). The author has also announced a new series of sequels, called The Dark Artifices, to begin in 2015.

Lena Dunham Eyes Y.A. Film Adaptation

Monday, October 13th, 2014

9780395681862Before you roll your eyes and exclaim, “Not another person jumping on the Y.A. movie bandwagon,” consider the book that Lena Dunham wants to adapt. It’s not dystopian, or an angst-filled teen romance, but Karen Cushman’s Catherine, Called Birdy, (HMH/Clarion) the 1994 Newbery Honor book about a girl growing up in the 13th century.

Interviewed at the New Yorker Festival on Friday night, Dunham said, “I’m going to adapt it and hopefully direct it, I just need to find someone who wants to fund a PG-13 medieval movie.”

She also said she has been obsessed with the book since she was a kid. If her tattoos from children’s books didn’t already tip you off, she is a big reader. In a 2012 NYT Book Review interview, she mentioned dozens of books, and said Birdy one of the two best books she’s ever read about girls. The other one? Nabokov’s Lolita.

UPDATE:
EarlyWord Kids Correspondent Lisa Von Drasek is such a fan of this book that, when told her the news, she instantly recalled the opening lines, nearly verbatim (we know; checked the OverDrive Sample):

I am commanded to write an account of my days; I am bit by fleas and plagued by family. That is all there is to say.

The 20th anniversary edition, published as part of a re-release of 4 of Cushman’s books in trade paperback, includes an intro by Linda Sue Park (also on the OverDrive Sample), who says, “Cushman shows us a very different image of medieval England from the one we are used to seeing. Dirtier and smellier, yes, but also fuller, richer and more complete.”

We have to wonder how Dunham, who says in her memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, that she was a germaphobe as a kid, was able to deal with those details.

MADELINE Turns 75!

Monday, October 13th, 2014

The favorite children’s book, Madeline (Penguin/Viking Juvenile) turns 75 this year and is celebrated with an exhibition at the New York Historical Society and a feature yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning.

A 75th Anniversary Edition of the book, that includes a pop-up spread of Paris, was published in May.

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9780670012282John Bemelmans Marciano, the originator’s grandson, is interviewed on the show.

He has published several books that continue Madeline’s adventures, including  Madeline at the White House, (Penguin/Viking Juvenile, 2011) a story that his grandfather and fan Jackie Kennedy once talked about doing.

WONDER Has Director

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Wonder Lionsgate has announced that John Krokidas (Kill Your Darlings, 2013) will direct the film adaptation of the word-of-mouth debut hit Wonder, R.J. Palacio, (RH/ Knopf Young Readers)

The book is still #1 on the NYT Middle Grade Best Sellers list after 96 weeks. Entertainment Weekly predicts the movie will also be successful, saying it’s “bound to be the latest in a string of enormously successful YA adaptations,” (presumably, referring to what Hollywood now calls “grounded” Y.A. adaptations, like The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay, rather than the dystopian hits).

The big question: how will the movie deal with the main character’s facial deformity?

The trailer for the book avoided the issue: