Focus; Childrens Literature
This morning in this hour of the show we will return to a topic that we like to do every once in a while particularly this time of year I guess. And that's it to talk about children's books. Maybe you were thinking about a book as a gift. It is the time of year when some people like to exchange gifts and of all things over the years that we've believed that we could without shame promote one of those things is reading for grownups and for kids and I were pleased to have back with us this morning to guest they both been here before on the show. Janice Dunn aggro and there are Stevenson and both of them are part of the Center for Children's Books based here in The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the U of I. Janice is director of the center. And Deborah is editor of their publication which is called the bulletin. And this is something that is intended for for teachers and librarians and actually for anybody who's interested in keeping up with children's literature. It's the kind of thing that. Parents In fact if you are interested in finding out what's going on with children's literature you could take a look at it. No
doubt it should be a copy should be available at whatever your local library is. They also have an online version. If you have internet access you could find out free easily by just typing that in their bulletin of the Center for Children's books and you could find it. There's articles there about what's new and interesting feel. So we're welcoming your questions. I know that Deborah and Janice all talk a bit about what's new and maybe have some titles to suggest what we've done the past also is to help people who are listening well maybe there's some book that you that your family has really enjoyed that's been a big hit with your kids. You can call in and tell other people about that are you know other kinds of questions are certainly welcome. 3 3 3 9 4 5 5. We do also have a toll free line that's good anywhere you can hear us. 800 to 2 2 9 4 5 5. Well thanks very much for being here. Thank you for having us. See you. It continues I'm sure now to be just a booming field. How many how many new titles you think there are new children's titles that every year now.
We're still sticking to about five thousand five thousand. That's that's amazing and I'm When we were kids what would it have been. I'm sure it would have been anything like that. Two thousand maybe it's one two and three thousand. So it's been a boom in the area was one of the late 80s right but also there's the first 60s boom and then the 80s boom that there's the funding boom and then the corporatization boom. Well I guess that's the other side of it that just because we've got 5000 new titles every year doesn't mean that they're all 5000 those are going to be really good. This is some small small percentage of them are really good and that's one of the things that you that you all are know are trying to do is to help you know help parents and also librarians and teachers to to try to sort through a mall and figure out which ones are really are the best ones. Exactly. It's just when you walk into a bookstore when you're looking at a list it really is hard to know what to look for if you don't already have some suggestions. We just like to make it as easy as possible for people to pick up some books and share them with kids you know.
And there are so many media tie ins now. You know you there are so many things that are takeoffs on movies or television shows that are pretty much written to formula that. Tend to be glossy and glitzy and recognizable and so they're easy to pick up but they're not necessarily the best you get high for your for your intended audience. Well unfortunately though that there does seem to be an awful lot of really very very good writing for children of all ages and the wonderful artwork just terrific stuff when you go right from books that are just picture books they're pretty much about the pictures. Two books that have text but but also have nice illustrations so there is a lot of good stuff out there. We had a really good year for picture books this year don't you think. I think it was a really strong year come to the end of the year it's also kind of fascinating to see what we're feeling a little privileged in and last year for instance we were just swimming in wonderful nonfiction
and we still have plenty of wonderful nonfiction this year but it's really I think Picture Books that. It was the stellar year for this time which doesn't always happen. What makes you want to you want to know where you want to start and talk about titles but since you we've been talking here about Picture books are there a couple that you think really in your minds really stand out. Well sure I actually brought one of them because if you read one of the lines from it because it's so nice. It's by Lynne Rae Perkins and it's called Snow music and it's a picture book basically about how the world sounds after a blanket of snow has fallen and it's following Miley The Adventures of a little boy as he's trying to get his dog back. He opened the door to look at the snow when the dog darted out in the snow. But it's also just about how the creatures sound as they're running over the snow and how the non creature sound is they're running over the snow and it starts out with an instruction that everybody should whisper. Pay. Pay. Pay. Pay to make the sound of the falling snow and then the little squirrel running around in the text as in the pattern of the scrolls footprints. I think I think I left it. I think
I left it here somewhere. I think I think I know I left it here. Now wait. Which is of course exactly how squirrels want to cross especially cross the road if you're trying to cross the road yourself and it's just one of the most beautiful Wonder Books I've seen in a long time but it's also not as Janice says flashy and it's the sort of book that we want to make sure people know about when they're looking at things with sparkles on the front to know that really really lovely winter but there's something like this there as well. You know the latest book with foil on the cover is not necessarily the one you want to buy. And this book does snow music doesn't have foil on the cover but it does have a beautiful snow globe so you can recognize it that way it has this big snow globe on the front. It's beautiful and quiet and the art is just really outstanding. Well that should be something that would be I would think would be obvious if you get past the cover whether whether a book is really good or not pick it up and start paging through it. And I would guess it's as a grown up if you would say this is really beautiful. I would think that the kids would say it would have the same kind of reaction.
It's hard when you're going in as an adult into a space which is just looted with stuff and it's and it's all rock so that you can to attract your eye and attract your attention and you're trying to rush and you know the time to sort of page through that's why Deborah put together the guidebook to get books this year which is just this outstanding little document that gives you an adaptation for new and new books and old classics and you know carry that in your bag whenever you're going shopping. And this is what we should mention that too because I know because first of all it is available online if you want to look at it that way. The guide book to gift books for 2003 so people can do that and is WHERE CAN Where can someone get a hard copy of this. It's actually available right now and downloadable only version. So it's oh ok for for the net connected who can take a PDA file because that was how we managed to do it for such an inexpensive price it's at 350 this year that you put in your credit card and that authorizes you to
download a copy and we can offer a little help if things go slightly awry as we know that nothing ever goes as smoothly as you'd want it to electronically. OK. And for people who don't have internet access though they're just going to have to find a friend who does. That's the only way that it's available. There's that and then the other thing is that it really isn't the only book list available in the world and what we're mainly all about is encouraging people to go in and find the books for young people and that often they'll find a list in a bookstore or in a magazine or things like that that just anything you can do to kind of help you negotiate those stacks of attractive looking books and find some ones that are really work with the kids. We don't care if it's from us or not although we think ours is quite good. I wanted to FX when I wanted to follow up on this point and I didn't write it so I could say that the other thing when you're talking about the weather the adults will see the same things beautiful as the kids that the foil and the sparkles sort of thing that often when you're looking through
a bookstore especially if you are eight years old that's really attractive right then and that'll make it through maybe the first reading whereas I think something that has a little more to it like snow music is more likely to survive readings and battering sin being dragged about the house and so on. OK so so that is one one good recent picture books no music that's the the title of the book that you like. Was Genesis was there one that you wanted often picture books there were just so many nice ones. I was particularly fond of Susan L. years. Oh no gotta go. What she was what she illustrated by she brang carrots which is a book in English and Spanish combines English and Spanish and a rhyming text. It's all about a little girl who's goes for a Sunday drive with her parents and was supposed to check and make sure she had let's see taken care of her business before she left the house and you were
gone before you left where you left and he didn't and so it's all about the ride to find a place for for this little girl to go to the bathroom and I finally find a restaurant and her mother jumps from mine to get her into the ladies room and then they go have dinner and our little girl drinks a lot of the lemonade I get. There's a funny tax it's a very funny tax that and I mean rhyming texts are usually very difficult to pull off anyway because it's very constrained in some ways. But this is really a wonderful rhythmic text and she manages to combine English and Spanish in ways that are just remarkably easy with with remarkable ease. And I was just talking to a librarian the other day who used it in a bilingual story time and she said it went over just beautifully with children and their mothers their mothers really liked it. So that was
that was and that was particularly it was it was gratifying to hear that because to hear that it had been used in a practical setting and it works so well. Sound very different from snow music which is really quite lyrical as opposed to oh no gotta go which is really quite funny. Well there are certain you know there's lyricism and then there's the realities if you know you've got to have some of each of us. Our guest this morning is part of focus 580 Genest Del Negra and Deborah Stephenson from the Center for Children's books. Their home is in The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at U of I. Janice tell Nigro is director of the center and Deborah is editor of the center's publication The Bulletin which comes out is it every month. It's 11 times a year we get a month off in the summer. And basically it's as as I explained beginnings a publication is primarily for teachers and librarians and people like that who are just trying to keep up with the field of children's books. Questions are welcome 3 3 3 9 4 5 5. Toll free 800 to 2 2 9 4 5. We want talk
by some other titles. We had a really interesting picture book this year. The game and the NO game in wolves in the walls which was interesting because it's a picture book. But it's not for preschoolers. And that's tends to be a common misconception about picture books that they're for very young children and that's not necessarily so. This particular book he game and wrote this very spooky little novel last year called Coraline in this year he wrote this story called The wolves in the walls all about a little girl Lucy who hears noises in the walls and knows that there are wolves in the walls and she tells her mother and her father and her brother and nobody believes her until one day the wolves come out of the walls. And it's illustrated by g the artist name just went totally out of my head. He's a very well known illustrator of graphic novels and did the Sandman series with game and at one point was probably
the same guy who did the illustrations for Coraline. Yeah I was yeah. And he does the illustrations for this picture book and they're very sophisticated and they're a mixed media collage and pen and ink and very. Powerful images again I had a library to use it with a third grade class and said that it worked. It was just they were fascinated by it not only by the story which ends well you'll be happy to know but by the art that they were fascinated by the art and that was really intriguing for them. Well I'm going to. He was on the show and we talked about Coraline and I liked it a lot. And I think this is a book that it's intended for a certain audience but it seems like a lot of adults have have grabbed onto this book because they like it because it's a good story and maybe everybody can sort of identify that with that idea of the of the child in this case it's a girl hero who ends up
rescuing her family from the forces of evil and assisted by a cat who is 100 percent cat because when you think about OK what exactly is cat. Well the cat in that story that's it right there a cat who was kind of a wiseacre But you know Nose nose plenty you know how cats they look at you like I know more than you do and we both know it. Well this is one of those animals. So I like that book a lot so my guess would be if you like if you like that one you probably no matter how old you are if you like that one you probably would like this one one game it's just a really. He's just a good writer. It's so nice to find. To find an author and he doesn't whose body of work isn't that huge even for adults yet so he's young. We hope he's healthy and writes lots and lots of books. And there's a couple good points there in what you were saying Janice about the use of picture books for instance middle grade readers even junior high readers of some books. I think especially when you're looking in a bookstore often they don't have a lot of room
to subdivide and sometimes they're going to be things in the picture books that are actually good for older kids that people might not think about and especially kids who are more drawn to artistic representation than words because not every kid wants to read a big thing a words. And there are especially I think with the overtones of Damon and his graphic novel career something like that I think can be a real attention getter for a kid who's looking for something that is sophisticated and that's the nice thing both those books are genuinely spooky. They're controlled spookiness. And I think that's one of the reasons that adults might like it too is that there's not so many really good spooky books for kids that you have to kind of look at longitudinally you can amass a nice little robot every year. We're not overwhelmed with them and that was a good spooky book and kids like that and grown ups like very good. Well I want just where the idea is here is we're going to let you talk about books so you can go out and mention some more titles. Well Janice is talking about middle grades and I will talk about a very different tone in a book. I guess I mean the softer image books today.
And that is one that I really loved called snowed in with Grandmother silk and it's by the late Carol Fenner and it's a great book probably can go down to a good 2nd grade reader through about fourth or fifth grade depending that about a boy named Roddy who's stuck staying with the pretty grandmother he really isn't very comfortable with. As the book describes the set up Roddy had never been to Silver like in autumn he had never seen Joe Penney chop wood or lay a fire. He had never seen the trees and grandmother Silex lawn turned yellow and red. He had never seen a zillion Canada geese fly over the lake nor heard their Hong Kong Kong grow faint as they traveled south and he didn't want to either. What's lovely about this book is that of course he doesn't have staying with grandmother cell and I get a free hollowing snow fall and it's very much from the kids point of view. It's not Oh no you failed to appreciate this wonderful woman your grandmother. It's that now they're stuck digging up
bucketfuls of water from the pharaohs in lake and lighting fires in the fireplace and trying to light the partners on the gas stove to cook their food. She kind of thought was a little bit herself and the pretty hair style falls apart and so he's wandering around his gorilla costume which is supposed to be a hello in custom to keep him warm and she's wandering around in her mink and they're trying to learn chess and they're reading all books and and they're both a little surprised to find that they're having such a good time together. So it's also my little survival story in its way without any real threat. But it's the pleasure as you know of oh no we're snowed in will have to be just pioneering and light the burners on the stove. And it's just really delightfully tune with every word and a very enjoyable read as well as being one that I think a lot of kids will relate to with their relatives that maybe they're they're not quite as close to as people seem to think they ought to be. Well good book for this time of year both because it has a winter theme and it also has that sort of getting to know your family kind of thing. Exactly. Yes this is definitely a season where a lot of kids are encountering relatives that they don't see on a
daily basis. Absolutely. For people for kids who are little. Craft oriented maybe if you're looking for a nonfiction title. Deborah Freedman did a book called Picture this fun photography and crafts and what tends to irritate us about craft books at this at the Boleyn is sometimes they assume this huge availability of resources and there's this enormous sophistication on the part of the reader. But this particular craft book is about photography about using. About using Oh disposable cameras digital cameras to do arts and crafts. It talks about taking trick photographs most of the crafts are on one spread very clearly laid out very cleanly labeled good good photographs better be better have good
photographs. And it's not out of the realm of possibility for most kids who are interested in this kind of stuff. What's also interesting about this particular book is that while it's telling you how to do a particular mini project like create a journal or do a trick photograph where it looks like you're holding somebody's head in your hand and while it's telling you all of these cool tricks you can play. It's also talking about things like perspective and composition and lighting and how you set up a photo and how you balance a photograph. And so sort of slipped in with the crafts is some of the art of photography which is really nice in a book like this which which looks like you know your little standard hardcover little skinny craft book. So if anybody's looking for a nice little package a gift you know you need this book and a little disposable camera and you know you're all set you have a nice a nice gift and you have that niece or nephew in the middle grades who's looking for something a little exciting.
And what's the title of the book again. It's called picture this picture the fun photography and crafts. It came along with another title called funky junk by Rene Schwartz which was the subtitle is cool stuff to make with hardware. And you know often you look at Craft books and they have lots of little pink bows and things on them which doesn't exactly attract. It doesn't exactly attract boys and some girls are put off by that pink and shiny stuff. And this one has all kinds of crafts to make with things you'll find on a workbench somewhere you know nuts and bolts and wire and my favorite thing was the chess set made out of nuts bolts and washers that was my favorite. It was so cool. I love hardware stores but I know this is that's weird but I know there are some people who think it's very common and I'm really hooked on hours of all kinds of whole thing. Yes there's a certain tribe maybe not everybody but who would say yeah I could actually go and spend
time just wandering around and looking at stuff. This is the book for you. This funky town. Well I think there are a lot of parents who share that pleasure with their kids and would get such a kick out of going to the hardware store to get the stuff for this book. It's very nifty. It's very nifty I'm telling you the chess set. It is just worth it just for that one craft and that's actually a nice pointer that we always like to make which is that it's getting the books is nice Better still it's finding a way to share them with the kids and that one of the things that can be nice to think about when you're buying a book is how how can you share this and will you enjoy reading it out loud and the nice thing about funky junk is that something other than just reading out loud there's really some way of sharing this book with a kid if you all want to go off and go to the hardware store and wreck the dining room table by setting up a chess set made out of not bugs and wires go for it that's what I get to play chess you know that there's a whole other there's a whole other aspect. Well that's great I like that I that politically you know we're coming to the time of year when maybe people are going to need suggestions for
indoor activities you know what do you do when it's just when it's just way too cold to be being outside. We're about our midpoint here and we're talking this morning on the show about children's literature what's new in the way of children's books something that we like to do periodically here on the show we do. Of course we do programs maybe a bit more often where we talk about what's you know new in the way of books for grownups but we all want to remember that the same thing the same thing for kids. It's great for them to be reading and particular here at a time of year people are thinking about that as a present. You want pick something good well we have some suggestions here. We have two guests who have spent a lot of their lives probably looking at children's books and thinking about and following and finding out what's new. Both of them are part of the Center for Children's Books which is here at the U of I based in The Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Jenna stone aggro is director and Deborah Stephenson is editor of their publication The Bulletin. So while you have questions maybe you want to give us a call 3 3 3 9 4 5 5. Toll
free 800 to 2 2 9 4 5 5 Also if you want to suggest a title. Maybe there's some book that you have come across recently. It's been a big hit in your house and you just want to call in and mention it that be great. I suppose the other thing that we've done sometimes as we've said to people if you're looking for a suggestion if you have a child who is nuts about something you know. You'd want to know well is there a book about that thing or if maybe there's a particular genre that they like and they've read it. They've read everything they could find but they're still looking for something like that. I mean you know maybe the our guest can give it a shot. They give a shock 3 3 3 9 4 5 5 toll free 800 to 2 2 9 4 5. Well let's talk about some some other things here. Well looks to me like today Janice gets to be the practical one when I get to be out into the ether one maybe one of the books that I really want to talk about his book of poetry by Cynthia rye Lant. And it's called God went to
beauty school and it is a lyrical funny imaginative irreverent except for its true faith. Collection of poems about God doing sort of ordinary everyday things which are of course different if you do them when you're God particularly God got a dog. He never meant to. He liked dogs. He'd like them ever since he was a kid. But he didn't think he had time for a dog now. He was always working. And dogs needed so much attention. God didn't know if he could take being needed by one more thing. But he saw this dog out by the tracks and it was hungry and cold and lonely. And God realized he'd made that dog somehow. Somehow he was responsible though he knew logically that he had only set the world on its course. He couldn't be blamed for everything. But he saw this dog and he felt bad so he took it on home and named it Arnie and now God has somebody keeping his feet warm at night.
Who knew God had. OK this is a wonderful book. Got to cook spaghetti and orders from Pottery Barn and does all sorts of interesting things that you would not have ordinarily thought of as godlike. And this book I think has a lot of breath we've been hearing a lot of different reports of success successful use from sacred and secular context. It's another book that I think is is got a breadth of readership because it's got some really interesting provocative thoughts but they're also accessible and there's not a density of words on the page. So again readers who maybe are a little intimidated by a lot of words. But I like to think about stuff and you know that's a hard category to find stuff for would would find this really enjoyable pace that I mention probably also finding good poetry for children is also not all that easy. But. Well actually we made a list in the last 10 years we have a very substantial list but manually. What do you think. Well I think poetry is one of these areas that tends to really polarize
for kids especially that there's a lot of really awful poetry for kids. But fortunately there's also really I think a reasonable enough helping you wouldn't need to go dry as long as you had help in the selection. This is quite unusual Roylance done other poetry stuff and it is true a lot of the poetry tends to be more comedic but this there are other things a thing like this to go into. OK. And Title of the book is God went to beauty school. We have several callers here now and when we talk to them we'll start with somebody who is on a cell phone that's lying to you right here. Hello Yes hello. I'm liking talk to Casterbridge. Well boy who is great for a book as a Captain Underpants book and I would like to upgrade me into a book and they get a little bored with oh you like. You know how do you know Captain Underpants is fun and it is it's very funny but if you want to look at something that has maybe a little more
oh I don't know class. Admit it. I mean I have read that when my grandson and I and laughed. But yeah I want something I really want him to do that he said that he was really sure I'll be when I'm not around. OK I would take a look at kids tend to like series books you know Tony detour we see has a new series out this year it's called The Field Guide. And so far I think there are three titles out in the field guide is one is the first one and it's about two brothers and a sister who move into an old house and it's it's very nicely written. It has some beautiful illustrations. OK. It's short chapters very sort of a little cliffhanger e a little magic a little adventure right here and I think he
might like those and there are they would make a really nice read aloud I think if you're reading them together. OK I think that would be a pretty good choice that would be that this last name once more. It's by it's actually by two Holly Black and Tony D truly C that's d i t e r. L i z z y. OK. First let it be. Do you like David OK. Oh OK. I mean we sound like it would get done. Thank you and they are very handsome looking so they'll make a nice gift. All right thank you. Let's go I will go next to champagne and this will be a line one. Hello hello. I have a fourth grader a girl and he's been in school he's been studying the planets in science and she's getting very interested in them and so I like to strike when the iron is hot as
far as reading goes and he's also interested in the connection between mythology and the names of the planets. So I have got a nice volume. For children on the Elegy for my boys who are older and it was done probably in the late 50s or 60s you're probably familiar with it it's a belief in a husband and wife team with really unusual hours. Yeah right the unusual illustrations we do have that one although I'm not sure if I have it close by right now but not I was looking for something a little bit more modern IF that if it existed. But you know something that that might have. Interesting stories about mythology. For this level and or about the planets she's also been recently reading biographies get a little bit more interested in nonfiction books. So are you interested in a in a collection of
general mythology for her Greek or Norse or. Yes you know either would be fine. I maybe. Maybe I sort of thought I was sort of leaning toward Greek but North would be. I'm just trying to get her something that she's interested in right now so that she'll you know pick it up and I'll be able to put it down sort of thing. And she's in the fourth grade. Yes yes aha. She's almost 10. There are several books that came out this year that are on Tales of the goddesses from various mythologies that you might want to take a look at. Really mutant. That's it. That's I couldn't remember trying to remember I trying to remember the author's name here. It's an oversized book called goddesses. Oh I believe. And the. The illustration on the cover is of a sea goddess with long hair long flowing hair
and it's give us the author's name again I think it's moved 10 m u s he n that is a first name is a burly b u r l i g h. OK and that's a collection that she might like in terms of mythology older collections. There are quite a few If you think she would like a novelization that is based on mythology. Perhaps you might have a look at the goddess of yesterday by Barbara. She did tune in any time could mean Caroline Caroline Cooney Barbara Caroline and how did you spell couldn't you see oh and you why. But also the nonfiction biography stuff there's a hope. Maybe I should just send a small step by Peg. I believe it's a carrot. Oh right I mean that's an autobiography. I'm sorry I meant autobio No no I'm not I'm
not correcting that that's interesting if she liked that. That's actually rather good Chawner because several authors who write for young people have really written really nice autobiography so she might interest me you know I like that. Much and I read some of it with her and it's still in the writing it's still at a level 4 for fourth graders you know so that she she didn't have too much trouble with the vocabulary at all and she just liked the story a lot at the idea that the author had overcome polio. Right right and that's that's something a bit more specific to focus that of course not all authors have but right. If she like any of the R.L. Stine books are all signs it came from Ohio is hilarious it's a wonderful autobiography and I think would probably be very readable for a fourth grader. And that's just it's so enjoyable it's just funny really funny he enjoys witty things as well you're talking about poetry just minutes
ago and he's one of the women that prefers the way the way I think about it. But well get on my way to pages for all ages. All right well thanks for the code. Let's go to the next caller and this listener is in Byron Illinois. All are toll free 1. Morning Yes. All right thank you very succinct topically for for picking this up. I think more parents ought to pay attention to the quality of the books their kids read. I have a three and a half year old daughter who gets a lot of books read to her at night and I was just appalled by some of the quality and some of these newer books. They're just barely written I suppose you know a few years ago everybody was talking about writing screenplays and I suppose that's why we have so many bad movies these days everybody is writing screenplays like they can fling things or they can write children's books. Yeah they do. I was just appalled by the you know the the the bad the bad English the bad storytelling and you know the mixing of slang and adult idioms and kids books
and then the art is really that in Laurie's books too they're just very you know just grotesque and inappropriate. And again it's just like a dog. Think they can be kids. You know she's three and a half right. Have you looked at any of the. Marie-Louise gay books. There are some really she does some really lovely picture books. The last name is Gay G A Y and she does books about Sam and Stella. Stella is the older sister and Sam is her little brother. And there's three or four books just about Stella Stella star of the sea is won and there's a queen of the snow still a queen of the snow is another one. And she she just started to do a series about Stella and Sam and there's one called Good morning Sam that came out this year and one called Goodnight Sam. And the writing is very clean. She's a water colorist and she's
she just does some of her drafting is just lovely. And what's really nice about these books is the relationship between the the sister and the brother. They're very simple. Not not not very text heavy. The kinds of books that you would be willing to read over and over again right. As opposed to the kind of book where you finish it and go you know who wrote this you know. Well you know I feel like you know one of the other. I think the appeal of the adults would have to something interesting for the upright right these are very kid oriented right now like like Francis you agree on certain things like the paddles and the macaw. That's right. I'm going I'm going back in time now and going all the thrift stores I can muster. And I notice a lot of movement cannibalized. I mean they've taken serious George books and taken one story as credible
and rewarded them badly and then they're going to these these cardboard books that they sell for five times the price because it's disgraceful. Well the board book the the dumbing down the board books is something that you really have to be careful of because it's a totally different format than a picture book. So it usually doesn't work. And you're also making a really good point that there are books out there that are published for children but the adults who are creating them are having a hard time resisting making jokes to the adults over the children's heads and that sort of thing that you might look at and say that's a funny joke and then it's helpful to have a second thought and go and will my five year old get it right. Well wordy editors I think that can be applied to pretty much. Sure. But take a look at these Stella and Sam books because they have a real classic feel to them. You know they really have a much more. They they're old fashioned without being outdated. Yes. So they're really quite lovely. Right. I bet you like them. Thank you very much. All right. Thank you. And let's go on here. Matt toon is the next
caller on line too. Hello. Yes hello. Thank you for your program I'm enjoying it. Sure. Could you tell me again the author of The God what that God went to beauty school. When I met God and the dog and that was it took and the author you the author is Cynthia Riley and r y l a n t r y a and k. Exactly. And in Fank you very much. Sure. She's a very talented lady the previous caller mentioned the Poppleton books and she wrote those as well. OK. And we also apparently did have a maybe there are some callers who who think we're going too fast or make sure we need to mention titles more than once somebody particularly I guess wanted again the the the book about the boy who got snowed in with his grandmother and that's called snowed in with Grandmother silke and the author of that is Carol Fenner F and E R. And we certainly would want you to find that. So we're happy to say it again.
Other questions here have about 10 minutes are welcome 3 3 3 9 4 5 5. Toll free 800 to 2 2 9 4 5 5. Before we end up out of time I do want to mention again for people who have Internet access and who are interested in titles suggested titles. There is a publication that the school here the graduate school vibe or information science the children's book people here have put out. It's called the guide book to gift books for 2003. It is available online but only that way and the reason that they did it that way was to make it as inexpensive as possible for people to get it. And you can download it if you go to get your pens and pencils out now. W w w dot L I S. Which of course stands for library and information science. So tell us dot UIUC dot edu slash gift books. So if you go there out there you can get it you can download it and it costs just a couple bucks.
Three fifty three fifteen. And if you just go to the site there should be a link on that. So if you just forget the rest of it you should be able to get there from that might be the easiest way to just go to the site of the legs on the front page. I just I mean. It's ok if it was yesterday. I just wanted to share. You mention one thing there's been a lot of. For those of you who have older children who are into fantasy novels and I like those big fat fantasy novels there are a lot of books that I won't even mention here and I don't think a tremendous amount of press this year. And and there. And they're fine. Sort of. But they're not the best big fat fantasy books that are out on the market this this season. So if you're looking for something that perhaps you are in seventh and eighth grade our ninth grader hasn't read yet that may keep them busy for longer than you know an hour and a half. You might want to look for a Diana Wynne Jones the Merlin conspiracy which is just
an adventure story about parallel worlds and battles for power and those good strong ethical questions that pop up so often in fantasy novels that's won. There's a book called the goose girl that came out that was based on a retelling based on a folk tale by the Grimm Brothers the Brothers Grimm. And there was another big fat sadism novel called East which is based on east of the sun and west of the moon. Strong main characters strong adventure thread well paced. One of our favorite fantasy novels this year was by Terry Pratchett who some of you might know as a very prolific fantasy writer who I resisted reading for years because he just wrote so many books and it was like How could you even start reading them because there was so many. But he's just recently begun writing for deliberately writing for a younger audience for a young adult audience and this year he wrote a
book called The Wee Free Men which is just hilariously funny and I gave it to my Levon year old and every now and then I would hear this peal of laughter coming from her room as she was reading it. It's one of those novels that pokes fun at all the things that make fantasy. Fun and yet. Takes them very seriously when the when the moment of truth really comes in the text. So if you're looking for something funny that still has a nice strong base take a look at the Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. As that we as in little a little. Yeah see we free the Wee Free Men and the other books wear them the Merlin conspiracy that you like the Merlin conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones. There's a book called the goose girl. You're going to ask me the author's name aren't you and I can't remember. Well as you do the title should be should be another goose girl ghost girl and
east we have another caller to talk with I believe in Champaign playing one below. Yes I want to know then you know every name in the book are not with the field guide. What age is that for. Oh the field guide the field guy would be anywhere from third to sixth grade. OK. Depending on their reading level. Think on how they're reading. OK. What do you suggest for a first grade these are first grade girl a first grade girl did she do you have any idea what she likes or what she read lately that she like really. OK one real wife two granddaughters one real athletic and adventuresome and the other one. Oh I don't know. Well I'll call you know a way. Those is the first grader pardon which of those is the
first great or the first They're both first go OK and do you know are they both reading on their own. Just a little bit. OK. There's that that players in pigtails book Shana Corey the last name is c o r y. All right. Did a book called players in pigtails which is about. Women baseball players. OK it's a picture book with a really accessible taxi to make a good read aloud. She could probably read some of it by herself but especially with another with another grown up helping her along it's a good story. OK. What about that for that for you knowing Dalia. Oh yes that's such a good yeah. Dahlia DHL I am the author is Barbara McClintock. It's the story of a little girl it's actually set in Victorian times and she's kind of a little biologist who gets a doll and she's actually rather disappointed because it's a very pretty elaborate doll and
she's more into spiders and whatnot. But this doll proved to be the best companion she's ever had and she's going out in the mud and taking this wonderful diligent doll with her who just puts up with everything and is very happy to be thoroughly loved the way she is. And it's really I wonderful doll story. OK. I have to I have a suggestion for the three four I don't know whatever year old you know. Bill Pete the wall poor old which is sort of a figure still in print and in print. OK and true for the dragon. There they have morals and they're good and they're they Brime but they're very they're interesting. I mean I could beat him over and over. I just love them. It's really quite dramatic I mean he had a good cartoonist career as well and there's a touch of fantasy to the animals here creates which makes them very appealing to kids. Right. But they they have to have a good.
Thought I think that's a good good. Yes and thanks for the reminder. And I think you I think we're about the point here where we're going to have to stop I know we could go on maybe what we should do is some time in in the near future. Have you come back and we shouldn't wait an entire year before we before we do this again in the meantime. First of all people looking for suggestions for books they might seek out the publication that both Deborah and Janice are involved in which is called the Bulletin of the Center for Children's books that tries to help teachers and librarians keep up with what's new and of course go down to your library go to the children's section and talk to the librarians there and they are very nice people and you know some people say oh I don't want to bother them. That's what they love to talk about children's books. If they didn't they wouldn't have let it bother them. That's their job to help you. So that's definitely that's a great resource you know go down and talk to the talk to the children's library. And there's lots of less libraries too they spend a lot of time putting book with together for
- Childrens Literature
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- With Deborah Stevenson, Professor of Library Science, and Janice Del Negro, editor, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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- Books and Reading; Children and Parenting; Education; Reading; books; Children; Education
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Guest: Stevenson, Deborah
Guest: Negro, Janice Del
Producer: Brighton, Jack
Producing Organization: WILL Illinois Public Media
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Illinois Public Media (WILL)
Identifier: focus031212b.mp3 (Illinois Public Media)
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- Chicago: “Focus; Childrens Literature,” 2003-12-12, WILL Illinois Public Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 10, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_16-t43hx16908.
- MLA: “Focus; Childrens Literature.” 2003-12-12. WILL Illinois Public Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 10, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_16-t43hx16908>.
- APA: Focus; Childrens Literature. Boston, MA: WILL Illinois Public Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_16-t43hx16908