Posted in awards, Graphic Novels

Eisner Nominees Announced!

The 2021 Eisner Nominees were announced! Diamond Book Distributors has a great graphic showing them off, with links to the Eisner catalog on Edelweiss.

 

Get a breakdown of the titles at Diamond’s website. Get a full list of Eisner nominees at the Comic Con website.

What am I excited about? Glad you asked!

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
  • Bear, by Ben Queen and Joe Todd-Stanton (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Cat Kid Comic Club, by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic Graphix)
  • Donut Feed the Squirrels, by Mika Song (RH Graphic/RH Children’s Books)
  • Kodi, by Jared Cullum (Top Shelf)
  • Lift, by Minh Lê and Dan Santat (Little, Brown Young Readers)
  • Our Little Kitchen, by Jillian Tamaki (Abrams Books for Young Readers)

I’ve read all but Lift and Our Little Kitchen, which I’m requesting from my library as we speak. Cat Kid is adorable and hilarious, but I live in a Dog Man household, so I may be biased. I loved every one of these, but for early calls, I have to lean toward either Bear or Kodi for now: but talk to me after I read the last two I need to get.

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)
  • Doodleville, by Chad Sell (Knopf/BFYR/RH Children’s Books)
  • Go with the Flow, by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Mister Invincible: Local Hero, by Pascal Jousselin (Magnetic Press)
  • Snapdragon, by Kat Leyh (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Superman Smashes the Klan, by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru (DC)
  • Twins, by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright (Scholastic Graphix)

Okay, have to read Mister Invincible to finish this category. What do I think has a lock on the win? Snapdragon. What am I leaning toward voting for? It’s a hard toss-up between Go With the Flow, Superman Smashes the Klan, and Twins.

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
  • Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones, by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Displacement, by Kiku Hughes (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Dragon Hoops, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence, by Joel Christian Gill (Oni Press)
  • A Map to the Sun, by Sloane Leong (First Second/Macmillan)
  • When Stars are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (Dial Books)

I’ve read all of these! I’m really pushing for When Stars Are Scattered, but Fights, Displacement, and Dragon Hoops are all in the running for my vote.

 

Talk to me! What are you loving? What are you voting for?

Posted in awards, Cybils

It’s that time… to be a CYBILS judge!

The call has gone out, have you answered? The CYBILS Children and YA Bloggers’ Literary Awards is still happening this year, albeit with some COVID-necessitated changes. If you’ve never been a CYBILS judge before, but enjoy reading and talking about children’s and YA books, I encourage you to throw your name into the hat! We love having passionate readers to judge with us. I’ve been lucky enough to be a judge for several years running, and it is always a pleasure to read the exciting books that first-round judges have selected as finalists. I’ve been a first-round judge in the past, and if you have the ability to be a first-round judge, it is hectic and so much fun!

The deadline to apply is September 7th, and follow this link to find out how you can be a judge. Good luck!

 

Posted in programs

Who’s Doing Mock Caldecotts?

I just got back from my library system’s Mock Caldecott awards. What are you reading? What did you pick? Here are our nominees:

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, by Drew Daywalt/Illustrated by Adam Rex,
(Apr. 2017, Simon & Schuster),. $17.99, ISBN: 9780062438898
Recommended for readers 4-8

The greatest fight in history happens here. I needed to take breaks the first time I read this book, because I was laughing too hard to keep reading it to my own 5-year-old. Rock may be the greatest champion since Russell Crowe picked up a sword in Gladiator. Adam Rex’s artwork is at once hilarious and stunning, with lots of motion and action. Rex can make a battle of rock, paper, scissors look like theatre. We had one interesting question come up in our discussion here: with all the different fonts, font sizes, and font directions, does this become part of the picture book art? We had some mixed emotions. All in all, an outright hilarious book that I can’t wait to bring out during storytime. The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors has five starred reviews and oodles of downloadable activities.

 

Little Fox in the Forest, by Stephanie Graegin,
(Feb. 2017, Schwartz & Wade), $17.99, ISBN: :978-0-553-53789-5
Recommended for readers 4-8

A wordless picture book that uses monochrome and color settings to tell its story, Little Fox in the Forest is the story of a young girl and her stuffed toy fox. The girl brings her toy to school, where it’s stolen by a real fox, who jumps out of the woods and grabs it. The girl follows the fox back to its home, where the spreads go from bluish-gray/white to a vibrant color palette. The girl and fox reach an understanding. The endpapers lead readers into the story and provide a nice epilogue at the end. I enjoyed the book, but this one wasn’t my favorite. My group had mixed feelings on this one, too; two of my group weren’t big fans of wordless picture books; I liked the use of panels and loved the endpapers and color work, but overall, there were books I enjoyed more. Little Fox in the Forest has four starred reviews.

 

The Book of Mistakes, by Corinna Luyken,
(Apr. 2017, Dial Books), $17.99, ISBN: 9780735227927
Recommended for readers 4-8

Thiiiis is the book my friends and I were pulling for! I love the evolution of the artwork; how a seeming mistake can unfold into a story. It’s quirky, fun, and unexpected, with a stark white page serving as the backdrop. I love these kind of books; books that just take the way you see things and very sweetly flip the book on its head. It’s an inspiring story for kids: don’t think of mistakes as something embarrassing or bad; they’re all – we’re all – just a work in progress. The Book of Mistakes has three starred reviews.

 

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters, by Michael Mahin/Illustrated by Evan Turk,
(Sept. 2017, Athenum), $17.99, ISBN: 978-1-4814-4349-4
Recommended for readers 6-10

Beautifully illustrated biography of legendary Jazz and Blues musician Muddy Waters. The artwork reminds me a bit of 2016’s Caldecott medalist, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat; there’s some amazing urban-infused artwork here, not to mention brilliant colors and bold lines. You can feel the rhythm thrumming through the pages. I loved Evan Turk’s collage and mixed media work. This one got high praise from my group. Author Michael Mahin has some powerful words about his book, multiculturalism, and racism, which you can read here.

 

Blue Sky White Stars, by Sarvinder Naberhaus/Illustrated by Kadir Nelson,
(June 2017, Dial Books), $17.99, ISBN: 978-0-8037-3700-6
Recommended for readers 3-10

Let it be noted right now: I will gush about anything Kadir Nelson illustrates. I would brush with one particular brand of toothpaste if he did the box art. He has a way of bringing pictures to breathtaking life. Going into this panel, Blue Sky White Stars was more or less my go-to pick for the winner, because it’s Nelson. A tribute to the American spirit, Blue Sky introduces readers to the American landscape; touches of Americana from our history, including the Statue of Liberty, Betsy Ross, and our flag; and the people of America, with words to tie each spread together. A spread of African American and white freedom walkers march, holding the flag, with the words, “woven together” titling the spread. Each spread uses phrasing that ties the pictures together, and while I admit one or two are were a stretch, it’s a love letter to what exactly makes America great, no red caps necessary. Blue Sky White Stars has four starred reviews.

 

The Antlered Ship, by Dashka Slater/Illustrated by The Fan Brothers,
(Sept. 2017, Simon & Schuster), $17.99, ISBN: 9781481451604
Recommended for readers 5-8

Last year, I went into the library’s Mock Caldecotts pushing HARD for The Fan Brothers book, The Night Gardener (They All Saw a Cat won, which I was mollified by). I love their artwork – it’s always an exploration, with new things to find, nuances to discover. The Antlered Ship is filled with moments both fantastic and fun as we follow a fox on his quest to find a friend. Map endpapers let readers know we’re going on a trip. The rogue’s gallery of animal pirates will get a rise out of readers – who doesn’t love a pirate’s tale? – and the spread illustrating the confrontation between ships is amazing. Everyone in my group enjoyed this one, too. Oddly, this one received a lot of votes from our groups, but not enough to make it their number one choice.

The votes were collected and tallied, and the winners were…

QUEENS LIBRARY MOCK CALDECOTT 2017 MEDAL

 

QUEENS LIBRARY MOCK CALDECOTT 2017 HONORS

Next question – has anyone done a Mock Caldecott with the kids in your library? I’m wondering if this would be good for my school-age kiddos. I’d love to hear about any experiences, please comment, post blog links, anything you want to share.

Posted in Graphic Novels

Huge Congrats to Gene Luen Yang!

Exciting news in the book and graphic novel world today: Gene Luen Yang has been named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature! If you haven’t had a chance to read any of Yang’s work, now would be a great time. I’m a huge fan of American-Born Chinese, and his newest series, Secret Coders – I’m using it to get the kids in my library psyched about coding, with great success. Boxers and Saints was the first graphic novel to be a National Book Award Finalist, and American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to win a Printz Award, so this is a perfect appointment. Mr. Yang is the first graphic novelist to be representing the whole children’s and young adult industry as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature!

ReadingWithoutWalls_GLYGraphic

I’m always excited to see graphic novels get more attention – okay, more positive attention – in the media. They’ve taken their knocks over the years, and it’s exciting to see parents and educators alike getting on board with comics and graphic novels as a great storytelling and literacy medium.

The inauguration ceremony, presided by acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao and featuring both Ms. Yang and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Emeritus, author Kate DiCamillo, will take place on Thursday, January 7 at 11 a.m. in room LJ-119 of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington D.C. The event is open to the public; no tickets are required. I’d love to be there, but there’s no way I can make it. If anyone is able to go, take picture! Send links!

Congrats again to Mr. Yang – and check out the Secret Coders website for awesome coding printables and activities for the kids (and you know you want to learn, too)!

Posted in Fiction, Fiction, Middle Grade, Middle School, Tween Reads

Cybils Finalists Announced!

I’m sorry to be a bit late on the news, I’ve been in bed with an awful head cold. But the great news is that the 2014 Cybils Finalists have been announced!

cybils-logo-2014-round-lg-300x300You can find the full list of finalists, across all categories, here.

I had the honor and privilege of being a first round judge in the Middle Grade Fiction category this year – and WOW, what an amazing experience that was! We had over 130 entries this year; 34 of which I ended up reading. And I was in the minority, which fills me with even more amazement and respect of my fellow children’s book bloggers/teachers/librarians/bibliophiles. Here’s hoping that next year, I’ll get to participate again, and I promise, I’ll get more of those books in. In the meantime, I’ve discovered so many new, exciting books that I can now handsell to the kids at all of my libraries and in my life. It’s a great feeling.

If you’d like to just go straight to the Middle Grade Fiction nominees, click here – I wrote the blurb for The Meaning of Maggie, a book which I hope everyone will read and find meaning in as I did.

More reviews to come in this New Year – and I resolve to get more picture book reviews in; I seem to have gone lacking in that area. If you have a book you think I’m missing out on, please let me know!

Have a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

 

Posted in Early Reader, Graphic Novels, Toddler Reads, Tween Reads, Young Adult/New Adult

Have you nominated your Cybils books yet?

The Cybils are Children’s and YA bloggers literary awards – we bloggers nominate, read, and vote for these books, folks!  I’m thrilled to be a Middle Grade Fiction judge this year, and as a first round judge, I have to read all the nominees and whittle them down for the next round!

Nominations are open until October 15, so please go make your voice heard! The following categories are accepting nominations for children’s and YA published between October 16, 2013 and October 15, 2014:

  • Young Adult Non-fiction
  • Young Adult Speculative Fiction
  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Book Apps
  • Middle Grade Fiction
  • Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction
  • Elementary/Middle Grade Non-fiction
  • Fiction Picture Books
  • Graphics
  • Easy Reader/Short Chapter Books

You can nominate one title per category, so make it your favorite!

Posted in Graphic Novels, History, Teen, Tween Reads

Great News! March: Book One Nominated for an Eisner!

I”m so excited about this news: MARCH: BOOK ONE, by Representative John Lewis – one of the best books I read last year – has been nominated for an Eisner Award!

march

From Top Shelf Comix:

March: Book One, the monumental civil rights graphic memoir by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, has already been acclaimed by critics, readers, retailers, universities, and library organizations. Now we are honored to add the endorsement of the comic book community, with Eisner Award nominations in Best Publication for Teens and Best Reality-Based Work, and Nate’s artwork on the book singled out for Best Penciller/Inker!

montgomery story

And that’s not the only good news… the Glyph Comics Awards, celebrating the best in African-American comics, have not only nominated March: Book One for Story of the Year, they’ve selected its 1950s-era inspiration, Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story for Best Reprint Publication! How appropriate for past, present, and future to be celebrated all together.

Congratulations and good luck to Top Shelf, Rep. John Lewis, and everyone involved in bringing these amazing stories to print.

Posted in Graphic Novels

The YALSA Great Graphic Novels List is Out – Dark Horse Has Six Books!

This is great news – YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association has a great list of books and graphic novels, chosen by librarians, every year. This year, Dark Horse landed six books on the YALSA list, thus assuring that I’ll be able to stock my tweens’ and teens’ shelves with graphic novels aplenty. Great work to all the writers and artists who make these books happen!

darkhorse2014

“Dark Horse has always considered librarians to be essential to the cause of bringing graphic novels to a broader audience, just as we feel visionary writers and artists push the boundaries of the medium,” said Dark Horse’s VP of book trade sales, Michael Martens. “With the selections of these titles to the 2014 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, the boundaries will be pushed and the audience broadened! Thanks to both YALSA and our authors for making this happen!”

Read the rest of my post and get the link to YALSA’s full list at WhatchaReading.com!