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All The Wonders This Week w/ Lori Richmond: September 17, 2019
The 10th Anniversary of Dot Day, Proper Bookmark Options, a non-fiction poetry book & Raina Telgemeier’s new graphic novel, Guts. We’ve got all this and more. I’m Corrina Allen and this is All The Wonders This Week.
Joining me this week to talk about all things exciting and new in the world of children’s literature is Lori Richmond – author and illustrator of the picture books Pax and Blue, Bunny’s Staycation, and the forthcoming Bunny Business, and illustrator of several other picture books. She is a marathoner, and creator of the running-inspired art series View From My Run.
- There was a bit of a stir online when Chex Mix started a meme when they tweeted – “Don’t have a bookmark? Use Chex Mix instead!” with a disturbing picture of a book closed over a scattered pile of salty chex mix. And pretty soon other brands like Vitamin Water were in on it and then Gushers and Steak-ums. So you can imagine that book lovers and librarians and book stores had some responses to the book sacrilege!
- The 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are now accepting submissions. So if you know any talented teens in grades 7-12, please share the link with them!
- The article – “Where Are All the Plus-Size Characters in Children’s Books?” which talks about the lack of visibly fat characters in kids books, particularly picture books.
- An animal shelter in Orlando, Florida sorts its dogs into Hogwarts houses so potential adopters can get a better sense of their personalities. They give them a test and dogs that show determination are Slytherin, dogs that are friendly are Hufflepuff, those that show bravery in the face of change are Gryffindor, and those that can solve a puzzle are Ravenclaw.
- All the Wonders has the first feature in a new C.R.E.A.T.E series up and ready for you to check it out. The C.R.E.A.T.E Series is a look behind the curtain at what inspires and motivates children’s authors and illustrators. We get to take a peek at their creative spaces, learn about any unique writing or drawing habits, and examine how they carve out time in the day for creativity. It’s like an interview but it has visual elements and videos as well. The first one features Dev Petty – author of Claymates, I Don’t Want to be a Frog, and The Bear Must Go On. If you want a glimpse into her inspiration and to see how turkeys might fit into that – go check out that C.R.E.A.T.E post.
- Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival (Seward, Nebraska) – Sept 19-21st 15,000 students and educators come from all over the state to Concordia University to hear presentations from author-illustrators. There is an amazing lineup this year including: Kate DiCamillo, Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, Ben Clanton, and many more.
- Also – The Global Read Aloud is starting soon!
- International Dot Day on September 15th
Based on Peter H. Reynolds’ famous picture book The Dot. At first, Vashti believes that she can’t draw. Her teacher encourages her to “make a mark and see where it takes you.” One teacher, Terry Shay, introduced his entire classroom to The Dot on September 15, 2009. That simple introduction in one classroom has turned into International Dot Day. Each year on or around September 15, a million or more teachers and students in thousands of classrooms around the globe engage in a worldwide celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration.
- If you are looking for book suggestions, Carter Higgins put together a fantastic post on All the Wonders with 16 books suggestions to help you celebrate.
- September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!
- Ned the Knitting Pirate by Diana Murray and Leslie Lammle
Today’s New Releases
- Who Wet My Pants? by Bob Shea and Zacharia O’hora
- Lejos / Far by Juan Felipe Herrera
- Wild in the Streets: 20 Poems of City Animals by Marilyn Singer
- The fourth in a wellness series by Peter Reynolds and Susan Verde called I am Love: A Book of Compassion and in a similar vein, we have a new book by Andrew Jordan Nance about emotional regulation called The Lion in Me.
- Another title in Lily William’s “If Animals Disappeared” series is out – this one called If Elephants Disappeared.
- A book set in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico is out today called Across the Bay by Carlos Aponte.
- And Jan Brett has a new picture book out today! This one is a retelling of an Indian folk tale and is called The Tale of the Tiger Slippers. In this book, her signature intricate designs are in gold and it has an almost brocade-like feel to it.
- Also out today is an intriguing new book by Oliver Jeffers (who I have to admit I mainly know from illustrating The Day The Crayons Quit) the more I looked into his other work, the more I wanted to go get everything he has written and illustrated out of the library! His book that is out today is called The Fate of Fausto: A Painted Fable and begins with this line: “There was once a man who believed he owned everything and set out to survey what was his.”
- U.K. artist Frann Preston-Gannon has a beautifully lyrical picture book out today called By the Light of the Moon that starts off with a little frog singing to himself in a moonlit swamp
- A new wordless picture book that has already received three starred reviews is Fly by Mark Teague -about a baby bird who has some creative ideas and who doesn’t really feel like leaving their nest at first.
- French artist Isabelle Simler’s My Wild Cat is being released today. In their starred review for it, Kirkus says, “Feline fanciers will be immediately charmed by the unnamed, yellow-eyed black cat who prowls the pages of this French import …”
- Another picture book out today whose beautiful blues and browns in their illustrations caught my attention is Everyone Counts by Judy Sierra and Marc Brown. This one is counting rhyming book featuring a band of zoo animals.
- And a picture book with a clever hidden twist at the end is Octopus Stew by Eric Velasquez.
- And I’m excited to check out Aaron Blabey’s new picture today – Don’t Call Me Bear! about a… koala! Blabey draws the most hilarious animal eyeballs out there – I love his work!
- Another new release for kids and parents looking to enjoy a laugh together is Five Minutes – called “A one-of-a-kind, laugh-out-loud picture book, perfect for any kid who has ever begged or bemoaned, “Five more minutes?!”
- A picture book releases today that deals with the topic of parent incarceration is Missing Daddy by Marlane Kaba and illustrated by Bria Royal. This is an experience many of my students have, so I’m glad there are books available to mirror some of those experiences and to normalize it.
- A book that I am so excited to see out in the world today is At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorrel and illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre. It’s a gorgeously illustrated picture book about a Cherokee family’s strength as they wait for one of the women who are serving in WWII as a pilot to return home. I loved the poem’s shifts in focus and point of view and the woven threads connecting the scenes. An excellent choice for a Veteran’s Day read-aloud, a discussion around coping with worry, or adding more perspectives to a World War II study.
Chapter Books / Middle Grade
- We have the 3rd Kid Spy book out today by Mac Barnett and Mike Lowry called Top Secret Smackdown along with a second in Spencer Quinn’s Queenie & Arthur mystery series titled Claws vs. Paws.
- Another sequel out today is Thundercluck! Recipe for Revenge which is about the chicken of the Norse god, Thor and is like a Rick Riordan book but in a Wimpy Kid format with lots of silliness!
- Out today is the 5th book in the Last Kids on Earth series by Max Brallier (Bral-yer) and illustrated by Douglas Holgate. This one is called The Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade.
- I am really excited for the follow up to Dusti Bowling’s Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, about a girl named Aven who was born without arms. The sequel is called Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus and it follows Aven’s journey into high school.
- And today is finally the release day for Karina Yan Glaser’s The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue – this time their mother’s bakery business is under threat and the kids’ mission is to save it.
- Also out today is the first in what I think will be a series called Saving Fable by Scott Reintgen. It’s being called a cross between The Land of Stories and The Phantom Tollbooth
- Hitting shelves today is Pavi Sharma’s Guide to Going Home by Bridgett Farr – a book about girl who has been bounced around the foster care system and sets up a “business” teaching other foster kids what she’s learned. Despite what seems like a heavy topic, this one seems to have a lot of humor in it.
- Stuart Gibbs, author of the Spy School series is launching a new mystery/detective series today featuring a female protagonist who is both a genius and a thief – book one is called Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation.
- And another middle grade book out this week is about the dormouse from Alice in Wonderland who gets transported to modern New York City and goes on a fantastic adventure of his own. It’s by Cara Hoffman and titled Bernard Pepperlin.
- One upper middle grade book that I have had my eye on for months is The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster by Cary Fagan. “Hartley Staples, near-graduate of middle school, is grappling with the fact that his older brother has run away from home, when he finds a handmade postcard that fascinates him. And soon he spots another. Who is G.O. and why are they scattering cards about the town?” It looks incredible!
- The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel is another title that sounds interesting: “After hearing the guidance counselor lecturing them on how high school will be a clean slate for everyone, Pipi–fearing that her eight humiliations will follow her into the halls of Northbrook High School–decides to use her last year in middle school to right the wrongs of her early education and save other innocents from the same picked-on, laughed-at fate. Pipi McGee is seeking redemption, but she’ll take revenge, too.”
- Today might just be the BIGGEST new release day for graphic novels of the year because we are finally getting to see Raina Telgemeier’s latest memoir called Guts. While Smile covered her dental struggles and Sisters, of course, was about her relationship with her sister, Guts is about her anxiety and how that manifested itself in having an upset stomach as a child and Raina’s journey to deal with that, including therapy. Kids are so excited about this book – I pre-ordered three copies because I knew it was going to be a HOT title – and I really hope it helps students realize who are dealing with mental health issues like anxiety realize there is help and might lead to them opening up about it. This past week the Washington Post published a story about Guts. And I saw someone refer to her books as Telgememoirs, which seems the perfect description to me
- Another graphic novel out today is Katie O’ Neill’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Tea Dragon Society called The Tea Dragon Festival. And interestingly, when I was poking around online I discovered a card game based on the original book.
- And the third book in the Earth Before Us comic series by Abby Howard is available today called Mammal Takeover: Journey Through the Cenozoic Era. And I am so excited to discover this series!! If you have kids who like nonfiction graphic novels like the Science Comics series or the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, then I think they’d enjoy enjoy this one, too.
- The Book of Terrifyingly Awesome Technology: 27 Experiments for Young Scientists by Sean Connelly and Krystina Baczynski
This book delves into the fascinating and potentially scary world of driverless cars, artificial intelligence, robots and androids, smart clothing, and more. To make the learning hands-on, each chapter includes an experiment you can do with ordinary household objects to help understand the underlying principles of these incredibly complicated developments. Lots of illustrations and quick but detailed explanations. Really fun for techy kids.
- Illustration studio Bomboland has an amazing science book out today called Paper World: Planet Earth that uses die-cut layer of paper so that each turn of the page reveals more and more layers of the earth.
- And for those kids who love science and cooking there is Experiment With Kitchen Science
- And revised an updated versions of A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky and A Child’s Introduction to the Orchestra are out today
- And there’s a cool new book out for kids who love to create called Art Sparks: Draw, Paint, Make, and Create with 53 Projects!
- From the authors of How They Croaked and How They Choked is a new nonfiction book called Caught: Nabbing History’s Most Wanted
- If you have kids who love drawing, who love comics, who might love learning about the creators behind those comics, then check out the nonfiction picture book called Born to Draw Comics: The Story of Charles Schulz and the Creation of Peanuts.
Other Media New Releases
In other media, there are some are some performances and shows that you might want to check out.
THEATRE / TV SHOWS
Freestyle Love Supreme previews began September 13th in New York City
Another season of The Great British Baking Show has suddenly popped up on Netflix!!
- The show that I am excited about is released TODAY – the Netflix Original series of The Last Kids on Earth premiers with a one hour special. Super excited to check that one out!
Jackbox Party Pack 6 – REALLY FUN online games for groups that anyone with a device can join just by going to a URL and putting in the secret game code so you can play with your friends in the room, not random people from the internet. And there is a mode to turn on and make sure content is good for all ages. There are different short games: drawing, trivia, strategy… it is so much fun and great for groups!! Great way to mix real life interaction with online gaming.
- I just finished reading a book for grown-ups, but it is teen-frendly if your child is a runner! I am reading 26 Marathons by Meb Keflezghi. I am deep into training for my second NYC Marathon… in the book, Meb (one of the greatest marathoners ever and a wonderful guy!) talks about life lessons he’s learned in each of his 26 marathons. Really universal messages for everyone, including writers and artists – success, failure, the power of continuing to show up, etc.
On my mind this week as I work to build that culture of reading with my new students is how to encourage reading at home, and help kids make that a priority without doing the dreaded reading logs and without calling it homework.
I have been thinking about how physical objects tell stories. Recently we took my kids on an impromptu weekend to Washington DC to see Neil Armstrong’s space suit at the Smithsonian. That one object held so many stories within it — the story of the lunar landing and the powerful way in which the entire world stopped at the same to watch “live from the Moon” on TV, the story of the women who sewed the space suit, Neil Armstrong’s personal story, the story of the science behind the restoration process of the suit, and probably so many others we don’t even know! Seeing real, tactile objects and asking questions and learning about them is so much fun and so important. Stories are everywhere, even hidden in space suits!
Thank all of you for listening and sharing your Tuesday with us!
You can find an outline of the show and links to all the books and topics we chatted about at allthewonders.com. If you have a question or comment, I’d love to hear from you! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Twitter or Instagram. And reviews on iTunes or Stitcher are always much appreciated.
The All the Wonders This Week podcast is brought to you by All The Wonders, where children’s books are for everyone. Journey beyond the page with podcasts, videos, crafts, and more at allthewonders.com.
See you next week!