04 August 2014

A Brief Sojourn off the Social Media Grid

Last Tuesday, I did something I'd been thinking of for a while but just hadn't been able to commit to: I temporarily deactivated my Facebook page. For a while, I've been considering that there are better uses of my time and attention than checking Facebook a hundred times a day to avoid missing anything. And so, after a day that left me wishing my world was a little quieter, I did it.

I'm not going to lie. That first day was tough. I don't think I realized how often I was checking in, how much of my time was sucked away, two minutes at a time, by scrolling through status updates, articles, memes and quizzes. But then, it became amazing.

Suddenly, I wasn't on my phone very much. Sure, I still posted a picture for my #100happydays project on instagram every day, but that was a quick process: log on, scroll through the new pictures, post my own, log out. 4 or 5 minutes a day, tops. I tweeted a couple of times over the past week, too, but I've never been a big user of Twitter, so that made no noticeable dent in my day.

I discovered that I am a little more narcissistic than I would like to be. That first day, I expected people to notice that my account was gone and ask me about it, to miss me. That didn't happen - and why should it? I can't say for certain that I'd notice right away if a friend took a hiatus. Everyone has a million things going on; why would my brief absence be noticed?

After I chuckled and chided myself for that self-absorption, I moved forward. As the days passed, I did get texts from a couple of people who wanted to be sure I was okay. Some of them seemed sad for me that I felt a need to step away, but I don't. This past week, I've read more, focused more, been more present in every bit of my life.

That's not to say that I don't see value in Facebook and that I don't miss it. I'm sure I've missed birthdays and opportunities to offer support to people I care about. I've been behind on the news (and a little dismayed to discover I was mostly looking up stories I first saw mentioned on Facebook). I miss seeing pictures of all the adorable June babies (preschoolers, really - where has the time gone?) whose mothers are part of my tribe since before Max was here. I've missed sharing pictures of my own beauties (mostly because, for better or worse, Facebook has become where I store many of my favorite photos).

So, where do I go from here? Tomorrow night will be one week since I deactivated my Facebook account. Just a grain of sand in eternity, but a mountain of time in the world of social media, where missing a day means you'll probably never catch up on all you've missed. I'm 99.9% certain I'll reactivate tomorrow night and spend a little more time than I might plan to trying to catch up on a little of what I've missed.

Going forward, I think a hiatus every month or so is not a bad idea for me. I'm not always good at just limiting myself, so deactivation is probably my best bet. I doubt it'll always be a week, but who knows? A day or two every now and then, disconnected from technology but better connected to my family and myself is definitely something I'd like to pursue.

22 July 2014

So much joy for a mere $5. Perfection.


Have y'all seen the #100happy days challenge currently making the rounds? It's a pretty simple premise: every day, for 100 days in a row, notice something that makes you happy, take a picture of it, and share. You can share via Facebook, instagram, tumblr, twitter, or by email. You have the option to limit how many people you share with by changing your settings or even your hashtag.

I know many of us are careful about what we choose to share on social media and I love this reminder that life is not a contest:

"#100happyday challenge is for you - not for anyone else.
It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures - you lose without even starting. Same goes for cheating."

So stop worrying about what other people might think and recognize and honor the things that make YOU happy.

I'm starting today. I'll be posting my pictures on instagram (bookkitten) and maybe here. Are you in?

once again...

...I've fallen far behind on my blog and, once again, I have an excuse:

Meet Penelope Grace. Poppy. Of course, she's been here since January and has grown a smidge by now:

She's pretty amazing but, if I thought life was crazy with a toddler, life with a toddler and a newbie is even more so.

I'm going to try to be back, though I honestly don't know what direction the blog will take. Will I continue to review books? Post baby pictures and talks of being a Mama? Share recipes or crafts? Weigh in on matters political that have meaning to me? Yes to all of those things.

Expect eclecticism.

15 August 2013

Slightly uncomfortable credit claiming

I have recently had a very cool quote appear on my Facebook feed a number of times. Various parenting sites are reposting the picture and it always gets a number of shares and "likes," thus helping it spread more.
Everytime I see it, I smile, but I am every so slightly unnerved, too. Why? Because this is my work, uncredited, and appearing in a number of places. I cannot lay claim to the words - I read this quote and loved it somewhere else. However, I did choose the colors, design, and layout that appear on my facebook feed with some regularity. I worked on it for a while before I was satisfied with the look. I love it. The picture I posted above is the one I pinned of the finished product -- printed, framed, and hanging in my home.
Where I guess I went wrong is posting the original artwork to a "share" site on Shutterfly. I gave the link to a few people and it was shared and, about 18 months later, it seems to be everywhere.
Mostly, I think it's pretty awesome that people like the design. A teeny part of me wishes I had included a statement of credit on the bottom of the original art, just so people know that I made this. After another friend shared that this was on her feed tonight, I decided to blog about it so there's at least some record somewhere, even if I am the only one who knows or cares.
(And, I guess since it's already been shared in so many places by so many people, there is no harm in sharing the original link to the artwork with my Readers.

07 August 2013

By the by...

While I've been very remiss in keeping up with reviews as of late, I have been writing snapshot reviews of titles I have read this past year. I have been posting these on a Pinterest Board and have included all books except books for the very young. While I've read far less this past year than usual, perhaps you'll see a title that looks good to you.

Nature Counts!

Max loves nature, a propensity I am doing my best to encourage. We try to spend some time outside every day, rain or shine. We visit our local Nature Center for playdates and programs, as well as just to hike and explore on our own. I recently watched him spend a happy half hour following an ant around the deck, giggling as he watched it navigate the jungle of his toys.
His delight with the natural world made this trio of books a special treat for us to share. These Bees Count, These Seas Count, and This Tree Counts are all written by Alison Formento and charmingly illustrated by Sarah Snow. The illustrations in each are bright papercut collage, depicting the natural world in a realistic and cheerful manner.
In These Bees Count, Mr Tate's class takes a field trip to a farm. Farmer Ellen explains to the children that her farm doesn't grow flowers or trees and does't house traditional farm animals. Instead, she farms bees and honey. Some of the children are nervous about being stung, though their fears dispel as Farmer Ellen provides them with protective suits and shows them around. As lhey all take the time to listen to the bees, they discover more about the relationship bees have with the plants on the farm and that bee pollen is neccessary for the success of our food crops. The final page is meant to provide more information to a parent or caregiver to share with their child.
Mr Tate's class volunteers to help Captain Ned out on Beach Clean Up Day in These Seas Count. Captain Ned tells them that the sea is sad by all the garbage littering the beach. He invites the children to listen to the sea and to really hear what it holds. What follows is a litany of some of the many animals the sea provides a home for - marlin, jellyfish, harbor seals. The Captain explains that, "If the oceans and seas aren't clean, that hurts fish and people." The children work hard to help clean up and Mr Tate reminds them of the recent lesson they had about the water cycle, helping them make the connection between the classroom and the real world. Again, a final informational page is included, this time accompanied by a bibliography of sources and web links.
Mr Tate is clearly a dedicated teacher who wants his students to pay attention to the nature in their own backyards, not just what they encounter on class trips. Accordingly, This Tree Counts sees the students preparing to plant more trees behind their school. They listen to what the tree has to tell them and discover that one tree teems with life - owls, spiders, robins, ants, and more. He tells the children that the tree "washes" the air they breathe and asks them what other kinds of trees they know. A discussion about the other benefits of trees follows. In the ends, ten baby trees are planted and the class understands that trees do more than just provide a shady place to play. This book doesn't include additional information at the end, but an interested child or adult could easily find more to further an exploration of the world of trees.
Any one of these titles would be a fantastic addition to a classroom or storytime setting, as well as being the perfect stories to share with your own budding naturalist. I look forward to seeing more areas explored in future books - perhaps the forest or desert (although perhaps Mr Tate's field trip funds don't extend quite that far). We have already shared these books and will undoubtedly pull them out again as Max gets older and we begin to learn about the natural world in earnest.
disclaimer: The books reviewed in this post were sent to me by Albert Whitman & Company to review for this blog. I read all the books and all opinions expressed here are my own.

Lazy Daisy, Cranky Frankie and other delights

"This is my cow, she's called Daisy.
She should eat grass but she's too lazy."

Even before the first lines of Lazy Daisy, Cranky Frankie by Mary Ellen Jordan and Andrew Weldon, children are treated to a peek of the singular farm they'll be visiting. The end papers show an orderly place sparsely populated with animals. Everything looks as it should be. The next page, though, features a hyper, slightly off chicken alone in the corner of a white page. He wouldn't be out of place in a Gary Larson cartoon. By the time we are introduced to the titular Daisy, it's apparent that this is not Old McDonald's place. In bouncy rhyme that reads aloud brilliantly, we're introduced to a jelly-eating cow, a vain pig, a dancing chicken, and others. The story is simple and fun, the artwork colorful and friendly. This is a story your toddler or preschooler will ask for over and over - and one you won't mind re-reading.

Baby Parade by Rebecca O'Connell and illustrated by Susie Poole is another picture book that will be appreciated by your youngest audience. A diverse group of cheerful babies - some in wagons or strollers, some being worn - parade by, before coming together to practice crawling, standing and walking at a baby party. The text is simple and appealing. The illustrations are adorable - chubby, round-headed babies occupy these pages. It would have been nice to see a child of obvious Hispanic or Asian descent included in the art, but the babies who are included will delight your child.

For the slightly older child, The Three Bears ABC: An Alphabet Book by Grace Maccarone and illustrated by Hollie Hibbert is a clever retelling of the classic tale. "A is for alphabet, And here it is... B is for bears. There were three bears..." Deftly employing each letter in the alphabet, Maccarone relays the well-known tale of breaking and entering in a manner that will have preschoolers giggling. The artwork is bright and rather cartoony - I don't love it, but I think it definitely does have kid appeal. This would be a great book to use in a storytime or even as part of a classroom exercise. Children could use this as a starting point to create their own alphabet books, retelling the tale of their choice. 

Thanks for being patient, Dear Readers, while I got back on track. I have a stack of books here, so more reviews will be up soon! 

disclaimer: The books reviewed in this post were sent to me by Albert Whitman & Company to review for this blog. I read all the books and all opinions expressed here are my own.

01 August 2013

I support you

I don't think I have written publically about my breastfeeding journey before, but the time feels right...
I knew I wanted to nurse my child as soon as I saw the double line on the pregnancy test. It seemed like the only logical choice to me. Nothing against formula feeding - I, myself, was formula fed as a child - but I wanted a nursing relationship with my child. I read lots of books, talked to an auntie who had nursed four children, took a breastfeeding class... I was ready.
The nurses at the hospital knew my plan and were amazing. Even though I ended up with a C-section, they made sure Max was with me within 30 minutes to nurse. He was a champ. He knew just what to do and everything was amazing. He was a Rock Star. For a day.
The second day, he refused to latch. I tried and tried to get him to eat and he cried and pulled away and refused. Nurses came in to help, but nothing worked. Finally, after hours, a nurse came and forcibly held his little head in place as he screamed and cried and I sat helpless, tears streaming down my own face, until he finally latched on and began to eat.
When we got home, I thought it was going great. I kept a journal, noting every time he ate, which side he started on, how long he nursed on each side. He had jaundice, so it was recommended that we supplement with 2oz of formula a day. He enjoyed those bottles, being held by Daddy for feeding, but he still loved to nurse. I coslept with him and he nursed throughout the night, so I was getting plenty of sleep. Everything seemed great.
Until it wasn't. After 2 weeks, his jaundice was gone and we were told we could discontinue the formula, which we gladly did. He continued to want to nurse around the clock and at his two-month checkup, he were measuring less than the fifth percentile for  weight. He had teeny little chicken legs and he nursed All. The. Time. I quickly lost any shyness I had about nursing in public or I would have been stuck in the house. He also started to pull away and cry while nursing. I began to take 9 Fenugreek pills a day and drinking 2 cups of Mother's Milk tea, "just in case."
I found a local La Leche League group to attend. The women were friendly, but when I voiced my concerns with his weight and behavior, they told me everything was fine. This was "normal." There was "nothing wrong." I should never, ever supplement. I should nurse whenever he wanted. I shouldn't worry that I didn't get much from the pump, some women just didn't. I should ignore the nagging feeling that something wasn't right and keep nursing.
Luckily, after the meeting, one woman came up to me and told me that what I was experiencing wasn't normal. She gave me the card for a Lactation Consultant and suggested I give her a call. I called from the parking lot and made an appointment for the next morning.
The LC did a weighted feeding the next morning and determined that I may have low milk supply. She helped me come up with a plan. I was to nurse on demand while doing breast compressions. After each feeding, I would pump for 5 minutes to stimulate production. I was to offer a small amount of formula after each feeding to make sure the baby's hunger was satisfied but that he still had the motivation to do the hard work of nursing first. My intake of Fenugreek was increased and we added Blessed Thistle to the mix.
My LC was an absolute angel. She supported me throughout my struggle and reassured me that I was not a bad mother when I cried that I hadn't realized my little boy had been hungry, not just cranky. She called me at home to check on me and made sure I had both her office and cell phone numbers.
Our pediatrician was amazing, too. He freely admitted that he didn't fully understand the deep desire to exclusively breastfeed, but he respected it. His number one rule was "Feed the Baby," however we made that happen. He wrote me a prescription for Domperidone and helped me find a compounding pharmacy that would make the drug for me when I explained that my research had left me uneasy with the side effects of Reglan (another drug that can increase milk) but that I was also uncomfortable ordering Domperidone from an online pharmacy.
I stopped going to the La Leche League meetings where I had been advised to ignore my instinct that something was wrong and found another group. The women there were kinder and had less of a "Mean Girls" feel than the first group had. I told my story and, even though I felt deeply uncomfortable when I had to pull out a bottle to supplement Max's feeding, but no one gave me too noticeable a side-eye. Still, I noticed that many of the meetings turned into discussions of how breastfeeding was best to the exclusion of any other parenting choice and I was uncomfortable with that. The low point for me was when a woman I had hoped to befriend (she had a son just a month younger than Max) went on a tirade about how all formula should be marked "poison" because that's what it was. I was flabbergasted. I couldn't even respond. The leader gently pointed out that I used formula to supplement and this young mother condescended that it was okay in my case because I "had no choice." It was okay for me to give my baby "poison?" How dare she!
So, that was the end of my LLL days. I met with the LC regularly until we had determined that none of the efforts I was putting forth, including Domperidone, were going to help me produce enough milk. I found peace with supplementing an ounce or two at each feeding. Max began to gain weight and to be a happier baby in general. I continued to nurse him whenever he asked. My intended one year of nursing turned into two (with formula supplements ending just before one year).
Last week, my sweet boy peacefully weaned himself. I am four months pregnant and I know my supply had been dropping. Two nights after he weaned, we were having a rough time and he started to lift my shirt. I said, "You can try, big boy, but I think it's all gone, remember?" He put my shirt back down and looked sadly at my chest. "Bye, bye," he said, waving, before snuggling in for hugs.
I'm telling my story now because I have been deeply moved by the "I Support You" campaign begun by Mama bloggers, Kim Simon, of Mama by the Bay (she both formula and breast fed), Suzanne Barston of Fearless Formula Feeder, and Jamie-Lynne Grumet, who blogs at I Am Not The Babysitter (and who caused a media frenzy after being pictured on the cover of Time, nursing her preschooler). This campaign aims to spread compassion and support among ALL parents, regardless of different parenting choices.

Here's the thing. I am a passionate advocate of breastfeeding. I am very hopeful that I will be able to exclusively nurse the child we are now expecting. However, I am even more of an advocate of parents loving their children and caring for them in the way that is best for each individual family. It's none of my business why someone else might choose to formula feed or supplement. No one owes me an explanation or has to convince me that their reason is "good enough" to let them off the hook for not nursing. Tearing down someone else does not build me up. Are you loving your child and feeding your baby? Good. Done. You're a rock star, Mama!

So, whatever choices you make in regards to feeding your child, I SUPPORT YOU.

Note: I am pretty sure this is the first time I have told this story so publically. Typing it all out is making me feel very vulnerable, which seems silly to me. It shouldn't matter how I fed my child, yet I still somehow expect to be judged. Let's change that culture of judging one another. Being a parent is HARD. Let's extend a hand of support to one another instead of knocking each other down.

15 July 2013

Big News

19 June 2013

Stay tuned...

I've been away for a bit, dealing with everything Life throws at us, but I will be back in the next week or two. I have a nice big stack of picture books to review for you and will likely be having my first ever giveaway, so check back in!

28 January 2013


Really surprised - and disappointed! - not to see Wonder recognized, but a really great group of winners overall. I'll be back sometime later to clean up the formatting, add links, etc. Happy Awards Day!

2013 John Newbery Medal

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
Bomb: the Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon written by Steve Sheinkin
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

2013 Randolph Caldecott Medal

This is Not My Hat illustrated and written by Jon Klassen

Creepy Carrots illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds
Extra Yarn illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Bennett
Green illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
One Cool Friend illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo
Sleep Like a Tiger illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary Logue

2013 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

Up, Tall and High written and illustrated by Ethan Long

Let's Go for a Drive written and illustrated by Mo Willems
Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons written by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean
Rabbit and Robot: the Sleepover written and illustrated by Cece Bell

2013 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award

Katherine Paterson

2013 Andrew Carnegie Medal

Anna, Emma and the Condors produced by Katja Torneman

2013 Robert F. Sibert Medal

Bomb: the Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon written by Steve Sheinkin


Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd
Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose
Titanic: Voices From the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson

Mildred L. Batchelder Award

My Family for the War written by Anne C. Voorhoeve, translated by Tammi Reichel, published by Dial Books


A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return written and illustrated by Zeina Abirached, translated by Edward Gauvin, published by Graphic Universe, a division of Lerner Publishing Group
Son of a Gun written and translated by Anne de Graaf, published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture

Andrea Davis Pinkney will deliver the 2014 Arbuthnot lecture

2013 Pura Belpre Award for Text

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano

2013 Pura Belpre Award for Illustration

Martin de Porres: the Rose in the Desert illustrated by David Diaz, written by Gary D. Schmidt

no honor books

2013 Michael L. Printz Award

In Darkness by Nick Lake


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Dodger by Terry Pratchett
The White Bicycle by Beverly Brenna

2013 Odyssey Award for Audiobook Excellence

The Fault in Our Stars written by John Green, narrated by Kate Rudd and produced by Brilliance Audio

Artemis Fowl: the Last Guardian written by Eoin Colfer, narrated by Nathaniel Parker and produced by Listening Library
Ghost Knight written by Cornelia Funke, narrated by Elliot Hill and produced by Listening Library
Monstrous Beauty written by Elizabeth Fama, narrated by Katherine Kellgren and produced by Macmillan Audio

2013 YALSA Excellence in Non-Fiction for Young Adults

Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin


Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal
Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose
Titanic: Voices From the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March by Cynthia Levinson

2013 William C. Morris Award

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
After the Snow by S. D. Crockett
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth

2013 Margaret A. Edwards Award

Tamora Pierce

2013 Coretta Scott King Author Award

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney


Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis
No Crystal Stair: A documentary novel of the life and work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

I, Too, Am America illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Langston Hughes - hooray!

H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination illustrated and written by Christopher Myers
Ellen's Broom illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons
I Have a Dream illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Martin Luther King, Jr.

2013 Coretta Scott King Virginia Hamilton Practicioner Award

Demetria Tucker is the recipient of the Virgina Hamilton Practicioner Award for Lifetime Achievement

2013 Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Books

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Honor Books
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman
Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie by S.J. Adams

Learn more about the Stonewall Book Awards.

2013 Schneider Family Book Awards

Back to Front and Upside Down written and illustrated by Claire Alexander

Middle Grades
A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean

Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis

Learn more about the Schneider Family Book Awards.

2013 Alex Awards

Caring is Creepy by David Zimmerman
Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
My Friend, Dahmer by Derf Backderf
One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season by Chris Ballard
Pure by Julianna Baggott
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Learn more about the Alex Awards.

A few more minutes...

As usual, formatting and such may be a bit of a mess as I rush to get the information posted as quickly as I can. I will go back and clean up typos after the announcements have ended and Max is napping. Thanks for checking in on this page for the lists! :)

Only 3 More Hours!

Soon, the 2013 ALA Youth Media Awards will be announced. Squee! It's always an exciting day for those of us who love books for young people.

Instead of typing out all the award descriptions again, I will refer you to last year's post describing the awards.

Since 2004, I have done my very best to blog the winners of the ALA Youth Media Awards as soon as they're announced. This year, I have a tornado of a toddler running about, but I will still do my best. I do promise that all the awards will be posted on this blog before nightfall at the very latest (honestly, though, I think I canget it done pretty quickly).

I rarely hasten a guess at who might win (since I am terrible at that game), but I feel so sure that the amazing Wonder by R.J. Palacio will win the Newbery and that The Fault in Our Stars is pretty much a lock for the Printz Award. No clue as to the Caldecott. (And I hope I haven't jinxed the other two by speaking their names aloud!)

So, less than 3 hours now until the awards begin. Stay tuned.

11 January 2013

RIP: Gerald McDermott

I'm absolutely devastated to learn that award-winning author and illustrator Gerald McDermott died on December 26 at the age of 71. He had been creating art from a very early age and was admitted to class at one of the nation's finest museums, the Detroit Institute of Arts, when he was just four years old. He has always been a favorite of mine. I have been looking forward to sharing that love with my sweet boy. Thanks to all the beautiful books he left behind, I will still be able to, but so sad no new books will be created. You can learn more about him at his official website.

08 May 2012

Good Morning, Darling Boy

"If there's any advice I have to give, I would say it's that. If you're looking for a way to get closer to your kids, there ain't no better way than to grab 'em and read. And if you put them in front of a computer or a TV, you are abandoning them. You are abandoning them because they are sitting on a couch or a floor and they may be hugging a dog, but they ain't hugging you. "  - Maurice Sendak

Dearest Max:

You woke up around 2:40 this morning, screaming. This is not usual, and I went in to you, only to find you standing in the crib, tears streaming down your face like your heart was broken. I picked you up and you stopped and nuzzled your head into my shoulder. Your diaper wasn't unusually full and nothing seemed to be visibly wrong, so I chalked it up to a nightmare and cuddled you. We sat in the rocker and rocked for a bit, then I nursed you before putting you back to bed.

When "real" wake-up time came, I entered your room as I do every morning, singing, "Good morning, Darling Boy, you are my only joy!" from Pierre: a coutionary tale in five chapters and a prologue and you smiled at me. Whatever had frightened you during the night was forgotten and you were happy once again.

When we came downstairs for breakfast, I turned on NPR and learned that Maurice Sendak died this morning around 2:45a.m. I realize that it sounds a little crazy, but I can't help but think that a little part of you felt that loss and woke up to mourn. His books have already been such a big part of your short life. Your name is at least partly inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. You came home from the hospital wearing a Max onesie and gave your Daddy a WTWTA t-shirt for his very first Father's Day. The first dvd you showed any interest in is a collection of Sendak stories. We sing the Nutshell Library books often, set to the wonderful music Carole King wrote for them. And, of course, we read something by Mr. Sendak almost every day. I really feel like we have lost a part of the family, that a dear uncle has left us.

But he hasn't, really. We will continue to share his stories and his illustrations and one day you will read them to your own children. And in this way, he will live on forever.

I love you, my Little Wild Thing. Let us wish Maurice Sendak much peace and love and thanks for all he has shared with us.



23 January 2012

Better late than never

Sheesh! Only took me pretty much all day, but I should have all the winners up now. I will come back later and add links and pictures.

I was nursing the Baby when the tweets about winners started coming over my phone. Eeee! It will always be the most excitng day of the year for those of us who love literature for young people. By the time the news that Chris Raschka had won his (well-deserved) THIRD Caldecott, I was spooning yogurt into Little Man's waiting mouth. I gave a Squee! of delight and ran to get Farmy Farm, also by Raschka, which is one of Maxs favorites just so we could share a book by the winner.

I am surprised there was no Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner (unless I somehow missed it?).

Okay. Time to gather my patient Little Man and spirit him away for books, bath and bed. I'll enhance the posts as I have time (hopefully all tonight).

John Newbery Medal

Dead End in Norvelt written by Jack Gantos

Inside Out & Back Again written by Thanhha Lai
Breaking Stalin’s Nose written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

Randolph Caldecott Medal

Winner: A Ball for Daisy illustrated and written by Chris Raschka - HOORAY! =:-D

Blackout illustrated and written by John Rocco
Grandpa Green illustrated and written by Lane Smith
Me … Jane illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

Tales for Very Picky Eaters written and illustrated by Josh Schneider

I Broke My Trunk written and illustrated by Mo Willems
I Want My Hat Back written and illustrated by Jon Klassen
See Me Run written and illustrated by Paul Meisel

Andrew Carnegie Medal

Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of Children Make Terrible Pets. The video is based on the book written by Peter Brown, and is narrated by Emily Eiden, with music by Jack Sundrud and Rusty Young, and animation by Soup2Nuts.

Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production

 Listening Library,an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc. for Rotters written by Daniel Kraus and narrated by Kirby Heyborne

  • Brilliance Audio for Ghetto Cowboy written by G. Neri and narrated by JD Jackson
  • Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc. for Okay for Now written by Gary D. Schmidt and narrated by Lincoln Hoppe
  • Scholastic Inc., Scholastic Audiobooks for The Scorpio Races written by Maggie Stiefvater and narrated by Steve Westand Fiona Hardingham
  • Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House, Inc. for Young Fredle written by Cynthia Voigt and narrated by Wendy Carter

Robert F. Sibert Medal

Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade written by Melissa Sweet

Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor written by Larry Dane Brimner
Drawing from Memory written and illustrated by Allen Say
The Elephant Scientist written by Caitlin O’Connell and Donna M. Jackson, photographs byCaitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwell
Witches!: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem written and illustrated by Rosalyn Schanzer

Mildred L. Batchelder Award

Soldier Bear written by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman, translated by Laura Watkinson

The Lily Pond written by Annika Thor, and translated by Linda Schenck.

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture

The lecture will be delivered by...

Michael Morpurgo

Pure Belpre Award for Text

Under the Mesquite written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck written by Margarita Engle
Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller written by Xavier Garza

Pura Belpre Award for Illustration

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh

The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred illustrated by Rafael L√≥pez and written by Samantha R. Vamos
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match /Marisol McDonald no combina illustrated by Sara Palacios and written by Monica Brown

Michael L. Printz Award

Where Things Come Back written by John Corey Whaley

Why We Broke Up written by Daniel Handler and art by Maira Kalman
The Returning written by Christine Hinwood
Jasper Jones written by Craig Silvey
The Scorpio Races written by Maggie Stiefvater

YALSA Excellence in Non-Fiction for Young Adults

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery written by Steve Sheinkin

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science written by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos
Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition written by Karen Blumenthal
Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) written by Sue Macy
Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein written by Susan Goldman Rubin

William C. Morris Award

Where Things Come Back written by John Corey Whaley

Girl of Fire and Thorns written by Rae Carson
Paper Covers Rock written by Jenny Hubbard
Under the Mesquite written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Between Shades of Gray written by Ruta Sepetys

Margaret A. Edwards Award

The winner of the Edwards award is...

Susan Cooper

Coretta Scott King Author Award

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

The Great Migration: Journey to the North written by Eloise Greenfield and illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist
Never Forgotten written by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards

Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom illustrated and written by Shane W. Evans

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans illustrated and written by Kadir Nelson

Coretta Scott King Virginia Hamilton Practicioner Award for Lifetime Achievement

The winner is...

Ashley Bryant (yay!)

Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature Award

Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright
Honor Books
a + e 4ever drawn and written by Ilike Merey
Money Boy written by Paul Yee
Pink written by ...Lili Wilkinson
with or without you written by Brian Farrey

Schnieder Family Book Awards

Best Children's Book:

No award given in the category for children ages 0 – 8. No submissions were deemed worthy for the award.

Best Middle School Book:
close to famous written by Joan Bauer (yay!)
Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures written by Brian Selznick

Best Teen Book:
The Running Dream written by Wendelin Van Draanen

Alex Awards

Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin
In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens by Brooke Hauser
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures by Caroline Preston
The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo

22 January 2012

2012 ALA Youth Media Awards

Tomorrow is the most exciting day in the children's lit year -- announcement of the ALA Children's Book Awards. Basically, the Academy Awards as far as kids' books go.

Awards to be announced tomorrow are:
I think that's all of 'em. I'm going to try to get in on the webcast and post the winners as announced. I'm not sure if I will be able to do it in real-time this year since I foolishly scheduled my Doctor's appointment around Baby's nap schedule and not around the Awards' press conference. What was I thinking?!? ;)

I will post everything as soon as I possibly can and then will go back and clean up my undoubtedly sloppy posts and add links and pictures.

UPDATE: So, I thought this through over and over tonight. If I put Baby in his Exersaucer, I can blog the awards before his nap and before my appointment. BUT... really? As much as I love live-blogging them, am I really gonna be super-stressed and ignore the child to do it? Sigh. Nope. So, for the first time since I started blogging, I won't have the awards up untila couple of hours after they are announced. (It's very likely no one cares about this excpet me, but I have always been proud of posting results immediately.)