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Friday, February 7, 2014

Books ARE Magic!

Hooray for Jo and her gang up in Phillips for a very successful launch of their Books Are Magic (aka 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program).  Over 60 people attended their big sign-up party, and at last count, 50 kids had signed up to participate in the program! 

"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  Is what Jo said.  Me too! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lemony Snicket Snippets

Lemony Snicket won this year's Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding writing in a picture book for his book The Dark, illustrated by Jon Klassen.  The Cooperative Children's Book Center administers this award.  It's a great idea to recognize the writing in picture books, since the Caldecott is recognizing distinguished illustration.  The committee also recognized 5 honor titles:
  • Building Our House written and illustrated by Jonathan Bean
  • My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood, written by Tameka Fryer Brown, illustrated by Shane Evans
  • Sophie's Squash, written by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
  • This Is the Rope, written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by James Ransome
  • The Year of the Jungle, written by Suzanne Collins, illustrated by James Proimos
And 7 highly commended books:
  • Big Snow, written and illustrated by Jonathan Bean
  • Max and the Tag-Along Moon, written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper
  • My Blue Is Happy, written by Jessica Young and illustrated by Catia Chien
  • NiƱo Wrestles the World, written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
  • The Silver Button, written and illustrated by Bob Graham
  • Stripes of All Types, written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale
  • When No One Is Watching, written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by David A. Johnson
I'd love to hear what you think of these books, and if you have tried using them in programs!

On another note about Lemony Snicket:  this year, the American Library Association approved a new award: 

 The Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced withAdversity. "The prize will be a generous amount of cash from Mr. Snicket's disreputable gains [$3000, plus up to $1000 travel], along with an odd, symbolic object from his private stash, and a certificate, which may or may not be suitable for framing."

If you are facing adversity (particularly of the intellectual freedom variety), consider nominating yourself!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Artist Trading Cards in Eau Claire

Thanks to Jessi Peterson for this awesome guest post!

We decided this year to offer more passive arts programming in our Young Adult Lounge.  Targeting a time that works for busy teens to attend a program is often hit and miss, so we thought we would try unscheduling instead and have materials available for them whenever they are here.   We wanted something that would be low key, low cost, and definitely with low potential for mess, since the lounge isn’t staffed.  

I read a blog post a while ago about Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) and thought we would give that a try.  The cards are just cardstock cut into a mini canvas, most often 2 ½ by 3 ½ inches, which is about the same size as a baseball card or a business card.    Then we dug through our craft supplies and put out colored pencils, markers, embroidery floss, patterned paper scraps, punches and glue and waited for the mini-masterpieces to  be created!  Teens are invited to make  ATCs to take with them, to trade with friends or to leave in the Free Trade box next to the art supplies. So far teens have left collages, self-portraits, mandalas, as well as abstract creations.   I don’t know how many have been traded, but there are new cards in the box on a regular basis!