Thursday, May 27, 2010

Paul Janeczko's Foot in the Mouth

Foot in the Mouth is a somewhat ironic title for a collection intended to illustrate that poetry is meant to be read aloud (celebrated, really), but it works. Readers not familiar with Paul Janeczko's A Kick in the Head: an everyday guide to poetic forms, and A Poke in the i: a collection of concrete poems, both of which provide teachers and readers interested in poetry with numerous examples from which to draw inspiration, will find in this volume another wide variety of poetry meant to show students that poetry can be anything from fun to beautiful to downright silly.
Many readers will have had a recent exposure to Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky via Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland, but they will also be given English/Spanish as well as English/French versions of poems and Charles Follen Allen's "Orthographic Lament," which, given the vagaries of spelling, leaves the poet to contemplate SIOUX-EYE-SIGHED.
This is a book that is meant to be shared, and which encourages the sharing of poetry.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have been enjoying the posts for some of CPL's programs, especially from Diversity Services, but wish that links on other pages could be a little bit clearer. Sometimes images from our homepage advertise things but don't link to them.

On a side note, yesterday yalsa-bk made mention of using twitter as a networking tool and as a result I was able to find several great new people to follow, in addition to some of the great people (@ReadingRants, @genrelibrarian) and publishers (@TundraBooks, @Scholastic, @EgmontGal) I already did.

I've enjoyed this foray into 2.0 and will now venture back to my review books.

The Hive Detectives: Chronicles of a Honey Bee Catastrophe by Loree Griffin Burns

The latest title in Houghton Mifflin's Scientists in the Field series is another well-written tale of an environmental catastrophe that fits in with the series.
Burns starts out by introducing readers to Mary Duane, a hobbyist beekeeper, as she inspects a beehive. Mary loves her bees, and as she interacts with them the reader is almost there in the moment with her -- able to see bees as friendly and giving, rather than evil little stinging creatures (sorry, I'm allergic.) The reader is given an understanding of the complex system that is a hive and the necessary care that it takes to maintain it.
When the book then jumps to Dave Hackenburg, whose livelihood depends on the 3000 hives he keeps, it makes it much easier to understand his dismay and the magnitude of the disaster not only for him but also for the bees and the larger ecosystem when Dave discovers that 400 of his hives -- containing 20,000,000 bees -- were empty. The bees had vanished.
Solving the mystery of what caused what came to be called CCD, colony collapse disorder, was assigned to four scientists. Readers are introduced to them in notebook-styled pages that give their specialties and follow them through bee collecting, autopsies, and much pondering over pests, viruses, pesticides and bee nutrition. While these are ongoing considerations, progress has been made and readers will enjoy both the clear and close-up photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz and the lovely, readable prose.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The 500 Kingdom's Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty, the 5th in Mercedes Lackey’s Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, pulls in several different tales, as the “Tradition” is bound and determined to force Rosamund, the princess of Eltaria, down a path that Lily, its Fairy Godmother, would rather it not. In order to save her, Lily joins forces with Rosa’s father, in a sham marriage as an “Evil Stepmother.” If only Rosa had known that Lily was on her side, she might not have been running away when the Huntsman started chasing her, too. Throw in dwarves, dragons, more princes than you can count, add trials designed to find a happily-ever-after for the Princess, and you end up with a book that anyone who enjoys fractured fairy tales will enjoy.

The book is scheduled to be released July 1/2010.

Friday, May 21, 2010

How...Not to?

Another genre conundrum has developed. Reading Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong, the book developed from Jen Yates's similarly hilarious blog, it is immediately evident that the book deserves its nomination for the 2011 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list. What I'm not sure about is where in Reality Rules II it should go.
It isn't a cook book, or a how to decorate cakes book. I don't have a cake book (yet) -- although it would be a humourous readalike, should I acquire one. Hmmm.
What is certain, is if a NON-reader or a reluctant reader picks this up, they aren't going to be putting it down in a hurry. None of my colleagues did.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Library Social Networking tools

I have accounts and have tried Library Thing, Shelfari and Goodreads. Of the three I find Goodreads to be much more my cup of tea. I like choosing my own shelves, maintaining my list of books that I want to read and seeing not only what my friends have been reading but want to read.
Goodreads lets me update my friends by twitter, facebook or email and keeps me updated as to what I need to be watching for on our new books shelf.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Online Productivity Tools

While I registered for Google Calendar a while ago, I will admit that I haven't updated it since. I regularly use the calendar attached to my email programs (slave to email that I am) and find it gives me a much more reliable alarm. Outlook or Entourage, I can never find somewhere to log in when I want the google variety.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Youtube can be very useful. It is not just for silly videos -- it's great for finding book trailers and other useful library related information. Here is a video of Angela Carstensen, chair of the 2010 Award of Excellence for Nonfiction for Young Adults, talking about our winner!

I haven't used Flickr very frequently (most of my pictures are on shutterfly), but I have found a few tagged pictures of me. These are both tools with which it is best to become comfortable.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Quiet Moment. Or Not.

A few weeks ago I went into Monkeyshines, Calgary's only children's bookstore -- and a store well worth checking out if you are ever in Calgary -- and found a display of a lovely new picture book, Deborah Underwood's The Quiet Book .
The display points out that there are all kinds of quiet: from soft to deafening. This seemed quite apt to me, as I opened the book to a picture of a child (Renata Liwska's captivating illustrations depict small animals, rather than humans) holding his breath as a nurse was about to give him a needle. The scene, which was indeed showing baited breath on most of the participants, promised quite a lot of imminent noise. As indeed do some of the other pictures, whether the riders of a roller coaster just at the top of a tower, a child having been caught doing something naughty or expressing worry, regret or comfort. The use of "storytime quiet" will make it a popular choice in libraries.
The color palette is done in soft, lovely shades and I lasted almost a day before buying a copy as a present for friend expecting a grandchild. This will be a great book for sharing.

Note -- I am delighted to add that as of November 7th, this book has been chosen by Publisher's Weekly as one of the Best Children's Books of 2010. There will be a Loud Book next year.