Carnival of Children’s Literature August 2010

Here in Australia, Children’s Book Week has just ended.

It’s been a week long celebration of reading, writing and children’s literature – and for me as an author, school visits and video conference hookups. I’m not in the mood to finish celebrating yet especially as this month also saw my first US release – White Crane (Samurai Kids Book 1) – and next week will see the Australian release of Fire Lizard, the fifth book in the series.

So today I have stepped out of the Kidlitosphere shadows, where for 12 months I have shyly listened and lurked, to join hands with a group of new friends, and continue celebrating children’s books – across the ocean and throughout the year. Come see what my new friends are doing:-


Aaron Mead presents Children’s Books: How to Choose Them, Part 9 – Story Complexity posted at Children’s Books and Reviews. Continuing his excellent series of posts on how to choose books children will enjoy that also have developmental value, Aaron looks at the role of story complexity and its connection to emotional and intellectual development.

Amanda Hartman presents Birthday Wishes: Put on a Play posted at The Literary Family. This post invites families to both enjoy children’s literature as well as celebrate! What a great idea to choose your favorite story, practice and rehearse it as a play and then perform for an audience. Drama and theatre, costume and makeup, scripts and stars – and a whole lot of fun. As you read this blog you will see that there are not only great books to love and cherish with kids- but wonderful activities to spend with texts and kids as well.

Fiona Ingram presents Homeschooling Notes: Helping Kids Read Better 3 Boys And A Dog posted at Homeschooling Notes: Helping Kids Read Better. Home schooling is an option that can offer parents the opportunity to enhance the quality of their child’s education. This post contains practical tips to help parents encourage their child’s reading progress and enjoyment of books.

Susan Stephenson, the Book Chook presents Nurturing Readers and Writers posted at The Book Chook. I’m going to steal words directly from the Chook’s mouth: As parents, we know the single most important thing we can do to help our children become literate is to read to them every day. We know that reading and writing in front of them is important too, sharing with them our enthusiasm for the written word, and our joy in story. But there’s something else we can do to help them, and it’s so powerful.


Amitha Knight presents Book Review: Feed by M. T. Anderson posted at Monkey Poop. Feed sits in the favourites section of my book shelf.

Anamaria Anderson presents Middle Grade Gallery 5 posted at Books Together. The Middle Grade Gallery series explores descriptions of paintings from middle grade novels. Anamaria tells me so far no one has guessed this one – the challenge has been issued! I thought this was a fascinating approach to the relationship between image and text and immediately went searching for the previous Gallery posts.

Anastasia Suen presents 5 Great Books About School posted at 5 Great Books. Just in time for “back to school!” Can you ever have enough picture books about school? I don’t think so. Now I’m wondering what happens If You Take a Mouse to School.

Candace Ryan presents Dr. Seuss and Maurice Ravel: A Convergence of Crescendos posted at Book, Booker, Bookest. I was fascinated by this comparison of the formal structures of And to Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street and Bolero.

Debra Black presents So what do we think? North Woods Poachers posted at Reviews!. uncovers books that are fun for the entire family, and especially for boys. This post reviews Max Elliott Anderson’s North Woods Poachers written specifically for boys who are reluctant readers (ages 8-14). Mix a little Hardy Boys-style adventure with Wally’s schemes from the TV show “Leave it to Beaver” and you’ve got Andy Washburn’s story.

Jennifer Wharton presents Extreme Adventures: Shark Bait; Scorpion Sting by Justin D’Ath posted at Jean Little Library. Jennifer said: I am so excited about discovering this series from Kane Miller. I think they’re great adventures for the middle grade crowd – and I enjoyed them myself! Sandy said: I too was thrilled to see this review of the Extreme Adventures series by Aussie author Justin D’Arth. My own son loves them – there’s thrills and action aplenty.

Kate Coombs presents In the Dollhouse: Doll Books Old and New posted at Book Aunt. This is a fascinating look at doll stories old and new. After reading this post I am determined to start with the old. The work of Rumer Godden is a new discovery for me.

Katie Fries presents Blueberries for Sal – Blueberry Frozen Yogurt posted at Eat Their Words. Every celebration needs food. Here we have the most delicious looking blueberry frozen yoghurt recipe and a sneak peek into Robert McCloskey’s 1948 classic Caldecott Honor winner, Blueberries for Sal.

Katie Sorene presents 8 Suberb Children’s Books About Travel posted at Travel Blog – Tripbase. I was pleased to recognise a few old favourites, find some new titles I hadn’t heard of and see one that’s on my to-read pile.

Margo Tanenbaum presents Review: The Wonder of Charlie Anne, by Kimberly Newton Fusco (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010) posted at The Fourth Musketeer. Margo said: This is one of my favorite middle-grade titles of the year so far. It features a spunky heroine that you will really fall in love with! Now that’s high praise indeed.

Mary Ann Scheuer presents Word After Word After Word, by Patricia MacLachlan (ages 7 – 10) posted at Great Kid Books. Mary Ann said: Word After Word After Word has been my all-time favorite book of the summer. I just savored each moment of it, and can’t wait to read it aloud to my classes this year.

Matt O’Brien presents 40 Best Comic Books for the Classroom posted at Online Masters. The comic book medium has garnered a goodly amount of recognition as a viable literary medium as of late, but it took decades of marginalization to get there. The listed comic books in the article all have something to offer in terms of proving the stereotypes and misconceptions entirely wrong. And personally, I’ll be following through on this one.

Roberta Gibson presents Weekend Science Fun: Steller Sea Lions posted at Growing With Science Blog, a unique look at stellar sea lions through an interview with Astro, the star of Astro: The Steller Sea Lion by Jeanne Walker Harvey and Illustrated by Shennen Bersani.

Robin Gaphni presents One Crazy Summer posted at thebooknosher. This middle-grade book by Rita Williams-Garcia is highly recommended by Robin and provides a unique historical view of “the charged atmosphere that was such a part of the summer of 1968.”
Sarah Neal presents What Comes After Magic Tree House? posted at In Need Of Chocolate. An extremely useful list, broadly scaled from easiest to hardest, of suggested titles for a reader who is gaining confidence with chapter books.

Shirley Duke presents Super Women in Science , a Non Fiction Monday post at SimplyScience Blog. Super Women in Science is a great book for any young girl interested in a career as a scientist. It’s inspiring and full of surprises. In addition Shirley has suggested activities for further research and investigation.

Willow presents KIMCHI AND CALAMARI by Rose Kent posted at Middle School Book Reviews. When a 14-year-old Korean orphan adopted by an Italian-American family is asked by a teacher to write an essay about his ancestry, what in the world does he write about? Read this review for some clues and the book to find out the rest.

Zoe presents Travelling back at least 10,000 years in time posted at Playing by the book. This post is a wonderful blend of review, experience and activity suggestions. Start with Stone Age Boy and let your imagine run as you share this adventure in the here and now and the way back then.


Barbara Krasner presents Librarian’s Notebook Linda R. Silver posted at The Whole Megillah, an interview with librarian and a specialist in Jewish children’s literature, Linda R Silver. The interview is wide ranging – from reviewing and librarianship to Jewish books for children.

Boys Rule Boys Read! blog presents Batter Up! An Interview with Wes Tooke , an interview with Wes Tooke, author of Lucky: Maris, Mantle, and My Best Summer Ever.

Carmela Martino presents Book Giveaway and Guest Teaching Author Interview with Patricia Reilly Giff posted at Teaching Authors-6 Children’s Authors Who Also Teach Writing. Meet author, teacher and Newbery medallist Patricia Giff on her blog tour sharing news of her early chapter book series for readers ages 6 through 9, Zigzag Kids. Carmela said: We’re honored to be part of the blog tour for Patricia Reilly Giff’s new series, the ZIGZAG KIDS. I encourage you to stop by and read about Ms. Giff’s life as both a teacher and a writer. I was especially touched by how, even after all her books and awards, she still feels fragile about her writing.

D.M. Cunningham presents Middle Grade Madness with Jim Benton posted at Literary Asylum. This interview with Jim Benton, author of successful series Franny K. Stein and Dear Dumb Diaries, is full of humour and valuable insights. I like this one: I just write and draw and rewrite and redraw until I think it’s funny.

Lori Calabrese presents The Wonders of Writing about Nature with Janet Halfmann + Giveaway at Lori Calabrese Writes!. Author Janet Halfmann visits Lori Calabrese Writes and shares her thoughts on the wonders of writing about nature.


Carrie Oakley presents 15 Famous Authors With Surprising College Majors posted at Online Colleges. These famous authors didn’t major in writing, or literature, or even journalism. Instead, they enriched their minds taking other, equally challenging classes, and used their experiences to become successful writers. I studied Mathematics at University and thought that was a strange background for a children’s author. Now I see it’s not so odd after all. Zane Grey majored in Dentistry! And J K Rowling studied French.
Elizabeth Dulemba presents Coloring Page Tuesday! – Back to School Snail posted at dulemba. Perfect for after school colouring, this snail has packed his books and apple (for the teacher or for himself?)

Marjorie Coughlan presents New PaperTigers issue now live: Refugee Children posted at PaperTigers Blog. This post introduces a month focussed on refugee children and highlighting books for young people about refugees, hoping to stimulate our discussions of what can be overwhelming enough for adults and so difficult to explain to children.

Wendie Old presents What is a Hero? posted at Wendie’s Wanderings. Wendie provides a recommended introduction and link to Betsy Bird’s amazing discussion about heroes in children’s books.


Dee White presents Tuesday Writing Tip – How to Fix Issues With Your Plot posted at DeeScribewriting Blog. Problems with your plot? This post tells you how to work out what went wrong, and what to do about it.

Next month’s Carnival of Children’s Literature will be hosted by Mary Ann Scheuer at Great Kids Books. You can submit your article for that event using the carnival submission form. For more information about the carnival and how to participate, visit Anastasia’s carnival page.

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13 responses to “Carnival of Children’s Literature August 2010”

  1. This looks great, Sandy! Thanks so much!!

  2. Hi Sandy,

    Thanks so much for this – it looks great, and I can’t wait to read through the posts. As you said, hosting really is a lot of fun – last month when i did it I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I’ll definitely join you in recommending it to anyone who is hesitating over whether to put their hand up to host a future carnival 🙂

  3. Robin Gaphni says:

    Hi Sandy,
    It looks great! You did a wonderful job organizing/categorizing. Thanks for hosting.

  4. Wonderful job, Sandy! What a great posting. I am honored to be in such great company. Lots and lots of reading to do now. Thank you!

  5. Great round-up, Sandy. Thanks for all your work putting it together.

  6. Holly says:

    Thank you for doing this! I can’t wait to start reading everything.

  7. Roberta says:

    Just FYI,

    I sent a post via the blog carnival website yesterday, and it sent me a reponse that it was received. You don’t need to add it, but the post was

    I know those blog carnival sites get a lot of spam sometimes…

  8. Sandy, thanks so much for hosting! So many goodies to sample and I’ve already worked my way through several. Very nice job!

  9. Thanks so much for hosting Sandy! 🙂 e

  10. It’s a brilliant carnival, beautifully presented, Sandy. Thanks!

  11. Wonderful to see this feast of posts– and I like that you divided the entries into categories. Very helpful! I look forward to following all the links.

  12. Lee Wind says:

    Nicely done – and I love how seamless all this technology makes our kid lit community – I would never have known you were “Down Under” if you hadn’t told us!
    off to check out the great links…

  13. Marjorie says:

    What a great round-up – so good to be a part of it. Thank you.

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