January 2013

Who would you be?

When asked what character from literature they would most like to be, the Children’s Services staff had a wide variety of responses.

Emily said she would want to be Jenny Linski (from the stories by Esther Averill) because who wouldn’t want to be a sleek black cat who has adventures and gets to wear a stylish red scarf?

Ben said he’d like to be James, because he’d like to have all those adventures inside that giant peach pit.

Jenny B. said she’d like to be Snoopy because he is funny, smart and doesn’t have a care in the world--except for the Red Baron.

Katie said she’d like to be Matilda Wormwood because she’s a readaholic, spunky, and clever, and has adventures with fake ghosts, newts and super glue!

Jen C. said she’d like to be Claudia Kincaid (From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) because she’s book-smart, bossy and a planner.

Jose said he’d like to be Sam-I-Am because any time he has initial doubts about trying something new, he thinks about Sam.

Shelley said she’d like to be Anne Shirley because of the beauty of Prince Edward Island (and of Gilbert Blythe)!

Andy said he’d like to be Taran from Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain.

Heather would like to be Lucy Pevensie and be off to Narnia!

Jennifer N. would like to be Harriet (from Harriet the Spy) because NYC seems so amazing and she’s nosy!

Rory would like to be Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility because she would love some romance.

We sure are an adventurous bunch! Who would you want to be?

Favorite New Reads From 2012

I read a lot of books written for kids and tweens. These were my favorite that came out in 2012 - maybe not Newbery worthy, but still good books! What new books did you find last year?

In a Glass Grimmly
Follow Jack and Jill (and Frog) on a gruesome yet funny trek through the REAL fairy tales--we're talking the original bloody, scary versions - on a quest for the looking glass that will save their lives. This is a fabulous adventure.

Drama
Seventh grader Callie is thrilled to be doing set design for her school play, but drama with friends and boys and questions of who likes who threatens to upstage the production. Perfect for theater geeks (like me!).

Bink and Gollie: Two for One
This pair of odd-couple BFFs are off to the State Fair in three new stories involving prize donuts, talent show terror and destiny.  It made me laugh, often.

Her Permanent Record
Farewell to Amelia McBride! The last Amelia Rules book has her  on the hunt for Aunt Tanner, who’s gone missing, with the unexpected help of old friends. This was a great ending to the series.

Beswitched
Flora is on her way to a brand new school when she falls asleep and finds herself back in 1935--her new dorm mates have brought her back with a magic spell and they’re not sure they know how to send her back. I love time-travel books, and this one was wonderful!

The Wishing Spell
Alex and Connor love fairy tales, but not so much they wanted to live them. When they find themselves in The Land of Stories, they set off on a scavenger hunt with familiar characters to try and make their way back home. Goldie was the best.

Great Wall of Lucy Wu
Lucy is determined to make this the best year ever, but then she learns that her great-aunt is going to be sharing her room, and she has to go to Chinese school on the weekends instead of basketball. Is all hope lost?

Newbery Picks

Everyone in the Children’s Department is getting ready for the big Newbery announcement on January 28. The Newbery is given to the most distinguished book written for kids in a given year. We’ve been reading a lot of books that are getting a lot of buzz to win the Medal. The Children's Department met yesterday to discuss our favorites:

What do you think the best book of 2012 was?

Which Will Win?

In the world of kids' books, the biggest award for a picture book is the Caldecott Medal. Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2013, the Caldecott recognizes the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children each year.  

The official committee will announce the official winners on January 28th, but here at the OPPL Children's Department, we'll hold our staff Mock Caldecott discussion and vote the week before, so we can pick our faves of the year.  Here are some of the titles getting the most buzz so far--check them out and let us know what you think!