Hello, Orlando!

ALA HaikuWe’re looking forward to seeing all our library friends later this week at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, in Orlando. Here’s an overview of what we’ll have to share with you, and an invitation to visit us at Booth 2239, where you know that, no matter who you are, we have smiles and good wishes to share with you.

The exhibits open on Friday, at 5:30. come join the festivities during this ribbon cutting reception! Our booth will be fully staffed all exhibit hours, which are are 9-5 on Saturday and Sunday, and 9-2 on Monday. Ellen, Jackson, and Claire Myrick, Along with Mary Burkey and Sharon Grover,will be on hand, with Francisca tweeting from various corners of the conference and booth events.

Oh, and booth events! We have in-booth signings scheduled throughout the weekend, booksignings adand staff will be participating in other exhibit happenings as well, including the Paizo
program in the Gaming Parlor, Saturday at 10:30, and a program focusing on diversity at 3 that afternoon.

Oh, and the books! We’ll be showing and talking about new titles from AMMO, Two Little Birds, Scotland’s Floris from Steiner, Flying Start, and Free Spirit Press; from Gannon& Wyatt, New Zealand’s Gecko Press, and Karadi Tales, Canada’s Pajama Press, Dutch publisher Lemniscaat; from No Starch Press, Phaidon, Tilbury House, and Tiger Tales. Then there are the audio publishers: L. A. Theatre Works, Live Oak Media, and Brilliance Audio, along with the Sound Learning literacy program from the Audio Publishers Association. Amazon imprints Thomas & Mercer, Lake Union, and Montlake Romance Authors, all for adults, and Two Lions, for kids, will also be at our fingertips–and could be at yours.

Follow us on Twitter @pubspotlight throughout the conference. Our first tip as you pack is to be sure to bring rain gear as showers and thunderstorms are predicted, right now, for every day of the conference.

And bring a smile and a hello! We know Orlando needs both right now and we always enjoy them ourselves and bet you do, too!


Welcome to Boston and #alamw16

ALA Jan 2016 20x2 banner

We’re traveling to Boston today and looking forward to seeing all of you attending the American Library Association’s 2016 Midwinter meeting there!  You’ll find us at Booth 1917 in the Exhibits…and why would you want to find us? Because:

We’re bringing cool new picture books, comics, and books for older youth from a variety The_Boy_Who_Drew_Catsof quality publishers, including Pajama Press (Canada), Leminscaat (Netherlands), Gecko (New Zealand), Floris Books (Scotland), Karadi Tales (India), Udon Entertainment (Canada/Hong Kong), and, from the United States, Diamond, Tilbury House, Gannon & Wyatt, Namelos, No Starch, and Two Lions.

We’ve got audiobooks and audiobook programming information from Oasis, AudioFile Magazine, and the Audio Publishers Association’s literacy initiative, Sound Learning APA.

EMMA_SC_FRONT_Fin1We’re hosting signings by Rebecca Emberley, Bill Thomson, Licia Morelli and Jennifer E. Morris, and Susan Schwake.

We have a librarian staff who know books, audiobooks, and kids.

Plus, we are a lot of fun and generous, too…hmm, prizes anyone?

Hello, AASL!

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 6.00.17 AMEllen and Mary are in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, at the annual conference of the American Association of School Librarians. The conference, as AASL ones are, is packed with rich options for continuing development and opportunities for that ever helpful networking need we have to inspire improvements we can make in school libraries, and kids’ lives, locally.

The Publisher Spotlight booth (which is number 441) in the exhibits hall has books from a variety of our publishers, including Gecko, Pajama Press, Karadi Tales, Diamond, No Starch, Udon, Enchanted Lion Books, and Travels with Gannon and Wyatt. We’re also showing more from Workman, Eerdmans, DK, Holiday House, TOON Books, Arte Publico,  and Norton. We’ve got a big prize basket for a raffle and a couple of author signings scheduled, too.

In addition to all these good things, we can talk with you about a couple new services and initiatives related to multi-modal literacy. Mary Burkey is on hand to discuss Sound Learning, the Audio Publishers Association’s literacy project. And we have EPIC! in the booth so we can show you how this new e-reouce for books and audiobooks for kids works.

Have a good conference, tweet often, and we’ll retweet you! #aasl15 @pubspotlight


A little elephant learns to manage his trunk

If you think tripping over your feet is awkward, imagine tripping over that wonderful combination of nose-straw-gripper that sits in the middle of an elephant’s face!  That’s exactly what keeps happening to poor Little Vinayak–until he gets some great advice from a grown up elephant who once had the same problem.

Little Vinayak - ActivitiesPublisher Karadi Tales continues to serve up wonderfully resonant picture books for preschoolers, and this one is just right as we head toward that back-to-school night where families meet their young children’s teachers and ask for advice on how to cope with some expected, but unhappy, developmental mishaps.

Karadi Tales has also produced our Activities guide in a pretty handout, so you can make a sheaf of these for Little Vinayak - Activities2distribution to those looking for some reassurance to share with their kids about learning to organize one’s movements.

Welcome to Karadi Tales

We’re seeing picture books from a new-to-us publisher and we are very excited with them! Karadi Tales is based in India and their publications include both traditional and newly imagined stories that are readily accessible to an international audience. All have softly colored and highly engaging illustrations. They’re great read-alouds for both groups and as lapsit options. Some are printed on heavy textured stock that will itself engage kids with tactile and kinesthetic needs.

Among the first of these books for which we’ve developed suggested engagement activities is  one with a cumulative tale about a smarty rat who tries to keep parlaying his current possession into something larger and grander.

Take a look at The Last Bargain and also at the Activities we’ve prepared to support your sharing this book with little ones.

The Last Bargain - Activities The Last Bargain 2 - Activities The Last Bargain 3 - Activities


Activities for a book-loving schoolyear

When Dad Showed Me the Universe_Gecko_fullbook_Page_12

When Dad Showed Me the Universe (Gecko Press)

We’ve recently reworked our website here so that you can (we hope!) more quickly locate the specific book-based activities we offer to support your classroom and library programming.  You can visit our Activities by Age Group page (you’ll see the link right under our logo) to find some fun and experience-expanding discussion questions, art projects, games, and more, each connected to a book from one of our publishers.

We’d also like to welcome aboard a publisher new to us–and of great interest to you, we believe: Karadi Tales provides a wealth of picture book stories, folktale interpretations and more!  Not only are the stories fun and the artwork beautiful, but many of the books also have textured pages, sure to be attractive to the young readers you know who enjoy tactile and kinesthetic experiences!

So, what kind of activities goodness have we been up to?  Well, from Karadi Tales, we offer three different ones to accompany and expand The Last Bargain, including a mapping project and a circle game.  Gecko Press has a brand new and very large board book, The Big Book of Animals of the World, which has a lot to offer very young researchers as well as those of you working with an English Language Learner inclusion group.

We continue to add new activities to engage readers with new books.  Keep checking–and let us hear from you about the kinds of engagement resources you want to be able to find.