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!

 

Hello, Texas!

We’re here at the Texas Library Association’s 2016 conference and having a blast (now that the rain has stopped)! Among some of new finds you can make at Booth 1630 are both children’s and adult graphic novels from a variety of publishers, including TOON, Papercutz, Fantagraphics, and NBM. Thanks to Diamond Bookshelf and IDW, we also have the new-to-America–and we think an award-winner here as well as in Europe–Paracuellos, by Carlos Giménez, which earned him the Heritage Award at the Paracuellos1_revAngoulème Festival in 2010. This is a memoir about a place and period American readers rarely meet in books: life in an orphanage during Franco’s dictatorship over Spain.

COVERLAYOUT.inddNBM, a comics publisher with a long and deep track record of providing North Americans with literary graphic novels, is just now releasing Guardians of the Louvre, acclaimed manga artist Jirô Taniguchi’s beautiful and compelling fantasy that seamlessly twines together many of the treasures in the Paris museum, and its environs, with the experiences of a lonely young tourist from Japan. I couldn’t put this one down from the moment I opened its beautiful watercolor-reminiscent right to left layout pages and met the young man as he, in turn, meets a variety of great figures from art’s history, including a countryside chat with Van Gogh and a tour of World War II’s art rescue history with the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Pair this one with Anthony Doerr’s 2015 Alex Award winning All the Light We Cannot See to bring vivid life to art history.

We have many other comics and graphic novels for you as well! Come visit–oh, and you might want to enter to win a whole basket of beautiful goodies!

No Starch Press Bundle Giveaway

Celebrating Digital Learning!

Teaching elementary school-aged children to understand computer code and functions can be challenging, especially when textbooks lack the creativity necessary to hold a child’s attention. No Starch Press offers a solution to all that confusing classroom tech talk! Known for its vast array of creative learning and STEM titles,No Starch Press has six titles that stand out for teaching children how to code, program, and understand computer language engagingly. Now you have a chance to add these titles to you classroom or library!

One first prize winner will be receiving the No Starch Press bundle including all six titles mentioned below for their classroom or library.

Six runners-up will be receiving one randomly selected title from a second bundle of the same No Starch Press books.

Each of these titles would be a wonderful addition to any classroom or school library!scratchjr_cover-front_revised

Scratch Jr teaches children how to understand Scratch, the most popular and FREE language for children. More fun than instructional, this title keeps kids interested and learning for hours as they sort color blocks of code to create their own interactive games!

scratch2_frontcover_web
Super Scratch: Programming Adventure
introduces a newer version of Scratch to students. With this title, kids have countless opportunities to learn new programming concepts by using the software to create interactive games and animations.

PFK_frontcoverPython for Kids is creatively developed to teach children how to use Python easily and without getting bored or discouraged. Puzzles and games are included at the end of each chapter to help students solidify what they’ve just learned as well as reward them for getting through a whole lesson.

jsfk_cover-front_finalJavaScript for Kids is made for computer whiz students who already understand the function of code on standard CPU’s, but are curious about the workings of internet programming and what goes on behind website homepages. With this book, kids will get the chance to create interactive webpages, learning from fun step-by-step examples.

teachKids_front_new-newTeach Your Kids to Code is parent-friendly, written specifically for parents and teachers involved in helping children learn the ins-and-outs of coding. It’s a must-have for any programming instructor whose greatest challenge is teaching grade-level students how to understand programming science.

rubyWiz_frontcoverRuby Wizardry helps students’ grasp the Ruby programming language. Wizards, dragons, and two young heroes guide readers through the book, until the students themselves are able to create their own characters and stories using the Ruby software.

Here’s how you can enter!

  • You must be either a teacher or a librarian located within North America
  • All prizes must be used for school and library use only—they are not intended for personal use
  • You must submit the form by midnight (central time) Wednesday, March 9th
    • Click here (you will be redirected to the form on our Facebook page)

Winners will be announced on Friday, March 11th. Give us a shout-out on your own social media outlets, and tag us to double your chances to win! Good luck everyone!

Welcome to Boston and #alamw16

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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?

Activities for a book-loving schoolyear

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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.

Using picture books with English language learners

Many picture books offer opportunities for children, and even adults, new to English to explore both the written and spoken language they are acquiring. How picture books are put to this purpose requires sensitivity to potential learners and wise choices of books to use.

English language learners represent a wide range of ages, life experiences, literacy levels in their home languages, and–just as important–linguistic and cultural histories. Many speakers of Latin American Spanish dialects, for example, may indeed be learning English as a second language. However, those coming to North American English from the Indian subcontinent and some Northern African cultures probably are conversant in multiple languages already and thus have a different skill set to use when learning yet another–third, fourth, fifth–language.  Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 10.01.10 AM

Working with English language learners who are present in classes with native speakers also draws attention to the need to be inclusive, rather than focusing attention on the use of specific books as a means of gaining English fluency. With these varying potential student needs in mind, how and why can picture books become part of the learning experience?

A number of the Book-based Activities we develop for this site address the potential uses of titles with English learners. What do these books share?

  • They offer content that makes use of general life experience that is not culturally bound
  • They provide opportunities for relatively sophisticated discussions of the theme, plot technique, character development, or art presented
  • They introduce culturally specific tall tales or geography information that builds out the English language learner’s general acquisition of idiomatic expressions, local history and/or physical environment, and vocabulary used in a contextually engaging manner

One example of how such picture books can expand upon the English language learner’s current strengths is the Neighborhood Map activity described for Detective Gordon: The First Case. This activity works well for the English language learner who is mainstreamed with native speakers and can even allow her to excel in undertaking the exercise, which is based on observation and documentation through drawing.

A group of English language learners, who may within the group share no language other than beginning English, may find that the What If…? activity, suggested for The Incredible Plate Tectonics Comic, provides the opportunity for sharing information about their own experiences with earthquakes, work together to create a model that expresses possibilities, and expand their academic understanding both of STEM-related content and articulating ideas in their new language.

Building empathy into the experience of sharing picture books in a group that includes English language learners and native speakers can also expand everyone’s horizons. Inhabit Media, a wholly owned Inuit publisher, includes titles that are published in Inuit as well as English. The written language is unlikely to be familiar to anyone in the group, giving all a level playing field for understanding how an old language may be new to this reader.

What activities do you find comfortable for new English speakers and readers when you share and expand their reading choices? We’d love to hear from you!

Oh the things we have for you!

With the American Library Association’s Annual Conference rapidly approaching, followed by the annual conference for the International Literacy Association, we’re excited about all the new books we’ll have to show you!  We had a staff meeting yesterday, with Ellen doing her fabulous job of book talking us through the fun, the gorgeous, the thought-provoking, and the curious.

Among just a few of the treasures you’ll get to see, either at conference or on our Pinterest board for the conference (if you can’t attend in person) is Cheer-up Bird, from Lemniscaat USA, a fun–and yes, cheering–picture book by Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 12.57.42 PMEdward van de Vendel, with illustrations by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert. The Schuberts will be the featured speakers at the USBBY event in San Francisco, during ALA.

Gecko Press is bringing out When Dad Showed Me the Universe, by Ulf Stark, with illustrations by Eva Eriksson, which is already collecting lots of review praise in its English language edition. Although its on sale date in the  US is September, here at PS We’re Reading, we’ve already created some activity suggestions for teachers and librarians who might want to get a jump on preparing for new books to share with young readers after summer.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 1.07.28 PMNo Starch Press, which is located in San Francisco and so can readily join us for ALA this year, is publishing an essential book for new secondary school and college students, Violet Blue’s The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy. We’re developing an educators guide to this title to help promote its importance to girls online everywhere and everyday.

Frederic Brremaud and Federico Bertolucci have created a magnificent wordless graphic novel Love: The Tiger, published by Magnetic Press and distributed through Diamond Comics. Publishers Weekly has already awarded it a starred review and you’ll see us developing materials to make sure this gets into the hands of readers of all ages.

Pajama Press has a new Princess Pistachio book, from  Marie Louise Gay. Princess Pistachio and the Pest is pulling in great reviews even as the eponymous princess heads into her own summer vacation. You’re going to be hearing more about that, and lots of other great new books for kids, very soon! Stay tuned!

 

Acclaim from USBBY

The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) released its annual list during the opening of the 2015 Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association. Among the books touted on the new list are several from our own publishers:

  • Gecko’s The Day My Father Became a Bush, written and illustrated by Joke Van Leeuwen
  • Pajama Press’ Graffiti Knight, by Karen Bass
  • Kids Can’s Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, by Chieri Uegaki and  illustrated by Qin Leng
  • Kids Can’s If…: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers, by David J. Smith, with illustrations by Steve Adams
  • Gecko’s My Heart Is Laughing, by Rose Lagercrantz and illustrated by Eva Eriksson
  • Lemniscaat’s Surprise, written and illustrated by Mies Van Hout
  • Inhabit Media’s Sweetest Kulu, by Celina Kalluk, with illustrations by Alexandria Neonakis

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