Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blog Swap: The Children’s Book Review Visits the Book Chook

Two Bloggers travel across the world (via e-mail) to share some of their favorite children's books, and encourage children's literacy. Today, the Children’s Book Review (USA) visits the Book Chook (Australia).

Q. What do you get when you combine a decade’s worth of experience working with children, a career as a children’s bookseller, and a mommy?

A. The Children’s Book Review -- a blog dedicated to growing readers.

The wise Dr. Suess once wrote: "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." With this phrase in mind, I have created a blog that is designed to help parents promote literacy at home with their children. The first step is getting books into the hands of our children. The second step is guiding children to books that they will find most appealing and leave them wanting more.

Book Reviews: The Children’s Book Review (TCBR) team reviews books for all types of children —from toddlers to teens and reluctant readers to enthusiastic ones. We cover a wide range of subjects to meet the needs of many different interests. All of the book reviews are placed in easy to find categories, including a special spot for reluctant readers. The idea is to take the guessing work out of which books are most suitable for your child.

Author Interviews: For true book lovers, or anyone with an interest in a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to become a published author, we provide interviews with children’s authors and illustrators.

Giveaways: With the generosity of many publishers and authors, we host a couple of book giveaways each month. This is our way of getting books into the hands of children.

Luisa LaFleur, TCBR bilingual book reviewer, describes the blog as a way to channel our love of literature and children into a rewarding endeavor while providing a much-needed service to parents everywhere. We certainly hope you enjoy TCBR as much as we enjoy creating it.

Thank you to the Book Chook for having us for a visit.
Best,
Bianca Schulze
P.S. As a parting gift, here is a glimpse of some of my favorite US authors:

Melvin Might?
by Jon Scieszka (author), David Shannon (illustrator), Loren Long (illustrator), and David Gordon (illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 3-8
Hardcover: 42 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, (October 28, 2008)

If you are not familiar with the Trucktown series, it has plenty of kid appeal - in fact Scieszka's main inspiration for the series came from the preschoolers at a school in Brooklyn. Read more

About the author: In 2008, Jon Scieszka was named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Librarian of Congress. Scieszka’s goal is to make kids laugh with his books, which is certainly something he succeeds at. He is also the creator of a non-profit literacy program, Guys Read, which is a site dedicated to raising literacy awareness amongst boys.

The Willoughbys
by Lois Lowry
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books; 1 edition (March 31, 2008)

The Willoughbys is reminiscent of so many classics - Mary Poppins and The Secret Garden, to name only two - all rolled together with a witty and twisted humor that reminds me of the wonderful Roald Dahl. Read more

About the author: I consider Lois Lowry a one of the most prolific US authors of children’s books. With more than 30 children’s books under her belt, and two prestigious Newbery Medals (Number the Stars in 1990, and The Giver in 1994), she is certainly a power to be reckoned with.

Scat
by Carl Hiaasen
Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (January 27, 2009)

This book is full of snappy one-liners and fun references to Hiaasen's hometown, Florida. Scat deals with so many 'real' aspects of today's young teens -- Nick, one of the leading characters, is dealing with his father being in the Army Reserve. Read more ...

About the author: Carl Haissen began his writing career as a reporter before turning to investigative journalism, where he would expose schemes to destroy Florida's natural beauty for the sake of profit. The latter has been the theme behind many of his books for both adults and children. Hiaasen received a Newbery Honor Award for his first children’s novel, Hoot. I appreciate the way he stays true to his career path and US roots.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
By Avi
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (August 10, 2004)

Not only is it a Newbery honor book, but Charlotte's tale has received accolades as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and, when it came out in 1990, it was a School Library Journal Best Book. With the words, "Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty", Charlotte's tale begins. Read more ...

About the author: Edward Irving Wortis, who goes by the pen name Avi, is best known for his historical fiction. As a teenager he was diagnosed with dysgraphia, a condition causing him to reverse or misspell words. I find his talent remarkable and encouraging, as he has written over 70 books for children spanning many different age groups and genres. He is the deserving recipient of both the Newbery Honor and Newbery Medal.

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Read The Book Chook's guest post about some of her favourite books written by Australian authors - at The Children's Book Review.

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