Carnegie Longlist

The longlist for the 2008 Carnegie prize has been announced.  I haven’t read many of them, but please if you have let’s hear from you!  My favorite on the list is Skullduggery Pleasant, which is a real treat of a unique fantasy novel. 

AHLBERG, Allan The Boyhood of Burglar Bill
BERTAGNA, Julie, Zenith
BIRCH, Beverley, Rift
BOWLER, Tim Frozen Fire
BROOKS, Kevin Being
COLFER, Eoin The Legend of the Worst Boy in the World
CROSSLEY-HOLLAND, Kevin Gatty’s Tale
DOGAR, Sharon Waves
DOWD, Siobhan The London Eye Mystery
DOWNHAM, Jenny Before I Die
DUFFY, Carol Ann The Hat
FISHER, Catherine Incarceron
FLETCHER, Charlie Stoneheart
GILMAN, David The Devil’s Breath
GLASS, Linzi Ruby Red
HAIG, Matt Shadow Forest
HARDINGE, Frances Verdigris Deep
HOOPER, Mary The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose
JONES, Diana Wynne The Pinhoe Egg
KENNEN, Ally Berserk
KUIPERS, Alice Life on the Refrigerator Door
LAIRD, Elizabeth Crusade
LANDMAN, Tanya Apache
LANDY, Derek Skulduggery Pleasant
LOTT, Tim Fearless
McCAUGHREAN, Geraldine Peter Pan in Scarlet
McKENZIE, Sophie Girl, Missing
MORPURGO, Michael Alone on a Wide Wide Sea
PAVER, Michelle Soul Eater
PEET, Mal The Penalty
PRATCHETT, Terry Wintersmith
REEVE, Philip Here Lies Arthur
RIDDELL, Chris Ottoline and the Yellow Cat
ROBERTS, Katherine I Am The Great Horse
ROBSON, Mark Imperial Assassin
ROSOFF, Meg What I Was
ROWLING, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
ST. JOHN, Lauren Dolphin Song
SEDGWICK, Marcus Blood Red Snow White
SINGLETON, Sarah Sacrifice
SUZUMA, Tabitha From Where I Stand
THOMPSON, Kate The Last of the High Kings
VALENTINE, Jenny Finding Violet Park
WILLIS, Jeanne Shamanka
WRAY, Sarah The Forbidden Room

Good Enough to Eat

Good Enough to Eat
by Brock Cole

There was once a poor girl who had no family and was forced to beg her way through life.  The townspeople considered her a pest, so when the evil ogre demands a fair maiden be given to him, the girl is the first choice of sacrifice.  The girl has lived with the townsfolk giving her cruel nicknames, but she uses those nicknames against the ogre and finds her own way out the situation.

I know that first paragraph is vague, but the joy of this sort of story is seeing how it all fits together, rather like a puzzle.  Cole has created a book that will flow off of your tongue as you read it aloud.  It almost reads itself simply because of his skill in creating prose and telling a good tale.  Here he has created a lively adventurous tale filled with traditional touches that begs to be shared or learned as a story to tell.

Cole’s illustrations also contribute to the traditional feel of the story, but the girl being the smart one, the hero is certainly not traditional nor are the message of this tale about individuality, courage and grace.

Highly recommended as a read aloud for 5-9 year olds.  There is a deep enough story here to keep the older children engaged and such a life and flow that younger children will enjoy it as well. 

Nancy Pearl Recommends SF and Fantasy Titles

Nancy Pearl was on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday and gave her list of Out of This World: Great Sci-Fi and Fantasy.  One joy of Nancy’s lists are that she never feels the need to limit herself to new titles, so this list as with many of her others has a mix of old and new titles.  The titles are not all for children, though two of them are definitely child titles.  Even the more adult titles will be of interest to teens who read this genre. 

Go to Bed, Monster!

Go to Bed, Monster! by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Sylvie Kantorovitz

When Lucy doesn’t want to go to bed one night, she decides to stay up and draw.  She draws a series of shapes that turn into a drawing of a monster who comes to life and plays with her.  They play and play, until Lucy is tired and ready for bed.  But Monster isn’t!  So Lucy has to give him a bed, feed him, let him drink, make him a potty, and much more before Monster finally, reluctantly gives in to sleep.

This clever twist on parenting and getting children to sleep will be enjoyed with enthusiasm by all children.  Children will especially like the touch of potty humor and the demands of Monster.  The text of the book is a breeze to read aloud, and Monster gives readers a chance to flaunt their monster voices with great glee.  The illustrations are also very friendly, especially the thick, crayon of Monster.  No child will be scared of this Monster!

Recommended for bedtime storytimes or for use as a bedtime story for your own Monsters.

Fione Loves the Night

Fiona Loves the Night by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest, illustrated by Amanda Shepherd.

Fiona is a little girl who falls asleep when the rest of her family does but awakens when the moon is at her window.  So she heads outside because she loves nighttime so much.  She looks at the stars, listens to the sounds, sees night creatures, feels plants, and just engages with the night on many levels.

This is a lovely book.  It offers a child who is not afraid of the dark at all, but revels in it.  The language of the book is rich, evocative and really creates the mood of a summer night.  The addition of the noises of the night on many pages will help children engage with the story even more.  Matching the language in their richness, the illustrations are done with deep color and have a thickness and body that speak to the deepness of night.  There are no murky grays of evening here, just the deep blues and blacks of real night with sudden bursts of color. 

Recommended for bedtime story times though not a great way to settle children for the night.  This book invites exploration of the dark outdoors and you may find yourself outside with flashlights rather than starting to doze.