Boxcar Children Prequel

Albert Whitman & Company has announced that Newbery Award winning author, Patricia MacLachlan will write the prequel to the Boxcar Children.  The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner has over 150 titles with more than 50 million copies sold.  The series has been continuously in print since the first book was published in 1942.

Patricial MacLachlan is the author of over 20 books for children.  About writing the prequel, MacLachlan said:

Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are kind to one another and embody the true sense of family. They are resourceful and positive. I find them both true children and true heroes at the same time. It occurs to me that perhaps their parents were the same. I’m looking forward to exploring that idea and more.

The prequel will be published in 2012.

Katniss Casting–Interview with the Director, Gary Ross

Entertainment Weekly has an interview with Gary Ross, the director of The Hunger Games film.  He answers questions that we are all asking:

1. What about Jennifer Lawrence’s age at 20 compared to Katniss at 16?

2. What about race when portions of the books hint that Katniss is biracial?

And the answers time and again are that Suzanne Collins played a huge role in the casting of Katniss, which will be music to the ears of fans.  But I’m not sure it really answers the heart of the questions about this casting.

Lambda Literary Awards–Shortlist Announced

The Lambda Literary Awards celebrate the best of LGBT books.  Winners will be announced in May.  Here is their shortlist for Best LGBT Children’s/Young Adult:


Christian the Hugging Lion by Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell, illustrated by Amy June Bates

God Loves Hair by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Juliana Neufeld

Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde


Love Drugged by James Klise

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

Pick a Pup: A Celebration of Dogs


Pick a Pup by Marsha Wilson Chall, illustrated by Jed Henry

Sam is all set to pick out his puppy from the animal shelter.  But he’s not sure how he will know which puppy is the right one for him.  His grandmother assures him that he will figure it out.  On the way to the shelter, Sam visits other dogs.  Which kind does he want?  Does he want a lazy dog?  A playful dog?  A pedigreed, fancy dog?  How will he ever know which pup to choose?

Chall has created a book that celebrates the process of not only getting your first dog but also selecting one from a shelter.  While the book begins in a fairly usual way, when it comes to the variety of dogs Sam meets on his walk, the book really takes shape.  Each dog is celebrated and understood to be the right fit for that specific person. 

Henry’s illustrations help in the celebration of the dogs, keeping all of them friendly, approachable but distinct from one another in both looks and attitude.  The soft and bright illustrations offer just the right tone for the book.

A celebration of dogs and animal shelters, this book would be a great addition to a dog unit or storytime.  It’s also a perfect pick for a Read to a Dog program.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Simon & Schuster.