Punk Farm–The Movie

MGM has announced that it will be doing an animated version of Punk Farm, based on the picture book by Jarrett Krosoczka.  While MGM is not known for animated films, this project will be a major one for the studio as it emerges from bankruptcy.  We will just have to wait and see what the CG animation looks like.

Book Review: Bring on the Birds by Susan Stockdale


Bring on the Birds by Susan Stockdale

This is a bright and bold picture book about birds.  Written in simple, rhyming text, the book is a celebration of the diversity of birds around the world.  It shows birds of different sizes, colors and habitats.   Some are active, others sitting, and still others hang upside down.  There is a section at the end of the book that has more information on each bird as well as a list of nonfiction titles about birds for children to explore. 

The text here is so simple that it glides past.  The rhythm and rhyme is gentle and unifies the book.  The illustrations are the glory of the book offering simple backgrounds that the birds shine against.  Even in their simplicity, the illustrations manage to convey the birds’ habitat and size. 

Definitely not for the birds, this is a very successful nonfiction picture book for young readers.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Peachtree Publishers.

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So Many Computers in Libraries…Was a Mistake



The new Children’s Laureate in the UK, Julia Donaldson, has expressed concerns about the number of computers in public libraries. 

“I thought it was a shame when so many computers were brought into libraries – adults using them for playing card games, teenagers looking at [questionable] websites, I thought that was a mistake,” she told The Herald.

“At the time [as computers were being installed] I said we needed to have more children’s writing specialists.

“I might get into hot water by saying this, but I would love to see more [investment] going into stocking children’s titles, even at the expense of adult sections. But part of my job is to create a stink.”


I do hope that eventually people understand that libraries are about far more than books.  Yes, books are important, vital to our world and communities, but to disparage the offering of computers by public libraries is not helpful.  We get people into our libraries because we offer computers, because we offer open access to information whatever format it may appear in.  We are working hard to get digital books into libraries in a way our patrons will respond to.  In this day to equate books with reading and computers with playing games is simply wrong.

I also sigh over her willingness to improve children’s collections in libraries at the expense of adult collections.  While that may be her focus as Children’s Laureate, I think it’s another naïve and damaging statement to make about libraries.  Libraries definitely focus on children’s services.  Right now, I am typing this down the hall from a children’s performer singing lively songs to an enormous group of preschoolers.  I see the need for strong children’s collections, and deep knowledge of reading and books among library staff, but let’s not pit adult reading vs. children’s reading.  Both are great!

So that’s my opinion as a public library administrator.  What about you?  Do you think there are too many computers in libraries?  Should we be funding children’s collections at the expense of adult? 

Chris Colfer Gets Children’s Book Deal

Chris Colfer, star of Glee, has signed a two-book deal with Little Brown.  The first book, The Land of Stories, will be released in the summer of 2012.  Colfer does have writing experience.  Right now he is writing scripts for a Disney Channel pilot and for a feature film.

It will be interesting to see if he can rise above the usual star author fare with his books.  What do you think?  Are you excited to read his books?