BWI's Cool Site

Book Wholesalers, Inc.
As well as being one of the top children’s book vendors, BWI’s site offers much more free information than any other vendor in the business. With no registration or any hoops to jump through, you can access their list of monthly top picks, new titles available in paperback, additions to hot series, and staff picks. Have your finger poised on the bookmark button!

Jane Addams Book Award

Jane Addams Book Award has been presented annually since 1953 by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. The award is given to the children’s book from the year before that “most effectively promotes the cause of peace, social justice and world community.”
The 2003 winners are Parvana’s Journey by Deborah Ellis and for the picture book category, Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Ann Grifalconi.

Funke Interview

The Miami Herald — Author on her way to fame; could be next J.K. Rowling
This article has a brief interview with Cornelia Funke with a wonderful quote:
“I like when a child comes to me at a reading and they have a book that looks like it’s been read a dozen times. A collector who brings me a book that is perfectly clean — that is kind of a creepy feeling. I feel like that book is dead. Nobody will ever touch it again. If I was a book, I would like to be a library book, so I would be taken home by all different sorts of kids. A library book, I imagine, is a happy book.”

Sahara Special

Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell (0-8072-1712-2)
This children’s novel by the author of Educating Esme is one that I listened to on audio. The story features Sahara, a girl who stops doing work at school when the administration starts a file on her and includes her letters to her absent father that they found in her desk. Sahara refuses to do any more work, so that they will have nothing to add to her file, and she is held back to repeat the 5th grade. Then along comes Miss Pointy, the new 5th grade teacher, who inspires all of the children to excel, including Sahara.
I enjoyed the character of Sahara very much. She rang true to me in her confusion, her anger and her intelligence. Miss Pointy, on the other hand, was too much of a perfect character. She had solutions to everything and very creative ones too. Yes, I understand that we are seeing her through Sahara’s adoring eyes, but seeing some weakness in her teaching ability would have been nice and more realistic.
All in all, the book was fun to listen to. The narration by Phylicia Rashad was very well done. Her voice was musical and evocative. I would recommend this book to kids who want to be writers or teachers. They will find a lot to think about.

Another Best Books List

PARENTING names best children’s books of 2003
This article from Austin gives a small glimpse into the books chosen as the best by Parenting Magazine for 2003. I tried going to the Parenting Magazine website, but they don’t have the list available online. I especially enjoy seeing what board books they choose, since they often find ones that aren’t mentioned anywhere in library review sources.

Classic Children's Books in New Editions

Classic children’s books are popping up in good form
This article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune is all about great children’s books from the past that have new editions available. A great article for ideas for gift giving this holiday season. My favorite part of the article comes at the end with a quote from Raskin, author of The Westing Game, ‘”I try to say one thing in my work: A book is a wonderful place to be. A book is a package . . . a surprise package — and within the wrappings is a whole new world and beyond.”
Her book, and the others mentioned here, are that world. Look and you’ll see.’