Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy National Children's Book Week in Three Parts. The Tote! The Events! The Books from Our Boswell's Best Case!

Welcome to our three-part blog post, celebrating National Children's Book Week.

a. Tonight we're selling books at the Women's Club of Wisconsin, 813 E. Kilbourn Avenue. The program, Wisconsin Women Write for Children features seven wonderful local authors: Carole Barrowman, Ann Bausum, Lois Ehlert, Janet Halfmann, Barbara Joosse,, JoAnn Early Macken, and Lisa Moser.

Starting time is 6:30 and admission is $15 ($5 for students), with registration available at the door.We'll have National Children's Book Week posters for all attendees and a free bag to the first 25 people to spend $15 or more.

b. On Thursday, April 16, 6:30 pm, we're co-hosting Amy Timbelake at the St. Francis Public Library, 4230 S. Nicholson Ave, 53235. She'll be there for her novel One Came Home. Random House originally added a school and public event mini-tour (she's also at Books and Company on Wednesday, at 4:30 pm) due to the strength of his review in Journal Sentinel.

"Timberlake set her story in 1871 in Placid, a fictionalized version of Wisconsin Dells. That year, the largest nesting of passenger pigeons ever recorded took place in the state: It might have taken up as many as 850 square miles in south-central Wisconsin. (Unfortunately, passenger pigeons have been extinct since 1914.)" Read the rest of the story here.

Once again, the first people to buy One Came Home at the library will get a National Children's Book Week book bag.

c. And of course we should highlight a few kids' books! One book on this week's Boswell's Best is The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle (Walden Pond), by Christopher Healy. It's the follow up to Healy's The Hero's Gide to Saving Your Kingdom, and features the Princes Charming--Duncan, Liam, Gustav, and Frederic, stepping out of the shadows of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Briar Rose, to defeat an evil witch bent on destroying all their kingdoms. Susan Carpenter in The Los Angeles Times called this series "one of the more clever, hilariously successful incarnations of the current literary rage to rip apart and rewrite fairy tales."

The new book from Crystal Allen, whose How Lamar's Bad Prank won a Bubba-Sized Trophy received a Florida Sunshine State Award (it was raining the day of the ceremony, rumor has it) is The Laura Line. It's about 13-year-old Laura Dyson, who will do anything to prevent her class from making a field trip to the slave shack on her grandmother's property, but what if "anything" winds up putting the slave shack in jeopardy?

Here's a bit from book blogger Valeria Espinoza. "As soon as I saw this novel, I began reading it, right there in the bookstore. I was quickly fascinated with Laura and her life struggling in middle school. It took me back when I was in middle school simultaneously trying to fit in and be myself, or better yet, trying to figure out who I was. I loved Laura from the get go because we are all her in a fraction of our lives; not accepting who we are, or being afraid of who we want to be. The only obstacle in our lives is ourselves and that is evident in The Laura Line. Getting rid of that obstacle, of our own fears, is the hardest part and seeing this fight within the character herself, made it even more realistic and captivating."

Hey, a bookstore mentioned in a book blogger's review! That warms my heart.  

Amie, Stacie, and Jane have all been anxiously awaiting The Mighty Lalouche (Schwartz and Wade) from Matthew Olshan and Sophie Blackall, whose illustrations you probably know from the Ivy and Bean series. It's about a humble postman in Paris, who, sacked from his job at the post office, turns to boxing to support himself and his pet finch, Genevieve. I should note that he doesn't seem cut out for the career, but he turns out to be a worthy opponent. 

Amie told me that even the review copy she got was immaculately packaged, and there was no tape to seal it, as they tried to be true to the tools of the time in delivering The Mighty Lalouche to booksellers. Sophie Blackall has a fascinating blog post on how she put the artwork together. Wow!

And finally, another book that made the rounds of booksellers, but hasn't yet made it into the blog is Mo Willems's That is Not a Good Idea (Balzer and Bray) It's also a period place, but takes the format of a silent movie. A hungry fox (his name is Hungry Fox)  meets a blushing goose (That's Plump Goose, to you) and asks her to go for a stroll, and then asks her for dinner, as the audience (baby geese, or are they goslings) looks on in horror and tries to warn the participants, "that is not a good idea!"

Want to know more? You can watch this trailer:

The four titles reviewed in part C of this post are all Boswell's Best through at least May 20. Happy National Children's Book Week!

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