Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Kevin Henkes!

Happy Birthday, Kevin Henkes! The successful children's book author and illustrator turns 51 today!

Kevin Henkes is one of five children and says that many of his storylines are inspired by his family and the neighborhood where he grew up in Racine, Wisconsin.

His first book, All Alone, was published in 1981. Since then, more than 30 books followed, including Chrysanthemum, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Olive's Ocean (which one a 2004 Newbery Honor) and Kitten's First Full Moon (which won the 2005 Caldecott Medal).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hunger Games Trailer

The Hunger Games trailer is up! Check it out below:

What do you think? I'm surprisingly impressed.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

Tomorrow is a big day for Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans!

It marks the release of the 6th Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Cabin Fever, where "Greg is the prime suspect when school property has been damaged, but he is innocent. When a surprise blizzard hits, he finds himself trapped home with his family."

Put a copy of the book on hold, by clicking here.

If you're interested in talking with other fans and the awesome author of the books, Jeff Kinney, join the webcast at 10am, broadcasting from the Bank Street College of Education in New York.

Click here to register!

Happy Cabin Fever Day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Picture Book Month

Did you know that November is picture book month? What an easy holiday to celebrate. No matter how old you are, you can always enjoy a good picture book.

Here are a bunch of recommendations (for all age groups) to get you started:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Dear Zoo
by Rod Campbell

Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems

Smitten by David Gordon

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

The Robot and the Bluebird by David Lucas

The Jolly Postman, or, Other People's Letters by Janet and Allen Ahlberg

Snook Alone by Marilyn Nelson

Silent Movie by Avi

Hi, Pizza Man! by Virginia Walter

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by Jane Yolan

Valentine Friends by Ann Schweninger

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg

Charlie Chick by Nick Denchfield

The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Be sure to take a look at to find out more information on why picture books are so important for everybody! And become a Picture Book Month Ambassador for 2011!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo '11

Happy November and Happy National Novel Writing Month. Yep, that's right. It's NaNoWriMo again: time to trade in hours of watching and nights out for the joy of writing a 50,000-word novel in one month.

For those of you who not in the know, National Novel Writing Month runs from November 1st-30th, and is a self-proclaimed "fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing" and "thirty days and thirty nights of literary abandon!"

NaNoWriMo encourages quantity, not quality, so don't stop, don't think, just write. Use the opportunity to be free, write what you feel like writing, and see where the journey takes you! And take comfort in knowing that we're all producing mediocrity together.

Despite the fact that we aren't expected to create a work of quality, sometimes luck will have its way and, with enough editing, a NaNoWriMo novel can turn out to be a real masterpiece! Some even become popular, published books. Don't believe it's possible? The following books all started out as NaNoWriMo projects:

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (a 2007 Alex Award winner)

Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen (among YALSA’s 2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers and 2009 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults)

Livvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley

Running for My Life by Ann Gonzalez

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

So, will yours be next?

This is year is my sixth year embarking on the challenging and really kind of silly journey and I'd love for you all to join me! Knowing that you just wrote a whole novel, no matter how terrible, is an AWESOME feeling... and it's only 29 days away!

Want to sign up? Check out the Official National Novel Writing Website for more information.

And be sure to read Figment's NaNoWriMo Approacheth Survival Tips for some genuinely good advice on handling this frenzied month.

Happy writing, everybody!
Copyright 2009 Laura Druda