Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Traditions

This morning, The Today Show posted an article on their website featuring New Year traditions around the world.

Did you know that in Scheveningen, Netherlands, on Jan. 1, brave Dutch swimmers head into the icy North Sea? Bernarr Macfadden, who founded the Coney Island Polar Bear Club in 1903, believed that "a dip in the ocean during the winter can be a boon to one's stamina, virility and immunity."

People in Urnaesch, Switzerland, celebrate with "Silvesterchlaus" (New Years Claus) people equipped with branches of pine trees and cow bells who walk toward a farm house in to offer their best wishes for the new year. After they sing and dance the Silvesterchlaeuse receive food, hot drinks, or money. It is believed that a visit by the Silvesterchlaeuse helps drive away evil spirits.

What do you do to ring in the new year?

It's popular to make New Year's Resolutions, to try to (resolve to!) improve something you've always wanted to improve about yourself. What are your new year's resolutions for 2013? Whatever they are, we've got the books to help you out:

Get more exercise:

CosmoGIRL! Total Body Workout: Fun Moves to Look and Feel Your Best from the editors of CosmoGIRL!

Toning for Teens: The 20-Minute Workout that Makes You Look Good and Feel Great! by Joyce L. Vedral

Yoga for Teens: How to Improve Your Fitness, Confidence, Appearance, and Health-- and Have Fun Doing It by Thia Luby

101 Ways to Get in Shape by Charlotte Guillain

Take better care of the Earth:

Recycle: Green Science Projects for a Sustainable Planet by Robert Gardner

Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children's Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green edited by Dan Gutman

Make It!: Don't Throw It Away- Create Something Amazing! by Jane Bull

365 Ways to Live Green for Kids: Saving the Enviornment at Home, School, or at Play--Every Day! by Sheri Amsel

Recycling: Learning the Four R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover by Martin J. Gutnik

Get better grades:

Study Smart, Study Less: Earn Better Grades and Higher Test Scores, Learn Study Habits That Get Fast Results, and Discover Your Study Persona by Anne Crossma

How to be School Smart: Super Study Skills by Elizabeth James and Carol Barkin

School Power: Study Skill Strategies for Succeeding in School by Jeanne Shay Schumm

Study Smart: Hands-On, Nuts-and-Bolts Techniques for Earning Higher Grades by Theodore Silver

Eat healthier: 

The Scoop on What To Eat: What You Should Know About Diet and Nutrition by Kathlyn Gay

Too Fat? Too Thin?: The Healthy Eating Handbook by Melissa Sayer

The Mayo Clinic Kids' Cookbook: 50 Favorite Recipes for Fun and Healthy Eating

Body Fuel: A Guide to Good Nutrition by Donna Shryer

Food for Feeling Healthy by Carol Ballard

Are resolutions part of your New Year traditions?

Be sure to take a look at the rest of the Today Show's photo set on New Year Traditions around the world to see what people in other countries do to ring in their year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Very Alternative Christmas Carol

We all know the story of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol: The mean and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come and is then transformed into a kind and generous man.

While A Christmas Carol was originally published in 1843, it's still popular and even still in print today! In fact, it's been adapted and readapted so many times that now, we probably have a least a hundred different versions of it. So why stick with the origianal A Christmas Carol? Spice it up and try one of these alternative versions this year:

For Kids:

Barbie in a Christmas Carol by Mary Man-Kong

The Animals' Christmas Carol by Helen Ward

Karen's Christmas Carol by Ann M. Martin

Dora's Christmas Carol adapted by Christine Ricci

Mr. Men A Christmas Carol originated by Roger Hargreaves

For Teens:

Batman: Noël story and art by Lee Bermejo

A Zombies Christmas Carol: In Sequential Art: Being an Undead Story of Christmas adapted by Jim McCann (pencils), David Baldeon and Jeremy Treece (inks), Jordi Tarragona and Roger Bonet (colors), Ferran Daniel and Jorge Gonzalez (letters), and Jeff Eckleberry

A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel script adaptation by Sean Michael Wilson, American English adaptation by Keith Howell, Mike Collins (pencils), David Roach (inks), James Offredi (coloring), Terry Wiley (letting), Jo Wheeler and Jenny Placentino (design and layout), and Clive Bryant (editor in cheif).

Happy reading and happy holidays!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Season

It's officially the 3rd day of Hanukkah, 2 weeks away from Christmas Eve, and 3 weeks away from New Year's Eve! Are you throwing a Holiday or New Year's Eve Party this year?

Here are some books to help you plan your fun evening:

Great Parties for Kids: Fabulous and Creative Ideas for Children Aged 0-10 by Rose Hammick

FamilyFun Birthday Cakes: 50 Cute & Easy Party Treats edited by Deanna F. Cook and the experts at FamilyFun magazine

Child Magazine's Book of Children's Parties by Angela Wilkes

Have a great holiday season!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The 2013 Morris Award Finalists

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) has selected five books as finalists for the 2013 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the actual winner at the Youth Media Awards on January 28.

And now...without further adieu, the 2013 finalists are...

Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

After the Snow by S.D. Crockett

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Have you read any of the finalists? If not, be sure to place one on reserve by clicking the links above!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Year of the Jungle

Suzanne Collins, author of the Hunger Games series has a new book due September 10, 2013! This time she's going for a younger target audience--ages 4 and up! It's a picture book called Year of the Jungle and, according to this Entertainment Weekly article, it is autobiographical.

The book is illustrated by James Proimos, and follows Suzy's struggle to deal with her father's absence as he serves in Vietnam. She counts down the days until her father’s return, and when he finally comes back, Suzy finds that the war has changed him but he loves her all the same.

On her inspiration for the book, Suzanne Collins says:

"For several years I had this little wicker basket next to my writing chair with the postcards my dad had sent me from Vietnam and photos of that year. But I could never quite find a way into the story. It has elements that can be scary for the audience and it would be easy for the art to reinforce those. It could be really beautiful art but still be off-putting to a kid, which would defeat the point of doing the book. Then one day I was having lunch with Jim and telling him about the idea and he said, ‘That sounds fantastic.’ I looked at him and I had this flash of the story through his eyes, with his art. It was like being handed a key to a locked door. So, I just blurted out, ‘Do you want to do it?’ Fortunately he said yes. That afternoon, on the train ride home, the book started unfolding in my head. There’s a natural humor and sense of fun to his drawing style that makes the story approachable. As the emotional life of the main character evolves into darker places, the pictures beautifully keep pace with it, but they never lose that Proimos quality. His art made telling the story possible."

Click here to read the full article in Entertainment Weekly.

How exciting!
Copyright 2009 Laura Druda