The July 2010 Carnival Of Children’s Literature!

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It is with the greatest of pleasure that I present to you today the July 2010 Carnival of Children’s Literature!

This week I’ve been celebrating Playing by the book reaching its 1st birthday, and I can’t think of a better way of celebrating than showcasing the wonderful community that Playing by the book is part of. So let’s get partying!

Susan, aka the Book Chook presents How Do Kids Write a Book Review?Some kids love to read, but struggle when it comes to writing a book review. I’ve come up with one review plan I hope is simple enough for elementary school students to follow.” I’ll certainly be trying out Susan’s approach with M later this week as we’re taking part in our library’s summer reading challenge, which includes writing reviews of the books that M has enjoyed.

With the recent release (in the US) of the movie “Ramona and Beezus” in mind, Aaron from Children’s Books and Reviews presents a review of Beverly Cleary’s classic juvenile fiction chapter book Beezus and Ramona. Having read Aaron’s review I’m off to the library to track down a copy – I think it will be perfect to read to my eldest, who will no doubt empathize with the big sister in this fun story.

Emily presents a review of The Maze Runner by James Dashner posted at Homespun Light. Emily adds, “If you like The Hunger Games, check out this other great book: The Maze Runner by James Dashner!“. There are several summer mazes near us and this could be the perfect book to pair with a visit to a maze!

Mary Ann presents a selection of picture books about storytelling posted at Reading, Writing and Recipes. I think Mary Ann’s selection of books would work brilliantly in encouraging your kids to write and illustrate their own stories. If you want some inspiration about making little books with your kids for them to fill with stories of their own, check out this post from The Artful Parent.

Elizabeth from dulemba highlights Bookmobiles on parade. If you click through there’s a lovely slide show of different bookmobiles, all enticing, that were on display at ALA’s Annual Conference earlier this year. Some of my favourites when it comes to bookmobiles are those covered in Quentin Blake images as used by the wonderful charity, The Book Bus, in Zambia and Ecuador.
Elizabeth is also guestposting at Rasco from RIF all about one of her own books that would make a great summer time read. Definitely one to remember after coming home dirty and dusty from the park, or muddy and messy from the garden!

Kim from Bugs and Bunnies is a very welcome contributor to this month’s carnival – she a first timer at our monthly party. Please do make her feel welcome by popping over to her review of Surviving the Applewhites, by Stephanie S. Tolan and saying hello. What I think is great about Kim’s review is how she highlights how different sorts of readers might appreciate the book, so there are notes for teachers, parents and kids too on what to expect.

Iron Guy Carl, another first timer who I hope will enjoy the party, presents Books Every Guy Should Read posted at Boys Rock, Boys Read!!!. Iron Guy Carl writes “I used to work with Bill and Zack on a boys reading blog for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and we had a great time. Bill and Zack got laid off, unfortunately, but we decided to start our own independent boys reading blog“. Their first contribution to the carnival is all about a wide-ranging selection of books picked to appeal to boys, big and small!

Elina presents a round up of reactions from parent reviewers to The Mouse, Monster and Me, and Liking Myself, two books about self-esteem, boosting confidence and instilling assertiveness. These books are full of activities for you to do together with your kids and I imagine they might be especially helpful if you’ve got kids starting school after the summer.

Shirley from SimplyScience Blog reviews 31 Ways to Change the World and as always provides a couple of great suggestions for follow up activities. I’ll certainly be looking out for this book at our library.
Elizabeth from Learn Live Laugh has a jam-packed post about reading for the very very youngest – those just learning their letters. Definitely some ideas here that I’ll be trying out with my little one who is just starting to recognise the alphabet.

Becky is one of those amazing kidlit bloggers who manages to maintain multiple blogs… Over at Becky’s Book Reviews she reviews A Long Walk to Water (for readers 9-12, though as Becky herself points out adults will enjoy it too) and at Young Readers she highlights Swim! Swim! which would appeal to my fish loving J!

Margo at The Fourth Musketeer reviews her favourite YA book of the year so far – Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood, by Jame Richards. Despite its very specific historical setting it sounds like this novel will have wide reaching appeal, beyond just those who are studying or have been affected by a natural disaster.

Are you a fan of Lemony Snicket? If so, you should definitely visit the Literary Asylum where D.M. Cunningham introduces The Fantastic and Creepy Crow Toes Quarterly The editors of this magazine, “a playfully dark arts and literature e-zine and limited-edition print magazine for children ages nine and up“, say that “after each issue is done we like to ask, “Would Lemony Snicket like it?“” – sounds like an amazing editorial policy to me!

Last week I read my very first book by Laura Numeroff, after it was kindly sent to me by Caroline at Learning Parade so I particularly enjoyed reading Eric’s homily to this author on her birthday Happy Birthday Laura Numeroff – July 14 posted at Happy Birthday Author. Given that this week Playing by the book is celebrating its birthday, I just had to look up whose birthday also fell on the same day. I was thrilled to discover that Playing by the book shares its birthday with none other than Beatrix Potter!

My own contribution to this month’s carnival is an interview with Katie Cleminson, a British author/illustrator who was named Best Emerging Illustrator in the Booktrust Early Years Awards last year. At the end of the interview there’s a chance to win a signed copy of her latest book!

Esther at Teaching Authors–6 Children’s Authors Who Also Teach Writing reviews The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide by Becky Levine and finds it contains some excellent advice on how to choose, join and run a Writing Group and also how to give and receive feedback, self-edit and make revisions.

Angela from Bookish Blather gives her take on the ongoing Common Sense Media controversy, paired with re-visiting a ratings controversy from January in a stimulating post entitled Book Thoughts: Of Ratings and Censorship. If ratings for books ever did take off, I wonder how they would vary around the world (and what problems that might make for booksellers), given that issues that are deemed sensitive can vary greatly – for example differing attitudes towards abortion and evolution in the UK and the US to say nothing of the rest of the world.

Amanda from The Literary Family writes after my own heart when she says “Sometimes books spark interests and other times interests spark more reading! Giving kids an experience to make something like jam from scratch is a wonderful experience that leads to wonderful reading opportunities! Experience and read the world together!” In her post Framboise! Amanda describes her recent jam making experience with her nephew and the books of Bobbie Kalman.

Katie from Eat Their Words presents a review of Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester Laminack plus a recipe for making your own teacakes. If there was a personalised version of this book for Katie it would perhaps be called “11:00 a.m. and Cheese and Crackers” – why not find out about the book and decide what your version of the story might be called?

Tanita from Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog has written a great round up of her trip to the American Library Association Annual Convention in D.C. This is no ordinary round up but rather one that takes you with her so you get to experience the sights, sounds, and smells as if you had been there yourself!

Janelle from Brimful Curiosities reviews How To Clean A Hippopotamus by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page and shows how the whole family were inspired to make a 3ft giraffe! It’s gorgeous 🙂

Lori Calabrese writes “Summer is in full force and your young readers are knee deep in their summer reading, right? To get them geared up for the start of another school year, why not introduce them to Dear Teacher by Amy Husband?” which Lori reviews in her post For those who always wanted to send their teacher a letter. Although my eldest has only just this week started her summer holidays I think she’ll love this when the right time comes because of the collection of real letters and tale of adventure!

Eva from Eva’s Book Addiction sent a Dispatch from the Reading Institute – part 2 for us to enjoy as part of the carnival. She has some inspiring news about doctors and books and the need for toys in libraries!

Over at I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell do I read? you can find Lee Wind in conversation with M.T. Anderson, author of many middle grade and young adult books. His books sound wonderful, and the interview has given me a great excuse to play with icecream with the kids, having introduced me to the word (and treat!) chipwich.

To celebrate the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing Anastasia from Picture Book of the Day presents Man on the Moon, one of the many books Anastasia herself has authored!

Roberta from Wrapped in Foil reviews Punctuation: The Write Stuff (written by by Mary Budzik and illustrated by Simon Basher). I’m very intrigued as Roberta writes (of the short embedded video) “You might be able to spot the author’s British roots.” – well certainly this Brit can’t spot what would stand out to an American – I’d be grateful if someone would enlighten me 🙂

Willow reviews an all-time (British) English classic – Tom’s Midnight Garden, posted at Middle School Book Reviews. I remember loving this as a child and reading Willow’s review has reminded me just how wonderful it is. I think this book might suddenly appear on the top of our bedtime reading pile!

Mandy reviews What color is caesar?, a “delightful children’s book about discovery” posted at living peacefully with children. It reminded me of one of our favourite books here – Michael Foreman’s Panda’s Puzzle, and his Voyage of Discovery.
Mary Ann from Great Kid Books reviewed Word After Word After Word, by Patricia MacLachlan. Mary Ann says “It’s my absolute favorite read of the summer. It’s a short book, but I just wanted to savor it slowly. It’s authentic and heartfelt – a beautiful testimony to the power of words and friendship.

It’s been an honour to host this month’s carnival. If you submitted an article but it hasn’t appeared here, please leave me a comment and I’ll update the post – there is a chance one or two submissions may have slipped through the net, and my apologies for that.

Finally, just for fun, and because my posts always include some music, here are some songs we might find ourselves dancing to as the wonderful carnival procession passes by:

  • Reading Rocks by The Teapot Gang
  • Let’s Have a Reading Party! by Steve Blunt & Marty Kelley
  • Reading Makes Me Want to Dance Out Loud by Monty Harper & Mr. Billy
  • Reading Really Rocks by Hans Mayer
  • Reading a Book by Ben Rudnick and Friends
  • I like reading a book by The Animal Band
  • Reading Books by Thaddeus Rex
  • Wolfin’ Down Books by Oh Susannah
  • The Books I Like to Read by Frances England (Thanks, Janelle, for reminding me of this great song!)

  • Happy dancing, and happy reading!

    19 Responses

    1. Roberta


      This looks wonderful. Happy First Birthday to your blog.

      As for the video, if you look closely one of the books says “Maths.” The American version has been shortened to “Math.”

    2. Janelle

      You should add my favorite song, “The Books I Like to Read” by Frances England to your song list. Great song.

      What an superb compilation of posts. I love the illuminated letters.

    3. sandhya

      A wonderful list. It will supply me a whole week’s reading material. Thanks for this.
      And wishing your blog a Happy Birthday!

    4. Mary Ann Scheuer

      This looks beautiful, with the illustrated letters, and is so easy to read through. Thanks for a great roundup!

      Mary Ann @ Great Kid Books

    5. Zoe


      Thanks for pointing out the “S” – of course! Another funny S that separates us is that in lego vs legos – that one always makes me smile 🙂


      We do love dancing in our kitchen and this song of yours is just lovely – thank_you_!


      How could I forget that one? I really like Frances England. I shall update the list 🙂

    6. Elizabeth Dulemba

      OMG Zoe! I didn’t know about the Book Bus! Wowsa thanks for sharing that! And for all the hard work putting together this month’s carnival! 🙂 e

      • Zoe

        Hi Elizabeth,

        I really like The Book Bus – it’s the charity I support via this blog with what I earn from Amazon affiliates, and the work they do is great. And to be honest, putting the carnival together did require some time, but I’ve really enjoyed doing it! I’d recommend it to anyone 🙂

    7. aquafortis

      Zoe, wonderful job rounding these up–you had such lovely things to say about each entry (and I love the monogram graphics!). I can’t wait to peruse!

    8. Zoe @ Playing by the book

      Hi Iron Guy Carl

      I’m really glad you made it to the party – hope to see you at the next one in August!

      Hi Aquafortis,

      Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I like the letters – I had an illustrated manuscript in the back of my mind!

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