Digital imprint: HarperTeen Impulse, a new digital imprint from HarperCollins focusing on young adult short stories and novellas, debuted on December 4. The first titles released include Breathless by Sophie Jordan, a companion novella to her “Firelight” fantasy series, and Stupid Perfect World, a futuristic novella by Scott Westerfeld. Four new titles will be available on the first Tuesday of every month through ebook retailers. Among the forthcoming titles are The Get Over by Walter Dean Myers, Cruisin’ by Sarah Mynowski, and Kiera Kass’s The Prince.
You Have to Be in It….
Book giveaway: Time is running out to enter The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance’s (NCBLA) book giveaway. You have until December 10 to Like their Facebook page and automatically be entered to win a collection of fiction and nonfiction titles, picture books, and novels for young people of all ages worth more than $500. Some of the titles have even been signed by the authors. The collection includes works by award-winning authors and illustrators such as William Alexander, Natalie Babbitt, Calef Brown, Susan Cooper, Kate DiCamillo, Jack Gantos, Nikki Grimes, Steven Kellogg, Patricia MacLachlan, Patricia McKissack, Katherine Paterson, Lesa Cline-Ransome, James Ransome, Chris Raschka, Chris Van Dusen, and others. The randomly chosen winner will be announced on December 12.
Digital audio: Live Oak Media’s audio productions are being made available in digital format. There are more than 50 eReadalongs available, and additional titles will continue to be added to the list. An app that will allow access to eReadalongs from iPads will be offered in the near future.
Monkey business: Curious George Says Thank You and Curious George in the Big City, the first two titles in the “Curious George Multi-Touch Storybook and Activities Series” for the iPad, have been released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Special features include embedded slideshows and animation, touch-responsive puzzles, and activities. Bonus activities include digital mazes and word puzzles. Every month for the next six months two new titles featuring the beloved monkey will be released. The titles are available in the Apple iBookstore for $3.99 each. “We wanted to create a digital storybook that didn’t distract children from the narrative, but instead allowed them to help the story along by completing activities that are closely tied to the plot,” said Cheryl Toto, Senior Vice President of Strategy & Planning. “Whether it’s helping George add stickers to his thank-you cards or helping him find his way back to the man with the yellow hat, these widgets bring his adventures to life and pull children directly into the story.”
Charlotte: To celebrate illustrator Garth Williams 100th birthday and the 60th anniversary of E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, will feature an exhibition of Williams’s artwork— “Some Book! Some Art!: Selected Drawings by Garth Williams for Charlotte’s Web”—from December 11 to April 22. The exhibition will feature 20 of William’s finished drawing and a selection of preliminary sketches. “There will also be a subset of works that explore the representation of Charlotte from the book to the initial animated film to the recent live-action film,” according to a press release from the Museum. HarperCollins Children’s Books provided support for the exhibit.
Call for Applications
Programming awards: Applications are being accepted through February 4 for the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards. Sponsored by The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the award is open to “after-school and out-of-school time arts and humanities programs sponsored by museums, libraries, performing arts organizations, educational institutions, arts centers, community service organizations, businesses, and eligible government entities. The program must be run for children and youth outside of the school day, but after-school, weekend, or summer programs may have a school-based component or use school space.” The primary participants in the program should be underserved children and youth, and the program must have been operational since January 2009 for a minimum of five years. Be sure to check out all the eligibility requirements. Completed applications will only be accepted online. The 12 winning programs will each be awarded $10,000 by First Lady Michelle Obama at a ceremony at the White House in the summer of 2013.
Library Opening Supports Childhood Literacy
Books for low-income kids: The Homewood Suites Books for Kids Library at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning–North Lawndale in Chicago is a new library that has opened as the result of collaboration between Homewood Suites by Hilton and The Books for Kids Foundation, an early childhood education non-profit organization. The library was opened to “ensure that all of the more than 235 at-risk children from low-income and mostly single family homes served by the center will have access and regular exposure to new, age-appropriate books regardless of their parents’ or guardians’ schedules or means.”
“Reading aloud to young students, starting when they are pre-schoolers, plays an important role in helping these children develop fundamental language, listening, learning and literacy skills,” noted Dawn Koenig Vice President for Brand Support, Homewood Suites. “Our library at the Carole Robertson Center will provide a valuable resource for the community, which we hope will provide more children with the tools needed to improve literacy levels across the board.” During the past two years, Books for Kids libraries have been opened by Homewood Suites in Memphis, TN (2 libraries); Washington, DC; Irving, TX; and Phoenix, AZ.
The mission of the Books for Kids Foundation is “to promote literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books, and partners with literacy programs to develop the critical early foundation and skills which young children need to be successful in life.”
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