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August 30, 2014

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Shaun Tan’s ‘Rules of Summer’ | Touch and Go

rules of summer

Scholastic, the publisher of ‘The Arrival,’ ‘The Bird King,’ and other titles by Shaun Tan, released his ‘Rules of Summer’ late last month. Fans of this author/illustrator will recognize some familiar, characteristic elements in this series of “tableaux” featuring two boys at large in their world during the summer holidays. The app offers 11 language options.

It Merely Looks Like a Toaster: Fantasy Novels for Middle Schoolers │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

City of Death

Menacing appliances are just one part of the story in Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman’s adventure. Check out the next installments in Pete Hautman’s “Seven Wonders” and Catherine Fisher’s “Obsidian Mirror” series. Rebecca Hahn joins this elite group of fantasy authors with her debut novel for fans of Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina.

Creepers & Peepers | Touch and Go

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The sounds and habitats of several small creatures are featured in three apps produced by Dawn Publications, a company known for its close-up views of the natural world. Luminous artwork in vibrant colors, and light, effective animations will engage children as they learn about insects, amphibians, and a meadow mouse.

Pets Do the Strangest (and Most Wonderful) Things: Books for Young Readers │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

Princess SparkleHeart

Having a pet―no matter what it is―can inspire some amazing stories. The following selections of pet tales are no exceptions. Check out these critter-filled picture books selected by Junior Library Guild editors.

An Elegant Proof: ‘Incredible Numbers’ on the iPad | Touch and Go

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“Math is Beautiful” states Ian Stewart, and along with the production team at Touch Press, he delivers an elegant proof of that claim in ‘Incredible Numbers,’ a visual exploration of mathematical concepts.

Who Said Poetry Month Is Over? | Touch and Go

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While National Poetry Month may be officially over, interest in great poems well delivered, never wanes. In this column we look at three very different digital anthologies that include verse. To quote the editors of one collection, we have poets “ancient and modern, fusty and frisky, famous and forgotten,” and to that we might add, a few rising stars.

What Makes a Family?: Novels for Middle Grade Readers | JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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Today’s families are increasingly blended, made up of different cultures and circumstances. Children’s literature reflects this growing trend with books that feature biracial kids, matriarch-led households, and more. Offer these new titles by award-winning fan favorites selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild.

No More Pink: Independent Readers with Independent Female Protagonists │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

Fly away

From a naughty girl-turned-spy to a best friend who sometimes makes mistakes, these strong female characters make their own choices, even when it’s scary to do so.

Writing and Racing with Geronimo Stilton | Touch and Go

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Not many mice can boast a series of books, graphic novels, and audiobooks, and a website and newspaper, unless of course, it’s Geronimo Stilton. And now the prolific journalist/editor/adventurer has added an app to his oeuvre, brought to us via Scholastic.

Hello World, Goodbye Flatland | Consider the Source

Photo by Ava Dakota Kim

“Between the booths, the artists, the displays, and the discussions, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is a feast for the eyes and ears; it is the market, the souk, of materials for children and young adults.” The innovative works on display there make American publishers appear timid in comparison when it comes to experimenting with style and format.

Waterfalls, Geysers, & Turbines |Touch and Go

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“In Stockholm, Sweden, researchers have found a way to create usable energy from the excess body heat generated by the quarter million commuters who pass through the city’s train station every day.” This fact and a look at our use of energy—yesterday and today—can be found in a new app from Kids Discover.

Birds of a Feather: Fiction and Nonfiction Books for Young Readers │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

Pigeon Needs a Bath

Books about birds can teach kids amazing facts about nature, and they can also make them laugh. From a lost chicken in the city to a pigeon who really needs a bath, these following titles will be a feather in your cap.

‘Love, the app’ | Touch and Go

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The winners of the 2014 Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award were recently announced; Gian Berto Vanni’s ‘Love, the app’ took the top prize in the fiction category.

SLJ’s 2014 Battle of the Books Is in Full Swing

Teen with BoB contender

SLJ ’s own version of March Madness, our sixth annual Battle of the Kids’ Books (BoB) elimination contest, kicked off on March 11 and has been going strong for 10 matches and counting. A recap of the Battle’s surprise victories, student-led celebrations, and quips from the Peanut Gallery.

Women Who Made a Difference │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

Woman in the House

How can the efforts of one woman make an impact? The following nonfiction titles tell the stories of women who forged a path for future generations with small but powerful acts.

The Right To Know | Consider the Source

right to know

Instead of squabbling over elements of Common Core we need to look at what the standards offer: a ladder. We must break through the blur of the immediate…to what [young people] need to know, to the skills and tools that will allow them to know, and the assurance that they have a right to know.

Nosy Crow’s ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ | Touch and Go

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The award-winning British digital developer with a distinct approach to fairy tales has a new app, and it’s something to crow about.

Diversity in Librarianship | Consider the Source

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Over the past few weeks there’s been a great deal of discussion among librarians and authors about the lack of diversity in books published for children and teens. When it comes to our profession, have we closely examined the imbalances that exist? Marc Aronson weighs in.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! | Touch and Go

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Once again it’s time to raise a few balloons as we celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2) with a roundup of his stories and Seuss-inspired titles, released as apps within the past 12 months.

The Intergalactic Duo Is Back & Bowling | Touch and Go

Ansel

Capturing kids’ interest through games and badges is generally effective, but the trivia game ‘Ansel and Clair: American Bowl’ makes it clear that careful consideration must be given to both pacing and learning opportunities.