November 24, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Video Sunday: Butterfly in the sky / I can go twice as high (thanks in large part to physics)…

Happy news, neighborinos! Today I bring unto you a video from BookFest, a yearly celebration of children’s literature hosted (these days) by Bank Street College of Education. Kidlit TV recorded almost the entire thing live and then put it on air. This year I had the honor of moderating a panel discussion with funny folks […]

Video Sunday: In Retrospect, I Probably Should Have Saved These for Halloween

Are you ready to be scared? Because I don’t know about you but I find this new adaptation of Peter Rabbit for the screen to be absolutely terrifying. What’s rather remarkable is how they managed to avoid poop jokes. Normally awfully trailers are just rife with them. Now there is a distinct possibility that if […]

Book Trailer Premiere: Sorcery for Beginners

You know me. I’m a sucker for a clever book trailer. Book trailers in general are such a strange creation. No one knows the degree to which they influence readers to pick up their books. Yet there’s almost an art to their ephemeral creation. Today, we feature a book that is a pitch perfect example […]

Video Sunday: Storytime Now

Top o’ the Sunday to you! Let’s get down to business, shall we? First up, the best of the best of the best. Now I have scoured the internet for information on whether or not documentarian Frederick Wiseman will be showing Ex Libris, his latest film on New York Public Library, on PBS any time […]

Book Chat Premiere: The Bad Mood and the Stick by Lemony Snicket, ill. Matthew Forsythe

On occasion I will do a presentation that encapsulates the history of children’s literature on social media. It’s fairly simple. You start with listservs, move on to blogs, work in the rise of Twitter, and then close with a variety of examples of children’s books (or YA, though that’s a different animal for the most […]

Video Sunday: Don’t feed the plants

Happy Day Before the Eclipse! We’ve a couple interesting videos to peruse today, so take your pick! First off, two recent ones from the live feed show I do with the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop. The first is a bit of an aberration since it involves me being interviewed, not the other way around. The lure? […]

Book Trailer Premiere: Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown, ill. John Parra

Every generation gets the Frida Kahlo picture book biography it deserves.  Now at some point here I’m going to write an article about why some female figures get picture books biographies while others do not, and what trends in the greater pop culture landscape control these choices.  Happily, I am of the opinion that the […]

Book Trailer Premiere: How to Make Friends With a Ghost by Rebecca Green

There are book trailer premieres and then there are book trailer premieres. When Tundra Books asked if I might be interested in premiering the trailer for Rebecca Green’s simply adorable How to Make Friends With a Ghost, I thought it might be fun. Still, you know what’s even more fun that a trailer premiere? A […]

Video Sunday: Smooth Brains

Over at Read-Aloud Revival they hosted two of my favorite people in conversation. Honestly if you could just give Jeanne Birdsall and N.D. Wilson their own talk show, I would be first in line to be in the studio audience. Here’s how they described this talk at Anderson’s Bookshops: Jeanne and N.D. are good friends, […]

Video Sunday: “Butters. Plural.”

I just love the Evanston Public Library crew. Our librarians are uniquely talented souls. For example, each year they produce a new stop animation summer reading video. This year they got a bit ambitious and upped their game to a stop animation Rube Goldberg summer reading video. In other news, I thought this next video […]

Book Trailer Premiere: Our Story Begins, edited by Elissa Brent Weissman

You know, FUNNY GIRL wasn’t the only anthology out this year. I seem to recall quite a few of them gracing our bookstore and library shelves in 2017.  One of them struck me as particularly keen too.  Called Our Story Begins it contains actual books created by famous children’s book authors and illustrators when THEY […]

Book Trailer Premier: How It Feels to Be a Boat by James Kwan

Let me be clear – I don’t actually post every book trailer I’m asked to premiere.  If I’m lucky, I may already love a book and then find myself offered the chance to debut it after previously falling for it hook, line, and sinker.  How It Feels to Be a Boat by James Kwan fits […]

Video Sunday: It’s Been a Long Long Time, M’Dear

Howdy! I’m neck deep in book promotion for old Funny Girl these days, but that doesn’t mean I can’t cut a little chunk of time out of my daily schedule to bring you a swath of some good old-fashioned videos for this Sunday morn.  And what a swath it is!  First up, a video that […]

Video Sunday: “It has to be perfect”

This past Monday I had the honor of being Illinois State University’s 2017 Lois Lenski Lecturer, following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Leonard Marcus, Phil Nel, and many others. Intimidating, to say the least. The campus news team was on hand to film it. Sometimes when I am filmed, I like to watch […]

Video Sunday: Dedicated to Hadley and Fluffles

Hooray! It’s been an awfully long time but at long last Nathan Hale has a new Hazardous Tales story to tell.  #7 in the series will be a WWII tale about bombers called The Raid of No Return and it’s due out November 2017.  There is nothing I don’t like about this.  And best of […]

Hey, Baby, They’re Playing Our Song

The hazards of children’s librarianship are myriad. There is the papercut threat, liable to occur at any time without a moment’s notice.  There is the distinct possibility, every day, that a small child will vomit on you.  The odds may be slim but it’s still possible.  But greater than these, more likely than these, more […]

Book Trailer Premiere: Martina and Chrissie by Phil Bildner, ill. Brett Helquist

When I was a kid I didn’t know much about sports. I knew that the Tigers had won the World Series in ’84. I knew that there was a football player called “Refrigerator” and that sometimes football players took ballet classes (Mr. Rogers taught me that one).  And I knew who Martina Navratilova and Chris […]

Video Sunday: Sure hope you like music . . .

The news, man. It’s overwhelming. I look on my Facebook and my Twitter and it’s all I can see. The days when I could stroll along in blissful ignorance are long gone. This past week was particularly bad so . . . let’s watch Chance the Rapper sing the Arthur theme song with Ziggy Marley, […]

Book Trailer Premier: Green Pants by Kenneth Kraegel

Video Sunday bounces back with a beautiful book trailer.  But first, a little book trailer 101. When making a book trailer for your third picture book (in this particular case Mr. Kenneth Kraegel was the understated soul behind King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson and The Song of Delphine) you have to consider what kind of […]

Video Sunday: Yesss! Boyz II Men Inclusion Accomplished!

Morning folks. I’ll start today with a video that contains some classy tunes. It’s my recent interview with Eric Rohmann about his new book GIANT SQUID. Delicious delicious giant squids. Sorry. This interview occurred on a day when I was half hoping the staff recording the interview would have a big steaming plate of calamari […]