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New Video Book Trailers

The gang in our Book Fairs group has put together a bunch of fun book trailers for this season's newest books, including a bunch that have conversations with the authors, like Diana Lopez, Paula Morris and illustrator David Catrow.

One of my favorite videos this round is for "The Big Field" by sports writer Mike Lupica. His sports-themed books are great for athletic boys who tend to avoid books like dirty laundry.

Or watch all the video book trailers in our Video Center.

Author Events & Live Webcast: Joanna Cole, Bruce Degen, & More

9780590108263_xlg Author Joanna Cole and illustrator Bruce Degen, creators of the Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge, will be making appearances at:

Barnes & Noble in Princeton, NJ
April 17, 2010 at 11 a.m. ET
Call for details: 609-897-9250

Books of Wonder in New York, NY
April 18, 2010 at 1 p.m. ET
Call for details: 212-989-3270

Barnes & Noble in Huntington Station, NY
April 19, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. ET
Call for details: 631-421-9886

Bank Street Bookstore in New York, NY
April 19, 2010 at 4 p.m. ET
Call for details: 212-875-4551

Scholastic Store in New York, NY
April 20, 2010
Call for details: 212-343-6166

Webcast Liberty Science Center in NJ
April 20, 2010 at 1 p.m. ET
Get Magic School Bus Webcast details

Books, Bytes & Beyond in Glen Rock, NJ
April 21, 2010 all day
Call for details: 201-670-6766

Children's Book World, Santa Monica Library in Santa Monica, CA
April 23, 2010 at 4 p.m. PT
Call for details: 301-458-8600

9780545031837_lg Stephanie Watson, author of Elvis & Olive: Super Detectives, will be making an appearance at:
The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN
July 1, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. CT
Call for details: 651-224-8320

9780439837064_lg Jordan Sonnenblick, author of After Ever After, will be making an appearance at:
Anderson's Bookshop in Downer's Grove, IL
April 26, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. CT
Call for details: 630-963-2665

Author Events: Roderick Gordon, Jenny Moss, & More

9780545138772_lg Roderick Gordon, coauthor of Freefall, the third book in the Tunnels series, will be making an appearance at:

Anderson's in Naperville, IL
February 22, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Call for details: 630-355-2665

Borders in LaGrange, IL
February 24, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Call for details: 708-579-9660

Boswell Books in Milwaukee, WI
February 26, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Call for details: 414-332-1181

Barnes & Noble in Brookfield, WI
February 27, 2010 at 2 p.m.
Call for details: 262-796-8550

Red Balloon in St. Paul, MN
February 28, 2010 at 2 p.m.
Call for details: 651-224-8320

Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, MN
March 2, 2010 at 6 p.m.
Get details

Barnes & Noble in Roseville, MN
March 3, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Call for details: 651-639-9256

Jenny Moss, author of Shadow will be making an appearance at:

Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, TX
April 24, 2010 at 1 p.m.
Get Details

9780545080644_lg Shelley Rotner, illustrator of Dogs Don't Brush Their Teeth will be making an appearance at:

Towne Center Books in Pleasanton, CA
March 18, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.
Get Details

New Video Booktalks for Catching Fire, Malice, & More

We've just finished producing another round of video booktalks for 12 fantastic books, including Malice, Hannah and How to Say Goodbye in Robot. We also filmed the awesome follow-up to Hunger Games called Catching Fire (it has been making a big splash, in case you haven't already heard.)

As always, the Scholastic staffers who volunteer to sit in front of the bright lights and intimidating camera did a great job. We hope you find these booktalks useful in the new year -- and we'd love to hear how you use them in your classroom.

Watch more booktalks.

Book Video - Family Huddle

It's definitely fall and we're all spending a lot of time in the Scholastic offices thinking about what teachers need and want this time of year. Meanwhile, all I'm thinking about is football. So excuse me as I indulge my two favorite things: football and picture books in this great video:

I love those Manning boys. They do make my Sundays. And this Family Huddle book looks adorable.

New Book: The Tushy Book

TushyBook I was hopping around the web and came upon this adorable trailer for The Tushy Book by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tracy Dockray.

It's true! I can't say the word "tushy" without a smile. And the Tushy book website includes downloadable activities, greeting cards and more booty fun.

Perhaps something to add to your summer reading list?

New Book: "Fire" by Kristin Cashore

Graceling_cover Imagine my excitement when the advanced reader for Fire -- the prequel to Graceling hit my desk this week. Graceling by Kristin Cashore was one of my favorite reads of last year and Fire takes place a few decades earlier in the land neighboring Monsea, called the Dells.

The first few chapters are about baby Leck, so I'm thoroughly creeped out, but looking forward to meeting the new characters and hoping to find someone as crush-worthy as Prince Po. (*dreamy sigh*)

But really this is just the juicy intermezzo before the sequel to Graceling, called Bitterblue, is released. That book will take place six years later and is (obviously) about Queen Bitterblue. But Katsa and Po are said to make an appearance and I've spent a lot of time day-dreaming about what those two might be up to. (Haven't you?)

If you've yet to read Graceling, I highly recommend. It would be a great read for a girl age 15 and older who's looking for a tough gal heroine in a land far, far away.

Read more about this series on Kristin Cashore's blog.

Hmmm, now where is my advanced reader for Catching Fire?

Video Wednesday -- Weston Wood clips

I have fond memories of watching Weston Woods film strips in my Elementary school library; the excitement of watching a book come to life, the whirl of the projector, the smell of old books, the carpet square under my seat. I still get a little thrill when I watch them.

Recently, I added 36 clips of my favorite Weston Woods videos to our video center. It wasn't easy picking through 400+ books, but it sure was fun.

I found some new favorites, such as Knuffle Bunny and Is Your Mama a Llama? As well as some true classics, including Blueberries for Sal and Strega Nona.

I always liked this one -- Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears? -- for the colorful illustrations (courtesy of Leo and Diane Dillon). Watch: 

See all 36 Weston Woods video clips.

And visit our friends at Weston Woods if you don't see a clip you remember. They've got hundreds!

Video Wednesday -- John Green Interview

Papertowns It takes a special kinda guy to admit to reading the Baby-Sitters Club books -- and John Green is just such a guy. The author of funny-and-true YA books, like his newest Paper Towns, talks about the origins of "nerdfighters," how he creates characters, and how reading those aforementioned Baby-Sitter Club books helped him understand high school girls -- sort of.

Watch John Green's full interview, including a reading of Paper Towns.

Video Wednesday - Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman

Blueberry_Girl I was traipsing around YouTube the other day and nearly tripped over this beautiful trailer for the book Blueberry Girl, read by Neil Gaiman. Normally, I have to admit, I'm a little creeped out by Gaiman, Newbery medal or not, but the beautiful prose and bright illustrations in this picture book may have won me over.

Such a sweet and tender story about a prayer for a little baby girl growing up.

Video Wednesday: Sid Fleishman Interview

Fleischman_sid_lg Talk about a fascinating guy! Elder statesman Sid Fleishman has written over 50 books for children and adults, and has dabbled in magic, movies, and newspaper reporting. We met up with him last November and asked him about picking character names, the Charlie Chaplin bio he's been working on, and much more. So much, that I couldn't decide on which clip I liked best to highlight.

I finally decided on this clip; Fleishman talks about the magicians' manual he wrote in high school, which is still in print. I had no idea there were publishing houses just for magician books. Fascinating!

Watch the full Sid Fleishman interview.

Video Wednesday: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

I have to admit I was one of the many Harry Potter fans that were royally disappointed when Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was moved from November to July. I remember falling head over heels into that book and not seeing the light of day until I finished reading it -- there was so much action and romance! Of course, once I saw the trailer, all was forgiven.

Watch the latest Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince trailer:

Did you just get goosebumps? I can't wait to plop into a theater seat on July 18 and head off to Hogwarts once again. Can you?

Video Wednesday: Monkey and Me Author Reading

Monkeyme I just love listening to authors read their own words -- especially if the author is also the illustrator. 

Watch British author/illustrator Emily Gravett as she reads from her picture book Monkey and Me and explains that it's based on a friend's "wiggly" daughter. It's absolutely charming!

Hunger Games Movie News & Contest

9780439023481_lg Two pieces of BIG news about one of our favorite books of the year... The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

First, we're so excited to hear the book is going to be made into a movie, with Suzanne Collins penning the script. Who better to adapt that crazy book than the author herself? (Though, I'll be covering my eyes at the scene towards the end with the dogs and cornucopia. Remember? Eww.) 

I spent the entire walk to the office this morning trying to think of casting choices -- but so far came up empty. Teen tomboys are few and far between in Hollywood these days. Our friends on Ink Splot 26 came up with some interesting picks, check those out and jot your ideas in the comments. I'd love to hear them.

Second, and most exciting, Scholastic is giving one lucky fan a chance to sit down with Suzanne for a private lunch in NYC. Not only will they get to pick the brain of this creative and incredibly nice (we've met her) author, they get an autographed copy of Catching Fire (the sequel, eeek!), and a collectible mockingjay pin. Get the details here. (Unfortunately, Scholastic employees are not eligible. Boo.)

Get inspired for the contest by watching Ms. Collins reading from her book:

Find all things Hunger Games here. And watch an interview with Suzanne Collins.

Where the Wild Things Are Movie Trailer

9780064431781_xlg The first trailer for the "Where the Wild Things Are" movie is available. It looks down-right amazing!

Seeing Maurice Sendak's beloved monsters in living color nearly brought a tear to my eye. And Max is an excellent replica of the little boy in the book. I couldn't be happier that Spike Jones is behind this film adaptation and I can't wait to see how they filled two hours from a simple little story about a bad boy who becomes king of the Wild Things, than wanders home for dinner ... which "was still hot."

Or watch it on Apple.com.

What do you think of the trailer?

Video Wednesday: Mark Teague Interview

Get up close and personal with illustrator/author Mark Teague in this gem of a video. The creator of the LaRue series and illustrator behind How Do Dinosaurs... series shares his inspiration, his advice for budding artists, and, most amazingly, takes you into his studio to show how he creates his beautiful artwork.

He also shares a few stories about his reading life as a kid, which I can relate to. I remember coming home from the library with a big stack of picture books, as well!

For more Teague resources, find downloadable classroom activities on the SeeSaw Author of the Month page.

More about Mark Teague.

Picture Book Thursday: Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Littlemouse Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears
Written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
Ages 4-11

LittlerabbitLittle Rabbit and The Night Mare
Written by Kate Klise
Illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
Ages 3-7

Underbed What's Under the Bed?
Written and illustrated by Joe Fenton
Ages 3-7

Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears
I have to admit, I missed Gravett's book Wolves when it was first published. I'm happy to report, I did not miss Little Mouse. Ms. Gravett uses humor and a clever mix of trompe l'oeil effects to create a story within a story. There are so many different cuts, folds, and fold-outs, that my hands were constantly running over the pages to see what was three dimensional. Meanwhile, Little Mouse's neurotic scribblings kept me in stitches throughout. His "I get edgy near sharp knives," page was particularly amusing. What a treat!

Little Rabbit and The Night Mare
The Klise sisters offer a charming tale of a rabbit who becomes so anxious after being assigned his first report, he begins to suffer from nightmares. Well, a "night mare" to be exact. This horse-like boogie man causes Rabbit no end of anxiety until he faces it down and aces his report, you guessed it, on his nightmare. The animal infused illustrations are well done; I'd call them Garth Williams meets Margaret Wise Brown. This title is a great way to broach nightmares and worries with your students.

What's Under the Bed?
What do you get when you combine a peppy Seussical text with a carefully chosen color palette? Joe Fenton's first, hopefully of many, picture book. Children will find a kindred spirit in Fred and his monster-in-the-dark troubles. The surprise ending is sure to please and leave readers with a smile. FYI: I've found lining up stuffed animals around the perimeter of the bed to be a reliable monster deterrent.

On the Trail of 39 Clues

Peter Lerangis, the author of the third 39 Clues book is over on Ink Splot blogging about his crazy adventures promoting the new book (The 39 Clues #3: The Sword Thief) while following mysterious clues. It's very entertaining -- especially if you're a fan of the books. 

Watch the first of five videos he filmed "Blair witch" style in the New York City subway, here:

Everything you need to know about 39 Clues is here.

Are you reading the 39 Clues series? What do you think?

Video Wednesday: New Video Booktalks

Here at Scholastic, we dig video booktalks.They're a fun, easy way to get kids interested in good books without having to read the jacket or skim through the first few chapters. I've been inspired to read books after watching a booktalk (including Chasing Vermeer). We just published 12 new booktalks, bringing our grand total to 75 videos. Whew!

My favorite of the bunch is for Carlos is Gonna Get It by Kevin Emerson. It's performed by Scholastic staffer Jonathan Valuckas, who is just as hilarious and gregarious in person as he is in his video clips.

Watch all of the video booktalks and find a new book to read or recommend.

Video Wednesday: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Booktalk

The adorable and lovable Sammi Hanratty, a Hollywood actress whose credits include "Pushing Daisies," "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and the new American Girl movie, stopped by the Scholastic offices a few weeks ago. While here, we asked her to talk about her favorite books. She couldn't wait to tell us all about Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney -- which she had recently finished and had recommended to all her friends ... even her Dad!

Here's her booktalk:

Watch the Diary of a Wimpy Kid video book trailer and check out more video booktalks here!

Hanging Out With Nic Bishop

Nicbishop_blog I don't want to be Nic Bishop's roommate. The photographer/author of the amazing children's books about animals was in the office on Thursday, so we filmed him answering a bunch of questions (the video will be up in a few weeks. Be sure to come back and see it!). He told us amazing stories about his childhood traveling around the world, his start in photography and his love of small animals. I'd never heard anyone describe a frog as "beautiful." Best of all, he told a hilarious story about the tarantulas he housed, hoping to catch one of them molting for his award-winning Spiders book.

"I actually had 11 of these tarantulas in our bedroom and sometimes they'd escape. My wife is very understanding about these things. Usually they'd end up behind the bookcase or something so I could find them again," he said.

No thank you. I don't want a tarantula scurrying around my bedroom, much less 11.  

Check back in a few weeks for this interview, until then, go get his books filled with incredible photos of small creatures, including Frogs and Spiders. We also have this silly video of Nic Bishop in action for you to enjoy now. Don't miss it .

Video Wednesday - Teacher From the Black Lagoon

9780590419628_sm Author Mike Thaler paid us a visit not too long ago. We were thrilled at the opportunity to talk with this favorite author of more than 140 books. Wearing his favorite color -- yellow -- Thaler talked about writing riddles, where he got the idea for the Black Lagoon series, and what to tell kids who want to write. He also gave a mini-tutorial about how to write riddles. Best of all, he read from Teacher from the Black Lagoon. It was a real treat to hear the classroom classic read by its author.

Tune in and watch the full Mike Thaler interview here.

Meeting Francisco

Sonja_francisco Sonja and I were lucky enough to meet and interview author Francisco X. Stork on Friday. He's the author of Marcelo in the Real World. It's a really touching book about a teen who has Asberger's Syndrome and is sent to work in the mailroom of his father's law firm one summer. Marcelo sees the world in a very unusual way -- not unlike his author who had all kinds of interesting things to say about his creative process, as well as his youth in Mexico. 

It will be a few weeks until you can see the video here. But, in the meantime, get to know Mr. Stork by reading his journal. 

Video Wednesday: Neil Gaiman

2009 is turning out to be quite a year for Neil Gaiman! On Monday he won the Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book (which Jack reviews on InkSplot 26.) And next week the movie version of his book, Coraline, comes out on February 6.

So much excitement! Where to start? I definitely recommend taking a look at Neil Gaiman's Website for Young Readers. He's got video of himself reading aloud each chapter of The Graveyard Book, a Graveyard Sudoku game, a Graveyard Book trailer, audiobook excerpts, printable posters and downloadable wallpapers, and several amazing videos from the Coraline movie!

I was honestly surprised by the video previews of Coraline I've seen. It seems to have that freaky Nightmare Before Christmas look, mildly creepy but in a childlike magical kind of way, which is not how I read the book at all. I read the book much more in a full-on frightening terror-filled sort of way. Do other people think the movie looks less scary than the book, or should I just stop reading alone on dark stormy nights?

Hunger Games Sequel

Catching From Publishers Weekly comes the first news about the next Hunger Games book! I can't wait!!!

We still have no details about the book itself, other than the cover and the title, but that was plenty to get Jessica and me speculating about what will happen! Even though we work at Scholastic, we are not among the lucky people who get to read the manuscript, so we are left guessing like everyone else.

But the title gives some good clues to work with, doesn't it? We have lots of ideas:

1) "Fire" could represent Katniss, as in the "girl on fire," and she does something to anger the Capitol so they are trying to catch her. Maybe she refuses to be a coach in the next Hunger Games and runs away or something.

2) Or maybe it is Gale and Peeta who are trying to catch her and win her love. Maybe we will find out who Katniss is really in love with.

3) Or maybe there is a grassroots revolution against the Capitol and it is starting catch on in a big way -- spreading like wildfire, so to speak.

4) Or maybe the arena for the next Hunger Games has a volcano in it, or the tributes have to fight fire in some way to survive. Kind of a twisted homage to Katniss.

5) Or President Snow has a secret assassination plot against Katniss involving fire. He will make it look like an accident if her house catches fire or something.

6) Or maybe one of the tributes this time will have a superpower ability to start fires like Selma Blair's character in the Hellboy movies. She scores off the charts at training and all the other tributes try to catch her.

What do you think is going to happen in The Hunger Games sequel? Add a comment with your ideas that we missed.

Video Wednesday: Kazu Kibuishi

Last June at ALA, Jessica and I got to interview Kazu Kibuishi and talk about his new graphic novel series, Amulet. In this video, he demonstrates his technique for drawing the Amulet characters. 

Kazu talks more about the Amulet series, and what it's like to be a graphic novelist in the rest of the video interview. If your students are fans of graphic novels, you will definitely want to check this out.

Video Wednesday: Movie Trailers

Inkheart (in theaters Jan. 23, 2009)

Readers know that the book is always better than the movie, but I have to say I have seen some movie trailers recently that really made me think, "That book sounds awesome!" Try adding some of these movie trailers into your next booktalk and see if it doesn't get kids excited about reading the book.

The Tale of Despereaux (in theaters Dec. 19, 2008)
Twilight (in theaters Nov. 21, 2008)
The City of Ember
(in theaters Oct. 10, 2008)
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (DVD available Dec. 2, 2008)
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (on DVD)
Horton Hears a Who (DVD available Dec. 9, 2008)
Nim's Island (on DVD)
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (on DVD)
(on DVD)
The Golden Compass (on DVD)

Video Wednesday: New Video Booktalks

We scoured the New York City Scholastic offices for the best booktalkers and we found a whole crop of hidden talent among our editors, marketing experts and summer interns! Here are the most recent Scholastic video booktalks featuring our new breakout stars, Carrie, Jonathan, and Jessica.

Here is Carrie booktalking Airhead the newest YA title by Meg Cabot.

This booktalk for Amulet: The Stonekeeper a new graphic novel series for grades 4-7, features Jessica.

And last but definitely not least, Jonathan booktalks Magic Pickle and the Planet of the Grapes, a silly story for grades 2-5.

To see the complete archive of all our video booktalks, visit Scholastic Videos.

Video Wednesday: Nic Bishop and Spiders

Even though Sonja's got a crush on Nic Bishop, I got to sit next to him at the Newbery/Caldecott Awards dinner in California this summer. Boy, was she pea-green with envy!

Now everyone can see just how cool he is in this video from our friends at Scholastic Book Fairs. Bishop goes spider hunting in his backyard (with a HUGE net) and shows us how he snapped those wonderful (sometime gross) photos for his 2008 Sibert Honor-winning book Nic Bishop Spiders.

Video Wednesday: Sara Pennypacker and Clementine

Jessica and I are huge Clementine fans! I think Clementine is just the coolest third-grader ever. She is sensitive, creative, generous, and attentive, but somehow she always manages to get herself into trouble. In this video book trailer, author Sara Pennypacker describes what makes Clementine so endearing.

And don't miss this Author Read-Aloud video of Sara reading from the first chapter of Clementine.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Kid Lit Kit are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.