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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.

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?

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 - 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: 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?

Friday Blog Round Up

Tshare If you haven't checked out TeacherShare lately, now would be a good time. If you type "lesson plan" into the search box above "resources" on the left, you'll find a treasure trove of picture book related lesson plans. While not all of the hits will be picture books, the majority of them will. They should pop up with the picture book title, followed by lesson plan.
One of my favorite publishing folks, Karen Walsh at HMH, clued me into this fun online resource. The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Poetry Kit offers classroom activities, downloadable stickers, a Poem-A-Day calendar and a letter from award-winning poet Joyce Sidman. Rhyme on folks!
Our own Anastasia Suen is putting her poetry powers to great use, showcasing a poem a day, from K-12 students.  Keep an eye on PencilTalk this month and you'll be treated to a variety of poems. 
All this poetry talk is making me hungry and I can't help but look back to March, being National Noodle Month and all. Jama Rattigan's AlphabetSoup  serves up a host of pasta related books. Nora Dooley's Everybody Eats Noodles is just the tip of the iceberg.  
By now you're probably rubbing your growling tummy and asking yourself how I could have forgotten to mention Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs?  Well don't despair!  If your "appetite for adventure" is in full swing, you're going to want to check out the movie trailer over on Sony's site. (My favorite is the ratbirds.)
Now that I'm ready for Prince Spaghetti Day, I'll bid you all a super weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday. Oh, and send me a note people!  Let me know what interests you in the Kid Lit World.

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?

CBC Book Awards Finalists 2009

The 2009 CBC Children's Choice Book Award finalists have been announced. Nearly 15,000 children and teens cast votes to determine the list -- and thousands more will weigh in on who should win.

Kid Lit Kit applauds all the fantastic nominated books, authors, and illustrators. The Scholastic finalists are:

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year
100 Most Dangerous Things On the Planet by Anna Claybourne 
Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi (watch an interview with Kibuishi and the Amulet book trailer)

Teen Choice Book Award
Airhead by Meg Cabot (see the Airhead video booktalk)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
(read Hunger Games chapter one (PDF), watch an interview with Collins, find The Hunger Games discussion guide)

9780439634250_lg Illustrator of the Year
Jon J Muth, Zen Ties

Encourage your students to vote at www.BookWeekOnline.com from March 16 through May 3. 

Video Wednesday: Underground Railroad

In this video from Scholastic Book Fairs, author Christopher Paul Curtis guides us through the actual settlement of Buxton, Canada, so students can visualize the setting of Elijah of Buxton and imagine what it was like to live in this community of freed and escaped slaves.

This is just one of the videos in the Underground Railroad Book Videos collection.  For the mother of all Underground Railroad lesson plans, visit Scholastic's Underground Railroad Student Activity where you'll find reader's theater scripts, primary sources, writing prompts and web hunts for grades 4-12.

Friday Blog Round Up

Ten A while back I reviewed Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes on Picture Book Thursday.  Recently on Read Roger, Roger Sutton blogged about his take on the book, and judging by the number of comments he's received, it seems to have struck a chord with readers.

Do you have a list of picture book titles you like to share with students but are still looking for good books to share with your own little ones?  Amy Borrell offers some of her favorites, directly off her 2-year-old daughter's bookshelf.

I've always enjoyed Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey's quirky sense of humor, and he certainly ups the ante with the videos featured on his website.  Super Silly Streak, Super Diaper Baby Country Shuffle, and Calling Captain Underpants are just a few of the um . . .unique offerings.

It's not too late to hop on the Valentine's Day bandwagon and support a good cause at the same time.  Mo Willems, along with pals Brian Selznick, Kevin Henkes, LeUyen Pham, Marla Frazee, Ian Falconer and Rosemary Wells have created sets of nifty Valentines cards to benefit Save the Children

Don Tate brings us this worrisome news: "As an unintended consequence of too hastily passed legislation, (The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act or CPSIA), intended to protect children from lead covered toys, children's books have been thrown into the regulatory hopper."  Visit his website to read more on the subject and to see what readers have to say.

And with that my friends, you're free to go to your local bookstore to pick up a few of the newly awarded titles and hunker down for an enjoyable weekend.  I'll see you back here next week.

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?

Video Wednesday: The Tale Of Despereaux

I am so excited for The Tale of Despereaux movie coming out on December 19! I loved the Newbery-winning book, and the movie looks adorable - Matthew Broderick's voice and those enormous ears! I'm completely sold.

The movie website includes a video trailer plus lots of fun games, activities and a downloadable Teaching Guide PDF for the book.

For more teaching resources for author Kate DiCamillo, take a look at this Scholastic Author Study. And for a taste of the book being read aloud, here is an audiobook excerpt.

Video Wednesday: Spooky Book Trailers

Have you seen the wonderful book trailers created by Scholastic Book Fairs? Kids in grades 3-5 won't be too scared by this one for Cornelia Funke's Ghosthunters series.

Older kids looking for scarier fare this Halloween will love these ghost stories by mystery master Mary Downing Hahn. Check out the video book trailers for The Old Willis Place and Deep and Dark and Dangerous.

I love the idea of video book trailers, and when they are done well, they really seem to get kids excited about the book. But there don't seem to be many out there. Have you seen (or created) some really great ones that I could feature here on Video Wednesdays? Please send me links in the comments! I would love to compile a whole stash of amazing videos for kids!

Video Wednesday: Teen Read Week

American Idol contestant Blake Lewis stopped by at Scholastic to do his part to get kids excited about reading. He is so absolutely charming and adorable in person! Check out his PSA for Teen Read Week!

Blake also performed a video booktalk for All Shook Up: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley, which tells the tragic story story of an extremely talented young Elvis who was very badly misused by the music industry. I definitely recommend it for teen music fans.

Video Wednesday: The True Meaning of Smekday

Teachers and librarians know it is not always easy to find books that are high in both literary quality and kid appeal. Even recent Newbery Award winners are being called into question on that score. The CYBILS Book Awards attempt to address that very problem, and you can be a part of the nominating process.

The True Meaning of Smekday a 2007 CYBILS winner by Adam Rex is a perfect example of a book with literary merit and must-read kid appeal. Check out this video book trailer to get a sense of the "kid appeal" part.

With nine categories, there is a CYBILS Award for everyone, and kids need to be able to find these amazing books. I hope you'll think about some of your favorites from 2008 and nominate them.

For more information, take a look at these nominating tips from Librarian Mom.

Continue reading "Video Wednesday: The True Meaning of Smekday" »

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: 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.

Harry Potter News!

9780545128285_xlg_2Welcome to the new Kid Lit Kit, your toolkit for teaching with books! Every day we hope to provide you with exciting book news and ideas for using books in the classroom.

Thursday July 31 was a great day for Harry Potter fans. Not only was it Harry’s birthday, it was also J.K. Rowling’s birthday, and she made an exciting announcement about her new book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard. You can buy your copy in December 2008 but you might want to pre-order it now!

We also got a first look at the Half Blood Prince movie trailer.
What do you think? Does that young Tom Riddle look pure evil or what?

And if you're looking for Harry Potter lesson ideas, check out the lesson plans and activities in this J. K. Rowling Author Study.

Be sure to come back next week for Nonfiction Monday, New Review Tuesday, Video Wednesday, Picture Book Thursday, and the Friday Blog Round-Up. We look forward to providing you with a full week's worth of ideas for sharing books with your students!


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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.