June 2013 Carnival of Children’s Literature

June is the end of spring and the start of summer so what better time to talk about books?! Here’s a roundup of book talk on Kidlitosphere blogs that you won’t want to miss. Pack a few of these recommended titles in your beach bags.

Early Literacy

  • Starting us off with early literacy, Darshana at Flowering Minds is sharing “A Fun, Fun, Fun read by debut author Tara Lazar about a trapdoor, monsters for sale, a horrible return policy, and a simple story about a brother and a sister that will make you smile.” What’s this great book? The Monstore of course. Head on over to the blog post to find out more about it.
  • Catherine at Story Snug recommends The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson. She says “The Paper Dolls is a beautiful story. We read the book and then downloaded paper dolls from the publisher’s website to colour, cut out and help raise money for the charity, Save the Children.” So please hop on over to her blog for more details.
  • At Randomly Reading Alex reviews In Andal’s House by Gloria Whelan. Alex describes it as “a lovely picture book about a young boy who experiences caste discrimination during the Duwali Festival of Light.” Read the full review here.


  • Susan at The Book Chook brings you talk of a book written and illustrated by Narelle Oliver. “Sand Swimmers is a fascinating book that gives readers a glimpse of Australia’s so-called dead heart via elegant text and superb illustrations,” Susan says. How can you not click over to her blog to find out more?
  • Gail over at Original Content enjoyed a book by Susan Mitchell. As Gail says, “I’m interested in finding environmental children’s books that don’t preach or instruct. The Rainforest Grew All Around is a great example of what I’m looking for. Child readers or listeners can just feel part of an environment. This book is also great because it can be read in different ways for different age groups.” Head on over there to find out more.

Middle Grade Fiction

  • There’s so much great fiction out there, but be sure to look into these recommended reads. Start off with Jen Robinson’s Book Page to find out more about a great middle grade novel. Jen recommends it because “Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a very fun middle grade novel, filled with puzzles as well as references to modern and classic children’s books. This is perfect escapist fare for 10 year olds.” Find more here.
  • Then go to visit Katie at Secrets & Sharing Soda for a fantastic book review. Katie says “The Quirks: Welcome to Normal is one of my favorite books of the year so far. The writing is fresh and funny, and the characters are memorable and interesting. I don’t read many books outside of the realistic fiction genre, but I really can’t say enough good things about this one! It’s also a great choice for kids transitioning out of early chapter books and into middle grade, and for families to read together.” Get all the details with the full blog post.
  • Charlotte’s Library is the place to find out why Charlotte recommends The Wells Request by Polly Shulman. Charlotte says it’s “one of my favorite middle grade fantasy books of the year so far.” Find out why here.
  • Over at Shelf-employed Lisa recommends you order Sharon Creech’s forthcoming novel The Boy on the Porch due out in September. She says “As usual, Sharon Creech shows that she is a masterful storyteller, heartwarming and relevant.” Read the full review here.
  • Katy at A Library Mama won a book and fell in love with it. What book? Jinx by Sage Blackwood. Katy summarizes: “Orphan Jinx struggles with magic, secrets, and relationships with his wizard teacher and a girl in a red hood in this colorful middle-grade fantasy.” The details are all here.
  • Over at Boys Rule Boys Read Iron Guy Carl has some recommendations for summer reading that will interest boys. Check out why Alvin Ho: Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Bumps in the Night by Lenore Look as well as, for more of a teen reader, Ice Drift by Theodore Taylor get his seal of approval.

Teen/YA Fiction

  • Don’t miss Brenda’s recommendation of Rogue by Lyn Miller-Lachmann over at proseandkahn. Why? Brenda says: “Author Lyn Miller-Lachmann draws on some painful childhood moments to create Kiara, a lonely eighth grader with Aspergers Syndrome, in her sophomore novel.” Find the full review here.

Interviews & Thoughtful Discussion

  • If you’d like to think about children’s literature as a body of work, don’t miss Mary Ann at Great Kids Books because she has a fascinating look at heroes in children’s literature. As she says, “Children’s stories permeate our culture. This is nothing new — but lately I’ve been wondering what the heroes from children’s literature say about our times. From Alice to Matilda to Harry Potter, what do we learn about our own times?”
  • Alison Goldberg interviews author/illustrator Janine Macbeth about her latest. Alison says “I blog about children’s books with activism themes. This month I interview the talented Janine Macbeth who wrote, illustrated, and published her debut picture book, Oh, Oh, Baby Boy!, a beautiful story about engaged fatherhood. Her newly-formed independent press, Blood Orange Press, is “a literary home for diverse readers” and she ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring this book into the world.” Find out more here.
  • This month the Author of blog has been following a theme. Kate Hannigan says: “I’ve been celebrating graphic novels throughout the month of June! And this post, June 24th, tops off the month and features a fun graphic novel/early reader called Odd Duck. With my blog, I interview the authors of children’s books and talk about the inspiration and ideas behind them. This week’s post is an interview with Odd Duck author Cecil Castellucci.” Don’t miss the whole interview.

Wrapping Up

If you’ve read this far, to thank you for joining me here, would you like a free PDF Teacher/Librarian/Parents’ Guide to my book Sorting through Spring? It’s got lots of great activities and reproducibles to have fun with K-2nd grade math patterning and sorting. You can get the direct link to the PDF file here, or browse all of great guides from my publisher OwlKids Books here.

Don’t Miss July’s Carnival
I hope you enjoyed this roundup of book related blog links. Next month join the Carnival of Children’s Literature over at proseandkahn for a look at what made up the book buzz in July.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

Treats and Tricks: the October Carnival of Children’s Literature

It’s Halloween night. It’s COLD outside here. The wind is swirling the dried leaves and has sent us indoors the moment our trick-or-treating was finished. So now that we all have our loot, what are we going to do? Enjoy the October edition of The Carnival of Children’s Literature, of course. This month there are treats for everyone, and perhaps a few tricks as well. So grab your candy and let’s begin.

Book Recommendations and Reviews

Tanya Turek at Books4Your Kids says “Two powerhouses of picture books, married for over 40 years and creating books for even longer, have finally combined their talents on an amazing, gorgeous, essential book. Check out Tanya’s review of There’s Going to Be a Baby, written by John Burningham and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.

Need to get your little ones to bed after all the excitement of the day? This one’s for you. Rachel presents some of her favorite bedtime children’s stories in B is for Bedtime… I love books for preschoolers! posted at Quirky Momma: Fun Learning Activities for Preschoolers and Kids.

Over at Read Aloud … Dad you’ll find children’s book reviews and read aloud impressions from a dad and his twins. They review what they read aloud and recommend whether you should Buy, Loan or Pass on the books. See what they say about Today’s read aloud: The gruffalo. And what would Halloween be without at least one monster anyway?

Kids need great poetry; poetry that catches them up in its rhythm and helps them see the world through fresh eyes. But finding it isn’t easy. So says Susan Stephenson, the Book Chook, and that’s why she’s so excited about A Ute Picnic and Other Australian Poems, written by Lorraine Marwood and published by Walker Books (2010).

Dona presents The Duck Song, by Bryant Oden at Allergy Kid Mom. And be sure to check out the trick which comes in the form of a clever song. It will leave you chuckling for sure.

Margo Tanenbaum asks that we please don’t call Laurie Halse Anderson’s new novel historical fiction–she prefers the term historical thriller, which is perfect to describe her new novel Forge, sequel to Chains. It’s a real page-turner and made Margo at The Fourth Musketeer gasp aloud at some of the twists in the plot! Don’t miss A Historical Thriller: Forge, by Laurie Halse Anderson (Atheneum Books, 2010).

Think you saw some ghosts tonight? Then you definitely want to see this. Mary Elizabeth of A Novel Idea reviews The Seer of Shadows at Book Review Revisited :: The Seer of Shadows by Avi.

Jen Robinson has a treat for you with a review of Cynthia Lord’s newest middle grade novel, Touch Blue, which she adored, and wants to share with everyone. Don’t miss Jen Robinson’s post Touch Blue: Cynthia Lord over at Jen Robinson’s Book Page.

Melwyk says “This is from a few months ago, but I loved this book so much — touching without being sentimental, funny and serious as well. It’s rare to see children’s books available in translation, so I am glad that Groundwood decided to publish this book, originally in Dutch. A great find.” Melwyk shares Against the Odds at The Indextrious Reader.

Ready for a few more reviews? melissa @ 1lbr presents Book Review: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan posted at One Librarian’s Book Reviews and Aaron Mead features Teen Fiction: Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins posted at Children’s Books and Reviews. Lori Calabrese reviews the frightfully fun “Halloween Night” by Marjorie Dennis Murray at Lori Calabrese Writes!

While The Quiet Book is getting a lot of deservedly high praise, Jeff says don’t overlook another Deborah Underwood 2010 title by the name of A Balloon for Isabel. You can’t go wrong with porcupines, bubble wrap, and balloons! Jeff reviews A Balloon for Isabel at NC Teacher Stuff.

Tammy Flanders highlights Voices from India at Apples With Many Seeds because, as she says, in teaching about cultures, it’s important to find authentic voices in the narratives. Tammy has focused this post on books written, illustrated and published in India to provide that authenticity.

Feel up to visiting with vampires? Danielle Smith presents Book Review and Giveaway: A Vampire Is Coming To Dinner by Pamela Jane at There’s A Book.

After that, you might be ready for some thought provoking questions. Roberta Gibson at Wrapped in Foil certainly is. She features a look at the book I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced, which is touted as a young adult book and is sure to generate discussion.

Nothing but good stuff here. Callie Feyen was honored to review No English by Jacqueline Jules this month on her blog Sit a While. It’s a touching story of how two girls who speak different languages become friends. 

How about an exciting adventure featuring Japanese supernatural demons – yokai – and a young girl’s fight to protect her younger brother? Mary Ann Scheuer presents Takeshita Demons, by Cristy Burne — exciting fantasy with Japanese mythology (ages 9 – 12) posted at Great Kid Books.

Alex Baugh features Sweethearts of Rhythm. The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World by Marilyn Nelson, Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney posted at The Children’s War and states “This a wonderful picture book written from the point of view of the instruments played by the all girl swing band the Sweethearts of Rhythm during World War II. It is definitely worth reading to discover this little known group of talented women and their accomplishments.”

And you definitely can’t miss a reader’s response to a vampire book that wants to be more than a teen slacker story. Gail Gauthier presents A Vampire Book For Teens Who Want To Think posted at Original Content.

Other Great Book Stuff

Ready for some book related news and discussions? First, find out about a recent charitable event in which Canadian authors helped refurbish a desperately underfunded school library in inner city LA. More than 5000 books, and 4 murals later….a library is born! Helaine Becker tells you all about it in A Library Is Born posted at Track & Display Changes: A Writer’s Blog.

Kate Coombs gives you an analysis of trends in MG SFF as reflected in this year’s Cybils nominees at From Harry to Scary: Trends in MG Sci-Fi/Fantasy posted at Book Aunt. And what do teens think? Jon Bard presents some of their views in The YA View: What We Like in Our Books (and What We Don’t) over at Write4Kids!.

Want to bring reading and puzzles together? Puzzles can also be a reading material for Amanda Hartman in Puzzles are Fun to Read posted at The Literary Family, a blog that aims to help adults connect with kids in their lives.

Eva Mitnick muses about sisters in children’s and YA books in A Chompo bar for my sister posted at Eva’s Book Addiction. Aline Pereira presents Children’s Literature from India and the Indian diaspora posted at PaperTigers Blog.

Barbara Krasner hosts A History of Jewish Children’s Literature-Part Four posted at The Whole Megillah. It’s the fourth in a series adapted from a talk by Lisa Silverman, Library Director at the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, given at the May 2010 Highlights Foundation workshop, “Writing Jewish-themed Children’s Books.”

October marks the “Death of the Picture Book” brouhaha for Pam W Coughlan, and so she wants to highlight her rebuttal. You can’t miss Picture Books Aren’t in Trouble Just Because the NYT Says So posted at MotherReader.

Does October mark a different milestone for you and your child? Some might say this particular milestone is a very scary one. To help you out, Rebecca Reid covers Children’s Corner: Potty Training Books From Diapers to Success, Age 2 to Age 3 at Rebecca Reads.

And who celebrated a birthday this month? Eric Van Raepenbusch of Happy Birthday Author wants you to know about Happy Birthday Nancy Carlson – October 10.

Creative Endeavours and Congratulations

How about some congratulations for new creations? Alessandro Vene presents The Timmy Rabbit House at Allie’s Blog. And Deborah Freedman has a creative take on why she isn’t blogging in the entry titled In which I am harassed for not posting?… at writes with pictures.

You Can’t Wear These Genes is about the basic building blocks of what makes us and how the traits that appear in us are passed down from parent to child. It’s Shirley Duke’s first science book, and the post You Can’t Wear These Genes at SimplyScience Blog includes an activity for use in the classroom, library, or home.

Author Lynn Hazen, blogs at Imaginary Blog about how her YA novel, Shifty, was chosen by Napa County Reads, a collaboration of the Napa County Board of Education, the five school districts, the Napa County Library, Napa Valley College, and the Arts Council of Napa County in the entry More Napa Reads Shifty-Themed Planter Boxes. Student and professional artists created Shifty-themed planter boxes inspired by the book. They were auctioned off to support literacy at a special event at the Napa Valley Opera House

And while the video is not specifically about children’s/YA lit, it was created by a Cheryl Rainfield, a YA writer, for LGBT youth and anyone who’s thinking of suicide–a real issue for many teens. You can view Cheryl Rainfield’s It Gets Better video for queer youth and anyone thinking of suicide posted at Cheryl Rainfield.


Tonight’s the night for hearing things that make you shiver, or seeing things that creep you out. Get your mind off that stuff by reading these interviews. Pat Zietlow Miller features An Author You Should Know: Wendy Delsol, a debut YA author, posted at Read, Write, Repeat. Tarie presents Author Interview: Becky Bravo at Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind.

Anastasia Suen interviews the Jimi Hendrix picture book biographer in Nonfiction Monday: Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow posted at Picture Book of the Day. Zoe Toft interviews Polish born British illustrator Jan Pienkowski, twice winner of the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration in An Interview with Jan Pieńkowski at Playing by the book.

D.M. Cunningham presents Trace Beaulieu brings us Silly Rhymes in which Trace Beaulieu, co-creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, talks about his first book for children at Literary Asylum. And Lizann Flatt finds out what sort of tricks Peggy Collins uses to find the time to write and illustrate with two small children and a number of other distractions in Peggy Collins: Creating Through the Clamour over at The Flatt Perspective.

Publishing/writing tips

And last but definitely not least, to help all authors ensure their submissions to their editors will not send said editor screaming away from their desk, here’s a blog entry about all the things author Wendie Old has to remember to include in a nonfiction proposal. And, since it’s a picture book bio, she also includes the full ms. Don’t miss Wendie Old sharing Into the Mail it goes at Wendie’s Wanderings. This is definitely a treat!

And that marks the end of this month’s edition of the Carnival of Children’s Literature. I hope you’ve enjoyed the treats and a few of the tricks too. It’s been a pleasure to spend this spooky evening with the wealth of material available for fans of Children’s Literature. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too. Thank you!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of children’s literature using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.