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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Knee-high by the 4th of July

Can you believe it's almost the 4th of July? As we say in the Midwest, the corn should should be knee-high by the 4th of July! (Apparently, this ensures a good crop before frost). I'm sure many of you are getting ready for 4th of July picnics and parades. Maybe even a nice long vacation. In her newest book (to be released July 1) Katie Woo celebrates with fireworks and friends.

However you celebrate, I hope it is wonderful! Happy 4th!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: ALA

Come visit us at ALA this weekend! We will be at Booth #2609 and will have trailers of our new Fall product.

Author Fran Manushkin will be signing her popular Katie Woo Books at 11:00 AM on Saturday and 1:00 PM on Sunday. We will also have a drawing to win an original illustration of a Katie Woo Cover.

Lots of fun and excitement! We look forward to seeing you there-

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Advice from Claudia

One of our most popular characters, Claudia Cristina Cortez, has a new set of advice books where she uncomplicates your life with tips on school, work, friends and family. While she is only 13 years old, I find many of her tips are still applicable to me today (and I am much older than 13). For example, here is some of her advice on making a great impression:

Do look good. Wear clean clothes. Make sure your hair is clean and dry. And brush your teeth. Don't spend a lot of mony on a new wardrobe for an interview.

Do be polite. Do smile (even if you're feeling really nervous).

Do shake hands. Don't worry if you think your hands might be sweaty. As you lift up your hand, you can quickly brush it against your clothes to dry it off.

Now that's good advice! Last week, we were at The Licensing Show in Las Vegas and had the pleasure of meeting Miss America. It looks like she, too, likes Claudia!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The Bank Street Children’s Book Committee has presented its 2010 edition of The Best Children’s Books of the Year, one of the most comprehensive annotated book lists for children aged infant-14, and a Stone Arch Books title is included in the book! The Committee reviews over 6,000 titles each year for accuracy and literary quality and considers their emotional impact on children. It chooses the best 600 books, both fiction and nonfiction, which it lists according to age and category. You can access the online version of the book at http://www.bankstreet.edu/bookcom/.

Famous, one of the books in our David Mortimore Baxter series, is the story of what happens when reality tv meets real life--David's real life. His family is on Trading Moms. The family is excited for their brush with fame, but when David finds out that the mom moving into his house is the mom of his arch nemesis, things get crazy!

I loved working on these books. Author Karen Tayleur created a character who's funny and real. David is a typical middle-schooler, but his life is anything but ordinary! What's more, the books themselves aren't ordinary--they're full of great fonts, making the reading experience fun and interesting, and the margin art (by our very own Brann Garvey) helps bring the characters to life. These books are laugh-out-loud funny, sweet, and would make fabulous summer reading for boys and girls alike. I'm thrilled that Bank Street has chosen Famous for its 2010 list!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Splash into Summer

It’s that time of year again — summer reading! My two school-age children made great strides in their reading over the past school year. Future fourth-grader Noah found a true love of reading. He has made a leap from only reading from his favorite time travel and fantasy series. He now gives a wide variety of books a chance, even ones with a bit of pink on the cover!

And my future first-grader, Sky, is just months into her journey of being a reader. She loves tackling early readers and thrives on the success of being able to read a book entirely on her own. (Stone Arch’s Truck Buddies and the upcoming Little Lizard sets are among her favorites.)

So, over the past nine months, Noah’s and Sky’s teachers have built a wonderful foundation for my young readers. Now it's Mom and Dad’s job to build on that. Studies show that young learners’ math and reading skills slide in the summer. How do parents combat that? One of our favorite ways is the summer reading program at our local library. Nothing beats earning prizes while discovering new books.

Most libraries organize their summer reading programs around a certain theme. Our local library’s theme this year is “Make a Splash at Your Library.” Below is a list of Stone Arch Books that are perfect for this theme. Let me know your library’s theme, and I’d love to come up with a list for you.

Books that make a splash:

Bella’s Boat Surprise, by Christianne C. Jones — A My 1st Graphic Novel that’s perfect for emerging readers.

Boss of the World, by Fran Manushkin — Our girl Katie Woo hits the beach with her pals JoJo and Pedro. This early chapter book is the perfect step up from readers.

Ora, the Sea Monster, by Cari Meister — A Level 3 reader, for the child who is nearly ready for chapter books, but not quite.

Princess Candy: The Marshmallow Mermaid, by Michael Dahl — Kids grades 2-5 will cheer on Princess Candy as she battles an evil mermaid in this graphic novel.

Shipwreck! by Jake Maddox — My favorite Jake Maddox novel; this adventure story, complete with sharks, is perfect for grades 4 to 8.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne, retold by Carl Bowen — Readers can tackle a piece of classic literature in a new way with this graphic novel from our Graphic Revolve series.

Julie Gassman

Senior Editor