Meet Author/Illustrator Peter Sis

A new book by a favorite author or illustrator is always cause for rejoicing. This time I am celebrating the publication of a new book by Peter Sis. Robinson, shown above, blends the story of Robinson Crusoe with a true adventure from Sis’s childhood and was described in Horn Book Magazine as a “visually stunning and empowering tale.” The large size of this picture book gives Sis plenty of space to showcase his distinctive artwork.

If you are not familiar with Peter Sis, it might be because his works are in several different areas in the Library. We have three of his books in the Easy collection and several books in our non-fiction collections. He has also provided illustrations for chapter books as well as books of poetry by Jack Prelutsky.

Madlenka by Peter Sis  Play, Mozart, Play by Peter Sis

Sis was born behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and requested asylum in the U.S. during a film-making trip. He wrote movingly about his early years in his illustrated autobiography The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain.

The Wall by Peter Sis

His work as an illustrator of chapter books includes the Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson and several books by Sid Fleischman.

The Dream Stealer by Sid Fleischman   The Wind Singer by Wiliam Nicholson

In 2010, he illustrated The Dreamer, a fictionalized account of the life of poet Pablo Neruda, written by Pam Munoz Ryan. His illustrations are an integral part of this inspirational book and provide a magical touch to the story of a boy struggling to find the freedom to express his creativity.

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan & Peter Sis

Peter Sis has written and illustrated several picture book biographies including books about Columbus, Galileo and Darwin. Before Robinson, his most recent book was The Pilot and the Little Prince, based on the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery,  French pilot and writer of the children’s classic The Little Prince.

Starry Messenger by Peter Sis   The Tree of Life by Peter Sis

The Pilot and the Little Prince by Antoin de Saint-Exupery

In 2012, Peter Sis was awarded the Hans Christian Anderson Book Award for his lasting contributions to children’s literature. He has one adult book to his credit, The Conference of the Birds. This 2011 book is an illustrated retelling of a classic poem by Persian poet Farid Ud-Din Attar. The picture shown below is from the interior of the book rather than the cover. You can read more here about this incredible book.

The Conference of Birds by Peter Sis

HarperCollins Publishing Celebrates 200 Years

HarperCollins is the second largest publishing company in the world. They’ve published in over 18 countries. With two hundred years of history, HarperCollins publishes about 10,000 new books every year in 17 languages and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. With dozens of different genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer, the National Book Award and more.

With Mark Twain, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, Martin Luther King Jr., Shel Silverstein, and Margaret Wise Brown having been published by HarperCollins, reinforces their long and rich history that reaches back to the early nineteenth century.

Just to think, it all began with a modest print shop created by James and John Harper in 1817. They were first known as J. and J. Harper and then later Harper & Brothers. In 1987, as Harper and Rowe the small company was acquired by News Corporation. The worldwide book group was formed following the News Corporation’s 1990 acquisiton of the British publisher William Collins & Sons. William & Sons was founded in 1819, and published a large variety of Bibles, atlases, dictionaries, and reissued classics that expanded over years to include legendary authors such as H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien, and even C.S. Lewis.

In today’s world, the legendary authors published by HarperCollins are Alec Baldwin, Meg Cabot, Joseph Campbell, Cynthia Eden, Dan Edwards, Neil Gaiman, George Irving, Robert Irvine, Joyce Carol Oates, Mathew Quick, Julia Quinn, Bob Saget, John Updike, J.D. Vance, just to name a few.

For a company to be around for 200 years a unique feat within itself. For a publishing company, to have such a large list of authors, is just that bigger of a feat.

Congratulations to HarperCollins for making it to 200!

Source: HarperCollins

The Rosies are Here!

What are the Eliot Rosewater Books? Each year approximately 20 Young Adult books are nominated for the Eliot Rosewater Award. The nominations are made by school librarians across the state of Indiana and must represent a variety of genres. These titles are promoted across the state in high schools and public libraries. Students vote for their favorite in April and the winner receives the Eliot Rosewater Book Award. If you’re familiar with the Young Hoosier Awards, this program is similar, but just for high school students. The Eliot Rosewater program is sponsored by the Association for Indiana School Library Educators and the Indiana Library Federation.

This year’s selections look fantastic and we have most of them ready to be checked out. We also have most of the titles available through the Indiana Digital Download Center!

You may have one more question before you start to browse the titles. Who was Eliot Rosewater? Eliot Rosewater is a recurring fictional character in Kurt Vonnegut’s novels, including God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Vonnegut is a famous Hoosier author who grew up in Indianapolis. This award was named to honor him and all Indiana writers. The award is often referred to as the “Rosie Award”.

Don’t make the mistake that these are just for Teens! Give one a try and you might find a new favorite author.

all-the-bright-places avalon belzhar dear-killer

dont-look-back fake-id faking-normal family-romanov

gabi half-bad in-real-life kiss-of-deception

next nil nogin one-man-guy

positive shadow-and-bone since-youve-been-gone slated

some-assembly-required the-beginning-of-everything the-naturals time-to-dance

trough-the-woods

 

Happy Birthday, Ducklings!

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings.

ducklings

This endearing tale of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard finding a safe home in the Boston Public Garden earned McCloskey his first Caldecott Medal in 1942. His second Caldecott Medal came in 1958 for Time of Wonder.

Millions of copies of the book have been sold and it has been in print continuously since 1941. Make Way for Ducklings is the official book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Mallard family’s procession is commemorated in bronze in the Boston Public Garden. The bronze ducks, stretching out for 35 feet, are one of Boston’s most popular tourist attractions.

statues

To help children celebrate the ducklings’ 75th birthday, Viking Children’s Books has created some activity sheets which can be downloaded here.

The Aurora Public Library District also has these picture books, written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey.

time of wonder    maine

burt     blueberries

Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday

Fairy tales have been a favorite type of book for children (and adults) for hundreds of years. Hans Christian Andersen is remembered as one of the greatest of the fairy tale writers. Born in Denmark on April 2, 1805, Andersen’s tales explore timeless themes such as as virtue and perseverance. They have been translated into many languages and have been adapted in both straight-forward and humorous ways by many writers. Most of the picture books in the Library collection that are based on his stories will state on the book cover or the title page that they are adaptations, rather than Andersen’s original story.

The work of Hans Christian Andersen is often compared to the Fairy Tales of the Grimm Brothers. Although these men were living around the same time period, there is a notable difference in their works. Andersen wrote original fairy tales, but the Grimm Brothers traveled around Germany collecting stories which were already in existence. Andersen’s best-known stories include The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and Thumbelina.

mermaid

duckling     thumbelina

Here are a few more of the Andersen Fairy Tales that are fairly true to the original version.

match girl     nightingale

snow princess

Now take a look at some of the silly versions! I bet you can guess which original tale these are based on.

very smart     uglified

dinosuar

You can learn more about Hans Christian Andersen by sharing this picture book biography by Karen Hesse. The Dillsboro Public Library has a book containing all the original fairy tales by Andersen.

younghca

The highest international book award given to authors and illustrators of children’s books is the Hans Christian Andersen Award. It is awarded every two years and countries are allowed to nominate one author or illustrator for the award. The 2016 Award will be announced on April 4, 2016. The United States nominee is Lois Lowry, author of 2 Newbery Award books: Number the Stars and The Giver. The US has not had a Hans Christian Andersen Award winner since 1998 when Katherine Paterson won the award.

A Family Storytime – Take Flight with Books !

Parents often want to know what they can do to prepare their preschool child for reading. We are hosting a very special family event about that exact topic! Come to the Aurora Public Library on Thursday evening, April 14th from 6-7 PM. I’ll be sharing some fantastic new picture books with all of you. These books have been nominated for Indiana’s preschool book award because they encourage the kind of playful interaction that builds early literacy skills.

Firefly_Award

I’ll also show you how to help your child through talking, singing, playing, reading, and writing. After the stories, every child will get to vote for their favorite book. Votes will be collected across Indiana to determine the 2016 Firefly Winner.

This free program is for all our families with children. We’ll also be making a craft and sharing some refreshments. You may even win a door prize!

Here’s a sneak peek at the books we’ll be sharing! Mark this date on your calendar and bring a friend along.

rhythm     two is enough

bear sees colorshooray

nose to toes

What’s the Printz Award?

We have recently highlighted the winners of the 2016 Caldecott and Newbery Medals. You may be surprised to learn there is a similar award for Young Adult books. The Michael L. Printz Award is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was passionate about literature for teens. It’s a relatively new award, first given in 2000, while the Newbery and Caldecott Awards have been around over 75 years.

The Printz Award recognizes the best books written for ages 12-18 and published within a calendar year. All forms of writing are eligible including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories or others forms. The 2016 Michael L. Printz Medal was given to:

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, the story of an abduction in a Midwestern town. As you can see from the book cover, Bone Gap was also a National Book Award Finalist.

Bone Gap

 

The Printz Committee selected two Honor Books for 2016.

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick. Sedgwick won the Printz Medal in 2014 for his book Midwinterblood and received a Printz Honor in 2011 for Revolver.

Ghosts of Heaven

 

The second Printz Honor Book is Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez.

Out of Darkness

Read any of these Printz books and you’ll see why so many adults are checking out Young Adult literature. These are exceptional stories with complex characters and thought-provoking themes.

The winner of the 2016 Caldecott is…

Finding Winnie

Finding Winnie: the True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Blackall has illustrated over 20 children’s books, but this is her first Caldecott Medal. You can read about her creative process for this book on her blog. Start with this blog, but make sure you also go to her other blogs about Finding Winnie. Remember the Randolph Caldecott Medal goes to the illustrator of the book, not to the author.

The Caldecott Committee named 4 Caldecott Honor Books for 2016. The Honor Books for this year are divided evenly between story books and picture book biographies. All are wonderful reads to share with the young people in your life.

Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier. As noted in a previous blog post, this is Collier’s fourth time to receive the Caldecott Honor award.

Trombone Shorty

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes.

Voice of Freedom

Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson. In addition to a Caldecott Honor, this book won the Newbery Medal for author Matt de la Pena.

LastStopMarket

Newbery Surprise!

Sometimes the predictions turn out to be right on target, and sometimes the Newbery Committee surprises everyone! The big surprise from this week’s Youth Media Awards was definitely the decision to award the 2016 John Newbery Medal to the author of a picture book. Although certainly not required (the target audience can be up to fourteen years old), this prize has traditionally been given to the author of a chapter book for children. Yes, we’ve seen the Newbery won by a handful of poetry or non-fiction books, but not by a picture book.

So congratulations to Matt de la Pena, author of the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature, published in 2015. The official Newbery citation states “CJ’s journey with his Nana is not just a simple bus ride; it is a multi-sensory experience through which he discovers that beautiful music, nature and people surround him.  CJ’s questions are familiar, and Nana answers him with gentle wisdom.  Right up until their arrival at the last stop on Market Street, Nana guides CJ to become “a better witness for what’s beautiful.” De la Pena is best known as an author of Young Adult books, although he also wrote an excellent picture book biography, A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis.

LastStopMarket

The Newbery Selection Committee also named three books as 2016 Newbery Honor Books. These are not shown in any particular order; Honor Books are all viewed as equal in rank by the committee.

The War that Saved My Life

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. There was no surprise with this choice. Bradley, originally from Fort Wayne, is well-known for writing excellent historical fiction, and this was a popular choice for all the “Newbery Guessers.”

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan – another favorite of book critics and readers. This has been described as a “genre-defying tour de force.”  Ryan merges fairytale elements with historical fiction as she explores the power of music. This is definitely on my list to read!

Roller-Girl

Roller Girl, written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. This is the only one of the Newbery selections that we do not currently have in the library, but one was ordered shortly after Monday’s announcement. Let us know if you would like your name put on a waiting list for this title. This graphic novel would be perfect for tweens who are experiencing the awkwardness of moving away from a circle of childhood friends while reaching out for new friends who share your interests. I’ll be very excited to see this when it arrives!