Sunday, January 29, 2012

(from NPR)
A winter favourite turns 50, but the spirirt of enchanted childhood discovery remains as alive in this book today as it did when Ezra Jack Keats first imagined it.

A story from NPR  ...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Please Mrs. Butler

It's Poetry Friday in the Kidlitosphere. Book Aunt is hosting this week's round-up of poetry themed blogging.

I'm in with a link to one of my favourite children's authors reading one of my favourite kidlit poems.

As I was obsessively google-ing the Ahlbergs  (PeepoEach, Peach, Pear, PlumThe Baby's Catlalogue etc.) I turned up these fantastic recordings of Allan  reading a selection of his poems for the Children's Poetry Archive. His reading of Please Mrs Butler, about a slightly batty school teacher, seems like an appropriate one for this time of year. Take no offense teachers, Allan was an educator himself. To listen to Allan recite in full Midlands accented glory click here.

Parents and teachers can download a lesson plan for Please Mrs Butler from The Poetry Archive

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fall Kid Lit Wish List

Check out Publishers Weekly Fall 2010 Children's Announcements. I feel like Christmas is coming early this year. Here is our top-ten fall reading wish list:

Little Black CrowLittle Black Crow
From extraordinary children's book illustrator / writer Chris Raschka (Charlie Parker Played Be Bop). A chance meeting between a boy and a crow inspires a rush of childhood questions

Caldecott medalist Chris Raschka,  himself the boy perhaps,has created a book in the sparest language against the simplest setting, to inspire in any young listener the wonder of wondering. (Publisher's description)

Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, August 2010

13 Words13 Words

13 must-know words from Lemony Snicket.

Publisher: HarperCollins, October 2010

Absolutely Beastly ChildrenAbsolutely Beastly Children
Tricycle Press, September 2010

A whimsical and cautionary tale about the perils of bad behavior.

In this book you’ll find 26 children who are almost certainly nothing like you. You always eat your peas and say please. You, unlike Oscar, would never tell lies. And in your wildest dreams you wouldn’t play with your food the way Nancy does. But even the sweetest child can be tempt-ed to behave badly. Thankfully, Dan Krall has put together this collection to remind us just how unpleasant beastly behavior can be. (Publisher's description).
Tricycle Press, September 2010

Man Gave Names to All the Animals
A picture book adaptation of the whimsical Bob Dylan song from the album Slow Train Coming. Includes a CD of Dylan's original recording. A must for all Bob Dylan fans and their budding folkies.

Man Gave Names to All the AnimalsThe revered musical legend rarely allows his songs to be illustrated, and Arnosky has done the song proud with a parade of spectacular creatures ready to receive their names-until the surprise ending, when children get to name an animal themselves! (From the Publisher's description)

Publisher: Sterling, September 2010

Mad At MommyMad At Mommy
Mad Bunnies - enough said.

Little Bunny is VERY MAD at his mommy.
She sleeps too late.
She talks too much.
She watches her silly shows instead of cartoons.
And she gets mad for no reason -- just a few little bubbles on the floor.
The only thing left to do is run away. But does he really want to leave Mommy behind forever?
With the charming illustrations and spot-on understanding of young children's thinking that distinguished THE SNOW DAY and EMILY'S BALLOON, Komako Sakai brings us a REALLY ANGRY -- and ultimately sweet -- new story. (From the Publisher's description)
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, October, 2010

Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected DiversionKnuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion
The third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling and two-time Caldecott Honorwinning Knuffle Bunny series from the reigning kid of little kid 
lit, Mo Willems.
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (September 28, 2010)

Interrupting ChickenInterrupting Chicken
We like both chickens and goofy jokes - looks like the perfect book for us.

A favorite joke inspires this charming tale, in which a little chicken’s habit of interrupting bedtime stories is gleefully turned on its head. (From the Publisher's Description)

  • Publisher: Candlewick, August 10, 2010

A Bald Chimpanzee, an Adventure in ABC'sA Bald Chimpanzee, an Adventure in ABC's

A super-fun way to learn the alphabet. Letters are introduced through short and funny sentences like A Bald Chimpanzee Devours Eighty Four Giant Hamburgers and Prickly Porcupines Picking Perfectly Purple Plums.
  • Publisher: Frog Legs Ink, December 2010

Doggy SlippersDoggy Slippers
No reading wish list is complete without a good book of poetry.

Children everywhere love pets, and some are even lucky enough to get their own. In Doggy Slippers Jorge Luján offers a collection of poems about pets inspired by children. Luján turned funny and touching anecdotes his young readers sent him about the role of pets in their lives into fresh poems, selecting the 12 best for this book. His status as one of the most important poets writing for children today, combined with Isol’s unique, childlike take on the world, makes this the perfect poetry collection for young readers. (Publisher's Description)
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books

The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets
Last but not least, this one is for Mommy.

In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie Bucket loves chocolate. And Mr. Willy Wonka, the most wondrous inventor in the world, is opening the gates of his amazing chocolate factory. Charlie just needs one golden ticket, and Mr. Wonka's delicious treats could all be his. . . . But what's missing? Who is Miranda Piker? And did Mr. Wonka really invent a spotty powder that would keep kids out of school? Find out in the top-secret chapter that was taken out of the original book!

Publisher: Puffin

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On Hiatus

Little Kid Lit is going on hiatus for a couple of weeks. My family and I are moving house - with lots of cleaning, painting etc to do. Needless to say - reading still trumps moving. Even though I won't be writing about it, Oona and I will make sure to read together everyday.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Poems Every Child Should Know

Its Poetry Friday in the kidlitosphere. This week the round-up is being hosted at my juicy little universe. Hop on over to to see whose blogging about poetry today. I'm sharing a poem from the anthology Poems Every Child Should Know edited by Mary E. Burt and first published in 1904. The poem is by Robert Browning, the introductory text was written by the editor.


"Spring's at the Morn," from "Pippa Passes," by Robert Browning (1812-89), has become a very popular stanza with little folks. "All's right with the world" is a cheerful motto for the nursery and schoolroom.
The year's at the spring,The day's at the morn;Morning's at seven;The hillside's dew pearled;
The lark's on the wing;The snail's on the thorn;God's in His heaven—All's right with the world!
Robert Browning.

Ms.Burt's belief in the necessity of teaching poetry to children is so passionately articulated in the preface to the book that I thought I'd include it here as well:

There  are people who believe that in the matter of learning poetry there is no "ought," but this is a false belief. There is a duty, even there.... Children should build for their future--and get, while they are children, what only the fresh imagination of the child can assimilate.
They should store up an untold wealth of heroic sentiment; they should acquire the habit of carrying a literary quality in their conversation; they should carry a heart full of the fresh and delightful associations and memories, connected with poetry hours to brighten mature years. They should develop their memories while they have memories to develop.

The frontis piece from the original edition:

Poems Every Child Should Know was obtained from Project Gutenberg. This e-book is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg license. Visit Project Gutenberg at

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Great Dr.Seuss Read Aloud Competition

The Cat in the HatHarperCollins has launched The Great Dr.Seuss Read Aloud Competition. Readers of all ages are invited to upload a video of themselves reading one of five Dr.Seuss stories. Besides the opportunity to become a YouTube darling there are some fabulous prizes up for grabs, including a trip to Orlando for the first place winner. Videos will put to a public vote and the Dr.Seuss Grand Judging panel will pick the winners.

According to the competition website "extra points will be awarded for imagination, innovation and cat-participation". If your looking for some inspiration the kind folks at HarperCollins have included tips and downloadable props. Click here for more info.