The Awesomeness of A to Zoo

ImageToday I checked my Things To Do List and there it was: Library. Wheee! I love to go to the library!

So, off I went to pick up my books at my local branch. Plus, I had a little library business in mind. Namely, A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children’s Picture Books. Happily, my favorite library had a copy of this reference book on hand. Unhappily, I couldn’t check it out. So I had a little sit down to peruse the fairy tales section.

I do so enjoy fairy tales, and many of my manuscripts deal with fairy tales. But working, working, working on a manuscript only to find out that Betty Boopsidoo has written the exact same story (and had it published)…well, that I do not enjoy so much.

So when I heard about this awesome reference book, listing authors, illustrators, and a (very) brief synopsis of just about every children’s book published out there, I knew it was worth a trip to the library to make a couple notes.

And so I opened the (very) fat book and started writing. But do you have any idea how many books are out there about fairy tales? I don’t know, either, but I can tell you that it’s a lot. Quite a lot.

So I made copies of the pertinent pages. I mean, I love the library and all that, but I could’ve been there all day.

P.S. If you click on A to Zoo here, you’ll find yourself in WorldCat, which, once you type in your zip code, will let you know what library near you carries this awesome reference book. But be prepared. Bring plenty of change, and maybe smelling salts. You are not going to believe how many children’s books there are out there!

Finding a Winner for The Christmas Village

Bet you thought I forgot about picking a winner for Melissa Goodwin’s wonderful middle grade novel, The Christmas Village.

I sort of picked the winner this morning and then forgot to include the name in today’s post. So that’s not really forgetting, is it? I used Random.org, in case you’re wondering. For the picking, that is.

So, thanks for stopping by to share in holiday reading happiness! And if you didn’t win, you can still find The Christmas Village at your favorite bookseller!

(Oops. Almost sort of forgot again. The very memorable and charming The Christmas Village goes to winner,  Mary K. )

 

Finding Holiday Fun (And a Few Books for You To Keep)

You should probably know that I get a little crazy at Christmas. And that includes my blogs.

But honestly, this time around, I was just going to add snow falling on my blog. Easy as filling up the old stocking! But the snow didn’t look quite right on the original background. So I thought, hmmmm. I’ll just change my blog background.

But then I saw this new template with customizable headers. I LOVE customizable headers! So I changed my whole blog and added the Christmas pic. Easy as stringing popcorn. Then, whilst checking over the merry old blog, I noticed that eeek! I hadn’t changed my books in FOREVER! So I added a few Christmas favorite reads.

Which brings me to finding a few good books for you to read. At the end of the year, all kinds of folks share their “Best of…” lists. So, instead of racing around from one spot to the next, why not check these links for a few good lists of award-winning books from 2010? Because honestly, in another month, you’ll have to catch up on award-winning books of 2011.

Here’s the 2010 list of Books to Share and Read from the New York Public Library (if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere).

And here’s the link to the Parents’ Choice Award Winners (Fiction) but you can look around and find picture books and non-fiction, too.

Here’s the School Library Journal’s list of Best Books 2010, Fiction (also look for picture books and non-fiction).

And here’s the Kirkus Review’s list of Best Children’s Books as well as the Kirkus Review’s list of Best Books for Teens. 

I’ve got some seriously fine reading ahead of me. And I’ll get to it, soon. As soon as I finish hanging candy canes all over the house. (P.S. What’s YOUR favorite read from 2010? I’d love to hear all about it!)

Finding the Funny Along with the Sublime

I had to share this post from Slush Pile Hell. (Which, I might add, is a funny spot to check out every day and not just when it happens to have a children’s related post).

The thing is, when you ask a bunch of Twitterers to come up with THE WORST CHILDREN’S BOOK…EVER, you’re going to get quite a few Tweets of an imaginary caliber. And the other thing is, I laughed out loud at almost all of the Top 25. So, that adds up to two things making this particular post a Keeper.

Now, calm down a bit because the next Keeper is a wonderful blog called “From the Mixed-up Files…of middle grade authors.” It basically says what you need to know in the title, but you can read here to find more of what these middle school authors have set out to do in the blogosphere.

And if you are a writer, as I am, you might want to read this overview. You’ll find out exactly what this bodacious blog has to offer you. Which I think is quite nice of them, don’t you?