JUST in time for the holidays, YOU can win $500 worth of books from Chronicle Books. More importantly - *I* can win $500 worth of books from Chronicle! We love Chronicle! High production values, witty choices, verrrry nice graphic novels. All I have to do is list $500 worth of Chronicle books, and I might win that list... and all you have to do is comment on this post! They are calling it Celebrate the Haul-idays with Chronicle Books. What are we waiting for?
How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend. You heard me. Johnny Depp's. Alien Girlfriend. It's forthcoming. French author. Excellent cover. Sounds action-packed and slightly surreal and I want to read it. $17
MORE MORE MORE said the librarian....
Oh, A Long Piece of String for sure! Not only is this picture book a little orgy of two-color mod illustration, it is also wonderful for demonstrating narrative structure to very small children - i.e., the kind of children that you can't use the words "narrative" or even "structure" with. $16
I would take a full set of Ivy & Bean, yes, thank you. Ivy & Bean are a surefire go-to for girls who have graduated the First Chapter Book aisle but who are not ready for Allie Finkle or Alice. Gentle, funny, and a little subversive, they appeal to parents too. Wait, what? Annie Barrows is the same Annie Barrows who wrote the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, the book that is famous for being the number-one way to impress a library customer ("Oh, there's this book, and it has a weird title, and you're going to kill me but I can't remember..." "You mean The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society?" "That's it!! How did you...?" [Librarian just smiles in a sinister way])? Wow. $40 for two sets of 3 books.
Out of Sight is new and I haven't seen it yet, but at 11" x 15" and with flaps and 'hidden' critters and big white spaces, I know it will be a big hit in the second grade classroom. Maybe first grade. I won't give it to the kindergartners, though, they'd love it a little too... boisterously, I think. $20
Same with Lots of Dots, although - have I reviewed it yet? I loved it terribly, but I guess not.
I love You Can Do It Too! even more than its predecessor, I Can Do It Too!. In the book, a little girl shows her tiny brother what he can do. I like the demonstration of capability, I like the child-to-child teaching, I like that the kids are African American, I like the positive big sister role, and I LOVE the bright color and chunky paint lines. $10
Oh ma gawd I usually resist looking at nonbook items produced by publishers, but the MoMA Modern House is giving me a serious case of the wants. If you are the kind of person who appreciates The Incredibles partly because their house is so cool, you will understand why I feel I need this. $20
Scary Stories. Mostly because I adore Barry Moser's illustrations, but also because I feel like I'm getting more and more requests for scary. Is it just the kids I know? I ended up handing Peter Straub to an 8th grader a couple weeks ago because she claimed Stephen King was NOT SCARY ENOUGH. $17
I remember reading One Too Many: A Seek & Find Counting Book when it first came out, and thinking how clever it was, how nicely drawn... and then I feel like I haven't seen it since. Weird. One Too Many gets the reader to count the number of barnyard animals on the page, some of which are a bit hidden. The longer the eyes are on the page, the more the kid is going to enjoy the book, and, not incidentally, the more likely the kid is to form an association between the concept and the word. $16
Adopt A Glurb! made its way around our living room and around the librarian's office when it arrived, giggled over and enjoyed like a tiny, weird-looking baby. What? Some babies are weird-looking! Don't try to deny it. This one is fun, as is another Balloon Toons book, The Super Crazy Cat Dance The Super Crazy Cat Dance could have been written by my niece Sophie. It has that run-on, declarative-to-the-point-of-shouty syntax that you see in stories written by little kids. MY STORY! LET ME TELL IT TO YOU! $11 each
I met Jessie Hartland at ALA (or somewhere) this year, and had a terrifically interesting conversation about her book, How The Sphinx Got To The Museum. Museums (and the museum in question more than most) can be really cagey about allowing outsiders access to their history, but she said she encountered nothing but cooperative folks when she was working on it. It's a great story, and Jessie allows herself a few entertaining tangents as well. Her sketchy, friendly artwork keeps the book peppy. $18
Let Freedom Sing, because I can never have too many upbeat civil rights books. $17
L Is for Lollygag: Quirky Words for a Clever Tongue is out of print, but if this is a wishlist, that is something I wish for. Cultivate a love of fabulous fancy words with this ABC of verbal frippery. $13
Delicious: The Art and Life of Wayne Thiebaud. Anyone who knows me, and most people who read this blog, know that I complain bitterly and often about the limited list of artists about whom people write biographies for children. YEAH LEONARDO WAS A GENIUS. God. Quit shovin him down our throats, will ya? Ergo: Thiebaud. $16
The Story of Little Black Sambo. Classic. Not to be missed. Every library should own a copy. Likewise A Seed Is Sleepy and An Egg Is Quiet. I do collection management for two public school libraries, and we could use replacement copies. Kids love lovely books. $17 each.
NRDC Simple Steps for Kids Activity Book. The schools I work with, like many across the country, focus on being greener, encouraging environmentally friendly behavior and thinking. I'll take all the tips I can get. $13
Rock 'n Roll Camp for Girls: How to Start a Band, Write Songs, Record an Album, and Rock Out!, because my friend's daughter sings, drums, and plays guitar in an all-kid band (the Oxi-Morons), and that's just about the coolest thing I've ever seen. $15
It's a Money Thing!: A Girl's Guide to Managing Money, because it would be so great if I could get even one kid interested in the mechanics of fiscal responsibility. I despair sometimes. $13
And ever since the Walters Art Museum hosted a Walter Wick exhibit, I haven't been able to keep any of the I Spy or Spot 7 books on the shelves. I'll take Spot 7 Toys, Spooky, Animals, and School, at $13 apiece.
I never have enough magic books, so I'll add Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring. $17
And you'd be surprised how many kids are interested in reading about food. The Geometry of Pasta. $25 and Better Than Homemade: Amazing Food That Changed the Way We Eat, $15.
Extreme Encounters: How It Feels to Be Drowned in Quicksand, Shredded by Piranhas, Swept Up in a Tornado, and Dozens of Other Unpleasant Experiences--. NOTHING is too extreme for the middle school boy. He wants every gory detail. $16
And to Name but Just a Few: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue. One of my all-time favorites for its attitude, approachability, and graphic verve. That's right Laurie - VERVE. Same goes for Shapes That Roll. $17 $15
And just for me? All My Friends Are Dead, for ten bucks.
I might be over $500 here. Give me a break, the "S" in MLS may stand for 'science,' but the "L" stands for 'library' - librarians usually only use arithmetic to figure budget and shelf space, and both of those allow a little wiggle room. What would you edit off this list? What have I missed that you could not do without? Comment for a chance to win!