Interview with Dan Bar-el

Monday, October 15, 2007.

Dan Bar-el holds the original draft of AlphabetterStorytelling can take many forms including live theatre, radio programs, stand-up comedy, classroom teaching and books. Being involved in each of these can help bring a unique and engaging style to children’s picture books.

On this edition of Just One More Book, Mark and Dan Bar-el sit in The Gallery Cafe of the Vancouver Art Gallery to discuss how Dan’s experience in live theatre has influenced his children’s picture books, writing with a flair for the absurd, and a classroom program called Stories In our Own Words which encourages children to write and perform their own stories.

Books mentioned:

Books by Vivian Gussin Paley referenced by Dan Bar-el:

Photo: Dan Bar-el holding the original draft of Alphabetter (then called ‘Don’t Panic’)

Robert’s Snow Snowflake Bloggers for Cancer’s Cure: Week 1

Sunday, October 14, 2007.

Robert's Snow Online Auction for Cancer's CureYou will soon have a chance to purchase the artwork of a favourite children’s book illustrator while helping to fight cancer — by participating in a unique fundraiser for cancer research: Robert’s Snow: for Cancer’s Cure. Since 2004, this online auction has raised over $200,000 for The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and, with your help, the holiday tradition will thrive in 2007.

In order to raise awareness of and participation in this fabulous fundraiser, we in the kidlitosphere community will be highlighting ~160 of the 200 or so individual illustrators who have created snowflakes for the upcoming ’07 auctions’ and giving you a peek at the unique snowflakes they have made.

Here is the first week of illustrator showcases and sneak peeks at their snowflakes:

Monday, October 15


Interview with Esme Raji Codell

Saturday, October 13, 2007.

Welcome to Planet EsmeAuthor and certified Readiologist(TM), Esme Raji Codell has so many children’s books in her collection that she and her husband decided to give the books their own home. The result is something Esme calls the Gingerbread Apartment of Planet Esme, the manifestation of the website

On this edition of Just One More Book, Mark speaks with Esme Raji Codell about Planet Esme, her efforts to help educate people about great children’s books, and her thoughts on what children’s books can do to change the world.

You can read more about The Gingerbread House of Planet Esme here

A Reader’s High: Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast

Friday, October 12, 2007.

Tyrannosaurus Was a BeastAuthor: Jack Prelutsky (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Arnold Lobel
Published: 1988 Harper Trophy (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0688115691

Full of meaty words, infectious beats and fact*-based blackish humour, this invigorating feast of illustrated, dinosaur poems is permanently woven into the fabric of our family.

*The facts upon which the poems are based are twenty years out-of-date — but what’s twenty years between 225 million year old friends?

Muchos Gracias, Robin Brande

Wednesday, October 10, 2007.

Robin Brande and Mark BlevisHey Robin Brande!

From your amigos at the first ever conference of kidlit authors, illustrators, librarians, bloggers, podcasters (and any combination thereof) comes this collage of thank you’s. We did our best to get everyone. Our apologies to those who were left out.

The Swaggering Dragon (by Zubot and Dawson) used with the kind permission of Steve Dawson.

Note: this audio file is intentionally not available in the Just One More Book!! podcast feed.

Filed under: News and Notes

Silken Strength and Resilience: Red Butterfly (How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007.

Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China Author: Deborah Noyes
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Published: 2007 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0763624004

Delicately depicted in mint, peach and red, this beautifully worded legend shares the solitary heartbreak and secret unraveling of a young girl who shines light into her own uncertain future.

Other books mentioned:

Interview with Matt Raymond of the Library of Congress

Monday, October 8, 2007.

National Book Festival 2007The United States Library of Congress hosted its first National Book Festival in 2001. Thirty thousand people attended. On September 29, 2007, the date of the seventh edition of the festival, attendance exceeded one hundred twenty thousand.

In addition to the use of online tools and digital media, including podcasts, the National Book Festival is just one of many of the Library of Congress’ initiatives to promote literacy and a love of reading and writing.

On this edition of Just One More Book, Mark is joined by Matt Raymond, Director of Communications for the Library of Congress, to talk about the National Book Festival, the online Young Readers’ Toolkit, and the use of new media to promote literacy.


National Book Festival poster image from the Library of Congress website.

Inspiring Introductions: 2007 KidLitosphere Conference

Sunday, October 7, 2007.

Kid Lit Conference Family Photo

Colourful characters, great dialogue and the unbelievably generous hospitality of kidlit authors Robin Brande and Esme Raji Codell made this wonderful weekend of laughs and learning well worth the death defying flight that got us there. What a great bunch of intelligent, creative and totally fun people. We can’t wait til next year!

See our flickr photos here.

You can read more about 1st Annual Kidlitosphere Conference here and here and here and here…and here and here and here

Filed under: News and Notes

Waiting at the Door to Unger: Knock 8

Saturday, October 6, 2007.

Kendra Kandlestar and the Door to UngerWaiting at the Door to Unger is our ongoing series of Podcast interviews in which we follow the process of writing, editing and publishing Lee Edward Fodi’s book Kendra Kandlestar and the Door to Unger, the long awaited sequel to Kendra Kandlestar and the Box of Whispers.

In this eighth knock, join Lee and me as we spend an afternoon together in Vancouver, Canada on what Lee would later call a children’s book pilgrimage. Our afternoon consisted of lunch at Bellaggio Cafe on Hornby Street, shopping for children’s books at a store appropriately called Kidsbooks and then taking a tour of Christian’s Lyceum of Literature and Art — a newly opened literacy centre — all the while talking about reading and writing great children’s books.

Books mentioned:

Stranger than Fiction: A Horse in the House

Friday, October 5, 2007.

titleValAuthor: Gail Ablow
Illustrator: Kathy Osborn
Published: 2007 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0763628387

Densely colourful, offbeat illustrations and an unusual hybrid of storytelling and text-book style narration tantalize us with strange but true animal stories that are surprisingly addictive.

Check out the full list of non-fiction picture books nominated for the 2007 Cybils Awards here.

Risking Kindness: Don’t Need Friends

Wednesday, October 3, 2007.

Don't Need FriendsAuthor: Carolyn Crimi
Illustrator: Lynn Munsinger
Published: 1999 Random House (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0440415322

Scowls, howls and insults abound in this heartwarming story of friendship lost and the slow, solitary struggle to disarm, soften and befriend again.

And They’re Off….

Monday, October 1, 2007.

Cybils 2007School’s in full swing and we’re back in cozy sweaters … which means it’s Cybils time, again!

Nominations are now being accepted for the second annual Cybils Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards so pop over to and nominate your favourite book of 2007 in each of eight categories; from picture books up to young adult fiction. Nominations close on November 21 2007, so don’t delay!

This year, I have the honour of joining fabulous kidlit bloggers:

on the Non-Fiction Picture Books nominating committee so remember to nominate some great non-fiction!

Filed under: News and Notes

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