children's books

How do you raise a reader in this ever changing world of technology, devices and other distractions? Screen time may often be more appealing than reading time for a child. But with reading known to be so important, how can a parent encourage kids to make reading a priority?

In the new book, "How to Raise a Reader," leading book authorities Pamela Paul - who oversees all book coverage at the New York Times, and Maria Russo - editor of children’s books at the Times - answer these urgent questions.

The book is divided into 4 stages of childhood—from babies to teens—and filled with practical tips, strategies that work, been-there wisdom, and inspirational advice.

"The Picture Book Odysseys of Peter Sís" is on display at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. It showcases more than 90 original illustrations from 26 picture books, ranging from Sís’s exquisitely detailed paintings of historical narratives to the bold graphics of his early readers. A selection of painted objects and public art projects showcase other facets of his award-winning career.

Born in Czechoslovakia, Peter Sís transports readers to the ancient city of Prague in "The Three Golden Keys" and explores its political past in "The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain." He chronicles his father’s two-year odyssey in the Himalaya Mountains in "Tibet Through the Red Box," and creates a modern-day fairytale in "Madlenka."

Rhett Miller is the frontman for rock band Old 97′s, a solo singer-songwriter, an essayist and a podcaster. And he’s also a father of two, which indirectly led to his newest gig of picture-book writer - his book is “No More Poems! A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse.”

He started writing poems to share with his kids on the phone while he was on tour so he could talk with them longer. He’d read the poems aloud and get their feedback (sometimes brutal feedback.)

Between albums with the band, Miller has squeezed in seven solo records—most recently last year’s "The Messenger." His latest offering is a new podcast, "Wheels Off," which finds him interviewing musicians, writers, artists, actors, and comedians about creativity. 

The 11th annual Hudson Children’s Book Festival will take place on Saturday, May 4th from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Hudson Junior/Senior High School in Hudson, New York. Over 75 children’s and young adult authors and illustrators will be in attendance to meet and greet and purchase signed copies of their books.

They will also celebrate their 2nd annual Literary Lion - science author, Seymour Simon, who has written over 300 science books for children.

An exhibitor hall will be bustling with tons of community organizations providing activities and giveaways. To learn more, we welcome: Festival Co-Director Lisa Dolan and "Literary Lion" Seymour Simon. 

During his regular days in London, Kenneth Grahame sat behind a mahogany desk as Secretary of the Bank of England; on weekends he retired to the house in the country that he shared with his fanciful wife, Elspeth, and their fragile son, Alistair, and took lengthy walks along the Thames in Berkshire.

The result of these pastoral wanderings was his masterful creation of "The Wind in the Willows," the enduring classic of children's literature; a cautionary tale for adult readers; a warning of the fragility of the English countryside; and an expression of fear at threatened social changes that, in the aftermath of the World War I, became a reality.

"The Man in the Willows: The Life of Kenneth Grahame" is by Matthew Dennison; the author of several critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, including "Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter."

Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney's office in Manhattan for more than two decades and is America's foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her Alexandra Cooper novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Her new sleuth, Devlin Quick, takes inspiration from Nancy Drew. The first Devlin Quick Mystery is out now, it's entitled Into the Lion's Den. In the novel, someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence.

Linda Fairstein will be at The Albany Book Festival at UAlbany on September 29. At noon, she will be part of a Middle Readers Mystery Panel in the Campus Center Studio West and an Adult Mystery Panel from 1:30 – 2:30 in the Campus Center Ballroom. 

Lois Lowry and Joe Donahue at Page Hall
Sarah LaDuke

Lois Lowry is a leading voice of children’s literature and the author of more than 30 books. She is known for work that explores such complex issues as racism, terminal illness, murder, and the Holocaust. She received the Newbery Medal for both "The Giver" and "Number the Stars." In 2007 Lowry received the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association for her lasting contribution to young adult literature.

This interview was recorded at Page Hall as part of the "The Creative Life Series" created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

Leonard Marcus is one of the world's most respected historians of children's books and the people who create them. His own award-winning books include Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon and Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom. A frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review and Horn Book Magazine, Marcus has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, ABC's Good Morning America, and BBC Radio 4. He is a founding trustee of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and is the curator of landmark exhibitions at the New York Public Library and elsewhere. He teaches at New York University and the School of Visual Arts, and lectures about his work throughout the world. Marcus holds degrees in history from Yale, and poetry from the University of Iowa Graduate Writers Workshop. 

His new book, Golden Legacy chronicles the fascinating story of the creation, marketing, and worldwide impact of Little Golden Books, the most popular children's books of all time.

In Some Writer! Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. The book is an authorized tribute and is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White.

Melissa Sweet is the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of many fine children's books including Balloons Over Broadway, a Sibert winner, and The Right Word and A River of Words, both Caldecott Honors.

  The Hudson Children's Book Festival, established in 2009, strives to create, sustain, and nurture a culture of literacy in partnership with our community and schools.

The event is free and open to the public and this year’s festival – the 8th annual – is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jr./Sr. High on Harry Howard Ave. in Hudson, New York.

Here to tell us more are Jennifer Clark, Co-Director, Hudson Children's Book Festival and children’s book authors, Mark Teague and James Preller.

  Eric Luper is an author for young readers. In addition to two series with Scholastic Books called Key Hunters and The Chocolate Lab, Eric writes for Cartoon Network for shows including The Amazing World of Gumball, The Regular Show, and Teen Titans Go!

He also has written titles for Scooby-Doo, Star Trek, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Eric will be visiting the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza on Saturday afternoon at 1PM to sign copies of the first two books of Key Hunters, a new adventure series for readers 6 to 9. 

  Today's Book Picks list comes from Aubrey Restifo of The Northshire Bookstore.

List:
When We Collided by Emery Lord
The Haters by Jesse Andrews
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
Scar Girl by Len Vlahos
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
A Hungry Lion, or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

  Robots are perennial kid-favorites. In his new series, acclaimed illustrator Marc Rosenthal’s vividly colored, retro-futuristic robots encourage kids age 2 to 5 to lift the flaps and learn all about basic concepts.

Big Bot, Small Bot invites young readers to play with robots who demonstrate opposites such as “quiet” and “loud,” “front” and “back,” and “full” and “empty.” Each illustration is presented with a gatefold that, when lifted, transforms the image into its opposite!

One Robot Lost His Head follows the travails of a slightly clumsy robot who can't quite keep track of his own head, and the smart robot pals who help him find it. A gatefold on each spread opens to reveal a visual punch line that teaches kids basic number skills while making them laugh.

Marc’s illustrations can be seen regularly in The New Yorker, Time, Forbes, Fortune, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Boston Globe, and The Washington Post.

    Today's Book Picks list comes from Leah Moore of The Northshire Bookstore.

Pugs of the Frozen North by Phillip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre Illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
Princess In Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon Hale, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Claudia and Mean Janine by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier
The Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson
Brambleheart by Henry Cole
Lilliput by Sam Gayton, Illustrated by Alice Ratteree
Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles DeLint and Charles Vess
The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, Illustrated by Keith Thompson
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, Illustrated by William O'Connor

  Sandra Boynton is a popular cartoonist, writer, and songwriter. Since 1974, she has written and illustrated over fifty children’s books and seven general audience books, including five New York Times bestsellers.

She has also written and produced five albums of award-winning children’s music. But, did you know Sandra Boynton wrote a book about chocolate? For grown-ups? Twice?

Boynton’s classic Chocolate: The Consuming Passion returns, updated and redrawn by her for a whole new generation of choco-philes.

   Today's Book Picks list comes from Aubrey Restifo of The Northshire Bookstore.

List:
Waiting by Kevin Henkes
Grandma's House by Alice Melvin
The Marvels by Brian Selznick
Not if I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Symphony for the City of the Dead by MT Anderson
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

As children we were brought into the Hundred Acre Wood to go on adventures with Winnie-the-Pooh, Rabbit, Piglet, and the other cast of characters that A.A. Milne had created for his son Christopher Robin. But before that, Winnie-the-Pooh was a part of someone else’s story.

    

  We are very happy to continue our regular feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

Today we check in with Shawkat Toorawa, Professor of Arabic Literature & Islamic studies at Cornell University and New York Council for the Humanities board member to discuss the importance of Muslim protagonists featured in children's literature.

Muslim Voices is part of the New York Council for the Humanities’ suite of Together programs—reading and discussion programs for kids, teens and families that introduce important issues and ideas through books.

    

  Suzanna Hermans from Oblong Books and Music joins us with this week's Book Picks list.

List:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid #9 The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney (Oblong-sponsored event at Bulkeley Middle School in Rhinebeck, Wednesday, 11/12, 6:30pm)
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper & Raul the Third
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon
Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermann (event at Rhinebeck store, Sunday, 11/16, 4pm)
How Do You Pray? by Celeste Yacoboni (event at Rhinebeck store, Thursday, 11/6, 7pm)
Peter Paul and Mary: 50 Years in Music and Life by Peter Yarrow (Oblong-sponsored event at Morton Memorial Library in Rhinecliff, NY, Tuesday, 11/18, 7pm)
Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The author of one of the most popular children’s book series recently visited with her newest generation of fans.