Saturday, May 21, 2011

Best Books for Babies 2011!

"Best Books for Babies 2011" is a wonderful list originated by Mr. Rogers---we're thrilled to see FCL titles FIESTA BABIES and I LIKE FRUIT included on this just released list! The annual list provides a nationally recognized guide for parents, teachers, and caregivers in selecting quality literature for babies (infants through 18-months). A panel of librarians, child development experts, and academics reviews outstanding books, published in the United States each year, and judges them on elements such as clear, bright illustrations, age-appropriate subjects, and interactive capabilities.

Be sure to visit the new website for wonderful tips on reading to babies and more! (All books were published in 2010 and are listed alphabetically along with comments from the selection committee.)

Baby Baby Baby! Marilyn Janovitz, Jabberwocky - A loving family catalogs all the fun things their smiling baby can do—from clapping and crawling to splashing in the tub and kissing good night.


Dancing Feet Lindsey Craig, Illustrated by Marc Brown, Knopf Books for Young Readers - Textured collage illustrations show a variety of animals stomping, creeping and clapping their way through this rhyming action tale.


Fiesta Babies Carmen Tafolla, Illustrated by Amy Cordova, Candlewick - Bold colors amplify the festive fun in this rhyming story about babies and toddlers enjoying a neighborhood celebration.


Hip Hop Catherine Hnatov, Star Bright Books - High contrast black and white images alternate with simple, brightly colored pictures of familiar animals, highlighting their typical sounds and movements.

I Like Fruit Lorena Siminovich, Templar - Unusual textures and vivid colors combine to create clear pictures of tasty treats in this sturdy board book.


One Pup’s Up Marsha Wilson Chall, Illustrated by Henry Cole, Margaret K. McElderry - Feisty puppies tumble and frolic across the pages of this charming picture book that features energetic, upbeat descriptions and enjoyable word play.


Pocketful of Posies Salley Mayor, Houghton Mifflin - Mavor uses intricate needlework to create whimsical, detailed illustrations for a wide variety of rhymes, making this an appealing collection for families even if they already own one (or more) Mother Goose collections.


Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy Denise Fleming, Henry Holt and Co. Distinctive illustrations in warm, rich colors accompany rhythmic, repetitive words designed to lull listeners into sweet sleep.


Switching on the Moon Compiled by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters Illustrated by G. Brian Karas Candlewick - Perfect for sharing at bedtime, the beautifully illustrated poems in this collection are sure to become family favorites.


Tuck Me In! Dean Hacohen, Illustrated by Sherry Scharschmidt Candlewick Beach Lane Books - Young listeners can participate in this soothing bed-time ritual, turning decorated half-pages to cozily cover a cast of baby animals.


From the floor: SCBWI Orange County Agent’s Day

Last weekend Full Circle had the pleasure of participating in SCBWI Orange County Agent’s Day in beautiful Newport Beach, CA. This event brought together agents—Rosemary Stimola/Stimola Literary Studio, Edward Necarsulmer IV/McIntosh & Otis, Natalie Fischer/Bradford Agency, Anna Webman/Curtis Brown, and our own Stefanie Von Borstel— and authors for manuscript critiques and presentations on the agent/author relationship. Here’s a few highlights from the day:

Natalie shared some tips for writers going through the revision process, emphasizing the importance of creating a dynamic voice. A tip: Highlight all your senses in a different color to ensure you have a nice balance. Are there lots of auditory elements and no smells?

Rosemary spoke to the author/agent relationship, stressing to authors that they should be as critical about choosing an agent as they are about choosing a spouse—it will (hopefully!) be a lifelong relationship. Rosemary’s pet peeve: queries from adult fiction authors who are pitching their first children’s project with ‘I’ve written for adults I can certainly write for kids’. (Diddo!)

Edward took authors through a day in the life of an agent and explained why it is that you need one. To name just a couple of reasons: 1) we know editors’ tastes—who’s looking to branch out? who already has something similar on their list that’s not working? 2) to help you distill what you’re good at and ensure you play to your strengths.

Anna presented on the changing publishing landscape and self-promotion, sharing some great insights with authors on how to market oneself; underlining the importance of establishing a direct dialogue with your readers to familiarize them with your brand (that’d be you!) and your books. Her tip for those considering a social media presence: don’t join too many sites, it’s usually best to just pick one and do it well!

Stefanie spoke about the “full circle” of book rights that can expand book sales and readership. In addition to trade and institutional sales, agents can play a role in championing book clubs/book fairs, foreign translations, film and performance, merchandise and ancillary, as well as writers with potential to crossover to the adult market. Award-winning author and SCBWI member Rene Colato Lainez joined into the conversation speaking about how he connected with Stefanie as an agent and how they’ve successfully worked together on his two latest picture books!

We love going to these events to meet new and talented writers! For all of you children’s book authors who aren’t already members of SCBWI—we highly recommend joining—it’s an excellent resource for writers at any stage of their career. Don't miss the SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles this August--we'll see you there! --Sara

Monday, May 09, 2011

PUPPET PLAY is here!

Kermit the Frog, Elmo and friends, I've loved puppets for as long as I can remember. Did you know that Jim Henson originally made Kermit the Frog from his mother’s old green coat and two ping-pong balls? Without even realizing it, Henson created a DIY puppet made from recycled materials!

When puppeteer, puppet builder, illustrator and author, Diana Schoenbrun shared her proposal on making puppets from recycled items (like a sad glove that has lost its mate or an old washcloth), I was hooked. PUPPET PLAY features 20 puppet projects anyone can make with very little cost, and lots of creative time for the entire family! As a bonus, there is a chapter on building your own puppet theater, performing a puppet show and encouraging dramatic play with children. One of the favorites around my house is her "The Five Little Pigs" puppet made from an old glove ----it makes for lots of giggles and hours of fun with my son and his friends!

We're so excited to see Diana and all of her amazing puppets make their way out in the world---PUPPET PLAY just released from Andrews McMeel. So get ready to puppet *PLAY* and follow Diana on her virtual blog tour to find out about her amazing creative talents, puppet inspirations, and more! Click below to view the fun PUPPET PLAY book video!

Follow Diana on her PUPPET PLAY virtual blog tour -- book giveaways and more!

May 2nd Luvinthemommyhood
May 3rd Oh My! Handmade
May 4th Craft Sanity
May 5th Sew Mama Sew
May 6th Little Birdie Secrets
May 7th This Mama Makes Stuff
May 8th Roots and Wings

May 9th Whip UP

May 10th Fiskateers

May 11th Zakkalife
May 12th Prudent Baby
May 13th Make + Do
May 14th Craft Test Dummies
May 15th Cute Everything
May 16th Schmancy
May 17th Progressive Pioneer
May 18th Pink and Green Mama
May 19th Arrow Cabinets
May 20th The Happy Honeybee
May 21st Craft Gossip

To learn more about Diana and her work including her recently published BEASTIES, visit her website.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Spring 2011 Awards Roundup!

We're thrilled to announce spring awards for our FCL authors---congratulations to these and all the winners!

THE TOOTH FAIRY MEETS EL RATON PEREZ by Rene Colato Lainez has been selected as a 2011 IRA Teachers Choice. The book will be promoted by Random House at the IRA Convention in Orlando this week. Click here for a free teacher's guide!

Jennifer Ward's THERE WAS AN OLD MONKEY WHO SWALLOWED A FROG, illustrated by Steve Gray has been selected as a "Wyoming Reads 2011" book. Jennifer and Steve visited Casper Wyoming the last week of April and signed books for young Wyoming readers! (Watch for Jennifer Ward's THERE WAS AN ODD PRINCESS WHO SWALLOWED A PEA coming this fall!)

FIESTA BABIES by Carmen Tafolla, illustrated by Amy Cordova and FROM NORTH TO SOUTH/DEL NORTE AL SUR by Rene Colato Lainez, illustrated by Joe Cepeda have been named Americas Award Commended Titles.

SIDE BY SIDE/LADO A LADO by Monica Brown, illustrated by Joe Cepeda, GRANDMA'S CHOCOLATE/EL CHOCOLATE DE ABUELITA by Mara Price, illustrated by Lisa Fields, and FROM NORTH TO SOUTH/DEL NORTE AL SUR by Rene Colato Lainez, illustrated by Joe Cepeda have been selected for the 2011-2012 Tejas Star Book Award list.

GRANDMA's CHOCOLATE/EL CHOCOLATE DE ABUELITA by Mara Price, illustrated by Lisa Fields has been chosen as an Honor Book for the 2011 Patterson Prize for Books for Young People.

FIESTA BABIES by Carmen Tafolla, IIllustrated by Amy Córdova, CHAVELA AND THE MAGIC BUBBLE by Monica Brown Illustrated by Magaly Morales, and ¡MUU, MOO! by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, illustrated by Viví Escrivá have been named 2011 CCBC Choices----top picks for the best children's and young adult books published in 2010!

the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award

Alma Flor Ada has been awarded the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award. Established in 1998, this award recognizes an American author or illustrator whose books demonstrate artistic excellence and make a significant contribution to the field of multicultural literature for children and adolescents. The award will be presented at the 28th Annual Virginia Hamilton Conference in April 2012 at Kent State University.


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