Sep 27, 2009

2009 National Book Festival

photo by Sally Lindsay
My friend Sally and I drove down to Washington yesterday for The National Book Festival.It was our first time at the annual event and even though the rainy day shortened our time there we experienced enough of the flavor of the festival. I love the idea of a national celebration of books and authors and the author line-up included many "big" names.

photo by Sally Lindsay

The highlight of the day was hearing Jacqueline Woodson speak. She is an amazing woman and writer and it was a privilege to listen to her talk about her work and recite from Locomotion, Feathers, Show Way, and Behind You.

PBS Kids had its own tent and it was packed! Chaotic really. My favorite Reading Rockets had a table. photo by Sally Lindsay

All in all I'm glad I went though I was a bit disappointed. I expected more exhibits -- local publishers, literacy organizations, why not the DC Public Library? I think it's wonderful that there were so many authors but what about lessor known and new names?
photo by sally Lindsay

Sep 22, 2009

Review -- Trouble Gum

Trouble Gum
Written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Feiwel and Friends, 2009
Hardcover Picture Book

This new picture book is about fun – pink fun, stretchy fun, bubble fun – yes, gum fun. And as the title states it’s a book about trouble too.

On a rainy day, Rueben and his younger brother are playing inside and soon the piglets’ raucous behavior unnerves their mother and visiting grandmother. Grammy offers gum while Mom invokes the three rules, “Don’t swallow your gum. Don’t play with your gum. And don’t blow big, sticky bubbles with your gum.” How long do you think it takes to break those rules? How long before fun becomes trouble? Cordell does a fine job with pacing and juxtaposing art with text so that readers are simultaneously laughing while exclaiming Oh no! The black line cartoon-y art with just small bits of pink, red and gray is perfectly placed against a white background. There’s plenty of room for changing perspectives, lots of action, and text that is both story and art. Some text in hand-lettered font -- SMAK! Stuuuuuuuuuurch Pop! -- creates a soundtrack of the misbehaving brothers. Cleverness and hilarity run throughout the story.

Thanks to Feiwel and Friends for the f & g given at their reception for bloggers during ALA.AND they gave us these terrific promo gifts -- guess what's inside the tiny box?

Click here to go to Matthew Cordell’s website.