Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dare to Take the Challenge

What is the future of publishing? This is a question I often ask and I believe some publishing houses think they have found the answer.

logoWe are not speaking about the end of paper. No, no, definitely not that. Publishing houses are beginning to see the synergy of creative media. Books are being created with interactive components so readers have to take an active part in discovering the story. Now HarperCollins is taking it to a new level. They just announced a partnership with imbee and the National Film Festival for Talented Youth to establish the imbee Film Challenge. Now you might be asking, "what is imbee?" It is a tween social network. Just think Facebook for tweens. To read the official press release click here.

The Call (The Magnificent 12 Series #1) by Michael Grant: Book CoverIt seems at least one new movie is released in theaters each month that is based on a tween, teen or young adult novel. This contest borrows from that enthusiasm and combines it with the eagerness of YouTube to really bring everything together for tween filmmakers. For this competition young creatives are asked to adapt selected excerpts from The Magnificent 12: The Call, the debut novel in Michael Grant’s middle-grade fantasy series from Katherine Tegen Books at HarperCollins. The Call was released in August, 2010. The next two installments are set to be released this summer and fall.

Visit the imbee Film Challenge website for more details.

Want to view "The Call" book trailer?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bedtime for Bonzo Or Your Little Monkeys

We have a rather elaborate bedtime reading ritual in our house. We read a larger youth novel as a family, then we read picture books (sometimes the kids read them aloud), and we usually read bible stories as well. Bedtime stories can be anything, but some books lend themselves to sleepy times. Here are a couple quick reviews for sleepy bedtime stories.

“The Boy and the Moon”
By James Christopher Carroll
For Ages 4 - 8
This dreamy adventure features a boy on a moonlit night as he howls at the moon and dances about until the crescent moon becomes stuck in a tree. With a little ingenuity and bravery the boy climbs the tree and feeds the moon apple. Once it is full, the moon rolls out of the tree. The illustrations may not suit everyone's taste but the fantastical personified imagery of the moon coupled with the muted color palette and dreamy swirls make this poetic book a solid choice for bedtime. Rated: 3.5
What’s good: Fantasy, pacing and poetic adventure for bedtime.
What’s bad: Illustration style may not suit everyone's taste.

“Bedtime for Bear”
By Brett Helquist
For ages 2 - 8
There is nothing new in this hibernation tale. You’ve seen it before, but not quite the way Helquist manages to bring it to life. His lavish illustrations and visual storytelling are impeccable. Sprinkled with humor and action. readers will want to crawl into the pages and join the adventure. Alas, the fun has to come to an end as Helquist calls, “It’s Bedtime for Bears.” The illustrations alone make this one of the better hibernation tales around. Rated: 4
What’s good:
Great illustrations and fun bedtime reading.
What’s bad: Cliché storyline.