Guest Blogger

Happy Hanukkah!

Like many of Daniel Pinkwater’s books, his latest release features a large chicken. Yetta is a poultry farm escapee who lives in Brooklyn with a flock of runaway (flyaway?) parrots. (To learn more about Yetta’s  escape from the poultry farm, read the prequel, Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken.) One day the birds find a lost kitten. They don’t know how to take care of it, so they bring it to a human grandmother for help. The birds see that the grandmother is celebrating Hanukkah which they refer to as “the festival of lights, when the humans are in a good mood.” The grandmother is in such a good mood that she takes in the kitten and feeds latkes to the the birds. Unlike most Hanukkah books, this story includes Spanish, as well as Yiddish and English words. The birds are bilingual–Yetta speaks Yiddish and English, and the parrots speak Spanish and…

Guest Blogger

A Book to Match Your Costume

Many schools require students to wear Halloween costumes that are book related. Some even ask children to bring along a book that matches his or her costume. This policy is a great way to promote reading and integrate Halloween into the curriculum, but it can also be a source of stress. What if a child wants to wear a Spider-man costume, but all of the Spider-man books have already been checked out to other patrons? You might try recommending a book about Marvel comics, arachnids, or even a biography about Tobey Maguire. To be prepared for the last minute rush to find books to match costumes, we created a list of “books to match your costume.” These titles are just a starting point. If you use your imagination, you can find a book to match just about any costume. So you want to be Minnie Mouse . . . In…

ALA Annual 2014

Behind the scenes at the Pura Belpré Award Celebracií³n #alaac14

The Pura Belpré Award Celebracií³n is always my favorite event at ALA. The award is given to an illustrator and a writer whose work “best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.” I was a committee member back in 2010, and I try to help with the event each year because I love spending time with my friends from REFORMA (The National Association to Promote Library And Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking)  and CAYASC (Children’s and Young Adult Services Committee). It’s always really fun to meet the award recipients, too, of course! This year’s decorations were especially beautiful. Committee member Armando Ramirez provided bright purple papel picado which he had custom designed with Pura Belpré’s image on every sheet of the delicate paper. Armando also brought his collection of beautiful rebozos to adorn the tables. Since…

ALA Annual 2014

FLL to LAS #alaac14

A modern Mass card

Thursday was a long and interesting travel day. It started in the Fort Lauderdale Airport. As I was sitting at the gate putting on my good luck Virgin Mary earrings, I looked up and saw a thin nun wearing a blue suit and veil walk past me. When she returned to the gate I said hi and told her about the coincidence. She introduced me to her biological sister who was also a nun. They told me about their order, the Daughters of St. Paul, which runs a publishing house. I asked if they were going to ALA, and they said they didn’t know about the conference–that they were parting ways at the gate, heading to different bases after their biological family reunion. Since my mother works at a Catholic school (and because I was curious) I asked for more information about their products. Pauline Books and Media has a…

ALA Midwinter 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Pura Belpré Award Winners! #ALAmw14

Serving on the 2009 Pura Belpré Book Award Committee was the greatest honor of my library career. Thank you to the members of the 2014 Committee for choosing such great titles. It has been a great year for children’s literature! Here are this year’s winning titles: Don’t miss the big Pura Belpré Celebracií²n in Las Vegas this summer! — Rebecca Hickman, Youth Services Librarian III Alvin Sherman Library, Nova Southeastern University    

ALA Midwinter 2014

One of My Favorite Booths #ALAmw14

I had a nice chat with Barney Hoskyns the editorial director of the music journalism database, Rocksbackpages.com. He let me browse through some old copies of Creem, NME, and Rollingstone magazines, plus he gave me a promotional guitar pick!  I didn’t know it at the time, but Barney is also a book author: “A writer and editor for over 30 years, RBP co-founder Hoskyns is also the author of many books, including Across the Great Divide: The Band and America, Hotel California: Singer-Songwriters and Cocaine Cowboys in the LA Canyons, the Tom Waits biography Lowside of the Road and Trampled Under Foot, an oral history of Led Zeppelin. A former U.S. correspondent for MOJO, Hoskyns has contributed to Vogue, GQ, Rolling Stone, Spin, Harper’s Bazaar, Uncut and many other titles.” Rocksbackpages.com does not include children’s music reviews, but it is a great resource for YA reference. — Rebecca Hickman, Youth Services Librarian…

ALA Midwinter 2014

So excited to be included in Barbara Klipper’s new book! #alamw14

  One of my favorite conference moments was seeing Barbara Klipper’s new book for sale at the ALA Store. It includes two chapters about our library’s programs for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. I highly recommend buying a copy or two for your collection. — Rebecca Hickman, Youth Services Librarian III Alvin Sherman Library, Nova Southeastern University