Category Archives: Cybils

Cybils Winners Announced!

The winners of the 2009 Cybil Awards have been announced at the Cybils blog. Congratulations to all the winners!

As a member of the first-round judging panel for Fiction Picture
Books, I was happy to see that my favorite title from our shortlist, How to Heal a Broken Wing, won in that category.

And I'm tickled to see that the winner of the Nonfiction Middle Grade/Young Adult category is a book by a friend of mine: The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir
by Cylin Busby and John Busby. Cylin and I were lowly editorial
assistants together at Random House many years ago. I'm so proud of
her. (Good thing I wasn't a panelist for that category—I'd have had to
recuse myself.)  I've been dying to read her book: I finally have a
copy on the way, so more on that later.

While you're over at the Cybils blog checking out the winners, don't miss Easy Reader winner Mo Willems's illustrated thank-you note!

Picture Book Spotlight: Jumpy Jack & Googily

Jumpy Jack and Googily by Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall. Henry Holt & Co.

What a charmer this picture book is. Scores very high on the
giggle-meter with my gang. Jumpy Jack is a snail of the most nervous
sort. As lovably neurotic anthropomorphizations go, Jack’s right up
there with Piglet, friend of Pooh. Fortunately, Jumpy Jack has his best
friend Googily to put his mind to rest when the monster-worries creep
in. Jack fears monsters are lurking at every turn—monsters with big
round eyes and sharp teeth and lolling tongues and possibly even creepy
bowler hats. Googily—he’s the amiable fellow in blue you see there—is a
little puzzled by Jack’s boogieman complex, but he’s always happy to
help soothe his pal’s fears by taking a peek into the corners Jack’s
sure are hiding fearsome monsters.

In the end, we find that Googily has a fear of his own—and
apparently with better reason than Jumpy Jack! The surprise ending
elicited belly laughs from my seven- and two-year-olds.

I really love this sweet and simple picture book. It’s fresh and
funny, and the art is enchanting, and the text holds up well to
numerous re-readings, which is a quality I very much watch for in a
young picture book. If I’m going to have to read it aloud five times a
day, it’s got to be readable.

But beyond that, I appreciate the way the plot plays with the idea
that people can create monsters in their minds, terrifying specters
composed of stereotypes, while being oblivious to the fact that the
generalizations they are throwing around so carelessly might very well
include real people they know and love.

Books We’ve Read: Grace for President

Gracepresident Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Hyperion.

We pulled this from our Cybils
to-be-read stack yesterday because of the title, and I wish I’d read it
a little sooner so I could have shared it with you in time for you to
hit the library before Election Day. Grace for President is an
appealing story about young Grace’s presidential race—in which votes
are counted Electoral College-style. The book offers a simple and
easy-to-understand look at the Electoral College in action.

The race begins when Grace learns, to her astonishment, that there
has never been a "girl president." Her classmates snicker when she
declares that she shall be the first, but her teacher takes her
seriously and suggests a campaign for class president. Two classes,
actually: her opponent is a charismatic boy from the room next door.

Their campaign is lively and, paralleling real life, somewhat
all-consuming for a time. As voting day approaches, it becomes clear
that the boys have an edge on the electoral map, and Grace’s rival,
Thomas, seems assured of victory…but could it be that the young man
representing Wyoming is a swing state?

All three of my big girls enjoyed the book—Jane and Rose for its
look at how the Electoral College works, Beanie for the fun story and
the charming art, especially the surprise addition to Mount Rushmore at
the end.

You Know Your Blog Has Been Quiet When…

…you start getting worried letters from kindhearted readers who want to make sure you aren’t back in the hospital
or something. No worries; we are all well; I’ve just not been feeling
very talky. Am spending a lot of time working in the yard—our
mini-butterfly garden is really coming along, particularly the hundred
billion weed seeds which were apparently lying dormant in that dry, dry
soil until we oblingly began to water them. Now Beanie and Rose and I
are out there every day, ruthlessly yanking up wee baby weedlings by
the dozen. Ah, the blissful peace of gardening…

And I’ve had lots of Wonderboy stuff to occupy me: preparing for his
IEP meeting tomorrow (yes, on Election Day, because I am a glutton for
punishment, I guess), working some new PT exercises into his daily
routine, reading Mother Goose on demand a hundred times a day…have I
mentioned that he is awfully fond of the two Rosemary Wells/Iona Opie
Mother Goose collections? As in, he wants them read and/or sung cover
to cover approximately once every hour? Rilla, of course, approves
wholeheartedly—except she wants it known that they are HER Mudda Doose
books, and hers alone, contradictory evidence in the form of
inside-front-cover inscriptions to Jane and Rose notwithstanding.

Speaking of reading, I’ve been kept quite busy, of course, with my ever-growing stack of Cybils
picture book nominees. I think we have about 35 of them checked out
from the library right now, and at least 20 more have arrived via post
as review copies from publishers. I don’t know where I’m going to put
them all. We are plumb out of shelf space. But reading them is fun, for
sure. Ask Beanie. She’s way ahead of me. I’ve read about a dozen
nominees so far, and I think she is upwards of thirty.

I am posting mini-reviews at Twitter,
by the way, if you’d like a peek. More like mini-summaries, I guess I
should say: these are my plot notes to help me keep the 175 nominees
straight. I am finding I quite enjoy the challenge of boiling a summary
down to 140 characters. You know brevity really IS a challenge for me,

Speaking of Twitter, you can always look for me there if you’re worried because of bloggity silence…the link above goes to bonnyglencybils, but my main Twitter profile is just plain bonnyglen. I often post short (duh, it’s Twitter) notes during the day about what’s going on around the house.
I really love being able to look back, later, at these microglimpses of
our days. They are like candid snapshots, the kind no one knows are
being taken, the kind you linger over in the photo album because they
are so filled with rich detail of what was really happening. Not that
my tweets are necessarily "filled with rich detail," detail being
exactly what is hard to squeeze into a 140-character box, but I’m just
going to assume you know what I mean. And sometimes a tweet does capture a detail you wouldn’t have been likely to record in any other medium.

175 Titles

That’s how many titles were nominated in the Cybils Fiction Picture Book category, and how many I need to read in the next six weeks or so.

Two. That’s how many I’ve read so far. Neither one was a standout.

I am keeping my Library Elf
hopping these days. Slowly I’m making my way through the Cybils
database, clicking back and forth to my library catalog to see which
nominees are in our local system, reserving all I can find.

fun to observe which books catch the kids’ attention. Reading and
discussing the nominees is something of a family affair, as most things
are around here. Beanie has read more of the nominees than I have, so
far. Guess I’d better get back to my databasing, so I can catch up.

Cybils Nominations Continue

CybilsbuttonOh my gosh, I’m getting excited. As you know, I’m a first-round judge for the Fiction Picture Book category in the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards.
The nominations are pouring in, and I’ve been perusing the ever-growing
list with happy anticipation. My fellow panelists and I will be
responsible for reading every book nominated and putting the very best
among them on a shortlist for the finals. Then I will go off and have a
baby (or so the plan is), and the finals judges will choose winners to
announce in February.

So now you know how I plan to spend my third trimester: parked in a
comfy spot, reading lovely picture books to my younguns. Beanie in
particular is going to enjoy this particular ‘assignment’ of Mom’s.
Wonderboy and Rilla too, no doubt. Nominations are open through October
15th, so get on over there
and enter your favorite books from 2008 (one nomination per person per
category, I believe—oh, and I’ve heard the Easy Reader category is
especially in need of suggestions). Beanie is counting on you.

It’s Cybils Nominations Time!

The ball is rolling for the 3rd annual Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards.
Between now and October 15th, you are encouraged to nominate the best
children’s and YA books of 2008 for consideration by the Cybils

There are many categories of books awaiting your nominations:

Each of those links should take you to the appropriate page for
entering your suggestions in the comments. (Just please double-check
the category, in case I botched any of the links!)

Thanks for helping us find this year’s very best books!