It’s Not Easy Being Mean: Mrs. Goat and Her Seven Little Kids

Wednesday, February 20, 2008.

Mrs Goat and Her Seven Little KidsAuthor: Tony Ross (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Tony Ross
Published: 2004 Andersen Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1842703382

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Thumps, chomps, head butts and the might of the spunky youngest make this refreshingly ridiculous version of the original Grimm’s tale a shockingly fun read.

Other books mentioned:

You can read a version of the original Grimm’s fairy tale here.

Interview with Rick Wilks of Annick Press

Wednesday, July 11, 2007.

Rick WilksThis episode is part of our Publishers Showcase, a special series of interviews with children’s book publishers, which we are running during the weeks of July 2 and July 9 2007.

A publisher was once asked how someone could start a small children’s book publishing company in Canada. The response ‘start a big one and wait’.

On this edition of Just One More Book, Mark speaks with Rick Wilks about the thirty-two year evolution of his independent children’s book publishing company, Annick Press, from two books per year by kids for kids to thirty amazing titles each year. You can learn more about Annick Press by visiting their website, annickpress.com.

Photo: Annick Press

Soup du Jour: Unwavering Self-Worth Inside and Outside the Box

Friday, October 2, 2009.

Today we look at a clump of four books about independent thinkers who, without fanfare or animosity, disregard the judgements of others and are simply happy being who they are.

Ingredients (books discussed):

Jump into Today’s Soup (feedback):

Join the conversation by clicking the Comments link below or sending an email to justonemorebook@gmail.com.

Second Helpings (transcript of podcast):

In a society where the media, schools and, sadly, even parents often expect us to conform to prescribed,cookie-cutter ways of being, a common challenge for adults and children alike is to understand and appreciate out-of-the-box thinking or behavior in ourselves and others. With so much emphasis on conforming, being or even befriending a person who is viewed as different can be a scary and isolating experience.It’s not surprising, then, that we sometimes go to great lengths to reject or hide our unique selves — and to avoid those who don’t.

Many children’s books and, to a greater extent, movies attempt to reduce the social stigma against being different through boisterous victory-of-the-underdog themed stories in which the independent thinker saves the day and, to the rousing cheers of once-distant peers, instantly becomes the poster child of popularity. There is no denying that such victories feel great but I believe stories which present quiet appreciation, improved understanding or simply congenial co-existence go further to help children deal with different ways of being.

Before looking at the books, let me explain that I like to read to my two daughters in clumps. That is, I like to read in one sitting several books that are completely parallel in certain ways — offering similar characters, situations, or themes — but are different enough to make the clumped reading interesting. I clump by activity (riding a bike, say), by storyline (several variations on the Frog Prince story, for example) or, as in the case today, by explorations of a similar type of character (a girl that is viewed as being different). There are many books that deal with differences in, what I believe are, very constructive ways. Today we look at a clump of four books about independent thinkers who, without fanfare or animosity, disregard the judgements of others and are simply happy being who they are.

Odd VelvetOdd Velvet (Mary Whitcomb Illustrated by Tara Calahan King; 1998 Chronicle Books) tells the story of a happily independent school girl who has bypassed the consumer mentality of her peers and finds beauty and entertainment in the world around her. What I love about this story is that Violet’s unimposing enjoyment of life remains steadfast throughout… her self esteem easily withstands the taunts of her classmates and she remains true to her nature as she gradually gains the respect of her peers. Violet’s self worth is clearly not tied to her judgment by others.
The Recess Queen The Recess Queen (Alexis O’Neill Illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith; 2002 Scholastic Press) relays, in snappy, what is it? Hip hop beat? the story of a school yard bully effortlessly felled by the teeny tiny independently minded Katie Sue, a kid you might scare with a jump and a boo!. Here again, the beauty of the story — for me — is in Katie Sue’s unwavering sense of self worth regardless of her noticeably different approach to life and in the fact that she takes in stride both the bullying and her offhanded deflation of the bully.
Suki's Kimono Suki’s Kimono (Chieri Uegaki Illustrated by Stephane Jorisch; 2003 Kids Can Press) is a refreshing celebration of individuality and joie de vivre. This first-day-of-school story contrasts the uninhibited and happily independent six year old Suki with her self-conscious, stiff and validation-seeking sisters — and their complete embarrassment that their little sister is wearing a kimono to school. Although I think Suki could do without the applause of her classmates, Suki’s sunny self-assurance remains constant throughout and she gains no satisfaction from the fact that her sisters’ preparation and preening brought them nothing but exasperation.
Annie Bizzanni Annie Bizzanni (Frances Halle Illustrated by Fil et Julie; 2006 Bayard Canada Books) introduces us to a creative, multi-tasking and impulsive free-spirit who lives life in large slices which she feels no pressure to complete. Although her friends are obviously amused, inconvenienced and, sometimes, scared by Annie’s quirky behavior what I love about this book is that Annie’s way of being is simply portrayed as being different — not better or worse — than that of her peers, that her friends love her for who she is and that she is very happy being herself.

Although society may expect it, we’re not cookie cutouts and we all fall inside and outside various different boxes. We might as well enjoy ourselves!

Thanks for listening. I’m Andrea Ross from the Just One More Book!! Podcast and we’ve been Swimming in Literary Soup.

No Batteries Required: The Painted Circus

Wednesday, November 19, 2008.

The Painted CircusAuthor: Wallace Edwards (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Wallace Edwards
Published: 2007 Kids Can Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1553377206

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Mind boggling puzzles, optical illusions and layer after layer of fascinating detail draws the reader into a visual vortex that rivals any handheld game console — and not a single moving part!

Other books mentioned:

HOTLINE VOICES: Elsa recounts several of her childhood favourites including the lesser known Spurs For Suzanna (by Betty Cavanna) and tells us why her selections are so important to her.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave us a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487.

Life Saving Rhyme: No Dragons for Tea

Friday, September 28, 2007.

No Dragons for TeaAuthor: Jean Pendziwol
Illustrator: Martine Gourbault
Published: 1999 Kids Can Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1550745719

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Softly illustrated and secured in unshakable rhyme, this engaging adventure sharpens fire safety smarts with a perfect balance of silly sweetness and serious suspense.

Other books mentioned:

Information about the National Book Festival‘s Young Readers’ Toolkit can be found here


Preschool Perfection: Sitting on the Farm

Friday, August 31, 2007.

Sitting on the FarmAuthor: Bob King
Illustrator: Bill Slavin (on JOMB)
Published: 1994 Kids Can Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1550741497

Chapters.ca

Imaginative, engaging illustrations and plenty of predictable, belt-it-out repetition rendered our copy of this sing-along comedy a ragged but treasured relic of the fleeting toddler years.

A Hoodoo Hoedown: Drumheller Dinosaur Dance

Saturday, May 26, 2007.

Drumheller Dinosaur DanceAuthor: Robert Heidbreder
Illustrator: Bill Slavin and Esperanca Melo
Published: 2004 Kids Can Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1553379829

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

This feisty fossil fiesta of anatomically correct dinosaurs is not just a riot to read — it ignited an irresistable desire to make the trek to Drumheller (Alberta) to see this unbelievable landscape for ourselves. See you there!

Other books mentioned:

The Royal Tyrrell Museum is Canada’s only museum dedicated to the science of palaeontology.Alberta’s rugged badlands hold the richest deposits of dinosaur fossils in Canada. Landmark fossil discoveries have been made there for more than a century, and new and exciting finds continue to be uncovered almost every year. Now imagine sleeping there. To find out about the Royal Tyrrell Museum’s family and youth camps, click here.

Literally Gorgeous: Monkey Business

Wednesday, April 18, 2007.

Monkey BusinessAuthor: Wallace Edwards (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Wallace Edwards
Published: 2004 Kids Can Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1553374622

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Ever wonder what pops into puzzled little minds when you throw them a new expression? This clever book, cluttered with texture, humour and eccentricity, may have your answer.

You can find a thorough and informative analysis of this book here.

Mark will be covering the International Reading Association’s 52nd Annual Conference “Literacy without boundaries”, May 13-17, 2007 in Toronto. If you’ll be there and are interested being included in the JOMB coverage of the event, please contact us at justOneMoreBook@gmail.com to set up an interview.

Happy Being Me: Suki’s Kimono

Wednesday, January 3, 2007.

Suki's KimonoAuthor: Chieri Uegaki
Illustrator: Stephane Jorisch
Published: 2003 Kids Can Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1553377524
Chapters.ca Amazon.com

This effervescent story, with its vivid, carefree illustrations and its protaganist’s refreshing win-win attitude, is a rousing celebration of individuality and joie de vivre. We love Suki!!

Dimple-matic Immunity: I Always, Always Get My Way

Friday, August 21, 2009.

I Always, Always Get My WayAuthor: Thad Krasnesky (on JOMB)
Illustrator: David Parkins (on JOMB)
Published: 2009 Flashlight Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 9780979974649

Cute only gets you so far in the real world. Capturing the glee of victory and the sting of defeat, this hilariously illustrated rhyming book lets us laugh at our own (and our little sibling’s) attempts to prove otherwise.

Mentioned in this episode:

More little ones and learnings on JOMB:

Pop over to The Boy Reader for today’s full menu of poetry offerings. Poetry Fridays are brought to us by Kelly Herold of Big A, Little A.

HOTLINE VOICES: Cathy Miller, “The Literacy Ambassador”, alerts us about Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes (by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury).

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487, so we can include your audio in our show.

Ruff Rhyme: Hairy Maclary’s Caterwaul Caper

Friday, August 14, 2009.

Hairy Maclary's Caterwaul CaperAuthor: Lynley Dodd (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Lynley Dodd
Published: 1987 Tricycle Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 9781582463070

Six bark-along pooches, homey illustrations and spirited verse — what youngster could resist this slightly retro, rhyming micro-adventure?

More rhyming dog reading on JOMB:

Other dogs on JOMB:

Pop over to A Wrung Sponge for today’s full menu of poetry offerings. Poetry Fridays are brought to us by Kelly Herold of Big A, Little A.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487, so we can include your audio in our show.

Let Your Hair Down: Max Said “Yes!” (The Woodstock Story)

Friday, July 10, 2009.

Max Said Author: Abigail Yasgur & Joseph Lipner
Illustrator: Barbara Mendes (on JOMB)
Published: 2009 Change The Universe Press
ISBN: 9780615211442

Exuberant, edge-to-edge illustrations and simple rhyme salute a generous dairy farmer who took a chance on four kids, their dream and the prospect of peace.

You can watch Max Yasgur addressing the crowd at Woodstock, 1969, here.

August 15-17 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. How will you celebrate?

Other books mentioned:

More peace and tolerance on JOMB:

Pop over to Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup for today’s full menu of poetry offerings. Poetry Fridays are brought to us by Kelly Herold of Big A, Little A.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487, so we can include your audio in our show.

 
 

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