Friday, January 27, 2012

A Fantastic Oscar Nominee for Book Lovers

UPDATE: 27 February -- 'Fantastic Flying Books' won!!

The incredible, fantastic William Joyce strikes again! I first fell in love with Dinosaur Bob, and then with Art & Eleanor Aimsworth's North Pole adventure in Santa Calls. Then I started noticing Bill Joyce cartoons on New Yorker covers. He quirky, smart, and a distinct style of character recognizable anywhere, he's awfully interesting, AND a born Southerner (from Shreveport, Louisiana) to boot.

Now he's got a fledgeling movie company called Moonbot studios, and their first release, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Short category. This 15-minute movie is the story of a young man who, like Dorothy, is swept away to a new land by a tornado. In a reversal of the Oz story, the new world is sad and tattered, and in black and white. Instead of magic giving color to the land, it's the magic of books that brings joy and color to our hero's life. If you love books, animation, or stories, you'll understand. You can watch below, or click on this link to choose full screen mode on YouTube.

ps -- have a box of tissues nearby

You can even download the entire movie for $2.99 from iTunes (which may or may not inspire you to buy the $4.99 interactive book app. Everything's an advertisement for something . . .)

Animation Magazine has a nice article on William Joyce, Moonbot Studios, and the inspiration for Fantastic Flying Books.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Maybe They Don't Need A Vacation After All

I am always irrationally pleased when someone checks out a book that hasn't circulated in a while. Even though I do my best to buy according to curricular and student needs, and weeding the collection is an ongoing process, there are still books on the Paideia Library shelves that haven't been out of this room since we moved to the new High School building in 1996. Poor things. They need a change of scenery, a little fresh air, a vacation.

But after watching this nifty little stop-action video, I'm thinking I maybe shouldn't worry so much. Looks like the stay-at-home books might be having fun after all!

Thanks to the DeKalb County Public Library blog and Open Culture for putting my worries to rest.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bizzy Bees

Paideia's first ever elementary Spelling Bee was held this morning in the library meeting space. Twenty-one 4th, 5th & 6th graders gathered to joust with letters and words. Competition lasted through fourteen rounds, with two spellers left. The runner-up speller, who had correctly spelled "frabjous" in the previous round, was knocked out of the round by "dalliance," while the winning speller fought his way through "Chihuahua" (not his favorite pet). I, for one, will always remember how to spell this breed's name with this trick -- CHEE-HOOA-HOOA.

In order to win, the last speller standing then had to correctly spell one more word, completing a final round of one. Had MR ever seen or heard the word "jocundity?" Doesn't matter, because this kinesthetic speller got it right, with a strategy of writing out words in the air and 'seeing' how they're spelled.

Congratulations MR & LH! They can go onto the Independent Schools competition at Woodward Academy in February. We also have 2 alternates, who made it to round 13 before missing a word. Great spelling from all 21 contestants. I hope we hold the spelling bee again next year.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

We Have the Best!

Lists, lists, lists! Seems like everybody makes them, especially at year's end. Below are books in the Paideia Junior High & High School Library that have been included in one or more national "Best of 2011" lists. Most were originally published for the "Young Adult" market, but as the NPR feature noted:
young adult fiction has developed into one of the most complex and extensive genres in literature. 2011 brought us a wealth of new reads that continue to twist traditional formulas and take risks that are, by and large, paying off with wholly unique reading experiences.
The links go to the book's page in the library catalog.


The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - Kirkus Reviews, NPR, School Library Journal (SLJ), NYTimes

Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard - SLJ

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol (graphic novel) - SLJ, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BBCC)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - NYTimes, SLJ, Kirkus, BBCC, Publisher's Weekly (PW)

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake - Kirkus, NPR

Chime by Franny Billingsley - National Book Award Finalist, Kirkus, SLJ, PW

Delirium by Lauren Oliver - NPR, SLJ, Kirkus

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness - PW, Kirkus, SLJ, NYTimes

Blind Sight by Meg Howry - SLJ, Nancy Pearl/NPR

The Queen of Water by Laura Resau - SLJ

Vietnamerica: A Family's Story by GB Tran (graphic novel) - SLJ

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding - SLJ

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick - PW, Kirkus, NYTimes, SLJ, Washington Post

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (a college classmate :-) - SLJ, Booklist

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern - Booklist, Washington Post, Library Journal

In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard - People Magazine, Nancy Pearl/NPR


Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson - NPR

Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer - SLJ

Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin - National Book Award Finalist, SLJ, PW