If you are trying to pick out books for your children or teens to read, my wife offers this years’ Cybils winners on her site. Judges poured through the books of 2009 to find parents the best of the best for their children. It’s a great list!
Later the same day, we went to the library where I picked up a copy of The Time Warp Trio’s Hey Kid, Want to Buy a Bridge? Seth finished the 72-page book by bed time.
No, this isn’t a post designed to brag about my child. Rather, it’s to illustrate a common problem parents face: figuring out what is good reading material for our children. For example, I chose The Time Warp Trio series because the librarian assured me there was nothing scary in the books. (Seth recoils from all things scary.)
A good librarian is always a wonderful way to find out whether a book is age and/or quality appropriate. Another way, is to peruse Cybils, which just released its finalists for the best children’s books in 2008. The selections are made by tome-loving bloggers, most of whom are librarians, writers and teachers.
To learn more, just click on preferred categories and read why these books are considered the best of the best. In mid-February, Cybils will announce the winners in each category.
For the last several months, I’ve been a widower … a blog widower that is. That’s because my wife, Anne, has been working hard with a team of literary aficionados on The Cybils, a blog dedicated to honoring the best children’s and young adult books of the year.
Today, the 2007 list is out. But I’m not going to tell you which books won. You need to go over to Anne’s blog and read this post here.
And if you get a chance, drop a comment thanking Anne, Kelly and the entire Cybils team for all their hard work. They’ve earned some thanks.
Do you sometimes wonder what books you should buy for your children? My wife and I don’t have that problem, because Anne runs The Children’s & YA Bloggers’ Literary Awards.
What are the Cybils? A team of 90 writers and bloggers who slog through a year’s worth of children’s books picking out the best of the best. (Let me tell you, there are a LOT of books published each year.)
This week, Cybils announced the finalists in these categories:
On January 7, finalists for Graphic Novels, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Non-Fiction MG/YA and Young Adult Novels will be announced.
One of the odd conundrums since Anne started blogging about children’s books is her audience: highly educated authors and librarians. The odd part? Not many parents come to Cybils – or Anne’s other site – Bookbuds, in search of books for their kids.
Why would that be? In part, I think parents simply are unaware of these two blogs and others like it. After all, the decline of newspaper book review sections is a relatively recent phenomenon.
I also think it has to do with how the human mind works: book readers like to peruse the shelves of their favorite genres or get recommendations from friends or Oprah.
Of course, the big elephant in the room is parents themselves: many don’t buy books for their kids for reasons ranging from cost to language barriers. And let’s not forget other media such as TV and video games are stealing time away from reading.
Regardless of the reasons, it will take time to win the hearts of Americans. In the meantime, if you are wondering what books to buy for your toddler, preteen or teen, head over to Cybils for an amazing list of books.
And I’ll let you in on a secret: these books are so good, most adults will enjoy them too.
Our family had a great time at The Dells in Wisconsin. While much of the water park was over Lael’s head, literally and figuratively, Seth became a water-slide veteran.
Shortly after arriving at the hotel, we discarded our street clothes in favor of swim shorts and beach towels. Well, okay not beach towels. The park gave us sandpaper-quality washcloths, but we understand there is that theft problem.
But who cared? We were in the water most of the time anyway.
We started out with a gentle raft ride that all four of us could do together. We just floated around and around and around. After acclimating the kids to the water, I took Seth up a modest slide where we rode the same raft down together.
Seth overcame his fear of stairs and ladders and proclaimed the ride great. We did that one a dozen times.
From there, the rest was easy. As you can see in the top picture, Seth became an expert at the kids-only slides by overcoming another fear: getting splashed in the face.
Soon my boy graduated to a monster slide – three stories up – where you go down head-first on a mat. Seth was height-checked every time a new lifeguard was up there, but my boy passed by a hairs-width each time.
Then we would plunge through tubes side-by-side and down a ridiculously steep slide at fantastic speeds. Seth couldn’t get enough of it. (Nor could I.)
Lael had fun playing in the kiddy and splash pools. And she pushed a floating inner tube around the calm side of the wave pool. Lael even went down the raft slide with me twice, but that was enough for her. Hey, she’s only 19-months old.
Anne, whose blog Cybils announced the winners of her children’s literary contest the day before we drove up, says she had fun too. (I think Anne can’t wait until Lael is older so she can do more of the rides.) That the contest was a success certainly added to my wife’s enjoyment of the trip.
After getting back home and doing laundry on Sunday to get the chlorine smell out of our bathing suits, I noticed the newspaper advertising a new water park just opened up in the Chicago area. Can you say day trip?
Where is my wife this Valentine’s Day? Behind a computer … but for a good reason. Today Cybils announced the winners of the book contest Anne has been organizing with another blogger, Kelly Herold. Cybils, by the way, stands for Children’s and YA Bloggers’ Literary Awards. Try saying that 10 times fast.
So if you’re interested in buying books for your kids this year, jump on over and find out which are the best of the best. Then order a book from the site, which will help pay for the awards. You better, my nearly-over Valentine’s Day depends on it.
Next year, I’m hoping my wife will pick a holiday that is less romantic, like President’s Day.
Before I tell you the magic word, let me provide some background. Moving to Chicago has been expensive, really expensive.
In fact, until the new business is off the ground, we are living in the red. Serious, brightly-hued red. We knew the risks going in, but bleeding cash hourly is, well, stress-inducing. Consider unexpected expenses: a dental problem (me), broken glasses (Anne), and preschool (Seth.) Okay, the last wasn’t unexpected, but the price was shocking.
Which brings us to the magic word. I had mentioned to my wife, Anne, long before we came out here that if the money situation looked too ugly, she would have to go back to work.
Did you catch the magic word? W-O-R-K. Why is it magic? Because Anne, who has claimed for years she wants to go back to work, now believes that swimming naked in Lake Michigan during the middle of the winter would be preferable to a 9-5 job.
Not that what she does isn’t work. She’s a full-time mommy and blogger. But as we all know, neither pay. At least, not in this country.
As soon as I started mentioning the magic word, though, Anne suddenly became immensely motivated to kick life back into her blog – er blogs. You can read about BookBuds relaunch here. You can read about her idea for an entirely new blog here, here and here. And you can see the new blog here.
If you don’t want to jump to the links, let me sum up quickly: Bookbuds reviews children’s literature. Her relaunch offered two books in a contest format. The new blog, called the Cybils, will honor the best children’s and young adult literature of the year.
Will it bring in any money? Well, we’ve had a $5 tip already. If we can keep that up for a year, we’ll have $1,825 a year. Um, okay so we can’t retire yet. (Actually, the amount is even less since Typepad took 40¢ of the tip. Grrrrr)
I can’t wait to see what happens next week when I bring up the next magic word: “poverty.”
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