Upcoming releases from Chronicle Books

Two great follow-ups to two of last year’s most memorable picture books are making their way to readers very soon.

Here’s what Chronicle Books has to say about these upcoming releases. 

By Lizi Boyd
On sale August 12, 2014
Click HERE for look inside Flashlight.
There’s no need to be afraid of the dark when you have your trusty flashlight! In the follow-up to the acclaimed Inside Outside, Lizi Boyd creates a wordless world that reveals secret friends with the beam of a Flashlight.

Flora and the Penguin
By Molly Idle
On sale September 30, 2014
Click HERE for look inside Flora and the Penguin.
Flora is back for an encore! In Flora and the Penguin, the heroine we met in the Caldecott Honor book Flora and the Flamingo finds a new feathered friend.

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The Best Book in the World by Rilla (Flying Eye Books)

Australian-born Rilla Alexander has created an ode to reading that is both whimsical and understated.

The Best Book in the World by Rilla
(July 29, 2014)
There is something special in this book that transcends the work itself. Rilla has crafted a story about the power of books to take us places, but in her text it’s as if she has written an incantation to breathe the words alive. I say this not only as a teacher librarian, but as a person who would consider chanting these words aloud to the smiles and excitement of a room of children as we prepare to embark on a story adventure.

Here’s a sample of the text:
"Take the first step. Turn the first page. Read along. Read out loud. Or in your head. Follow the story. Up, under, over here. Where will it take you next?"
The design work is beautiful throughout the book and the illustrations have an almost retro feel, perhaps hinted at through the color choices or the use of strong geometric shapes throughout the spreads. While capturing the notion of the shared experience of stories as well as the adventures in which a good book can place you in the center, the pictures are vibrant and communicate not only a great joy, but also a propulsion forward.
The book’s pace slows nicely to a stop at the conclusion where we see the main character carried off to bed to sleep in the arms of a good book, reminding us that the story doesn’t stop at the last page because we can simply turn back to the start and enjoy it again.
 Rilla Alexander's print work is beautifully packaged into a story that's as much about the adventure of storytelling as it is about reminding us all what we draws us to books time and again.

You can preview The Best Book in the World on Flying Eye's site through a photo set showcasing Rilla's outstanding work. 

Note: Review copies sent from the publisher.

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ISTE through Selfies.

Earlier this week I spoke with Sherry Gick, my GeniusPal and collaborative partner, on the Let’s Get Busy podcast about the importance of building meaningful professional partnerships with others in your building and through your PLC (You can listen to the episode by clicking here). These relationships serve to support our students and provide them with a deeper, more meaningful learning experience, but they also serve to challenge us, the members of the relationship, to learn and to grow and become something better than our former selves. It’s for this reason I believe the term educational soul mate is gaining some traction.

Today I’m dedicating this blog post to the great friends I encountered at the 2014 ISTE conference in late June/early July. Some are new. Some have known me a while. And some I met for the first time face to face despite connecting over Skype more than a dozen times. It’s these relationships and for these relationships that I continue to emphasize the importance of connecting with others online.

The point cannot be overstated.

In a profession as solitary as can be that of a teacher librarian, finding that professional learning community that can support professional growth, introduce you to new tools or practices, and, most importantly, reinvigorate your instruction can be the tipping point in whether or not you have staying power in your current role.

So apropos to Atlanta, where ISTE was hosted this year, and on the conversation of friends, let’s crank up track 11 of The Zombies’ classic album Odyssey and Oracle and look rehash those people who help me grow and become not just the teacher librarian I am today, but the one I will be tomorrow.

I met some names I knew from Twitter and some new people.

I met some people IRL that, thanks to Skype, felt like old friends.

I got to see friends whom I now look forward to running into whenever we travel to professional conferences.

I made new memories with friends.

I got this glorious pic sent to me of my #Wondertwin holding a copy of my book.

And I have photo-evidence of what brought me out to ISTE (this time at least) in the first place: The Wandoo Planet Team and ISTE’s publication of the book I co-authored.

And I’m saving a place for when I meet you, reader. Because it means a lot to me that you’ve been on this journey with me and that you’ve allowed me to share all of my experiences with you.

Can I send you off with a blessing? Would you mind?

Okay… here we go…

May your photos be filled with the people you love. The people who see light in you. The people who challenge you to grow out of yourself and into something even more beautiful. And may you see those people reflected in everything that you do. For it is in the journey together that we truly come to understand ourselves and one another.

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Let’s Get Busy with teacher librarian Sherry Gick

Episode 66: Talking epic karaoke competitions, drastic paradigm shifts, and letting your nerdiness shine.
Sherry Gick (@LibraryFanatic), teacher librarian in Rossville, IN and author of the Library Fanatic blog, stops by to talk about educational soulmates, building collaborative partnerships within the school building, and adopting a willingness to fail.
Download for FREE on iTunes, using the Stitcher mobile app, or at LibSyn.

Episode Notes
The Library Fanatic blog
Earth Pals project
GeniusCon project
Collaboration friends mentioned: 
NancyJo Lambert (@NancyJoLambert)
Andy Plemmons (@plemmonsa)
Shawna Ford (@ShawnaFord1)
Shannon Miller (@ShannonMMiller)
PD is not a 4-Letter Word (ISTE Ignite Session by Jennie Magiera)
Jennie Magiera on Twitter (@MsMagiera)

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Let’s Get Busy with the author illustrators of Simply Messing About

Episode 65: Talking picture book art, process, supplies, and inspiration.
Simply Messing About (@SimplyMessAbout) is a blog about the creative process of making picture books. The creative minds behind Simply Messing About, picture book author illustrators Renee Kurilla (@ReneeKurilla), Tracy Bishop (@TracyBishopArt), Christina Forshay (@ChristinaForshay), and Laura Zarrin (@LauraZarrin) stop by to talk about sketchbooks, Tracy’s pen collection, and helping other artists and people in the kidlit community along the path of creating art for children’s literature.
Download for FREE on iTunes, using the Stitcher mobile app, or at LibSyn.

Episode NotesSimply Messing About homepage
Renee Kurilla's homepage
Renee on the Let’s Get Busy podcast (ep. 54)
Tracy Bishop's homepage
Tracy’s Pinterest Board
Christina Forshay's homepage
Laura Zarrin's homepage
Purchase Books from your local independent bookstore
Ninja by Arree Chung
Don’t Turn the Page by Rachelle Burk
The Sketchables blog
The Picture Book Junkies blog (@PBJunkies)
PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month)

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Let’s Get Busy with author illustrator Scott Magoon

Episode 64: Talking kids with iPads, perspective garnered from work as an art director, and adventures in the nut house.
Scott Magoon (@smagoon), author illustrator of Breath (@SimonKids) and illustrator of The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House (@lbkids), written by Eric Litwin (Pete the Cat), stops by to talk about the work of an art director, creating digital art with kids, and crafting a quiet story.
Download for FREE on iTunes, using the Stitcher mobile app, or at LibSyn.

Episode Notes
Scott Magoon's homepage
The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House book trailer
Purchase Scott Magoon’s books from your local independent bookstore

Available now!
Purchase locally whenever possible.
Available July 29th, 2014!
Purchase locally whenever possible.
Book Trailer for The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House

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Let’s Get Busy with author Bethany Hegedus

Episode 63: Talking town halls, anger and electricity, and a pretty amazing cake.
Bethany Hegadus (@BethanyHegedus), co-author of Grandfather Gandhi (@SimonKids), stops by to talk about not being afraid, building a community from a couple of acres and a barn, and the cornerstones of a nonviolent life. 
Download for FREE on iTunes, using the Stitcher mobile app, or at LibSyn.

Episode NotesBethany Hegedus's homepage)
Grandfather Gandhi homepage
Let’s Get Busy podcast episode #43: Path to Peace
The Writing Barn
Fuse #8 Review of Grandfather Gandhi
Purchase Bethany’s books from your local independent bookstore

Available now!
Purchase locally whenever possible.
That’s a pretty impressive cake!
Available now!
Purchase locally whenever possible.

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Support Let’s Get Busy.

"Hey there podcast listeners." 

I’ve been listening to This American Life for years and there’s something that deeply reassures me whenever I hear Ira Glass speak those words. In part, I think it represents a reliability that this weekly radio show I’ve come to love will, simply put, be there each week. Its content, that I look forward to. Its stories, that change me and challenge my views of the world. Its ability to entertain and inspire me by talking to real people about those things we’ve all come to wonder over or, perhaps, didn’t yet know a thing about.

Last year at the ALA annual conference in Chicago I mentioned to my friend Travis that I’d been toying with the idea of starting a podcast in which I interview kidlit notables and education change makers. Informal and unstructured, garnered from listening to the Nerdist podcasts, and allowing opportunity for authentic connections with the guests.

A year later, I’d like to think that’s exactly what Let’s Get Busy has become.

For over a year now I’ve been your host of the Let’s Get Busy podcast, bringing you interviews with kidlit notables and education changemakers. People like teacher librarian Jennifer LaGarde, who spoke about how libraries very literally saved her life. And author Seymour Simon, who has devoted his life to studying science and helping bring the wonders of the world into the hands of children. Teacher and reading engagement innovator Lindsey Hill, whose work at Evanced Games is helping to connect students’ interests with directly to books and content that will engage and inspire them. And cartoonist Raina Telgemeier, who is not only an incredible advocate for comics, but also for the kids who read them. Through your enthusiasm and your support this podcast has been able to reach new audiences and, in some cases, new guests that make it feel less like an interview and more like a dinner party with several hundred of my best friends.

And so many of you have asked if there’s anything you can do to support the podcast and, it turns out, there is. I’ve installed a donate tab on the podcast homepage and this month I want to challenge you to consider what this podcast and these conversations have meant to you, and then I want you to think about donating a dollar or two dollars. Because of bandwidth and monthly subscription fees, it cost me about $5.00 per episode to put Let’s Get Busy on the air. Beyond that there’s the time involved in recording and editing and getting the content ready to post.

And I love doing it all.

I love this podcast.

And there are days when I pinch myself because it’s so hard to believe that I get to do this on a weekly basis.

So, here’s your opportunity to help out if you feel like that’s the right thing for you to do. And if it is the right time or it’s not, well, let me just say thank you again for listening.

So… thank you.

- Matthew

Donate to the Let’s Get Busy podcast by clicking HERE.

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Let’s Get Busy - Sudipta RETURNS!

Episode 61: Talking encouraging more and better writing at home and in class, letting voices go unsilenced, and the role of safety in the writing process.
Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (@SudiptaBQ), author of Tyrannosaurus Wrecks! (@AbramsKids) returns to talk about offering your school visit audience something more than your books, the habit of safety nets getting in the way, and helping empower kids to write.
Download for FREE on iTunes, using the Stitcher mobile app, or at LibSyn.

Episode Notes
Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen's homepage)
Nerdy Chicks Rule
Purchase Sudipta’s books from your local independent bookstore
Available now!
Purchase locally whenever possible.

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Let’s Get Busy with graphic novelist Nathan Hale

Episode 61: Talking historical namesakes, communicating WWI events through armed animals, and historical accuracy down to the shovel.
Nathan Hale (@MrNathanHale), creator of the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series (@AbramsChronicle), stops by to talk about starting with a manuscript, fact-checking for historical accuracy, and comedy on the page turns.
Download for FREE on iTunes, using the Stitcher mobile app, or at LibSyn.

Episode Notes
Space Station Nathan (Nathan Hale's homepage)
Mr. Hale’s Blog
Hazardous Tales homepage
LEGO display for Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood
Purchase Nathan Hale’s books from your local independent bookstore
Available now with TWO more tales in the works!
Purchase locally whenever possible.
…And it’s sequel, Calamity Jack, both available now.
Purchase locally whenever possible.
Available now.
Purchase locally whenever possible.

Coming in October 2014.
Purchase locally whenever possible.

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