Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Interview with Exquisite Corpse Adventure Authors and IIllustrators!


An Interview with NCBLA Exquisite Corpse Adventure Contributor Lemony Snicket!!

Lemony Snicket is responsible for introducing our Exquisite Corpse Adventure heroes, Nancy and Joe, to the Cradle of Time in Episode 12, and will thrill us with more mayhem in an upcoming episode. Be prepared.


We interrupted Lemony in the middle of a dark and tragic tirade about something or the other to ask him a few questions:

Q- What did you find to be the most challenging aspect of writing an episode for The Exquisite Corpse Adventure?

A- "Trying to persevere despite the primal, overwhelming machismo of Jon Scieszka."

Well there you have it, straight from Lemony's mouth to your ears.

Q- What were some of your favorite books when you were in elementary school?

A- "Dino Buzzati's The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily; Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Eqypt Game; Edward Gorey's The Blue Aspic."

Makes perfect sense to read about the macabre as a child if you plan to write about it as an adult.

Q- What are you working on now? Do you have a new book coming out this year?

A- "HarperCollins will be releasing my first picture book, 13 Words, which even with fine illustrations by Maira Kalman, manages to be glum and dispiriting."

Do you think Lemony realizes that 13 is an "unfortunate" number?

Lemony Snicket is the author of the famed A Series of Unfortunate Events, as well as other works. Be sure to look for his unique books at your library and local book store.




If you like Lemony Snicket's books, be sure to check out Neil Gaiman's family saga, Anansi Boys, and Keith McGowan's  The Witches Guide to Cooking with Children.

P.S. We regret that we cannot post a picture of Lemony Snicket. Apparently none exists due to a world-wide web conspiracy. Or so he says!


What is The Exquisite Corpse Adventure?
For those not in the know, The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is a series of episodes written and illustrated by famous children's authors and
illustrators. Each author and illustrator inherits the story from the previous folks. It's like taking over a recipe in the middle, you need to understand what's gone into the stew so far and then add your own
ingredients to make it hot and spicy! To catch up on all the exciting episodes, go to Read. gov.

And parents, teachers, and librarians be sure to check out the NCBLA's Exquisite Corpse Adventure Educational Resource Center for great ideas on how to turn the Exquisite Corpse Adventure into a great educational adventure! Go to:
http://www.thencbla.org/Exquisite_Corpse/exquisite_home.html

Friday, April 23, 2010

LAST DAY to Enter the NCBLA's Mystery Author Contest

Who Is the Team Corpse Mystery Author?
Send Your  Guess TODAY!

Has your class been playing Twenty Questions with other Exquisite Corpse Adventure readers around the country to identify The Mystery Author?

It's not too late! Check out the complete list of clues in the sidebar at left, and find the answer to Clue 20 on AdLit.org. Email your guess to
mysteryauthor@thencbla.org no later than 11:00 PM PDT TONIGHT.

Every class that solves the mystery and emails in the correct guess will be entered into a drawing to win a collection of books valued at over $600 for their classroom or library, plus a phone conversation with The Mystery Author! MANY of these books have been autographed by the authors! One classroom winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries received.

The NCBLA will announce the winner Monday, May 3, 2010.

For more information and complete rules, please visit www.thencbla.org.

Read The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Episode 16 on Read.Gov, written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering!

And be sure to check out the following extensive educational materials for The Exquisite Corpse Adventure:
Online education resource center  created by the NCBLA and the Butler Center for Children's Literature at Dominican University. Discover reading lists thematically linked to each episode, classroom activities, discussion questions, art appreciation essays and activities, and MORE!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April is National Poetry Month! Share a Poem With Your Child!

Family Poems: 
Read Together!

Good Nights 
by Lee Bennett Hopkins 
illustrated by William Low
 
"Good Night," 

Said 

An Abraham
A Mary
A Warren
A Florence
A Bess
A Harry--


Two Abigails
Four Johns
Six Jameses
One Dwight--

So many
Bade--

Still Bid 

"Good night"--
 
Through
The dark
Ebon-black--

Through 
The house 
That is 
White. 
 


You will find this poem and illustration, and many others wonderful poems and great art, in the NCBLA's national award-winning anthology celebrating American History and literacy- 


Poet Lee Bennett Hopkins is a "national" treasure and the creator and editor of many beautiful poetry books for young people. Find out more Mr. Hopkins and his work at: http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/Kids/AuthorsAndIllustrators/ContributorDetail.aspx?CId=12232




William Low is an exceptionally talented painter and illustrator. You can see more of his work at:  http://www.williamlow.com/

Ask for the NCBLA's Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out at your neighborhood library or bookstore. You can read more about this amazing interdisciplinary, multicultural book that will helps young people learn more about the 200 year history of America, both inside and outside the White House, at: http://www.ourwhitehouse.org/intro.html

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Author Contest: The FINAL Clue!


Have You Guessed the Identity of the Team Corpse MYSTERY AUTHOR Yet?

Is your class playing Twenty Questions with other Exquisite Corpse Adventure readers around the country to help identify The Mystery Author?

Don't miss out! It's not too late! The Final Clue is posted below.

Every class that solves the mystery and emails in the correct guess will be entered into a drawing to win a collection of books valued at over $600 for their classroom or library, plus a phone conversation with The Mystery Author! One classroom winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries received.  Just send in your classroom's guess to  mysteryauthor@thencbla.org no later than this Friday, April 23. The winner will be announced Monday, May 3.

The Final Clue:
Which of the following characters has the Mystery Author written a series of books about?
A.) A princess with a talent for detecting vegetables under layers and layers of mattresses, blankets, and bedding.
B.) A hyperactive kid whose spring is wound so tight that he feels like a rat in a maze and has a friend who brags that she is "blind as a bat."
C.) An oversized puppy with a sense of adventure and a penchant for getting into trouble.
Find the answer this Friday on AdLit.org!

Answers to Clues #17, 18, and 19:
Answer to Clue #17: The Mystery Author’s favorite teacher was Mr. Adolino, her or his Latin teacher, about whom he or she has stated, “[He] decided that teaching us about great books, great art, great films and great music was more important than the Latin curriculum. We went on fantastic field trips, read tons of classics, and overall were infused with a tremendous love for the arts. Mr. Adolino was a saint to me.”
Answer to Clue #18: The Mystery Author read his or her sister's diary when he or she was in the sixth grade and decided "...[he or she] could write better than she could."
Answer to Clue #19:  A rotten cat--Rotten Ralph!--stars in a popular series of books written by the Mystery Author!

REMINDER: The last day to enter is this Friday, April 23.

Send your guess to mysteryauthor@thencbla.org, but remember you can only guess once!  Be sure to check AdLit.org this Friday for the answer to Clue 20. For more information and complete rules, please visit www.thencbla.org.

Read The Exquisite Corpse Adventure on Read.Gov!

Be sure to read The Exquisite Corpse Adventure on Read.Gov! The most recent episode--Episode 15--was penned by National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Katherine Paterson  and sumptuously illustrated by Calef Brown. Coming this Friday on Read.Gov is Episode 16 written by Kate DiCamillo and fantastically illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering!

More Corpse Fun: Educational Materials and Writing Contest

Be sure to check out the following extensive educational materials for The Exquisite Corpse Adventure:
Online education resource center  created by the NCBLA and the Butler Center for Children's Literature at Dominican University. Discover reading lists thematically linked to each episode, classroom activities, discussion questions, art appreciation essays and activities, and MORE! 

The Exquisite Prompt Challenge Writing Contest sponsored by ReadingRockets and AdLit.org! This month's prompts are inspired by author Megan McDonald and illustrator Timothy Basil Ering!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sneak Peek: Episode 16 Goes Live Friday, April 23rd

Latest Exquisite Corpse Adventure Episode Written by Kate DiCamillo

In our last episode of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure 15, by Katherine Paterson, exhaustion and hunger had caught up with Nancy and Joe. Sleeping first, they settled down near the edge of the woods. Joe was awakened at dawn by a loud noise that turned out to be their guardian, Genius Kelly, the pig. Awake and hungry, the group consulted their directional toe arrows. The direction was unanimous and the group headed into the dark and creepy woods in search of food. At last they came to a gingerbread house. Nancy was about to explain the story of the gingerbread house when Roberta frantically pointed to the two chimneys on the roof. One of the chimneys appeared to be an upside-down leg. Her missing leg?

In Episode 16 by Kate DiCamillo, Nancy and Joe come face to face with one of their enemies. Who is it? What about the gingerbread house and yummy smelling meatballs? What is the red pulsing object Nancy finds? And don't forget about the chimney leg.

Read the Episode and see Timothy Basil Ering's colorful and fun illustrations at Read.gov! A crop of Timothy's Episode 16 illustration appears at top right.

Newbery Medal winner, Kate DiCamillo says, "I think of myself as an enormously lucky person: I get to tell stories for a living." Through her stories, the reader meets dogs, librarians, mice, rabbits, pigs, fortunetellers, and others. Share their trials, adventures, and humor in her picture books, chapter books, and novels.

Check for Kate's books at your favorite library and bookstore. And be sure to look for her latest novel, The Magician's Elephant.





To learn more about Kate DiCamillo, visit her website.

Author and illustrator Timothy Basil Ering says of his illustrations for Kate DiCamillo's Tale of Despereaux, "My mother may have been a mouse in her past life...The illustrations I've done for Despereaux Tilling are, in a way, my tribute to her." A funny and talented guy, Timothy writes and illustrates picture books and novels. Check out his whimsical and imaginative illustrations in previous Exquisite Corpse Adventures Episode 4, Episode 8, and Episode 12.

Some of Timothy's works include:

Be sure to visit Timothy's website for more information on his books and illustrations!


ENJOY EPISODE 16!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Author Contest: TRIPLE CLUES!


Only FOUR Clues Remain! Has Your Class Guessed the Identity of the Team Corpse MYSTERY AUTHOR Yet?

Play Twenty Questions with other Exquisite Corpse Adventure readers around the country to help identify The Mystery Author!

Every class that solves the mystery and emails in the correct guess will be entered into a drawing to win a collection of books valued at over $600 for their classroom or library, plus a phone conversation with The Mystery Author! One classroom winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries received. Don't miss out! Be sure to send in your classroom's guess to  mysteryauthor@thencbla.org no later than this Friday, April 23. The winner will be announced Monday, May 3.

Here Are Today's Clues:
Clue #17
Who was the Mystery Author's favorite teacher during his or her school years?
A.) Miss Frizzle.
B.) Viola Swamp.
C.) Mr. Adolino.
Clue #18
The Mystery Author was inspired to write after reading something very specific. What was it?
A.) Alice in Wonderland.
B.) His or her sister's diary.
C.) The comics in the Sunday newspaper.
Clue #19
Which of the following animal characters star in one of the Mystery Author's series of books?
A.) A repulsive crocodile.
B.) A regurgitating anteater.
C.) A rotten cat.
Find the answers and the FINAL CLUE this Wednesday HERE on this blog!

Answers to Clues #15 and 16:
Answer to Clue #15: The Mystery Author admits to having broken his or her brother's arm three times.
Answer to Clue #16: The Mystery Author dreams of living in a bookmobile. 

REMINDER: The last day to enter is this Friday, April 23.

You can send your guess to mysteryauthor@thencbla.org anytime, but you can only guess once! We will post the FINAL clue and the answers to Clues 17, 18, and 19 here on this blog this Wednesday, April 21, 2010. Be sure to check AdLit.org this Friday for the answer to Clue 20. For more information and complete rules, please visit www.thencbla.org.

In the meantime, be sure to read The Exquisite Corpse Adventure on Read.Gov! The most recent episode--Episode 15--was penned by National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Katherine Paterson  and sumptuously illustrated by Calef Brown.

More Corpse Fun: Educational Materials and Writing Contest

Be sure to check out the following extensive educational materials for The Exquisite Corpse Adventure:
Online education resource center  created by the NCBLA and the Butler Center for Children's Literature at Dominican University. Discover reading lists thematically linked to each episode, classroom activities, discussion questions, art appreciation essays and activities, and MORE! 

The Exquisite Prompt Challenge Writing Contest sponsored by ReadingRockets and AdLit.org! This month's prompts are inspired by author Megan McDonald and illustrator Timothy Basil Ering!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April is National Poetry Month! Share a Poem With Your Child!

Family Poems: 
Read Together!

Rocking My Child 
by Gabriela Mistral (Chilean; 1889-1957)

The sea its millions of waves
   is rocking, divine,
hearing the loving seas,
  I'm rocking my child.

The wandering wind in the night
   is rocking the fields of wheat,
hearing the loving winds,
  I'm rocking my child.

God is the father his thousands of worlds
  is rocking without a sound.
Feelings his hands in the shadows,
  I'm rocking my child.


The woodblock print to the right was done by Kitagawa Utamoro (Japanese, 1753-1806). You can take your children to see it at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Even MORE Books in NCBLA's Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Author Contest

Your Kids Can Win These Great Books for their School or Classroom Library if They Read The Exquisite Corpse Adventure and Play the Mystery Writer Contest! Win a Grand Prize of over $600 of New Books!




Author and Illustrator Steven Kellogg, Vice-President of the NCBLA Board has graciously autographed and donated the following books as part of the Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Prize Pack of Books! 
Thank you Steven!
and . . . Steven has not only autographed them, he has drawn some great pictures in them, too!




 
 




 If You Decide to Go to the Moon (hardback)







The Pied Piper's Magic (hardback)










  The Island of the Skogg (hardback)







 Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (hardback)








Find out more about Steven Kellogg's books at: http://www.stevenkellogg.com/

Read The Exquisite Corpse Adventure free online at:  http://www.read.gov/

Find the
The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Educational Resource Center at: http://www.thencbla.org/Exquisite_Corpse/exquisite_home.html

Find out all the
The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Writer Rules at: http://www.thencbla.org/Exquisite_Corpse/MAC_home.html

And keep reading the NCBLA BLOG to find out important MYSTERY AUTHOR CLUES and PRIZE BOOK PACK information!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Great Books to Win in the NCBLA Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Writer Contest!



More Great Books Your Kids Can Win for Their Classroom or School Library in the NCBLA's Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Writer Contest!




 Author Gregory Maguire has donated two autographed copies his children's novel  
What-the-Dickens!(paperbacks) for the Mystery Author Prize Pack of Books! Gregory is an Honorary Board member of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance.




Katherine Paterson,the Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and NCBLA Vice-President has autographed and donated the following books for the NCBLA's Mystery Writer Contest Prize Pack:





Day of the Pelican (hardback)






The Master Puppeteer (paperback)






The Nightingales That Weep (paperback)










Flip-Flop Girl (paperback)









Lyddie (paperback)








Thank you Katherine Paterson and Gregory Maguire for donating and autographing your books for The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Writer Contest Prize Pack of Books. These books are just a portion of the over $600 worth of books your kids can win for their classroom or school library!

Read more about Gregory Maguire's books at: http://gregorymaguire.com/

Read more about Katherine Paterson's books at: http://www.terabithia.com/

Read The Exquisite Corpse Adventure free online at:  http://www.read.gov/

Find the The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Educational Resource Center at: http://www.thencbla.org/Exquisite_Corpse/exquisite_home.html

Find out all the The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Writer Rules at: http://www.thencbla.org/Exquisite_Corpse/MAC_home.html

And Keep Reading the NCBLA blog to find all the Clues Your Kids Need to Find Out the Mystery Writer Identity!!

The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Author Contest: Clues # 13 and 14


Can Your Class Guess the Identity of the Team Corpse MYSTERY AUTHOR?

Play Twenty Questions with other Exquisite Corpse Adventure readers around the country to help identify The Mystery Author!

Every class that solves the mystery and emails in the correct guess will be entered into a drawing to win a collection of books valued at over $600 for their classroom or library, plus a phone conversation with The Mystery Author! One classroom winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries received.

Here's Today's Clues:
Clue #13
The protagonists in The Exquisite Corpse Adventure have something in common with the protagonists in the Mystery Author's third book for young adults. What is the main thing these protagonists have in common?
A.) Both sets of protagonists are 11-years old.
B.) Both sets of protagonists are twins.
C.) Both sets of protagonists were provided with an animal protector.

Clue #14
With whom would the Mystery Author like to have tea?
A.) The Man in the Yellow Hat and the Girl in the Red Riding Hood.
B.) The Mad Hatter and Mary Poppins.
C.) Jon Scieszka and Katherine Paterson.

Find the answers and the NEXT TWO CLUES this Friday on AdLit.org!

Here's the Answers to Clues #11 and 12:
Answer to Clue #11: The Mystery Author likes to proudly display a fold-up pocket journal, "This one is really sneaky. I can take this out in restaurants, or on the airplane, and people assume it's my wallet. I hear some pretty interesting conversations."

Answer to Clue #12: The Mystery Author lives in the Bay State. 

You can send your guess to mysteryauthor@thencbla.org anytime, but you can only guess once! We will be posting 6 more clues until we post the final clue on April 21, 2010. Check here every Monday and Wednesday and check AdLit.org every Friday to find the remaining clues.

For more information and complete rules, please visit www.thencbla.org.

In the meantime, be sure to read The Exquisite Corpse Adventure on Read.Gov! The most recent episode--Episode 15--was penned by National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Katherine Paterson  and sumptuously illustrated by Calef Brown.

More Corpse Fun: Educational Materials and Writing Contest

Be sure to check out the following extensive educational materials for The Exquisite Corpse Adventure:
Online education resource center  created by the NCBLA and the Butler Center for Children's Literature at Dominican University.  Discover reading lists thematically linked to each episode, classroom activities, discussion questions, art appreciation essays and activities, and MORE! 

The Exquisite Prompt Challenge Writing Contest sponsored by ReadingRockets and AdLit.org! This month's prompts are inspired by author Megan McDonald and illustrator Timothy Basil Ering!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April is National Poetry Month! Share a Poem with a Child

Family Poems: 
Read Together!

Milk White Moon, 
Put the Cows to Sleep 
by Carl Sandburg (American, 1878-1967)

Milk-white moon, put the cows to sleep
Since five o'clock in the morning,
Since they stood up out of the grass,
Where they have slept on their knees and hocks,
They have eaten grass and given their milk
And eaten grass again and given milk, 
And kept their heads and teeth at the earth's face.
    Now they are looking at you, milk-white moon.
    Carelessly as they look at the level landscapes,
    Carelessly as they look at a pail of new white milk,
    They are looking at you, wondering not at all, at all.
    If the moon is the skim face top of a pail of milk
    Wondering not at all, carelessly looking.
    Put the cows to sleep, milk-white moon,
    Put the cows to sleep. 

You and your children can find the sketches above, preliminary drawings for a print series, Cow Triptych by Roy Lichtenstein (American,1923 – 1997) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. 

For more information on artist Roy Lichtenstein, go to:

For more information about poet Carl Sandburg, to to:
http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/28

National Library Week April 11 - 17

Celebrate National Library Week- Visit your Library!

Think library and think more than books. Today's library is not the library of old. It's the new community center. Of course, you can still grab a book, nestle down in a comfy chair, and travel to middle earth, be chased by villains, eaten by witches, or fall in love. But that's only part of what's available to you at your local library.

Libraries are a treasure chest of resources and activities for people of all ages. For adults, you might find lectures, community meetings, or classes. For kids, there might be book clubs, movies, or story time. Just go online to view what's up at your library or walk through the door. You'll be amazed at what's going on.

And don't forget the librarians! They are the masters of the library. Ask them to recommend a good mystery or funny tale and they'll know exactly where to send you. Ask about internet access or an upcoming event and they'll have the answers.

National Library Week honors libraries, librarians, and library workers across the country. Check your local library for activities that celebrate this wonder institution and its dedicated employees. Next time you want fun, entertainment, and information-think LIBRARY!

A Library is a National Treasure!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April is National Poetry Month! Share a Poem With Your Child!

Family Poems: 
Read Together!


The Weary Blues
by Langston Hughes (American, 1902-1967)

Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
      I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
      He did a lazy sway. . . .
      He did a lazy sway. . . .
To the tune o’ those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
      O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
      Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man’s soul.
      O Blues!
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan—
      “Ain’t got nobody in all this world,
      Ain’t got nobody but ma self.
      I’s gwine to quit ma frownin’
      And put ma troubles on the shelf.”

Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more—
      “I got the Weary Blues
      And I can’t be satisfied.
      Got the Weary Blues
      And can’t be satisfied—
      I ain’t happy no mo’
      And I wish that I had died.”
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
The stars went out and so did the moon.
The singer stopped playing and went to bed
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead.

The art above right is by Romare Bearden (American, 1911-1988). You can take your children to see his work at the Metropolitan Museum or Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and at many other major art museums across the country.

For information on the art of Romare Bearden go to:  
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/most/hd_most.htm
http://www.nga.gov/feature/bearden/index.shtm


For information about poet Langston Hughes go to: 
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poet.html?id=3340