Sunday, November 30, 2008

Great Family Field Trips!

The Season Abounds With
Great Children's Book Illustration Exhibits!

Take a break from mall madness: grab your kids and escape into a world of of children's book illustration art! You will discover great art and great books to share with the young people in your life, making your holiday season all the more memorable!

At the Art Institute of Chicago Museum in Chicago, Illinois:

The Bill Peet Storybook Menagerie

August 23, 2008–May 24, 2009
Galleries 15–16

Overview: After a 27-year career working as Walt Disney’s principle animator and main “storyman,” Bill Peet devoted himself full-time to writing and illustrating children’s books. Along with sketches and storyboards from his Disney days, this exhibition features original works of art from 14 of Peet’s 34 published books, including Buford the Little Bighorn, The Caboose Who Got Loose, Capyboppy, Chester the Worldly Pig, Cowardly Clyde, Ella, How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head, Kermit the Hermit, Pamela Camel, The Wump World, and the Caldecott Honor Book Bill Peet: An Autobiography.

For more information go to:

At the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City:

Drawing Babar: Early Drafts and Watercolors
September 19, 2008, through January 4, 2009

A dignified elephant, dressed in a green suit and wearing a yellow crown, walks upright across the page. This image—both absurd and endearing—has become instantly recognizable to several generations of readers throughout the world. The exhibition Drawing Babar returns visitors to the two essential moments of Babar's creation: when Jean de Brunhoff and, years later, his son Laurent, set down their initial thoughts on paper. Their earliest drafts, shown in juxtaposition with their finished watercolors, allow viewers to track the changes, both subtle and substantive, that both men made as they refined their work, bringing together word and image with elegance and exuberance.

In 2004 the Morgan acquired the working drafts and printer-ready watercolors for Histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant (1931), the first book by Jean de Brunhoff (1899–1937), and Babar et ce coquin d'Arthur (1946), the first book by Laurent de Brunhoff (b. 1925). Together these two collections—shown virtually in their entirety for the first time—provide an extraordinary record of the working methods of the two men, both painters turned storytellers. From the naming of Babar himself (first called simply "Baby Elephant") to the introduction of the beloved character Queen Celeste—not present in Jean de Brunhoff's first draft—these early sketches and watercolors provide an intimate look at the creation of an enduring fictional world.

Supplementing the Morgan's important collection of manuscripts and drawings are splendid copies of first editions of the earliest Babar books, notable for their large format and stunning graphic appeal.

For more information go to:

At the Eric Carle Museum in Western Massachusetts:

Over Rainbows and Down Rabbit Holes: The Art of Children's Books
November 11, 2008 - March 8, 2009

This exhibition features over 80 works of art created specifically for children’s books, drawn exclusively from the outstanding collection assembled by Les and Zora Charles. These original works of art will inspire the imagination and celebrate the creativity of making picture books for readers of all ages. Selections include examples from Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but the majority of the exhibition focuses on the genius of this genre working in the post-World War II period. Artists on view include: Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji); Kinuko Y. Craft (Cinderella); Maurice Sendak (The Bee-Man of Orn); Leo and Diane Dillon (Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears); Trina Schart Hyman (Little Red Riding Hood); Gerald McDermott (Arrow to the Sun); Barry Moser (Jump On Over); and Jerry Pinkney (John Henry).

For more information go to:

At The Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence, Rhode Island:

Building Books: The Art of David Macaulay is the first in-depth museum exhibition devoted to this prolific author and artist. Macaulay [RISD '69, Architecture] has demystified the workings and origins of everything from simple gadgets to elaborate architectural structures. A favorite with readers of all ages, the Caldecott Medal-winning artist and MacArthur Fellow is the subject of an exhibition that takes a look at his artistic process and extensive body of work, including The New Way Things Work, Castle, Cathedral, City, Mill, Ship, and Mosque. Building Books presents a diverse range of exhibition materials, including original works of art, studies, sketchbooks, book dummies, manuscripts and correspondence, artifacts (including hand-built ship models), stuffed specimens, reference materials, travel mementos, and a video documentary about the artist, produced for the exhibition. Macaulay's books bring together the worlds of art, history, science and fantasy.

For more information go to:

At the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington DC:

Picturing Words: The Power of Book Illustration

Nov. 21, 2008-Jan. 4, 2010
This exhibition showcases the richness of illustrated books through history. Pictures influence, inform and inspire in many ways. They add beauty, color and life to the printed page, offering a feast for the eye as well as food for the mind. Visitors may explore the power of pictures through 40 featured rare books from the Smithsonian Libraries' collections in science, history and art, as well as objects from the Museum’s Graphic Arts Division.

For more information go to:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our White House Named One of the "BEST BOOKS" of 2008!

is named one of the best books for young people in 2008!

Both Publisher's Weekly and Amazon have named Our White House Looking In, Looking Out one of the best books for young people in 2008! Hurrah! Thank you PW and Amazon!!!

Read more about all of the terrific books named by Publisher's Weekly and Amazon as great books for young people; go to:

For the Publisher's Weekly list:

For the Editor's Choice List at Amazon:

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Dominican University's Graduate School
of Library and Information Science asks the
National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance
to serve in an advisory capacity for their new
Butler Children's Literature Center!

Susan Roman, the Dean of Dominican University's Graduate School of Library and Information Science, has asked the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance to serve on the advisory board for their recently established Butler Children's Literature Center. The NCBLA is thrilled and honored to serve and will be represented at Advisory Board Meetings by NCBLA president and executive director Mary Brigid Barrett.

Established in 2007 with a gift from the Butler Family Foundation, GSLIS’s forthcoming Butler Literature Center seeks to become one of the nation’s premier centers for the study of children’s and young adult literature. The Butler Literature Center will serve as an examination center for children’s and young adult books published annually in the United States, and as an historical collection of the best children’s and young adult literature published nationally and internationally. The Center will also serve as an evidence-based, best practices professional collection in support of the application and integration of children’s and young adult literature in classrooms, libraries, childcare centers, and homes. Open to educators, scholars, researchers, librarians, teachers, parents, and other care providers for children, the Center plans to offer a robust selection of programs, conferences, continuing education courses, web resources, and research opportunities. University partners include the School of Education and the Rebecca Crown Library.

For more information visit
Dominican University's Graduate School
of Library and Information Science website at:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Great Event In New England!

Celebrating James Marshall and
Humor in Children's Books!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 7:00 P.M. Free admission
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stata Center, 32 Vassar Street (corner of Main Street)
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Please join this lively celebration! In honor of the new collection, George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends (Houghton Mifflin), we will share an evening of appreciation for its author, James Marshall, and an exploration of humor in children’s books. A panel discussion will include several authors who contributed essays to the book. What was the creator of George and Martha like? What is the influence of James Marshalls work? How do children respond to his books? What makes a book funny?

Roger Sutton, editor in chief of The Horn Book Magazine, will moderate this discussion. He will be joined by authors and illustrators Susan Meddaugh and David Wiesner, children’s literature expert Anita Silvey and Cambridge school librarian Susan Moynihan, who introduces first graders to George and Martha each year.

This event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. Books will be available for purchase and autographing. Co-sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Company, the Cambridge Public Library, The Foundation for Children’s Books, The Horn Book, Inc. and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
For more information, please call 617-349-4409 or check

Saturday, November 8, 2008

David Macaulay Creates Cover Illustration for Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out!

Award Winning Author/Illustrator
David Macaulay
Shares Sketches of
Our White House:
Looking In, Looking Out
Book Jacket Cover at!

See the way David Macaulay thinks! Take a look at the visual evolution of Macaulay's wry and witty cover for the NCBLA publication Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out! Children of all ages find Macaulay's sketches fascinating. You can find Macaulay's preliminary sketches at the NCBLA's Our White House companion educational website

And after you check out David Macaulay's sketches, be sure to wander through the rest of the where you will find stories, poetry, historical resources, and much more!

The sketches you see here are copyrighted by David Macaulayand the NCBLA. To see many more of David Macaulay's preliminary Our White House sketches go to:

To explore the Our White House website, go to:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Get the Scoop on Presidential Puppies in Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out!

President Elect Obama is Looking for a Puppy for Sasha and Malia!

The First Presidential Pups Belonged to George Washington!

George Washington's hounds-- Sweet Lips, Tipsy, Tipler, Loe, Searcher, Taster, and Drunkard never got to live in the White House. The illustration you see of George and his hounds was done for Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out by Steven Kellogg. When your read Our White House, you will find out why neither Washington or his animals had the opportunity to reside in the presidential mansion. And readers six to sixty will enjoy reading Steven Kellogg's presidential pet piece! Take a long look at Kellogg's delightfully detailed drawing of all the presidents and the animals that roamed the White House grounds. Pick your favorite for "Best in Show" and see if you can find Jimmy Carter's "killer rabbit."

All royalties from the sale of Our White House benefit the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance who created Our White House to promote literacy and historical literacy. All the contributors to Our White House, gifted their work to this creative tour de force that offers a dynamic view of more than 200 years of American history. Please note that the provocative, witty book cover art for Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out was done by nationally renowned illustrator David Macaulay.

And be sure and check out the companion educational website for Our White House at:

Find out more about the presidential pets in
Our White House:
Looking In, Looking Out
available at your local library or bookstore!

★ “Powerful. . . .Fascinating. . . . Challenging.”
— School Library Journal
(starred review)

★ “A blue-ribbon choice for family sharing during an election
year.” — Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

★ “Unique bits and pieces . . .create a browser’s dream as readers explore the nooks and crannies of American history.”
— The Horn Book (starred review)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out Encourages You to Involve Young People in this Year's Historic Presidential Election!

Get Your Cool Blue and Red Hot Presidential Candidates Stickers and Finish the OurWhite House: Looking In, Looking Out Presidential Timeline!!!

Barack Obama and John McCain! Who Will Be Our Next President?

The NCBLA asked talented illustrator Bob Kolar to design presidential candidate stickers of Barack Obama and John McCain to encourage young people, their parents, grandparents, guardians, teachers, and classmates to follow this historic presidential election together, talk about the result, and then download the candidate stickers from the Our White House website--- and finish the book by adhering the winning presidential candidate sticker to the last spot, NUMBER 44, on Bob Kolar amazing presidential timeline on pages 224 and 225 of Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.

And have a great time guessing who all the other presidents are on the timeline, as well as the significance of the object they are holding! Because Bob Kolar's engaging timeline is a trivia game, too!

Bob Kolar has generously donated both his original Our White House illustration and the his candidate illustration to the NCBLA's Our White House book project that links literacy, historical literacy, promoting civic engagement----as have all of the 108 esteemed writers and illustrator contributors to Our White House! All royalties from the sale of Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out help the NCBLA continue its education and advocacy goals. Be sure and check out to find out about all kinds of presidential election information from the evolution of campaign buttons to how the electoral college works!

For Barack Obama and John McCain presidential candidate stickers go to:

To get more presidential election information, as well as election activities for young people, go to: