Archive for the ‘Cybils’ Category

It’s Cybils Nomination Time!

October 2, 2013 @ 3:32 pm | Filed under:

cybils2013Time to nominate your favorite children’s and YA books of the year (published October 15, 2012-October 15, 2013) for the Cybil Awards. Here’s how. I’m on the Fiction Picture Books first-round panel, so every book you nominate in that category, I’ll be reading.

Nominations close on October 15, so don’t miss the window!

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“I am compelled to read books far outside my interest areas…which helps me understand what it is we often ask students to do in school.”

November 12, 2012 @ 7:15 am | Filed under:

I greatly enjoyed this funny, frank Nerdy Book Club post by teacher William Polking about the woes and joys of serving on the Cybils YA Fiction first-round panel: The Trouble With Cybils. I served on the same panel two years ago and experienced the same combination of overwhelming reading load and exhilarating discussion with a really crack team of fellow panelists.

Three Things

October 1, 2012 @ 9:02 am | Filed under: ,

1) Thanks so much to everyone who turned out for the launch party on Saturday! I had massive amounts of fun. The Yellow Book Road was a perfect venue—what a gem of a store. San Diego-area folks, if you haven’t been down to Liberty Station to visit it, you really should make the trip. Lovely location and the kind of children’s bookshop you can fall into and never fall out. 🙂

2) It’s CYBILs time again! The Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards public nomination period opens today. Visit the site for all the details and nominate your favorite kids’ and YA books and apps of the past year in a variety of categories. I’m serving as a Round 2 judge in the Book Apps category this year—looking forward to it! Would love to hear about your favorite book apps of the year, too. (One of the many wonderful things about the CYBILs is that all the judging panels are self-contained, so that you may serve on one panel even if you have books eligible in another, as long as you have no conflict of interest with the specific panel you’re on. Whew!) Nominations are open through Oct. 15. Check out the CYBILs sidebar to see what titles have already been nominated.

3) New Thicklebit today!

Booklists, Empty and Full

January 1, 2012 @ 10:10 am | Filed under: , ,

I’m determined to be organized this year: I’ve already set up my 2012 booklog.*

(The snippet of Johnny Crow art is meant to be centered. I can see it right in the code: aligncenter. There is something wonky in my template somewhere that always overrides the centering of images. I’m planning a massive redesign in near future, so I’m not going to worry about these little finicky details right now.)

(And by “not going to worry,” I mean it’s going to drive me batty until I get it fixed.)

But enough of that. The big news, the exciting New Year’s news, is that the 2011 Cybils finalists have been posted. Let the library queuing begin…

*Whoops, had the wrong link here before. Corrected now.

Sunday Night Catch-Up

October 2, 2011 @ 7:16 pm | Filed under: ,

Yikes! The days, they fly by!

Had a few links I meant to share last week:

My latest GeekMom post, in which I gush about a new MMO my kids and I are enjoying the heck out of.

It’s Cybils time again! Go nominate your favorite children’s & YA books of 2011 (published between Oct. 16, 2010 and Oct 15, 2011, to be specific). And kids’ book apps—a new category this year. I’m serving on the Graphic Novels first-round panel this time around, a fact which has my whole family excited. We’re somewhat enthusiastic about the category, as you may have noticed.

We’ve read all this year’s Cybils fiction picture book finalists!

March 7, 2011 @ 1:38 pm | Filed under: , ,

How’s your Cybils Shortlist Reading Challenge booklist coming along?

So far, I’ve read 19 of the 76 titles—most of them in the Fiction Picture Book and YA Fiction categories, the former because I have three picture-book-devouring younguns at the moment (and some of their big sisters have been known to listen in), the latter because I was part of the panel that drew up the list. We’re doing pretty well with the beginning readers, too; there’s another batch arriving for us at the library any day now.

Since we’ve now had the pleasure of reading all seven books on the fiction picture book shortlist, I thought I’d do a little roundup here.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Christian Stead.

Rilla and I are in love. What a sweet, gentle, quirky story. Amos is an elderly fellow who works at the zoo, where he always makes time to visit with his friends. Chess with elephant, a race with tortoise, a quiet moment shared with a shy penguin. When Amos stays home sick one day, his animal pals (and a floating red balloon) set off to find him. Rilla giggled the whole way through this lovely, quiet book. “Again, again!” she begged the moment we finished. The second time through, she lingered over the pictures, murmuring over winsome details. It was this year’s Caldecott Winner, and I see why. The art is delicate and sweetly atmospheric, and full of tiny surprises. I’ll be giving this one as a gift, often and often.

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein.

Fantastic. A chicken lass can’t help but chime in when the stories her Papa’s reading get tense. Papa keeps trying new fairy tales—Hansel and Gretel, Chicken Little, Little Red Riding Hood—in hopes the little red chicken will settle down and get sleepy, but every time the story gets rolling, the energetic chick catapults herself into the tale and warns the main characters before they stray into danger. Wonderfully funny and absolutely true to life (except, of course, that they’re chickens). 2010 Caldecott Honor book and the winner of the CYBIL in this category.

Here’s the book trailer if you’d like a peek between the pages:

A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Floyd Cooper.

Gregory’s dad tells him not to go into the water, and not to stray too far away from the lion Greg has drawn in the sand. Gregory draws the lion’s tale longer and longer, veering around a jellyfish and a horseshoe crab, swooping over an old sandcastle and beyond. When he realizes Dad is lost in the mass of beach umbrellas, Gregory follows Sandy Lion’s tail back to its body—and there’s Dad, watching all the while. Gorgeous art and simple text; both Rilla and Wonderboy took a real fancy to this one. Just now, as I was writing this, Rilla peered over my shoulder at the cover and asked if we could get it back from the library.

I’ve already written about the other four Cybils picture book finalists here, but I’ll paste those notes in this post just to keep them all in one place.


Chalk by Bill Thomson.

Jiminy crickets, what art! Amazing expressions on the kids, especially when they’re running in terror from the T Rex…Rilla and Wonderboy were transfixed by this one. The magic of chalk that brings drawings to life, the dramatic turn of events, the clever solution. A wordless story, which is something Rilla always enjoys.


The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Marcellus Hall.

Silly, funny, sweet. Very satisfying for Rilla and Wonderboy. A rollicking rhymed text that isn’t torture to read, and the joke at the end went over big. (From this post on Jan. 30, 2011.)

Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall—that’s right, the Penderwicks author has written a picture book!

Rilla and I were quite surprised to find ourselves and Huck in the opening pages of this book. I mean, really, it’s like Matt Phelan was peeking in the window. A charming story, quite appealing to the four-year-old big sister in this household. (She wouldn’t let Huck blow away either.) Flora is frustrated when baby brother Crispin gets into the paints and ruins Flora’s picture. Their frazzled mama sends them outside to play, despite Flora’s protests that the wind is too strong and will blow them away. Sure enough, a hearty gust scoops Crispin into the sky, and Flora must abandon her boots and go rescue him. Seems every high-flying creature in the big blue and beyond wants to claim Crispin—who is, admittedly, utterly irresistible in that long-tasseled hat—for a helper. Dragonfly, sparrow, eagle, rainbow, cloud, even the moon! Flora’s exchanges with these entities quite enchanted my Rilla. And my goodness, Matt Phelan’s art just blew me away.

Flora & Crispin will join Max & Ruby and Maggie B. & James in the company of great big sister-little brother pairs in children’s literature. (From this post on Feb 22, 2011.)

Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.

A perfect picture book, I tweeted the day I read it. “A perfect marriage of art and text” is a reviewer’s cliche but by golly it’s no overstatement in this case. Two little boys run for a toybox and brandish their selections in triumph and challenge. Shark vs. train—who wins? It depends…what’s the competition? Pie-eating? Diving? Marshmallow roasting? The stakes keep escalating, to hilarious effect. Rilla and Wonderboy sit and pore over the art, which is sharp and comic and enchanting. I find myself wishing my nephews and nieces hadn’t all grown up so much: this would be my birthday book of choice this year. (From this post in September 2010.)

Cybils 2010 winners and finalists.

ETA: A commenter alerted me to another Cybils Reading Challenge taking place at 5 Minutes for Moms. They have a Mr. Linky and everything if you’d like to participate!

Cybils Reading Challenge Update

January 11, 2011 @ 4:00 pm | Filed under: , ,

We’ve been enjoying these two finalists in the CYBILs Early Reader category:

Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl by Tedd Arnold

We’ve been big Tedd Arnold fans ever since Green Wilma. This one is wacky and fun, and just a little gross.

We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems

An instant Rilla/Wonderboy favorite. They have adored every single one of the Elephant & Piggie books & this one—a Geisel Honor book, as announced yesterday—is no exception. Our first time through, I loved the way Rilla gasped and cried out, “They know???” when Elephant realized he was in a book and we were reading it.

Of course this book generates an even more earnest “Again please, Mommy!” than the rest of the Elephant and Piggie series—which is saying a lot—because when you get to the end, Elephant begs you to go back to the beginning. As I remarked on Twitter, this may well be the book that tips Rilla over the edge into reading, because she is determined to read all of Piggie’s lines herself.

(Bet I’d read it six times before I realized that what Piggie is thanking us for in the front of the book is starting over.)

My running Cybils Shortlist Reading Challenge tally: 12 of 76

Cybils Synchronicities

January 4, 2011 @ 11:47 pm | Filed under: ,

Synchronicity: 1. the quality or fact of being synchronous;  2. the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic  events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality

Merriam-Webster Online

This list of similarities and coincidences among the 2010 Cybils YA Fiction nominees is humbly submitted to you by the seven members of the 2010 Cybils YA Fiction first-round panel. It is no way to be considered completely exhaustive, as we are certain some nominated books and coincidences will have been missed. This list developed as the seven of us read our way through the 182 titles. If you know of a nominated title that should be included in one of the synchronicities below, please feel free to submit it in the comments! To get the entire list, you’ll have to visit all seven blogs:

• Amanda Snow, A Patchwork of Books [TW] 1-10
• Ami Jones, Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian [TW] 11-21
• Cherylynne W. Bago, View from Above and Beyond [TW] 22-32
• Jackie Parker, Interactive Reader [TW] 33-42
• Justina Ireland, The YA 5 [TW] 43-52
• Kelly Jensen, Stacked [TW] 53-63

…and I’m bringing up the rear with SYNCHRONICITIES #64-72.

64. Swim Lessons: The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin; When I Was Joe

65. Swingsets: Hold Still; Love Drugged; Will Grayson, Will Grayson

66. Taylor Swift: Friend is Not a Verb; Perfect Shot

67. Texting/IM Conversations: The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin; The Secret to Lying; Will Grayson, Will Grayson

68. Thieving Fathers: Compromised; The Daughters; Heist Society

69. Titles with a Little “Little” in Them: A Little Wanting Song; Dirty Little Secrets; Every Little Thing in the World; Little Blog on the Prairie

70. Verse Novels: After the Kiss; The Firefly Letters; Glimpse; Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs; Three Rivers Rising; Wicked Girls

71. War: Abe in Arms; Bamboo People; Revolution; Sweet, Hereafter; The Things a Brother Knows; Thunder Over Kandahar; Woods Runner

72. Non-book-Related: Kelly and Jackie came to the realization they are naming their first born daughters the same thing… And no, they aren’t telling you what that is. (Wilma Grayson?) (Kelly says it’s Xander!)

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