Tag Archives: authors

Saying Good-bye Norman Bridwell

We'll miss you, NormanClifford, the Big Red Dog lost his best friend this week

Author and creator of beloved storybook character Clifford, Norman Ray Bridwell was born in Kokomo, Ind., on Feb. 15, 1928.  He always loved to draw.  “I was not good at sports and my high school shop teacher, after a few days of class, took my tools away, telling me ‘Here’s a pad of paper instead.  You seem to like to draw: stick to that,’” Bridwell remembered.  After art school he labored as a commercial artist working on filmstrip illustration when he decided to attempt to earn some extra income.  In 1962 he showed an editor some ideas he had been working on and she suggested he add a story to his pictures.  From there and with some help from his wife, he developed the Big, Red Dog we all have grown to know and love.  Over the years, Clifford has become a household name with more than 150 Clifford titles, 129 million copies in print, many translated into 13 languages.

Besides Clifford, Bridwell wrote A Tiny Family and The Witch Next Door, which were also quite successful.

In 1969 Bridwell and his family moved to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.  He lived there with his wife, Norma, up to the time of his passing, December 12, 2014, at the age of 86.

Writers’ Workshop

writers workshop image

Are you an aspiring young writer? Would you like to become one? Join us for the Young Writer’s Workshop and release your creative side. We will put away our inner editors, explore our creativity and discover the writer in us all.

Children going into grades 3-5 can join us for this series of four workshops Monday July 7, July 14, July 21 and July 28 from 1:30-3:00 p.m.

“But Miss Chris” you say “it is summer…I don’t want to do anything  like school work…”

Well I know it says Writers’ Workshop but perhaps we really should change the name because it’s a lot more fun than it is work. Cloud watching, mystery writers CSI, writer’s charades and writing and performing a short plays are just a few of the things we’ve “worked” on.

Here’s a fun example of one of our warm up games you can try yourself.

“What if….”

Where do writers come up with such wonderful ideas?  What made them think up the story in the first place?  There are as many different ways of writing and getting ideas for writing as there are writers.  One of my favorites is just to think “What if…”

What if a boy found out on his birthday that he was a wizard?

What if there was a magical land where animals could talk?

What if you woke up one day and found that you were invisible?

All these ideas might have sounded silly when the authors first thought of them but they became some of the most memorable stories of all time.  Take some time and write your own list of “what ifs”. The sillier they are the better.  You’ll be on your way to your own amazing story in no time.

So come join us and see how much fun creative writing is in the Writers’ Workshop.  Bring your list of “what ifs” if you like.

Hope to see you there.

– Miss Chris

2014 ALSC Media Awards – Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

2014 ALSC Media Awards – Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).

National Book Award

The Thing About Luck cover
The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata has been awarded the National Book Award in the young people’s literature category.  She has previously been awarded the Newbery Medal for Kira-Kira.

Celebrate Fountaindale Corners

Picture of houses

Vote for your favorite children’s author!

Create a poster of a scene from your favorite children’s book!

Write a letter to an author!

Come with LEGOs during a drop-in Built-It!

Listen to stories by the authors included in our Author Archive!

This week is your chance to do all of these fun events in honor of our 1984 author archive.   Fountaindale Corners Day will be Saturday, November 23, 2013.  Here is a list of events for the day:

10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Drop-in DUPLO/LEGO Build-It!                                                                                -Children ages 2-5 years with an adult for DUPLO.                                           -Grades K-5 (kindergarteners with an adult) for LEGO.

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
Send a Letter to an Author
-Children can pick from a list of authors and send them a letter!
-All the replies will be posted to the Children’s blog.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Main Event
-Drop-In Storytime featuring books by the authors
-Announcement of Winners in the “Vote for your Favorite Children’s Author” election
-Display of Illustrated Posters by patrons

Click here for a handout with all the details

Backseat Bookclub visits The Red Pryamid

The Red Pyramid The Red Pyramid Graphic Novel
Click below for a link to NPR’s latest Backseat Bookclub, which features readers’ questions about The Red Pyramid, an interview with Rick Riordan, and an excerpt from the book:


A Sampling of Native Authors

November is National American Indian Heritage Month, and we have been reading books by Native American authors.  Here are some picture books, children’s chapter books, and poetry to try:

Code Talker

Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac

This is a story about the Navajo Marines during World War II who used their native language as a code that could not be broken by our enemies.  -Ms. Cathy

Grandpa's Girls

Grandpa’s Girls by Nicola I. Campbell

A girls describes a family visit to grandpa’s house and what she and her cousins do there.  The story has a nice mixture of images that are universal (“when our moms and aunties are together, they laugh so long and so loud that sometimes they get the snorts”), culturally specific (“The yuxkn is a small log building…  It’s a storage shed now, but a long time ago my grand-auntie lived there…), and personal (“The walls are covered with photographs of family and rodeos…Grandpa’s army regiment…and Yayah, young, with a beautiful smile”). -Ms. Sarah

Holler Loudly

Holler Loudly by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Barry Gott

Holler Loudly is a very fun picture book about a boy who was born very loud.  His parents called him Holler.  He comes from generations of other loud men in his family. As he grows, the town that he lives in becomes very aware of how loud he is!  He is so loud that eventually the town won’t let him go to school, or go fishing, or even go to the movies.  Holler becomes very frustrated until one day he hears music from a quartet. He learns that quiet times can be good times too, especially when there is beautiful music playing.  As the music was playing, when all was quiet, a tornado appeared! Holler then learned that there are also times when he needs to be loud!  He yelled so loud that he whooshed all the townsmen off their feet and into safety.  Then he began to yell at the tornado, but the tornado persisted.  Holler then took a big breath and yelled as loud as he could at the big gust of wind to GO AWAY!  The tornado listened and disappeared.  Holler saved the town!  He not only became a hero but he also learned a valuable lesson about listening.  -Ms. Ashley

Indian Shoes

Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Ray Halfmoon, age 12, lives with his Grampa Halfmoon in a red-brick bungalow in Chicago.  His parents were killed in a storm in Oklahoma.  Ray and Grampa go to Cubs games and eat hot dogs, take care of the pets of out-of-town neighbors, and participate in a family wedding.  Ray trades his hightops for a pair of authentic moccasins for Grampa, and Grampa teaches him the art of fishing in the very early morning in Oklahoma.  This short novel is a heart-warming depiction of a close family relationship.  -Ms. Nancy S.

Shinchi's Canoe

Shin-Chi’s Canoe by Nicola I. Campbell

Shin-chi’s canoe is a story about two Native American children who are sent away from their families to be educated in a government-sponsored, church-run residential school.  Shi-shi-etko is Shin-chi’s older sister and she has already been in school for a year.  She tells him what to expect and how to behave at the school.  The months at school are filled with lessons, hard work and hunger and the little boy feels lonely and is missing his family.  He is not allowed to speak to his sister.  He finds some solace by going down the river and letting go on the water a toy from his father.  The children are looking forward to reunite with their families at the beginning of the summer a time marked by the return of the sockeye salmon in the river.  The author of this book is a descendent of Interior Salish and Metis.  Her mother and grandfather attended residential schools.  The illustrations of the book are inspired from archival photographs and discussions with elderly people.  -Ms. Andreea

Songs for the Seasons

Songs for the Seasons by Jamake Highwater

This poetry book takes the reader from one season to another with delightful pictures and text.  -Ms. Cathy

When the Shadbush Blooms

When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger

This is a great story of the Lenape Culture told in two stories of the Traditional Sister and Contemporary Sister.  The illustrations by David Kanietakeron Fadden are beautifully done showing nature how it was then and now.  The Lenape culture glossary in the back on the story brings the history of the culture into the story.  -Ms. Nancy L.