Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Candlewick Press 20th Anniversary Giveaway

Drum roll...

I won the grand prize!

This is one of many great reasons to follow your favorite publishing companies on Facebook and Twitter. You never know when they will be offering special promotions.

First, I have to thank Candlewick Press and share this snippet from their website. It’s right on:

If we are to remain a literary people, we must turn off the television and read books to our children. But what to read? In this glutted book market, mediocrity reigns.

Not so at Candlewick Press. . . . Lively stories, superior art, and revisited classics are hallmarks of this employee owned company. Bravo to leadership that recognizes quality writing and artistry and chooses to promote them.

And here’s a snapshot of what arrived while I was at the SCBWI FL Mid-Year Workshop and Intensives in Orlando:

The Candlewick Press 20th Anniversary Bear!

The package also contained an autograph book and catalogue:

(Lots of folded corners for future book orders!)

I think the bear looks quite regal sitting next to my favorite Candlewick Press titles:


Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World's Most Celebrated Illustrators by Leonard S. Marcus

In compelling interviews by the acclaimed Leonard S. Marcus, twenty-one top authors and illustrators reveal their inside stories on the art of creating picture books.

(I picked this one up at the conference!)

Written by Dean Hacohen and Sherry Scharschmidt

The stars are out. The moon is rising. All the baby animals, from peacocks to pigs to zebras, are ready for bed. Will you tuck them in and say good night? Just turn the pages and the big inviting flaps that serve as blankets cover each little creature up to its chin. This simple but endlessly satisfying novelty, with its array of goggle-eyed baby animals, bold patterns, and vibrant colors, is sure to be the book of choice for little ones everywhere, night after night.

Who needs to be tucked in? Turn each page until all baby animals--and little readers--are cozy and ready for sleep in this irresistible bedtime ritual.

Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World
Written by Mary Losure

The enchanting true story of a girl who saw fairies, and another with a gift for art, who concocted a story to stay out of trouble and ended up fooling the world.


(I picked this one up at the conference too.)

A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker
Illustrations by Kady MacDonald Denton

Bear is quite sure he doesn’t like visitors. He even has a sign. So when a mouse taps on his door one day, Bear tells him to leave. But when Bear goes to the cupboard to get a bowl, there is the mouse -- small and gray and bright-eyed. In this slapstick tale that begs to be read aloud, all Bear wants is to eat his breakfast in peace, but the mouse -- who keeps popping up in the most unexpected places -- just won’t go away!

Cheery persistence wears down a curmudgeonly bear in a wry comedy of manners that ends in a most unlikely friendship.

Leon and the Place Between by Angela McAllister
Illustrations by Grahame Baker-Smith

Do you dare to step into the Place Between?

Leon and his brothers and sister go to a magic show, but this is no ordinary show and Abdul Kazam is no ordinary magician. Take a journey right through the die-cut pages of this book into the Place Between, where magic becomes truly real.

How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China

Written by Deborah Noyes
Illustrations by Sophie Blackall

A young Chinese princess is sent from her father’s kingdom to marry the king of a far-off land. She must leave behind her home of splendors: sour plums and pink peach petals and -- most precious and secret of all -- the small silkworm. She begs her father to let her stay, but he insists that she go and fulfill her destiny as the queen of Khotan. Beautifully told and arrestingly illustrated, here is a coming-of-age tale of a brave young princess whose clever plan will go on to live in legend -- and will ensure that her cherished home is with her always.

An enchanting tale of hidden beauty and fierce courage, retold in the style of T’ang Dynasty poetry and illustrated with charm and grace.

Scrawny Cat by Phyllis Root
Illustrations by Alison Friend

The scrawny cat used to belong to someone, someone who scratched his ears and let him lick her chin and knew his name. Now the only thing anyone ever calls him is "get out of here!" But when a snarling dog and a blowing rain turn the scrawny cat into a sailor cat, he learns that even a scared and shivery stray can find a kindred soul at the end of a storm-tossed night. Phyllis Root’s lyrical narrative joins with charming illustrations by Alison Friend in a classic, comforting tale about a lost creature that cat lovers (and story hounds) will cozy up to.

A lonely cat, a rainy night, and an empty dinghy launch a heartwarming, seafaring tale about finding home in unlikely places.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Michael Morpurgo
Illustrations by Emma Chichester Clark

In the town of Hamelin, the rich folk live high off the hog, while the poor and sick must scavenge in the trash that’s left behind. And that trash keeps building up and up until a horde of rats overruns the town. In this lively retelling, a spunky street kid narrates the age-old tale of a piper who offers to rid a town of its rats for a single gold coin, then lures away the town’s children when the greedy mayor reneges on the deal. With a nod to contemporary social and environmental themes, former British Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo and illustrator Emma Chichester Clark team up to charm readers with a compelling--and ultimately hopeful--new take on a timeless story.

The Django by Levi Pinfold

Celebrating the centenary of Django Reinhardt's birth
In this fictional story inspired by the famous jazz musician Jean "Django" Reinhardt, a young boy named Jean meets a special character called the Django. He’s fun and exciting, but he always gets Jean into trouble. Eventually the Django has to be sent away, and Jean misses him very much, until he discovers that he can still feel close to the Django every time he picks up his banjo. This picture book debut by an exciting new talent includes a page of factual information about the real Django Reinhardt.

Jean longs to play the banjo, but the Django keeps on messing things up! So Jean sends the Django away, but wonders if he has lost his most precious inspiration.

How Do You Wokka Wokka? by Elizabeth Bluemle
Illustrations by Randy Cecil

Some days you wake up and you just gotta wokka. Wokka what? Wokka-wokka! It’s about movement. It’s about dance. It’s about shimmy-shakin’, be-boppin’, and more! It’s about gathering friends and joining the party. The creative team behind MY FATHER THE DOG returns with a call-and-response for preschoolers, an exuberant invitation to be part of the fun -- and show your stuff!

Say "HEY!" to your neighbors and get your dance on!

The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen

When a circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine, the poor animals are left on their own to swim the chilly waters. Staggering onto a nearby island, they soon win over the wary townspeople with their kind, courageous ways. So well do the critters blend in that when the greedy circus owner returns to claim them, villagers of all species conspire to outsmart the bloated blowhard. With buoyant rhymes and brilliantly caricatured illustrations evoking the early nineteenth century, Chris Van Dusen presents a hugely entertaining tale about the bonds of community -- and a rare hidden-pictures spread for eagle-eyed readers of all ages.

Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet
Co-Author Elspeth Graham
Illustrations by Juan Wijngaard

(A Junior Library Guild Selection)

Tashi lives in a tiny village at the foot of the mountains, below the tea plantations where her mother works. When her mother falls ill, Tashi goes alone to the plantation, hoping to earn money for the doctor. But she is far too small to harvest the tender shoots, and her clumsy efforts anger the cruel Overseer. She is desolate, until -- chack-chack-chack! -- something extraordinary happens. Inspired by a centuries-old legend of tea-picking monkeys, here is a richly told tale full of vivid characters: the heartless Overseer, the enigmatic Royal Tea Taster, and -- far away -- an empress with a penchant for tea.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Illustrations by Anita Jeram

"Guess how much I love you," says Little Nutbrown Hare. Little Nutbrown Hare shows his daddy how much he loves him: as wide as he can reach and as far as he can hop. But Big Nutbrown Hare, who can reach farther and hop higher, loves him back just as much. Well then Little Nutbrown Hare loves him right up to the moon, but that's just halfway to Big Nutbrown Hare's love for him.

Written by Kate DiCamillo
Illustrations by Chris Van Dusen

Some may find it wonky to take a pig to the movies. But not Mr. and Mrs. Watson, who think the title of the film, WHEN PIGS FLY, is inspirational. And not their beloved Mercy, who is inspired by the fact that the drive-in proudly serves real butter on its Bottomless Bucket of popcorn. So when they pull up in their convertible, Mercy lifts her snout and becomes a pig on a mission -- for what is more heavenly than being hot on the trail of a true butter smell? Masterful slapstick director Kate DiCamillo sends Mercy on a delirious chase, followed by a trail of hapless rescuers whom fans will recognize from prior episodes. And Chris Van Dusen’s comic retro illustrations perfectly capture a nostalgic pastime -- along with the newest antics of a charmingly single-minded pig.

The porcine wonder is off to the drive-in -- and driven to follow that buttery smell -- in a comic crescendo that reunites a familiar cast of characters.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. And what happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

(Also pictured The Tale of Despereaux: A Hero's Quest.)

I'll be sharing more Candlewick Press books in a future blog post. There are lots of fun ones coming out this fall. Click here to download their latest catalogue.

Note: Blogger is acting up, so I was not able to do my usual links for author and illustrator websites.

Have a great weekend!

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