January Carnival of Children’s Literature

Welcome to the January Carnival of Children’s Literature! The Carnival of Children’s Literature is a monthly collection of posts about children’s books submitted by book bloggers. I am happy to be this month’s host.

January is an exciting month in the world of children’s literature, with lots of material for children’s book bloggers.

Here in the United States, the American Library Association (ALA) just announced the winners of the 2012 Caldecott, Newberry, and other ALSC youth media awards. Children’s book bloggers wrote lots of fun posts in the lead up to the big reveal of the ALSC award winners (E.g. this pre-award show post by Betsy Bird at Fuse #8). Children’s book bloggers also determined the winners of the mock Caldecott and mock Newberry awards (Me…Jane by Patrick McDonell and Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming) before the ALA determined the winners of the genuine Caldecott and genuine Newberry awards.

Now that the 2012 Caldecott and Newberry medals have been handed out, those award junkies among us will have to turn our attention to the UK’s Kate Greenaway Medal and the international Hans Christian Andersen Award — both of which will be awarded in March.

January is also a month for perusing year-end wrap up posts and posts highlighting the best children’s books of 2011. My very favorite year-end wrap up post is this one by Jules at Seven Impossible Things to Do Before Breakfast, a great blog for picture book illustration fans. In addition, two great best of 2011 booklists can be found here (@ The Atlantic) and here (@ Kirkus Reviews).

Finally, January has been a great month for children’s book bloggers to keep doing what they do best — reading and reviewing children’s books and interviewing authors. Take a look at this roundup of some of the best book reviews, author interviews, and other bookish posts posted this past month!

Book Projects

Join the 2012 Reading the World Challenge (PaperTigers). PaperTigers is hosting a terrific reading challenge! To participate, choose six books about or from countries around the world and one book about or from the place where you live. PaperTigers’ website has more information about the challenge as well as links to numerous multicultural reading lists.

60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books (Delightful Children’s Books). Please, join me in reading through this list of 60 not-to-be-missed picture books. We are reading five fantastic picture books each month during 2012.


Introducing the Read & Romp Roundup! (Picture Books & Pirouettes). Kerry at Picture Books & Pirouettes is starting a monthly blog hop called the “Read & Romp Roundup” to highlight blog posts about picture books or children’s poetry and dance, yoga, or other forms of movement. If you blog about these topics, please consider submitting a post. Submissions for January are open until January 31.

Fiction – Picture Book Reviews

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka (Great Kid Books). An excellent review of this year’s Caldecott medal winner A Ball for Daisy, a wordless picture book about a dog and her ball. Ages 3+


The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss (The Cath in the Hat). A collection of recently discovered stories written by Dr. Seuss. While The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories are on others’ best of 2011 lists, Catherine of The Cath in the Hat is more critical (in a good, thoughtful way). Ages 6+

I Want My Light On! by Tony Ross (Children’s Books to Love). An entertaining story about being afraid of the dark. Ages 3+


Meow Said the Cow by Emma Dodd (NC Teacher Stuff). A fun trickster tale on the farm. Young readers will enjoy reading along. Ages 4+


Three New Picture Books from Kids Can Press (Jean Little Library). Jennifer reviews three fun new picture books from Kids Can Press. I especially want to read My Name Is Elizabeth!, the story of a determined girl named Elizabeth who does not want to be called Lizzy, Beth or Betsy. Ages 3+

Happy Birthday Dianne de Las Casas (Happy Birthday Author). Eric’s family celebrated author Dianne de Las Casas’ birthday by reading her new book, Dinosaur Mardi Gras, and making a dinosaur doubloons memory game. Ages 5+


Sora and the Cloud by Felicia Hoshino (Perogies & Gyoza). A bilingual (English and Japanese) picture book about a boy’s dream of soaring on a cloud. Medea of Perogies & Gyoza provides an enthusiastic review highlighting the book’s retro illustrations and excellent translation. Ages 3+

Double Trouble in Walla Walla by Andrew Clements (Read Aloud Dad). “A fabulous tongue-in-cheek game with rhyming ‘silly’ words that are used in day-to-day conversation.” Ages 5+


Booklist: Redirecting and Promoting Good Behavior (Growing Book by Book). A list of picture books to encourage good behavior, including books about bullying, self-esteem, and being a good friend. Ages 4+


From Head to Toe by Eric Carle (Early Play). Lesley at Early Play describes how kids responded to Eric Carle’s From Head to ToeAges 1+



Blackout by John Rocco (The Castle Library…). John Rocco nabbed a Caldecott honor this past week for Blackout. Before writing this book, Rocco interviewed people who had experienced blackouts, and their stories inspired this book. Ages 4+

Mr Archimedes’ Bath by Pamela Allen (Australian Picture Books). “When Mr Archimedes takes a bath the water always overflows, and Mr Archimedes is determined to find out why.” Ages 5+


The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (Kid Book Ratings). Erik advocates burying every copy of The Rainbow Fish under Davy Jones’ locker. Ages 3+


Fiction – Chapter Book Reviews

Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri and Jesse Joshua Watson (Shelf-employed). A story about the love of horses and the ability of poor people to care for them that packs a powerful emotional punch. In addition to a review of Ghetto Cowboy, Lisa shares two fascinating videos of the real urban cowboys in Philadelphia that this novel is based on. Ages 10+

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith (Jen Robinson’s Book Page). A realistic young adult romance novel, with likeable characters, witty dialog, and a picture-perfect ending. Ages 12+



Nowhere Girl by A. J. Paquette (Read, Write, Repeat). A guest reviewer, 12-year-old Rebekah, reviews this middle grade novel, that is, according to Publishers Weekly, a “memorable thriller about identity and belonging.” Ages 10+


Bake Sale by Sara Varon (Jama’s Alphabet Soup). A graphic novel, with off-beat humor and a story of friendship among anthropomorphic food. Ages 8+



Booklist: The Iron Guy’s Top 5 for 2011 (Boys Rule Boys Read!). The Iron Guy’s top five books read in 2011, all selected to appeal to boys.



The Last Synapsid by Timothy Mason (Children’s Books and Reviews). A middle-grade novel about dinosaurs, time travel, eco-responsibility and Shakespeare. Ages 9+



Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse by Ursula Moray Williams (‘The Little Wooden Horse’: Adventures on my kids’ bookshelf). Brand new children’s book blogger Polly wrote this review of Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse about the book that her blog is named after. Ages 6+


May B.: A Novel by Caroline Starr Rose (Rasco From RIF). A historical novel set on a prairie homestead about a girl who is abandoned and struggles to survive. Ages 9+


Nonfiction Book Reviews

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal (Brimful Curiosities). I was looking forward to reading this book about animals in the winter before reading Janelle’s excellent review, but now truly truly I must get ahold of this book. In addition to a book review, Janelle shares a tape resist birch tree art project. Ages 2+


Thunder Birds: Nature’s Flying Predators by Jim Arnosky (Hope Is the Word). Amy at Hope Is the Word highly recommends Jim Arnosky’s newest book about birds of prey. Ages 6+


Unraveling Freedom: The Battle for Democracy on the Home Front During World War I by Ann Bausum (Wrapped in Foil). Unraveling Freedom not only summarizes domestic events during World War I, but also shows how the events parallel those from 9/11. Ages 10+

Forces and Motion at Work by Shirley Duke (Simply Science Blog). Author/blogger Shirley Dukes describes her latest book. Ages 8+


Author/Illustrator Interviews

Author/Illustrator Interview: Joyce Wan (Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind). Tarie of Asia in the Heart shares a wonderful interview with Joyce Wan, creator of Chinese pop art-inspired board books. Tarie’s interview includes a tour of Wan’s studio and discussion of Wan’s creative process.

Interview Wednesday Roundup (Teaching Authors). This Interview Wednesday roundup includes links to interviews with a variety of authors and illustrators, including Barney Saltzberg, Lenore Look, Thanhha Lai, and others.


Novels in Verse and Poetry Books for Children (Gathering Books). This round-up includes links to novels in verse and poetry books reviewed by Gathering Books during January.

This Pig’s Got the Blues (No Water River). Author/blogger Renee LaTulippe shares a poem she has written based on an illustration by her brother Dave LaTulippe.

Other Bookish Posts

Hand-Selling Books to Kids (The Book Chook). Susan discusses “hand-selling,” telling a child what will appeal to them about a book. Do you hand-sell books to children?

Book Trailers (yellowbrickreads). Maeve discusses the rise of book trailers and whether they are an effective means of promoting books. Are you a fan or foe of book trailers?

A Worldwide List of Reading & Literacy Charities (Playing by the Book). A list of over 125 literacy/reading charities. Holy cow! This is an extensive list.

Retellings Beautiful and Beastly (Book Aunt). A history of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast.”

Follow the Yellow Brick Road (Fantastic Reads). Ali B. reviews young adult novel Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, film True Grit, and musical Wicked.

New Children’s Literacy Workshop for Writers (Booktalking). Anastasia announces her newest email course for writers who want to write easy-to-read books.

The Book Pitch (Adventures in Writing & Publishing). Lisa shares tips for writers about how to write a good book pitch.

The Hounds of Baskerville and Saucers Over the Moore (Liberal England). Jonathan shares: “a little bit of fun showing a parallel between the BBC Sherlock series and one of Malcolm Saville’s Lone Pine adventures from the 1950s.”

An Intimate Examination of Sock Fluff (Turning the Pages). Author Kathy Stinson shares her keynote address from the CANSCAIP Packaging Your Imagination conference.

That concludes this edition of the Carnival of Children’s Literature. Next month’s carnival will be hosted by Margo at The Fourth Musketeer. Click here to submit a post.

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25 Responses to January Carnival of Children’s Literature

  1. jackie says:

    Thanks for this round-up!

  2. No sure if my comment went through, so I’m going to try again–the round-up looks terrific. Thanks so much for putting it together.

  3. Thank you for a terrific round-up, Amy. So much to read, so little time. :-)

  4. Amy says:

    Thank you, all! I enjoyed reading your book reviews and discovering several new blogs as I was putting this together.

  5. I love your layout – the images really draw me to each post! Thanks so much for all your time and effort!

  6. What a fabulous roundup and what a great month for children’s literature! Looking forward to making my way through the list of posts. Thanks for hosting!

  7. PragmaticMom says:

    Great round up of links and awards! Thanks! It was fun to peruse!

  8. Thanks for hosting a great carnival. It’s a lot of work, but much appreciated. Lisa

  9. Jeff Barger says:

    The carnival looks great! Thank you for hosting.

  10. Zoe says:

    Hi Amy, thanks so much for hosting – I love it when book covers are included and know that it creates extra work so thanks for that!

  11. Beautiful job formatting this month’s carnival. Thanks so much for hosting!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for hosting Amy. Really enjoying reading all the great posts. Great job!

  13. Roberta says:

    Beautiful use of images, space and color. Takes a lot of time, I know. Thanks for hosting.

  14. Thank you for hosting and featuring my post! Looking forward to checking out some new blogs, too.

  15. asuen says:

    Thanks for hosting this month, Amy! The carnival looks gorgeous!

  16. Wow! Your Carnival looks amazing! Nice! Thank you for including me.

  17. Thanks for hosting, Amy, and special thanks for that wonderful top image of your young reader delighting in a picture book!

  18. jama says:

    What a beautiful roundup! Thanks so much for hosting this month :).

  19. Polly Faber says:

    What a beautiful thing this is! Completely failing to eat my breakfast. Thank you.

  20. Hi Amy! Such a great round-up! Thanks for being such a terrific host. :)

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