Friday, February 25, 2011

Being Grandma in Taiwan- the Year of the Rabbit

I Just returned from 2 weeks in Taiwan where I met my grandson, Ethan for the the first time. He is 7 months old and already the smartest, cutest grand baby there ever was :-).

Some highlights of my trip included getting to feed Ethan, eating meals prepared by my daughter-in-law, Sandra and her mom. More eating at hot pot and Japanese barbeque restaurants. More eating at these joints where you catch and cook your own shrimp.

We also got the go to the lantern festival, the Taipei International Flower Show and the pottery museum.

Four Feet Two Sandals Nominated!


February 1, 2011
The California Young Reader Medal is proud to announce the NOMINEES for the 2011-2012 California Young Reader Medals. Printer-Friendly Version

August 1, 2010


The California Young Reader Medal program encourages recreational reading of popular literature among the young people of our state. Since its inception in 1974, millions of California children have nominated, read, and voted for the winners of the California Young Reader Medal.

Young people suggest the names of favorite books for nomination, or teachers and librarians note repeatedly read or requested titles, and these are submitted to the California Young Reader Medal Committee. Members of the committee read the suggested books, discuss their merits and appeal to children, and then decide upon a well-balanced list of nominees.

The CYRM logo was created by artist Kathleen Womble at the request of Becca Watchman, one of the founders of the California Young Reader Medals Both women were employed by the Lucia Mar Unified School District in Arroyo Grande, California.

2010-2011 Nominees

Printer-Friendly Version of 2010-2011 Nominees (.pdf)

The CYRM program is sponsored by four statewide organizations committed to books and reading:

California Association of Teachers of English (CATE)
California Library Association (CLA)
California Reading Association (CRA)
California School Library Association (CSLA)
A committee of representatives from each organization coordinates CYRM activities at the state level. The committee develops a promotional packet about the program and provides all the materials needed for participation. These materials include the ballots, nomination forms, and nominee lists.

Nomination and Voting
To be considered for nomination, a book must be an original work of fiction published within the last four years by a living author. Recommendations for nomination are due each year by April 1 for consideration as a nominee the following year. It is a two-year cycle from the time of nomination by students to the presentation of the California Young Reader Medal to the winning authors (and illustrators in the Primary and Picture Books for Older Readers categories).

Books are nominated for the medal in five categories:

Primary (Grades K - 3)
Intermediate (Grades 3 - 6)
Middle School/junior High (Grades 6 - 9)
Young Adult (Grades 9 - 12)
Picture Books for Older Readers (4th Grade and up)
Students may read and vote for books in any and all categories, but they must read all the books nominated in a category to be eligible to vote. Students read the nominated books from July through March and vote for their favorite. Teachers and librarians introduce the nominees to students, often in exciting and innovative ways. They provide ballots for the students, compile vote totals, and submit results to the CYRM committee.

All CYRM ballots must be postmarked by April 1 of each year.

Award Winners and Ceremonies
The authors (and illustrators in the Primary and Picture Books for Older Readers categories) of the winning books receive their California Young Reader Medal awards at special ceremonies held annually at the state conferences of each sponsoring organization. Local students are selected to present the CYRM bronze medals to the winners.

2010-2011 Ceremonies:

February 2011 (Young Adult)
November 12-15, 2010 - Sacramento (Primary)
November 15-16, 2010 - Riverside (Middle School and Picture Books for Older Readers)
November 12-15, 2010 - Sacramento (Intermediate)


Updated 1/31/11

Monday, February 14, 2011

More Good Things for Beach Tail and Sangoel!

It is an honor to have one of my books associated with Charlotte Zolotow. I grew up with her in my writing life. A Beach Tail has been selected as a Highly Commended this year.

The 2011 Zolotow Award committee also cited six titles as Highly
Commended: "A Beach Tail," written by Karen Lynn Williams and
illustrated by Floyd Cooper (Boyds Mills Press); "Chavela and the Magic
Bubble," written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Magaly Morales
(Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); "I Am a Backhoe," written
and illustrated by Anna Grossnickle Hines (Tricycle Press / Crown
Publishing Group / Random House Children’s Books); "Little Black Crow,"
written and illustrated by Chris Raschka (Atheneum / Simon & Schuster);
"My Garden," written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow /
HarperCollins); and "Willoughby & the Moon," written and illustrated by
Greg Foley (Balzer & Bray / HarperCollins).

Established in 1998, the Charlotte Zolotow Award honors the work of
Charlotte Zolotow, a distinguished children's book editor for 38 years
with Harper Junior Books, and author of more than 70 picture books,
including such classic works as "Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present,"
(Harper, 1962) and "William's Doll" (Harper, 1972). Ms. Zolotow attended
the University of Wisconsin in Madison on a writing scholarship from
1933 to 1936, where she studied with Professor Helen C. White. The award
is given annually for outstanding writing in a picture book for children
in the birth through seven age range published in the United States in
the preceding year.

Children's Africanan Book Awards
And My Name is Sangoel is listed in the Anansi collection of Picture books by CABA -Children's Africana Book Awards.

Sangoel is also featured in a poster of postcards of Noteworthy books for children about Africa.

To celebrate the 20th year of the Children’s Africana Book Awards we are making special efforts to promote our favorite books nominated over the years that didn’t win our top awards.

The CABA Recommends 2010 post card introduces a new category Noteworthy 2010. I am pleased to inform you that My Name is Sangoel is featured here. The post cards will be widely distributed at conferences, bookseller and outreach events leading up to the 3-day celebration of the 2011 award ceremony and author events in November at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, the Library of Congress Young Readers Center and the annual meeting of the African Studies Association.

Our Website and Newsletter are also promoting our backlist of great books on Africa in The Anansi Collection of Picture Books and The Sankofa Collection of Chapter Books. You’ll find My Name is Sangoel again listed in the Anansi Collection.

Africa Access is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) educational association. Since 1989 we have been working to expand American perspectives on Africa. Our primary goal is to improve the selection and use of accurate, balanced materials on Africa in schools, public libraries, and other institutions that serve children. Africa Access provides consulting services for K-12 educators and writers who are creating materials on Africa. We help writers locate African Studies scholars who can evaluate manuscripts and provide important feedback and suggestions. Requests for consulting services should be sent to

Harriet McGuire
Media Relations & Marketing
Africa Access / Children's Africana Book Awards
703.549-8208 / if busy call 703.298-9759

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beach Tail recognized again!

A Beach Tail has been selected for the 2011 Texas 2x2 list!

2011 Texas 2 x 2 Reading List 2x2translogo

Welcome! The 2X2 Committee‘s charge is to produce a list of 20 recommended books for children, age two to grade two. You can help with our statewide promotion of the reading list by introducing it in the following locations: • Public libraries • School libraries • Primary care facilities • Day care centers • Early childhood centers • Hospitals • Women, Infant and Children (WIC) sites • Health Department Clinics • Head Start locations.

The master list books, all recommended by one or more reviewing sources, should be evaluated in terms of each library’s selection policy. It is not mandatory that a school or public library purchase all titles listed.

Williams, Karen Lynn. A Beach Tail. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Boyds Mills Press.

ISBN-13: 978-1-59-078712-0. $17.95. Ages 4-8. When his father tells him not to leave the lion he is drawing on the beach, a little boy starts making a very, very long tail – and a trail to follow back.

AND if you want to see what Aidan who is 7 has to say about this adventure in a book check out:

And check it out! Gregory and his lion's tail go on TV in connecticut!

Going stir crazy in the snow? Find the perfect drawing stick and make your own animal in the snow or practice writing your name. Pretend you are at the beach! Bring a blanket. Have a snow picnic.

A beach tail is my most recent book(Although Beatrice's Dream will be out this month) So while you wait for Beatrice, check out my first book, Galimoto published in 1990. Still going strong in paper back. But if you want a hardcover copy signed by the author, I have five hundred copies sitting in my attic. I am hoping they do not fall through the ceiling!

See where Galimotos can take you! Watch this video. Not such a stretch from wire toys to giant animals made of PCV pipe that roam the beaches of Holland. What a Beach Tail this is! I love the possibilities and the connections! Watch this video, read Galimoto and see what you can build.

And that termite mound that Kondi visits when he is looking for wire? In When AFrica Was Home, Peter uses these giant structures like a gym set. See how clever those insects are.

Still stir crazy with snow? Build a termite mound out of snow. Climb up it. Slide down it. Live inside it. Think termite mound to igloo.

PS. Still winter crazy? Forget about that Ground hog and celebrate the year of the Rabbit! Happy Chinese New Year. Make a cupcake to celebrate. See what we had for dessert when a neighbor had a Chinese New year Party this week.

Try this or build a snow rabbit. OR draw one in the snow.

I am on my way to Taiwan where my grandson Ethan is celebrating the New Year now. Can't wait. I will read him all my books even though he is only 6 months old.