Sunday, September 30, 2012

Storytime: ABCs

Here's my storytime plan from our ABC toddler storytime:

-Opening Song (Finger Poppin by Georgiana Stewart)

-Early Literacy Skill: Play With Letters (playing with letters and shapes help children recognize letters and will help them with reading!)

-Read: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert

We have some amazing felt board pieces that go along with this book-a tree and A, B, and C. We have enough for every child in storytime to have their own flannel board and they make the letters climb the tree as I read

Also, since this is a pretty long book, I just read the lowercase letter part of the book for toddlers and then read the entire thing when I did for preschool storytime.

Song: These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner (I sing this every week-yay for repetition with toddlers!)

"These are my glasses"-(make circles with your hands around eyes)
"And here is my book"-(make hands into closed book in front of you)
"I put on my glasses"-(lift circles with your hands around eyes)
"And open up my book"-(open palms into a book)
"And I read, read, read, and I look, look, look"
"Then I take off my glasses"-(move circles with your hands down from eyes)
"And whoops, close up the book!" (close palms into book in front of you)

Read: Apple Pie A B C by Alison Murray

 I love the illustrations in this one. I was going to just show the pictures and read the letters only, but my group was willing to read another long book, so I read the entire thing. I talked about how the dog really wanted to eat the pie, do dogs eat pie (no it's for people!). I also really love the vocabulary in this book-words like miserable and pine-so much fun!

Song: ABC's of course!

Activity Stations: 
-Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Flannels
-Foam Letters-we have giant foam letters that are great for toddlers and they fit perfectly into the Play with Letters skill
-Hunt for Letters-We have some felt letters that I put into a kiddie pool and covered with strips of fabric from our craft closet. The kids had to hunt for the letters inside.
-Letter Puzzles

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It

Read: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Closing Song: Skinamarink

I liked the ABC storytime, but next time I'm going to focus on one letter only-the entire alphabet is just too long and too much! Other than that it was lots of fun!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Update to the Gossipy Historical Trend

I got this book in my mailbox this week:

Looks like the perfect addition to the Gossipy Historical Trend, don't you think?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hannah Harrington Author Interview and Speechless Giveaway

I recently had the chance to be part of a conference call with author Hannah Harrington, author of the novel Speechless. Check out my part of the interview as well as enter to win a copy of Speechless and a Phone Skin thanks to Harlequin Teen and Big Honcho Media.
About the Book:
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret. Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast – and nearly got someone killed. Chelsea has taken a vow of silence – to learn to keep her mouth shut and to stop hurting anyone else.

Speechless explores the real-life teen issues of bullying, mean girls, LGBT awareness and hate crimes. Compared to the many books already out about bullies, Harrington’s novel stands out for its authentic voice and unflinching portrayal of what it means to be part of the bullying. In October 2012, Harlequin TEEN will be releasing a brand new survey that has interviewed 1,500 girls between 13-18 years old on the subject of bullying.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: I have noticed that there's been a big boom in contemporary fiction in young adult, which I think is awesome. So, I just wanted to ask you, since your books are contemporary, why do you think is contemporary is important in young adult literature?
Hannah Harrington: I never had a question about what I wanted to write. I've always loved contemporary YA. I grew up reading Sarah Dessen and whoever wrote the Sloppy First series. I'm forgetting her name.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: McCafferty.

Hannah Harrington: That’s always spoken to me personally. I understand the appeal of urban fantasy and those genres, but I think the thing about contemporary is that it can connect to readers. There are such interesting stories to tell in the real world and I feel very comfortable writing those kind of stories, and I think they can be really important and really compelling.

I always get really excited when I hear about a contemporary YA book doing really well because it seems like it sometimes gets a little overshadowed in the wake of books like Twilight. And not that those genres aren't great, because they are, but I've always had a special place in my heart for contemporary. And I think there are a lot of readers who just can really relate to those stories.
GreenBeanTeenQueen: (Since Hannah's publicist was also part of the call, I had to ask about the cover for Speecheless as well.) I just loved the cover of Speechless because I think it really stands out among all the sea of other books just because it is so different and stark, and I think it really fits the book, too. What was kind of the process of deciding to make the cover the way it is?

Hannah Harrington: I am absolutely in love with the cover. It was definitely pitched to me from the start that they had this idea that they wanted the white cover with just the title. And they're the art designers, they know what they're doing.

I was so impressed and in love with what ended up being the final design, I couldn’t really be happier with it. I think it's really eye popping. I'm not a graphic designer or the expert on how it works, but all I know is that it looks really pretty.

But, Lisa probably knows more about the specifics of how they came to that if she wants to talk about that.

Lisa Wray: Yes. Just before the call, Hannah and I were chatting about the cover and how it was an interesting choice that we went with to just keep it really minimalist and let the word Speechless really speak for itself and have no words on the front cover, just the title. And the final book is just gorgeous. It has a pearl overlay on the actual front and back cover, and then we just have Speechless on the front.

And on the back, we have one of our favorite quotes from the book, which just says, "Saying she's sorry isn't enough," which of course is about Chelsea Knot and her quest to get forgiveness from some friends that she hurt.

Harlequin Teen and Love is Louder have partnered for the release of Speechless and be sure to check out all the details on the Love is Louder website.
Want to win a copy of Speechless?
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Speechless as well as a branded phone skin (pictured above).
-One entry per person
-Ages 13+
-US and Canada Shipping Address Only please
-Contest ends Saturday September 29

Monday, September 17, 2012

Trends in YA: Plane Crashes

As I read a lot this year, I've been posting about the various trends I've seen popping up in YA. Check out the previous trends: Italy is Awesome, Glass Blowing, One Crazy Night, Game of Thrones for Teens, and Gossipy Historical ala Downton Abbey.

I think that because of the rise in dystopian lit, we're also seeing a rise in survival stories. And one of the survival storylines that is making it's way into YA lit is stories based on plane crashes. This isn't new-Hatchet is a plane crash survival story that was first published in 1987. In fact, the first book in this trend has even been compared to Hatchet:

-I've seen the tagline Hatchet meets Lost for this one. A girl is on her way home, and she's actually planning on killing herself, when the plane she's on crashes and she and boy are the only survivors.
Robie decides to unexpectedly  take a cargo plane back home to the Midway Atoll after staying with her aunt. No one knows she's coming back early, so when a storm hits and the plane crashes, Robie finds herself in a raft, trying to survive and knows that no one will know where to look for her.
-This one is about the aftermath of a plane crash where Megan was the only survivor. She's struggling with the memories of the crash and how everyone is treating her like some sort of miracle for surviving.
-This one is out next year and is another aftermath of a plane crash book. After a plane crash, a girl is found among the wreckage, alive and with injuries or memories of the crash.
What do you think of this trend? Do you like survival books? Have you seen any other plane crash books this year?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Storytime: Colors 2

I've posted about a colors storytime before (it's one of my favorite themes!) but I mixed it up this past week for the start of our Fall storytimes. So here's my Colors 2 storytime plan for toddlers:

Opening Song (we use Finger Poppin' by Georgiana Stewart.)

Literacy Skill: Talk and Read (parental aside: the more you talk to your child, the more vocabulary they will learn! Today we'll be talking about colors and it's easy to point out all the colors you see around you every day)

Read: Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh (This one can be a bit long, so feel free to skip around or adapt to your group. I'll admit, I love using this one because it has one of my favorite crafts that goes with it!)

Song: These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner

"These are my glasses"-(make circles with your hands around eyes)
"And here is my book"-(make hands into closed book in front of you)
"I put on my glasses"-(lift circles with your hands around eyes)
"And open up my book"-(open palms into a book)
"And I read, read, read, and I look, look, look"
"Then I take off my glasses"-(move circles with your hands down from eyes)
"And whoops, close up the book!" (close palms into book in front of you)

Read: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr. (I sing this one to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

Song: Five Green and Speckled Frogs (traditional) (We use a frog puppet/prop but you don't have to have it)

"Five Green and Speckled Frogs
Sat on a Speckled Log
Eating some most delicious bugs (yum yum)
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Now there were four green and  speckled frogs (ribbit ribbit)" (repeat counting down to one)

Read: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin (If you don't know this book, go get it right now!! It's my favorite color book and I will find any excuse I can to use it in storytime!)

Stations: (We used activities and stations for this storytime)
-Mouse Paint painting. Remember my favorite activity I mentioned earlier? Take white paper and have the kids stamp or color onto it-but make sure to leave some white for the cat! (If you're feeling really brave, use paint, but I used stamps and fingerprints)

-Color Sorting Blocks 

-Color Sorting Bags 
                  (both of these stations are great for building vocabulary!)

-I Spy Board (since we're working on concepts for the month of September, we made a I Spy board with colors, shapes, letters and numbers and we'll put it up each week and have kids locate whatever concept we're working on that week)

-Freight Train Blocks and Book (for our Love Books skill!)-One of my staff made giant train pieces to look like the train cars in Freight Train, so we attached them to boxes and voila! instant train blocks!

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It (traditional)-The version I use has clap your hands, swing your arms and slap your knees.

Read: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle-my storytime ending book that I repeat every week! (or as someone called it this week-the storytime is over book)

Closing Song: Skinamarink

I could have added so many other books and songs because there is so much out there for colors-it's one of my favorite storytimes to do! No matter how often you repeat it, there is always something new.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Picture Book Saturday

Here are some recent favorites I've discovered at the library!

Oh No, Little Dragon! by Jim Averbeck
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Poor dragon was roaring and firing his flame until-oops!-he swallowed some water and now his flame is out! How can he get it back?

The illustrations are adorable. I mean, don't you just want to adopt that cute little dragon on the cover and give him a big hug?? The text is simple, the story is fun, and the illustrations are just too cute making this a perfect read aloud and great for storytimes. I also really appreciated that it had a bit of a sappy storyline (Mama Dragon helps Little Dragon get his fire back) but it never veers into annoyingly sappy territory.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Zoe is trying to get ready for the day, but what clothes will she need?

Oh Zoe, I understand your dilemma so well. I hate trying to choose outfits and pick out clothes. (I'll admit that I will lay in bed trying to figure out what to wear for the day!) And when you don't know what kind  of adventure you're going to have that day, how do you pick the right outfit? Anyone who has  had the task of getting a preschooler ready for the day can relate to Zoe.  Her reasoning for her various outfit choices (what if it's a twirling day? Or what if it's a hiding day?) will resonate with preschoolers. The illustrations are bright and colorful and I'll admit, I wouldn't mind having Zoe's wardrobe! The ending will leave parents laughing making this a great lapsit  read.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pushing the Limits Giveaway

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry has become one of the biggest contemporary romance buzz books and thanks to Harlequin Teen I have a chance for you to win a copy!

And follow Katie on Twitter

Check out the trailer:

You want to  read it now, don't you? :) Fill out the form below to enter.
-One entry per person.
-US or Canada Address Only
-13+ only
-Contest ends Sunday September 16 at midnight

Monday, September 10, 2012

Annotating Origin Blog Tour

Have you guys heard all the buzz about Jessica Khoury's debut Origin? It's part of Penguin's Breathless Reads 2012 and USA Today reviewed it on Sunday saying it was better than The Hunger Games so be sure to add this one to your TBR piles!

As part of her book release, Jessica Khoury is annotating and sharing her thoughts on passages in Origin and I am thrilled to be hosting Jessica here at GreenBeanTeenQueen. Here's today's passage and Jessica's thoughts.

Origin excerpt:
Alai is the two-hundred pound jaguar that Uncle Paolo gave me for my ninth birthday, when Alai was just a cub. He hates everyone in Little Cam except me, Uncle Antonio, and the cook, Jacques, who brings Alai cookies every morning. Alai is mad about cookies.
The alarms blare in two short bursts. Behind me, the monkeys start screaming in response. They like to think they run the menagerie, but I won’t have any of it.
“Come on, Alai!” I say, heading for the door. The menagerie is a long, low cement building with dirt floors and wide picture windows in every cage. Most of the animals are there for experimentation – which means we have several immortal residents – but Alai is not allowed to be used for any tests. He is completely mine. (Origin, page 17)

Thoughts from Jessica:
Okay, no lie, after writing Origin, I came close to buying an ocelot. You can actually have them as pets in some states! But the truth is, wild animals will always be wild animals. You can never truly tame them. There are stories of people who have chimps or big cats or wolves as pets, and for years the animals will be as loyal—or at least tolerant—as can be. Then they’ll unexpectedly turn on you. You can never truly trust a wild animal, even if they were born in captivity. They have the same instincts as their free-ranging ancestors, and no amount of love, treats, or training can take those away. So it’s better for us and for the animals if we recognize and respect that. However, that doesn’t stop me from wishing I had a pet jaguar like Alai! But I think I’ll stick with domestic animals for now. I have two dogs and three parakeets, and they keep me quite busy!
I agree-an ocelot would be pretty cool to have, but I'll leave the exotic pets to fiction and stick with my dogs! Congrats on the debut Jessica!!
Be sure to follow the rest of the tour:
Monday 8.27 - The Book Smugglers -
Tuesday 8.28 - Pure Imagination -
Wednesday 8.29 - Steph Su Reads -
Thursday 8.30 - Mundie Moms -
Friday 8.31 - Forever YA -

Monday 9.3 - Novel Thoughts -
Tuesday 9.4 - Page Turners -
Wednesday 9.5 - Frenetic Readers -
Thursday 9.6 - Bookshelf Banter -
Friday 9.7 - The Story Siren -

Monday 9.10 - Green Bean Teen Queen -
Tuesday 9.11 - The Book Muncher -
Wednesday 9.12 - The Book Cellar -
Thursday 9.13 - Book Chic -
Friday 9.14 - The Compulsive Reader -

And connect with Jessica and share your congrats on her debut novel, Origin.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

YA Movie News

I know I haven't posted YA movie news in a long time (it's been over a month and before that it was many months!) But I'm going to try and get back to posting. For now, I'm posting the things I'm most excited about   that I haven't posted about yet:

-Disney is making a movie adapted from Ally Condie's novel, Matched and Twilight: Eclipse director David Slade is set to direct. Thanks to Cynopsis Kids! for the news.

-Nina LaCour is turning Hold Still into a move. The funds were raised on Kickstarter which I think is awesome!

-Elle Fanning has been cast in the movie adaptation of Olive's Ocean, based on the book by Kevin Henkes. (Thanks to Shelf-Awareness for the news)

-The Great Gatsby movie is moving from a Holiday Season release to Summer 2013. I don't care when it comes out, I will be there.

-Modern day twists on classics seem to be very popular right now. We have BBC's Sherlock, the upcoming CBS Elementary, and now Fox is working on an updated version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (according to Cynopsis News). 

-And speaking of classics, Cynopsis News also reports that Jonathan Rhys Meyers will "headline a new 10-episode drama, Dracula, approved by NBC.

-And OK, this isn't really YA related, but anyone else think this updated version of The Brady Brunch?

-According to Cynopsis News, Lifetime ordered a pilot for The Witches of East End, based on Melissa Marr's adult novel. Exciting, but anyone still want a Wicked Lovely move?? 

-Beautiful Creatures and The Mortal Instruments are in the midst of production and I can't wait to see both of these films in production. I'll try to update more about these films as YA Movie News continues, but there is just too much to catch up on right now!'

And for some trailers!! First up, the Season Three Preview for Downton Abbey!! (insert lots of happy dancing and squeeing!!)

And second, the trailer for Oz the Great and Powerful which I will admit looks like a prequel that actually looks good!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How's All That Reading Going? A Printz Committee Update

I've been hearing that question so much lately! It's September and that means the Fall Publishing Season is upon us. Which means my mailbox is starting to look like this:

(sorry it's so fuzzy!)
Ahh...the life of being on an award committee.

OK-first off. I want to remind everyone that suggestions are not limited to committee members and that ANYONE can make a suggestion (authors and publishers can't suggest their own books of course). Have you read a book that you think should be considered by the Printz Committee? Suggest it! Don't assume we've read it and it's in our pile. I think it's better to have multiple suggestions of a title than none at all. You can suggest a title for Printz on this handy form from YALSA. (And you suggest for other committees too-Fabulous Films for Young AdultsBest Fiction for Young AdultsThe Morris Award. Pretty cool, huh?)

Now, up to this point, the mail hasn't looked like that every day. There have been a couple of crazy everything comes in at once days, but things have been coming more at a steady pace, which is good for my reading sanity.

I thought I had enough bookshelves to hold all the books, but I'm finding out that's not the case. I still have room, but my organization system (read, to be read, needs comments, nominations) is running out of room so I may have to readjust yet again. Not to mention I have piles of ARCs on the floor and boxes all over my house.

Now I don't want you to think that being on the Printz committee (or any award committee) is just a fun way to get books and then look at them lovingly as they fill up your house. It's a TON of work. I knew this going in, but I don't think hearing how much work it is from people really prepares you until you're in the midst of it all. I've been trying to balance my full time job and trying to have a social life on top of my reading. But the reading takes over. Every free time I get, I'm reading. I always have a book in my hand and I'm constantly trying to multitask my reading. (Which OK, admittedly isn't that different from my regular reading life, but I'm just doing it more.) I even told Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan that the upcoming social events we have for the rest of the year are all I can do-the rest of the time I have to be reading!

So all that to say, the reading is going well but it's starting to feel overwhelming again. After Annual there was a bit of a break which gave me a chance to catch up on things I wanted to go back and read that I didn't get a chance to before our meeting. But then came Fall, which is a very heavy publishing season, and the books are piling up all over and a deadline is looming. I'm reading and taking notes. Then I'll be re-reading and taking more notes. And marking up books. And sticking post-its on passages or things I want to remember. And then I'll read more books. And take more notes. And so on until Midwinter in January.

So that's my committee update. Wish me luck as it gets even crazier! And please forgive me if the blog doesn't get updated as often. I'm trying, but reading is taking over and I can't post reviews of any YA titles from this year, which means my topics to post about are a bit lean. 

I'm off to read now!!
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