Tag Archive for Anokaberry

Butterfly . . . Passing Through

Julie Fortenberry of Children’s Illustration (although I’m confused, I thought it was “Picture Book Illustration” and typed it that way on my blogroll — help!) was kind enough to pass along to me the Butterfly Award. Thanks, Julie. Boy, this thing’s heavy!

Unfortunately, one cannot keep a butterfly captive. Otherwise, they get angry and attack. No, butterflies must be free, free! So I’m thrilled to send it off, fluttering unsteadily (we popped a cork or two in celebration), over to two of my friends:

First, to Nan Hoekstra, who usually hangs out at Anokaberry Annotated. Nan is a special person to me, and she’s come to represent in my mind all that is good and great about the kidlitosphere. Nan works as a Youth Services Librarian in the middle of the wild tundra, as far as I can tell. And she loves books. Loves them passionately, loves them with all her heart. So she started a little blog back in February of 2008. Nothing fancy, just some lady talking about books if anybody cares to listen.

This year, Nan made some changes with Anokaberry, turning it into Anokaberry Annotated. She promises to inject more of herself into it, and so far, so good. Nan was pretty much the first reader here at Jamespreller. She’s been very kind to me. We root for each other across the vast frozen distance. Check her out. Nan’s got soul.

The second Butterfly goes to author Julie Halpern, who has been slogging away in the hot, sweaty Blog Pits for three years now. I read Julie’s novel, Get Well Soon, and immediately fell in love with her voice.

Julie is married to my cyberworld brother, the gifted but challenging Matthew Cordell (Mighty Casey); so, yes, it’s awkward. What I love about Julie is that she’s a pop culture maniac, that she loves Paul Feig and Milk Duds and Lynda Barry and the Ramones, and that she’s a librarian and a brand new mom. Julie hasn’t been blogging as regularly lately — that new baby thing, causing upheaval — but hopefully this will goad Julie back into making an appearance. I miss her voice.

One of these days Matthew and Julie and Romy and I are all going to find ourselves in one place — it will probably be a diner, I’m guessing — and what a great day that will be. In the meantime, check out Julie’s Blog of Wonder. She’s something else. A bona fide Righteous Babe, and a hell of a writer, too.

Good Company

A while back I heard from a librarian named Nan Hoekstra, who liked my book, Six Innings. She told me about her blog, anokaberry, where she writes about her favorite children’s books. I recently found the time to check it out, and I liked it so much I added the link to my Mighty Blogroll (see sidebar).

Earlier this month, Nan ran a “Short List” of contenders for the 2009 Anokaberry Award — her own version of the Newberry — and I was shocked and thrilled to see my book in such great company. I’ve pasted the list here to: 1) Share it with you, since it’s a handy reference for great new books; and 2) To show off!

Check it out (personally, I’m excited about that biography about Harper Lee, who wrote one of my favorite books ever, To Kill a Mockingbird):

Beanball by Gene Fehler
Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Chicken Foot Farm by Anne Estevis
Cicada Summer by Andrea Beaty
Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone
The Dragon’s Child by Laurence Yep
Facttracker by Jason Carter Eaton
Ghost Letters by Stephen Alter
Go Big or Go Home by Will Hobbs
Greetings from Nowhere by Barbara O’Connor
Grow by Juanita Havill
Honeybee: Poems and Short Prose by Naomi Shibab Nye
I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields
Jeremy Cabbage and the Living Museum of Human Oddballs and Quadruped Delights
by David Elliott
Kaline Klattermaster’s Tree House by Haven Kimmel
Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park
Lulu Atlantis and the Quest for True Blue Love by Patricia Martin
Magic Half by Annie Barrows
Mr. Karp’s Last Glass
by Cary Fagan
Penderwick’s on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
Porcupine by Meg Tilly
The Red-Headed Princess: A Novel by Ann Rinaldi
Rex Zero, King of Nothing by Tim Wynne-Jones
Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial by Jen Bryant
Seer of Shadows by Avi
Six Innings by James Preller
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
When the Sergeant Came Marching Home by Don Lemna
Where the Steps Where by Andrea Cheng
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry