Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bridget Zinn LIVE Silent Auction at Portland's Lucky Lab TOMORROW!

The day is finally here, kids: Tomorrow, Friday, May 29, 2009, from 6:30 pm to 9 pm, we will be holding a live Silent Auction to benefit the fabulous and effervescent Bridget Zinn at the Lucky Lab Brewery on SE Hawthorne right here in Portland, Ore.

Whew. That's a long sentence. With plenty of bolding.

Come out! Bid on amazing stuff, like limo service in a vintage Packard! (Sweet.) Or a special VIP Winery Tour and Tasting at Rex Hill Winery during harvest this year! Or a mixed case of yummy wine from the same!

And, don't forget that you can still buy raffle tickets to win a chance at a FREE AUTHOR VISIT for your school or library from either myself, Emily Whitman, or Rosanne Parry (your choice). Remember: The more tickets you buy, the better your odds of winning. It's basic probability. So buy lots, and ensure your victory for a few paltry pennies!

(And let me be frank, here—this sort of author visit generally costs upwards of $1000, minimum. What's a few raffle tickets compared to that price? Weren't you just complaining the other day about your school's budegt cuts? You know you were. Here's a great way to get a fantastic deal on a real, live author visit, without touching that budget money.)

And did I mention Bridget? She's planning to be there, cute haircut and all. And did I mention why we're going to all of this trouble? Because of the mathematics of paying for cancer treatments, even with health insurance. For example:

One anti-nausea medicated patch: $1300.
One painkiller: $400.

Think about that: 5 days of not vomiting might cost the same as your monthly mortgage. Yeek.

But to get back to the good things, let's sum up:

  • Great stuff that CAN BE YOURS, if the Price Is Right
  • Cute haircut
  • Mingling with a boatload of Children's and YA writers, illustrators, and librarians
  • Maybe some extra freebies to lucky attendees!
  • Did I mention the fact that it's being held at a Brew pub? Mmm, beer. Foamy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bridget Zinn Auction: Overlooked Gems #6

The response to our appeal to help librarian and YA author Bridget Zinn has been truly outstanding. But there are still a few gems on the auction block that have not received the attention they deserve! I'll be spotlighting a few in the run-up to the auction's completion on May 30.

Overlooked Gem #6:


Steven Gould has donated a signed first edition of his book, Wildside. Described as an homage to a young Heinlein’s young adult fiction by This is a great stor about parallel worlds and ecological concerns.

Steven will personalize the book for the winning bidder

Value: $75

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

At Author Visits, always be prepared...

... even for tornadoes!

Babymouse in Tornado (or is that "Tomato"?) Season

On a dark and stormy night a week and a half ago, children and parents gathered in a spacious room at the Champaign Public Library, giddy with excitement over meeting beloved author Jennifer Holm, co-creator (along with her brother Matt Holm) of the Babymouse graphic novels for children. While the rest of Chambana took shelter from tornadoes in basements and bathtubs, Jennifer regaled us with tales from her childhood, growing up with four brothers and no sisters in the 1970's (I can relate!). She engaged the kids in the audience with Babymouse drawing contests, a Babymouse song, a phone call to her brother (during which he was put on speaker/microphone), a photo tour of a "typical" (Babymouse's favorite sarcastic expression) day in the author's life, and book signing. It was a fantastic introduction to an author's talk for Molly--and me!

Bridget Zinn Auction: Overlooked Gems #5

The response to our appeal to help librarian and YA author Bridget Zinn has been truly outstanding. But there are still a few gems on the auction block that have not received the attention they deserve! I'll be spotlighting a few in the run-up to the auction's completion on May 30.

Overlooked Gem #5:

Pat will sign these books to the winning bidder

sundSun Dance at Turtle Rock: _When bi-racial Cody visits his estranged white grandfather in the Allegheny foothills he discovers adventure, some prejudice and the bond that exists beyond superficial differences. Easy read for 8-12. A NewYork public library “best” book.

cassCassandra Robbins, Esq. _ — Romance. 12-adult. Bi-racial Cass, a teenager, adopted at birth by a white family, has to figure out who she is before she can choose between an African-American and white boy. A NewYork public library “best book.”

GUIGC cover shotGrowing Up Italian in God’s Country: Stories From the Wilds of Pennsylvania_ details the struggles and triumphs of the author’s immigrant family from 1890 to 1950 in rural Potter County, Pa. where both grandfathers and a maternal great-grandfather took part in the logging boom.

don't Kiss Me Goodbye!Don’t Kiss Me Goodbye! I’m Going With You is a collection of amusingnewspaper columns on rearing children plus sections on family recipes and previously published fiction. A companion to Growing Up Italian in God’s Country.

Value: $50

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bridget Zinn Auction: Overlooked Gems #4

The response to our appeal to help librarian and YA author Bridget Zinn has been truly outstanding. But there are still a few gems on the auction block that have not received the attention they deserve! I'll be spotlighting a few in the run-up to the auction's completion on May 30.

Overlooked Gem #4:

David Macinnis Gills donated his recently released audiobook, Soul Enchilada, narrated by Michelle Carmen.


“Girl meets boy at a car wash.
“Dog,” she says.
“Dude,” he says.
And probably this would have been a sweet teen romance. . . .
If Beals hadn’t been sitting next to her in the car.
If Beals hadn’t been a supernatural repo man looking to repossess her car.
And to possess her.

David Macinnis Gill delivers the whole enchilada. With a side of soul”…from David Macinnis Gills website.

Value: $25

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bridget Zinn Auction: Overlooked Gems #3

The response to our appeal to help librarian and YA author Bridget Zinn has been truly outstanding. But there are still a few gems on the auction block that have not received the attention they deserve! I'll be spotlighting a few in the run-up to the auction's completion on May 30.

Overlooked Gem #3:

Something for everyone in this book basket. Thank you to e.E. Charlton-Trujillo for donating these fabulous books.
Prizefighter En Mi Casa
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (author)
Random House 2006
Edition: Hardback, 1st Edition, Signed

Twelve-year-old Chula Sanchez isn’t thin, isn’t beautiful, and because she’s Mexican, isn’t popular in her south Texas town. And now that a car accident has left her father paralyzed and her plagued with seizures, she is poor. But Chula’s father is determined to pull his family out of debt. He sends for El Jefe—the most revered prizefighter in Mexico. Chula’s father hopes that with steel-pipe arms and fists like pit bulls, El Jefe will win the local illegal boxing matches and bring home much-needed money. But El Jefe—a man who many see as a monster—only brings confusion to a home that is already filled with problems. And now Chula must decide for herself whether good and bad can reside in one person and whether you can have strength in your heart when your fists have none.

“At a breakneck pace, the protagonist faces challenges from homework to hiding her brother from the police, and, through it all, shines as she listens to and learns from each person, especially the mythic and troubled El Jefe. Searching for strength and courage in others, Chula finds them in herself.” (School Library Journal)

“When the book begins you’re vaguely aware that a horrible thing occurred sometime in the past and it’s created a hole in the family structure. Then, with a meticulousness Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller would been proud of, the true tale comes to light, tying together the past and the present.” (E.R. Bird, Newberry Judge 2007)

The Delacorte Dell Yearling Award for First Middle Grade Novel 2004
The Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award 2006
Flamingnet Top Choice Award 2006
National Council for the Social Studies Notable Book 2007
New York Public Library List for Teens 2007


Feels Like Home

e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (author)
Random House 2007
Edition: Hardback, 1st Edition, Signed

Publishers Weekly (2007)
For fans of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, here’s a story that is as cinematic as the book it emulates. Full of grit and poetry for the rebel with a romantic heart, Charlton-Trujillo’s (Prizefighter en Mi Casa)throwback novel packs an emotional punch to the gut without overdoing it. The book opens in Three Rivers, Tex., population 4,043, as Michelle (Mickey) Owens witnesses her alcoholic father’s funeral. Michelle’s father was abusive, which led her mother to abandon them and her golden boy-turned-bad older brother, Danny, who ran off when Mickey was 13, after the accident that killed his best friend Roland. Now Danny has returned to pick up the pieces after six years, and the embittered Mickey, who has been marked an outcast by association, must decide if she’s able to forgive him for leaving and come to terms with what happened to Roland. Mickey’s internal battles feel honest, and it’s easy to empathize with the litany of emotions she trudges through, though outwardly she acts headstrong and sullen. Charlton-Trujillo has created a roster of multidimensional characters; readers will hold their breath with each interactions-especially the romantic scenes between Mickey and her crush, Ricky, and her banter with her Latina best friend, Christina. Even if teens are unable to relate to the specifics of Mickey’s situation, they will surely be taken by the story’s winning mix of tragedy, romance and chemistry. Ages 12-up.

Texas Lonestar Nominee 2008
New York Public Library List for Teens 2008
Lee & Low Books Inc. (2008)
Edition: Hardback, 1st Edition, Signed


No Mush Today

Sally Derby (author)
Nicole Tadgell (illustrations)

Children’s Literature
Nonie has had it with her family—a squalling baby brother and mush for breakfast again. It is just too much. She goes next door to live with Grandma. Grandma listens when Nonie is talking, and she does not serve mush! Her wise grandmother just nods and takes her hand as they walk to church together. Nonie stays solemn and does not smile when Daddy passes the collection plate, but perks up when she hears about the church picnic that afternoon. After eating, Grandma just wants to rest her bones on a bench, but Daddy is ready for a boat ride and time on the swings. By the end of the afternoon, Nonie knows where she belongs. She goes home where her smiling momma and her baby brother greet her. Softly colored pastel illustrations depict a loving African-American family. This book would be a good choice for sharing with children experiencing the arrival of new siblings in their families.

Best Children’s Books of the Year:
Bank Street College of Education


Maggie’s Monkeys

Linda Sanders-Wells (author)
Abby Carter (illustrations)
Candlewick (2009)
Edition: Hardback, 1st Edition, Signed

A family of monkeys has moved into the refrigerator! At least, that’s what Maggie says. Of course, no one else can see them, but that doesn’t stop Mom and Dad from playing along, even going out of their way to accommodate the invisible visitors. An extra bowl of pudding at the table? A DO NOT DISTURB sign on the fridge? What’s a rustrated, reality obsessed brother to do? Readers will hoot with laughter at this warm, witty, wildly imaginative story of sibling love and loyalty.

“This splendidly crafted tale of imagination and family love may start discussions about what is real, what is not, and the power of persuasion.” (School Library Journal, 2009)

Junior Library Guild Selection 2009

Value: $100

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bridget Zinn Auction: Overlooked Gems #2

The response to our appeal to help librarian and YA author Bridget Zinn has been truly outstanding. But there are still a few gems on the auction block that have not received the attention they deserve! I'll be spotlighting a few in the run-up to the auction's completion on May 30.

Overlooked Gem #2:


Dr. Kathy Reilly Fallon is donating a signed first edition hard copy
of “Heavenly Skies & Lullabies~Illustrated Song Book & CD”.

This is a lovely children’s song book and CD, accompanied by soothing and celestial illustrations. The book opens up to 11 enchanting lullabies, along with lyrics and music engravings for piano and guitar. Children blessings’ & prayers’ are integrated into each heart-warming illustration to set the tone for the lullabies.

Review From Publishers Weekly

Children’s Audio/Video Notes

by Staff — Publishers Weekly, 3/12/2007

Heavenly Skies & Lullabies features physician Kathy Reilly Fallon and restaurateur Frank Pellegrino wearing their performers’ hats and lending their voices to spare arrangements of 11 soothing lullabies for this book-and-CD package. All net proceeds from the project will go to World Vision, a Christian relief organization, specifically for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. The illustrated book contains a foreword by Father Gerard Critch of the Diocese of Venice, Fla., and also includes a number of brief, child-friendly prayers as well as music and lyrics for each selection. Among the favorite lullabies on the recording are “Golden Slumbers,” “Hush Little Baby,” “Toora, Loora, Loora” and “Gaelic Cradle Song.”

2006 Dragon Pencil Award Winner

Gold Medal for Illustration

Awarded for superior illustration

1st Annual Moonbeam Children’s Book Award

Heavenly Skies & Lullabies Won a Gold Medal for Best Illustrations by Becky Kelly and a

Bronze Medal for Best Children’s Book with Music.

2007 Independent Publisher Book Award

Bronze Medal Children’s Interactive Children’s Book

Value: $30

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bridget Zinn Auction: Overlooked Gems #1

The response to our appeal to help librarian and YA author Bridget Zinn has been truly outstanding. But there are still a few gems on the auction block that have not received the attention they deserve! I'll be spotlighting a few in the run-up to the auction's completion on May 30.

Overlooked Gem #1:

Susan Berger has donated the following books and service:

Jamie’s Dream by Susan J Berger and Christopher Corbin, Illustrated (beautifully) by Kim Sponaugle


Jamie had the best dream last night. Now he wants to buy it for his mom. Jamie is having a great day. He has French toast for breakfast, gets a gold star in spelling, wishes on a puffball, meets a unicorn, finds DreamsRUs and buys his mom a dream. Suggested age 4-7

Earthquake By Susan J Berger. Illustrated by Eugene Ruble Published April 2009. Honorable mention in the Green Book Festival


The purpose of the book is to give a simple explanation of an earthquake. What causes them? Can we predict them? How do we prepare for them? What to do during an earthquake. What happens after a big earthquake? The book has lots of factoids and great emergency lists. Suggested age 6-10

I will be happy to do a critique for the first 20 pages of your manuscript.

Value: $100.00

Friday, May 8, 2009

Have a character in a Babymouse book named after you!

I recently blogged about the Benefit Auction for Children's Author and Librarian Bridget Zinn.

It's in full swing now, kids! Items aplenty, bids aplenty. Get the stuff you want while the getting's good!

Maybe you want a signed first edition of Stephenie Meyer's Eclipse.

Maybe you want a 3-night stay on the water in Port Townsend, Wash.

(If you bid on the previous item, then you should bid on this, too: the famously overcast, vampire-ridden town of Forks is just a 2-hour drive away.)

Or how about this little morsel:


That's right. Win that auction item, and you can tell us what to name one of the characters in one of the upcoming Babymouse books. Will it be named after you? Will it be named after your daughter, son, niece, nephew, grandchild? After a favorite teacher or librarian from your childhood? After one of your enemies? (Hey, Felicia Furrypaws is always looking for recruits.)

Bid now, and you'll finally get to see your name in lights! Or at least in ink.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bid on ORIGINAL BABYMOUSE ART by Matthew Holm!

I don't know how many of you are aware of the financial realities of cartoonists. To wit: there ain't much money to be had for most people in this business. Thus, the vast majority of cartoonists sell their original, hand-inked drawings in order to supplement the meager takings from their publishing efforts.

I have never done this. Why?

(1) I don't have any originals. This is the downside of working digitally. I have preliminary sketches that I guess I could sell, but no finished, inked art. That all takes place inside the computer. You can't really sell a Photoshop file.

(2) I'd rather not. I'm a pack-rat when it comes to my work, and I'd rather hang onto it myself.

(3) I've been very lucky. Most cartoonists don't get out of the ramen-noodles level of fame and fortune. I've been lucky enough that Babymouse has been well received and I can get an actual living wage from it.

So, for all these reasons, I've never sold my artwork. Which is what makes this offering at the Bridget Zinn Benefit Auction so rare:

Mixed media (pastel, watercolor, ink) on paper. 9×12 inches.

Yes, I broke out the pastels and brushes and India ink and created an original piece of Peter-Pan-inspired Babymouse art.

Get it for your daughter's bedroom! Get it for your library! (By the way, it's pink. Perfect for any room's color scheme. I swear.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Free Comic Book Day and reaching those reluctant readers

Best wording ever on reaching reluctant readers through comics:

In an effort to get his students to read, Lopez introduced graphic novels — essentially, comic books with elaborate story lines — into his curriculum two years ago. The experiment has paid off in a big way.

"I have noticed they are reading more than they have to," Lopez said.

"...more than they have to." I love that!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Benefit auction for kidlit blogger Bridget Zinn


Fellow Kidlit Blogger, Librarian, and Author Bridget Zinn needs your help!

Aw ... isn't she cute? Of course she is.

Bridget was recently diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. She explains the whole thing here.

She and her new husband (though longtime beau) Barrett Dowell only recently moved to Portland, and Bridget—who has landed a sweet literary agent and is revising her first YA manuscript with him—is between library jobs, on that between-library-jobs-OK-but-not-great-variety-of-health-insurance. Plus, if you hadn't been paying attention, all her medical expenses just went way up. (It's times like these that those 80%/20% notices in your insurance statement, or the parts about annual and lifetime maximums, or anything that says "out of pocket" takes on a whole new reality.)

SO, though she and Barrett may be new to Portland, they are not without friends.

Remember this? Of course you do. I'm lookin' at YOU, back there in the third row...

That's right—they have us! After the 2008 Portland Kidlit Conference, all of us Stumptown/Bridge City/Rip City/Insert-yet-another-nickname-for-Portland-that-no-one-outside-of-Multnomah-County-has-ever-heard-of children's literature types woke up and realized we had a community here! So we're helping all we can, but the great thing about this newfangled age of wires and tubes is that YOU can help, too, wherever you are!

So, if your face is in the group photo from last summer's Kidlit Conference, if you're a member of SCBWI, if you're a librarian, if you're a children's author or illustrator who knows all too well the sting of inadequate health insurance for the self-employed ...

It's easy. Go to the auction site linked to above. See which of the fabulous item(s), lovingly donated by members of the kidlit community, you want/need/must have. Each item is in its own post. To bid, simply write your bid in the comments section for that item. Simple!

Oh—you're saying to yourself, "This will all be some cheesy junk that no one would want." Really? How monstrous. Get a load of this, you sad, sad, cynical person, you:

Yeah, that's right. You heard me.

That's from the auction item, "Three Night Guesthouse Stay with Breakfast" in Torrey, Utah, just outside Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Just try turning your nose up at that!

Anyway, check out the auction items; there will be more coming on-line over the next few days. Bidding starts ASAP, and ends May 29. Oh, and if you have something fabulous YOU can donate, please e-mail Jone MacCulloch.

Conveniently, May 29 is also the date for Phase 2 of our evil scheme to help a friend and colleague in need: A LIVE auction at Portland's Lucky Lab Brewery, with many more outstanding items up for bid (though, generally, items that are not so easily transported outside of the Portland Metro Region). Stay tuned for more details!

Did I forget to mention GO BID RIGHT NOW?