Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hard, cold figures on publishing

Over at Pub Rants, literary agent Kristin sums up her agency's stats for the year. Some of the numbers are cute ("number of Starbucks eggnog chai consumed in the last week: 6+"), some are good, solid figures to give people an idea of how publishing actually works ("new deals for previously published clients: 15"; "foreign rights deals done: 53"), but a lot are simply staggering:

books sold

number of new clients (Kristin & Sara combined)

estimated number of queries read and responded to (and yes, that is up from last year)

full manuscripts requested (down from last year)

So, once again, folks, do NOT get discouraged if you get a form rejection letter from the first agent you query!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Special BABYMOUSE Creators Comic at SUVUDU.COM

It's Kids' Graphic Novel Week at sci-fi site, and Jenni and I created a special comic (using the handy little Mac app, Comic Life), that gives an inside look at our process of creating BABYMOUSE: DRAGONSLAYER.

Here's the first page (of four):

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

BABYMOUSE: DRAGONSLAYER Reviewed at Sequential Tart

Over at comics web zine Sequential Tart, there is a lovely review of BABYMOUSE: DRAGONSLAYER. Some excerpts:

Despite all the pink, Babymouse is not some prissy little girl. She dreams of adventures: quests, jousting, and dragon slaying. She may not like school or be good at everything, but she learns to use her imagination to make the best of things. And the art is wonderful. It has a childlike quality. It's always well done, but sometimes it's sketchier and sometimes more detailed. You can always tell what animals the characters are supposed to be (okay, I needed help with the jellyfish, but then I could see it).


It's a fun story that kids will love to read on their own, but it would also make a good bedtime story for parents to share with their kid. Even boys will like this adventure, so don't let the pink fool you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Guest Riker

I was so amused by the Guest Rikers over at Number One (a Commander Riker of the Day Tumblr site) that I had to send in one of my own. It's up now!

Go check them all out! Very funny for all of you closet Trekkies.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Adventures in online translating

Google News Alerts always brings interesting things my way. Lately it's been a spate of "How do I feed and care for a baby mouse?" newsgroup posts and cast listings for the Nutcracker (i.e., "... John Smith, Rat King; Jane Doe, Baby Mouse ..."). But I also got a crazy, translated-to-some-foreign-language-then-retranslated-to-English-stolen-blog-post of Monica Edinger's account of NCTE 2009:

This was the first convention that I 've been to since I got my Iphone and I travelled a trifle wild employing the camera for twirping intentions. For those not following me on chirrup what is incorrect with you? ( only kidding ) - here are those photos. By no intends a good overview of what I maked, but a couple of things withal.

So on Friday after the general session with Julie Andrews and her girl, I halted in to the jubilation for Lee Bennett Hopkins wads of playfulness to hear such distinguished poets as Jane Yolen, J Patrick Lewis, and Walter Dean Myers roast Lee. Sadly, I could n't rest for more of them as I desired to catch a graphical novel session happing across the hallway. I came in in clip to be component of a draw-off between Flatness Holm and Jarrett J Krosoczka. The thought was for Matte to force Dejeuner Lady and Jarrett to make Babymouse, each with an audience member training them. Goodly, I certainly ran right up to train Matte so he maked Tiffin Lady functioning in my NYC schoolroom.

Get it? "Matt" = "Matte" = ...
... Here Holds me training Lusterlessness ( with chair Joan Kindig in the background)

— Yours Truly, Lusterless in Portland

Friday, December 4, 2009

Looking for the Babymouse Books in Spanish/Español?

UPDATE March 8, 2010:

I've learned that the US distributor of the Spanish-language versions of BABYMOUSE is Lectorum.

Lectorum: Information for Libraries and Educators

Lectorum: Information for Booksellers

... and the link to each book's page at is listed below.

You may, of course, still order from any of the other sources I've listed here. But Lectorum is set up for school and library purchasing, etc. (i.e., the sorts of things your administrators will be concerned about).

The translations are done by the folks at SerreS/RBA Libros (in Spain). Here are the details on each title thus far:

Barnes & Noble
Scholastic's Lectorum

(BABYMOUSE: OUR HERO) - ISBN 978-8498670486
Barnes & Noble
Scholastic's Lectorum

(BABYMOUSE: ROCK STAR) - ISBN 978-8498672503
Barnes & Noble
Scholastic's Lectorum

From Booklist
Like the previous three graphic novels about Babymouse, this title resonates with the travails of school life—boring classes, uncomfortable bus rides, difficult classmates—which she contrasts with her fantasy of becoming a true legendary rock star. Despite a few Spanish-isms and a few Peninsular Spanish conjugations, Spanish speakers from the Americas will find Mendo’s Spanish translation as irresistible and lively as the rowdy, pink-toned illustrations. The sparsity of truly enticing graphic novels in Spanish for middle readers makes these titles a must acquisition for every library. Grades 3-6. --Isabel Schon

Barnes & Noble
Scholastic's Lectorum

The books are not all in stock and ready to ship at all of the above retailers. So be prepared to shop around. Good hunting! And good reading!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

End of the decade

Well, you know the end of this nameless decade (the "aughts"? The "oh-ohs"?) is approaching fast when you start seeing "Best ____ of the decade" lists.

BABYMOUSE: QUEEN OF THE WORLD just showed up on one librarian/mom blogger's Top-25 list:

Read it again, mom!

Best Chapter Books of the Decade

As promised, here is my list of the 25 best chapter books of 2000 - 2009. Warning: This is my list, you or your children may not like all of these books! Please read the descriptions and other reviews before you dive in. Middle grade books are more diverse and can contain scenes that would bother sensitive readers. With that said, ENJOY! And be sure to add your own favorites to the Comments section.

1. Babymouse: Queen of the World! by Jennifer L. Holm, 2005.
2. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, 2000.
3. Beyond the Deepwoods (The Edge Chronicles, Book 1) by Paul Stewart, 2004.
4. Diary of a Fairy Godmother by Esmé Raji Codell, 2005.
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, 2007
6. Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel by Ruth Barshaw, 2007
7. Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan, 2009
8. Fashion Kitty by Charise Mericle Harper, 2005.
9. The field guide (Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 1) by Tony DiTerlizzi, 2003
10. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, 2001.
11. Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry, 2002.
12. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, 2008.
13. Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold, 2005.
14. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, 2003.
15. Into the Wild (Warriors, #1) by Erin Hunter, 2003.
16. Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye (Geronimo Stilton, Book 1) by Geronimo Stilton, 2004.
17. Lunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist) by Jim Benton, 2004
18. Magyk (Septimus Heap, #1) by Angie Sage, 2005.
19. Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Mercy Watson) by Kate DiCamillo, 2005
20. No more dead dogs by Gordon Korman, 2000.
21. Ruby Lu, brave and true by Lenore Look, 2004.
22. Savvy by Ingrid Law, 2008.
23. Seer of Shadows by Avi, 2008.
24. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, 2001.
25. When you reach me by Rebecca Stead, 2009.

Thanks! (And I'm ashamed to say that I've only read three-and-a-half of these books. But that's what happens when you're busy making the books!)