Okay, maybe this isn't a big secret, but have you discovered this amazing resource at your local library? She's called the Children's Librarian. I've yet to meet one I didn't love. What's great about my children's librarian is she anticipates my research needs before I voice them. Just the other day she brought over two new books to my office. "Here you go," she said. "I know you're writing a story for Fifth Graders. These might help you." (FYI, I haven't read them yet, but they are Pie by Sarah Weeks and Dumpling Days by Grace Lin). How much more amazing are the results when I DO ask a direct question; she won't rest until she's scoured the physical and electronic shelves for my answer.
Sometimes I have the privilege of working in the Children's Room at my library. That's when I realize how much there is to learn. Did you know there's a great little series out by ABDO Publishers called "Children's Authors." Each book features a modern author, such as the beloved Maurice Sendak, Grace Lin, Kate DiCamillo and the Wimpy Kid's very own Jeff Kinney? It's also when I get to SNOOP ...sneaking a peak at our most recent additions. One of my favorite newbies was selected as a Must-Read by the Mass Book Awards. Neville by Norton Juster (Phantom Tollbooth), illustrated by G. Brian Karas. This is not your average "child moves to a new neighborhood" kind of book. It's quirky and funny all wrapped into one.
That said, if you haven't made your way into the Children's Department of your library lately, put those running shoes on, and head there immediately. Treasures await, and the aren't just found on the shelve. They may be walking around.
Labels: Children's Librarians, Grace Lin, Jeff Kinney, Kate DiCamillo, Mass Book Awards, Maurice Sendak, Morrill Memorial Library, Sarah Weeks