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Author: Dave


Wisconsin Braille

We recently heard that an organization called Wisconsin Braille has transcribed One Thousand Tracings and made it available for free to Wisconsin School Libraries. This sounds like a fantastic program and we're honored that Tracings was included. Here's some information from their website: Once again, Wisconsin Braille, Inc. is pleased to offer a selection of braille books for your school library because of grant money awarded us. As in the past, the committee has chosen books that are not already brailled. We searched the on-line catalog in our local library, as well as other sources, to locate recognized books of excellence. Wisconsin Braille Inc.’s Special Book Project was started in 1998 with the production of one braille book offered at no cost to school libraries in Wisconsin. In co-ordination with teachers of the visually impaired and school librarians across the state, the Special Book Committee solicits possible titles for transcription. The books selected for transcription represent a wide range of reading levels, fiction and non-fiction material, and poetry. Every effort is made to select books that are not already available in braille. In collaboration with the Oshkosh State Correctional Institution (OSCI), book selections are transcribed by transcribers certified by the Library of Congress/National Library Service (NLS) under the direction of the coordinator of the OSCI Braille Program. The books are available in hard-copy or on disc. Wisconsin Braille

Pennies for Elephants Video Trailer

We've been working on this Pennies for Elephants video trailer over the past few days -- I think it's ready to premiere. [HTML1] We included some of the original newspaper pictures from the Boston Post in 1914 so you can see that the characters in the story are visually based on real people. Lita is giving a presentation this Friday at the Wisconsin State Reading Association (WSRA) Conference in Milwaukee and will be discussing the visual research she does to create characters for her stories. She gave a similar talk last April at the Nashua SCBWI conference but this new talk is really expanded based on all the work she's done recently for Pennies for Elephants and Yellowstone Moran. Anyway, let us know what you think of the video!

New Look for the Web Site

To get ready for Lita's new book, Pennies for Elephants (out in a June'09), we just put the finishing touches on our new website design and uploaded it last night. We hope you'll take a look.

Lita Judge's new web site

There are lot's of new images of illustrations and sketches, information about books, school visits, and upcoming appearances. Lita and I had lots of fun designing new banners for all the pages. (I think they look fantastic!) -- What'snew page -- Activities

We're already planning lots of new things to put on the site including activities for Pennies for Elephants, video trailers for Pennies and for Yellowstone Moran (out in September'09), and some images from the current work in progress. Anyway, please check out the site!


Bookmania at Darien Library

The kids at the Darien Library in Connecticut just finished a quilt making project after reading One Thousand Tracings.

Back in the summer, our Bookmania kids listened to the reading of ONE THOUSAND TRACINGS by Lita Judge, the story of an American family during World War II who helped supply German families with shoes. In keeping with the theme of the book of helping people in need, the kids decorated fabric squares to be made into quilts for needy children through Project Linus. The squares have been assembled into two quilts, which are being delivered to Yale-New Haven Hospital for sick children to cuddle up.
For more info on Project Linus, look here:

Kim Webster Cunningham -- New Website

Lita and I just set up a new website for our friend Kim Cunningham at It was a fun process because Kim completely designed the site with paper and pencil and scissors, and Lita scanned, cropped and adjusted all the images and did all the fancy Photoshop work on the banner. And I did the rest -- it's all been done just in the nick of time because Kim's new book, Absolutely Wild, published by David R. Godine, has just been released, and she's doing a signing at our local Peterborough NH book store, The Toadstool Bookshop, on December 13th. The book is gorgeous, so check it out, and check out the website too!

We've recently discovered a very nicely done website that is about books for young readers with a special focus on the Pacific Rim and South Asia. But this month they feature several articles on the themes of "war, peace and social justice" in relation to children's books. And they've included an article written by Lita!

In the introduction to the articles they ask, "How can we help children to cope with the divisiveness and contradictions at play in the world today? And how can we help them to feel that they have the power to change things for the better?... At no other time in recent history have these themes been more relevant or their challenges more urgent than they are now. " Here are links to the articles: Books for Thought and Action: A Taste of Jane Addams' Legacy by Jo Montie Learning That War Is Not a Game by Kathy Beckwith Finding One Thousand Tracings by Lita Judge (reprinted with permission) ... and from the PaperTiger archives: Strengthening the Good, Stamping Out the Bad: Children’s Books & Good Causes They also have a blog here so please take a look.

Jane Addams Children's Book Award Ceremony

We're heading down to New York City tomorrow. On Friday Lita is accepting the Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor at the United Nations Plaza! Here's some information from the Jane Addams Peace Association.

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award

Cybils 2008

The Third Annual Children's & Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards (Cybils) is right around the corner. The Cybils is a pretty cool award. It gives a lot of exposure to a lot of good books. And it's the thing that nudged us to start blogging. One Thousand Tracings was picked for the Nonfiction Picture Book shortlist last year. Since Lita doesn't have a book in that category this year, I (Dave) volunteered to be on the nominating panel. I'm really thrilled to be involved in this! Cybils 2009 Here are the kids' book bloggers who will choose the best nonfiction picture book this year: Nominating Panel (these guys will create the shortlist): _____David Judge: Adventures at Wilder Farm _____Tricia Stohr-Hunt The Miss Rumphius Effect _____Becky Bilby: In the Pages _____Debbie Nance: Readerbuzz _____Jone MacCulloch: Check It Out Judging Panel (these guys choose the winner from the shortlist): _____Candice Ransom Ellsworth's Journal _____Andrea Beaty Three Silly Chicks _____Andrea Ross Just One More Book _____Emily Mitchell Emily Reads _____Fiona Bayrock Books and 'Rocks Organizer: Fiona Bayrock Books and 'Rocks Nominations open October 1 at the Cybils blog, and anyone can nominate a book in each of the nine categories. 2006 Cybils Nonfiction Picture Book Award Winner: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2007 Cybils Nonfiction Picture Book Award Winner: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NEIBA: Books and Talks

I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts last week and was able to get a pass (through Kirsten Cappy of Curious City) to the NEIBA (New England Independent Booksellers Association) Conference in Boston for the Friday exhibition. Actually, Lita was planning to go, but later our plans changed so I ended up going in her place. My badge had Lita's name on it but I'm not sure anyone noticed. Anyway I wanted to mention two books I saw, and post a few notes from a good panel discussion I attented. First, our good friend Kim Cunningham, from Hancock, New Hampshire has a book coming out in October, published by David R. Godine. I checked the Godine booth for a copy of the book but they only had a postcard, so I hope the book is actually ready in October. Absolutely Wild Kim is an amazingly talented artist. This book shows her print art, but she's best known locally for her dump art creations. Here's a blurb from a recent show—she creates multi-media collages from roadside trash found while traveling. An artist who uses what is available and finds worth in the worthless. She's collected trash in France, Santa Fe, the coast of Maine, and throughout New England. I also saw a great looking (and quite expensive) book at the Harvard University Press table. I kept trying to get a close look but the Harvard booth person kept asking me what bookstore I was from and I was never able to adequately answer her. Anyway, the book was about Audubon's early drawings. I couldn't find a good picture of the cover on-line, but here's the image that is on the cover: Audubon I also listened to a panel discussion (addressed to booksellers) about How to Make Publishers Love You. The topic was specifically about children's and young adult books and how to get author/illustrators to bookstore events and how to make those events successful. There are a variety of publicity related jobs at the various publishers and the panel was well represented: Linda Magram, VP Children's Book Marketing (Houghton); Kathy Space, Inside Sales (Penguin); Jason Wells, Director of Marketing and Publicity (Abrams); Katie McGary, Children's Book Rep (S&S); Deb Shapiro, Director of Publicity (Bloomsbury). The panel was moderated by Vicky Uminowicz from Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Massachusetts . There were so many topics discussed that it's difficult to summarize, but here are some of my notes. Regarding author events, the publishers hope that the independent bookstores: (1)  know their community well and can create events that include the local schools and libraries, (2) can come up with creative ideas for events, (3) can work together, at times, to co-sponsor events, (4) are prepared for events (signs, newspaper coverage, all store staff know about the event and the author's backlist). Everyone agreed that even an event with 4 people attending can be a success. Selling 10 books at an event is great. The bookstores mentioned that publicist turnover is high and that they wish there was better continuity between outgoing publicists and new publicists—so the information that led to a great event one year doesn't get lost and the success is possible to achieve again. I also got the message that publishers want their author/illustrators to always arrange bookstore events through the publisher. Since the publisher doesn't often arrange any events for their new people, the practical thing to do (for an author/illustrator)  is to start local and arrange some events, but keep the publicist in the loop. Bookstore events are tough when you get out of your local area so it's often best to let the publisher call the shots for these events. I'm always so encouraged at these types of panels because I realize that all these professionals—from the publishers and from the independent bookstores—love books. It was also encouraging to hear that they want the new author/illustrators to succeed and they want to develop new talent. But the first step toward success is to get the people at the publisher excited. Focus on the books.

New Hampshire Chronicle

If you're in New Hampshire on Thursday, September 4th, WMUR (Channel 9 at 7:30) is rebroadcasting the One Thousand Tracings interview with Lita on NH Chronicle. I thought it was a nicely done segment! I posted a version of the show here a few months ago. The show was filmed in the summer of 2007 and they first aired it in September 2007. The best parts are when Pu jumps in front of the camera: Pu on TV Pu on TV Let us know if you see it!