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Children’s Books

The Guardian Publishes Unreleased Chapter of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

charlieandthechocolateRoald Dahl‘s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the occasion has brought about a controversial new book cover, a golden ticket sweepstakes and now the unearthing of a previously unreleased chapter of the book.

“The Vanilla Fudge Room” is a chapter that was edited out of the book from an early draft. The Guardian has published the chapter. Check it out:

They went into another cavernous room, and here again a really splendid sight met their eyes.

In the centre of the room there was an actual mountain, a colossal jagged mountain as high as a five-storey building, and the whole thing was made of pale-brown, creamy, vanilla fudge. All the way up the sides of the mountain, hundreds of men were working away with picks and drills, hacking great hunks of fudge out of the mountainside; and some of them, those that were high up in dangerous places, were roped together for safety.

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Nick Cannon is Writing Book of Children’s Poems

nickcannonActor/rapper Nick Cannon is working on a book of children’s poems which is due out from Scholastic in March 2015.

The illustrated poetry book is called Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems. The title was written for kids age 7 with poems about silly, disgusting and even serious matters. It will feature black-and-white illustrations by a number of street artists including: Art Mobb, Califawnia, Captain Kris, Morf,Queen Andrea, MAST and Mike P. 

“Writing is at the center of everything I do as an artist. Doing creative writing—especially writing poetry—is when I felt the calmest and freest. As a kid, it was my escape from the inner-city pitfalls,” explains Cannon in a statement. “The first important writer in my life was Shel Silverstein—he made me fall in love with writing and seeing his whimsical sketches got me interested in art. When I was eight years old, I got a spiral notebook and wrote my first poem/rap. I filled that notebook with poems, rhymes, jokes, and witty stories. I still keep one to this day. I hope that poems in Neon Aliens will help inspire kids to want to get out a pen and paper to write or draw their own thoughts, rhymes, and stories.”

Bruce Springsteen Has Written a Children’s Book

outlaw-pete-9781501103865_lgRocker Bruce Springsteen has written a children’s book called Outlaw Pete, which is based on a song from his 1979 album Working on a Dream.

Outlaw Pete is “a modern legend of a criminal who starts out in diapers and confronts the roughest edges of adulthood,” explains the book’s description.

The book, which Simon & Schuster is publishing in November, is inspired by “Bruce’s Western loves, which now range from John Ford movies to Mexican music to Native American art.” The book features illustrations by Frank Caruso and includes a soundtrack of original songs by The Boss.

Simon & Schuster will publish the book in November.

3D Printed Storybooks For Visually Impaired Children

3dprintedbookResearchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have designed a series of children’s books for the visually impaired.

U-Boulder’s Tactile Picture Books Project uses 3D printing technology to turn classic children’s books including Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon and Harold and Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon into books with three dimensional tactile experiences.

Colorado.edu has more: “The main idea is to represent 2D graphics in a 3D, tactile way on a scale appropriate for the cognitive abilities and interests of young children, said Yeh. The team combines this information with computational algorithms — essentially step-by-step instructions for mathematical calculations — providing an interface that allows parents, teachers and supporters to print their own customized picture books using 3D computers.” (Via Electric Literature).

‘Dear Malala, We Stand With You’ Acquired By Crown Books for Young Readers

Malala YousafzaiCrown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, will publish a picture book entitled Dear Malala, We Stand With You.

The story is written as a letter addressed to education activist Malala Yousafzai (pictured, via). Executive editor Emily Easton managed the acquisitions process and licensed this property from a Canadian publishing house called Second Story Press. The book is set to come out on January 6, 2015.

Here’s more from the press release: “Written in the form of a photo-illustrated letter to Malala Yousafzai, two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, DEAR MALALA, WE STAND WITH YOU (by Rosemary McCarney and Plan Canada / Ages 4–8) is both a show of support and a call to action for girls around the world…In support of publication, Random House Children’s Books will make a donation to Plan International’s Because I am a Girl campaign, which aims to support millions of girls to get the education, skills, and support they need to transform their lives and the world around them.”

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Julia Strand Carves Up Old Books to Create Artwork

juliastrandJulia Strand uses old books to make art. The artist carves up the pages of old books and turns them into delicate scenes. The drawings and artwork from the books are framed within the book’s cover.

PBS.org has more: “A cognitive psychologist who teaches at Carleton College in Minnesota, Strand works on her carvings in her spare time. She carves into old cookbooks and science books, reference books, dictionaries and books of topographical maps, removing most of the pages “so you can just see the pictures.”

You can buy these cool creations on her Etsy page.

Robin Williams’ Daughter Remembers Her Father With a Quote From ‘The Little Prince’

Zelda Williams, the daughter of the late Robin Williams, shared a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince on Twitter and Instagram in remembrance of her father.

In her posts, Zelda wrote: “You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them…In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night…You – only you – will have stars that laugh.”

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Madeline Exhibit Will Move to Amherst After NYC

madelineThe “Madeline at 75: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans” exhibit will move from New York to Amherst in November. The show celebrates the artwork of Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the classic children’s book series, in honor of the series’ 75th anniversary.

The show boasts more than 90 original art pieces including illustrations from the Madeline series, paintings, archival photographs and the artist’s paintbox. It is currently on display at The New York Historical Society through October.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is hosting the Massachusetts exhibit, which will be on display from November 15 throughFebruary 22, 2015 in Amherst.

Random House to Publish ‘Frozen’ Chapter Books

frozenRandom House Children’s Books has plans to release a new chapter book series based on the Disney phenomenon Frozen.

The stories will pick up where the movie left off and follow Anna and Elsa on further adventures. Christopher Angelilli, Vice President, Editor-in-Chief, Director of License Publishing, Random House Children’s Books, is heading up the new series.  Author Erica David will write the books. Random House Associate Editor Christy Webster will edit the titles. 

The first two books in the series Anna & Elsa #1: All Hail the Queen and Anna & Elsa #2: Memory and Magic are slated for publication in January. In total, the publisher has plans to do four books next year and three or four more books a year going forward.

The Legacy of Ursula Nordstrom

9780064462358You probably enjoyed Charlotte’s Web or Harriet the Spy at one point in your life. But do you know who edited those great kid’s books?

After covering the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Summer Conference last weekend, I caught up with the New York Public Library’s Youth Materials Collections Specialist Betsy Bird and Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blogger Julie Danielson, co-authors of the brand new book, Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature (co-written with Peter Sieruta).

Q: Could you tell us more about the life and work of the great children’s book editor Ursula Nordstrom? What are some of the books you recommend from this great editor?

Betsy Bird: ”Ursula’s list begins to resemble nothing so much as a Who’s Who in children’s literature after a while. She had this crazy sense of humor that went well with her ability to spot potential children’s literature talent.

I mean, seriously, who would have looked at Shel Silverstein‘s rather explicit cartoons in Playboy and thought ‘There’s the man that children everywhere will love!?’”

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