Cybils Nominations

October is such a busy month.

Be sure to take time, however, to nominate your favorite children’s and young adult books for Cybil Awards. Nominations are open until  October 15th at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time). Simply go to the Cybils website, scroll down to the appropriate genre of the book you want to nominate and then follow the simple instructions. Make sure your book was published within the last year, between the dates listed in the rules. (I hope my nomination is going to be considered because it is being released near the October 15, 2010 deadline.)

Not interested in nominating a book? The Cybils website is an absolutely fabulous place to find exciting new books for your age group and interests. The nominated books are the cream of the children’s book world, and you will find some treasures. The good news for busy folks is that the book lists will be finalized at the end of the nomination period and can be viewed at any time in the upcoming months.

Holiday shopping, anyone?

Cybil Judge and New Website

Time to celebrate at Wrapped in Foil blog this week! The good news is pouring in.

Drum roll please: I finished putting up an entire website of Reading Through the States. Last summer I posted a list of children’s books, one for each state. The blog post has been so popular that I decided to create an entire website. It should be useful for people doing state studies, for those who are traveling, and anyone who wants to read their way across all 50 states. If you have any additions of children’s books with strong settings, I’d love to hear about them.

Today the Cybils Non-Fiction Picture Book Panel has been announced. If you go to the Round II judges, you will notice that I’ve been chosen for 2010! I can’t wait for the nominations to start. Be sure to visit the website on October 1 and nominate your favorite nonfiction picture books that were published in the last year.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Nonfiction Monday carnival yesterday. There was a wonderful turnout, and it was nice to hear from old friends and meet some new ones.

Balloons by Teodoro S Gruhl

Day-Glo Brothers Book Wins!

Ta-Da! The winner of the 2009 Cybils award for nonfiction picture book is The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton
 and illustrated by Tony Persiani! (If you are interested in children’s and young adult books, you might want to see the Cybils winners in all the categories.) Day-Glo

The Day-Glo Brothers is about the Switzer brothers, Bob and Joe. Both boys were fascinated by science, probably due to the fact their father was a pharmacist, but Bob wanted to be a doctor and Joe wanted to entertain people. When Bob had a bad accident that kept him confined to home, his brother Joe entertained him by playing around with an ultraviolet lamp (also called a black light) that he had made from instructions out of Popular Science magazine. Joe had a magic show and he was interested in fluorescent paints to develop a new magic trick. After finding commercial uses for fluorescent paints that would shine under ultraviolet light, the brothers continued to experiment until they found a paint that would glow in regular daylight. They had created the “eye-popping” Day-Glo colors found today in products as diverse as highlighters and traffic cones.

One of the great characteristics of this book is the retro-look illustrations that use Day-Glo colors for emphasis. As explained in the back, these colors release an extra amount of light, which makes them glow. Using the colors in the illustrations in contrast to gray tones was a touch of genius.

Another important aspect of The Day-Glo Brothers is the fact that it is a story that hasn’t been written before. Both this book and Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, written by Phillip Hoose, are about people who have been overlooked in the past, but whose stories deserve to be told. Both have gotten recognition and awards. Hopefully the popularity of these books will be noted and we will begin to see more like them. Perhaps instead of yet another book about the Wright Brothers for example, there might be room for one about the lesser-known but highly-interesting aviator/inventor Glen Curtiss.

Finally, this book is a fascinating glimpse at science and the process of invention. The brothers had an good idea of what they wanted to create and kept at it. They also had a lucky accident, which brought together the elements they needed for success. On top of that, the timing of the discovery coincided with an event (the coming of World War II) when there was a great need for their products. Luck, timing and perseverance led to a successful result.

In a similar way, author Chris Barton has brought together all the elements needed to make The Day-Glo Brothers an award-winning book. Congratulations!

For related science activities, try experiments with things that glow at Growing With Science.

Shirley at Simply Science blog reviewed this treasure back in August.

Thank you very much to the adults and children who worked with me on the Cybils project. You all made this a wonderful experience, and I appreciate your time and talents.

Disclosure:  As a round II Cybils judge, I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

Cybils Awards to Be Announced February 14

cybilsAre you excited about this Sunday, February 14? Can you hear the sound of drum rolls?

February 14 is a huge day because, in addition to being Valentine’s Day, the 2009 Cybils Award winners are going to be announced.

The Cybils are annual book awards given by children’s and young adult book bloggers. The Cybils have only two criteria: literary merit and kid appeal.

The judges are 100+ bloggers who write about children’s and teen’s books every day. As some of you already know, I have been acting as a Round II judge in the category of nonfiction picture book (Is there any other genre? 🙂 ).

Here is a list of the nonfiction picture book finalists that were announced on January 1st. Check the Cybils website for more information on each book. (If you are looking for books to share with your children, the other genre finalists are fantastic as well.)

Which of these finalists do you think will be the 2009 winner? Do you have a favorite?

2009 Non-fiction Picture Book Finalists:

Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story Of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way To Fame, Fortune & Swimsuit History!

by Shana Corey


The Day-Glo Brothers

by Chris Barton
 and illustrated by Tony Persiani

Life-Size Zoo: From Tiny Rodents to Gigantic Elephants, An Actual Size Animal Encyclopedia

Created by Teruyuki Komiya with photographs by Toyofumi Fukuda

Seven Footer Press

14 Cows for America

by Carmen Agra Deedy


Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

by Brian Floca


Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea

by Steve Jenkins

Houghton Mifflin

Faith (Global Fund for Children Books)

by Maya Ajmera, Magde Nakassis, and Cynthia Pon for the Global Fund for Children