Posted in Book Review

We’ve Got the Whole World in our Hands

by Rafael Lopez

Do you know the song, We’ve Got the Whole World in our Hands? This book is about being part of the world. I liked the pictures. They are gorgeous! The illustrations show people in different parts of the world and different parts of the world.

I like this book because it is multi-cultural and diverse.

I recommend this book to everybody and everybody and everybody……

Posted in Meet the authors

Manuel Betancourt

Author website/social media: / @bmanuel on Twitter
·  Tell me a little about yourself: Where to begin? I guess I always say that I’m a writer and a lapsed academic (that means I got my PhD but I’m not a professor; fun fact, the Cardboard Kingdom team is full of guys and gals who went to grad school for one thing or another!). I was born and raised in Colombia, went to school in Canada, and now live in New York City where I write mostly about movies and TV — like Miguel, I am a big big movie fan. I also read a lot and love to bake with my husband.
1.     When you were my age (9), did you like to read?
I did. I was an avid reader both in English and in Spanish (that’s my first language). I was the kid always signing out extra books from the library and reading assigned texts way faster than my classmates. I just loved getting lost in different worlds unlike my own.
2.     What was your favorite story?
I was obsessed with this British book series called The Demon Headmaster (less scary than it sounds, but only just). It was all about how a young girl realizes her new school is led by a demon that hypnotizes kids into submission and hopes to take over the world. Before I was obsessed with Harry Potter this was the school-driven series I was hooked on. I’m still amazed my school in Bogotá, Colombia had it in their library!
3.     How do you get your ideas? 
Everywhere! Everything I watch, I read, I see becomes fuel for ideas. I will say though that I’m a big movie fan (like Miguel is in “The Prince”) so I find a lot of inspiration from movies, both new and old. Animated films in particular make up a good chunk of my pop cultural world — everything from Beauty and the Beast to WALL-E. Chad only learned this after we’d worked on our story together but my mom runs an animation company at home so I was around cartoonists and animators all through my childhood!
4. Your book was done with multiple authors. Was that easy or hard? 
I really expected it to be hard. Really hard. But I was so surprised — and glad! — that it was anything but. It was such a collaborative project, and from the beginning it was clear that we were all just eager to make each other’s work better and stronger. We all recognized that we each brought something different, something special to the table. Plus, Chad is a wonderful ringmaster. We couldn’t have asked for a better leader.
5. What author do you really like right now?
In terms of graphic novels, I’ve always been a fan of Brian K. Vaughan, whose Runaways and Paper Girls I just love, especially for the way he tackles teen angst. Then there are people like Marjane Sartrapi and Alison Bechdel whose works I return to time and time again (can you tell I like reading about teen girls?). But, honestly, the author I’ve always been in awe of is Gabriel García Márquez who remains a hero of mine — and not just because he’s the most famous Colombian writer ever 🙂
6.  Do you have any new or lesser known authors you would suggest?
Here’s where I have to give a shoutout to Steven Rowley, who’s become a friend ever since I read and fell in love with Lily and the Octopus. But if we must skew younger, I love the kind of work that Jeffery Self (Drag Teen) and Adam Silvera (They Both Die At The End, History is All You Left Me) are doing when it comes to telling stories about boys like me when I was younger.
7. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?
Write! It’s such a simple piece of advice but you only get better if you write. And if you share that work. If I’ve learned anything from working on The Cardboard Kingdom is that there’s nothing better than having a generous reader on the other end whose feedback will make your work stronger.
8.  As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?
I mostly write nonfiction essays (reviews, features, interviews) so I hear from readers quite a bit. But I’ll admit that hearing from Cardboard Kingdom readers has been the best part of this journey — I love knowing that something I made gave someone else joy. Also, every picture of a young kid playing dress-up with cardboard makes me tear up!
9.  If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?
I gotta say, traveling into the Cardboard Kingdom and getting to meet all of our kids and their fantasy alter-egos would be pretty fun. It would also mean I’d have to come up with a costume myself, which I actually love doing. I’ll take any opportunity to dress up
Posted in Book Review

Monsters First Day at School

Words by Karen-Bell Brege

Pictures by Darrin Brege

Karen and Darrin shared this cute picture book with me.

This book is about how the first day of Beastly Elementary went. First the teacher tells the monsters to take out their paper and pencils but they took out stuff like crab pinchers, spatulas and fish. Then came lunch where the gremlins ate very messily plus chewing with their mouth open. When recess took place the monsters slid on the back of the dinosaur but it hurt its back and the Dino didn’t say anything because he wanted friends.

I like this book because the monsters are very diverse.

I recommend this book to kids who are 6 7 and 8 year’s old. But everyone can enjoy this book too.

I give this book 15 monster stars.🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️🧛🏿‍♂️🧛🏻‍♀️👽👻💀😈⭐️🌟✨⭐️🌟✨💫

Posted in Book Review

Q and Ray CASE #3: Foul Play at Elm Tree Park

written by Trisha Speed Shaskan

illustrated by Stephen Shaskan

Book Source: Advanced Copy from author/illustrator

Book Status: Releases October 1, 2018

This book is about Q and Ray solving a mystery. It is the third mystery in the series. This mystery is solved at Elm Tree Park. It starts when their class goes on a field trip to Elm Street Park. And then when they take out a baseball that was a record setting ball from Q’s favorite record setting baseball player. They find that it has been stolen when Q takes before and after pictures of the ball. On the after photo of the ball the writing is shaky and has ink blots and pen lifts. The ball is too new.

I like this book because it is a mystery about baseball. I recommend this book to kids who like books by Trisha Speed Shaskan. I also recommend it to kids who like mysteries and baseball.

Posted in Book Review

Piggy and Pug

By Anne Wheaton

Illustrated by Vipin Alex Jacob

Book source: purchased by my parents

Book type: released

This book is about a dog named Pug who’s family ( human family) abandoned him and he’s looking for a new one. This book is also about a pig named Piggy who is looking for a friend to play with while the boy in her family is away.

This book is unique because I don’t know any other books which even include anything about foreclosure let alone it being a big part in the story. This could be helpful to a kid dealing with money issues in their home.

I recommend this book to kids in 3rd grade to 5th.

I give this book 15 family stars👶🏻👧🏽🧒🏾👦🏿👩🏻🧔🏻👱🏻‍♂️👨🏾🧑🏽👱🏿‍♀️👵🏿👴🏼🧓🏾👦🏿

Posted in Ask the Librarian

Charli Osborne

Southfield Public Library

My title is Library Coordinator – Youth Services. This means my duties include supervising the Youth Division staff, including making sure there’s enough staff to help people at the service desk, overseeing the budget for buying books and other materials for our collection, working with other divisions within the library and other departments in the city, and coordinating programs for youth. I see librarianship as a service profession and enjoy working with the public. I’ve been a librarian 21 years. I was the Head of Teen Services at the Oxford Public Library for 14 years and the Youth Services Librarian at Oak Park Public Library for 4 years before coming to the Southfield Library.

When I was little I always wanted to be a librarian because I loved learning and the best place to do that was our public library. But, I knew it was out of our reach financially. No one in my family had even gone to college, let alone enough college for a Master’s degree. I worked in my middle school and high school libraries as a page, and then put the dream away. I was working at contractor for Ford, doing computer programming, when I finally had saved up enough to go to library school. I started in public libraries and youth services right after graduation.

Choosing books is one of the really enjoyable parts of my job. I read reviews and talk to other librarians for recommendations. I also speak with kids and their parents to find out what they would like in our library.

My favorite author is Stephen King. I started reading his books when I was about 10.

One lesser known author I really like is YA author Tamora Pierce. She writes fiercely independent female characters and her world building is exquisite. There’s always plenty of action, intrigue and magic in a Tamora Pierce book.

When recommending books to anyone, I always begin by asking, “What is the last book you liked?” and “What did you like about that book?” That’s a good jumping off point. From that, I can get an idea of the types of books the person may enjoy reading.

If I could live in a book, I would choose Watership Down.