Missing Valentine’s Day already? Keep the love going with these few sweet picks from the kids’ staff at the Harvard Coop Bookstore. Get a PDF of the whole list here.
In this follow-up to Splat the Cat (HarperCollins, 2008), the fuzzy black feline learns that bigger isn’t better when it comes to Valentine’s Day cards. Splat has a crush on Kitten, a fluffy white cat with pea-green eyes, but he isn’t the only one. Self-assured Spike informs Splat that he likes her much more and has prepared a superior Valentine to prove it. Discouraged, Splat tosses his tribute into the trash. Kitten smiles as she receives Spike’s card but doesn’t swoon as she reads, “You are so lucky that I like you.” Happily, she notices the little red envelope in the trash and surprises Splat with a pink Valentine that leaves him grinning from ear to ear. The cartoon-style illustrations have a contemporary, quirky feel due to the monochromatic palette, which is punctuated with brightly colored details. Children will giggle at Splat’s awkward interactions with Kitten and smile at the story’s satisfying conclusion.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO
- ages 3 & up
- fun take on why bigger is not always better
- Unusual, cartoony illustrations will appeal to both kids and adults
The Day it Rained Hearts, Felicia Bond
Originally published in 1983 as Four Valentines in a Rainstorm, this sweet book remains the same except for a new cover. Still, many libraries will no longer have the original, and this is a good choice for holiday shelves. Young Cornelia is walking along when it starts raining hearts. Catching them in her hand and in her yellow slicker, she takes them home to make valentines. Because each heart is different, she is able to make very special cards for her special friends. The small watercolor-and-ink illustrations in the center of each snowy page give the spreads a cozy feel. Little ones will enjoy watching as Cornelia catches her hearts and decides what to do with them, and they will appreciate the happiness the valentines bring to Rabbit, Turtle, Mouse, and Dog.–Ilene Cooper
- ages 3 – 5
- story encourages discussion about individuality and giving
- classic, elegant watercolor illustrations are a favorite with adults
Almost everything about Valentine’s Day is fancy . . . especially with Fancy Nancy! Mystery is in the air when Nancy receives a valentine from a secret someone. Join Nancy as she follows the clues to find out who it is—all in her trademark fabulous style, of course.
- ages 4 & up
- kids will enjoy following the clues to find Nancy’s secret valentine
- filled with opportunities to discuss about new words
- stickers included
Henry in Love, Peter Mccarty
Henry the cat is in love with Chloe, the cute little bunny in the back row. On this particular day, his mother makes blueberry muffins for her sons to take for lunch, but Henry saves his for afternoon snack as a special treat. He is the typical little boy who is short on words but big on action. He does a forward roll to impress Chloe, but she bests him with an impressive cartwheel. Later, the teacher reassigns seats and Chloe moves up next to Henry. At snack time, she asks him what he has, and he shows her his big, beautiful blueberry muffin. Henry, who has yet to say a word to his favorite little girl, is surprised but pleased when Chloe thanks him and takes it. It seems that all is fair in love and kindergarten. McCarty’s meticulous ink and watercolor art greatly extends the spare, understated text. The exquisite cream-colored pages bring richness to the presentation that makes readers want to turn each page. This beautiful book should appeal to the little ones who have a special someone in their lives but dare not say a word about it.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
- ages 4 & up
- strong female character
- short text is easy for older kids and independent readers
In this ninth outing in the series, the naughty behaviors of young dinosaurs are followed by an endearing act that reminds their human parents why they love their offspring. The situations are familiar: “Out in the sandbox/you threw lots of sand./You ran from the slide,/after slapping my hand.” Fans can follow the 10 dinosaurs by starting with their names and pictures on the endpapers. Expressions are expertly painted for humorous effect, including the defiant Tsintaosaurus letting water overflow onto the floor and the rollicking Pachycephalosaurus kicking the seat while mother is driving the car. The large, colorful spreads and rhyming text that is still a joy to listen to after repeated readings make this a successful storytime selection. Well-designed pictures and skillfully arranged words will entice newly independent readers, who will be challenged to find the dinosaur name hand-lettered in the illustration where the creature is introduced. The familiar format will produce laughs, kisses, and cuddles during or after an exhausting day of many of the same events.—Debbie S. Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI END
- ages 4 & up
- nice rhyming scheme make reading aloud fun
- keep an eye out for the hidden dinosaur names!
Authors should blog. Authors should get on Facebook and set up fan pages. Authors should tweet. And many YA authors do, setting up themed blogs, tweeting their favorite books, putting up book trailers and extra content. But just who is the content reaching?
According to a recent study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, teen blogging and tweeting are down. Interestingly, the researchers list teens as 12 – 17 years old and young adults as the 18 – 29 set. Key facts from the report:
- Blogging is less popular among teens and young adults now than it was 4 years ago. Think kids are still reading and commenting? Maybe, maybe not – teen blog commenting stats have also dropped.
- 14% of online teens now say they blog, down from 28% in 2006.
- In December 2007, 24% of online 18-29 year olds reported blogging, compared with 7% of those thirty and older.
- By 2009, just 15% of internet users ages 18-29 maintain a blog–a nine percentage point drop in two years.
- 73% of wired American teens now use social networking websites, a significant increase from previous surveys. Just over half of online teens (55%) used social networking sites in November 2006 and 65% did so in February 2008.
- 72% of online 18-29 year olds use social networking websites, nearly identical to the rate among teens.
- The specific sites on which young adults maintain their profiles are different from those used by older adults: Young profile owners are much more likely to maintain a profile on MySpace (66% of young profile owners do so, compared with just 36% of those thirty and older) but less likely to have a profile on LinkedIn (7% vs. 19%).
- 8% of internet users ages 12-17 use Twitter. far less common than sending or receiving text messages as 66% of teens do, or going online for news and political information, done by 62% of online teens.
- Older teens are more likely to use Twitter than their younger counterparts; 10% of online teens ages 14-17 do so, compared with 5% of those ages 12-13.
- High school age girls are particularly likely to use Twitter. Thirteen percent of online girls ages 14-17 use Twitter, compared with 7% of boys that age.
- Young adults lead the way when it comes to using Twitter or status updating. One-third of online 18-29 year olds post or read status updates.
While the report is good news for authors with older adult audiences (blogging, social networking, and twitter usage are up for internet users 30+ ) it poses an interesting question for YA authors – if teens aren’t using the same services as their favorite authors, how can we connect with them?
Last year, Matthew Robson, a 15 year old intern at Morgan Stanley, wrote a report about trending technology and teens. While the report is largely based on Robson’s own observations and anecdotal evidence, it provides some insight into teenage tech habits. According to Robson, Facebook beats Twitter in the teen market because,
Facebook is about connecting people, and sharing information with each other. The way my friends and I see it, Facebook is a closed network. It’s a network of people and friends that you trust to be connected to, and to share information like your email address, AIM screen name, and phone number. You know who’s getting your status messages, because you either approved or added each person to your network.
Twitter, he points out, is the opposite,
It’s a completely open network that makes teenagers feel “unsafe” about posting their content there, because who knows who will read it. Sure, you get emails notifying you when you have new followers, but that doesn’t compare to the level of detail you get when someone on Facebook adds you, and you get their information.
Robson makes a valid point – our kids are clever, web-savvy individuals. In recent years, teens have been inundated with warnings about online friendships and web-stalking and it’s great to see they’ve taken it on board. But what if the teen resistance to Twitter is more basic than that? Adolescence is all about belonging, finding a niche, expressing individuality, and forming friendships–key components to the Facebook experience. Twitter, on the other hand, makes it hard to form meaningful connections, especially as a large percentage of tweeple are out solely to promote their own content (Get your free credit report now! Learn how I made millions with this simple tool developed by a stay at home mom in just 93 days!). Finding followers can also be difficult–and why post regular updates if no one is following you? While it’s possible some teens still use Twitter as a way to keep with their favorite actors, musicians (and hopefully authors) it’s unlikely. There are easier ways–gossip magazines, tabloids, online news services, and personal/professional sites–which don’t require attention 24/7.
Why spend so much time thinking about why teens prefer Facebook over Twitter? (And if teens don’t tweet, then who’s following Ashton Kutcher?) Teen reactions to both services provide insight into what teens do want, even crave – connection and community. This seems like a big ask – what’s a YA author to do? (Aside from writing excellent, readable, relevant books, that is.)
Start by seeing what’s out there. Google the popular stuff and see what fans are producing themselves. Harry Potter and Twilight spawned huge online forums and communities–and while you mightn’t have such a big fan base you can still learn from their sites. Google yourself, too–you may be surprised by what’s out there.
If you’re web-savvy (or have a friend/spouse/liger who is) encourage readers to talk about your books by adding a forum to your website–check out the forum on Princess Diaries author Meg Cabot’s site for a few ideas. Answer questions and take time to respond to your readers. Ask questions, too – it’ll help you reach readers and give you some insight into the 2010 teen experience. Love the ‘net but hate the code? Consider signing up for LiveJournal. LJ users are like an out-of-the-box community – give them a little love and they’ll respond in kind.
Make it easy for readers to contact you – make sure blog comments are enabled and set up a site email (you could use your domain name or just set up a free Gmail account) and check it regularly. Respond to everything you get, even if it takes you a few months–after all, someone loved your book enough to write to you about it, or to ask for advice. What if it’s difficult to think of something to say? You’re a writer – you’ll work it out! Don’t forget about more conventional methods of connecting with readers either. Make school visits. Talk to kids at the library and local bookstores. Remember why you’re a YA author (not for money or fame – who are we kidding?) and put yourself out there.
If teens aren’t using Twitter, should YA authors just delete their accounts? Yes. No. Maybe. Twitter is what you make it – everything comes down to the reason you tweet. If your sole objective is to connect with teens, Twitter might not be your best option. But if you want to connect with crossover and new adult readers, go for it–one third of 18 – 29 year olds read or post status updates. Twitter is also an excellent way to connect with other writers, learn from writers, agents, and editors, and establish a web presence (a useful tool in finding an agent and/or editor).
Do you have a Twitter account? Why do you tweet? How do you connect with your readers?
Craigslist, Kijiji, eBay. There are so many classifieds sites out there, and startups come and go in the blink of an eye. Enter newcomer Daype, a new kind of classifieds service. The brainchild of IT exec and CEO Andris Stinka, DAYPE, Inc. is a private company with six private investors (including former UCI men’s basketball star Raimonds Miglinieks).
Why start another classifieds service that would have to compete with bigwigs Craigslist and eBay? Because user needs are not being met. In the words of CEO Andris,”Daype believes that the online classifieds industry holds huge potential and that there are many opportunities for innovation and new business models in this field.” And it’s clear that Daype is out to explore that potential. Taking all the good points of the major players, Daype seamlessly integrates these features into a simple, user friendly interface. So just what is it that makes the Daype UI so special? It’s deliberately designed to make classifieds searching intuitive, meaning that anyone with a computer can learn to use the service in just a few minutes…[more]
Published Monday, August 24, 2009, Classified News Blog by Daype Classifieds
Craigslist has the classifieds game all tied up right? Wrong. New classifieds startups are popping up all the time – here we review the top 5 most interesting.
According to Quantcast, a well-known audience-insights service used by Digg, MTV Networks, Time, Inc., Bloomberg, WordPress ,and NBC (to name just a few), Daype is at the top of the startup list. Since its beta launched in August 2008, Daype has rapidly expanded, now netting 150,000 page views per month.
With a simple, intuitive user interface, Daype makes buying and selling a snap. Search results that include images and an on-page drop-down category menu make narrowing a search efficient and effective.
* User-focused, with an easy to use, intuitive interface.
* Registration and user accounts for easy ad management.
* Allows registered users to include Skype details for easy buyer contacts.
* Watchlists to keep track of interesting ads.
* Covers all major US cities.
* Still gathering momentum in some cities, meaning searches sometimes
return outdated results.
* Some job categories, such as media and publishing, not listed…[more]
Everyone knows that having some kind of online presence is important. But with so many ways to interact online, it can be hard to know how to get the most out of your social networks and actually connect with people in your industry. In fact, some would even have you believe you need a virtual PA or intern to manage the varying social network services out there. But with just a little bit of homework, it’s actually quite simple to set up and maintain your online presence.
As a slew of recent media articles have reported, social networks like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are no longer the sole domain of twenty-somethings and teenagers. Companies are using them for branding and promotions, and parents are using them to keep in touch with said twenty-somethings and teenagers. So how do you fit your career interests into your Facebook page if your Aunt Ellen keeps posting LOLcat pictures to your wall?
First, think about the reason you joined a social network, and if it’s the best one for you. If you truly did join Facebook to keep in touch with faraway family (or you just really like LOLcat pictures) – fine. Just remember that many employers now conduct fairly in-depth online searches about prospective hires, so keep it clean.
Okay, now you’ve established the why of your joining a social network, think about the network itself. Facebook is great for more casual connections, but LinkedIn is the go to for many professionals (more below). Both these services, however, are not industry specific, so making worthwhile career connections can be a bit time consuming. Enter the targeted social network…[more]
The demise of the newspaper has garnered a lot of media coverage these past few months. And all over the US, the heart of the world’s current economic crisis, companies are tightening their belts. Many newspapers, once thought to be essential media, are thought to be on the verge of collapse, as internet advertising models have been unsuccessful, and the failure of a paid web content model.
But is the idea of paid web content really so terrible?
Think for a minute. When’s the last time you paid for any sort of media content? Was it when you flicked on your cable to watch The Daily Show last night? Or perhaps it was this morning when you read Guess How Much I Love You to your little girl before leaving for work? As you’ve probably realized, paid content is not a new idea – every day we pay for some piece of media content, and the money we spend trickles down to those generating the content. Most people take this for granted; after all, when’s the last time you heard a woman complain about paying for a book at the local Barnes and Noble?
Enter the internet. When newspapers first started publishing online, many tried a paid web content model and found it very quickly floundered. And now, with the proliferation of blogs and would-be journalists online, it seems almost suicidal to re-introduce the idea…[more]Read More