News & Links

Happy Book Birthday, Jerry!

Today is the day! Not So Scary Jerry by Shelley Kinder, illustrated by me, Caryn Schafer, is officially out in the world. I cannot wait for you to meet Jerry! I’ll be back to posting regularly again very soon and have lots to share about the creation of Jerry and other exciting projects. Pick up Not So Scary Jerry at Clear Fork PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble, and ask your local bookstore and library to carry it!

Big Illustration News

Pardon the post interruption—I have some big news. I have recently signed to illustrate my first picture book!

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I am so thrilled and honored to get this project! It is written by Shelley Kinder and due to arrive September of 2017 with Clear Fork Publishing. I’ve got a lot of work set out before me, so bear with me as posts will likely be even more intermittent than usual. Thanks for your support and encouragement as I work towards this goal! If you miss me and want to see what I’m working on in my sketchbook, check out smellingoranges.blogspot.com.

Stay tuned for a revised version of my yearly picture book Christmas countdown!

Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King,… the Awards are in for 2016!

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If you happened to be following me on any social media platform yesterday, you probably witnessed some nerding-out over the ALA Award Announcements. It is an exciting time of year for children’s book lovers! I am very excited about all the winners that I was familiar with, which was mostly the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré, & Geisel categories. I am especially excited about the book I happened to highlight over the weekend, Last Stop on Market Street.

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Take a look at that pristine cover. From now on anytime you see this book it will be boasting not one, not two, but THREE award stickers. Illustrator Christian Robinson rightfully earned himself a Coretta Scott King Honor and a Caldecott Honor with his fantastic illustrations. And author Matt de la Peña was awarded the Newbery Medal for his powerful writing and storytelling. This is only the second time in the history of the Newbery (since 1922) for a picture book to win the Newbery Medal. The only other time it happened—in 1982 for A Visit to William Blake’s Inn by Nancy Willard—that book also received a Caldecott Honor for its illustrations by Alice & Martin Provensen! Big congratulations and excitement for de la Peña and Robinson.

Once again, this year I only own one of the five Caldecott award winners (see above). I don’t have the best track record at predicting or collecting the winners until after the fact. But I have had the winner, Finding Winnie, on my library hold list for a couple weeks so that must count for something. I am so excited for Sophie Blackall‘s first ever Caldecott. Hurrah!

Also, Waiting by Kevin Henkes, which won a Caldecott Honor and a Geisel, is a fabulous book that even my daughter spied in the announcements and was ecstatic. It is in the queue of reviews, so stay tuned.

All the other award winners in my favorite categories are now going on the library hold list (along with everyone else’s apparently!), and I cannot wait to check them out. While I don’t always agree with the choices, this year I have few issues and am looking forward to new favorites.

Thanks for letting me nerd-out a bit here. And in case you are thoroughly confused about what I am talking about, check out my Things to Know About the Caldecott Medal post from last year. That will get you started. You can also view the whole announcement and see a full list of the awards, if you are so inclined.

See you tomorrow with another Wordless Wednesday post and Q&A!

A Reading Announcement – Caryn’s Bookshelf

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Pardon the interruption from my normally scheduled picture book posting, but I have an announcement to make: I read a lot of books. I know, shocking. But actually the announcement has to do with my new method of keeping track of all the other books I’m reading and loving and dying to share. Three Books a Night is devoted to sharing picture books and I want it to stay that way, but I love all kinds of books and love to talk about them too. So, if you are interested in seeing what other books I may be cramming onto my bookshelf, check out my new tumblr: Caryn’s Bookshelf.

I plan on keeping it to a photo or two of the book and a short recap of my thoughts, the plot or some random note about the book. These books will most likely be young adult literature, as that is what I treasure the most in my pleasure reading, but I may feature some of the adult books that capture my attention too. If you are so inclined, pop over there occasionally and strike up a conversation about the latest Newbery potential book, memoir, graphic novel, or whatever else is gracing my side table at the moment! There is also a handy little link in my sidebar to the right which will display the latest book I’ve added.

Hope to see you there and hear about what else you are reading!

The Cybils Have Me Hopping… Err… Reading!

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This poor sad blog is being greatly neglected lately and I figured it is worth popping in briefly to share why. That picture above shows only a small portion of the recent chaos and piles of books I find myself under.

Back in September, I was selected as one of the first round panelists for the fiction picture book category of the 2013 Cybils (the Children and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards). My job is to sift through about 200+ fiction picture books published between October 15, 2012 to October 15, 2013 and select my favorites. I have two months to do it before passing on my top-secret ideas to the final round judges along with my fellow first round panelists. So, between library runs, list sorting, opening publisher submissions and reading til I’m dizzy, I and my blog are getting buried. But oh is it fun! I have so many books I can’t wait to talk about here. This year has seen some stunning creations. And it has made me even more excited about the Caldecott awards coming up early next year! I love to speculate about what books other people are loving and listing.

So, thanks for your patience. I sincerely hope there are still a few people awaiting my forthcoming posts. The first one is on its way Monday (fingers-crossed), if I can get my thoughts coherent and written down while simultaneously reading and listing with my other hand. Stay tuned!

Chicks, Cheetahs, & Sharks, Oh My! Storytime Tomorrow

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It’s a big deal in Knoxville tomorrow with the Children’s Festival of Reading happening in World’s Fair Park. I’m so excited to hear Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Bob Shea, Jarrett Kroscozka and many other authors and illustrators. I’ll be reading several books by some of them at storytime tomorrow too. So, if you are at the festival, be sure to stop by for a bit! See you storytimers at Union Ave Books tomorrow at 11am!

Dinosaur Storytime Saturday At 11am

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It has been a while since I’ve posted about storytimes here, but they do still happen every first and third Saturday at Union Ave Books. This week is going to be extra gigantic as we read some great books, old and new, about those ferocious (or not) beasts called dinosaurs. Come on out locals! In the words of fabulous author Molly Idle (from twitter), “It promises to be a ROARING good time!”

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Caldecotts + Infographic = Awesome!

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The great librarian guy over at 100 Scope Notes thought it was terribly sad to not have any children’s literature infographics out in the cyber-world; so he created this awesome Caldecott infographic last December (and updated it recently!) Being a designer at heart who adores infographics and is a wee bit obsessive for picture books, this just makes my heart sing.

(discovered recently via Design Mom)