Friday, June 23, 2006


EMILY'S BALLOON by Komako Sakai (Chronicle)
What could be more summery than a bright yellow balloon? And the little girl in this story really knows how to work it! She takes the balloon to the garden, plays house with it, plans to take it to dinner, but whoosh, the big wind tangles it in a tree limb. What's a toddler to do? Balloons are important toys for a lot of children, and the littlest in your lap will identify with the high drama and imagination at play in these pages. Sakai is
the winner of the Japanese Picture Book Prize, which I don't yet know much about, but it certainly sounds good, doesn't it? I do know that her unadorned, expressive line is reminiscent of the great Taro Yashima, which makes her a winner in my book. You may want to have yellow balloons available at your storytime. (3 and up)

On a personal note
Come on, people! Don't be shy! Send me your questions at esmeatripcodotcom, anything you've wanted to know about children's literature but were afraid to ask. I'll start answering them next week.

I need to congratulate MotherReader on her inspired reading promotion, the 48 Hour Book Challenge. She sent a lot of page-turning power out into the world with this initiative! Visit her post, where you will also find a sampling of wildly brilliant and dedicated children's book bloggers. The victor of MotherReader's challenge was Midwestern Lodestar, just take a gander at the incredible list, over three thousand pages! I bow to you! I was a bit out of the loop myself, being new to the blogosphere and trying not to lurk too much on other people's blogs as I develop my own, but I'm excited to join the fun of this reading marathon next year and hope all you new children's booklovers will get into training so you can, too!

Also, a special thanks to AnnieM at Annie's Books who participated in the Challenge and happened to post a very generous review of my memoir /journaling springboard for kids, SING A SONG OF TUNA FISH, which will be released in paperback in about a week.

Links are provided for informational use. Don't forget to support your local bookseller.


MotherReader said...

Thanks for the shout-out. 48 HBC was a lot of fun and we'll get you playing next year.

Katie said...


I have been a fan of your website forever! I have read and own both your Diary of a First Year Teacher, and your potato pick filled How to Get Your Child to Love Reading. Thanks for your literary guidance-I turn to your site whenever I need a read-aloud suggestion. I am so glad to see that you've joined the blogsphere. Beginning a blog was one of my technology goals this summer as I am now a non-stop reader of children's and YA lit. Thanks for all you do to promote the best literature around!


ZG said...

Miss Esme!

I cannot believe you have referenced my little blog on your amazing blog in connection with the 48-Hour Book Challenge! Thank you for your kind words. That was so much fun to take part in!

I admire your work with reading so much and adored hearing you speak last summer at ALA about your favorite books from childhood. (Especially the Russell Hoban segment!)

I recommended your "How To Get Kids To Love Reading" to all of my pre-service teachers, too, as an invaluable resource as they headed off to inspire more young readers in their classrooms!

ZG @ Midwestern Lodestar

Bradley said...


I downloaded sing a song of tuna fish audio book for my daughter from Chicago Public Library, and was suprised to read (hear) about Rabbi Deitcher. I was in his Hebrew school class from about 8 years old til my bar mitzva. He was also my neighbor. How did you know him? I am of course assuming that your fiction is part memoir. Just curious.



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