image of Illinois logo

View as HTML

CCB Newsletter
March 2012


In this Newsletter…


News and Updates

Edible Books Festival

Calling all food- and book-lovers!  The University of Illinois’ 7th Annual Edible Book Festival is coming up Monday April 2, at the University YMCA.  Anyone in the UIUC or Champaign-Urbana community is welcome to submit an edible creation, which can be inspired by a favorite story, involve a pun on a famous title, or simply be in the shape of a book.  All entries will be exhibited, documented, and then eaten!  As in past years, the winner of the Best Entry Based on Book for Children or Teens will win a CCB tote bag filled with brand-new books for youth.  For complete details on the Edible Book Festival, click here


March Calendar

Thursday, March 1: CCB Closed (LEEP Weekend)
                        2012 Gryphon Lecture, 7:30pm, GSLIS room 126 (lecture) and 131 (reception to follow)
                        Grounding Our Perspectives on Children’s Literature
                        Dr. Margaret Mackey, Professor, School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta

Friday, March 2: CCB open 12-5pm
                        Brown Bag with Margaret Mackey, 12:00-1:30pm
                        LEEP Book Sale, 1:30-5pm

Saturday, March 3-Monday, March 5: CCB Closed (LEEP Weekend)

Saturday, March 10: Spanish Story Time at the Urbana Free Library, 2:30-3:30pm
                               Featuring GSLIS storytellers
                               Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Thursday, March 15: Youth Lit Book Club, 5-6pm
                                Discussing The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Monday, March 19-Friday, March 23: CCB Closed (Spring Break)

Events take place at the CCB unless otherwise noted. For complete descriptions of events, visit the calendar on our website.


New Bibliography on the CCB Website

Wordless and Nearly Wordless Books

By Laurel Halfar


Our Affiliates Out and About

CCB affiliate and GSLIS Assistant Professor Dr. Kate McDowell will be giving a talk titled "Creating a History of Children as Readers" to a Peoria group of children's librarians on March 5. 

The Center for Children’s Books will have a booth at the 2012 Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield, Illinois.  Come say hi and learn how our resources can help you!


Feature: Reference Resources in the CCB Collection

As you may know, The Center for Children's Books houses a non-circulating collection of more than 16,000 recent and historically significant trade books for youth, birth through high school, plus review copies of nearly all trade books published in the U.S. in the current year.  The majority of the books in our collection have been reviewed by The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, our affiliated review journal,in the last 5-7 years.  These reviews feature concise summaries and critical evaluations to help you find the books you need. Each review offers information on book's content, reading level, strengths and weaknesses, and quality of format, as well as suggestions for curricular use.  Moreover, Bulletin reviews are pasted directly into the books in our collection for quick, easy access.  

But when it comes time to put it all together and create a themed storytime for preschoolers, an outreach program for teens, or an oral storytelling performance, the CCB has even more resources to help.  The CCB houses over 1,000 professional and reference books, covering a wide range of topics from theory to practice.  Like the rest of our collection, our reference resources are non-circulating, but they are always available for use during our open hours.  As always, our Graduate Assistants can help you find a resource to address your needs, whether you’re a teacher, practicing librarian, or LIS student.  Read on for a preview of some especially helpful reference resources.

Bromann, Jennifer. More Storytime Action!: 2000+ More Ideas for Making 500+ Picture Books Interactive. Neal-Schuman, 2009. 

After a short overview of the ten requisite elements of an interactive storytime, the bulk of this book is made up of ready-made theme-based storytimes as well as an extensive list of picture books that lend themselves to active participation.  Each book entry contains a summary and suggested activities. 

Gorman, Michele. Connecting Young Adults and Libraries: A How-To-Do It Manual; by Michele Gorman and Tricia Suellentrop. 4th ed. Neal Shuman, 2009.

The fourth edition of the “big pink Bible of teen services” spotlights new trends in library services and literature for teens while presenting a straightforward guide for any librarian looking to build their teen department from the ground up.

Greene, Ellin. Storytelling: Art and Technique; by Ellin Greene and Janice Del Negro. 4th ed. Libraries Unlimited, 2010.

The fourth edition of this storytelling standby includes a wealth of updated and new materials, covering both the cultural history of storytelling and offering a comprehensive instructional guide for the creation and administration of storytelling programs that can remain relevant in a media-saturated society.
Herz, Sarah K. From Hinton to Hamlet: Building Bridges between Young Adult Literature and the Classics; by Sarah K. Herz and Donald R. Gallo. 2nd ed. Greenwood, 2005.

This invaluable curricular guide returns in a revised and expanded addition that doubles its size. New material includes a fat chapter on thematic, archetypal, and author-focused approaches; case studies of school and public libraries and their approach to teen reading; additional titles and approaches in the chapter suggesting ways to expand curricular applications to areas beyond the English classroom, ranging from history to counseling to physical education.


New Books We Just Had to Read
Every month, the CCB Graduate Assistants highlight books reviewed in the most recent issue of the Bulletin that we were excited to read.  These decisions are based on personal preference, but all books listed are Recommended by the Bulletin. For complete reviews, visit the Bulletin website ( to learn how to subscribe.

Laurel’s Choice: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Reading Level:
Gr. 9-12
Publisher and Year:
Knopf, 2012

To celebrate the end of year 12, Lucy and her two friends, Jazz and Daisy, plan to have a night of adventure, and hopefully romance, searching for the elusive teenaged graffiti artist, Shadow. Lucy, an artist herself, has admired Shadow’s wall art throughout the city and cannot shake the idea that they must meet. The girls’ quest for the mysterious street artist takes an unplanned turn when they run into Daisy’s boyfriend, Dylan, and his two friends Ed and Leo. The last thing Lucy wants to do is spend her night of freedom with Ed, the boy she had her first and only date with two years ago. When Ed learns about the girls’ mission, things become more complicated, because Ed is in fact Shadow. He struggles over revealing the truth to Lucy, afraid he will not live up to her glamorization of Shadow. Ed also battles himself over whether he should go through with the boys’ plan for the night, a robbery that will allow him to help his single mom pay the rent. The lyrical prose used to tell Ed and Lucy’s story in alternating perspectives effortlessly conveys the possibility that lies in one night.

Anna’s Choice: Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies
Reading Level: Gr. 2-4
Pages: 108
Publisher and Year: Candlewick, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5549-5
Price: $19.99
Zoologist and author Nicola Davies explores the often-overlooked natural world outside our window with childlike wonder. Divided thematically by season, nearly sixty informational poems about nature guide the reader through the busy annual schedule of budding, blooming, scavenging, and seeding time. Her verse sings of the praises of the plant and animal kingdom and the turnings of the seasons in all their beauty. The writing is more educational than lyrical, but lovers of beautiful books need not fear. This “first book of nature” is richly illustrated with art that is folksy, brilliantly diverse, and stylistic. The mixed media artwork suits the collage of more interactive information elements in the book (crafts and recipes like “bird cakes” and “berry crumble”) that will surely engage youngsters to discover more of the outside world in a fun, hands-on way. The detail and charm taken in the design, as well as Davies’ sensory-driven verse, make paging through the seasons a pleasurable experience worth returning to again and again. 

Lauren’s Choice: In Darkness by Nick Lake
Reading Level: Gr. 8-12
Pages: 342
Publisher and Year: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-59990-743-7
Price: $17.99

Alternating in perspective between Shorty, a slum-dwelling gangster buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and Toussaint L’Ouverture, leader of the late-18th century Haitian Revolution, this spirit-driven novel grapples with the darkness—of Haiti’s turbulent political history, of the island’s contemporary plagues of gang violence and poverty, of a deeply ingrained vodou tradition—with simultaneous depth and agility.  At the beginning of the novel, Shorty’s already trapped in the wreckage of the collapsed hospital, but he takes the reader back in time to tell his story, revealing a life marred by violence both suffered in the loss of his father and sister, and later waged by Shorty himself against his rival gang.  L’Ouverture, in his efforts to reclaim Haiti for the formerly enslaved, strives to lead with ethics and wisdom first, strategic violence second, but his good faith in the new French administration leads to his capture and ensuing imprisonment.  Spanning centuries and transcending the physical body, the spirits and voices of these two men, both facing death in impenetrable darkness, intertwine in this riveting snapshot of Haiti past and present. 


Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

Turner, Philip M. Helping Teachers Teach: A School Library Media Specialist's Role. Libraries Unlimited, 2003. ISBN 978-1591580201. 

For more book selections or to order this one, visit the CCB’s Amazon Wish List.


CCB Spring Hours and General Information

Note: See Calendar for special hours during LEEP Weekend and Spring Break. 

Monday: 10 am – 5 pm
Tuesday: 10 am – 7 pm
Wednesday: 3 pm – 7 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 7 pm
Friday: 10 am – 5pm

For more information about the CCB and our collection, please visit the About Us page on our website.

To stay up-to-date with CCB events and news, be sure to ‘like’ our brand-new Facebook page

ListServ Information
To start, stop, or modify your subscription, please visit

The Center for Children's Books | Graduate School of Library and Information Science | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
501 E. Daniel St. | Champaign, IL 61820 | 217-244-9331 |