This is one of those situations where I heard about a site from a co-worker but then forgot who the original source was. In any case, someone (perhaps on a listserv?) had wondered whether or not there were any "fake" websites out there that could help teach kids about checking sources and not trusting everything online. I assumed that the answer was going to be Googling "Northwest Pacific Tree Octopus" or "Lake Michigan whale watching" (try ’em) but the actual site mentioned is even better. www.allaboutexplorers.com is described this way:
"All About Explorers was developed by a group of teachers as a means of teaching students about the Internet. Although the Internet can be a tremendous resource for gathering information about a topic, we found that students often did not have the skills to discern useful information from worthless data.
So we set out to develop a series of lessons for elementary age students in which we would demonstrate that just because it is out there for the searching does not mean it is worthwhile."
It doesn’t hurt matters any that the creators had a sense of humor. Take a turn about the explorers to see what I mean.
- I don’t know if any of you are Leon Garfield fans out there. As children’s authors go, Garfield was without equal in terms of Dickensian settings and humor. My favorite title of his is probably Black Jack, about a murdering giant of a man who manages to survive his own hanging. Recently Jen Robinson did one of her fabulous Reviews that Made Me Want the Book postings and she included a cover of Black Jack that I’d never seen before, shown here. Look at that ugly mug! How can you not want to know more about him? And he also appeared to have his own "exciting new film". Bonus.
- More movie news from Cynopsis Kids:
Twentieth Century Fox moves around dates of a number of its movies . . . I Love You Beth Cooper , directed by Chris Columbus, and They Came From Upstairs (a comedy) move from winter 2009, to July 10 and July 31 respectively, and another Columbus directed movie, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief , based on Rick Riordan’s books, to July 2, 2010 from 2009. Fox has also set the movie Ramona , a version of Beverly Cleary’s kid book series of the same name, for release on March 19, 2010.
- In case you missed it there’s a Skellig opera out there and The Guardian has the scoop (which is to say, David Almond wrote the piece). Thanks to bookshelves of doom for the link as well as the one where she found out that Crispin Glover has signed on to play the Knave of Hearts in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. How has it taken this long for Tim Burton and Crispin Glover to work together?
- For half a second there my heart fell into my lap. Nina Lindsay made a pretty compelling point in her post "Graveyard Book" ineligible after all?. I’d been touting this as a top fantasy contender, until Nina wrote the following, "Thanks, Lisa @ the Eva Perry Mock Newbery Club, for alerting us to the fact that The Graveyard Book might be ineligible after all, as one chapter ("The Witch’s Headstone") was included in Gaiman’s M is for Magic last year." Oh no! The things you miss! Fortunately it looks as if there have been several precedents for this kind of situation. Commenter Jonathan Hunt wrote, "I can think of two previous Newbery Honors in a similar situation. The first story in A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO by Richard Peck was previously published in a YA short story anthology about guns. Many of the poems in CARVER: A LIFE IN POEMS published by Marilyn Nelson were previously published in various poetry journals." Phew! Crises averted, peoples! Everyone may go back to your lives now.
- Monica Edinger invited me to the fall meeting of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America but I was unable to attend due to party planning. In other words, because I am lame. Fortunately Monica herself went and has recapped the event (National Ambassador and all) in a lovely little posting.
- Not paying attention to much (my library is in a perpetual state of flux and I’m an easily distracted by . . . . look at the shiny penny!) I had no idea that Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) was the chair of this year’s National Book Award for Young People committee. Learn something new every day. In any case, Bookslut done got an interview with the man. Fun stuff. Thanks again to Educating Alice for the link.
- For Those of You Wondering if the Children’s Room of 42nd Street is Open Yet: It ain’t. Stay tuned.
- I usually like to hold off on Halloween posts until the day in question. However, I don’t think I can avoid mentioning this little contest before the day in question. One Brian Biggs, illustrator by trade, has a Ten Trick or Treaters Contest up and running. He says of it, "Over the next week I’ll be posting ten trick-or-treaters here and on my Flickr page. They need names and maybe little descriptions. This is where you come in. In the comments section here and on my blog you can give each character a name, and tell his/her story.The contest is being judged by Adam himself, world-famous author Judy Sierra, and if I can talk them into it, my kids. The winner will receive a copy of the book that Judy wrote and I illustrated called BEASTLY RHYMES, signed by me and I’ll draw the winning character in it. There will likely be more prizes as well. Stuff like canned fish and M&Ms." So there you go. Your kids and classrooms could be judged by Adam Rex and Judy Sierra. Not too shabby, I think. Winners will be announced on Halloween, so better play while you can.
- Daily Image:
I troll the children’s literary blogs for news. My husband trolls the comic blogs. Between the two of us we’ve a significant percentage of nerdom covered right there. While on his usual patrol, Matt took at gander at Living Between Wednesdays and hit upon a treasure trove of wonderful posts. One Rachelle Goguen has been systematically examining, praising, and decrying various contemporary toys for kids. I’d mention each and every one if I could but the only one I’ll quote is this:
"This toy is proof that, even if it seems silly on paper, adding one awesome thing to any other awesome thing is VERY AWESOME."
She couldn’t be more right. Skeleton T-Rex? Cool. But with the motorcyclist? Cool suddenly morphs into awesome.