Ban My Book…Please!!!

 So proud to find Tom Birdseye's hysterical book on the list! Write on, Tom!

So proud to find Tom Birdseye's hysterical book on the list! Write on, Tom!

It’s hump day of Banned Book week. Yes, I know, traditionally “Hump Day” is Wednesday. But that’s based on a 5-day work week. I moved Hump Day to the 4.5th day for those of us who follow a 7-day/every-day work week). That settled, back to my rant. . I’ve been known to jest, “Ban my book, please…” (Especially after Vampire Baby and Not Norman were published.)

As the saying goes, “Most truth is said in jest.” True. But I wasn’t kidding. And I’m not now, either. With both of those books, Vampire Baby especially, what I found happened is that rather than buying and then banning it, parents, grandparents & librarians—yes librarians—school, public and private—ignore it, avoid it, don’t touch it, or read it… Ignore it and it will go away, they think and do.

In the case of Vampire Baby, I was told it was because vampires are “taboo subjects” in many schools. At library/educator conventions, including TLA and IRA, I tried to explain to passing browsers how Vampire Baby isn’t really about a vampire. I tried to get the librarian or teacher to see for themselves: “Look at it! Touch it! Read for yourself, you’ll see…” They’d shake their heads or walk on by.

As for Not Norman, a Goldfish Story: Now it’s hugely popular & timely! People—adults, children, librarians—take one look at that adorable brown face peeking through the fishbowl with a goldfish for a nose and want to scoop it up. But back in 2005, when Not Norman was published, that was not the case.

 

I’d be at events & book signings, and many browsers, even “friends” who’d bought every other book I’d written offhand, skirted right past.

After all, that brown boy didn’t look anything like their children, grandchildren, students… Even still today this may happen. I can’t say for sure because I’ve banned those places.

Is being officially “Banned” bad? Yes. No one else should be able to take away our right to choose what we read.

…and No. At least. to be banned, someone has to care enough, be passionate enough, committed enough to go through all the trouble it takes to have a book officially banned. Truthfully, selfishly, I’d rather my book be banned than ignored…

Books can be dangerous objects—under their influence, people start to wonder, dream, and think.
— NYPL Banned Book Quiz

However, This is Banned Book Week! and so:

In honor of all those individuals and institution that went to all the time, trouble and expense—I’m talking hours and hours, sometimes years of trouble, People!—to get a book banned, let’s:

READ! READ! READ! All the BANNED BOOKS!

Here, courtesy of ALA is a list of the Most Frequently Challenged Children’s Books: 

And, to challenge your knowledge of banned and challenged books, the NYPL Banned Book Quiz

Happy reading! 

Ban My Book…Please!!! Playlist:

Wanna keep in touch? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification of new posts on Kelly's Fishbowl.

The "O-Fish-Al" Story via Jumpstart

Still flip-flopping over the news that thanks to Jumpstart, on October 22, 2015, Not Norman, A Goldfish Story will star in (with your help--please--help) The World's Largest EVER Shared Reading Event: Read for the Record®, Yes, NORMAN! Of course I jumped at the chance to guest post on the Jumpstart blog.

Then I freaked: Oh my!

How many kazillion folks read the Jumpstart blog?

I mean, dang, Jumpstart is a national early education organization...

It's not that I'm not used to writing blog posts. (After 10 years of pert-darn-near regular weekly posts, I should be.) But I write those blog posts to and for YOU, my peeps, whose names and faces I picture as I'm writing. I write my posts the way,  if letters were still our sole mode of long-distance communication, I would have writen, enveloped, sealed, stamped and mailed a letter to you.  (And yes, I know some of them, last post, for example, are a lot on the wordy side...aka Windy.)

So, nervous+delighted+honored, I wrote a guest post for the Jumpstart Blog. In it, I shared the story of how I got Norman--the story idea, not the goldfish...or are they one in the same? And, well, chock it up to excitement or nervousness, but, I may have gotten a little carried away.  I included some photos and may have shared more than I should have. You decide. As Nanny always said, "Words are one thing you can't take back."

Here's the link to the July 8, 2015 Jumpstart Blog Post: NOT NORMAN: THE O-FISH-AL STORY.

Happy Reading! (And please don't stop there . . . )

Jumpstart.jpg

NORMAN AND I NEED YOUR HELP to make this year's World Read-Aloud the largest ever! (We do want to do our goldfish proud, don't we?)

Sign up to Read for the Record® on October 22, 2015 at readfortherecord.org.

Pre-order your special edition of Not Norman, register to read, and download free activity materials and resources at Jumpstart.

10-22-2015 WHO'S READING FOR THE RECORD? NOT NORMAN!

You know the song from Guys and Dolls, the one Sister Sarah sings after she loses the bet against Sky Masterson and pays up by going with him to Havana? Cue the music: Ask me how to I feel . . . Well, Sir, all I can say is if I were a gate I'd be swing-ing!/And if I were a watch I'd start/ popping my springs!/Or if I were a bell I'd go ding dong, ding dong ding! 

Add to that, If I were a fish I’d be flip-ping! Because that’s how I’ve been feeling since I heard the big news—Like that swing-ing gate, that spring-popping watch, that ding-dong-ing bell, that fish!  Some of you may know why. For those who don’t, cue the trumpet!

My little book, NOT NORMAN, A GOLDFISH STORY, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones (Candlewick Press), is Jumpstart’s Read for the Record book for 2015!!!

What’s that mean? Only that, on October 22, 2015 children and adults will read Not Norman together, aloud, it what can become—for the Record—the world’s largest shared reading experience! You, too, I hope.

In case you don’t know, Jumpstart is a non-profit early education organization with a mission of helping every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Their motto is:

How does it work?Jumpstart recruits and trains college students and community volunteers to work with preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late.”

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, began in 2006, to raise awareness of the achievement gap and Jumpstart's work with preschool children in low-income neighborhoods—and to raise funds to support programs. Candlewick Press, Jumpstart’s partner in the 2015 campaign, in addition to other contributions, will donate some 13,000 copies of the Jumpstart special edition (available in Spanish & English) to ensure that anyone who wants to participate, can!

Thrilled as I was when Jumpstart announced Not Norman as the 2015 Read for the Record book, the magnitude of this honor didn’t really register until I did some digging into the history of past campaigns. Since 2006, when more than 150 thousand children & adults read The Little Engine that Could on the same day, thus earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records*, funds raised, number of books given to children—for many their first book—and number of children & adult participating has burgeoned. The record high to date is almost 4.3 million, set in 2012, when children & adults reading the same book on the same day! Totally freaks me out to think my little fishy story is on the list with such time-honored classics, all for a single purpose: Helping children read & succeed!

For the record: Yes, learning to read the words in a picture book is the goal. But we all know it’s the picture on the cover that compels children to pick up a book, and the illustrations inside that keep them turning—and returning—to those pages. Let’s hear it for Noah Z. Jones!

  I first met Noah Z. Jones at a school event  6 years  after Not Norman was published.

I first met Noah Z. Jones at a school event 6 years after Not Norman was published.

Believe it or not, Not Norman is Noah’s first picture book! And, bucking traditional illustration techniques, Noah utilized his animation background and tech-know-how while he was at it; the art for Not Norman by computer!

Way back then, 2002-3, computer generated illustrations in picture books were unheard of. In fact, some reviewers scoffed. The rest of us, especially kids & I, loved it! One look at that cover, at that boy’s face peeking through the fishbowl with Norman as his nose, and I just have to laugh-every time!

You know, the 3rd thing I did, after learning Not Norman, a Goldfish Story, had been named Jumpstart's Read for the Record book for 2015? I went on a crazed Internet search. I looked up everything I could about Jumpstart, all about past Read for the Record Campaigns, and of course, the other 9 Read for the Record books.  You can bet my mind was ding-dong, flippin! Here's the list:

JUMPSTART Read for the Record books:

2006: The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper (more than 150,000 children & adults read the story on the same day, earning that 1st  spot in The Guinness Book of World Records.)

2007: The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (258,000 children & adults participated)

2008: Corduroy written by Don Freeman (688,000 participated)

2009: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (2,019,752 participated)

2010: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (2,057,513 participated)

2011 Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney (2,185,155 participated)

2012: Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by David Soman & Jacky Davis (4, 2,385,305 participated)

2013 Otis by Loren Long (2,462,860 children & adults participated)

2014 Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells (2,383,645 children & adults participated)

Add to that:

Not Norman, A Goldfish Story, by Kelly Bennett & Noah Z. Jones (How many children & adults participate on October 22, 2015 is up to us . . . )

What’s especially exciting is that this is Jumpstart’s Read for the Record and Not Norman’s 10th birthday! I sure hope you’ll join me in helping to make this 10th campaign a record breaker. Here’s How:

Mark Your Calendars: READ FOR THE RECORD DAY is October 22, 2015

Pledge to Read: http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/register-read

Get Involved: Donate! Join the Team! Be a Sponsor! http://jstart.org/get-involved/get-involved1

Buy the Jumpstart Special Edition of Not Norman: http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/jumpstart-shop  (English & Spanish available):

Play Around: Check out the free resources on the Jumpstart Toolkit: http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/toolkit

Spread the Word: Please share the Jumpstart Read for the Record link on social media word-of-mouth, too! http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/read-for-the-record

Who's Reading for the Record? Playlist:

Wanna keep in touch? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.

And the Winners Are . . .

Drumroll Please . . . Winners in the VAMPIRE BABY I Vant Books for My Library Giveaway are: 

1.    Guthrie Memorial Library, Hanover, Pennsylvania 

  I Vant Books for Guthrie Memorial

I Vant Books for Guthrie Memorial

2.    Jericho Public Library, Jericho, New York

 CAUTION: VE VILL BITE UNLESS WE VIN BOOKS FOR JERICHO LIBRARY!

CAUTION: VE VILL BITE UNLESS WE VIN BOOKS FOR JERICHO LIBRARY!

3.    Moreland Notre Dame Academy, Watsonville, California

 GRANDMA MADE ME DO IT . . . 

GRANDMA MADE ME DO IT . . . 

4.    Tulsa Educare, Tulsa, Oklahoma

 I WANT TOOTIE!        I NEED TOOTIE!          I LOVE TOOTIE!

I WANT TOOTIE!        I NEED TOOTIE!          I LOVE TOOTIE!

5.    Cobleskill Community Library, Coblehill, New York 

  DON'T THINK I VILL NOT BITE FOR BOOKS!

DON'T THINK I VILL NOT BITE FOR BOOKS!


6.    Harry S. Truman Public Library, Annapolis, MD

 BEHIND THIS LIP BROOM I'M 100% BOOK VAMPIRE--SUCKING OUT EVER DROP OF KNOWLEDGE!

BEHIND THIS LIP BROOM I'M 100% BOOK VAMPIRE--SUCKING OUT EVER DROP OF KNOWLEDGE!

7.    Maud Smith Marks Library, Katy, TX

 I VANT TO BITE er... REVEALING MY TRUE IDENTITY TO WIN BOOKS FOR MAUD MARKS LIBRARY

I VANT TO BITE er... REVEALING MY TRUE IDENTITY TO WIN BOOKS FOR MAUD MARKS LIBRARY

8.    Norwich Public Library, Norwich, VT

 LOOK INTO MY EYES AND REPEAT AFTER ME: SEND NORWICH VAMPIRE BABY! SEND NORWICH VAMPIRE BABY!

LOOK INTO MY EYES AND REPEAT AFTER ME: SEND NORWICH VAMPIRE BABY! SEND NORWICH VAMPIRE BABY!

9.    Orion Library, Lake Orion, Michigan

 BENEATH THESE FANGS WE'RE NICE .  WE WON'T BITE . .  . UNLESS YOU MESS WITH OUR SHELVES!

BENEATH THESE FANGS WE'RE NICE .  WE WON'T BITE . .  . UNLESS YOU MESS WITH OUR SHELVES!

10.    Herbert Hoover Elementary, Tulsa, OK

 I Vant Books for Hoover Kindergartners!

I Vant Books for Hoover Kindergartners!

Each winner will receive a copy of Vampire Baby (from Candlewick Press)  and collection of Kelly Bennett Books for the library listed above! 

Wanna keep in touch? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.

Play it Again, Pal! or 2:48 Minutes More

Settle your little ones in front of the monitor, click on an Author Read-Aloud video (below), and let them watch and listen while you enjoy some lazy time. Okay, you can view, too--if you promise to act  OUR age!

VAMPIRE BABY thrilled to be a finalist for the OKLAHOMA BOOK AWARD!!

VAMPIRE BABY is sharping her fangs--looking forward to sinking them into Oklahoma Center for the Book folks at the Oklahoma Book Awards on April 12th! What a thrill to be a finalist!

Thank you for honoring VAMPIRE BABY, illustrated by Paul Meisel (Candlewick Press).

2014 Oklahoma Book Award Finalist, Children/Young Adults

Vampire Baby—Kelly Bennett—Candlewick Press

The Year of the Turnip—Glenda Carlile—New Forums Press Inc.

The Dark Between—Sonia Gensler—Alfred A. Knopf

Nugget & Fang—Tammi Sauer—Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

MOJO—Tim Tharp—Alfred A. Knopf

How I Became a Ghost—Tim Tingle—The RoadRunner Press

 

Design/Illustration

Chikasha Stories Volume Three: Shared Wisdom—illustrated by Jeannie Barbour—Chickasaw Press

The Impossible Dream: The Miracle of the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum—designed by Nathan Dunn—Oklahoma Heritage Association

Proudly Protecting Oklahoma: The 75th Anniversary of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol—designed by Skip McKinstry—Oklahoma Heritage Association

Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison—designed by Tony Roberts and Julie Rushing—University of Oklahoma Press

Devon—designed by Jenny Chan and Lisa Yelon with Jack Design, photography by Alan Karchmer and Joe C. Aker—The Images Publishing Group

 

Fiction

Kind of Kin—Rilla Askew—HarperCollins

A Map of Tulsa—Benjamin Lytal—Penguin Books

The Hanging of Samuel Ash—Sheldon Russell—Minotaur Books

Che Guevara’s Marijuana and Baseball Savings and Loan—Jack Shakely—Xlibris

The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club—Lynda Stephenson—Outskirts Press

Sweet Dreams—Carla Stewart—Faith Words Press

Non-fiction

Banking in Oklahoma Before Statehood—Michael J. Hightower—University of Oklahoma Press

Came Men on Horses: The Conquistador Expeditions of Francisco Vazquez de Coronado and Don Juan de Onate—Stan Hoig—University Press of Oklahoma

Main Street Oklahoma: Stories of Twentieth-Century America—edited by Patricia Loughlin and Linda W. Reese—University of Oklahoma Press

Riding Out the Storm: 19th Century Chickasaw Governors, Their Lives and Intellectual Legacy—Phillip Carroll Morgan—Chickasaw Press

The Fifth and Final Name: Memoir of an American Churchill—Rhonda Noonan—Chumbolly Press

Trail Sisters: Freedwomen in Indian Territory, 1850–1890—Linda W. Reese—Texas Tech University Press

When the Wolf Came: The Civil War and the Indian Territory—Mary Jane Warde—University of Arkansas Press

Poetry

The White Bird—William Bernhardt—Balkan Press

Red Dirt Roads—Yvonne Carpenter, Nancy Goodwin, Catherine McCraw, Clynell Reinschmiedt, and Carol Waters—Haystack Press

Poetry Unbound—Beth Robinson and the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center Writers—CreateSpace

Black—Sarah Webb—Virtual Artists Collective

The Oklahoma Center for the Book, sponsor of the Oklahoma Book Award competition, is a non-profit, 501-c-3 organization located in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. Established in 1986 as an outreach program of the Library of Congress, the Oklahoma Center was the fourth such state center formed. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors from across the state.

The mission of the Oklahoma Center for the Book is
to promote the work of Oklahoma authors,
to promote the literary heritage of the state, and
to encourage reading for pleasure by Oklahomans of all ages.

For more information about the Oklahoma Center for the Book or the Oklahoma Book Award program, contact Connie Armstrong, 200 N.E. 18th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73105; or call 1-800-522-8116 toll free, statewide; in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, call 522-3383.

Back to Oklahoma Book Award Page
Back to ODL Agency Services
Back to ODL Home Page

 

Shameless Promotion: Truths Revealed

She--Suzanne Santillan--the sweet, dulcet-toned author of Grandma's Pear Tree-- twisted my arm, held my fingers to the fire, threatened and cajoled and finally I cracked. . . 

Truth time: I did not create any of the clever, brilliant, fun, educational  Teaching Guides, Activities, Crafts, Puzzles, Story Hours Kits you'll find if you click on the Activities Tab. 

Behind the curtain, I work with a dynamic talented team who deserve to be acknowledged and shared and receive heaps of thanks and praise for all their efforts.

 So at Suzanne's urging, I spilled the  4-1-1 on the how, who, and where's of my promotional material on Writing on the Sidewalk.

  (One of the few blogs I follow. Although Sue and co-blogger Sarah say it's procrastinating, their posts are informative, entertaining and thought provoking, especially to writers and readers. But now that I think about it, maybe the procrastination they were talking about when they said that was mine...ours????)

(One of the few blogs I follow. Although Sue and co-blogger Sarah say it's procrastinating, their posts are informative, entertaining and thought provoking, especially to writers and readers. But now that I think about it, maybe the procrastination they were talking about when they said that was mine...ours????)

Back to Business! About those creative minds behind the Teaching Guides, Activities, Crafts, Puzzles and Story Hours Kit for my picture books: If you're wondering who they are? What they do? And if they'll do it for you? Click over and read for yourself: Writing on the SidewalkHow to Create Great Promo Material- Tips and Tricks from Author Kelly Bennett (If the link doesn't work, cut and paste this: http://writingonthesidewalk.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/how-to-create-great-promo-material-tips-and-tricks-from-author-kelly-bennett/

Heaps of thanks! 

 While you're at it, check out Suzanna's book. It won the Golden Moonbeam Award and is dee-lightful!

While you're at it, check out Suzanna's book. It won the Golden Moonbeam Award and is dee-lightful!