Real Kidz

Received an email today from Real Kidz, which makes biracial plush dolls, about their new online shopping. Very cute site and dolls, though I’ve yet to see a doll in person (so to speak). In any case, biracial dolls are an excellent idea; very long overdue. Important for families that are mixed race and those that are not.

Mail Call

Today’s mail brings the recent issue of Book Links along with the following review copies:

Close Encounters of a Third-World Kind by Jennifer J. Stewart (Holiday House);

Offsides by Erik E. Esckilsen (Houghton Mifflin);

Cecilia’s Year by Susan & Denise Gonzales Abraham (Cinco Puntos);

The Groundhog Day Book of Facts and Fun by Wendie Old, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye (Albert Whitman);

Cesar Si, Se Puedo! Yes, We Can by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by David Diaz (Marshall Cavendish)(my apologies for my inability to use the proper Spanish symbols on this keyboard);

My Pal, Victor (Mi amigo, Victor) by Diane Gonzales Betrand, illustrated by Robert L. Sweetland (Raven Tree Press);

Lucky Leaf by Kevin O’Malley (Walker);

A Woman For President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Jane Dyer (Walker).

The New Rules of High School

Read The New Rules of High School by Blake Nelson (Viking, 2003), which is about a smart, self-absorbed boy’s fall from perceived perfection. The voice was outstanding, and the story was a compelling, one-sitting read. The author does a particularly good job with reversals. Ages 12-up.

Received a wonderful T-shirt and sweatshirt from the ever-darling Katie Davis, each featuring one of her fun and emotive illustrations.

Low self esteem day? Read a rejection letter of Ursula K. LeGuin’s.

Moccasin Thunder

The Native American YA anthology, edited by Lori Carlson and published by Harper, apparently will be called: Moccasin Thunder.

Speaking of thunder, it rained like crazy today, though I did make it out to have my hair and nails done. I know, I know, it’s indulgent. But hey, how many writers out there aren’t in therapy, AA, or on some kind of prescribed mood-stabilizing substance? This works to de-stress me, so I’m unrepentant and, well, cuter than I would be otherwise.

Teddy Award Short Works Finalists Announced

And, the finalists for the 2004 Teddy Children’s Book Awards are:

Short Works

Lee Merrill Byrd, The Treasure on Gold Street (Cinco Puntos Press)

Karin Cates, The Secret Remedy Book: A Story of Comfort and Love (Orchard Books)

Joyce Gibson Roach, Horned Toad Canyon (Bright Sky Press)

Just a reminder, the previously-announced…

Long Works

Kathi Appelt, My Father’s Summers: A Daughter’s Memoir (Henry Holt)

Greg Leitich Smith, Ninjas, Prianhas, and Galileo (Little, Brown)

Brian Yansky, My Road Trip to the Pretty Girl Capital of the World (Cricket Books)

While we’re talking Texas awards, for anyone who missed the Texas Institute of Letters announcement this past year:

Friends of the Austin Public Library Award ($500) for Best Children’s Book

WINNER: Betty Lou Phillips, Emily Goes Wild (Gibbs Smith)

FINALISTS: Lee Merrill Byrd, The Treasure on Gold Street (Cinco Puntos Press); Bryce Milligan, The Prince of Ireland and the Three Magic Stallions (Holiday House)

Friends of the Austin Public Library Award ($500) for Best Young Adults’ Book

WINNER: Brian Yansky, My Road Trip to the Pretty Girl Capital of the World (Cricket Books)

FINALISTS: Anne Estevis, Down Garrapata Road (Arte Publico Press); Tim Tingle, Walking the Choctaw Road (Cinco Puntos Press)

Note: My Father’s Summers by Kathi Appelt, My Road Trip To The Pretty Girl Capital of the World by Brian Yansky, and Walking The Choctaw Trail by Tim Tingle all are highly recommended by me personally. I’m also fond of Greg’s Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo, but you know, I married him. Of course I think he’s a genius.

“Love Actually”

Maybe it’s the emotive place I’m in today or the fact that all of my muscles are still screaming from this weekend’s yard work. But I find myself a happy, hopeful, gushy mess after watching this movie. Tremendously affecting. Okay, total chick flick, but hey, guys have hearts, too, don’t they? I’m pretty sure.