Podcast #29: The No. 1 Car Spotter and The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird by Antinuke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Interview with Meera Sriram

For my twenty-ninth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Meera Sriram about two of her favorite middle grade novels,  The No. 1 Car Spotter and The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird , written by Antinuke and illustrated by Warwick Johnson Cadwell.

Published in 2010 and 2011 respectively,  The No. 1 Car Spotter and The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird tell a variety of stories about Oluwalase Babatunde Benson, a young boy in a rural African village (based on the author’s own childhood in Nigeria) who has a special talent for spotting cars before anyone else can, so much so that everyone calls him No. 1.  But car spotting isn’t No.1’s only talent. He has a knack for finding just the right solution for whatever problem visits his village. Whether it’s finding a way to get a group of rich tourists across a flooded road so Mama Coca-Cola can feed them her fried akara, or figuring out how to get his family’s goods to the market when their cart breaks down by inventing the Cow-rolla, No. 1 always finds a way to save the day. These two books (and there are four more in the series) are funny and entertaining and shine a small light on a part of the world not often seen in children’s books.

Meera Sriram is co-author of such books as Bijoy and the Big River and Endangered Animals of India. In addition, she blogs about multicultural children’s books  and offers presentations with a focus on Early Literacy. You can find Meera’s website at www.meerasriram.com

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on March 1st, 2018.

 

Podcast #28: Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes

An Interview with Kimberly McDermid

For my twenty-eighth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed educator and kid lit blogger Kimberly McDermid  about one of her favorite middle grade novels,  Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker, written and illustrated by Shelley Johannes.

Published in 2017 by Hyperion, Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker is a book about an unusual young girl  who prefers to do her best thinking upside down (naturally). So when she shows up for her first day of third grade dressed as a Ninja, ready to start another upside down year with her best friend Lenny, everything turns topsy-turvy when Lenny shows up in new dress clothes . . . and with a new friend. Worse yet, Lenny is no longer interested in all the secret plans she and Beatrice had talked about last year. What’s an upside down girl to do? Come up with another secret plan to win back her friend of  course. Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker is a book about friendship and change and trying to find your place in a world that doesn’t always see eye to eye with an upside down thinker.

Kimberly blogs about kids’ books and authors at Storymamas with her two fellow kid lit bloggers Courtney and Ashley. You can find Storymamas at storymamas.com.

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on February 15th, 2018.

Podcast #26: Jack and the Seven Deadly Giants by Sam Swope

An Interview with Roxanne Hsu Feldman

For my twenty-sixth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed librarian Roxanne Hsu Feldman about one of her favorite children’s books,  Jack and the Seven Deadly Giants by Sam Swope.

Published in 2004, Jack and the Seven Deadly Giants borrows story elements from Jack the Giant Slayer and Jack and the Beanstalk to tell the tale of a boy (named Jack of course) who’s blamed for the sudden appearance of seven deadly giants in the countryside. “Bad attracts bad,” is what he’s told, so he takes off on the back of a magic cow in search of the mother who abandoned him when he was a babe. One by one he encounters the giants, such as The Terrible Glutton, The Wild Tickler,  and Orgulla the Great. And one by one, using only his wits, as well as a bit of luck, he defeats them, until he encounters the Green Queen and makes a surprising discovery. Jack and the Seven Deadly Giants is a lively and humorous book, especially when done as a read-aloud.

Roxanne Hsu Feldman is a middle school librarian at the Dalton School in NYC. In addition, Roxanne has served on several book awards committees over the years, such as the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, Notable Books for Children, and the Newburys. You can find Roxanne’s contributions for the blog Heavy Medals at blogs.slj.com/heavymedal.

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on January 16th, 2018.

Podcast #25: Ivy and Bean – No News is Good News by Annie Barrows

An Interview with Jane Smith

For my twenty-fifth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author and illustrator Jane Smith about one of her favorite children’s books,  Ivy and Bean – No News is Good News,  written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Published in 2011 by Chronicle Books, Ivy and Bean – No News is Good News is the eighth book of the Ivy and Bean series.  Ivy and Bean are the best of friends, even if the only thing they have in common is a knack for getting into trouble. In this book, the girls  are determined to find a way to earn money to buy the red-wax covered little cheeses that are all the craze at their school. Their idea?  To snoop on their neighbors in Pancake Court and showcase all the juicy details in a newspaper called The Flipping Pancake. After all, what could go wrong?  As it turns out, just about everything.

You can find Jane’s website at superjane.com. Her latest books It’s Halloween Chloe Zoe  and It’s Thanksgiving Chloe Zoe, as well as other books in the Cloe Zoe series, are available at Albert Whitman  and Company’s website, which you can find at www.albertwhitman.com/series/other-series/chloe-zoe.

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe.

I will be taking a holiday break from podcasting for the rest of December, but the Dream Gardens podcast will return on January 2nd, 2018 to start off the new year.  Until then, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Podcast #24: The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

An Interview with Denise Vega

For my twenty-fourth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Denise Vega about one of her favorite children’s books,  The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin.

Published in 2015, The Thing About Jellyfish is a story of a young girl trying to make sense of her own guilt and grief.  Suzy Swanson and Franny Jackson were the best of friends growing up, but after a particularly awful falling out in middle school, they aren’t anymore. Then Suzy learns Franny has drowned while on vacation, and she doesn’t know what to do. First she stops speaking. Then she latches onto an idea while visiting an aquarium that Franny’s death must have been caused by a jellyfish sting. She becomes obsessed about proving this theory, and cooks up an outlandish scheme to make it happen. But what she learns is not what she expects. The Thing About Jellyfish is a story about lost friendships and new friendships, unsatisfactory answers to impossible questions, the loneliness of being different, and of course jellyfish.

Denise Vega is the author of several YA, middle grade and picture books, including Fact of Life #31, Click Here: To Find Out How I Survived 7th Grade, and her latest book, a picture book titled If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed.  She also provides a manuscript critique and consultation service for other authors. You can find Denise’s website at www.denisevega.com.

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on December 1st, 2017.