What I’m talking about
Amazon is going to teach kids to love reading books
I am very interested in how Amazon is using it’s positive business practices to instill a love of reading for kids between 5-12 with unlimited access to short stories for $2.99 a month. Amazon Studios is partnering with Signature Stories to bring stories to life with the voice acting talents of Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) and Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants). They are using new stories that kids love like Niko and the Sword of Light and Danger & Eggs to the app.
The launch will be at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con where they will have the opportunity to see the videos and listen to the talent behind this app. Kids will be able to read along with favorite characters with original stories written by the shows’ writers. They will be new adventures that go beyond the TV series storylines that light the imagination of children.
“We couldn’t be more excited to kick off Signature Stories and are thrilled to be teaming up with great talent such as Aidy Bryant and Tom Kenny,” said Michael Robinson, Director of Consumer Products for Amazon Education. “We’re always looking for ways to help kids develop a love of reading and we’re looking forward to bringing on new brands, new characters, and new voices to Amazon Rapids over the coming months.”
Danger & Eggs follows the endless adventures of a fearless, teal-haired future stuntwoman, D.D. Danger, and her ever-cautious best friend, a giant, talking egg, named Phillip. As the daughter of a world-renowned daredevil, D.D. is always chasing her next big thrill.
Niko and the Sword of Light follows 10-year-old Niko who is the last of his kind in a strange, fantastical world. He must embark on an epic quest to defeat the darkness and bring the light back to his land. Armed with his magic sword, brave Niko journeys to the Cursed Volcano, making new friends and powerful foes along the way, all while uncovering secrets about his mysterious past.
“We’re excited for kids to connect with our characters in new ways as they tag along on epic adventures together while reading on Amazon Rapids,” said Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming at Amazon Studios. “Both pilot episodes were popular among viewers and we’re thrilled that the shows’ quirky, engaging storylines and humor can help inspire kids to read.”
Amazon Rapids is available for iOS, Android and Amazon Fire devices. Parents who sign up now can subscribe at an introductory price of $2.99 per month to give their kids unlimited access to short stories. Parents can start a free two-week trial at http://rapids.amazon.com.
Key Amazon Rapids features include:
- Read Along Mode — Kids can listen to voice actors read their favorite stories while following along with words highlighting as the adventure unfolds.
- Tap to Say & Built-in glossary —Kids can simply tap a word to hear its pronunciation or hold the word to see its definition. Each time kids look up a word, it is automatically added to their personal glossary for easy reference.
- New Stories every week— Kids can explore an expanding library of hundreds of titles spanning adventure, fantasy, humor, mystery, science fiction and sports, with new stories added weekly.
- Age-appropriate content – All content is thoughtfully edited to be appropriate for kids ages 5-12.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.
Children’s Book Council (CBC) Graphic Novel Committee Programming During San Diego Comic-Con
I grew up living at the library as a child in my hometown where I explored not only big cities but the universe. Now that kids have so many options for entertainment and accessing content how do libraries stay relevant in a digital age? Heck how do books stay relevant for kids who grow up watching, using a cellphone/tablet or other device to read? I’m pretty old fashioned since I love the tactile feel of a book, seeing the cover and font chosen by the author.
I am very interested in the Children’s book Council (CBC) Graphic Novel Committee Programming at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. I loved reading comic books/graphic novels when I was young and discovering Manga when I got older. I was quite surprised when I was at the library that they had a section for checkout that looked in great condition (and they say people don’t respect the library).
They have a program lineup from 11 AM to 6 PM on Friday, July 11th for Educators, librarians, and media welcome with a ComicCon badge
Friday, July 21, 11 am – 6 pm
San Diego Public Library, Central Library, 330 Park Blvd.
All programs are in the Shiley Special Events Suite, 9th floor
“From Asterix to Zeus – Developing an Essential Kids Graphic Novel Collection” – 11:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.
While the category has enjoyed tremendous popularity in recent years, kids’ graphic novels are not a recent phenomenon. What classic titles or series should librarians have on their shelves to provide historical context and provide a complete survey of the medium? Join us for this illuminating discussion moderated by Dawn Rutherford (branch manager, Brier Library), with panelists Jenny McCluskey (collection development librarian for Ingram Library Services LLC), Alea Perez (chair of YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee), Carla Riemer (librarian, Claremont Middle School), and Mark Siegel (editorial director, First Second).
“Handling Challenges: Bans and Challenges to Comics” – 12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.
Comics are uniquely vulnerable to challenges and bans, especially comics for teen audiences. Learn about challenged and banned comics and what you can do if they’re challenged in your school or library. Panelists are: Raina Telgemeier (Ghosts), Candice Mack (Teen Services manager, Los Angeles Public Library), Gina Gagliano (marketing and publicity manager, First Second), and David Saylor (VP / creative director / trade publishing / editorial director, Graphix). Moderated by Betsy Gomez (editorial director, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund).
“Read Like a Girl: Middle-Grade Fiction for Girls (and Boys)” – 1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m.
The authors behind some of your favorite middle grade graphic fiction discuss creating stories with strong, positive female characters, and the importance of overcoming the lingering perception that comics are only for boys. Our panel features Nidhi Chanani (Pashmina), Victoria Jamieson (Roller Girl, Great Pet Caper series), Jenni Holm (Babymouse series, Swing It, Sunny), Molly Ostertag (The Witch Boy), and Raina Telgemeier (Ghosts). Moderated by Brigid Alverson (writer and reviewer Good Comics for Kids).
“Nonfiction and Memoir in Graphic Novels” – 2:00p.m. – 3:00p.m.
Combining text and image can make difficult or abstract subject matter more appealing, winning over even the most reluctant reader. Learn how nonfiction graphic novels and graphic memoirs can be used to supplement lessons in STEM and history, and bring awareness to marginalized perspectives in the classroom. This panel includes: Mairghread Scott (Science Comics: Robots), Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do), Nathan Hale (One Trick Pony), Tillie Walden (Spinning), and Alison Wilgus (Science Comics: Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared). Moderated by Heidi MacDonald (Publishers Weekly, ComicsBeat.com).
“Prose to Panels: Graphic Novel Adaptations” – 3:00p.m. – 4:00p.m.
A discussion about graphic novel adaptations of novels. How can the graphic novel format enhance these texts? And how can educators use adaptations to make stories more accessible? If you read the graphic novel instead of the prose novel does it still “count”? How does the story change if a classic is adapted into graphic novel format? Is something lost? Is something gained? And what if graphic novels are then converted into prose novels – as with the forthcoming Lumberjanes novels? Moderated by Kelly Quinn Chiu (children’s librarian at the Santa Clara City Library), the panel includes: Mariko Tamaki (Lumberjanes), Brooke Allen (Lumberjanes), Landis Blair (The Trial: A Choose Your Own Adventure Comic), Charles Kochman (editorial director of Abrams ComicsArts), and R. Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics).
“Meet the Makers” – 4:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.
Join graphic novel authors and artists Jeffrey Brown (Lucy and Andy Neanderthal), Nick Abadzis (Laika), Joe Flood (Science Comics: Dinosaurs) and James Parks and Ben Costa (Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo Book 1: The Road to Epoli) to learn the process behind making a comic. Moderated by Allison Tran (Senior Librarian for Children’s Services, Mission Viejo Library).
“Publishers Talkback Session” – 5:00p.m. – 6:00p.m.
Come talk to publishers about how graphic novels are doing at your library, and what they should know based on the feedback from your community! With Robin Herrera (editor, Oni Press), Gina Gagliano (marketing and publicity manager, First Second), and Mallory Loehr (SVP & Publisher, Random House Books for Young Readers). Moderated by Alea Perez (chair of YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee).
About the Children’s Book Council
Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the nonprofit trade association for children’s book publishers in North America. The CBC offers children’s publishers, from independent presses to large houses, the opportunity to work together on issues of importance to the industry at large, including educational programming, diversity in employment and books, literacy advocacy, and partnerships with other national organizations. CBC staff also oversee the programs of Every Child a Reader, a 501(c)(3) literacy charity whose popular national campaigns include Children’s Book Week, the longest-running literacy initiative in the country; the Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards, the only book awards chosen by children and teens; and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature program, in partnership with the Library of Congress.
I’m planning to head to the Santa Monica Pier for the 4th Annual S.T.E.A.M. Innovation Fair and Rube Goldberg Curious Contraption Contest on Sunday, March 5. I feel clever as heck just planning to attend and seeing the robots! The Free Festival Includes: A Contest of Student-Imagineered Rube Goldberg Machines, an Innovation Exhibition Featuring Soccer Matches between Guest-Operated LEGO Robots, and a Panel of NASA & JPL Engineers
Royal Rumble of Rube
Teams have taken DIY machine-building to new heights as they face off & compete for the best Rube Goldberg machine that can apply a BAND-AID™ in 20 steps or more! Prize money & everlasting glory are on the line so come pick a champ & cheer them on.
The Path to Innovation
A panel of innovators, including Michelle Easter of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Jeremy Selan of Valve virtual reality, Zaina Siyed highschool robotics champion and founder of the FemSTEM scholarship will discuss the challenges of their fields and the opportunities that await!
I am a Robot!
Curby, Santa Monica Public Work’s walking, talking recycling robot will be joining us for a limited time at the grand entrance to the Santa Monica Pier along Ocean Front Walk.
Get Your Build On
Build a fort out of cardboard boxes, a sculpture out of rolled newspaper, or help create a giant recycling machine. This day is a builder’s paradise!
Swim With the Fishes
Visit Heal The Bay’s Aquarium under the Pier to check out the coolest creates and even pilot an underwater ROV mini-sub.
- Gray Bright: Host of the Tomorrow Show, standup comedian, robotic engineer, and Lego enthusiast.
- Brent Bushnell: Board President and CEO (or Chief Rabble-Rouser) of Two Bit Circus, a Los Angeles-based experiential entertainment company.
- Michelle Easter: former high fashion runway model who diverted at 26 to pursue an engineering degree. By 31, she had finished at the top of her class with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is now a Mechatronics Engineer for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
- Jeremy Selan: two-time Scientific and Technical Achievement Academy Award Winner and Valve developer making an impact in the virtual reality sector.
- Zaina Siyed: local high school student, robotics champion and founder of FemSTEM – a foundation to help encourage girls to participate in STEM activities.
- Columbia Memorial Space Center: guests can use LEGO robots to compete against each other at soccer.
- Craig Burrows Photography: floral photography collection lauded by Wired for its ‘ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence’ technique.
- Heal the Bay / Aquarium / FCEC: piloting an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV), build boats out of aluminum foil and play around with a host of other technological gadgets.
- Orchanic: showcasing an A.I. prototype that uses Deep Learning to identify trash on the beaches, the HEXA spider robot, and smart clothing.
- Paisley Garbage: arts and craft vendor.
- Peddler’s Creamery: churn delicious homemade ice cream by a bicycle.
- reDiscover Center: turn massive amounts of recycled cardboard into anything imaginable.
- STEMup4Youth: guests can let their imaginations go wild by building enormous structures out of recycles cardboard.
- Steve Craig’s drawBot: a crowd favorite, Steve Craig returns again this year with his exceptionally popular drawing machines and more.
- T4T.org: invites festival-goers to create the Ultimate Recycling Machine using their imagination, engineering skills, and some fun upcycled materials.
The Los Angeles STEAM Carnival debuts Oct 25-26!
|Dates:||STEAM Gala: Wednesday, 10/22/14|
|Student Preview Day: Friday, 10/24/14 (not open to the public)|
|STEAM Carnival: Saturday & Sunday, 10/25/14 – 10/26/14|
|Location:||CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles|
|Warehouse No 10|
|112 E. 22nd St.|
|San Pedro, CA 90731|
|Tickets:||Early Bird STEAM Carnival tickets are on sale now at http://2bc.io/tickets and are sure to sell out, so get yours today! Ticket updates will be available on the STEAM Carnival Twitter and Facebook
We are so grateful that STEAM Carnival has received so much support from numerous organizations and communities all over the nation. Here in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Knabe, and The Port of LA have also made STEAM a priority with our youth in education and job development. We have received support from these leaders for our inaugural STEAM Carnival event, as seen in the press release found HERE.Please take a moment to read and share with your community!
Get Involved! Want to be a larger part of the planning and event? Become a STEAM Carnival volunteer or mentor! Fill out our Get Involved form and we’ll be in touch with how you can help.
APS Grant News – Two Bit Circus is excited to announce that work has begun on a high-tech mini-golf experience to teach physics to kids of all ages. This project came to us straight from the nation’s capital by way of physicist and mini-golf aficionado Alex Boxer. Alex was awarded a 2014 Public Outreach grant from the American Physical Society (APS) to pursue this physics mini-golf dream in partnership with 2BC. It’s technology meets education meets awesomeness!
No not a star but will get to live out my voice actor fantasy thanks to the Nickelodeon booth i get to test out the interactive voice-record room with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) Donatello and Michelangelo. Well the voice-record room lets you do a VO for select scenes from beloved Nick TV Shows from the beginning like Rugrats and Spongebobs to their newest TMNT, the Legend of korra, Avatar and more! I’m hoping for Invader Zim and the Ren & Stimpy show but I LOVED the humor and voices from them. Really if I have time I’m going to do them ALL! bwa ha ha (had a Zim moment)!!! Did I mention that you might have the opportunity to pitch an original animated project for their first ever open call???? Nick’s animation development team be at the booth from Thursday to Saturday (July 24 – 26) looking for new shows to greenlight for it’s Global Animated Shorts program! I’m so excited to check out the booth so that I can try the Gif, take photos, pitch a show idea (not sure where i’ll find the time and/or idea but what the heck) and just see how the exhibit booth will look this year! I’m going on a limb and going to say that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be HUGE but they have such a great roster of shows that everyone will find a beloved show from childhood … well I watch them still (but I’m a kid at heart) that they’ll want to keep as a momento!
If your in SoCal indulge yourself in your favorite chain burrito to benefit the Tony Hawk Foundation to bring skate parks to underprivileged neighborhoods. All kids love to have fun and need an outlet to have guidance and the opportunity for a safe play area!
OH MY GOB I LOVE the Dixie Chicks and can’t wait for them to come to USA so I can see them again! If you’re like me counting down the days till they release new music and of course in America you can take comfort from their raising funds for Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives. It’s a San Antonio, TX foundation chosen by Emily and signed by all three members. The Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives is committed to caring for children in crisis and the auction ends on November 12th.
DIXIE CHICKS AUCTION FOR CHARITY
The Dixie Chicks are currently touring across Canada for the band’s Long Time Gone tour and are giving fans a chance to own a guitar played on stage each night of the tour! The Dixie Chicks are auctioning off a guitar Emily Robison is playing each night of their 2013 Canadian tour that will also be signed by all three Chicks. The proceeds benefit Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives, an incredible foundation in San Antonio, TX chosen by Emily herself. Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives is committed to caring for children in crisis. Learn more at www.rmya.org.
Bid now on this signed guitar! The auction ends on November 12.
Barnes and Noble Free Fridays: Scavenger Hunt by Yvonne Montgomery and All the Apples are All Gone app
Today’s Free Fridays book selection is Scavenger Hunt by Yvonne Montgomery – a heart-pounding novel about an amateur sleuth, and the first book in the Finny Aletter mystery series.
Finny Aletter is tired of working as a stockbroker, especially under her brooding and contentious boss – and ex-lover – Elliot Fulton. But when her superior turns up murdered, Finny finds herself off the stock exchange and on the case – alongside the world-weary priivate eye Chris Barelli. Whether the two can work together to solve Elliot’s brutal murder is the next layer of mystery in this thrilling detective tale.
Today’s Free Fridays App selection is All the Apples Are All Gone – Book A by EvolutionRed, a top-rated education app for young learners that’s part of the Kids Dinosaur Reading Series.
The first book in the series, All the Apples Are All Gone follows a young dino on the hunt for some delicious fruit, accompanied by beautiful animation and a Read To Me or I Can Read interactive option. Teaching kids morals, coexistence and other important life qualities, All the Apples Are All Gone includes Discussion Topics to bring up at the end of the story, as well as a Read Assist feature for those tricky words and phrases.
For more great story apps in the Kids Dinosaur Reading Series, click here.
Each week, we ask our featured author to recommend a book or author that you may want to check out. Since authors are such passionate readers themselves, we thought you might like to find out what they love to read, too! Here’s what Yvonne recommends:
I’m always looking for a good mystery with memorable characters, and Alice Duncan’s cozy, Strong Spirits, fits the bill. In it we are introduced to Daisy Gumm Majesty, a self-described faux spiritualist who helps her wealthy Pasadena clients by way of seances and tarot readings. Her husband Billy is a wounded WWI vet who doesn’t approve of Daisy’s work as a medium, but she has to support her family while solving the shady doings at the house of one of her best clients.
Strong Spirits has the period feel of life in 1920’s California, and we see it with a thoroughly enjoyable Daisy as our guide.
Who You’re Helping:
Decadent and delicious, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, now in its fourth year, brings superstar chefs and mixologists from around the globe to Los Angeles to lend their support to ALSF and the fight against childhood cancer. View Chefs Participating in the 2013 Event!
General admission tickets: $175/each Meet and greet tickets: $1,200 each (includes ticket to chefs dinner on Sept. 27, access to a Top Sponsors reception prior to the event, and early admission including a behind the scenes tour of the event to watch the chefs prepping) Children under 12 receive complimentary admission with an accompanying adult.
Each chef and mixologist prepares a signature dish for guests to sample. Guests have the opportunity to stroll the lawn of the historic Culver Studios Mansion, tasting incredible fare and meeting and even chatting with the chefs who prepared it. L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade is hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat). The event has raised more than $1 million to fund childhood cancer research, raising more than half a million at the 2012 event alone. The leisurely, fun afternoon of sampling food and drink is interspersed with inspiring childhood cancer hero stories, updates on the Foundation’s quest to find a cure and a silent and live auction of spectacular items, including James Beard Award-wining chefs offering to work their magic in the bidders’ kitchens.
Sponsorship opportunities are available, and sponsors receive 10 tickets to a special VIP area with exclusive seating at a named table in front of the live auction and presentation area. “Meet and Greet” ticket holders will also have access to seating.
Well this Friday’s free friday nook book is Michael Baron’s Spinning and NO it’s not about working out. Instead this looks like a book that speaks to me at this point in my life. It seems that everyday brings some new unexpected twist that I have to figure out. Like a lot of people it’s been everything from love (disappointing dates) to career direction (new path through a jungle full of man eating beasts) and just trying to stay on the path of getting fit. If it’s not one thing its another and the idea of an unexpected child where that would put me over the deep end! Reading the description got me thinking what would I do if (God forbid some tragedy happened) where I would have the responsibility of a child. I know that I would try to do the right thing and that mean not living in Los Angeles (the cost of living is crazy expensive) and I’d want to give a child a good life. What changes would you make to your life? Would you have to take time to adjust? Would you drop everything and change your life around the child? Tough questions that really depend on your child rearing theory. If you think the child is the center of the universe or children should be seen not heard .. etc ….
Those who enjoyed the complexity and deeply-felt storytelling in The Journey Home will find the same elements in Spinning. This time, Baron introduces Dylan Hunter—a man in the prime of his life who has everything he’s ever wanted. With a successful career, a string of adoring women and a great group of friends, Dylan is living the high life. Thanks to his golden tongue, he’s able to get himself (and his high-paying clients) out of any tight space, with a little ‘spin.’
Then a former girlfriend comes back into his life, with a 3 year-old daughter in-tow. The girl’s not Dylan’s, but he soon finds his priorities realigned when he becomes her sole guardian. Readers will sympathize with Dylan’s desire to hold on to all of the things his old life afforded, but they’ll keep turning the pages to see if he’ll find peace in this new role he never thought he’d be playing.
Once you’ve fallen in love with Baron’s heartfelt storytelling, I’m confident you’ll want to read his newest novel, Leaves, available now for NOOK.
Free Fridays Recommends
Each week, we ask our featured author to recommend a book or author that you may want to check out. Since authors are such passionate readers themselves, we thought you might like to find out what they love to read, too! Here’s what Michael recommends: