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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coloring Page Tuesday - Bunny Painting

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     And so begins the drum up to Easter. Here's the Easter Bunny in his creative role as artist. No wonder I always liked him best!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!

     Learn more about my fun picture book Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese - click the cover.



Look at the wonderful job Vlad did coloring the Easter Bunny! And he sent it all the way from Romania!! Thanks Vlad! (Click to see the image larger.) :) e

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just One More Book Hits the Road!


     The creators of Just One More Book recently traveled to Connecticut and Northampton and interviewed some top authors and illustrators in the children's book world while there (for some reason, the area is a haven for top talent). Get a sneak peek by watching the trailer at: Rock Stars of Reading. Then the 15 minute-long interviews will be posted to their main site beginning on March 31st - one a day until they run out.
     They spoke with some amazing creators, so prepare to be inspired!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Storybook Look opens in Hattiesburg!


     And here we go!! Our gallery show Storybook Look, hosted by the Southern Arts Federation (an arm of the National Endowment for the Arts) is starting to travel! It opens April 2 - May 30 at the Saenger Gallery in Hattiesburg, Mississippi during the Fay B. Kaigler International Book Festival. Read this great article about the show in HattiesburgAmerican.com.
     Or read about the show's inception when it was our humble little "SCBWI Southern Breeze Children's Book Illustrators' Show."
     If anybody gets any pictures of the venue - please share!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

B&N and the Esther Jackson School


 Esther Jackson Elementary School hosted me at Barnes & Noble this morning to read Paco and the Giant Chile Plant and share a sneak peek of Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón with their students. It was pouring down rain - cats and dogs and elephants and whales - so I was thrilled to get such a nice sized crowd. Of course all the pics of me are mid-whatever I was doing at the time - so I don't dare share. One of these days I'm going to have to create a gallery of all the goofy shots people catch of me! Anyhow - the kids were great. Hope they stop by my website to say 'hi'!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Illustration Friday - Poise


     It's hard to maintain your poise when you're being dragged into the mud! (Click the image to see a larger version.)
     Yup - another one from Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón, my first picture book as both author and illustrator coming out this Fall!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are - Trailer!!


     It's supposed to be released October 16, 2009!!
     Gotta say - I love the trailer, but I'm nervous... it better be incredible!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Coloring Page Tuesday - Panda

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     Do you love pandas as much as I do? We have some pandas at our Atlanta Zoo and they are so incredibly cute.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!

     Learn more about my fun picture book Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese - click the cover.

Monday, March 23, 2009

ParentSmart KidHappy™ Book Giveaway!

Lisa Reviews
 My publicist at Free Spirit Publishing forwarded this lovely review for the ParentSmart KidHappy™ books (written by Stacey Kaye, illustrated by Yours Truly). And best yet, the reviewer, "Lisa Reviews," is hosting a giveaway!
Here's your chance to win all three books! The deadline to enter is April 1st (no foolin'!) so go check it out!


Learn about proper parenting language and the power of choice in, Ready for Bed! , Ready for the Day!, and Ready to Play! - click the covers!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Skype An Author Network


     So here's a cool new thing. Remember I told you about my first Virtual School Visit a while back? Well, I'm not the only one getting into these. If you scroll down in that post, you'll see I'm starting to list author friends who are doing this too.
     Well Library Media Specialist, Sarah Chauncey, and Author, Mona Kerby, took it one step further. They've started a gathering spot for authors who are available for Virtual School Visits using Skype. It's called the Skype an Author Network and you can see my listing here.
     How brilliant is this!?
     I must admit, I really love doing Virtual Visits. It's a cool new way to connect with kids (even the older ones who enjoy the techie aspect of the presentation), and I can charge a lot less since I can realistically do just one session without traveling - in other words, not much down time from writing and illustrating. The only thing I miss is the hugs. Hm.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Illustration Friday: Subtract



     Boy - mud = Happy Mom

     Yup - this is another sneak peek at Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón, my first picture book as both author AND illustrator. (Click the image to see it larger.)

On Your Book Release Date....

     A good friend has her first book coming out next month (a memoir which I will scream and shout about) and she asked me "what happens on the release date"? I was rather pleased with my response:

     On the release date, the hordes of masses that have been anxiously awaiting the release of your book rush to their local indies, causing great mayhem and anxiety, and purchase multiple copies of said book for friends, family, coworkers and random strangers, forcing the stores to reorder and the initial print run to run out, forcing the publisher to realize they have a mega-hit on their hands and they'd best order a six digit print run pronto as the New York Times is beating down their door to make it front page news......

     So's a girl can dream....

     This probably won't happen...unless you're Laurie Halse Anderson. (Have you seen the hype for Wintergirls!? Woosie - that's how it's DONE!)
     It's a funny business. We set all these hurdles for ourselves thinking "when this happens" or "when that happens I will have made it and it will be time to celebrate!"
     The reality is, the successes are more like jumping speed bumps...lots of them, to the point that you don't really notice when the big things have happened. They come quietly as you work alone in your office day in and day out. And as my writer friends and I often say, we're always moving the bar, so we never truly feel like we've jumped it. I wonder if we ever will.
     At least, that's been my experience. What do you think?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Illuminating Color

     My article "Illuminating Color" has finally been published in the latest SCBWI Bulletin (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - scbwi.org). I sold it to them almost a year ago, so I've been anxious to see it in print.
     Of course, as with most periodicals, there was a space limitation which cut into what I was able to share about the topic. So, now that it's out, I'm free to post the article in full on my website, including visual examples of the ideas to which I refer, at links & articles - click on the title "Illuminating Color."
     In the article I discuss the elusive skills that can make the difference between amateur and professional looking illustration - the proper use of light and color. If you give it a gander - please let me know if you found it helpful!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mermaid Cake!!

     OMG, this just cracked me up!! Look what CherylAnn Boothe made for a friend's daughter (turning 1 year old). Recognize the mermaid? Yup - it's from one of my coloring pages! Seems a shame to let a 1 year old dive into such a piece of art, but well, I'd be right there with 'em - it looks yummy! Fantastic CherylAnn - thanks for sharing! :) e
(I'll post this to the mermaid page too!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Coloring Page Tuesday - Leprechaun '09

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     I've done several Leprechauns for Coloring Page Tuesdays and this year is no exception. Here's a brand new Leprechaun for 2009. And of course, he's guarding what always comes at the end of the rainbow - a treasure trove of books!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!
     Learn about my Cinderella story picture book, The Prince's Diary, click the cover.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Audiobooks with Mary Burkey of Audiobooker



     Last, but certainly not least... Mary Burkey of Audiobooker shared such valuable information for my Share a Story - Shape a Life: Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds post, I had to share the entire interview.
     Mary is a National Board Certified Teacher-Librarian, past chair of the American Library Association's Notable Children's Recordings, was part of the Odyssey Award Task Force, served as the chair of the ALA's firs Odyssey Aaward for Excellence in Audiobook Production, and somehow manages to author the popular blog, Audiobooker which is syndicated at Booklist Online.

Q.     How have you found most people use and enjoy audio books (including yourself)?

A.     Everyone has their own personal listening style. I became an audiobook
listener when I was pursuing National Board Certification as a
teacher-librarian. I have always been a compulsive reader, and never felt I
was a good listener. I disliked talk radio and was a poor listener to
teachers when in school (just give me the textbook!). As part of the process
of examining my practice as a school librarian for National Boards, I
decided to put myself in the shoes of students who are not natural readers,
yet must check out books from the library. But for me, that was to listen to
books rather than read. So I began to review audiobooks in a professional
journal - I knew that I would never finish listening to one otherwise! I
discovered that you can learn how to listen, and discover your own style. I
cannot sit still and listen to audiobooks; I will just pick up any printed
material nearby, and forget to listen. But if I am busy with an automatic
task - the daily commute, cooking, walking the dog, working out - I
experience literature in a whole new way with audiobooks. As a very fast
reader, I gulp print books. But the audiobook slows me down (something I had
to get used to), and I gain an entirely different appreciation of the book.
But other audiobook listeners like to listen as they fall asleep in a dark
room. And when I surveyed my middle school students, I learned that many
play audiobooks on the computer in their room, watching the Media Player
visualizations as they zone out and listen, escaping from the world. To each
their own!

Q.     Have there been any uses that have surprised you?

A.     One fact that often amazes people is that voracious audiobook listeners are usually also voracious readers, and that teens are the fast growing segment
of listeners. Find out lots of interesting facts about audiobook listeners
in the Audio Publishers Association's annual survey - .pdf.
     I once had an eighth-grade girl come into my library and ask me to recommend a good audiobook that had some "real-life issues that girls have to deal with." She wanted to listen in the car with her mom, as "mom really doesn't
have a clue what it's actually like in school today." I started her off with
the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Listening Library), and mother &
daughter spent the rest of the school year listening and talking throughout
the daily errands. Once a seventh-grade young man asked for a great action
audiobook to share in the car with his dad and granddad for a guys-only
camping trip, and Skulduggery Pleasant (HarperAudio) served to create
cross-generation bonds. Right now, the guidance counselor at my school is
planning a lunch-group of girls that will be dealing with the issue of
female aggression. She will be playing the audiobook of The Girls (Full Cast
Audio) as a listen-aloud while the girls eat, then they will discuss the
choices and actions of the characters. Here's a link to more on family
listening from my audiobook column "Voices in My Head" in the American
Library Association's Book Links magazine
.

Q.     Do you feel listening is reading?

A.     No, I don't feel that listening to audiobooks is reading - but it isn't
cheating either! In today's world, we often overlook the listening component
of Language Arts. By integrating audiobooks into a literacy program,
students increase vocabulary, gain fluency, hear how phrasing and intonation
results from punctuation, and experience authentic accents and dialects. As
a student's listening comprehension is usually two years above her reading
comprehension, audiobooks level the playing field in the classroom. If you'd
like an extensive list of both print and online research and resources on
the benefits of audiobooks, here's link to my blog post found on Booklist Online.

Q.     What do you feel are the best ways for people to get their hands on Audiobooks? Should they go straight to a company like iTunes, Audible, or their library, or should they go straight to the producer of the audio books?

A.     Of course, as a librarian, I recommend heading to your public (or school!) library - but in fact, you don't actually need to leave home. Many public libraries have downloadabled audiobooks available through their web site. If you haven't checked out the public library's site for awhile, take a look -
you might be surprised at the amount of audiobooks you can download! Plus,
there are growing numbers of iPod-compatible downloads. But you'll have the
best luck downloading to a Windows-based MP3 player. I bought an inexpensive
one just for audiobook downloads - here's a shopping suggestion list.
     And if you are buying an audiobook, consider buying right from the
producer's website in these difficult economic times, boosting the bottom
line. You'll find links to producer's sites on my blog's sidebar.

Q.     Are there distinctions within the audiobook market people should know about - such as full dramatizations versus abridged readings, etc.?

A.     I am a firm believer in only unabridged audiobooks for children and young adults. There are many styles of audiobook production. I suggest listening to a variety of producers, as most have a "house style." Just as readers
tend to chose from a favorite genre, most audiobook listeners have a
favorite style, whether single-voiced, or a solo reader voicing multiple
characters. I know many teens who will only listen to full-cast recordings.
Serious audiobook addicts often have favorite narrators, and devour all
titles recorded by their choice. If you'd like to supply yourself with the
lingo that describes the variations in audiobook production and narration,
take a look at the Audiobook Lexicon I created.

Q.     How do you feel about audio books as compared to podcasts and/or ebooks?

A.     The more the merrier! Once you become an audiobook addict, podcasts are a great free way to feed your habit. We live in a world of multiple literacies, where we can carry our stories in multiple containers! And while
you are checking out the audiobooks available for download from your public
library, you will be amazed at the number of eBooks that can be downloaded
to your computer for free! In fact, this week is also both "Teen Tech Week"
and "Read an Ebook Week." Find out more, including great download
suggestions from ALA's recommended audiobook lists here.

Q.     Any other interesting factoids about Audio Books you'd like to share?

A.     Did you know that the American Library Association presents a literary award to the best audiobook for children and young adults each year, along with the Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz awards? Learn more about the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production here.

Q.     Do you have a favorite audio book of all time?

A.     Holy cow! I have a huge list of favorites just from last year - so many the
list is in three parts! Take a look.

Thanks so much for your time Mary!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

eBooks with Harold Underdown



     Back again! As I mentioned yesterday in my interview with Bruce Coville for Share a Story - Shape a Future: Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds, several of our experts were so generous with their responses, I felt my readers would enjoy their full interviews.
     Harold Underdown of The Purple Crayon got into eBooks before eBooks were cool and has a unique perspective on their development. Enjoy!


Q.     How do you feel about these various new ways to enjoy books? Do you feel audio books, podcasts, and ebooks are still reading?

A.     I wouldn't put audiobooks and podcasts together with ebooks. Ebooks, unless they have added content of some kind (in which case they aren't straight ebooks any more) are a book format--print in another form, in this case digital, just as hardcovers and paperbacks are both books in paper form. Audiobooks and podcasts are listened to, not read. It's a performance, and thus a completely different experience. Audiobooks are not reading, to answer your original question, but are still a very worthwhile way to experience a story, though not such a new way, really. Storytelling existed before books did, after all.

Q.     You were ahead of your time when you first dove into eBooks - how have you watched the market change in its attitude towards them over the last few years?

A.     ipicturebooks was too far ahead of its time, actually. Since then the market for them has developed, gradually, and acceptance of them has grown, gradually. Which was pretty much what I expected. Even back in 2001 there were people making extravagant claims for ebooks and how quickly they could be expected to develop. Instead, progress has been slow but steady, and ebooks find their natural audiences and become easier to obtain and use.

Q.     What do you feel are the strengths and weaknesses of eBooks?

A.     I'll focus on two in particular. One strength of ebooks is their low cost, which is achieved largely by cutting out all the expenses involved in creating, shipping, and warehousing physical books. One weakness is that unlike print books, they require a device on which to view them--a computer or a reader of some kind. To a considerable extent this cancels out the cost advantage, and makes them less convenient than print books in some ways. Differences like this mean that ebooks will never "replace" print books. They will become a preferred or alternative format in some areas of the market and not in others.
     Remember the claims about CD-ROMs--that they would replace books? Didn't happen, but CD-ROMs became a great way to deliver encyclopedias.

Q.     Do you see eBooks returning to your future?

A.     Ebooks are becoming a factor in the market as a whole, so in any future job I know I'll be dealing with them. I don't see myself working for an ebook-only publisher again, but I can't rule that out.

Q.     Any other thoughts you'd like to share on these new ventures?

A.     I posted a short comment about ebooks on my blog in 2005: http://www.underdown.org/blog_305_3.htm#ebooks.
     It's interesting that four years later, not much has changed, other than the introduction of the Kindle, though I see that as an evolutionary development, not a revolutionary change.
     For those interested, there's a link in that blog post to an incomplete article on ebooks--something I started a few years ago and probably won't be returning to--though incomplete it expands on some of the themes I've mentioned above.

Thanks for your thoughts Harold!

Thanks for asking me!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Audiobooks with Bruce Coville


     As a continuation of Share a Story - Shape a Future, I wanted to include the full interviews I conducted with our some of our experts. They were too wonderful not to share in their entirety.
     First is the amazing author, Bruce Coville. He also just happens to be the founder of Full Cast Audio and passionate about audiobooks. Enjoy!

Q.     How long have you been involved with audio books and how has the market for them changed in that time?

A.     In 1995 I formed a partnership with Tim Ditlow, who at the time was running Listening Library, to create an imprint for the company, which we called “Words Take Wing Fantasy Audio” Tim and I coproduced, and I directed almost all the projects. We pioneered recording unabridged novels with a full cast, pretty much invented how we do it. Working with Tim was a phenomenal learning experience.
     When Tim sold Listening Library to Random House, they decided not to continue with the program. So a couple of years later I started my own company, Full Cast Audio. That was almost eight years ago.

Q.     How have you found most people use and enjoy audio books?

A.     I think by far the most common place to listen is in the car. Audiobooks have an almost magical ability to make long journeys seem shorter. I know a lot of people also listen while they’re doing other tasks, such as housekeeping or gardening. And kids listen just for the fun of it! I have a friend who works in stained glass, and listens to audiobooks all the time while he’s working.

Q.     Have there been any uses that have surprised you?

A.     I was speaking at a library a couple of years back, and the librarian told me a fascinating story. Her daughter, a very smart girl, was underperforming in reading. She was confident the child could do better. She got her some unabridged audiobooks and sat her down with the audio and the matching text, had her spend time listening and reading simultaneously, and within a couple of months her reading level had jumped by a matter of years.

Q.     As an insider, what do you feel are the best ways for people to get their hands on Audio Books? Should they go straight to a company like Full Cast Audio, or go through a distributor like iTunes, Audible, or their library? (Any other sources you know of?)

A.     Oh, gosh – we’re always happiest to have people buy directly from us, of course, but the answer to this really depends on individual circumstances. The library is a great source. And many people really prefer download for the combination of convenience and price benefit. (Downloading straight into a listening device is certainly a more “green” technology!)

Q.     A bit about Full Cast Audio - Are Full Cast Audio books available through these distributors or do they need to be ordered straight from the company? What makes them unique and desirable?

A.     We’re carried by all the major distributors, as well as being available for download, and also on the wonderful Playaway device. And, of course, you can get them directly from our website.
     As far as what makes them “unique and desirable?” . . . well, let me start by explaining exactly what we do, which is to record the exact text as the author wrote it, but with a full cast rather than a single reader. We do not adapt or abridge (the only cuts we make are the “he snapped/she murmured” dialogue tags that are rendered redundant by having a full cast). We’ve used several hundred actors since we started – our record was 56 in Geraldine McCaughrean’s STOP THE TRAIN! (Okay, that was a bit excessive, but it sounded great!)
     One benefit of the full cast approach is that it lets us use kids as kids, which is one of our signature sounds. The credibility this gives us with the child listener is remarkable – they identify much more closely with the true child voice than with the altered voice of an adult reader.
     The result is a rich tapestry of voices, a tapestry that really brings the book to life in the listener’s mind. It’s almost as if you’re experiencing a film or a play, but your mind is still engaged, filling in all the visuals.

Q.     Are there distinctions within the Audible Book market people should know about - such as full dramatizations versus abridged readings, etc.?

A.     Absolutely. To the best of my knowledge we are the only company recording unabridged books this way.
     Radio Theatre – Audio Theatre, as it is sometimes called – has a very different sound. The goal there is to tell the story through dialogue and sound effects, and eliminate narration as much as possible. That can be a lot of fun, but it’s almost exactly the opposite of our approach, where the narrator is the most important cast member, the pudding in which the plums of all the other voices are embedded. Probably the best way to describe it is to say that an adapted or abridged radio theater style production is analogous to a film version – it’s been tweaked and altered to fit the format. It may be very entertaining, but it is not the book. Our goal is to bring the book itself to life.

Q.     Any other interesting factoids about Audio Books you'd like to share?

A.     If I have a good audiobook and a catheter, I can sit in a traffic jam for hours without fussing.

Thanks for sharing Bruce!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Illustration Friday: Legendary



     Hugo was legendary for his "short cuts." (Click the image to see a larger version.)
     This is an illustration from my first picture book as author AND illustrator, Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón which will be released this Fall!

Share a Story - Shape a Future (Day 5)

Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds
     Welcome to the 5th and final day of the Share a Story - Shape a Future Blog Tour for Literacy. Today, we’ll talk about the impact technology is having on books and reading.
     We’re lucky to live in a time with multiple ways to enjoy our stories, such as ebooks, ereaders, audiobooks, podcasts and ... twitter books? But will these technologies mean the demise of the printed book?
     They'll certainly affect the way books are produced and how stories are shared, but what does that mean to you? If you enjoy your story as an audiobook, is it still reading? Most importantly, with all these new ways to enjoy stories, will kids still want to read?
     Ironically, literacy rates are up for the first time in decades. How do we explain that? I’m a firm believer that once people get hooked on new ways to enjoy stories, they will want to absorb them in as many ways as possible, be it DVDs, online, audiobook, ebooks, podcasts, whatever.
     Throughout history the storyteller has been the main source of entertainment in most cultures. (Check out the National Storytelling Festival's website here.) When books came along, they didn’t replace the storyteller, they gave the reader more freedom to enjoy stories when the storyteller wasn't available. Movies didn’t kill books. Video didn’t kill movies. Even hulu.com and fancast.com don’t seem to be killing television - just the way we enjoy it.
     The bottom line is it’s all about the content - the stories. The more we can have, the more we seem to want. Whatever the form, they remain our constant source of entertainment and enlightenment. And reading is still one of the best ways to absorb a good story.
     Good news for those who love stories, but how do the creators of those stories get compensated, and what role will book publishers play?
     The publishing world is going through rough times as they try to adapt to the new technologically driven market demands (and a rough economy). They make arguments for and against the various technologies as they fight and embrace them. (Read "The Winter of Disintermeditated Content" at Publishing Talk.) There’s even an entire conference dedicated to talking about where the market is going in our technological world. It’s called the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference (TOC). Chris Brogan, especially, is worth a listen.
     The market is changing and publishers are trying hard to keep up. In Simon & Schuster’s 39 Clues (on tour) - the story requires the reader to access information integral to the story online - making it technologically interactive! Publisher Thomas Nelson plans to start bundling their hardcover books with access to audiobook versions and ebook versions online (Publishers Lunch , Tuesday, March 3, 2009). Both publishers require the customer to register online to download the additional book versions and participate in online activities. (Customer tracking - brilliant!)
     The nice thing about the bundling option is it would keep independent bookstores in the game. So many of the digital options are attainable online, it could severely cut into brick and mortar businesses. Although Tom Clarkson says otherwise in this recent letter to Shelf-Awareness, "Attention Information Providers, Formerly Known as Booksellers."
     Personally, if I had the option of buying an eBook for $10 online vs. the hard-cover, eBook and audio bundled for $25 at my local indie - I’d get the hardcover.
     Why? Because, I love to listen to audiobooks while I’m illustrating, and being able to transport an eBook while traveling would be ideal, but I still love the feel of a book. I want to hold it in my hands and add it to my collection to refer to once I’ve finished it. Scrolling through my audiobook library on iTunes is not the same thing as having the book on my shelf. I want all the versions of my favorite stories and I think this will be a common desire as technology moves forward. (I also want to keep my local indie, Little Shop of Stories, alive and thriving!)

     How technology will affect books and reading is an enormous topic and while everybody is talking about it, nobody really knows what the future holds. But today, we're going to make a solid attempt at figuring it out.
     For Day 5 of Share a Story - Shape a Future I’ve pulled together some experts on the subjects of these new technologies to get their thoughts. I will quote them here, but the full interviews were so good, I'll be posting them in their entirety over the next three days. They're worth the read, so come back!
     First topic - eBooks:

Ebooks:
     Ebooks have been around for a while. It’s only lately with the invention of the Kindle, the Sony Reader, and common software for vehicles like iPhones that they’ve finally begun to take off.
     Ebooks are becoming a practicing alternative in colleges to distribute text-books to students, and editors are loving the freedom it allows them on trains and subways to peruse handfuls of manuscripts without the weight. But are they for everybody?
     Editor, Harold Underdown of The Purple Crayon was one of the early pioneers in the field and says:
     "Ebooks, unless they have added content of some kind (in which case they aren't straight ebooks any more) are a book format–print in another form, in this case digital, just as hardcovers and paperbacks are both books in paper form."

     Ebooks definitely have their advantages, but they're not perfect. Again, Harold:
     "One strength of ebooks is their low cost, which is achieved largely by cutting out all the expenses involved in creating, shipping, and warehousing physical books. One weakness is that unlike print books, they require a device on which to view them – a computer or a reader of some kind. To a considerable extent this cancels out the cost advantage, and makes them less convenient than print books in some ways. Differences like this mean that ebooks will never "replace" print books. They will become a preferred or alternative format in some areas of the market and not in others."

eReaders:
     As ebooks become more popular, industries are scrambling to invent the iPod of the eReader world. Already in existence are the Kindle, Sony Reader, iRex, iPhone (who now has a “Books” category within their Apps library along with a Kindle reader for iPhones), etc. You can see all current examples at The Evolution of eBooks (Forbes.com).
     So which to choose? To learn more about eReaders, their history, evolution and present state, Sheila Ruth recently wrote an article for Horn Book called “Better Than a Suitcase”.

     Where can you find these things? I've put together a resource of links to eReaders, Ebooks, Audiobooks and Podcasts at: http://dulemba.com/index_ShareAStory.html

Audiobooks:
     Audiobooks aren’t new either - they’ve been around for quite a while. We’ve been able to check them out on records and cassettes from our libraries for years. So, why the sudden buzz about them? Because they have a lot of new advantages.
     Now you can transfer your audiobooks to your iPod or other digital listening device. Suddenly you can take them with you on a bus, a plane or to the middle of a cornfield. They’re a way to keep up with your reading while stuck in a car or working. (I listen while I illustrate.) And you’re not limited only to the selection at your local library - you can choose from vast collections online such as at Audible.com, AudibleKids.com, and iTunes. You can also buy directly from the audiobook creators such as Full Cast Audio, where they use a full dramatic cast rather than a single reader.
     Bruce Coville, famous author and founder of Full Cast Audio says,
     “One benefit of the full cast approach is that it lets us use kids as kids, which is one of our signature sounds. The credibility this gives us with the child listener is remarkable – they identify much more closely with the true child voice than with the altered voice of an adult reader.”

     For the reluctant reader, audiobooks can be a great segue to introduce a love for stories which can naturally grow into a love of reading.
     Bruce said,
     “I was speaking at a library a couple of years back, and the librarian told me a fascinating story. Her daughter, a very smart girl, was underperforming in reading. She was confident the child could do better. She got her some unabridged audiobooks and sat her down with the audio and the matching text, had her spend time listening and reading simultaneously, and within a couple of months her reading level had jumped by a matter of years.”


     National Certified Teacher-Librarian, multiple ALA Audiobook award chairman and proponent, and author of Audiobooker, Mary Burkey, says,
     "...voracious audiobook listeners are usually also voracious readers, and teens are the fast growing segment of listeners."

     For a nice write-up on Mary as well as more information about audiobooks from AdLit.org, read "Listen Up!" by Jamie Watson.

     Another new tech gadget for listening to stories is the Playaway - audiobooks which include their players, available for checkout from your local library. They even come with earphones! To learn more about these, visit Cheryl Rainfield’s “New Ways to Get Teens ‘Reading.’”

     But does listening to an audiobook count as reading? Harold says:
     "Audiobooks are not reading . . . but are still a very worthwhile way to experience a story . . . Storytelling existed before books did, after all."

     And Mary says,
     "No, I don't feel that listening to audiobooks is reading - but it isn't cheating either! In today's world, we often overlook the listening component of Language Arts. By integrating audiobooks into a literacy program, students increase vocabulary, gain fluency, hear how phrasing and intonation results from punctuation, and experience authentic accents and dialects. As a student's listening comprehension is usually two years above her reading comprehension, audiobooks level the playing field in the classroom."

podcasts:
     Podcasts are a bit different in that you rarely get an entire book via podcast. They are more like mini-programs, either purely audible or including video. Because they are inexpensive to produce, anyone can create them allowing for a vast array of subject matter for even the quirkiest interests.
     Personally I'm finding podcasts make a wonderful support structure around books. They're a great way to learn about the book creator, for instance Authors on Tour Live out of the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver makes for addictive listening, as does Book Bites for Kids and the interviews at TeachingBooks.net and Readingrockets.
     Of course you can’t talk about podcasts in children’s lit without mentioning Just One More Book! - a thrice-weekly podcast which promotes and celebrates literacy and great children’s books. Hosts Andrea Ross and Mark Blevis have gained a large and loyal following as they sit in their local coffee-shop and talk about books that have become hits in their home. In addition to talking about books, they interview authors and illustrators which has expanded the range of interest. They also happen to have a fantastic “About” page which describes podcasts in detail, including some videos from Common Craft - experts in breaking down confusing tech-concepts into everyman speak.
     Truly, Just One More Book! may be the perfect example of how all the technologies tie together. Andrea buys a book to read to her children, then talks about it via podcast. Listeners decide to buy the book for their children, but maybe they buy the audiobook for their car and a hard-cover, “real” book for bedtime.
     The cool thing is, their kids are now surrounded by literature, the spoken language, the stories and the lessons that come with expanding their horizons and learning new things.

Even More:
     Oh no, we're not done yet. A new trend in China is books being downloaded chapter by chapter to iPhones or even tweet by tweet via twitter. They're so new, they don't even have a name yet - can I coin the phrase "twitter books"?
     We have a special surprise guest joining us to talk about the future of reading - author, Kathleen Duey, talks about "Reading the Future" at her blog writerwriterwriter. What a treat to discover how Kathleen first fell in love with words and writing and what it's all leading to in these new ways to share stories!

Wrap-up
     So what does all this technology mean to readers? I have a proposal to make - perhaps this latest generation should be called the “sponge generation” as they have more ways to absorb stories and knowledge than ever before. And it's becoming apparent that the more that's available to them, the more their interest grows, and the more they want. Through these various forms of sharing stories, we may be creating the most intelligent generation our planet has seen. That has got to be seen as a positive step forward.
     And with $650 million of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act going towards education technology, read "Libraries Get Some Relief From Stimulus Package" at School Library Journal, we’ll be seeing more options in our future. I know the kids are ready for it. Are we?

Thanks so much to my contributors:
Bruce Coville of Full Cast Audio - read his full interview Saturday.
Harold Underdown of The Purple Crayon - read his full interview Sunday.
Mary Burkey of Audiobooker - read her full interview Monday.
Also, thanks to:
Cheryl Rainfield of CherylRainfield.com
Andrea Ross and Mike Blevis of Just One More Book!
Mary Ann Scheuer of Great Kid Books
Jamie Watson of AdLit.org
and special guest, Kathleen Duey

     Thanks especially to Terry Doherty, Executive Director of The Reading Tub and author of Scrub-a-Dub-Tub for inviting me and bringing together our first ever Share a Story - Shape a Future event.
Your hosts have been:
Terry Doherty of Scrub-a-Dub-Tub
Sarah Mulhern of The Reading Zone
Susan Stephenson of the Book Chook
Eva Mitnick of Eva's Book Addiction and
Yours Truly, Elizabeth O. Dulemba of dulemba.com

Again, I've put together a resource of links to eReaders, Ebooks, Audiobooks and Podcasts at: http://dulemba.com/index_ShareAStory.html

     Please let us know what you think of our blog tour for literacy - leave lots of comments!
     Also, please feel free to use the logo at the top which I created for Share a Story - Shape a Future, or the logo below created by Susan Stephenson, just please include appropriate credit with a link back to our websites. Also, please be sure to include a link to Share a Story - Shape a Future, so others can follow and enjoy our Blog Literacy Tour as well!
     Thanks so much for reading!


p.s. - as my free giveaway - I'd like to point you to my free coloring pages at (click the banner):

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Issues resolved and Share a Story!

     Well, if you've been checking in, you may have hit some snags at Dulemba.com the last few days. Quick recap (and feel free to glaze through this if it sounds too techie), through problems with my blog (I suddenly couldn't post anything) I decided to try to change my hosting back to blogger rather than using the ftp I was doing through my hosting company.
     After much effort and a brief redirection (sorry for the inconvenience if you already updated your links) ... no go. My archives wouldn't transfer in full, along with all your wonderful comments. So, I've decided to forget all the nifty bells and whistles blogger offers and stick with my ftp arrangement.
     I did, however, end up having to rebuild my blog template from scratch. Ugh!

     Like the new look for Dulemba.com? Let me know! (If you follow me somewhere else, visit my main blog to see the new design.)

     So, after much pulling out of hair, everything finally seems to be back up and running, just in time for Share a Story - Shape a Future, which I will be hosting tomorrow! *whew*
     Have you been following? There's been some great information so far. Start at the Share a Story - Shape a Future website or refer to the schedule I posted Monday. And I look forward to seeing you here tomorrow when we talk about Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Back to http://dulemba.com/blogger.html

Sorry for the confusion - the switch wasn't working out so I am returning to my old blog hosting platform at http://dulemba.com/blogger.html.
Thanks for your patience!
e

Technical Difficulties

We've been experiencing technical difficulties at dulemba.com - everything is still here, it's just being a bit funky at the moment. I think I almost have it all figured out. Thanks for your patience. . . .

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Coloring Page Tuesday - St. Patrick's Day Top Hat

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     Who would wear a top hat like this?? (Perhaps a green top hat like this?) You'll have to check back next Tuesday to see!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!


     Learn about my Cinderella story picture book, The Prince's Diary, click the cover.

Coloring Page Tuesday - Lucky Hat

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     Who do you suppose would wear a hat like this? Especially if it were a lovely green, hmmm? You'll just have to check back next Tuesday to see!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!


     Learn about my bilingual picture book Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante - click the cover.

Monday, March 09, 2009

testing, testing

Dulemba.com is currently experiencing technical difficulties. I'm trying to fix it...

testing, testing

Dulemba.com is currently experiencing technical difficulties. I'm trying to fix it...

Share a Story - Shape a Future Begins Today

     Our blog tour literacy initiative begins today at The Reading Tub where Terry Doherty talks about "Raising Readers: Look for the Clues - Tips and Tricks to Uncover and Help a Remedial Reader."
     For more info on what this is all about visit the Share a Story - Shape a Future blog. The tour schedule for the rest of the week is as follows:

Day 1: Raising Readers
hosted by Terry Doherty at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, the Reading Tub blog

* Finding Time at Home - Tricia Stohr-Hunt @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
* Making Time in the Classroom - Sarah Mulhern @ The Reading Zone
* Helping a Reader in Need (remedial readers) - Sandra Stiles guest post on Scrub-a-Dub-Tub
* It's Bigger than the Book: Building Strong Readers at any Age with a Daily Dose of Read Aloud - Cathy Miller interview on the Share a Story - Shape a Future blog.
* Keeping Gifted Readers Engaged - Donalyn Miller @ The Book Whisperer

Day 2: Selecting Reading Material
hosted by Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone

* The ABCs of Reading: Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers - Valerie Baartz on The Almost Librarian
* How to Help Emerging Readers - Anastasia Suen @ 5 Great Books NEW LOCATION!
* Helping Middle Grade Readers - Sarah Mulhern @ The Reading Zone
* Booklists and Read Alikes - Sarah Mulhern @ The Reading Zone
* Using Non-fiction - Mary Lee Hahn of A Year of Reading, hosted by the Stenhouse blog

Day 3: Reading Aloud - It's Fun, It's Easy
hosted by Susan Stephenson at the Book Chook blog

* Ten Terrific Tips from Read-aloud Queen, Mem Fox - on the Book Chook blog
* Conquering Stage Fright - Interview with Sarah Mulhern/The Reading Zone @ the Book Chook
* Reading Aloud With Kids: A Dad's Perspective - hosted by Steven and Brian at Book Dads: Fathers that Read
* Using Technology for Read Alouds - Sarah Mulhern @ The Reading Zone
* What to Do When the Reading is Done - Aimee Buckner, hosted by the Stenhouse blog
* Reading Aloud with Independent Readers - Donalyn Miller @ The Book Whisperer

Day 4: A Visit to the Library
hosted by Eva Mitnick at Eva's Book Addiction blog

* From Cozy to Cool - Library Spaces for Everyone - Eva @ Eva's Book Addiction
* Lions and Marble and Books, Oh My - Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production
* How to Make the Library Work for YOU - an interview with Adrienne of What Adrienne Thinks About That conducted by Jules at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
* The World Beyond the Library's Walls - Melissa @ Librarian by Day
* ABC Storytimes: Taking the Library Home - Pam Coughlan @ MotherReader

Day 5: Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds
is hosted by Elizabeth O. Dulemba (Yours Truly) at Dulemba.com (so come back Friday!)

* Audiobooks with Bruce Coville of Full Cast Audio and Mary Burkey of Audiobooker
* E-books with Harold Underdown of The Purple Crayon and Sheila Ruth of Wands and Worlds
* Podcasts with Andrea Ross of Just One More Book! and Cheryl Rainfield of cherylrainfield.com
* A resource of links to audiobooks, e-books, podcasts and webcasts @ Dulemba.com.

     Through Share a Story - Shape a Future we hope to build a community of readers, by sharing ideas and encouraging each other. When the event opens on Monday, March 9, 2009, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to join us and share your ideas.

     In the meantime, please spread the word!

Share a Story - Shape a Future Begins Today

     Our blog tour literacy initiative begins today at The Reading Tub where Terry Doherty talks about "Raising Readers: Look for the Clues - Tips and Tricks to Uncover and Help a Remedial Reader."
     For more info on what this is all about visit the Share a Story - Shape a Future blog. The tour schedule for the rest of the week is as follows:

Day 1: Raising Readers
hosted by Terry Doherty at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, the Reading Tub blog

* Finding Time at Home - Tricia Stohr-Hunt @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
* Making Time in the Classroom - Sarah Mulhern @ The Reading Zone
* Helping a Reader in Need (remedial readers) - Sandra Stiles guest post on Scrub-a-Dub-Tub
* It's Bigger than the Book: Building Strong Readers at any Age with a Daily Dose of Read Aloud - Cathy Miller interview on the Share a Story - Shape a Future blog.
* Keeping Gifted Readers Engaged - Donalyn Miller @ The Book Whisperer

Day 2: Selecting Reading Material
hosted by Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone

* The ABCs of Reading: Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers - Valerie Baartz on The Almost Librarian
* How to Help Emerging Readers - Anastasia Suen @ 5 Great Books NEW LOCATION!
* Helping Middle Grade Readers - Sarah Mulhern @ The Reading Zone
* Booklists and Read Alikes - Sarah Mulhern @ The Reading Zone
* Using Non-fiction - Mary Lee Hahn of A Year of Reading, hosted by the Stenhouse blog

Day 3: Reading Aloud - It's Fun, It's Easy
hosted by Susan Stephenson at the Book Chook blog

* Ten Terrific Tips from Read-aloud Queen, Mem Fox - on the Book Chook blog
* Conquering Stage Fright - Interview with Sarah Mulhern/The Reading Zone @ the Book Chook
* Reading Aloud With Kids: A Dad's Perspective - hosted by Steven and Brian at Book Dads: Fathers that Read
* Using Technology for Read Alouds - Sarah Mulhern @ The Reading Zone
* What to Do When the Reading is Done - Aimee Buckner, hosted by the Stenhouse blog
* Reading Aloud with Independent Readers - Donalyn Miller @ The Book Whisperer

Day 4: A Visit to the Library
hosted by Eva Mitnick at Eva's Book Addiction blog

* From Cozy to Cool - Library Spaces for Everyone - Eva @ Eva's Book Addiction
* Lions and Marble and Books, Oh My - Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production
* How to Make the Library Work for YOU - an interview with Adrienne of What Adrienne Thinks About That conducted by Jules at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
* The World Beyond the Library's Walls - Melissa @ Librarian by Day
* ABC Storytimes: Taking the Library Home - Pam Coughlan @ MotherReader

Day 5: Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds
is hosted by Elizabeth O. Dulemba (Yours Truly) at Dulemba.com (so come back Friday!)

* Audiobooks with Bruce Coville of Full Cast Audio and Mary Burkey of Audiobooker
* E-books with Harold Underdown of The Purple Crayon and Sheila Ruth of Wands and Worlds
* Podcasts with Andrea Ross of Just One More Book! and Cheryl Rainfield of cherylrainfield.com
* A resource of links to audiobooks, e-books, podcasts and webcasts @ Dulemba.com.

     Through Share a Story - Shape a Future we hope to build a community of readers, by sharing ideas and encouraging each other. When the event opens on Monday, March 9, 2009, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to join us and share your ideas.

     In the meantime, please spread the word!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Illustration Friday: Intricate


     It takes an intricate mix of boxes, brooms, chairs and blankets to create a proper castle.
     This is from my just released Ready to Play! written by Stacey Kaye, illustrated by Yours Truly, Free Spirit Publishers. (Click the cover to learn more.)

Illustration Friday: Intricate


     It takes an intricate mix of boxes, brooms, chairs and blankets to create a proper castle.
     This is from my just released Ready to Play! written by Stacey Kaye, illustrated by Yours Truly, Free Spirit Publishers. (Click the cover to learn more.)

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