Saturday, February 16, 2013

Who's on First-- Blogiversary

Who's on First?Abbott and Costello. Ilustrated by John Martz. Who's on First. 
19 February 2013, Quirk Books
Book received from the publisher.

When I was in graduate school, one of my classmates, David Ball, used to try to talk other students into doing this skit with him. I was always amazed at how many (usually) men were able to do this skit from memory, since I had never heard it, but then, I knew a lot of graduate students who could recite whole Monty Python films, if given the chance.

This picture book does a great job of introducing the work of Abbott and Costello, the only nonbaseball players to be included in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame, to young readers. The crisp, bright drawings make the story less confusing, with diagrams and the dialogue broken down visually in ways that make things more clear. I love the color palette of the front cover (as my daughter pointed out, baseball's is "America's game", so the red, white and blue make sense), and inside the addition of avocado and orange backgrounds make the bear and bunny really pop. Different fonts and sizes also help the dialogue along. A brief history of the skit is included at the back. I can see this being a really popular read-aloud for second graders, who will no doubt giggle a LOT.

Sadly, David passed away last year.  At his memorial service, I found out that he was a member of the Scholars for American Baseball Research, and had contributed many articles to various publications. Few of us who were in the Classics department with him knew this about him. I am glad that Quirk sent me this book; I will be donating it to my local elementary school in David's memory.



 Since it's Saturday, I can be a little self indulgent with posting about my seventh blogiversary. Looking back at my original posts is rather embarrassing, but I think I have improved.

During this past year, I feel like I made some significant strides. Baker and Taylor sends me review boxes, and publicists and authors occasionally contact me. I became a Young Adult Books Central reviewer in April, and that has been a good learning experience. Serving as an organizer for the Cybils Awards was also vastly interesting and helpful in so many ways. As much as I would like to review for School Library Journal or to be a Newbery Award panelist, I'm not sure that I'm that good yet, or have the kind of stature that would cause me to be chosen.

I have settled into a somewhat discernible pattern in reviews-- Monday is realistic middle grade and nonfiction, Tuesday is fantasy, Wednesday is multicultural books, Thursday tends towards mysteries, Fridays are Guy books. The weekends are reserved for blathering, picture books, girl books, and anything else I can't fit in to other days. I do post in advance, and right now have a TBR that consists of books coming out in April and later, so I feel pleasantly organized.

When I started this, my children were 7, 10 and 12. Now, my youngest is in high school, my son comes back from his year in the Philippines in a couple of months, and my daughter has survived college. I have managed to hold on to my job in a school library, and have started coaching cross country. I finished reading all of the books in the school library two years ago, and manage to keep up with new orders. Common Core will be a challenge for the future, and I will just continue to improve. I try to keep personality leakage to a minimum so readers can get to the review-a-day quickly and not have to slog through my personal life!

Occasionally, fun things happen because of my blog, like Betsy Bird calling one of my posts "required reading" for the day. Ego boosts-- isn't that why we blog?

Wish I could send all of my loyal readers some cake. If I were a more organized person who could manage to get to the post office, I would do more giveaways and perhaps have more than 220 followers, but I hope that those of you who read this blog find my reviews helpful to you!

15 comments:

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

Congratulations on your blogging anniversary, Karen! I'm lucky to have been on the same Cybils panel with you a couple of years back, and always look forward to your posts--also lucky for me that there are so many of them. Thank you!

aloi s said...

Congratulations! I hope you know that it's not the number of followers ... but just how loyal they keep coming back to read your reviews.

( been a lurker but i had to say something!)

Ms. O said...

Happy Blogiversary! To a reviewer who I think is super organized and helpful and just awesome ... KEEP IT UP!

Laura said...

May you continue 70 times 7. Blessings on you and yours.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on reaching your seven year Blogversary! Wow! That's amazing.

freya hooper said...

Happy Blogiversary! You are bookmarked on my computer and I have so enjoyed your reviews. Thank you for taking me on my Cybils ride this year I can only imagine how I will grow with seven years under my belt. You are a great example!

Alex said...

Happy 7th Blogiversary! That is real longevity in the blogging world, and I wish you many happy returns of the day. Keep up the good work!

Melissa Fox said...

Happy blogoiversary! Your blog *is* required reading, if only because you read SO much more than I ever could. And I trust your recommendations, too.

Here's to many more!

Mia said...

Congrats on 7 years!!!

Kyle said...

I start everyday reading four book blogs. Thank you for starting my day.

Jen Robinson said...

Happy Blogiversary! Our blogs are just 2 months apart in age. I find your reviews really useful. Sometimes when I'm of mixed feeling about a book, I'll look to see what you thought (and you've almost always read the book in question, it seems like). Glad you enjoyed being a Cybils organizer, too.

Charlotte said...

Congratulations from me too! I love your reviews, and whenever anyone asks me for a good mg blog, you are the one I mention.

This Kid Reviews Books said...

Happy 7th Blogiversery! :D

timetraveltimestwo said...

Re "I finished reading all the books in the school library"--how totally amazing! Your students are so lucky to have you.

Iron Guy Carl said...

Happy Belated Blogiversay wishes!

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