Thursday, August 04, 2011

U.T. Picture Book Class Reception & Giveaway

Nancy (in blue and white) chats with her students in the parlor.
Ever wonder what happens to the thousands of review copies of children's and young adult books sent each year to Cynsations?

Greg and I carefully consider all of them, feature as many as we can, and then we turn our attention to giving them to good homes.

Over the past years, some have gone to shelters and hospitals and tribal libraries, others to school and classroom libraries and still more to juvenile detention centers and literacy organizations, among other places.

Most recently, we gave 350 to the classroom teachers in Dr. Nancy Roser's class, The Art of the Picture Book, in the Education Department of the University of Texas here in Austin.

First, we piled books on top of the shelves in the foyer.
Then we piled more on top of shelves in the foyer.
But we ran out of room in the foyer, so we had to move to the fireplace mantle.
We bought some roses because the students/teachers deserved roses.
We polished the glasses and set the table.

The menu included:
  • chilled gulf shrimp;
  • cowboy quesadillas;
  • "a selection of fine cheeses: triple cream brie, Drunken Goat, Manchego, Gorgonzola, goat cheese and English cheddar, served with Marcona almonds, fresh berries, dried fruits, fig almond cake, crackers and baguette;"*
  • "peak season fruits paired with cheddar, Jarlsberg, Havarti and Gruyere cheeses,
  • also with baguette and crackers;"*
  • macadamia nut chocolates;
  • and homemade chocolate-mint cookies.
The teachers arrived and began "shopping" for books.
Each left with 35 books and as many F&Gs as they could snag.
They chatted. I listened. The publisher they loved most? Lee & Low Books.

Cynsational Notes

The event was co-sponsored by Dr. Roser and the Leitich Smiths.

From The University of Texas: "Nancy L. Roser is Professor of Language and Literacy Studies, the Flawn Professor of Early Childhood, and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. A former elementary teacher, she now teaches undergraduate elementary reading and language arts, as well as graduate courses in teaching the English Language Arts and Children's Literature. Her research interests include close inspection of children's book conversations in classrooms."

I strongly encourage my fellow bloggers to find great homes for the review copies they receive. For example, teachers are often seeking books for their classroom libraries. You should give them some. And flowers. And food and wine, too. Then say "thank you" for all the hard work they do.

*Whole Foods.


Jeanette said...

Local libraries get most of my review copies. When I travel, I bring copies to small libraries in the rural communities.

I save up the paperbacks and give them out to trick-or-treaters at Halloween. The leftover paperbacks go to a neighbor who works with the kids at the children's hospital.

Even the ARCs go to the library for their teen club. The kids love reading the early copies of the book. F&Gs go to the library to use for crafts and flannel board stories. Nothing go to waste!

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Awesome, Jeanette! You're a wonder woman, and you've given me a couple of great ideas, too. Paperbacks at Halloween...!

jlow said...

Always wondered what happened to all those review copies. Nice to know they are going to good causes. Also, huge thanks for mentioning us as a publisher favorite! So random, but great to know people are thinking of us.

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Not at all random--y'all do wonderful work!

And yes, many bloggers put a lot of thought into how to make the most of the books. I also pass on a number of them to fellow "big mouths" in hopes that there will be additional coverage for the titles/authors.

Taffy said...

I give my teachers books for Christmas and birthdays. We also do a fund raiser and I put tons of books in a basket for auction.
THANKS for the great post!

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Terrific, Taffy! Presents and auctions are great ideas. Thanks for all YOU do!

Ms. Sweet said...

Hi Cynthia,

You made my blog too!

Thanks a million! We are so grateful!

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

So lovely to see you here, Ms. Sweet! I'm honored by your post, and I hope you, your students, and your Holler Loudly fan find many treasures in your stack. My best to Silas!

Natalie said...

How generous of both you and your hsuband, Cyn.

As an ESL teacher/librarian in a school with a high immigrant population, I'd love to see more books in foreign languages donated to libraries that serve English languages learners. I know that authors receive few (if any) copies of their books after they're translated into other languages, but if they have any extra copies, I'd love to see them on the shelves!

Natalie Dias Lorenzi

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Thanks, Natalie! Really, we had a great time. In my experience, I've gotten maybe one to five copies of foreign releases.

For years, I've been aching for especially Jingle Dancer to come out in Spanish and, more recently, my Gothic series wherein one of the protagonists is Latino.

Definitely letting publishers know there's interest in foreign language and bilingual books helps raise their awareness of the west-of-Boston market.

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