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November/December 2010
Volume 2, Issue 11

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

SD Library Snapshot Day
October 31-November 6, 2010

National Novel Writing Month
November, 2010

Native American Heritage Month
November, 2010

National Gaming Day
November 13, 2010

ALA Midwinter Meeting
January 7-11, 2011

South Dakota Student Media Fair
Entry Deadline February 2, 2011

Children's and Young Adult Services

Peter Brown accepts award at SDLA Conference, photo by Jasmine Rockwell

Peter Brown accepts 2010 Prairie Bud Award at SDLA Conference

Seventy attendees comprised the Prairie Bud/Prairie Pasque session audience when author/illustrator Peter Brown accepted the 2010 Prairie Bud Award during the September SDLA Conference in Sioux Falls. Brown’s book, The Fabulous Bouncing Chowder, was voted the Prairie Bud winner by South Dakota’s kindergarten through second grade students last spring, topping the title in second place by more than 1500 votes.

Session attendees enjoyed a special treat when Brown graciously offered impromptu remarks about his art and career. He related that as a youth he’d been encouraged in his artistic endeavors. After graduation from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, Brown moved to New York City to continue pursuing a career in art and writing. Book Cover: The Fabulous Bouncing ChowderWhile acknowledging that he’d taken advantage of a lucky break at a party in NYC when he met some young women in the publishing industry, Brown emphasized during his presentation that the break might not have proved so beneficial had he not been prepared for it. He had done the homework and networking to establish himself as a credible professional, so when the break came along, his career as a children’s picture book author and illustrator took off.

The Prairie Bud winner is actually Brown’s second book about Chowder the bulldog. While the author admits that children are eager for more, he’s not sure at this time that he’ll revisit Chowder. He showed members of the audience slides from his latest book, Children Make Terrible Pets, released in September. It, too, should prove to be a favorite among young readers. Hear Peter Brown yourself in this brief interview:

This article was adapted from the Read, Learn, and be Happy blog post by Jane Heitman Healy at

Building children’s early literacy — It’s never too early to start

There are so many ways that adults can help children build their early literacy skills. Speaking, listening, knowing letters, looking at books, understanding text, and beginning to use writing materials are just a few of the fundamental skills that children need to succeed in school. The Center for Early Literacy Learning is here to help parents and practitioners promote early literacy skills with infants, toddlers and preschoolers. There are a number of products on the CELL Web site that you can use.

Check out the free Practice Guides Especially for Parents that provide ideas for fun and exciting literacy experiences that parents can use with their children as part of everyday activities. Practitioners will find the free Practice Guides Especially for Practitioners useful for thinking about early literacy activities. You’ll also find Practice Guides with Adaptations that were developed to make it easier for young children with disabilities to participate in early literacy learning activities. Do you have Spanish speaking families in your area? No problem — Practice Guides translated into Spanish are also available!

For more information about CELL, visit or contact Rayne Dosch (email) or Fiona Helsel (email). CELL is a technical assistance center funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research to Practice Division.

Letters About Literature contest invites readers to write

Letters About Literature is a national contest organized by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in association with the Target Corporation. It invites young readers in grades 4-12 to write a personal letter to an author reflecting on how that author's work somehow changed their view of the world or themselves. For more information see the Web site and the entry guidelines.

National STEM Video Game Challenge is underway

Fifth through eighth graders (if homeschooled, the equivalent) have the opportunity to design original video games or mobile games using free platforms. The contest is inspired by President Obama’s Educate to Innovate campaign. Prizes go to the institution designated by the applicant. Sponsoring organizations include the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, ALA and AASL among others. How might your library be involved? Follow this link to the YALSA blog for more information National STEM Video Game Challenge.

author, contest, gaming, literacy, SDLA, YALSA

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