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News and press
A review of Cahoots, in the November 1, 2011 issue:
Aldo is a technophile who enjoys playing online sim games. His latest favorite is “Farm Town,” which is ironic because a trip to an actual farm is what his parents have planned for their family vacation. This means trading in their electronics for hay baling and butter making but it also seems as though Aldo’s twin cousins have it in for him. Are they in cahoots about something? A blend of a graphic novel and a journal, this series can be used for building a glossary of words with the same initial letter. This “C” volume, which comes on the heels of Artsy-Fartsy (2009) and Bogus (2010, both Bailiwick) brings in “cockamamie,” “cagey,” “calligraphy,” and “clomping.” Featured words have an asterisk in the text and are defined in the gallery at the back. This gimmick does not get in the way of the enjoyment of the story. An extra bonus is a feature on the word “cryptophasia,” also known as “twin speak.” This book will appeal to kids not yet ready for the middle-school life portrayed in Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series (Abrams) but who have aged out of the irreverent potty humor of Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” series (Scholastic).
–Kathleen Meulen Ellison, Sakai Intermediate School, Bainbridge Island, WA
“The Aldo Zelnick books are edgy without being snarky, educational without being pedantic or heavy-handed, and full of celebratory humor and visual jokes.” — Peggy Durbin, owner, Otowi Station Bookstore and Science Museum Shop, Los Alamos, New Mexico
“Quid Novi” means “what’s new,” and this contest aspires to recognize quality book design and content as well as creativity and innovation. We’re delighted to deliver the news that Dumbstruck, the fourth book in the alphabetical Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel Series, took first prize in the 2011 Quid Novi book awards! Karla accepted on behalf of Bailiwick Press at the Quid Novi Festival on Saturday, October 22nd.
Welp, cantankerous Cahoots captured silver in the Comic/Graphic Novel category of the 2011 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, whose mission is “to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading.” Huzzah to Cahoots but especially to life-long reading!
Happily, Artsy-Fartsy has been recommended by yet another librarian, this time Katy Manck of Gilmer, Texas. We’re getting more and more fond of the Lone Star State every day.
Mary Lee Hahn, teacher and children’s literature blogger extraordinaire (not to mention chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Notable Books committee), had this to say about Dumbstruck. The feeling is mutual, Mary Lee!
Did you know that Dumbstruck introduces a new classmate of Aldo’s who happens to be deaf? His name is Danny. When we learned that Dr. Sharon Pajka, an English professor at Gallaudet University (the world-renowned college for the deaf and hard of hearing), writes a blog called “Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature,” we contacted her to ask if she’d review Dumbstruck. She did…and she loved it. (Squeee!)
Katherine Sokolowski—one of our favorite 5th grade teachers (even though we’ve never met her for reals) because she cares so much about kids reading AND she loves the Aldo Zelnick series —says that her students will be “beyond excited” to learn that Dumbstruck is now available.
Internationally acclaimed children’s play expert Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., a.k.a. Dr. Toy, just announced that she has chosen Cahoots as one of the 100 Best Children’s Products of 2011! Her team also selected Cahoots as #2 in the Top 10 Educational Products of 2011.
We’re deeply honored that Cahoots has joined the ranks of some of the world’s most amazing books and toys from companies like Fat Brain, K’NEX, Hasbro, LEGO, Gryphon House and many others.
In compiling her annual lists, Dr. Toy looks for lasting play value and product applicability to children’s active, creative and educational experiences.