Oct 162015
 

The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A with 50 fact-filled maps!

Written by Gabrielle Balkan
Illustrated by Sol Linero
Wide Eyed Editions (Oct. 1, 2015)
ISBN: 978-1847807113
Ages: 7-10
Grades: 2-5
Pages: 112 Hardcover

The 50 States is what I call a “busy book,” like those by Richard Scarry, Graeme Base, and Stephen Biesty. It’s jam-packed with tidbits of info and illustrations. It will take hours of perusing to just see it all, and a bit longer to process the info and think through all the connections a kid is sure to make.

The 50 States Book, Alaska Spread

The 50 States Book, Alaska Spread

The facts assembled in the book focus on state symbols (state flower, postal code, etc.), geography (maps, du-uh!), history (timelines), and people (one-sentence bios). There are also some cool natural history tidbits in the mix.

Here’s a smattering of what the book has to say about Alaska:

CHANGUNAK ANTISARLOOK ANDREWUK: “SINROCK MARY,” 1870–1948, The Inupiat “Queen of Reindeer” turned a small herd of reindeer into the largest in the state, becoming one of Alaska’s richest women.

LEONHARD SEPPALA, 1877–1967, Norwegian-born Seppala’s ability to breed, train, and mush sled dogs made him an unbeatable dogsled racer.

AUGUST 19, 1923: Iñupiat Inuit Ada Blackjack is the sole survivor of a tragic Arctic expedition.

JULY 19, 1961: The first World Eskimo-Indian Olympics is held in Fairbanks; it now includes a muktuk (whale blubber) eating contest!

MARCH 24, 1989: After an oil spill from the Exxon Valdez tanker, 10,000 workers, 1,000 boats, and 100 airplanes and helicopters begin the cleanup.

THE ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE is home to all three species of North American bear: polar, black, and grizzly.

WHALE WATERS: Humpback whales travel 3,100 miles during their annual migration to Mexico.

YUKON RIVER: This nearly 2,000-mile- long river is the third longest in the U.S.

The 50 States, Alaska Close-up

Close-up of Alaska spread
Amazon
Powell’s

Information was provided by the publisher; no product or monetary compensation was received. However, purchasing products through these links may provide a modest commission through affiliate relationships.

Oct 102015
 

And the winner of our Alaska Book Week puzzle contest is . . .

You know, she worked both puzzles and got both answers correct.

And the winner of our Alaska Book Week puzzle contest is . . .

That means she got two entries. Twice as many as you, if you only solved one puzzle.

And the winner of our Alaska Book Week puzzle contest is . . .

Oh, yes, she’s a she. All you hes can stop reading now. You didn’t win.

And the winner of our Alaska Book Week puzzle contest is . . .

And remember, the prize is a collection of my puzzle books to be mailed when I am back in USPS range.

And the winner of our Alaska Book Week puzzle contest is . . .

Gee, I wonder where I’m sending them!

Winner

And the winner of our Alaska Book Week puzzle contest is . . .

Karen Bacigalupo

Whoop-whoop!

Thanks for playing, Everyone! I hope you enjoyed Alaska Book Week and maybe discovered some new authors and books.

The holidays are coming. Books make excellent gifts! Wait . . . have I said that before?

Oct 102015
 

Stay tuned for the winner of the Alaska Book Week puzzle contest. While you wait, let’s have one last flash interview.

Barbara Lavallee

Meet Barbara Lavallee

Name: Barbara Lavallee

Location: Anchorage

Home on the Web: http://www.barbaralavallee.com/

You’re making a float based on one of your books for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. What do you do? I would do something based on Mama Do You Love Me, since it is the most widely known of all my books.

The main character for your next book is a dessert. Yes, the yummy after-dinner thing. What dessert is it? Baked Alaska

Books:

I’m working on a new book written by Dawn Weyiouanna called Winter Moon at Noon.

Note: Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post might provide me a modest commission through affiliate relationships.

This Place is Cold, by Barbara Lavallee

This Place is Cold
Amazon

This Place is Wet, by Barbara Lavallee

This Place is Wet
Amazon

This Place is High, by Barbara Lavallee

This Place is High
Amazon

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Lavallee

Mama, Do You Love Me?
Amazon

All You Need for a Snowman, Barbara Lavallee

All You Need for a Snowman
Amazon

All You Need for a Beach, by Barbara Lavallee

All You Need for a Beach
Amazon

Groucho's Eyebrows, by Barbara Lavallee

Groucho’s Eyebrows
Amazon

Grandma Calls Me Beautiful, by Barbara Lavallee

Grandma Calls Me Beautiful
Amazon

The Best of Barbara, by Barbara Lavallee

The Best of Barbara
Amazon
Powell’s

Oct 102015
 

Today’s the final day of Alaska Book Week, and we’ve got our last two author interviews. Heaps of thanks to my fellow AK authors for playing along—and for writing books that entertain and educate. Thanks, too, to you for reading. Remember, holidays are hurtling toward us. Books make great gifts.

Annie Boochever

Meet Annie Boochever

Name: Annie Boochever

Location: Juneau

Home on the Web: www.annieboochever.com/

You’re making a float based on one of your books for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. What do you do? I’d make a giant Sockeye Salmon float with Zoey and Eliot geared up for a day of fishing in Bristol Bay riding on top.

The main character for your next book is a dessert. Yes, the yummy after-dinner thing. What dessert is it? Akutaq (“a-goo-duk”) otherwise known as Eskimo Ice Cream aka Zoe. What could be better than a little seal oil, cooked fish, berries, and sugar? mmmmmmYum!

What’s an Alaska person or place or situation or theme you’d like to write and/or illustrate a book about? The continuing adventures of Zoey, Eliot, and Thomas only this time they find themselves in Glacier Bay National Monument near Gustavus in Southeast Alaska. Paddling in kayaks, pursued by poachers, the three madly push on, unaware that they have positioned themselves smack in front of the magnificent Marjorie Glacier. A sharp explosion leads to ….

A celebrity falls in love with your book and sings its praises on a tv show, thus making you rich, famous, beautiful, smart, physically fit, etc. Who is this celebrity and what is the show? Robert Redford envisions a movie adaptation of Bristol Bay Summer as a way to bring the story of Zoey, Eliot, and Thomas, and the world’s largest sockeye fishery into the homes of millions of people while raising awareness of the threat of the proposed Pebble Mine. A mine that if developed could mean the end of a way of life that has supported Bristol Bay fishermen for centuries.

What Alaska wildflower represents your work in progress? Forget-me-not for obvious reasons.

Books:

Note: Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post might provide me a modest commission through affiliate relationships.

Bristol Bay Summer, by Annie Boochever

Bristol Bay Summer
Amazon
Powell’s

Oct 092015
 

Today’s the last day. Have you submitted your entry for the Alaska Book Week puzzle contest? Tic tic tic tic . . . .

All right, you have time to meet today’s Alaska kidlit author, but then it’s puzzle time, all right?

Ann Dixon

Meet Ann Dixon

Name: Ann Dixon

Location: Homer

Home on the Web:
http://anndixon.net/
www.kidlitnorth.blogspot.com

You’re making a float based on one of your books for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. What do you do? I mostly avoid parades, so I’m not the best person to think about making a float. But if I were to make one based on one of my books, I’d do either The Sleeping Lady, which would be pretty boring because I would be sleeping with the occasional roll onto my back or side so as to give both perspectives of the mountain, or I’d make a float based on Big-Enough Anna, in which case musher Pam Flowers could be the star with some fake snow, a few sled dogs, and a sled. New Yorkers would almost certainly like that better.

The main character for your next book is a dessert. Yes, the yummy after-dinner thing. What dessert is it? I seriously doubt I will ever write a story with a dessert as the main character. It would make me too hungry to spend that much time thinking about dessert.

What’s an Alaska person or place or situation or theme you’d like to write and/or illustrate a book about? I’d like to write about a little girl growing up in Kennecott during the mining era. Oh, wait—I’ve already done that! It just hasn’t been published.

A celebrity falls in love with your book and sings its praises on a tv show, thus making you rich, famous, beautiful, smart, physically fit, etc. Who is this celebrity and what is the show? My first choice for a TV celebrity would be Fred Rogers, but unfortunately that isn’t possible since he has passed on. I’ll go with Benedict Cumberbatch on the show Sherlock. I’m not sure how he would work one of my books into the show but I’m totally confident he can do it.

What Alaska wildflower represents your work in progress? The Alaska wildflower that best represents my work in progress is the chocolate lily. It’s hard to find and kind of stinky. And that’s all I’m saying about that!

Ha! I can’t wait to read your WIP!

Books—and an app:

App:
Winter Is (Available from Auryn/Auracle)

Note: Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post might provide me a modest commission through affiliate relationships.

The Sleeping Lady, by Ann Dixon

The Sleeping Lady
Amazon
Powell’s

Alone Across the Arctic, by Ann Dixon

Alone Across the Arctic
Amazon

When Posey Peeked at Christmas, by Ann Dixon

When Posey Peeked at Christmas
Amazon

Trick-or-Treat, by Ann Dixon

Trick-or-Treat!
Amazon

Big-Enough Anna, by Ann Dixon

Big-Enough Anna
Amazon

Blueberry Shoe, by Ann Dixon

Blueberry Shoe
Amazon
Powell’s

   

Oct 082015
 

Um . . . yeah . . . still pushing the Alaska Book Week puzzle contest. Okay, so you’re a grownup, and you have no use for puzzle books. Well, the holidays are coming. Is there someone on the list who might like the prize books? Hmmmm?

It’s a nice ride we’ve got going, eh? You know what’s coming: I’m going to corner another AK kidlit author and ask five silly brilliant, insightful, and deeply revealing questions. You’re eager to meet this kidlit author, aren’t you?

Well, too bad, so sad. Guess again.

Because it’s Thursday—or because I feel like it—I’m throwing you a curve. He’s an Alaska author, all right, but forget the kidlit: He writes bestselling “testosterone-fueled” thrillers with “action off-the-charts.”

I bought one of his books for my mom. Really. C’mon, I’ll introduce you.

Marc Cameron

Meet Marc Cameron

Name: Marc Cameron

Location: Eagle River

Home on the Web:
www.marccameronbooks.com
www.facebook.com/MarcCameronAuthor

You’re making a float based on one of your books for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. What do you do? I’d likely go with one of those humongous balloons rather than a float—a brooding Jericho Quinn in black helmet and leather jacket looming above the crowd on his BMW GS Adventure motorcycle.

The main character for your next book is a dessert. Yes, the yummy after-dinner thing. What dessert is it? Jericho is more of a savory food sort of guy—but if he had to be a dessert it would be something that was on fire.

Like Baked Alaska! That seems doubly appropriate.

What’s an Alaska person or place or situation or theme you’d like to write and/or illustrate a book about? Though my books are mostly for grownups, I spend a good deal of time every year talking about literacy to schools in Alaska Native communities. I’ve included some scenes in previous books, but my work in progress sets Jericho in the middle of the Alaska bush and draws heavily on my experiences there. It’s a lot of fun.

A celebrity falls in love with your book and sings its praises on a tv show, thus making you rich, famous, beautiful, smart, physically fit, etc. Who is this celebrity and what is the show? My wife and I are big Castle fans. I retired from a career in law enforcement before writing Thrillers full-time so it would be a real kick if I got to sit in on one of those poker games that Castle attends periodically with the other writers like Paterson and Connelly….

I’ll see what I can do. I’m pretty sure one of the Castle producers reads this blog.

What Alaska wildflower represents your work in progress? Jericho is a gun, knife, and motorcycle guy . . . so wildflowers don’t really come to mind with I think about him. If I had to pick one it would have to be some tundra wildflower that comes on like gangbusters and makes the most out of Alaska’s short growing season. I aim to keep my readers slightly out of breath trying to keep up with him.

I get out of breath inhaling the spicy scent of Labrador tea. I can’t get enough of it. And I get out of breath tromping through miles of it on soft spongy tundra. What do you think, can I sell you on Labrador tea as Jericho’s representative wildflower? It grows, blooms, and smells like gangbusters.

Books:

I write an Adventure/Thriller series about an Air Force OSI agent named Jericho Quinn. The sixth in the series, Brute Force, will be released this December from Kensington.

Note: Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post might provide me a modest commission through affiliate relationships.

National Security, by Marc Cameron

National Security
Amazon
Powell’s

Act of Terror, by Marc Cameron

Act of Terror
Amazon
Powell’s

State of Emergency, by Marc Cameron

State of Emergency
Amazon
Powell’s

Time of Attack, by Marc Cameron

Time of Attack
Amazon
Powell’s

Brute Force, by Marc Cameron

Brute Force
Amazon
Powell’s