Review of the Day: Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain by Barbara R. Vance

Elizabeth Bird | July 20, 2010

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This is an excerpt of a longer review

When I was a kid, children’s poetry certainly existed but as far as I knew nobody was out there actively promoting the idea that I read the stuff. Our schools didn’t have Poetry Month. Poem In Your Pocket Day was hardly the norm. And the idea of a Children’s Poet Laureate? Unheard of! Absurd! Still, I read a little poetry on my own. There was always Jack Prelutsky, who I considered the poor man’s Shel Silverstein. Now Silverstein THAT was a dude who knew what appealed to kids. Though he had an odd tendency to traipse into the world of cutesiness (his hug poem = an ugh poem), his work tapped into children’s fears and sick twisted humors better than anyone. And books like Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic looked better than the other books too. They were big thick books with black and white illustrations on pure white pages with plenty of space around the words. Variations on this form of published have existed throughout the decades since. Most recently would be Barbara R. Vance and her collection of poems in Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain. Not tapping into the sheer weirdness of a Silverstein, Vance still provides looks at the familiar aspects of a child’s life and couches those observations in rhyme.

sandwich sisterA collection of 124 poems, Barbara Vance explores the ephemera of childhood. Some poems take on the realistic problems lots of kids face. Things like “My Brother’s Bike” or “Bored” or (maybe just a little less common) “Worms for Pets”. Other poems stray into the fantastical, like “Pantry Party”, “A Ghost Who Loves Movies”, and “Don’t Make the Tooth Fairy Angry.” Each poem is couched on pure white space with small interstitial illustrations to accompany. The book also includes an index of the poems, both by title and by first line. . . .

 Without any doubt in my mind my favorite poems in this book was “Sandwich Sister”. This was partly because of the plot (a girl eats so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that she turns into one herself) but was made particularly keen by Vance’s accompanying illustrations. Generally speaking, the pictures in this book are magnificently simple. Just pen and ink with more importance placed on the idea of an image than a detailed presentation of it. For example, the little girl in “Sandwich Sister” starts out looking somewhat like a big-eyed kewpie doll. The image of her enjoying a sandwich shows her little lines for arms holding the object high, her head thrust upward in true sandwich-eating bliss. Turn the page, however, and the girl is now a sandwich itself with two big googly eyes making note of her wheaten anatomy. It’s charming. Pay attention and you’ll also see that while the bows that were in her hair remain firmly stuck to the sandwiches . . uh . . head, one of her shoes has come untied. I don’t know why, but little details like that, when they appear in very simple drawings, are particularly charming. And throughout the book, Vance’s art never draws attention away from the poetry. It just acts as a natural accompaniment. . . .

Pioneer Woman Homeschooling: Suzie Bitner was afraid of the Drain

Heather Sanders | March 30, 2012

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With publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets preparing to celebrate National Poetry Month in April, I am excited to introduce author and illustrator Barbara Vance’s Suzie Bitner was afraid of the Drain, the newest book of poems in our family’s personal collection of favorites.

When I first viewed the front cover of Vance’s book it immediately reminded of a childhood favorite, Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. The design of Vance’s book gives a nod to Silverstein’s aesthetics, with the use of her own minimalist line drawings, varied typography and abundant white space.Hot Chili Face Boy

Before the kids could even get their hands on the book, I took it to bed with me as my “winding down before I go to bed” read.

It didn’t exactly meet its purpose, because an hour later I was still reading, muffling giggles while reminiscing about my own childhood experiences, quandaries, and fears.

One poem, “Something’s There”, reminded me of the days when I would run and jump into my bed from several feet away to ensure the evil things that lurked beneath wouldn’t grab my feet and drag me under.

Countless times my parents pulled up my dust ruffle, looked underneath, declaring it free of any mischief before kissing me good night and heading out the door. Their assurance still didn’t keep me from tucking the covers tightly underneath my feet and body so nothing could crawl up and get me.

I always left a “breathing hole” small enough that only I knew it was there. Crazy.

Did anyone else do that?

Another poem, “Rules” is EXACTLY why I loved to stay at my Grandma’s house and why my children love visiting their grandparents’ houses. Where else is ice cream, movies, and endless gaming hours guaranteed?

“Rules are irksome; Rules are dull, And moms know how to make ‘em. That’s why we all Need grandmas– ‘Cause they’re allowed to break ‘em”


Utilizing fonts and spacing, Vance visually engages her readers with a kind of “wordplay” in many of her poems; the words literally “play” across the page, complimenting the nature of the poem itself. . . .

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Book Review: Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain

Danielle Georgiou | November 16, 2010

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I recently received a copy of first-time author Barbara Vance‘s Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain, a collection of children’s poetry, and was informed that I would love it, by every one of my friends with kids. At first, I wondered if that was a jab at my love for Disney films and morning cartoons, or a hint to follow in their child-bearing footsteps; either way, I found myself connecting to the humor and innocently refreshing quality of Vance’s turns of phrases.

Vance is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Art and Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas. While working on her degree, she needed an outlet to voice her art and began working on the draft of Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain. Vance has been writing since she was just over three inches tall (at least that’s what she told and said she didn’t want to bore with the long story) and rediscovered that passion to write and illustrate while working her way through the Ph.D. program. You can meet her at a reading Thursday night.

In the collection of 124 poems, she explores the childhood experience. Some poems take a realistic look at the problems kids face, from bullying (“The Terrible Thing about Cindy”) to nightmares (“Something’s There”) to cooties (“Girls”), while other poems are fantastical, like “A Ghost Who Loves Movies” and “Don’t Make the Tooth Fairy Angry.” Inherent in all the work is the emotional rollercoaster that is childhood, and Vance presents it all in a fun and positive way.

While on the surface, Suzie Bitner looks like an easy bedtime read, Vance’s poetic style juxtaposes the traditional children’s book. The material is, of course, relatable: it’s funny, endearing, and depicts exactly what kids go through on an everyday basis. Every kid has been told to take a bath because they have “Stinky Feet,” dealt with the issue of “Sharing” with a sibling, and has made that “Fast Friend” that lasts a lifetime. But every adult can relate to the material as well. The themes are universal, ranging from acceptance to an awareness of the body to cultivating creativity, and transcend those informative years of childhood.

Two of the poems that resonated with me were “Sandwich Sister” and “Dinah.” “Sandwich Sister” stuck with me like peanut butter and jelly – literally, the protagonist eats so many PB&J sandwiches that she turns into one – for three reasons: it reminded me of the experience of Violet in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (“You’re turning violet, Violet!”); my mother used to always tell me to stop doing certain things because my face was going to stay that way; and the adjoining illustrations define Vance’s pictorial style. A simple pen and ink drawing succinctly illustrates the transformation of the little girl. Her big doe-eyes take in the delicious sandwich and her development into peanut-buttery goodness is both charming and slightly disgusting. But it relays the message: over-consumption never works out. . . .

“With echoes of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain is sure to entertain, educate, and become one of those go-to books for children as they become teens and later adults.”

Poetry for Kids: Suzie Bitner was afraid of the Drain

Beth Feldman | June 9, 2010

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There’s something I don’t think I’ve shared with our faithful Role Mommy readers – I’m a poetry fanatic. In fact, I’ve been reading and writing poetry since I was in the third grade and I truly appreciate great poems written just for kids. Which is why when I discovered @SuzieBitner on Twitter and learned she was actually the name of a poem written by illustrator and poet Barbara Vance, I had to find out more.

After a quick twitter exchange, Barbara and I connected and she sent me her book to read and I have to say, I’ve been smiling ever since. Even more exciting, I’ve shared her poetry with my 8 and 11 year old and she’s got them laughing too. . . .

There are 124 poems in the illustrated book that is bound to tickle the funny bone of kids of all ages. Read them with your kids and laugh or your older ones can curl up with Suzie Bitner and read it before they head for bed. If your kids are just learning to write poetry, this is a great way to get them immersed in content that they can connect with and enjoy as they learn the art of rhyme!

Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain

Susan McLean | December 2010

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If you have children, or you yourself are a child at heart, then don’t miss this wonderful book with 124 marvelous and humorous children’s poems with over 100 illustrations all by author and illustrator Barbara Vance. Suzie takes us to her world where we explore everything from the day to day to the wild and wonderful. My children especially enjoyed “Dear Santa” where there is a list even longer than those my boys have this year, “Sandwich Sister” where a girl turns into her favorite food (PB&J), and my oldest really likes “My Brother is Driving Me crazy” where the younger imitates the older brother (a common occurrence around here). Personally, one of my favorites is “Night Dreams” and “Ode to Sugar Flakes.” My children (from the youngest at 17 months to the three year old and five year old) have enjoyed exploring the different poems, listening to the rhymes, and laughing along as we go.

Barbara’s poems and illustrations are fantastic and take me back to my childhood reading (and loving) books by Shel Silverstein. They have the same lyrical and humorous feel and they really engage the children. Barbara Vance, who by day is a university professor, may not yet be a household name when it comes to books, but I imagine she soon will be. It warmed my heart to hear my five year old rhyming to himself after we read several poems. I know that I can still recite poems I learned as a child, and I love that my children are developing that same love of reading. Although, with a book like “Suzie Bitner was Afraid of the Drain” it would be difficult not to want to read more (which is what I hear when we’ve been sharing this book, “Just one more, Mom! Please!”).

So this holiday, when you’re fighting over the last Wii game with some other Mom in ToysRUs, just let her have it and get your kids a gift they’ll enjoy for years and one you’ll love just as much as it helps foster a love of reading. Order your copy of “Suzie Bitner was Afraid of the Drain” on Amazon or through the Suzie website: where you can also read an excerpt and see what others are saying.

Book Review: Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain

Brittney Biddle | April 7, 2012

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My dad made my lunch-
He meant to be sweet,
But the meal that he packed
I’m not sure I can eat….

This is the beginning to a poem that left me smiling and quite possibly with a few giggles, My Dad Made my Lunch by Barbara R. Vance. As the poem continued, it left me thinking about how life after combat has changed my husband and how this would most definitely be something he would do.

Suzie Bitner was afraid of the Drain is a book filled with poems and illustrations by Barbara R. Vance. This book is perfect for children and will leave your little one full of laughs, smiles, and things they can relate to. From poems about Patience, Sharing, My Brother Is Driving me Crazy, Braces, someone being Sick to Maisy brushing her teeth and so much more, parents will be thrilled to see their children smiling as they read through ‘Suzie’.

Barbara created illustrations for every poem she included in ‘Suzie’, pulling people of all ages into each page. ‘Suzie’ will turn a child’s mood from sad to happy after reading a few lines of any poem in the book.

While Suzie Bitner was afraid of the Drain is not a book based on deployments, life after combat or anything related to these things, it is a book that people of all ages will enjoy reading. It is a book filled with things that children and even adults can relate to. ‘Suzie’ also caught my attention in the fact that my nine year old, who has ADHD, is drawn to it. She can read and comprehend. While reading the poems, it took her to another place and left her with a smile. The way the poems are written and pictures are illustrated

Overall, this book is a wonderful read. The poems and illustrations have been created in ways that kids will understand. ‘Suzie’ is a book that I would recommend being in all homes and shared with many. As I read through it, it took me back to when I was a child reading Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends and left me thinking this is the first book that has held a place next to Silverstein’s book. . . .

The poems range from humorous to whimsical. With situations such as getting stuck in a tree, training a dog, and a girl who turns into a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, “Suzie” offers a lighthearted perspective of childhood in an upbeat tone, without any apologies for the little things that are so important in the life of a child. It is a book that boys and girls can grow with, appealing primarily to elementary-aged children. To both encourage and teach children, some challenging words are interspersed throughout and, on her website, the author makes available a free printable dictionary, written just for vocabulary words found in the book. . . .

Plano West Alumna Published Chidren’s Poetry Book: Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain

By Britt Mott | April 2011

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If there was ever a time to publish a rhyme, the month of April comes to mind. Across the country, publishers, writers, librarians, and teachers are celebrating National Poetry Month, including one of Plano’s published poets, Barbara R. Vance.

One year ago this month, Barbara published Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain, a collection of 124 humorous poems that take on the many challenges kids face: peer pressure, sibling rivalry, nightmares, and cooties. Her poems are whimsical, sugar-coated lyrics that unleash your imagination; some are autobiographical sagas. “I really had some unusual pets, got stuck climbing trees, and imagined that the food in the pantry came to life when I wasn’t looking,” says Barbara. “Those were the things that made childhood magical.”

“I love words,” the author declares, “and I like to find the humor in things. If it makes the reader laugh and feel a little better about the world, I’m happy.”

Barbara’s poems are coupled with simple, black-and-white illustrations reminiscent of Shel Silverstein’s works. “It was important that the illustrations didn’t overpower the words,” she says. “Shel was an inspiration, but my style is less edgy…and a bit more sweet.”

Unlike other children’s poems, too, Suzie incorporates challenging words, like “dubious,” “sublime,” and “languorous.” The author hopes to expand children’s vocabularies and get them excited about playing with language.

A 2001 Plano West Senior High School alumna, Barbara earned her bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of Texas at Dallas. She recalls writing an analytical college essay one day when “…in shuffled this tiny person with unruly hair and a certain predicament that she hoped I could write her out of.”

Barbara was in her third year at UTD, when she decided to write Suzie (the book) for her senior thesis. After her senior year, she sent off 42 poems to several publishers. “They were really well-received, but I was told I would lose creative control, which I didn’t like, so I decided to publish the book myself.”

She earned a master’s in English from Southern Methodist University and then went full-force into publishing the book while pursuing a PhD in early 2008.

Book dealers responded immediately. Within a week of receiving her book, Barnes and Noble showed interest, and within two weeks, Baker & Taylor. Follett Library Resources soon followed suit.

Since hitting the shelves, Suzie has garnered national media attention, including a stellar review from KERA. The book was also nominated for a Digital Book World award and a CYBILS award.

Storytelling with “Suzie”

Jessica Melton | November 1, 2010

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Hard working, dedicated and no nonsense are all adjectives which gave one graduate student the ability to follow her dreams — and write about a little girl who turned into a sandwich.

Arts & Humanities graduate student and teaching assistant Barbara Vance wrote, illustrated and published a children’s poetry book titled “Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain,” which she affectionately calls “Suzie.”

“Suzie” began as a single poem Vance came up with as she went through her day, and was originally intended to amuse solely herself.

“It is a children’s book, but it surprised me how many adults liked it,” Vance said. “I think there’s a misconception that if (a book is) light, funny or displays some sort of wonder of the world, it isn’t for adults.”

Part of the enjoyment in writing, Vance said, was that she was able to look at things that previously happened in her life and interpret them in new ways.

While her poems began as a way to escape serious- ness, Vance’s project soon became part of her work. She undertook creating roughly 50 poems for her senior thesis at UTD.

The first time Vance sent her book to publishers it was just short of 50 poems. She said the publishers liked her poetry, but said there wasn’t enough of it.

Shortly after she received letters from the publishers, Vance began work on her master’s degree and didn’t have enough time to work on her book until 2008.

Former student of Vance and business administration junior Michael Kown said he isn’t in the least surprised that Vance created her own book.

“She helped me a lot with my own writing,” Kown said. “She does live the subject she teaches.”

Previously a Rhetoric 1302 professor and currently a teaching assistant for Emerging Media & Communications, Vance’s love of teaching came through in her book.

Vance said high-level vocabulary words found their way into her book for two reasons. One, because she was writ- ing for herself and the words found their way in naturally, and two, because she wanted to help kids develop their vocabularies and read contextually.

“I wasn’t going to hold back on what I wanted to say,”

Vance said. “The only one I sat down with and tried to find really big words is one about a little boy who tried to memorize the dictionary.”

“Suzie’s illustrations are also meant to teach children. While she drew formally before college, Vance used simplistic drawings to show children they could draw too.

“That’s how you really learn to draw is by breaking down more complex pictures,” Vance said. “I wanted very much to have those kinds of illustrations so it could be something a child could look at and try to draw and fell they were capable in trying to draw”

Not Just Child’s Play

Sarah Stockton | May 6, 2010

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As if working toward her PhD in aesthetic studies at The University of Texas at Dallas were not time-consuming enough, Barbara Vance has found time to write, illustrate and publish her first book, Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain. The book, a collection of 124 humorous poems and 100 original illustrations that harken back to the works of Shel Silverstein, began as Vance’s senior undergrad project at UT Dallas.

“I was in desperate need of something light and funny to counter all of the serious analysis I was doing,” she said. “So I wrote a couple of funny poems, and decided to turn it, along with a more formal paper, into my senior thesis.”

From mice on roller skates to a girl who turns into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain offers a lighthearted perspective of childhood in an upbeat tone. Vance intersperses challenging words such as dubious and sublime throughout, to get young readers excited about vocabulary, language and poetry.

Local Children’s Author Celebrates National Poetry Month

May 6, 2010

Poetry is dull, unapproachable and difficult to understand, right? “Not so,” says Barbara Vance, author and illustrator of the newly released collection of children’s poems, “Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain.” Vance, a poet, journal editor, and writing instructor contends that people have a natural predilection for poetry that begins when they are just babies. “Children actually love rhyme,” she says. “They are always playing with words that sound alike…cat, mat, hat. Just look at the lasting popularity of Dr. Seuss. It’s when they are not continually exposed to verse as they grow up that they begin distancing themselves from it.”

According to Vance, poetry places a heavy emphasis on individual words and how they sound, which helps children learn not only to read, but to hear the various cadences in a piece of writing. “When you have only a few words to convey an idea, those words matter a lot,” she says. A study by the Poetry Foundation concluded that people who read poetry tend to be more social and active, enjoy music, and attend more cultural events. Eighty percent of those surveyed said they came to poetry as a child; and many said they stopped reading it because they lost interest, didn’t have access to poetry, or thought it difficult or irrelevant.

“We need to engage kids in creating poetry as well as reading it,” Vance says. She suggests letting students perform poems in the classroom either by reciting them or by acting them out. Have a poetry race and see who can say a tongue twister the fastest. You can also create a fill-in-the-blank poem in which students come up with rhyming words for a mad-libs style poem in need of words to complete it.

UTD graduate publishes children’s book

Marlena Chavira Medford | May 6, 2010

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UTD graduate student Barbara Vance has just illustrated and written her first children’s book, “Suzie Bitner was Afraid of the Drain.” The book is a collection of 24 humorous poems and 100 original illustrations that are reminiscent of Shel Silverstein’s works. Vance, who is earning her PhD in aesthetic studies, says the poems came about while she was working on her senior thesis as an undergraduate. “I was in desperate need of something light and funny to counter all of the serious analysis I was doing,” Vance says. “So I wrote a couple of funny poems, and decided to turn it, along with a more formal paper, into my senior thesis.” Her whimsical writing has evolved to include things like roller-skating mice and a girl who turns into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She also peppers in vocabulary words like dubious and sublime so kids can expand their language skills. And to ensure she didn’t lose creative control of her book, Vance formed her own publishing company. She’s now got her next project, a children’s novel, in the works.

Cybils 2010: Children’s Poetry Award Nominations


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2010 Nominations: Poetry

The following books have been nominated in the 2010 Poetry category.

All Around the Seasons
by Barney Saltzberg
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Madigan McGillicuddy

All the Wild Wonders: Poems of Our Earth
by Wendy Cooling
Frances Lincoln Childrens Books
Nominated by: Sarah (aquafortis)

Amazing Faces
by ed. Lee Bennett Hopkins
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Nominated by: Mary Ann Scheuer

An Eyeball in My Garden: And Other Spine-Tingling Poems
Marshall Cavendish Childrens Books
Nominated by: Mike Jung

Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters
by Jeannine Atkins
Henry Holt
Nominated by: Jenny Moss
Reviewed by: jamarattigan | laurasalas | Saralholmes

Can You Dig It?
by Robert Weinstock
Nominated by: Hazel
Reviewed by: laurasalas

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
by Joyce Sidman
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Nominated by: Julie Larios
Reviewed by: lainiemag | laurasalas

Dinorific Poetry: Stories of ancient animals created by a father and son (Volume 1)
by Michael S Sgrignoli
Nominated by: Julie

Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love
by Pat Mora
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Sylvia Vardell
Reviewed by: laurasalas

Do Teachers Go to the Toilet? (English/Irish Poetry)
by Gabriel Fitzmaurice
Mercier Press
Nominated by: Sharon O’Donovan

Everybody Was a Baby Once: and Other Poems
by Allan Ahlberg
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Danielle Smith (The1stdaughter)

GUYKU: A Year of Haiku for Boys
by Bob Raczka
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Nominated by: Becky

Give Me Wings
by ed. by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Holiday House
Nominated by: Richard West

Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness from Calef Brown
by Calef Brown
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Nominated by: Jennifer Laughran

I Didn’t Do It
by Patricia Maclachlan
Nominated by: morninglightmama

In the Wild
by David Elliott
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Elizabeth Bird

Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies
by Julie Andrews
Little, Brown
Nominated by: Allison Moore

Lots of Spots
by Lois Ehlert
Beach Lane Books
Nominated by: Sara Holmes

Maybe I’ll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight: and Other Funny Bedtime Poems
by Debbie Levy
Sterling Publishing
Nominated by: Monica Kulling

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse
by Marilyn Singer
Penguin USA
Nominated by: Maggi Idzikowski (Mama Librarian)
Reviewed by: kellyf | laurasalas

Nest, Nook, and Cranny
by Susan Blackaby
Nominated by: Jone Rush MacCulloch
Reviewed by: laurasalas

Ocean Soup: A Book of Tide Pool Poems
by Stephen R. Swinburne
Nominated by: Colleen Mondor

Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary
by Maya Gottfried
Random House Children’s Books
Nominated by: Elaine Magliaro
Reviewed by: lainiemag

Pirate Haiku: Bilge-sucking Poems of Booty, Grog, and Wenches for Scurvy Sea Dogs
by Michael P. Spradlin
Adams Media
Nominated by: Nicole

by Douglas Florian
Simon & Schuster
Nominated by: Jeff Barger

Poetry Speaks Who I Am with CD: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else
by Elise Paschen
Nominated by: Vasilly

Rumble, Roar, Dinosaur!: More prehistoric poems with lift-the-flap surprises
by Tony Mitton
Nominated by: Marina Cambareri

Scarum Fair
by Jessica Swaim
Nominated by: Mary McKenna Siddals

Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems
by ed. by Lee Bennet Hopkins
Simon & Schuster
Nominated by: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Skywriting: Poems to Fly
by J. Patrick Lews
Creative Editions
Nominated by: Kim Lingbeck
Reviewed by: laurasalas
Someone Used My Toothbrush and Other Bathroom Poems
by Carol Diggory Shields
Dutton Juvenile
Nominated by: Carol Hampton Rasco
Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain
by Barbara R. Vance
Copperplate Publishing
Nominated by: Pat

Digital Book World 2011: Publishing Innovation Award


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Organizers of Digital Book World 2011 have announced the longlist for the inaugural Publishing Innovation Awards, to be presented during the Opening Ceremonies for DBW 2011 on Monday, January 24th, 2011, at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in New York City.

“The Publishing Innovation Awards will honor those making strides in this nascent medium,” said David Nussbaum, CEO of F+W Media, parent company to Digital Book World. “As the mission of Digital Book World is to learn, share and celebrate innovation in our industry, the Publishing Innovation Awards are a natural extension to the community.”

The longlist includes:

Fiction (Judge: Joshua Tallent)

A Christmas Carol (PadWorx Digital Media)
Alice for iPad (Atomic Antelope)
Cathy’s Book 2 (Expanded Apps, Inc.)
DRACULA: The Official Stoker Family Edition (PadWorx Digital Media)
Letters From Father Christmas (HarperCollins)
The Mongoliad (Subutai Corporation)
War of the Worlds (Smashing Ideas)
Non-Fiction (Judge: Peter Meyers)

10 Greatest Card Tricks of All Time (Vook)
Ansel Adams (Hachette Book Group, Inc.)
I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works (Random House)
iPad Stretches (Shelter Publications, Inc.)
Logos Bible Software (Logos Bible Software, Inc.)
Music: An Appreciation (Standard Nine Inc.)
WAR (Enriched) (Grand Central Publishing)
Why the Net Matters (Canongate Books Ltd)
Children’s (Judge: Peter Costanzo)

A Story Before Bedtime (Jackson Fish Market)
The Cat In the Hat (Oceanhouse Media)
Cozmo’s Day Off (Ayars Animation, Inc.)
Grimm’s Rapunzel (Ideal Binary Ltd.)
Miss Spider’s Tea Party (Callaway Arts & Entertainment)
The Night Before Christmas, told by Meryl Streep (Ruckus Media Group)
The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross (Moving Tales)
Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain (Copperplate Publishing)

5 New Kid’s Books They’ll Love!

Lauren Rogoff | July 31, 2013

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Susie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain, by Barbara Vance (Ages 5 and up)
Aunties who grew up adoring Shel Silverstein will delight in debut author Barbara Vance’s collection of poems for children. Featuring 124 poems on various topics that nieces and nephews (and their wise auntie!) will relate to, this is a great book to dip into and out of, sampling a few delightful poems at a time – especially perfect for afternoons visiting with auntie. The poems are accompanied by simple pen-and-ink illustrations, which aren’t overly literal. Topics range from a little girl who loved to play dress-up to musings on being the eldest sibling to a roller skate-wearing mouse. There is sure to be a rhyme that every niece, nephew, and auntie relate to!