Category: book reviews


Editorial Campana is pleased to announce another event!!

Monday March 16th, 4:00-5:15 p.m. This event is bilingual English/Spanish B.M.C.C. (Borough of Manhattan Community College): Room: S-605. Reading and conversation with Sonia Rivera Valdés (Casa de las Américas Award winner) author of Stories of Little Women and Grown-Up Girls (Historias de mujeres grandes y Chiquitas)

For more information please visit Editorial Campana or the BMCC website. Also look for future events hosted by Editorial Campana!

If you live in Washington and read the Washington Post, you might notice something different with the Sunday edition. It’s Book World (a book review section of the newspaper) is moving and being integrated into the newspaper instead of having its own section. The Post launched Book World in the 1960s, folded it as a separate section in 1973 and was reviewed in the early 1980s.   Instead book reviews will be found in the outlook section of the newspaper on Sundays, and in the style and arts section during the week.  As well, Style will have a daily Book World review and touch upon literature and publishing topics. The section will also house interviews and profiles of authors more prominently than in the past. So ends another chapter in book review history.

The Washington Post has decided to shutter the print version of Book World, its Sunday stand-alone book review section, and shift reviews to space inside two other sections of the paper.

Book World, aside from the book review section in the NY Times was one of the last standing book review only sections found in a newspaper across the country. Why has the newspaper decided to make this change? In a nutshell, advertising decreased making the section no longer practical:

“The advertising in Book World didn’t justify the amount of space that we dedicated each week to books coverage,” [stated] Marcus Brauchli, executive editor of The Post, in a phone interview.

The last “issue” of Book World is scheduled to be between February 15-22. It will continue to be published online as an independent section. When rumors arose that the section would be turning it’s last page, many signed a petition in hopes of bringing back the section. The Book World section, as many suggested, honored books and highlighted their significance simply by having a section to itself. Although the attempts to keep Book World alive failed, many were happy that section would at the very least be available on the internet.

Yet there are some who are saying that like other media that gets support, so should book review sections in newspapers:

Douglas Brinkley, the historian, suggested that the book industry and book reviews deserved some kind of public bailout. “I think that just like public television — I think book review sections almost need to get subsidized to keep the intellectual life in America alive,” Mr. Brinkley said. “So if we can do that for radio, and we could do it for television, why can’t we do it for the book industry, which is terribly suffering right now?”

Despite the state of the economy, should newspapers be subsidized in order to make sure sections are kept in print? As he states, the book industry is suffering dramatically right now, and this change could have even more negative implications. If there is no book review section to inform the public about must-reads and new books, how are they to know about them (especially if they do not have access to the internet)?

Luckily, the NY Times still has it’s own section for book reviews. This change by the Washington Post makes the NY Times Sunday section the largest:

publishing at least 24 and as many as 30 or more pages a week with a staff of 15 and contributions from dozens of freelance reviewers. In addition to being included in the Sunday paper, the Book Review is sold as a separate section to 23,500 subscribers. An additional 4,200 copies of the section are sold in bookstores across the country.

Unless you live in NY, it may be harder to find book reviews in your favorite newspaper (or any newspaper).

caribbeancovermariopicayo1

Will talk to the public and present three copies of his book to the National Library, including a Special Edition courtesy of the First Lady of the US Virgin Islands.

 

New York resident, Caribbean author Mario Picayo will present his children’s book A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) and talk to the audience this Friday at 12:30 PM as part of the events celebrating the re-opening of the National Library. At 10 AM, during the opening ceremonies, Mr. Picayo will present three signed copies of the popular book to the library, including one copy of a Special Edition made exclusively for the United States Virgin Islands. The copy arrives courtesy of the First Lady of the US Virgin Islands, Cecile de Jongh as a gift to the children of Barbados. Mrs. De Jongh is a well-known literacy advocate. Several copies of A Caribbean Journey have also been purchased by the Library and will be available to its patrons and its many branches.

A Caribbean Journey from A to Y has been a commercial and critical success.  Dominican writer Silvio Torres-Saillant (An intellectual history of the Caribbean) wrote, “The images and the words combine to disrupt many of the visual and discursive stereotypes that often recur in representations of the Caribbean. I can think of no better book for children to begin the lifelong adventure of knowing the Caribbean”.  Glen “Kwabena” Davis, Director of the US Virgin IslandsEducation Department’s Culture Division, said “Mario Picayo’s A Caribbean Journey from A to Y is a book sure to motivate kids to read it over and over. The illustrations and the artistic appeal of the book make it really stand out among other children’s books.”          

Published at the end of 2007, The 64 page, hardcover, fully illustrated book has gather steam with each passing month, selling over 10,000 copies in December 2008 and becoming an Americas Award Commended Title. 

The back cover describes it as a “fun and educational journey through the Caribbean Islands, one letter at a time! From Aruba to Trinidad and from avocado to yam, the reader learns the names of many of the islands, plus fascinating facts about them.  A Caribbean astronaut? From which island? An island with over 300 rivers? Seals in our tropical waters?  And wait until you see what happened to the Z”.

Mr. Picayo is making his visit to Barbados onboard the Norwegian Gem as part of a multi-island presentation tour.  “He wants to introduce the book personally, to each Caribbean island where it is sold, or will be sold”, according to McKinley Matteson, Assistant Manager at Campanita Books, publisher of A Caribbean Journey.

On Wednesday Picayo will be visiting his old home, St Thomas, Virgin Islands to receive the Special Edition of the book destined for the National Library from the hands of First Lady de Jongh.  On Thursday he will visit Antigua,and make the book officially available on the island. Mario will also speak at the Island Academy, a private school, and by invitation of the Ministry of Education at a primary public school.  Later in the afternoon he will visit the Antigua Public Library to present copies of his book, and of other titles published by Editorial Campana to Ms. Dorothea Nelson, Chief Librarian.  

Meet the author, and take a first look at the Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) at 12:30 at the National Library Service’s new Independence Square Headquarters.

For further information please call the National Library Services at 246-435-3371 or visit www.Editorialcampana.com to read the full press release.

 

Campanita Books is happy to announce that A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) Sold over 10,000 copies in December, and was selected as a  2008 Americas Award Commended Title.
 What’s so Special about this ABC? Read the following selected Reviews and Comments:

“This very original alphabet book gives brief descriptions of many aspects of the geography, animal species and history of the Caribbean. Even though a reader might consider an alphabet book as appropriate only for beginner readers, this one has so much information and poetic language, that older, more mature children will benefit from the information conveyed. Colorful and detailed naïve illustrations accompany the text. The best part of the book is finding out what the Z means to the Caribbean”. (gr K-4)
— 2008 Americas Award Commended Title

“A Caribbean Journey from A to Y, written by Mario Picayo and illustrated by Earleen Greiswold, describes insular portions of the Caribbean region in a manner that truly teaches and delights the child reader for whom the book is intended. Told as an account of the letters of the alphabet, the verbal side of the story engagingly caters to the child’s curiosity offering invaluable information about the flora, the fauna, the landscape, and the human populations of the region. Picayo delivers historical details throughout with beautiful simplicity, as in the explanation of “what happened to Z,” which alerts readers to the slavery period and the presence of Africans in the cultures of the region. With equal command of well chosen details, Griswold’s visual side of the story of Caribbean Journey from A to Y depicts the rural, the urban, the past, the present, tradition, and change without resorting to binaries, while giving women their due at the center of life in the Caribbean and suggesting the region’s racial and cultural diversity. The images and the words combine to disrupt many of the visual and discursive stereotypes that often recur in representations of the Caribbean. I can think of no better book for children to begin the life-long adventure of knowing the Caribbean”.
–Silvio Torres-Saillant. Author of An Intellectual History of the Caribbean

“Mr. Picayo, from his personal experiences, has compiled a fascinating collection of historical and natural facts.
All young people in our islands and elsewhere, would gain immense knowledge and enjoyment from the lively narrative and brilliant illustrations. A Caribbean Journey should be on everyone’s reading list.”  
–Prof. Roy L. Schneider, M.D., Former Governor, United States Virgin Islands

“Mario Picayo’s A Caribbean Journey from A to Y is a book sure to motivate kids to read it over and over. The illustrations and the artistic appeal of the book make it really stand out among other children’s books.”
–Glenn “Kwabena” Davis, Director of the V.I. Education Dept’s Culture Division

“From a Caribbean perspective, this book is relevant to children living in the Caribbean and also to those children living outside the region. A Caribbean Journey is a must have in every library, and great learning tool in which a person of any age could pick up and learn a thing or two.”
–Myron Jackson, Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Cultural Heritage Institute

“ A simple search in the Internet will tell us that few ABC book about the Caribbean exists. Another, more complex search allows us to see that these kinds of texts usually are limited to the normal experiences of a traditional US or European child. A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z), published by Campanita Books is an alternative to bigger publishers that don’t yet know the market or tastes of Latino and West Indian families nor take them into account in their marketing. This book is a learning experience on many levels, in terms of text and illustrations. The simple name of an island is made into new and valuable information to add to children’s vocabulary when we discover that “St.” means saint and that there is a big island that an astronaut comes from. In the illustrations we see people of all colours and sizes, carrying out different activities that are particular to the Caribbean. These are today’s natives, past natives, tourists and dozens of starting points for lessons on history, science music and vocabulary. But a child isn’t given a book only because of the lessons we can get them to learn. A book is an object that activates the imagination and transports them to other worlds. For a nine year old child, like mine, a book has to provide just the right details to fire his desires and passion. It could be the birds or the iguanas, the flags, the volcanoes the indigenous people or the yachts. A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) has all of these and more. It’s written to entertain and educate and to leave us with more questions to answer. At the end, the Z surprises us with an invitation to make a leap across the Atlantic and continue the journey”.
–- Tanya Torres is a Puerto Rican artist, cultural activist and writer who lives in New York. In 2002 she was selected as one of the 50 Women of the Year by El Diario/La Prensa, New York’s oldest and most read Spanish language newspaper.

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A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) 
ISBN: 978‐0‐9725611‐8‐1 Format: Hardcover Price: $19.95 Number of pages: 64  
Available at your favorite bookseller,
including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

We just received this email from a very loyal fan (THANK YOU):

“Hi everyone,

A friend of mine just gave my little nieces a really good book and I want to recommend it to everybody as the perfect Holiday gift.  And, if you are from the Caribbean, or live in the Caribbean and have children, this book is a MUST.   I wish it had been around when I was growing up in St Thomas, Virgin Islands.

The name is A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (read and discover what happened to the Z).   It’s the best Caribbean children’sbook I hav e ever read.  It’s beautiful to look at with great drawings and the text is smart and funny, and teaches facts about the islands, but in a fun way.  The name of about every island is in it, the flags, a map, and it makes you feel good to be a Caribbean person. 

I am so pleased that this book is out, I bought five copies for some friends, and I am getting more for Christmas. You don’t even have to be a child to enjoy it. 

I can’t praise this book enough. Finally somebody wrote a children’s book for Caribbean children that will make them happy, will teach them and will make them proud of their heritage (read what the author did to the Z to understand what I mean), and it is a book of quality not some little flimsy paperback.  Hardcover, 64 pages in full color and it’s 19.95 (cheaper on Amazon.com). A bargain for such a nice book.

You will agree with me when you see it.  I bought it at  Amazon.com  [can also be bought through Editorial Campana] but I wish every island bookstore had it.  We got to spread the word because this book should be known and should be in our libraries and schools.”

 A Caribbean Journey from A to Y 
(Read and discover what happened to the Z)
By Mario Picayo 

Find more great titles available from Editorial Campana

Remember the book, “Goodnight Moon?” Written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd in 1947, this book has become a bedtime classic for parents and children alike. It seems that the book has grown up… now known as “Goodnight Bush.” Or has it?

Actually, this new book is somewhat of a parody on the 1947 classic. Sure they share the same cover color scheme, and you may notice that there is similar language. After that though, the books prove to be two different pieces of literature. Clever tactic though to get people interested in this book isn’t it? “ I thought it was brilliant,” said Mr. Shandler (Little, Brown editor in chief), whose company also published the parody “Yiddish With Dick and Jane.”

This strategy may not be as smart as one would think. For example, as the article states, the parody, “Yiddish With Dick and Jane,” brought about questions and a lawsuit regarding trademark and copyright infringement. This parody-based book became quite popular and has even landed a space on youtube:

The author of this new book, “Goodnight Bush,” is hoping that the “fair use”  doctrine, will keep controversy at bay.

The publisher of “Goodnight Bush” is counting on the fair use doctrine, which allows limited amounts of copyrighted material to be used without permission. “Parody as fair use is a developing area of the law,” said Pamela Golinski, an entertainment lawyer in New York, “and as a result, whether a given parody merits the shield of the fair use doctrine is a complex question.”

Does it seem right that to some extent, some material may be reproduced to create a different version- thus creating a new book? It would seem hard to believe that a children’s classic bedtime story could be turned into a piece of literature with characters such as Osama bin Laden and George Bush filling the pages. Although such copyright and trademark questions have arisen before, we should be asking ourselves at what point do we use clever marketing strategies to promote books. Does “Goodnight Bush” cross the line? Should clearly adult books be allowed to parody children’s books?

Revisiting one of our posts dated April 14, 2008, we talked about our books going digital and a new device known as “the Kindle.” Since then we’ve wondered how popular this cousin to the iPod would do? Some stated that they would continue to read traditional books, while others noted that this device was more practical and space saving. So what has become of the Kindle?

An article posted on June 2nd discussed how an electronic device (a.k.a kindle) had stirred some questions at a recent book fair. Although it was a BOOK fair, Kindle got most of the attention:

Electronic/digital books have been around since 1968. They became popular when authors such as Stephen King started to dive into this area (with his book Riding the Bullet). So why now are publishers and bookstores concerned about books being turned into digital format? “Much of the expected growth in electronic books can be tied to the Kindle.” Furthermore, publishers are saying that they are seeing a dramatic increase in sales from digital books- many publishers have now doubled their digital selection and sales (in total) are reaching past $1 million. 

As Kindle increases to grow in popularity (and similar devices such as Sony’s Reader Digital Book so will digital books. Although it may take a while before digital books become the norm, it seems safe to say that we are getting a glimpse of the future. Digital seems to be the new standard. Is this good or bad? 

Editorial Campana has several titles that are in Kindle format– seeing as this new technology will one day revolutionize the literary world, getting a head start seems like a good idea.

Full Article

Last week, Mario Picayo went to the Virgin Islands to present his book, A caribbean Journey from A to Y (read and Discover what happened to the Z). You can read the press release at our website. Besides spending a lot of time in the sun and enjoying the wonderful weather and sites the Virgin Islands has to offer, Mario Picayo was busy presenting his book to schools in the area. The schools included, Lockhart Elementary School, J Antonio Jarvis Elementary School, and the Joseph Sibilly School. Author Mario Picayo was invited by Office of Cultural Education to present the book at the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts gathering. As part of  author Mario Picayo’s visit to the Virgin Islands, the Department of Cultural Education has donated one copy of A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) to each elementary school library in the Territory- making this a very successful event and visit. You can read an artilce about this event from the St. Thomas Source. On Saturday May 24th, there was also Book signing at the Dockside Bookshop – Havensight Mall. Individuals had the chance to meet with author Mario Picayo as well as get a copy of the book signed.

 

We are very glad at Editorial Campana that the event went so well. We are also in the process of finshing our study guide version of A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover what happened to the Z). We hope that educators and parents will use this resource to enhance children’s knowledge of the Caribbean. This title has had major success- just recently the Americas Award Recognized A Caribbean Journey From A to Y.

Editorial Campana currently has 2 children’s book that are available through Amazon (and another one is in the works to be released later this Summer). These titles include,  A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) & My Brain Won’t Float Away/ Mi cerebro no va a salir flotando. Want to learn who the finalists are for the 2008 Children’s Choice Book Awards?

My Brain Won’t Float Away

Before I was a nanny, I worked with children with special needs.   One of my classes was the first autistic class to be mainstreamed in our school district.  What I took away from that experience was that children are basically more kind than cruel if they have information about being different.   When I read My Brain Won’t Float Away, I had to smile with the gentle humor the mother used to help her child understand her disability.  Children relate to blunt questions and quiet humor.  I think it helps them process their world better.  The reason we read to our children is to open up dialog whether it be about the monsters under the bed fears or dealing with emotions, it is our doorway to helping them to think out loud.   The book doesn’t talk down to children but rather lifts them up to a world they may know nothing about in simple words and story line.   I read extensively to all the children I mention and when I was given this book for an INA raffle, I admit, I read it first!   I knew if i didn’t win it in the raffle I would be online ordering it the next day!  Lucky for me, it was given to me as a Nanny of the Year present.  I will still have to order it as I know two children already who will love it.

A Caribbean Journey from A to Y

My speciality is as a traveling nanny so naturally this book with its bright colors caught my eye immediately.   I often judge books first by the illustrations as they are so important to jump starting a child’s desire to read a book.  The first thing I do is tell them the author and who drew the pictures.   A Caribbean Journey from A to Z was a delight to read as I have had many trips with children to the various islands.   Sometimes when I go to a new child they ask me where I have been and we look on the maps.  The map in this book is gorgeous and a wonderful page to use just by itself!   I love using fun books to teach children and this will definitely go into my nanny bag.  Our world is getting smaller and books that help define or arouse curiosity about a different culture are important.   This book would be the perfect jumping off place a children’s monthly theme in the playroom.  I was very curious as how they would use the letter Z and I thought the ending was just perfect!   You will have to read it yourself to see if you agree! 

 Donna Robinson, The Traveling Nanny & 2008 INA Nanny of the Year Recipient.