Category: Reviews and Recommendations


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).

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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

For most, the holiday season has passed. We are now looking to what 2009 will bring. In the last post, we looked at how the economy was impacting the book world, both traditional and digital. 

In the following article though, it seems as though the economy may not be impacting book sales as we thought. 

What’s undermining the book industry is not the absence of casual readers but the changing habits of devoted readers.

Readers are changing, just as the world is. Although we are in a recession and sales in books have decreased, the Internet is to blame a little bit. People use the Internet to buy books as we all know. Books bought online tend to be cheaper, especially with many stores now offering free shipping aside from incredible discounts. The Internet has also become a great resource to look for books (especially if one is looking to find anew author or genre) and a great way to sell books once they have lost their value or are taking up space on much needed shelves.

What is hurting the author and publisher the most are individuals known as “resellers.” 

Some [resellers] list them for as little as a penny, although most aim for at least a buck. This growing market is achieving an aggregate mass that is starting to prove problematic for publishers, new bookstores and secondhand bookstores.

In this new method of selling books, the individual selling the book makes the money. The author and the publisher see…NOTHING. Many of the books that are sold are cheap, as in 1 cent cheap. Why would someone buy a book for $19.95 new when they could get it for almost nothing. Many of the books online that are sold look brand new or have very little wear and tear. 

Although many might suggest that these individuals are taking well deserved income away from hard working authors and publishers, others might argue that resellers are somewhat like Ebay and similar online markets that allow you to sell your old and unwanted goods. The fact that all the proceeds go to the individual who sold the book might seem unfair. Maybe, as this trend picks up someone will find a way to use these online markets to help the author and the publisher.

As the new year approaches and as New Year’s Resolutions are being made, should we be rethinking the way we buy books? 

One consequence has been to change the calculations involved in buying a book. Given the price, do I really want to read this? Now it’s become both an economic and a moral issue? How much do I want to pay, and where do I want that money to go? To my local community via a bookstore? To the publisher? To the author?

Another interesting article: Booksellers and Publishers Nervous as Holiday Season Approaches

View the original article quoted: Bargain Hunting for Books, and Feeling Sheepish About It

Dec. 10, 2008- Thousands of copies of Campanita Book’s A Caribbean Journey from A to Y(read and discover what happened to the Z) were distributed to the children of the United States Virgin Islands this week by the First Lady of the Territory, Cecile de Jongh, by Santa Claus himself, and by many helping elves.

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The gift is extra special because A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) was turned into a Special Edition just for this event!!!

 

The preface by de Jongh reads:
It is my great honor as First Lady of the United States Virgin Islands to join Mario Picayo and his many readers worldwide in celebrating the proud cultures of the Caribbean. A Caribbean Journey from A to Y is a wonderful expression of the diversity of the Caribbean peoples and their lifestyles. It takes us on a journey through the islands of the region and shares important and interesting facts about each location.

As you turn the pages, you will discover the many special places, foods, and experiences of the Caribbean. Truly a treasure all on its own, this delightful book is a journey to places near and far that we can all enjoy. It is a reminder of our shared ancestry and celebrates the similarities and differences of each of the islands and their people. Perhaps what we learn the most from this wonderful book is that we are all God’s children, each of us brothers and sisters in paradise.

As a Virgin Islander and as a passionate advocate for children and literacy, I am proud to join you on this educational journey through the Caribbean. Enjoy!

 

Go to EditorialCampana.com to read the press release. You can also go to The St.Thomas Source to read the article in it’s original format, written by Molly Morris.

There is still time to give one of Campanita’s books (or all of them) as a Holiday present!!!

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?

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.

Here’s where the Smart Cat has been recently- busy enjoying the second cat-n-around art festival We are still trying to finish the book, but it looks as though at the moment the very smart cat is too busy looking at all the pretty cats now on display in Catskill, NY. Come join her and all the excitement….