It’s been hard keeping quiet about this, and now I don’t have to. From Publishers Weekly:
Alvina Ling at Little, Brown has bought world rights for Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld’s companion picture book to Shark vs. Train, for publication in spring 2013. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency is the agent for the author, and Amy Rennert at the Amy Rennert Agency is the agent for the artist.
So, what is this “companion picture book,” you ask? Well, if you remember how forthcoming I was when I sold Shark Vs. Train to Little, Brown four years ago, you’ll know just how easy it’s going to be to pry that information out of me.
But I will tell you how pleased I am to be working again with Tom, Shark, Train, Alvina, and the rest of the crew at Little, Brown. And I can think of at least one other person who will be glad to see the arrival of spring 2013…
Libraries and librarians have been sending some great news my way lately.
In the past few weeks, I’ve learned that The Day-Glo Brothers is a nominee for the 2011-2012 Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards Program sponsored by the Pennsylvania School Libraries Association, and that Shark Vs. Train has been named to three nifty lists:
The Chicago Public Library’s 2010 Best of the Best list The Texas Library Association’s 2011 2×2 list The Illinois School Library Media Association’s 2012 Monarch Award list
I just wish that libraries and librarians were on the receiving end of more good news lately. I wrote about this in my Bartography Express newsletter last weekend:
We all love our libraries — even Shark and Train — but it’s never been more important that we take the time to say so. State and city and school district budgets this year include deep, shortsighted cuts for libraries and librarians and the services they provide. These are bad news for all of us and especially for the children in our society. If we want to be a better educated, better informed, better prepared people, none of us — not one — will come out ahead if these sorts of cuts go through.
The Texas Library Association has provided this tool for emailing Gov. Perry and state senators and representatives to advocate on behalf of the institutions — and the people who make them run — that are such a vital part of our society, democracy and culture. If your state library association does the same, I urge you to take advantage of it.
One bright spot for librarians, at least, is the new book by one of their own, Jeanette Larson. In her post-librarian career (though I really wonder if such a thing exists), Jeanette has written the lovely Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore from the Americas, just published by Charlesbridge. It’s a beautiful book, and I hope you’ll all be able to find it on the shelves of your local library.
My mother is visiting this weekend. Coincidentally, a few friends let me know this week that they’ve seen Shark Vs. Train — with a little-bitty mug shot of me — in Scholastic’s “Favorite Authors and Illustrators” catalog:
So, if you were wondering how old you have to be before you’re no longer excited about showing your mom the brand-new Scholastic catalog — I’m not sure, but it’s older than 39…
The latter’s complete list of favorite titles for the ages-0-to-8 crowd is:
Shark Vs. Train by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philip Lechermeier, illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer
Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean
Beautiful Oops by Barney Salzberg
Art and Max by David Wiesner
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems, illustrated by Jon Muth
Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
The great year-end news for Shark Vs. Train has kept right on coming. I’m pleased to announce that, in addition to the previously announced recognition by Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly, SVT has been listed among the “Best Books of 2010″ by School Library Journal.
My previous book, The Day-Glo Brothers, made all three of those lists last year, so I figured there must be a lot of overlap among them — if you’ve made one, you’ve made them all. But according to SLJ‘s Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog, only eight titles hold that distinction this year:
They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti Shark Vs. Train, by Chris Barton and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher The War to End All Wars: World War I, by Russell Freedman Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring, by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan and illustrated by Brian Floca The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy), by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors, by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Wow. For me, that’s some humbling company to be in.
But for you, wow! Your holiday list-making is pretty much complete now, isn’t it?
Kirkus Reviews children’s editor Vicky Smith interviewed me at the Texas Book Festival last month about picture books (mine, and the future of the field according to The New York Times), my next book, and how my kids’ childhoods differ (or don’t) from my own…
In related news reported by Chicken Spaghetti, Kirkus Goes List Crazy with its breakdowns of 2010’s best children’s and YA books. Shark Vs. Train made the cut, I’m delighted to say — in the category of Picture Books by Authors with Prominent Foreheads.
By the way, in between the two events announced in the link above, I’ll also be presenting to the Southwest Texas SCBWI:
November 13 – 1-3pm – Guest Author Event with author Chris Barton
You Better Believe It: How The Day-Glo Brothers Survived All the Things I Didn’t Know
Barnes & Noble at the San Pedro Crossing
321 NW Loop 410 #104, San Antonio, TX 78216
“I can tell you exactly where I got my idea from, how I knew that all those years of effort had been worthwhile, and what I learned about publishing, persistence, and fluorescence in the meantime.” – Chris Barton
Chris Barton is the author of the American Library Association Sibert Honor-winning THE DAY-GLO BROTHERS (Charlesbridge, 2009; illustrated by Tony Persiani), the biography of the inventors of those daylight-fluorescent oranges, yellows, and greens you see every day. It was named one of the best children’s books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and The Washington Post.
His second book is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller SHARK VS. TRAIN (Little, Brown; 2010; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld). It has received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal and is a Junior Library Guild selection.
He will follow up these picture books with CAN I SEE YOUR I.D.? TRUE STORIES OF FALSE IDENTITIES, a young-adult collection of profiles of impostors and other masqueraders to be published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2011.
For more information about Chris, his books, and his presentations to young readers and professional groups, visit him at http://www.chrisbarton.info.
I’m always glad to hear from Susan at Chicken Spaghetti, but never more so than this afternoon when she sent me the news that Shark Vs. Train has been named by Publishers Weekly as one of the year’s best picture books.
It shows up at the top of the list, but that’s just alphabetical-order-by-author’s-last-name at work. First, last, or in the middle, I’m delighted to be included on a list that features so many impressive titles. And it’s certainly nice to receive this vote of confidence for a book that I’ll be reading aloud to nine — count ‘em! — different audiences this coming week.