Video Time: Book Trailer Awesomeness

June 21st, 2012 by

You know who’s a genius? Whoever came up with the idea of “related videos.” I’m just minding my own business, watching a specific video that I’ve selected for a very particular reason… and then BAM! It’s like I have no control over my brain, and I absolutely cannot help but watch a different, related video immediately after. And then another. And another. And another!

Most recently, this happened when I discovered the Keepon robot dancing ohmygoshsuperadorably. I won’t lie; it’s also been known to happen when I stumble upon an interview with Zac Efron. But it’s not all fun and games — I also put my video-watching powers to good use in identifying really cool book trailers.

Okay, fine, watching book trailers counts as all fun and games to me. And if that’s true for you too, check out these beauties:


Coming this fall: The Templeton Twins Have an Idea, written by Ellis Weiner and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes…


Wonder by R.J. Palacio — I’ve been hearing AMAZING things about this book, and OMG I wanna read it! I must read it! I will read it!


HA HA HA, what?!


And on that note… well, how can I top that? I think I’ll just end there!

— Karen

Karen also has a big problem when she goes to food-related websites. She starts off just reading one article, and then BAM, it’s suddenly an hour later!

More about Karen »

Happy Birthday, Will Shakespeare!

April 24th, 2012 by

william_shakespeareBreak out the streamers and decorate the place with balloons, because yesterday was William Shakespeare’s birthday! Actually, it might be tomorrow. Or today. Who knows? No one, because there were no birth certificates back when he was born in 1564!

At any rate, Shakespeare’s birthday is sometime around now… so let’s celebrate! [cue party music and confetti cannon]

Okay, fine, maybe the idea of honoring Shakespeare with a rockin’ party sounds pretty strange. Usually, we think of the legendary writer in a serious light. But why should we be so formal? Shakespeare didn’t write dull lectures; he wrote about the crazy drama we all experience in life, and some pretty extreme emotions! Jealousy that drives people over the edge, ambition that leads to catastrophe, love that turns everyone into fools, friendships that enable growth and greatness… Nothing stuffy or boring about that!

So that’s why I want to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday by sharing some fun videos with you guys — all of which approach Shakespeare in a decidedly non-stuffy and non-boring way…

First, up Macbeth as a rap! Yep, that’s not a mistake. Macbeth as a rap!

For something a little more light-hearted, check out these animated takes on potential sources of inspiration for Shakespeare as he was writing The Tempest (about a ginormous storm and its aftermath) and Hamlet (in particular, the famous scene where Hamlet holds up the skull of a deceased court jester):

And I’ll leave you with this fan-made video — a heartfelt original song using the prologue from Romeo and Juliet as the lyrics:

All the videos are pretty awesome, right? Just goes to show: Shakespeare may have been born centuries ago, but he’s still alive today!

— Karen

Strangely, one of Karen’s favorite Shakespeare plays is Macbeth. She normally doesn’t like violent and dark stories, so it’s a surprising choice! Then again, she also loved The Hunger Games

More about Karen »

Video Time: Awesome Book Trailers

May 13th, 2011 by

Have you ever watched a video and been like, “WHOA. Must. Watch. Again.”? And I don’t mean because it’s a train wreck that you can’t believe exists, like Rebecca Black’s music video for “Friday.” I mean because it’s AMAZING.

Well, recently I came across a few book trailer videos so awesome that I replayed them immediately, and then sent the links off to friends right away. No joke. They’re that good. At least, I think so. But you can judge for yourself:

Sidekicks by Dan Santat

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

And I couldn’t resist including this incredible video for Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. I seriously LOLed when I saw this. At my desk at the office. And then everyone turned around to look at me. Yeah, embarrassing…

— Karen

Karen was never a big fan of Much Ado About Nothing, but who can resist a rapping Shakespeare? Not she.

More about Karen »

Jon Scieszka, Vomit, and Candy Bars. Need I say more?

July 25th, 2010 by

In a recent podcast, I recounted a story involving a car ride, a candy bar, and group vomiting. Thankfully, it wasn’t my story, but a memory of author Jon Scieszka’s — I was just re-telling it after reading his fantastic book Knucklehead.

Well, I’ve discovered a video where he tells the story himself! Check out this interview he did for Scholastic’s Ink Splot 26 blog*. The story comes right after he explains why he started writing:

I’ll be honest here: If Jon Scieszka were a book that I was judging by its cover, I’d say Jon Scieszka’s “cover” looks like… a hedge fund banker. Or a fancy schmancy consultant. What kind of consultant? I don’t know. Something with numbers, I suppose.

What I’m trying to say (very poorly) is that he doesn’t look like someone who’d write the laugh-out-loud picture book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (which he did). So to come across a video of this serious-looking dude talking about vomit, it’s just… just… AWESOME! Especially the way he says “pecan nut log”— I think the fact he includes that little detail is a sign of what a genius writer he is. (Although, in all fairness to me, that was a detail I didn’t have.)

— Nancy

Nancy has plenty of puke stories of her own, but she’s been sparing everyone the gooey details… Or waiting for right time to bring it up. Mwahahhahha!

More about Nancy »

*Btw, full disclosure: I used to work at Scholastic, and Karen still works there. In fact, now she’s in charge of the website that the Ink Splot 26 blog is part of! She’s actually the one who told me about this amazing video — but she swears she was just being a good friend, not trying to promote her other website. I guess I believe her…

Book Trailer: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

July 21st, 2010 by

This book trailer for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our Globe-Trotting Adventures theme. For more on The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, check out our “Adventure Is Out There!” podcast.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Getting there is half the fun.” Well, for the heroine in Avi’s The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, the journey is not so much fun as… a terrifying, near-deadly experience!

Book Trailer: Aquamarine

July 6th, 2010 by

This book trailer for Aquamarine was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our Beach Reads theme. For more on Aquamarine, check out our “Just Beachy” podcast.

It’s a bummer summer for BFFs Hailey and Claire because at the end of the season, Claire has to move away. But at least they have one last summer together, to hang out at the beach club, crush on older cutie Raymond, and… meet a strange creature from the deep? Yep, there’s summertime magic in Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman!

Book Trailer: Time Cat

June 22nd, 2010 by

This book trailer for Time Cat was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our Books About Cats theme. For more on Time Cat, check out our “Cat’s Meow” podcast.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione’s got her Time-Turner to travel into the past. In Lloyd Alexander’s Time Cat, the main character’s got his… cat? Watch our video to get the scoop on this feline feat!

Book Trailer: The 39 Clues

June 8th, 2010 by

This book trailer for the 39 Clues series was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our Summer Series theme. For more on The 39 Clues, check out our “Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” podcast.

Summer vacation is the perfect time to make your way through a good series — unless you’re one of the kids in the 39 Clues book series. For these two, it doesn’t matter what the season is because instead of sitting at desks in a classroom, they spend their time traveling the world on a high-pressure hunt. Watch our video to get the lowdown on their whereabouts…

Thanks to our friend Agent M. for his assistance on this video!

Book Trailer: Number the Stars

May 25th, 2010 by

This book trailer for Number the Stars was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our War Stories theme. For more on Number the Stars, check out our “Lock and Load” podcast.

You’re probably familiar with the story of Anne Frank, who lived in a secret attic for years to escape the Nazis. But did you know lots of Jewish children hid in plain sight during WWII, pretending to be parts of other families? In Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars, the police investigate a family in Denmark when one “daughter” doesn’t look like the others. Watch our video to see what happens.

Book Trailer: The Tale of Despereaux

May 4th, 2010 by

This book trailer for The Tale of Despereaux was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our Books About Royalty theme. For more on The Tale of Despereaux, check out our “Royal Flush” podcast.

What happens when a rodent crashes a royal banquet? Trouble, that’s what. Just see for yourself in our video for The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo!

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