The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


May 26, 2011

Get help pronouncing authors' names

There are many times when an author's name is difficult to pronounce. Sometimes I don't even have a clue where to begin. My favorite website for hearing authors pronounce their own names is and in addition, many of them will tell you an interesting story behind their name or give you a clue on how to remember to pronounce it. There are many other websites that give you a written pronunciation and you can find these by typing "pronounce authors names" into your favorite search engine.

At the website above, Jon Scieszka's entry is quite humorous and he talks about all the different ways people pronounce his name, ending with the reminder that "Scieszka" rhymes with "fresca" and that certainly sticks in my mind. Rick Riordan has a three second entry, but tells you that Riordan sounds like the "rye" in rye bread. Jim Arnosky tells an interesting story about how he got people to pronounce his name correctly when he first started writing. Give it a listen and you'll see how interesting all the authors are. Don't be surprised if you spend way too much time at this site listening to all the authors.

Children's Books

Dinosaur books will never go out of style and children will really like "Ask a Dinosaur." In this book, lots of questions are asked and the answers are written and displayed with photos and drawings. Everything you ever wanted to know seems to have an answer in this colorful book.

In rhyming format, "Leap Back Home to Me" by Lauren Thompson finds little frog venturing out into the big world for the first time. Mama is always there to hug him when he gets home. Little frog gets braver and braver and goes farther and farther. The pictures will bring smiles and chuckles to the children.

Sadie has always wanted to go to the zoo with her father, but there's always a reason the trip gets postponed. Finally, the trip is on in "My Side of the Car" by Kate Feiffer. Not long into the drive, dad tells Sadie that it is raining on his side of the car. Sadie insists it's not raining on her side and on they go. With one saying it is raining and the other saying it isn't, what do you think is really true? Based on a real life story, Kate's story is illustrated by her famous author/illustrator father Jules.

Bug and Bear are best friends, but one day, Bear is so tired, he just wants to nap. He tells Bug to go jump in the lake and lumbers off to sleep. He can't sleep, worried about what he said to his friend. He sets off to find Bug in "Bug and Bear" by Ann Bonwill and readers will want to know what happens in this story of friendship.

"ABC Kids" is an alphabet book with a difference. Colorful illustrations, large printed letters and words, and even sentences for each letter filled with words using only that letter. Guaranteed to be fun and tongue-twisting.

Martin Boyle has a different kind of life. The gym teacher hates him, his mother is afraid of germs and keeps him home at the slightest sneeze, and the girl he likes won't even speak to him. And that's not all. He learns he's cursed in "The Last Martin" by Jonathan Friesen. There's always a Martin in the family and on a trip to the family cemetery, he realizes every time a Martin is born, the last one dies. His aunt is just about to give birth to a baby boy, who will be named Martin. He wants to break the curse and he has to do it fast. Find out if he does.

The library will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Regular hours resume Tuesday.

Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of the Daily Star every Thursday. Her columns can be found online at

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