Joan Carris' Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit is on the Master List for the 2011-12 Texas Bluebonnet Award (Illustrated by Noah Z. Jones, Candlewick Press, 2009). Wild Times is the second in a series of three books about Grandpa Bender’s boarding house for wounded animals.
In this second adventure, the local wildlife shelter calls on Grampa and the animals to nurse a wounded Canada goose, a cranky old muskrat and two feisty fox kits back to health. When the fox kits run away, Ernest and the residents of the Bed and Biscuit scramble to make sure the wild animals are ready to return to their natural habitat. Will Ernest finally make the kits understand that they only want to help?
The attention from the Bluebonnet Award prompted the Kids' Wings Educational Associates to create an activity kit and Jeopardy-style game for Wild Times. The entire kit is available for sale on the Kids' Wings website.
The Texas Bluebonnet Award reading program was established in 1979 to encourage Texas children to read more books, explore a variety of current books, develop powers of discrimination, and identify their favorite books. Two committees of the Texas Library Association select and publicize the books eligible for this annual award. All school libraries, public libraries, and home school associations are encouraged to participate. The program is aimed at students in grades 3-6.
Participating students must read a minimum of five books from the current master list before they may vote for their favorite title. Teachers and parents are encouraged to read some of the books aloud. The author of the book receiving the most votes statewide is declared the winner of the Texas Bluebonnet Award. At the TLA annual conference, ten children, selected randomly, who participated in the reading and voting present the author with the Bluebonnet Award.