There’s a new blog in town and it just happens to be my neighbor. Welcome, neighbor! If you’ve a moment I’d like you to check out fellow SLJ blog Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog in that it is awesome. Created by Sharon Senser McKellar (a Children’s Librarian at the Oakland Public Library) and Nina Lindsay (who, amongst her other accomplishments, chaired the last Newbery committee) the two have set out to blog about Newbery contenders for this and future years. Right now they’ve a post up called Looking for Titles where they ask you, the readers, about what you think has a chance. I’ll write up my own Fall predictions after this week-end, but until then let these guys know what you’re currently into.
At the moment I reading this just stellar book about the history of Sesame Street called Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis (due out December 23rd). On the back is this statement: "The story of one of the most important and beloved shows on television – how it got started, nearly failed, and was saved by Elmo." If you grew up in a pre-Elmo era like myself, a little piece of you probably just died when you read that. I haven’t watched the show in years (the occasional Feist video aside) and whenever it’s in the news it’s never good. Either they’re hyping the newest princess fairy Muppet or they’re pairing with the Department of Homeland Security. Oh, I wish I was kidding: " ‘We all want our children to feel safe in this world,” said Meryl Chertoff, wife of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, at a ceremony held at the John Tyler Elementary School to announce the partnership. "And who better to do that than our Sesame Street friends, Grover and Rosita!’ " I’ll just sit back and let you digest that one for a while. Thanks to Anne Paradise for the link.
Matt and I discovered this absolutely amazing blog the other day for uber-nerds like us. Called Overthinking It, the site does just that. It takes regular concepts and then thinks them to death. Teachers should be reading this site every day! I mean, where else will you find the math behind that scene in Superman II where he rescues the kid off of Niagara Falls or the racial discourse of Harold and Kumar? Maybe the best link I saw, however, was a wonderful piece called Why I’m Not Going to Read Your Fanfic. Contrary to the title, the author of the piece loves fanfiction. "Some of you watch Gossip Girl; some of you unironically enjoy The Chronicles of Riddick. Me, I read amateur versions of anime and children’s books." What follows is a straightforward look at what makes good fanfiction. Basically it’s simply a set of rules that make for good book writing too. Rule #4: "If you overuse adverbs, I might read your fic, but I will soon become annoyed." Rule #5 states that "I will probably not read your fanfic if you tell me in the blurb who is going to get together in the fic," but then follows it up with this fabulous exception: "I WILL read your fic, or at least skim it, if your summary has an absurd pairing in it. ‘Ron/Herm’ won’t do it. ‘Snape/Herm’ won’t do it. ‘Snape/Draco Malfoy’ definitely won’t do it. But ‘Draco Malfoy/Professor McGonagall‘? Yes yes yes yes yes." Now Rule #6 "I will not read your fic if there is a Mary Sue in it," may seem self-evident, but how do you know if you even have a Mary Sue in your fanfiction? Well, just the other day Roger Sutton linked to The Universal Mary-Sue Litmus Test. Slap your hands together, problem solved. Thanks to Read Roger for the second link.
Oh. Hey. Speaking of Harry Potter, I was reading some fairly dull news about the next HP film and how some of it will be IMAX worthy, or some such nonsense, when I stumbled across this movie still from the next film:
The stumbling wasn’t a problem. I’m good at that. The problem was that I stumbled across it at midnight and I desperately needed some sleep. Yet I couldn’t stop until I knew exactly what was going on here. Is that Luna? Who is she hanging out with? Who are those guys? What the hey . . . ? I finally found the answer somewhere around 12:15 but I’m going to be a pain and leave it to you guys to figure out what’s going on here for yourselves. Mwa-ha-ha-ha!
A year ago the good and kind Jaime Temairik was kind enough to interview me for her blog. The interview never posted . . . until this week! I’m quite sure you hear me talk about myself enough as it is, but there is definitely at least one fabulous reason why you should check this puppy out. As part of her interviews, illustrator Jaime creates wholly new custom candy bar wrappers based on the interviewee. My brand: Betsy’s Bird Brain Bar. You should check out the sweet little guy she put on the wrapper too. Awww.
Today is September 25th and you know what THAT means, don’t you? It’s Celebrate a Polish Poster of the Movie Gremlins Day! The bestest day of the year! Here is my contribution:
It comes to you directly from the Well Medicated link of 50 Incredible Film Posters From Poland, which I could spend all day staring at. Their Raiders of the Lost Ark is perhaps my second favorite. And here are some children’s literature inspired ones to send you on your way.
The Neverending Story:
Why are there not more Polish children’s picture books on our nation’s shelves? Thanks to Dan for the link. No. I mean it. THANK YOU.