It is common knowledge that YA author James Kennedy (The Order of Odd-Fish) is the greatest physical comedian/writer of his generation. I’m sure that back in the day he’d have met stiff competition from young sprites like Robert Cormier, but these days even John Green can’t compete with Mr. Kennedy and his remarkable flailing limbs. You remember him from the remarkable series where he bested Neil Gaiman and won his Newbery, right? Better still, in this one he collaborates with his very game teen fans. As you can see, it outlines the dangers one faces when trapping and keeping in captivity a wild untamed author. It’s like watching a human Muppet. My favorite parts are his attempts to attack while tied to the reference desk and, of course, his slow love of The Happy Jacket.
Children’s music is the strange hipster sibling to children’s literature. So once in a while I like to link to a children’s music video that intrigues me in some way. On the plus side, this song is visually fabu. On the minus, now I’ve a song caught in my head that no one else I know will be able to sing along with me, unless they’re, y’know, three.
Thanks to BB-Blog for the link.
Speaking of electricity, techno geeks of the world unite! This is called a "computational pop-up book" in the loosest term of the word "book". Still, there’s some fun behind it. According to the Craftzine.com blog, "Jie Qi made this whimsical, magical interactive electronic pop-up book using the paper arduino prototypes coming out of Leah Buechley’s new research group at the MIT Media Lab. Syuzi at Fashioning Technology did a nice report on some of the different pages and what they do. She used conductive paint, thread, and fabric to make innovative switches. I truly think that children’s books will have functionality like in the not-too-distant future." Could be, could be. It certainly looks neat.
Back in the day, the great children’s librarian Anne Carroll Moore found books like Pat the Bunny to be too toy-like in their construction. One wonders if her head would have exploded if someone could have told her about this. Thanks to Tom Angleberger for the link.
How have I never noticed the site Kidliterate before? It’s been around since February of 2008. You would think that somebody would have pointed it out to me before. In any case, it’s a lovely place. Just great reviews and issues discussed by a "staff" (I like the sound of that) of five. And better still, they make these smart little videos where they complain about stuff that’s out of print. Example A: Fox Makes a Friend.
I like those ladies. My kind of people. Many thanks to Jen Robinson for the link!
This next link has so many videos to pick and choose between that it was difficult to select just one to put here. The Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards one-upped the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet by posting vids of all the recent winners and their acceptance speeches here. If you’ve never heard Read Roger‘s Roger Sutton speak or you’ve wondered what Kevin Henkes resembled, now you know. Here then is Neil Gaiman’s acceptance speech from home. I include it as Halloween is coming up as I like the arm at the start.
All right. Time for your regular Guys With Books update. When last we saw our heroes they were still on tour and making whale noises.
Stands to reason that the fellow who wrote Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem would be the resident Whale Expert on the matter.
All the more appropriate that I end today with this goofball off-topic song by Spike Jones and the City Slickers. A couple things to note before you watch this. (1) It’s from 1945. (2) No, it has not been edited since then. This is the original film. (3) Can you believe it’s from 1945???
I remember it from Dr. Demento, actually. He used to play this song a fair amount. It’s more fun to watch it, though. Many thanks to Mark Newgarden for the link.