- So I’m at a lovely picture book author’s event the other night at Sharlene’s (note the shameless plug for my friend’s bar) and while talking to some industry folks I hear a rumor I’d previously been unaware of. “Did you know that they’re thinking of merging the ALA and BEA conferences?” Uh . . . say what now? Yes, apparently you can’t learn everything there is to know about the world of publishing by glancing at your Twitter feed once a day. Trolling the web, I found the rumor to be mentioned in a Library Journal piece called, appropriately, ALA Annual Conference to Merge with BEA Show? At this moment everything boils down to “don’t nobody know nothing”. Someone asked how I personally would feel about such a merge and it’s difficult to say. My personal goal in life is to bring all aspects of children’s literature together into one big happy family. So if the booksellers and the librarians can become friendlier, this is a good thing. On the other hand, the greedy side of me would be disappointed not to have BEA closer to home (it makes galley grabbing a more active sport). But that’s a minor/very greedy quibble. I wonder how other folks feel about the matter.
- Speaking of my personal goal to merge us all into one happy ball o’ fun (I need to find a more eloquent way of putting that) Jules Danielson, fellow blogger and one third of my book writing team, has taken a giant leap forward in the world of children’s literature blogging. Blogging is essentially a solitary activity. You stare at a little screen for long periods of time. Where’s the connection? Well Jules wrote me this little note recently and I could NOT be more delighted:
I know you posted recently about Cristiana Clerci’s The Tea Box — over in Italy. This is that amazing blogger who posts about international picture books — in French, English, and even Spanish, I think! Well, I just adore her and her blog and have a huge interest in international picture books and illustrators, yet I don’t have enough time to cover it all as much as I’d like. She and I have joked about starting our own transatlantic panel on international picture books or some such thing, but then it occurred to me to ask her if she’d like to contribute to my blog….….And she agreed! So, I’ll be collaborating with her in this manner (she’ll make occasional contributions to 7-Imp, not unlike what Steven Withrow does), and tomorrow I plan to do a post that introduces her.
- To be frank, I have many personal goals in life. To someday become the National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature (target date: 2030). To someday eat the rest of the walnuts in my cupboard (target date: two minutes from now, give or take). And finally, to someday see a picture book starring a blue footed booby. Oh, it’ll happen (and at this rate it’ll probably be illustrated by Lane Smith). In the short term, I will settle for platypuses, which is why I was so pleased to hear that Jarrett Krosoczka has a fun series coming out with Walden Media that he pitched as “Frog and Toad meets Law and Order.” Ain’t he brilliant? And Walden’s an ideal fit for him. That kid is going places now.
- Me with the blabbity blab. You know I can’t review everything I read (current number of books in my Goodreads To Be Reviewed pile: 69). So sometimes I need to review in other formats. That’s where Katie Davis comes in. She has a new podcast up and running and I’ll spot her a review or two on the site. This week’s episode: Author Websites That Rock. The book I review? Selling Hope by Kristin Tubb.
Best New Blog Alert: Wow. This . . . wow. I am in awe. Here’s my thinking on today’s amazing new children’s and YA literary blog. I know that my blog has a lot of information but it’s not exactly kid-friendly, is it? I mean, children and teens don’t clamor to read me on a regular basis. That’s fine. I’m a gatekeeper blog, I guess. But it would be kind of nice if there was a blog out there that was a lot of fun for kids to read. One that gave great reading suggestions, had a kind of plot of its own, and maybe included a comic or two on the side. And monsters. It would definitely have to have monsters. Well seek ye no further, oh children of the corn. Lo and behold the power and glory that is Bigfoot Reads. The plot is simple. Bigfoot and his cryptid friends (a sea monster, alien, some half turtles, psychic beagles, etc.) read contemporary children’s literature, conduct interviews, etc. Recently the bookclub decided to read Keeper by Kathi Appelt. The results basically blow any review I ever write out of the water. Wow. Pray, authors, pray that these guys read your book someday. I am thoroughly impressed. Thanks to Kathi Appelt for the link.
- Me stuff. Blogger Aaron Mead was kind enough to interview me over on his blog Children’s Books and Reviews. Also, NYPL has started a HuffPo blog, and they asked me to write a piece for it. So I wrote Move Over Sparkly Vampires, There’s a New Girl in Town about Hunger Games-related fare. That was fun.
- I mentioned this on Sunday, but in case you missed it you might want to take note of SLJ’s upcoming Trailie Awards for the best book trailers of the year. I like the idea. Dunno about the name, though. Trailie. Sounds mildly disturbing for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on.
- The problem with reading other people’s blogs is that sometimes my memories get mucked with. I’ll read a Twitter link or a blog post and later be convinced that I myself wrote on that topic on my site. Such was the case with the Nikki Grimes piece in Hunger Mountain (the VCFA journal of the arts) called Color Me Perplexed. In the piece Ms. Grimes discusses the problems that still exist today when it comes to getting folks to give books to kids about children with races other than their own. I know this problem all too well. That’s why I love it when parents walk in with reading lists and tell me to pick the books for their children. It’s much easier to convince a parent to allow their kids to read something new and interesting if that’s all I’m handing them. Ha ha! Thanks to Ann Braybrooks for the link.
- Daily Image:
This isn’t strictly children’s. Indeed, it may not take even YA into consideration. Doesn’t really matter, though. This is a survey and comparison of fantasy novel cover art trends in 2008 vs. 2009. Click on the image below to see a larger version.