Oh man. I need to get my third Newbery/Caldecott predictions up and pronto. Now that the Heavy Medal blog has entered the arena again you just know that the debating is about to begin. Already I can see that I’ll have to fight tooth and nail for my beloved One Crazy Summer and that Nina and Jonathan will have to convince me on why a person would want to read a children’s book on playing bridge (no one has given me an adequate explanation of its charms quite yet). Most importantly, can A Conspiracy of Kings stand on its own without a person having read the other books? Which is to say, am I gonna have to read it? Ooo! I love these debates! So much to talk about already. Now I need to finish Only One Year . . .
- Great news came to me yesterday all thanks to Cynopsis Kids. Check it out, Kevin Lewis fans:
“Disney Publishing Worldwide names Kevin Lewis as Executive Editor, Disney Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group. In his new position Lewis is responsible for acquiring and editing picture books, as well as middle grade and young adult novels for Disney-Hyperion. Most recently, Lewis was Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and prior to that as an Associate Editor with Blue Sky Press, an imprint of Scholastic.”
This makes me happy. Some of us have been waiting on tenterhooks to hear where Kevin would settle down next. This is the guy who has, in the past, edited folks like Tony DiTerlizzi and Kadir Nelson. We have little doubt he’ll work his magic at Hyperion now. Couldn’t be happier.
- Sick and tired of not getting enough Monica Edinger? Well if Educating Alice doesn’t satisfy you then you might be pleased to learn that our Dalton School blogger has a good looking HuffPo blog up and running as well these days. A smart idea too. It’s always wise to expand your audience.
- RoadsideAmerica.com (“Your Online Guide to Offbeat Tourist Attractions”) stopped by the old children’s room to have a gander at our famous residents. It’s a rather smart little write-up with some facts in there that I myself was not entirely clear on. They get extra points as well for the snarky end to the write-up. Couldn’t agree with them more. Thanks to The Infomancer for the link.
- You can criticize a person’s personal beliefs, clothes, worldly possessions, and general attitude all you want but better keep your hands off their The Giving Tree. Yes, the triumvirate of mediocrity made the news yet again with the New York Times article Children’s Books You (Might) Hate and Silverstein’s weirdo tale is at the forefront of the discussion. The comments consist primarily of critics and those who would label themselves Team Giving Tree. Other comments show some interesting critiques of some of the children’s books out there. There’s a pretty convincing screed against Dandelion by Don Freeman that’s going to make me give it a second glance when next I’m in my library. Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.
- Of course, Leila Roy is the creator of the world’s greatest Giving Tree t-shirt (I own one, I admit it) and was recently profiled in Maine’s York County Coast Star. Well played, Leila.
- Time to talk up Barb Langridge a bit. So there’s this marvelous children’s literature resource out there by the name of A Book and a Hug. It’s run by the aforementioned Ms. Langridge and it is maybe one of the finest reader’s advisory sites for children and YA books I’ve seen. It has the usual good things like recommended books for boys, different reading levels, etc. But the exciting thing to me is the site’s Advanced Search function. By using it, you can limit the books you’re looking for by keyword, age level, genre, even country! There’s really nothing like it on the web. Barb may also start including links to children’s literature blog reviews, which will be delightful. She’s included a couple blog links already under her Resources section (I’m there). Keep your eye on this site in the future. This is where I expect children’s literature to head, and it’ll make a fabulous resource for children’s librarians and booksellers.
- Fun with covers time. Adam Rex discusses on his blog the sheer number of different Guys Read covers he went through before they settled on a jacket for the humor edition. Like his commenter McLean Kendree I was incredibly partial to “the pie blitzkrieg” and sad that it didn’t make the final cut. Pie + face = funny. That’s just simple math. By the way, Adam doesn’t include the final cover, but as you can see here it’s perfectly respectable.
- A big thank you to Rocco Staino at SLJ for reporting on my August Children’s Literary Salon. The topic was ebooks and my 2-3 panelists (one sent a video in lieu of his appearance) touched on some topics that hadn’t really been handled on the children’s side of the equation all that often. My favorite part of the day was when panelist Jennifer Perry (who appeared alongside Stephen Roxburgh) mentioned that e-readers for children won’t really hit the market until they find a way to make one “juice proof”. Those of you considering writing review blogs of children’s electronic literary resources, I recommend the name “Juice Proof”. Catchy.
- I could link to Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast each and every day, but I only tend to do so when my usual “Hear hear”s turn into extraordinarily loud “HEAR HEAR”S! That was the case when I read the Jules post on Two Picture Book Re-Prints That Make Me Happy (Or Some Cute and Deadly Before Breakfast). Honestly, how are you going to resist that?
- And while I’m thinking of it, Travis at 100 Scope Notes found a cover that, in his own words, has a certain “this book may have been used to squash a bug” quality to it. Bravo.
- I’m just a regular chatty cathy these days on the topic of whether or not the BEA Conference and the ALA Conference will/should join forces. One person I discussed the issue with suggested that it would make awards like the Newbery and the Caldecott more inclined to be commercial. I don’t know about that myself. We do have rules and standards in place, after all. The PW article Merits of Joint BEA/ALA Convention Weighed brought up some other concerns but nothing that particularly rang true for me. I dunno. I’d like to hear more discussion of this on the children’s literary blogger side.
- Big news time for all you reviewer types out there. Looks like The Wall Street Journal has decided to get into the book reviewing business. Yup. Considering how folks have been slicing their book review sections out of their print publications left and right, the WSJ‘s decision flies in the face of all that and is downright gutsy. Now the real question: Any children’s reviews gonna make their cut? Thanks to Liz Hartman for the link.
So the prez is writing a book for kids. Sigh. This can only lead to tears. I think it’s fair to say that almost no political figure has ever written a book for kids that has been anything more than merely so-so. Obama’s book is interesting since I believe (and you can correct me if I’m wrong) that no president has written a book for kids since Jimmy Carter’s The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer (oh, you simply cannot make these titles up, sometimes). What interests me is the illustrator, of course. Loren Long makes for an interesting choice. I was actually joking with Sean Qualls the other day that after Toni Morrison and Spike Lee the only person left for him to illustrate would have to be the president. Looks like Loren was in on that idea long ago. If Biden writes one let’s have Stephen Gammell illustrate it, kay?
- Matt’s hero project continues to come up with new definitions all the time. For fun, check out his different categories for villains (love the General Zod / Nurse Ratched pairing), love interests, and things you should establish about your hero from the start.
- Author Vicki Cobb takes on the devil in the assessment test with her post Why Our Books Can Save Education. It’s got a beat and you can dance to it. Check it out and lend your support to her ideas.
- Daily Image:
Well, it’s not strictly children’s literature based, but what the hey.
These are just a couple of images from a great Flickr page that has a bit of fun with cloud formations. One of those infinitely simple ideas that lead to great photographs. Made my day.