Our top news story today is the fact that NOW is the time to start nominating books for The Cybils! The Cybils, for the record, are the only book awards handed out to children’s and YA titles as chosen by book bloggers. Books that win The Cybils are meant to represent those titles that have literary merit and are also fun for kids to read. Nominations are going on from now until October 15th, so you have some time. Be sure you read the nomination rules before casting your votes though. I made the mistake of continually mentioning books with publication dates later than October 15th. Don’t make my mistakes, folks.
- Out of loyalty I began today with The Cybils, but had that piece of news not been a contender then you just KNOW I would have started with Chad Beckerman’s absolutely fantastic summary of what went into creating the upcoming Diary of a Wimpy Kid Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. If you read nothing else today, read this. AH-MAZING! Big time thanks to Chad for the link.
- *sniff sniff* Smell that? That’s the smell of Halloween in the air, my pretties. The air is crisp with it. And what’s that other smell? *sniff sniff* Ah. Yes. That would be the smell of fear. It’s wafting over from California where their libraries are getting privatized. There are many telling moments in this particular article, but my favorite was the moment when the company Library Systems & Services says that, “Pensions crushed General Motors, and it is crushing the governments in California.” You’ve gotta read it to believe it.
- All right fellow children’s librarians. Back me up on this one. How often have you been sitting at your reference desk and been asked, “What’s the name of the fourth Boxcar Children?” Or, “I need the twentieth Katie Kazoo. Do you know which one that is?” The simple fact of the matter is that not all OPACs (Dynix, Millennium, etc.) are all that great at conjuring up long lists of series titles’ individual names. So the Brits went and did it for us. Now admittedly Children’s Book Sequels is darn UK-centric and the two series I mentioned just now don’t show up there. Still and all, if you’re looking about for all the Animorphs, Magic Tree House, or Chronicles of Ancient Darkness books, here is your key.
- Speaking of Europe (and unions for that matter), if Peter Jackson takes over the filming of The Hobbit, it looks as if he might move it to Eastern Europe to avoid hiring union actors. That’s a lot of “ifs” and “mights” but you get the general gist of the thing.
- New Blog Alert: I love me a blog with a hook. And a blog that calls itself “a forum for sharing picture books about dance”? Now THAT is a hook! Picture Books & Pirouettes covers everything from Ballet for Martha to The All-American Jump and Jive Jig. Fun!
- And while we’re on the topic of blogs, it does my heart good to remind you of ReaderKidZ. Describing itself as, “a resource for teachers, parents and librarians who work with readers in grades K-5,” you can bet your bottom dollar that their layout is far and away more attractive than my own. On top of that they have fun book recommendations, valuable links, and even authors-in-residence. Glory be. Note to self: Add to blogroll.
Margorie Ingall directed mine eyes to her absolutely fascinating piece in Tablet Magazine, K’tonton Time. As she said to me, “K’tonton was one of the first — if not THE first — popular American Jewish children’s books. I was really struck, in reading about the history of American Jewish children’s lit, how much it paralleled the road of American children’s lit in general, but a few decades behind. you start with the didactic moral preachy books, then comes the books kids actually want to READ and finally the books that MUST BE CENSORED because they will lead children astray.” She realizes too that this is a simplistic take, but I personally find it doggone accurate.
- Ooo! Here’s an interesting article for those Hunger Games movie fans out there. Casting Katniss: Is Hollywood Whitewashing ‘The Hunger Games’? We’ve talked a bit here about the accent of Katniss, but not so much the skin. Interesting. Thanks to @mitaliperkins for the link.
- If I’m going to be honest, I get some of my best stuff from Marjorie. Like this post on Vulture’s What Celebrity-Penned Children’s Books Tell Us About Their Authors. Yes, the worst celebrity picture book of all time is there (an unofficial vote gave the honor to Jay Leno’s title). The comments are pretty fantastic too. My favorite comes during the Paul McCartney High in the Clouds: “McCartney never met a medley he didn’t like, hence grafting Midnight Cowboy to Watership Down.” Thanks again, Marjorie!
- Recently I visited Chicago to speak with the lovely folks at SCBWI there (thanks again, guys!) and I stayed with author James Kennedy. James has a small daughter that is the epitome of adorable. I swear to high heaven that if my carry on backpack hadn’t already been full I’d have stuffed her in there and high-tailed it back to NYC before either of her parents could so much as sneeze. She has, of course, a copy of Goodnight Moon in her possession and James was able to show me an honest-to-goodness continuity error in the illustrations. Yeegats! That pairs rather nicely with the disillusioned Mental Floss piece Good Grief, Moon! that laments, “I was just flipping through a recent back issue of the New Yorker and discovered that one of the highlights of my childhood was based on a lie (a lie, I tell you!).” Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the link.
- Hot debate! Hot hot hot debate! ALSC is about to cast votes over the age-level that ALSC recognizes as “children”. Right now they say kids go until the age of 14. But are kids really more 13? Over at Heavy Medal they debate how those ages apply to the Newbery Medal. I put in my two cents and the comments just keep on rolling in! Fascinating talk.
- Jealous of Kidlit Drink Nights in New York City (remember there’s one tomorrow, people)? Live in or around Nashville? Those are two pretty strange questions, but there’s a method to my madness. My co-author Jules of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast is hosting the very first Nashville Kidlit Drink Night. If you’re local and interested in attending, go let her know. I think it could be a hoot. I wonder if any children’s or YA authors live in that part of the country. Let me know if you can think of any.
- How much do I love Paper Tigers? Let me count the ways. Or better yet, let me direct you to them. Paper Tigers, as some of you may know, is “bimonthly update focuses on Children’s Literature from India and the Indian diaspora and the many ways in which it has changed over the years.” They’ve been around for a while, but once in a while I like to remind folks of all the great sites out there. That’s all.
- Sometimes it’s really difficult to tell the real internet links from the fake ones. The recent link to the Tea Party Coloring Book, though? That one’s legit. The Onion did not have a hand in this, whatever you might think. Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.
- Woot! A hearty helping of congrats to Kathleen Krull and her 2011 Nonfiction Award win, as distributed by the Children’s Book Guild! Couldn’t have gone to a more deserving gal. Kudos, Kathleen!
- Straight outta Canada, Cynopsis Kids has this report, and not a minute too soon:
“Scaredy Squirrel (26×30, 52×11) targeted to K6-11, this 2D animated series is based on the book series by Melanie Watt. Produced by Nelvana, Scaredy Squirrel will premiere on YTV (Canada) in 2011.”
- Daily Image:
I’ve cotton candy on the brain. It’s not strictly children’s literature related but who’s counting. The fact that I didn’t know this existed until now is a crime against man NAY a crime against nature NAY a crime against the wholesome well-being of my very soul.
Which is to say, it’s maple cotton candy. Appropriate thanks to bookshelves of doom for the info.