James Preller has an idea. An awesome idea. We’ve all heard that boys are reading far less than girls these days. To combat this lack of laddie reading, folks have come up with booklists or websites or what have you to inspire the male masses to pick up a book. Preller, however, has taken a rather practical approach. As he explains on his blog, “I’ve reached the conclusion that one of the most powerful, positive factors to encourage and inspire boys to read is, very simply, to see their fathers read. Look, there’s dad sitting down with a book. Any book. Fathers don’t just chop down trees, fix door jambs, and watch football. We read, too. It’s a valid male activity, like burping. Think of the power of that simple image. There’s Dad with a book in his lap.” As a result he’s calling upon the menfolk to contribute photos to the cause. Show us some dudes with books. I know of one website that does something similar, but the results are pretty different. In any case, help James out. See more here.
- Okay folks! It has happened. They’re trying out eReaders for small fry. I thought we had another year to go before any of this finalized, but as of right now Barnes & Noble is advertising their color NOOK for kids on their website. There’s nothing particularly new about it (plenty of apps do similar things for kids) except potentially the size. After some digging I found that the new NOOKcolor is going to be about 7-inches. Something to ponder. One wonders what the Christmas sales (and post-Christmas sales) will be looking like this year . . . and if they’ll meet expectations. Thanks to Nina Crews for the link.
- The Brown Bookshelf has offered a challenge unto you masses out there. Here’s the skinny: Each February (Black History Month) they make a point to highlight the accomplishments of twenty-eight African-American authors and illustrators who work in the field of child and YA books. Right now they want the best “new and unnoticed works by African-American authors” for 2010. And they need them very soon too! So if you’ve a chance, submit your too little known and appreciated favorites by October 31st to The Brown Bookshelf and shed a little light on some unsung gems that caught your eye.
- I’m still bummed that I didn’t get to go to the KidLitCon this year. I find solace in reading the recaps instead. In fact, you can find a nice, big, beautiful recap encapsulation (or ReEnCap if you want to be cute) here. A hearty tip of the hat to Tea Cozy for the link.
- @LaurelSnyder queried in a tweet the other day whether or not I’d seen this. I had not, so I am grateful. In this blog post it is written, “we would be delighted to see the National Book Foundation change its National Book Award guidelines to allow retellings of fairy tales, folk tales, and myths. We would be glad to consult with you more on this matter, and truly appreciate your consideration of this request. We look forward to hearing from you with your thoughts.” Huh! Now there’s a creative notion. The thought comes via Maria Tatar, a John L. Loeb Professor of Folklore Mythology and Germanic Languages & Literatures at Harvard University and Kate Bernheimer, a writer in Residence & Associate Professor at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. They’ve even got a Facebook page for the idea.
- Basically, you’ve probably noticed by this point that today’s Fusenews consists primarily of folks asking you to do things. Not give money or anything, but . . . . things. Thoughts. Efforts. Take as an example this post by author/illustrator Sergio Ruzzier, he of one of my favorite little books, Amandina. He writes, “I’d like to invite anyone who loves picture books to send me a list with ten of their favorite picture books, for kids or not. The books can be from any time and any country. I’d like to keep the definition of picture book as wide as possible.” Read his post to see what he’s looking for and what to submit. I’m pondering my own favorite ten. It’s tough though. Nostalgia plus contemporary works of genius plus classics . . . that’s gonna make for an interesting list.
- Close on the heels of my recent review for Mockingbird (and aren’t we all so incredibly civilized in our differing opinions?) comes Mac Barnett’s amusing pseudo-titles for his next Brixton Brothers book. My favorite is the first on his list, though they all have their charms.
- You know, this book was turned into a film a couple of years ago, but it’s not particularly well remembered. I’ll be fascinated to see if Walden gets it right a second time around. According to PW Children’s Bookshelf:
“In other film news, Walden Media has bought feature film rights to the classic holiday novel The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, Variety reports. The story originally appeared in McCall’s in 1972; HarperCollins published it in book form and it has sold more than 2.5 million copies in the U.S. It centers on a group of “the worst kids in the history of the world,” who take over the town’s annual Christmas pageant.”
- It is the very rare author that can write knowingly and well right until the end. Eva Ibbotson was one such writer. Though she’s best known for books like Island of the Aunts and Which Witch?, I was very fond of her last book The Dragonfly Pool. Ms. Ibbotson passed away at the age of 85 on October 20th. You may read her obituary in PW here.
- I was unable to attend the awesome A is for Anansi Conference held at NYU a week or two ago. Fortunately, Monica Edinger was on hand to report all about it. Thank you, Monica.
- Travis Jonker offers us a round-trip time travel pass to dear old 1992. He recently uncovered an ancient Scholastic Book Club flyer and . . . well, let’s just say that 1992 has never felt quite so distant before.
- Daily Image:
This made the rounds a couple weeks ago, but I just love how they keep on updating the site. If you haven’t seen the Library Sleevefacing webpage, you are in for a treat. Check out some of the inclusions:
Thanks to mom for the link.