This Wednesday will see the final announcements of The National Book Award winners for one and all to see. Unlike the Newbery, Caldecott, or ALA Media Awards of any stripe, judges on the National Book Award committee are uniquely tight-lipped. They can’t even really give their own opinions of the books looked at (though you get a pretty good feel for what they do like). Sara Zarr doesn’t break this code of silence, but she does talk a little bit about her year of reading. It’ll do.
- Collecting Children’s Books was on fire this past Sunday. Peter (my co-author on an upcoming book for Candlewick) manages to pay homage to an editor less lauded than Ursula Nordstrom (which doesn’t narrow the field by much, I know) and produces a CliffsNotes version of Goodnight Moon that I think he should market. Sure, they may make CliffsNotes (still feels wrong to spell it that way) for Lois Lowry, but Margaret Wise Brown is wide open.
- Good healthy rants clear the sinuses. They free up congestion in the bloodstream. A good healthy rant can do more to balance the humours than any other method I know. So it was with great pleasure that I read Grace Lin’s old rant that she recently republished about Amy from Little Women. Everyone can get on board an Amy rant. She’s just so rantable.
- You can tell when the Go Fug Yourself writers actually like the people they’re writing up. Take this conversation between the three stars of the Harry Potter films. There’s affection in them thar words. Aww.
- Speaking of Potter, who could have predicted the true fan-based trend to come out of the popular series? For a second there it looked like book-based bands like Harry and the Potters would be the strangest legacy Harry was responsible for. Now it’s clear that the true offshoot, and perhaps the permanent one, is Quidditch. This past weekend marked the 4th Annual Quidditch World Cup here in NYC, where teams from colleges all over the country converged to meet and run. My friend Marci was on the scene and reported back to me that it was a lot of fun, if bloody violent. Apparently the comparisons to rugby are more than just talk. Multiple students were led away on stretchers during the course of the games.
- New Blog Alert: AH HA!!!! AH HA AH HA AH HA HA HA! You must pardon my glee but it’s finally happened. At long last I am no longer the only children’s librarian working for a public library in New York City who also blogs. You think I jest? Listen, until recently I had the Queens librarian Laura Lutz over at Pinot and Prose, but then she went to work for Harper Collins, leaving me alone. Then there’s Emma Carbone, who is lovely and works for New York Public Library like I do (and who blogs at Miss Print) but she doesn’t have an official librarian job yet. But NOW I have found one! Way way over in Brooklyn allow me to introduce you to Screwy Decimal. She’s a children’s librarian AND she blogs! Best of all she’s hilarious. Her sole flaw? She doesn’t blog enough. But give it time, people. Give it time.
- Speaking of blogs, were y’all aware that Kirkus now hosts blog posts on its website? Tis true. There’s even a separate section of children’s literary ones. A couple of the bloggers’ names may strike you as familiar too. There’s Leila Roy from bookshelves of doom, Vicky Smith (the Kirkus children’s book review editor), and even Jenny Brown of Shelf Awareness. So why hasn’t Kirkus made a bigger deal out of this? Was there a press release I missed at some point here? Most mysterious.
- Sometimes tourists ask me at the library if I know of any good children’s bookstores in town. I do. I know two, in fact. That’s probably because New York only has two, and now they’re both celebrating big birthdays. Good times.
- Daily Image:
She hasn’t any children’s literary connections to speak of, except perhaps for the fact that she once ran into Dan Santat on the streets of New York. Still and all, it’s hard not to love Color Me Katie, the original manic pixie dream girl (in a good way). She’s also the world’s greatest photographer. And someday I’m gonna make her mine. My photographer, that is.
Because sometimes you just need to look at a good Vulcan cat.