- Recently a fellow co-worker at NYPL, a Mr. Jonathan Pace, decided to write a piece for NYPL’s Huffington blog called Returning to Busytown: Remembering Richard Scarry. Best of all, the man did his research. He got in touch with Scarry’s son, Mr. Huck Scarry, and has posted all kinds of information and photographs that certainly I’ve never seen before. Considering that we are in a kind of Scarry Renaissance these days, it seems appropriate that we know just a little more about the man in question. Kudos, Jonathan!
- Speaking of my co-workers, a very different one was recently featured in the Times all thanks to author and professor Jenny Boylan. Want to know the true story behind Pooh’s curmudgeonly Dutton caretaker all those years ago? Here’s a story for the wetting of the eyes. I am the “friend” alluded to in the piece. Yup.
- I’m sort of burying the lead here since one of the top news stories of the day should be the fact that the Cybils Finalists for 2010 have been released. I served on the graphic novel committee and I must say that I’m rather pleased with our choices. There is nothing on either the YA or MG list that makes me cringe. Happily I see that two of the books I nominated for Cybils have made it to the final round: Kakapo Rescue by Sy Montgomery in the Nonfiction Books (Middle Grade and Young Adult) and Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg in the Middle Grade Novels category. I have high hopes for both.
- Now we switch gears to some seriously sad news. Over Christmas break I learned that former SLJ publisher Ron Shank died. I only had the opportunity to meet with Ron once but he was very supportive of this blog and just the nicest fellow. I knew that he stepped down from his role as publisher for medical reasons, but was unaware of the seriousness of the decision. In any case, Ron will be sincerely missed. He was a strong advocate of libraries everywhere and a good man.
- Erin Schneider, YA author and blogger at the site A Little of This & That recently posted USA Today’s Top 150 Bestselling Books as of 12.26.2010. By her estimate, a full 32% of the 150 titles listed are YA/Children’s books. This may prove to be a slight exaggeration as she appears to be counting books like House Rules by Jodi Picoult (published as adult), Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris (not actually meant for children or teens), Room by Emma Donoghue, etc. Still taking those out of account, she may be right that at least 20% of the list is intended for youth. And that’s a strong showing no matter how you slice it. Thanks to HUnderdown for the link.
- As a public librarian it can be difficult to keep a finger on the pulse of the world of academic children’s literary scholarship, particularly if you do not have access to their periodicals. So it is that it took the publication of the New York Times link The Dark Side of Young Adult Fiction: A Role for Children’s Literature before I was aware that its author, one Michelle Ann Abate had recently written a book called Raising Your Kids Right: Children’s Literature and American Political Conservatism with Rutgers Press. From that title it is difficult to know what to expect. Fortunately, I see that Philip Nel, professor, co-editor of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature, and the brains behind the blog Nine Kinds of Pie has blurbed it positively. Now I’d rather like to read it. A pity Christmas has passed.
- Speaking of Nel, full props for his post on the recent 3 CD release of that most wonderful of all soundtracks, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. I love that film, but I feel obligated to mention that this might be due in part to my crush on Hans Conried. *sigh* Whatta fella.
- My husband the screenwriter is a big fan of John August’s blog. And for whatever reason, August recently posted a random advice piece On Babies. And since I’m particularly interested in that topic at the moment, I figured it made for good reading. So enjoy!
- I wrote a piece for SLJ on picture book apps the other day. Fun stuff. They lent me an iPad to write it, so for one brief shining moment I knew where the cool people were at. Now I see this interesting article called Best of 2010: 10 Apps for Writers. It’s all pretty much theoretical for me (I’ve an Android though, so maybe not) but I like the look of the list. Thanks to @DanBlank for the link.
Were you aware that there are three tell-all memoirs out there about working on that old television show Little House On the Prairie? Yup. Tis true. The blog Flunking Sainthood (good name) gives them all a looksee. Personally, I give props to Alison Arngrim for her book (shown here). It’s not easy playing a baddie. It is, however, a lot of fun. Thanks to Brooke Shirts for the link!
This is odd. I’m not sure how to react. I know we all hate our celebrity picture books. But what if the celebrity is Shakira and the book she writes is a Dora the Explorer title for charity? I’m not exactly concerned that Shakira is compromising Dora’s integrity here. It’s not like when Emma Thompson agreed to write a sequel to Peter Rabbit or anything. So new rule. Celebrities are now allowed to write children’s books as long as they’re for big already existing corporate entities. So Kanye can write a Phineas and Ferb book, Paula Poundstone I’m handing you Spongebob, and Leno . . . actually you’re not allowed to ever write ANY books for kids anymore. Not after last time, man. You know what you did. Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.
- Daily Image:
Today we salute Don Kenn. Mr. Kenn’s blog is one worth visiting, you see, since he spends his spare time drawing monsters on Post-It Notes. Considering the size of your average Post-It, one has to assume that he is drawing these creatures with nibs as thin as human hairs. Here’s a taste.
Gorgeous stuff. Go make him write a picture book, folks.