I guess that there’s a mild irony to the fact that while I’ll write up anyone’s literary event if I’m able to attend, if I help to throw the darn things myself then suddenly I clam up. For example, with the possible exception of the blogger panel I had two years ago, I don’t think I’ve ever written up one of my Children’s Literary Salons. Why is this? Because I am lazy, I don’t have access to photographs of the event much of the time, and because I feel like it’s tooting my own horn. That said, I seem to be more than happy to link to other folks when they choose to write up my Salons. Case in point, this great little recap of what when down when I invited Sam Ita and Kyle Olmon to be a part of my Children’s Lit Salon on pop-up books. Wow, thanks, Kyle! Now who wants to recap last Saturday’s Peter Pan Salon? Anyone? Anyone?
- I really enjoyed Exit Through the Gift Shop when I saw it on DVD not too long ago (and grateful that it clarified the image on this cover). I guess it makes sense to show the film to kids too. It’s a lot of fun, slightly subversive, and can lead to ideas like the one author/illustrator Aaron Zenz had. Want to get your child’s creative juices flowing without defacing other peoples’ property? Check out one of the more creative rock and paint related ideas I’ve seen. You know what I think? I think a library could have a Street Art craft program (for kids or teens) doing this and encourage them to also hide them around the city. Nice photographs too.
- Wow! Kirkus doesn’t mess around. When they decided to get into this whole online world thing they didn’t tippy toe into it, but rather leapt headfirst in one fell swoop! Getting bought will do that to you, I guess. Now on top of reviewing Apps, offering readalikes for each book they cover, and making all their reviews free online, they’ve just revealed the second round of book bloggers on the site. I already knew about the YA ones on there (Bookshelves of Doom, YA or STFU, and The YaYaYas) but what’s this I see? Could it be Jules Danielson of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast who is currently writing a book with Peter Sieruta and myself? Tis! A good roster, but what’s up with three YA folks and only one for kids’ stuff? More! I want more fantastic bloggers paid for their work! More, I say!
- Speaking of Peter, I hope y’all got a chance to check out his most recent post concerning (amongst many things) his thoughts on last night’s Celebrity Apprentice where they had to make a children’s book (oop, ack) and an idea for a children’s book-related reality series. I don’t watch any reality TV myself but I’d change my ways in a heartbeat if Rowling for Dollars ever appeared on my DVR schedule.
- Somewhere in Great Britain there resides an Amazon reviewer of such sheer prowess that I, who started my reviewing cycle on Amazon myself, must bow down in sheer respect. This reviewer, one Hamilton Richardson, has written only seven reviews in his lifetime. They are, however, pure unadulterated gold. For you see, Mr. Richardson chooses to review the Mr. Men series, and the results are perfect little nuggets, each more perfect than the last. With titles like “Hargreaves: Bolshevik, or Monarchist?” and “A Young Person’s Guide to Individuation” this is my MUST READ link of the day. It will make you smile. It cannot quite hold up to the genius that is the Tuscan milk reviews (one of the stranger Amazon phenomena I’ve encountered) but worth checking out just the same. Thanks to the New York Review of Books for the link.
- Buzzfeed recently displayed their list of What Dr. Seuss Books Were Really About. Of their choices, this one was my favorite:
I’m a little surprised they didn’t go with the obvious Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now? to Richard M. Nixon, Will You Please Go Now? Granted Marvin came out prior to the Nixon shenanigans, but there is a history to that title, after all. Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the Buzzfeed link.
- The Omnivoracious blog started a little conversation about the casting of Katniss in the new Hunger Games movie after linking to a Variety article that claimed that three actresses are vying for the role. Those would be Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine). Lawrence and Steinfeld would be rather brilliant casting, as both exhibit the right combination of grit and fortitude, as well as experience with bloody faces and snake bitten limbs. The conversation on the blog sadly side-steps the legitimate question one person poses as to whether or not anyone being considered amongst the long list of young actresses isn’t white. Sadly, Hollywood is awful at buzzing young actresses of races other than Caucasian. Aside from Willow Smith (too young for the role and not yet seen acting) there aren’t a lot with name recognition. Boo.
- Inspirational letters fall into the same category as funeral speeches and graduation commencement speakers. It is, you see, incredibly difficult to say something inspirational that doesn’t sound trite or like it has been said a hundred times before. That’s why when author Linda Urban suggested I might like to link to Roger Rosenblatt’s An Inspirational Letter to My Students from last December I was noncommittal. How good could it be? Even if it is pertinent (he is speaking to his writing students) does it say anything unexpected? To answer that, you will have to read the letter yourself. I would personally dedicate it to all the teachers and librarians that I know. Such people that, there can be no doubt, have dedicated themselves to a “useful” life. Thanks to Linda Urban for the link
- There’s theater for kids, and then there’s avant-garde for kids. For example, the New Vic recently had a production of Skellig based on the book by David Almond going on here in town. That’s theater. On the other hand, I’ve a friend who has always dreamed of adapting The Mouse and His Child into a fully immersive theatrical experience for kids. There are hints of avant-garde in his project. Here in New York the group Immediate Medium will be performing a self-described avant-garde production of Pinocchio, starting in April. They’re also selling a newly illustrated version of the original book on Kickstarter as well. FYI, y’all.
- Okey-doke. Looks as though there’s a Jewish Children’s Book Writing Contest out there, for all you children’s author wannabees. If you can find a way to write a good Jewish story for kids that involves GLBT families, this Keshet contest may be for you. Mind you, you can’t get all preachy with it or anything. Personally, I know it can be done, but it’s exceedingly tough. Show ‘em what you’ve got! And thanks to Marjorie Ingall for the link.
- Some folks just like to make their own awards. I know that each year I indulge in my own peculiar Golden Fuse Awards. Well now Kate Coombs has done the same with her Book Aunt’s First Annual WHY NOT? Children’s Book Awards. Kate is kind to offer me the category of “Best Kidlit Video Postings”, but I’m afraid I must proffer my award to another. I love my Video Sundays but the true video genius of children’s literature web everything is Mr. Schu over at Watch. Connect. Read. That man wipes the floor with me video-wise. Kate’s dead on with everyone else, though, particularly “Most Innovative PR Ever” and “Best Under-Awarded Book”
- We think so much about the e-hardware that kids read on that it’s easy to forget what that hardware contains and how it should be of the highest possible quality children’s literature. Vicki Cobb does her darndest to remind us of this. She also defines the term “scaling up” for us laymen.
- Daily Image:
Speaking of Buzzfeed (they provided the aforementioned Seuss images), they provided a link that provided amusing. My mom alerted me to this photographer, Adele Enersen, who sort of wipes the floor with Anne Geddes. You want sleepy babies? Fine. This woman has the world’s sleepiest babe. As such, it’s easy to create little worlds around her. Particularly those related to children’s literature.
More can be found on Mila’s Daydreams, by the way. Thanks to mom for the link.