When I first became interested in children’s literature I decided that it would be a good idea to teach myself about all the old greats of the picture book world. A good idea, but self-teaching is inherently limited. As such, I’ve missed a lot of folks. For example, until now “Saul Bass” meant nothing to me. Yet after reading the Ward Jenkins post on the Rizzoli reprint of Henri’s Walk to Paris, that is one book I would love to get my sticky digits on. Just gorgeous stuff.
I’ve noticed a couple of folks around the country working to make literary loving hip in the mind of the average consumer with varying degrees of success. One project that has interested me, though, is this Litpunch idea the Twin Cities are engaged in. Basically you get a card, you attend fun free literary events, and if you get your card punched twelve times you get a $15 gift card to a bookstore. I do wish the libraries were involved in some manner but it’s a great notion. Imagine if they did the same thing with children’s literature! I await that happening someday.
- This is impressive! Want a fabulous list of in-print books set on every continent of the world? And would you like such a list to also include activities and recipes and the like? Then I think it’s time to take a trip to Read Around the World. It’ll do your old heart good. Promise.
- Speaking of recipes, you know that fabulous book Press Here by Herve Tullet? Well, would you fancy trying a mess of Press Here cookies? Children’s Books for Grown-Ups has got the goods. It’s part of a regular “Bookish Bites” series. I’m seriously looking forward to how Natasha will tackle that upcoming Moomin birthday cake. There but for the grace of parental challenges go I . . .
- Once in a while at Hark, A Vagrant, Ms. Kate Beaton will reinterpret various Edward Gorey covers. Here’s one she may have missed. It appeared recently on the 50 Watt blog and features a Gorey spider. Have you ever seen a Gorey spider? Did you know that you were missing out? That your life contained a gigantic Gorey-spider shaped void?
Well now you know.
- Is texting “an ideal springboard to good poetry-writing”? Are our text-happy students future poets in the making? Poet Carol Ann Duffy thinks so and goes on further to say that for this generation poetry is the perfect form. A great piece in The Guardian discusses why she feels this way. Thanks to Playing By the Book for the link.
- I’ve noticed a distinct trend when it comes to children’s books that don’t slot into the usual categories. It seems to me that the best result of the electronic revolution is that already professional artists can create books for kids that make use of multimedia platforms. A recent article in the Nashville Scene highlights a book called When Comes What Darkly Thieves by artist Ben Rubin that does just that. Fascinating.
- A different artist going a separate route is Cynthia Von Buhler. She’s started a Kickstarter page for her Speakeasy Dollhouse (think The Dollhouse Murders meets Some Like It Hot meets The Godfather). It’s one of the cleverer Kickstarter pages, not least because Von Buhler’s family history makes everyone else’s sleepy in comparison. I love the models and I love that folks who contribute a little can get an Amanda Palmer song while those who contribute a lot can get a tiny version of themselves in the upcoming book. Clever idea that.
- Name me all the Scottish children’s book authors you know . . . and GO! Want a hint? Then check out the shortlisted books for the 2011 Scottish Children’s Book Awards. Ross Collins! I had no idea. Love seeing Dear, Vampa there. See the list yourself though.
- I like being told about random artists around the country that have children’s book potential. David Eldred fits that profile, I think. He has a sequence involving a boy and a bison that’s rather charming. Worth looking at, I should think.
- “Booktrust is an independent UK-wide charity dedicated to encouraging people of all ages and cultures to enjoy books.” All well and good. And Thursday was International Literacy Day, which is one of their big events. Next year hopefully I’ll be better prepared to help them celebrate. In the meantime, I’m childishly pleased to learn the name of Booktrust’s Chief Executive: Viv Bird. Another Bird! Working with books! The more Birds the merrier, that’s what I say.
- Daily Image:
What do you get the reader child or teen who has everything? How about shoes you can customize and that display various famous works of literature on them? Stuff like . . .
Lord of the Flies
Or even The Catcher in the Rye
You gotta wonder about the kid who wears The Scarlet Letter, of course. Many more abound on the site. Thanks to AL Direct for the link.