- If I’m not too incorrect I believe that today is the last day for SLJ editor Brian Kenney before he steps off and joins the White Plains Public Library as their Director. It was Brian who first tapped me to become an SLJ blogger, and who, in effect, “discovered” me. He’s been a wonderful editor ever since, always having my back through thick and thin. I’m terribly sorry to see him go but I hope he has a wonderful tenure in White Plains. You be good to him, you guys! Brian’s the kind of guy you want to hold on to. Roger Sutton offers his own farewell here.
- So how ’bout them National Book Awards, eh? *ducks under a flying tomato* Okay, okay, don’t fear. I’m not going to rehash what’s been hashed into a fine tasty paste by the many others before me. I recommend the SLJ article Lauren Myracle Drops Out of National Book Award Consideration for those of you who haven’t a clue as to what it is I’m yammering on about (though the most brilliant encapsulation of them all is clearly here). Let’s shift gears a touch and look at who the judges in the Young People’s Literature category were. They included Marc Aronson (Panel Chair), Ann Brashares, Matt de la Peña, Nikki Grimes, and Will Weaver. Under normal circumstances the judges keep utterly silent about any other books they might have seen and liked, but Nikki Grimes has actually blogged a list of Nine Not-to-Be-Missed Novels as well as multiple titles she saw, liked, but that didn’t get nominated. If your reading list is feeling a bit paltry and you’d like to see some 2011 titles that aren’t getting a lot of discussion, check this post out. Thanks to Carol Saller for the link.
- Sidenote: There’s a Teen Press Conference in the works for those nominated in the Young People’s Literature category. FYI.
- Ah, Earth Day. It only comes but once a year and then we can forget about it for the remaining 364, and continue to toss our soda straws in the Seine. So while April has long since gone, perhaps some of you writerly types out there would like to know about this here “Authors For Earth Day” thing going on. Dan Gutman told me about it recently, saying, “Basically, we donate our fee from one school visit to an environmental organization–which the kids at the school vote on.” Aw. That’s sweet. Check out the site if you’re curious. Gotta say, there are a lot of great authors and illustrators involved.
- There’s an absolutely riveting post over at Playing By the Book about Herve Tullet’s Press Here, the suspension of disbelief in children’s books, and a homegrown Press Here-inspired activity with kids that librarians everywhere might feel inclined to copy for the next upcoming craft program.
Recently I’ve been seeing a mess of great ideas turned into books for kids and teens. Seems like every time I turn on the news I find the subject matter in a book six months later. Well, if it pleases the jury, I would like to name Panther Baby by Jamal Joseph my please-please-pretty-please-can-we-have-a-YA-version? book of the year. Full disclosure: Jamal’s a friend of my husband’s and we’ve known him for years. I’ve secretly wanted him to write a biography about his life for teens since he was known as the youngest Black Panther and he works with kids all over the city these days. It’s a great story, a great guy, and a killer idea for a book for teens. Just sayin’.
- There’s a call for submissions for for the 2012 Scott O’Dell Awards going on! Makes you wonder what might win this year, eh? Will they consider Kadir Nelson’s Heart and Soul fiction? What about Icefall? Will Jefferson’s Sons stand out for them or is the committee more the Wonderstruck type (remembering, as we do, that it was Roger Sutton’s committee that gave Hugo Cabret a Caldecott)? I’m positively giddy!
- I’ve read a lot of Sendak interviews in my day. A lot of them, and this may be the best. Odd about his opinion of Dahl, though. Wouldn’t have pegged him for it.
- Scratch and Sniff books may be the last great frontier of the novelty children’s book. Sticker books will enter library systems before some people allow those of the odoriferous variety in the door. Maybe it’s because the smells fade. Dunno. All I can do is wonder if the upcoming New York, Phew York: A Scratch and Sniff Adventure will be coming to my own library system anytime soon.
- I have to say, I’ve really been enjoying the posts at Brian Pickings that have been given the tag of “Children’s Books“. They’ve a great eye for what’s out there, including the latest Richard Dawkins book for kids, Andy Warhol’s history as a freelance artist for Doubleday, classic fairy tales, and more.
- Recently I read an article in the New Yorker about singer/songwriter Taylor Swift. The piece said that Swift made country cool for the pre-teen demographic and I saw that statistic in action soon thereafter when a friend polled my children’s book group and found that all the girls claimed to like “country”. Why? Because they like Taylor Swift. All the more reason to be happy about the fact that Swift recently donated 6,000 books to a library in Reading, Pennsylvania. You have to wonder how she made the choice of what to donate. Thanks to Kate for the link.
- Doing anything tonight? Want to join a Twitter party about Digital Storytelling and Libraries? Want to get some prizes in the process? Better preregister while you can then.
- Daily Image:
It just makes me happy.