- Ain’t he just the sweetest thing? Author/illustrator Aaron Zenz recently wrote just the loveliest ode to his four top favorite children’s literary blogs, and then went and created original art for each. In my case he created this little Fuse guy (or possibly Fuse gal) based on the bright yellow Fuse you see at the beginnings of each of my posts (I put it there in lieu of my face because I can only look at myself so often before going stark raving mad). This, I should point out, is not the first time a little Fuse person has been created for this blog. Katherine Tillotson, an artist of outstanding ability (I’m biased but it also happens to be true) created not one but TWO little Fusemen in the past, both for separate birthdays.
I’m a fan. So thank you Aaron and, once again, thank you Katherine. Fusemen of the world unite!
- *sniff sniff* Smell that? That’s the distinctive odor of a brouhaha brewing. Sort of a combination of burnt hair, dead goldfish and patchouli. And you wonder why I don’t cover YA books. Sheesh! One word: drama. Seems that a YA blog called Story Siren plagiarized the work of others for her own blog posts. Folks noticed and suddenly the internet was was heaping helpful of flames, burns, accusations, and other forms of tomfoolery. For a sane and rational recap we turn to our own Liz Burns who gives us the run down in Today’s Blog Blow Up. Ugly stuff.
- And while we’re on the subject of YA (which I just said I don’t cover, and yet here we are), I thought we were done with whitewashing, folks. So what’s up with this? Harlequin Teen, you got some explaining to do.
- In other news, book banning: It’s what’s for dinner. Take a trip with me to The Annville-Cleona School District where a picture book fondly nicknamed by some as Where’s the Penis? is getting some heat. If you’ve ever seen The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Adam Rex, then you know that calling it “pornographic” works only if you are unaware of what the word “pornography” actually means. I would like to offer a shout-out to librarian Anita Mentzer who has handled the whole situation with class and dignity. You, madam, are the kind of children’s librarian others should aspire to be. Well done. And thanks to Erica Sevetson for the link.
- We may not yet have an ALA accredited poetry award for a work of children’s literature but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a Poet Laureate or two instead. Rich Michelson, gallery owner and author/poet in his own right, has just been named the Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer fella, and that’s the truth.
- Self-publishing when you can’t get a publishing house to look at your work is one thing. But an established author with one successful book out and another pubbing this September? That’s another altogether. I was a big time fan of Kate Milford’s The Boneshaker when it came out in 2010. This September we’ll get to see the companion novel set in Brooklyn, The Broken Lands, by Clarion. Kate had an interesting idea to go along with this release. She’s written the book The Kairos Mechanism is a companion novel that connects the two books but offers a complete story in and of itself. Kate started a Kickstarter page where she explains the project, the plot, she has a video, and she describes the book (which will have cover art by the same artist who did her other books). I like that if you pledge $50 you get the book as well as “a strange but fascinating bit of ephemera that will surprise and delight you.” Ephemera is always good.
And then there’s the recent Rejected Covers post on Rachell Sumpter’s embroidered Penguin Threads cover for a rejacketed The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
I’m sure you’ve heard about this one by now, but in case you didn’t the story of how a nonsense story by Daniel Pinkwater was turned into a New York state test sounds like something straight out of his books (except to make it really work you’d have to make sure the people administrating the tests were giant chickens or something). Generally I don’t tend to mention Mr. Pinkwater on this blog because I fear his wrath so I’ll just duck my head and link to this response by the man himself to this high-faluting piece of jaw-dropping peculiarity. Thanks to Monica Edinger for the link.
Poor Hyperion employees. I swear they just can’t catch a break. One year they up and move ’em from Manhattan to White Plains, NY. Now Disney is semi-reversing the situation, moving some employees to California and the book related ones back to New York. Good new for those who’d been commuting. Bad news for the ones who had settled down close to work.
- The next couple links were untimely ripped off from the Publishers Weekly Children’s Bookshelf. I mean, let’s face it. Whoever they have working there to get the good news is a true pro. They find stuff I’d never locate. Like this link to video games reimagined as easy readers or the fact that the grandson of Tolkien has written a book and the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens is reading the audiobook.
- In comic news I’ll be at MOCCA this weekend doing a bit of moderating with talented folks like Raina Telgemeier, Kevin Pyle, MK Reed, and Derek Kirk Kim. Come and see!
- It figures. The minute someone learns my name they quit their job. On the plus side, the fact that Andy Laties is to the be new head honcho at The Bank Street Bookstore is just fantastically good news all around. So who took over his job at The Carle?
- There are few things quite as satisfying as finding too little lauded books that you love getting some of the attention they deserve. I adored What Animals Really Like last year but award season did it no favors. Now it has just nabbed the Irma S. Black & James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature.
- Daily Image:
I think this one pretty much speaks for itself.
Wow. Just wow. Thanks to Playing By the Book for the link.