It was a bittersweet pleasure to see the vast numbers of folks out there lamenting the passing of New Zealand children’s author Margaret Mahy this week. Just before we heard the news a discussion on the ccbc-net listserv about children’s books we’d like to see available once more echoed with person after person lamenting the fact that Mahy’s The Changeover is out of print (*ahem* publishers *ahem*!!!). Now I know that this year we’ve seen the passing of everyone from Sendak to Else Minarik but the Mahy loss cut me particularly deep. I’ve waxed rhapsodic to you in the past over my childhood edition of Ultra-Violet Catastrophe or The Unexpected Walk with Great-Uncle Magnus Pringle. I don’t know if I adored the book when I read it as a child but boy has it stuck with me over the years. More recently I was going through all the signed reference copies of children’s books in the NYPL system (it’s a tough life) and I discovered that Ms. Mahy visited NYPL back in the day during some kind of a United States tour. I was particularly taken with a book called The Little Witch with its doe-eyed witch baby alone in a big city, wrecking havoc until her incredibly sexy mama comes to take her home. Weirdest little dang book. I would have adored it as a kid. I would have adored meeting Ms. Mahy too.
- Speaking of my library, just wanted to give you a heads up. No sooner do I leave the Children’s Center then who should arrive? Cookie Monster. Or, to be more precise, he’ll be in my library on August 3rd with some cooking dude by the name of Rocco DiSpirito who, insofar as I can tell, does not have a cooking-related children’s book out yet . . . but surely that’s in the works, yes? They will make healthy cookies, but I have it on the down low that real chocolate may yet make an appearance. Where’s there’s light there’s hope. To prep, you may watch this Cookie Monster spoof of Call Me Maybe.
- In other news, Syd Hoff is dead (no surprises there) but if he were alive his 100th birthday would be this coming September 8th. The Children’s Center will be putting on a HUGE Syd Hoff party for the occasion. I suggest the rest of you consider doing something similar or, at the very least, read this amusing recap of the mysterious Syd Hoff mural.
- Suddenly I have a moment of great doubt. During the countdown of the Top 100 polls (yes, I’ll definitely do more results soon) I didn’t do any Fusenews updates. So I’m not entirely certain whether or not I ever linked to Alison Morris’s fantastic guest post on ShelfTalker recounting how she, Heather Scott, Lori Ess and I got together to cut up F&Gs and turn them into birdhouses. It happened a while ago (the weather was still cold and the baby small enough to take naps in other people’s apartments) but since some of the books featured have yet to even come out, I think it works.
- In other news, The Book Doctor answers a rather good question of whether or not those ancient steam trains we see in books for kids actually speak to their child readers’ love or to the memories of the adults doing the buying in the first place.
- Did I not mention before that Elizabeth Bluemle fulfilled all our fondest wants and desires and put up a new The Stars Thus Far for this year? I know it’s not the be all and end all of what’s good this year, but boy is it useful!
- Two words: Goodnight Dune. That is all. Highly amused thanks to Andrew Karre for the link.
- This is where the descriptions start to get brief. Harry Potter tarot cards in 4… 3…. 2… 1…
- Author Shirley Showalter stopped by the other day and wrote up a great little post about me and good old Chuck Close. Awfully nice of her. Thanks, Shirley!
- Daily Image:
A great little link came to light this week when someone posted a host of vintage library posters on Flickr. And though I do like this one . . .
. . . my favorite has GOT to be this one.
What a 55-old-man is doing hanging out in a school library I simply do not want to know. Or is he supposed to look so hip and cool that the bored boy at the top will find it impossible to resist the lure of acting just like him?
Thanks to Andrew Wagstaff for the link.