Hi, guys. How’s it going? Heckuva weird weather we’ve had lately, right? Yeah . . . so . . . here’s the thing. You know how you’ve been rereleasing a couple classic children’s books recently like Slake’s Limbo and all the Ramona Quimby books? That is just awesome of you. Seriously, new covers were desperately needed. But, you’re kind of doing this weird thing that’s messing everything up. See, for some reason you’re changing the covers but you’re keeping the old ISBNs. And we wouldn’t really mind if it was just the jackets you were changing, but in the case of the Ramona books you have new interior illustrations. This is a HUGE disservice, not only to libraries, but to your new illustrator, Ms. Jacqueline Rogers. If you keep the same ISBN then in records across the country previous illustrators will be listed in the system. Not Ms. Rogers. So, I know we’re supposedly going to go through some crazy crisis where we run out of all the ISBNs, but do a gal a favor and change the ISBNs on rereleases if you have new interior art (or, also in the case of Ramona, new pagination). It just makes good clean sense.
Okay! Moving on.
- If I say that Travis Jonker fellow at 100 Scope Notes is a nice guy I’m not exactly telling you anything you don’t already know. But how nice is he? Well, in his awesome 10 to Note: Spring Preview 2013 do you know what book he led with? MINE!! I’m thrilled and flabbergasted all at once. Ye gods! I hit the big time, folks! Now I just need to get my hands on that cool looking Lauren Myracle early chapter book and that new Charise Mericle Harper graphic novel. Woot!
- You know you’re cool when the National Coalition Against Censorship collects cool birthday wishes for you. You’re even cooler if those birthday wishes come from folks like Jon Scieszka, Lois Lowry, and the aforementioned Lauren Myracle. And if you happen to be Judy Blume? Icing on the cake, baby.
- On the one hand, it’s awfully interesting to hear folks speculating on what really made Mary Ingalls blind. On the other hand . . . . NBC News linked to me, linked to me, linked to me me me!
- In case you happened to missed it, I hosted a helluva Literary Salon the other day. Yup. Jeanne Birdsall, Adam Gidwitz, N.D. Wilson, and Rebecca Stead all gave up their precious time to stop by old NYPL for a Children’s Literary Salon where they debated why pop culture at large tries to label middle grade fiction as YA. The whole conversation was, for the very first time, recorded for posterity. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the audio feed is lousy. Not sure what I did but it’s a bit mucked up. Clear enough that you could make a transcript from it (casts meaningful looks into the nethersphere) but not so clear that you could actually enjoy listening to it. A little later in the podcast some folks stop speaking into mics. That actually helps. Rear in Gear reports on how it went from the frontlines. By the way, the title “Why YA” is a good one. I might shorten it to Y.YA, then proclaim that to be the newest bestest trend without explanation. Cause that’s how I roll.
- Speaking of my Children’s Literary Salons, I’ve one in early March on the topic of Diversity and the State of the Children’s Book that will prove to be most fascinating (and better recorded, I hope). Much along the same lines is a truly fascinating post over at Ms. Yingling Reads. The post concerns those book jackets that do not reflect the ethnicity of the characters within, but brings up a very interesting p.o.v. from that of the smaller publisher reliant on stock images. This post is your required reading of the day. Many many thanks to Carl in Charlotte for the heads up.
- The post on 10 Fictional Libraries I’d Love to Visit is a lot of fun, but I would add the library featured in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman books most certainly. That would be the library that contains every book conceived of but never published by the world’s greatest writers. The in-jokes alone are worth it. Who doesn’t love Psmith and Jeeves?
Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
- Nerd that I am, I cannot help but be thrilled that the Bologna Book Fair has just established a new prize for the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year. What a fantastic idea, and why has no one else come up with it before? Now THAT is something I can get behind. Boy, yeah.
- Flavorwire’s Conspiracy Theories About Classic Literary Characters doesn’t tell you a lot you haven’t already heard about your classic books (Nick Carraway = gay, Holden Caulfield = gay, yadda yadda yadda) but there are some fun exceptions on the children’s literature side. I think I’ve heard the Winnie-the-Pooh theory before, and I certainly heard the Harry Potter one (Rowling herself even addressed it) but the Wizard of Oz one is actually entirely a new one on me. Huh! Thanks to Annie Cardi for the link.
- I like it when authors reveal the covers of their upcoming books. I especially like it when those authors are folks I’ve heard of before and have enjoyed thoroughly. I met Matthew Kirby (The Clockwork Three, Icefall) at a SCBWI event recently and now I find out that he has revealed his latest title The Lost Kingdom. Yep. I’ll be reading that one.
- The other day I spoke on a panel for some young publishers about the library’s role in the pursuit of Common Core. I was on that panel with Scottie Bowditch of Penguin and John Mason of Scholastic. After the fact I learned that Scholastic has been working to get their hands on all this Common Core schtuf by creating the site Common Sense for the Common Core. It was created to help parents through this tricky time, but no doubt we librarians would benefit a tad as well. FYI!
- You may have heard that tornadoes recently ripped through Mississippi on Sunday causing untold devastation in their wake. They hit in a number of places, including Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Why do I mention this? Well, are you aware what resides in Hattiesburg? That would be the University of Southern Mississippi. And what is the University of Southern Mississippi home to? If you answered that it was the de Grummond Collection “one of North America’s leading research centers in the field of children’s literature” you would also be correct. So did the collection survive the storms? We are happy to report that they did. And on the de Grummond’s Twitter feed they assured everyone that they were safe and sound. Whew!
- Look me in the eye. Right here! Right in my beady little eye and tell me that this is not the smartest use of The Pigeon you’ve seen in a long long time. The crazy thing? I thought they melded together a bunch of different Pigeon books. Not true! Instead, all these panels come from The Pigeon Wants a Puppy.
- Remember when NPR started that program they called NPR’s Backseat Book Club? They said they would pick a new book for kids every month and discuss them. Well, the whole “every month” part of that plan has been spotty and the selections have been even spottier. Seems to me NPR isn’t taking full advantage of the field. I mean, Black Beauty and Wimpy Kid? Is that the best you can do? Fortunately it looks like they’ll crank things up a notch when they discuss Gary Schmidt’s Okay for Now. In fact, kids are encouraged to submit some questions to the author ahead of time. Got yourself some kids? Then go to it!
- Speaking of kids submitting stuff, you may have heard that YA author Ned Vizzini is getting into the middle grade fiction arena. He isn’t doing it alone, though. Director Chris Columbus is penning House of Secrets with him. Aside from the fact that the book has an honest-to-god blurb from J.K. Rowling on it (no blurb whore she) kids can get a copy by tweeting Ned their “secrets”. You can see some examples here. Love the kid who used to eat chocolate dog biscuits. That one I believe.
- Would you like $1000? Sure. We all would. But to be a bit more specific, would you like $1000 for your program that uses, “children’s literature as a way to promote international understanding”? Well then are you in luck! USBBY would sure like to give you some cash. Say they, “Schools, libraries, scout troops, clubs and bookstores are all eligible for this award. Does your school or library program or do you know of another organization that “promotes reading as a way to expand a child’s world”? To learn more about the award, view information about past winners and award criteria and access the downloadable application form, please link to: http://www.usbby.org/list_b2u.
- Done and done.I wasn’t particularly aggrieved by the Anne of Green Gables brou-de-haha going on about that random cover someone created. In fact, a commenter at ShelfTalker with my name (not me, alas) basically summarized my thoughts on the matter brilliantly when she said, “Folks, you are getting all upset because you MISUNDERSTAND the situation. This is NOT a ‘PUBLISHER’ with a marketing dept. This is a public domain book that some RANDOM PERSON is selling. You could do the same thing. PUBLIC DOMAIN – it means anyone can do anything with it. Here is a list of public domain books: http://www.feedbooks.com/publicdomain. If you want, you yourself could publish, say, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo with a photo on the cover of Governor Chris Christie eating a donut. (If you had the rights to the donut picture of course.)” Which was all well and good . . . but I truly have to tip my hat to Donytop5 who simply replied, “Here Betsy, I found it! http://wolverinesss.tumblr.com/image/42556986881” That made my day, right there.
- Apparently there’s a competitor to Goodreads out there and it’s calling itself Bookish. It’s not really the same thing as Goodreads, mind you, since it’s publisher driven through and through. Says Media Decoder, “Instead of relying essentially on the taste of other customers with similar preferences, as most recommendation engines do, Bookish’s tool takes into account critical reviews and awards.” Curious, I decided to see what they had in the realm of children’s literature. It’s interesting. Not a ton of content yet, but their recommendations aren’t shabby. Worth eyeing warily for a while.
- Daily Image:
Someday I will be very rich and I will create a children’s library of my very own. When I do, I will allow one or two walls to be like this:
Fortunately if that looks cool to you, you don’t have to wait. Just head on over to the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art and have your fun. Thanks to Swiss Miss for the link!