Oh me, oh my, where does the time go? Here we are, it’s Monday yet again, and I’m running about like a chicken with my head cut off. This Friday I head off to Barcelona for a full week (weep for me), then back I come to promote my picture book (Giant Dance Party, or haven’t I mentioned it before?), but not before I’ve finished the promotional videos and my very first website. *pant pant pant*
With that in mind, let’s get through these mighty quick. Not that they don’t all deserve time and attention. And tender loving care. Mwah! Big kisses all around! And yes, I did consider doing an April Fool’s post today but thought better of it. If you’d like to see some of the greatest April Fool’s posts of the children’s literary world, however, please be so good as to head over to Collecting Children’s Books and read the ones that Peter Sieruta came up with. There was 2012’s post (“Selznick syndrome” is just shy of brilliant), 2011’s Charlie Sheen Lands Children’s Book Deal (still feels real), 2009’s Graveyard Book to Be Stripped of Newbery, and his 2008 Ramona piece de resistance. This is the first year he won’t have one up. Miss you, Peter.
- So I had a crazy idea for a Children’s Literary Salon panel at NYPL. Heck, I didn’t even know if anyone would show up, but I invited four different children’s librarians from four very different alternative children’s libraries. Don’t know what an alternative children’s library is? Then read this SLJ write-up NYPL Panelists Explore Alternatives to Traditional Librarianship. The happy ending is that lots of people attended and the conversation was scintillating. And timely. A nice combination.
- Another good combination? Me and my husband. And it seems the resident husband recently wrote a blog piece that could be of use to you writer types out there. How To Write Every Day, Conclusion: Is Your Goal to Keep Writing or Stop Writing? should give you enough fodder to chew on for the next year or so. Then I’ll tell you about another one of his posts. Trust me when I say they’re all this good.
- Did your stomach lurch a little when you found out that Amazon bought Goodreads? Well, how much should you care? Dan Blank has some answers. In Short: Don’t you worry ’bout nothing (he says it nicer than that).
- A contact recently mentioned that they would like to give a little attention to the children’s book art auction at Book Expo, a yearly event that actually isn’t particularly well known. Said they (take note!):
The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression is an organization that fights book censorship. We mostly work with booksellers, however, in Our Kids Right To Read Project, we advocate for kids when people try to ban books in libraries or classrooms. Our position is that parents have the right to decide what their own children read but they do not have the right to decide for others. Proceeds from the auction will go to our programming. Our website is www.abffe.org and for the auction we have set up a separate page where people can buy tickets and artists can donate art. It is: http://abffesilentauction.
- More me stuff. Over at Tor.com I answer the great ponderable facing the world of children’s literature today: Why are dinosaurs so darn popular? The answer may surprise you. Okay . . . that’s a lie. You know why. But at the very least I’m able to draw some conclusions you may not have necessarily come up with before. It all comes down to Freud, baby.
- I’ve a friend who passes along Common Core oddities she picks up on in the news. This week it was a tough call. Which was better? The article that said, “Alabama cannot retain its education sovereignty under Common Core” or Glenn Beck’s even nuttier-than-usual screed against CCS saying that they’ll result in 1984-type changes to the educational system? Honestly, do we even have to choose?
On the flipside, how cool is this? The Eric Carle Museum has a simply lovely exhibit up right now called Latino Folk Tales: Cuentos Populares-Art by Latino Artists. As if you needed an excuse to visit. But just in case you did . . .
I haven’t gotten much from Cynopsis Kids lately for the old blog, but there was this little tidbit I almost missed the other day: “Montreal-based Sardine Productions will develop a children’s television show based on The Mammoth Academy, a book series by British author and illustrator Neal Layton, with TVOKids, a division of Ontario’s public educational media organization TVO.”
Meanwhile, from PW Children’s Bookshelf, this little nugget of very cool news: “Anne Hoppe at Clarion Books has acquired North American rights to a nonfiction picture book by Katherine Applegate about Ivan the gorilla, the subject of her Newbery Medal-winning The One and Only Ivan. Elena Mechlin at Pippin Properties represented Applegate. In a separate deal, Mechlin sold North American rights to two middle-grade novels by Applegate, to Jean Feiwel and Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends.” Well that’s 12 kinds of brilliant. And how clever of Hoppe to get Applegate for Clarion. She’ll do well there. Nonfiction always does.
I don’t know about you but I was thrilled to see The New York Times write a piece on Rachel Renee Russell. When we talk about bestselling children’s books it seems odd to me that no one ever points out that the top series in children’s literature (rather than YA) right now that is written by a woman is also written by an African-American woman. Now I just want to know who the famous author was that discouraged her from writing when she was in college!