- You know what’s hot these days, topic-wise? Diversity! Or maybe just the lack thereof. Seems its all anyone can talk about this week. First the First Book blog reported that “at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting, hosted by President Bill Clinton, [they] announced First Book’s commitment to create a sustainable solution to this problem by dramatically expanding the market for diversity in children’s literature through The Stories for All Project.” You can see a bit more of what they mean here. Soon thereafter, Lee and Low published a post entitled Why Hasn’t the Number of Multicultural Books Increased in Eighteen Years. The piece interviews academics, authors, librarians, educators, and reviewers, including yours truly. It’s well worth reading, though J.L. Bell did point out on Twitter that booksellers would have made for a smart inclusion as well. Roger Sutton offered his own response, though I am most grateful for his “semi-impolitic” take. Amen to the rubbish. Amen.
- Happiness. The Save-the-Library children’s book art auction for P.S. 363 is well underway and the number of things you can bid on has increased. Go see for yourself!
JUST ADDED:Autographed books by Rick Riordan and Alice Walker…A Leslie Petricelli one-of-a-kind painting from BLANKIE!…A Jaime Zollars fine-art bug-parade print…A cray-cray-graphic-mod pink pretzel print from Chistopher Silas Neal…A Harry Potter limited edition collage…A Janet Pedersen one-of-a-kind watercolor for hippo and book lovers…A lovely original Daniel J. Mahoney watercolor from a book about the joys of storytime…And notecards by P.S. 363 students and our wonderful art teacher Valerie Hammond!
- Roundabout two years ago I had the great good fortune to go to the Bologna Children’s Book Festival when I was 7 months pregnant. The memory of my swollen ankles comes to me in my darkest hours even to this day, bu that’s neither here nor there. While in Italy I was invited to a perfectly lovely dinner with Andrew Karre and a slew of other folks including a guy by the name of Klaus Flugge. I interviewed the man for my SLJ article “Betsy Goes to Bologna” (not available online anymore, alas) and he was a true delight. Now I’m happy to hear that Letters to Klaus is due for publication. Fantastic!
- This piece on Brain Pickings was simply called Maurice Sendak Illustrates Tolstoy. Pore over these drawing for a while, if you please. You’ll be happy you did. Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.
- Confused about the Common Core? Then check out science writer Dia Michels and her There’s Nothing Standard About the New Standards: A parent’s guide to understanding what “Common Core” means for your children. It does a good job of doing away with some of the misconceptions about CCSS. Mind you, some parts could bear some clarification. The idea that “Nonfiction texts will account for a full 70% of all reading assigned in the classroom, with fiction added to provide literary merit to the reading experience” is true, but kids won’t reach the 70% level until high school. So consider this a beginner’s manual and not so much the final word.
- Me stuff time. This past Sunday I got some very lovely press-related presents. The first was a lovely little review of Giant Dance Party in The New York Times. So . . . wow. I feel quite spoiled and this fantastic inclusion of this same book in Daily Candy’s Best Summer Books for Kids round-up didn’t help to humble me one bit.
- Daily Image:
The best I could do this week was indulge in some abecedarian delights. Today, Jim Billy Wheeler, a designer by trade, creates an alphabet of his favorite bands.