I have a sister. Did you know that? Tis true. She’s not a librarian and her interest in children’s literature pretty much begins and ends with me, which is probably why she hasn’t come up before. One thing she is? Crafty. Crafty as all get out. And the kicker is that she’s just started this new blog called The How To, How Hard, and How Much to Your Creative Products. Here’s how she describes it:
What if there was a blog out there that took Pinterest ideas and showed people how to do it, how much time it took, how much money was spent, and had a level of expertise (1-5). Maybe even sell the final product. Is this something people would read? Has it already been done? How could I rope guys into doing it (other than if it involved mustaches and bacon)? I’ve never blogged before but I feel like it might be helpful, especially since the holiday season is quickly approaching. People could even send me recommendations and I could do those as well.
And make it she has. Amongst other things she has a wide range of Halloween ideas including spider cookies, 5 minute ideas, and my personal favorite, the cleaver cupcakes. In fact, if you could just repin those cupcakes onto your Pinterest boards she’d be mighty grateful (there’s a contest she’s entering them into). But of special interest to the blog (aside from outright nepotism) was her recent posting on literary jewelry where she turned a book of mine into a bracelet. Nicely done, l’il sis.
- I attended the Society of Illustrators event the other day (did you know the place is free on Tuesdays?!) and the New York Times Best Illustrated results are on the cusp of an announcement soon. Both lists are chosen by artists as well as librarian types, and so one could consider them the form with which artists are allowed to voice their opinions about the best of the year (just as the National Book Awards are how authors talk about writing). Still, there are those that have disliked the Caldecott from the outset because it is decided not by artists but librarians. Robin Smith recently dug up a 1999 interview with Barry Moser voicing just such a concern. A hot little discussion then emerged in the Horn Book comments. Go! See!
- Brian Biggs + Jon Scieszka + 6 way auction = interesting.
- Our first shout-out! And from Tomie dePaola, no less. On The Official Tomie dePaola Blog you will find a lovely mention of the upcoming Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature as penned by myself, Jules Danielson, and Peter Sieruta. Woot!
- I think a fair number of us have seen Business Insider’s Most Famous Book Set in Every State map by this point, but I’d just like to mention that what pleases me the most about it is the fact that they included children’s books as well as adult. Six children’s and one YA novel by my count.
- Let’s Talk About Dav Pilkey, Captain Underpants, and Misogyny. So says author Lynn Messina. Interesting title, no?
- And since we’re on an interesting title kick, let’s throw out another one. True or False? Multicultural Books Don’t Sell. We’ve all heard that argument before. Now an actual honest-to-god bookseller tackles the question. You may normally know Elizabeth Bluemle from the ShelfTalker blog at PW, but here she’s guest talking at Lee & Low. Cleverly, she specifies whether or not we are talking about how they don’t sell to kids or how they don’t sell to adults. Without giving anything away, let me just say that her experiences mirror my own in the library.
In other press release news, I am shocked and appalled that I wasn’t aware of this until now. I mean, I knew that Kate Beaton, the genius behind Hark, A Vagrant, was working on children’s books. What I did not know was how close to fruition my dream of shelving her in my children’s sections truly was. The Wired blog Underwire, of all places, was the one with the scoop when they interviewed Ms. Beaton. She discusses the book, which contains her most famous creation (the fat pony) and a princess. Says she about princesses in general, “. . . for little girls historically [princesses] are the only people like them who had any power at all. It’s not just oh, princes and dresses. It’s also, here’s a person with agency. Is she just someone who wants a pretty dress and prince? Or is she a warrior living in a battle kingdom? I think it just depends on how you depict what a princess is.” I think we know the direction Ms. Beaton will go in. And I waaaant it. Thanks to Seth Fishman for the link.
- As slogans go, this might be one of my favorites: “Kill time. Make history”. How do you mean? Well, NYPL is looking for a few good bored folks. Say they, “The New York Public Library is training computers how to recognize building shapes and other information from old city maps. Help us clean up the data so that it can be used in research, teaching and civic hacking.” Sometimes I just love my workplace.
- Me stuff time. Or rather, stuff I’m doing around and about the world that you might like to attend. You see, on November 6th I’ll be interviewing legendary graphic novelist Paul Pope at 4pm at the Mulberry Street library branch here in NYC. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Pope’s name, all you really need to know is that he’s a three time Eisner Award winning artist who wrote the recent GN Battling Boy and whose work is currently on display at the Society of Illustrators on their second floor (which just means I get to tell you again that you can get in for free on Tuesdays). This event will also be free. If you’ve ever wondered what the “Mick Jagger of graphic novels” would look like, you’ll find out soon enough.
- Also going on in NYC, they have transferred Allegra Kent’s Ballerina Swan to the stage for kids. Makes perfect sense when you put it that way.
- This is utterly delightful. Recently Picture Book Month’s Education Consultant Marcie Colleen contacted me with this awesome PDF entitled Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide: Why Picture Books Belong in Our Classrooms. It was so useful, in fact, that I tapped her for an upcoming Children’s Literary Salon about the Core Curriculum. More about that later, though . . .
- My reaction to finding out that Henry Selick was going to direct Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm was simple. The best possible person is doing the best possible thing and is making everyone happy in the process. My sole concern? Selick’s going live action on this. What was the last live action film he directed? Monkeybone, you say? Ruh-roh. Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.
- Daily Image: