It’s always the filler. I have this little file where I jot down ideas for posts on days when my brain is mush, and most recently I jotted down the old “casual diversity” question a friend asked me once. Figured it would make for a good quickie blog post and then I’d be on my way. Did NOT expect it to catch on the way that it has. Heavens to me! It’s my own dang fault for not realizing it might be a good topic of discussion. Anytime you mention race, after all, you’re going to get feedback. I’m grateful for the positive feedback and grateful too for the criticism. Hallmarks of a good conversation, they are. Yay, civilization.
Now on to the fluff.
- Are you an author or illustrator looking for an original way to promote your book? Are you aware that your publisher, for all their charms, will only go so far in terms of swag and publicity? Does your book have any connection to fires or smoking? I ask that last one because my adorable little sister has a new crafty blog post up and it’s a doozy: How to make matchboxes out of your book covers. She does me a solid by making one out of Giant Dance Party, for which I am grateful, but really it would work for anything. Something for you blokes to consider, anyways.
- Sergio Ruzzier has done a stand up and cheer job of bringing the Bologna Book Fair just a little closer to us folks at home. With the permission of their author, he is single-handedly translating a Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrator’s Exhibition juror’s experience into English. You will NOT find this information anywhere else out there. Consider it your required reading of the day. Part One is here and Part Two is here. There will be two more parts to come. Thank you, Sergio!
- It sounds like a prompt for a creative writing class: Write a conversation between Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) and recent Newbery re-winner Kate DiCamillo. But in point of fact it happened. Lots of goodies to be plucked from this, but I was particularly taken with the fact that DiCamillo was once a “picker”. I just learned that phrase from the most recent episode of Radio Lab (one of my favorite podcasts). Nice to hear it in the real world too.
- You have a mission. Look at this. Now apply it to children’s literature in some way. That is all. Thanks to Marjorie Ingall for the idea.
- New Blog Alert: Well, I feel stupid. How have I gotten along all this time without being aware of the blog Latin@s in Kid Lit? This site is AMAZING (I mean did you see the post on Nino Wrestles the World?) and churning out top notch content in areas no one else is focusing on consistently.
- “Of the 124 books documented in the first half of 2013 that are about human characters who are not white, 47 were written and/or illustrated by people of color. That means that just 37.9% of the books about people of color that we’ve received so far in 2013 were actually written and/or illustrated by people of color.” Oh, man. You have got to leave my blog right now and head on over to CCBlogC to get the low down on who’s writing what and where the animal books fit in. I know the post is old (July 15th) but it’s imperative. More statistics, please! Kyra Hicks hasn’t updated since last year, after all.
- I love it when a review sparks a discussion which, in turn, sparks a blog post that goes on to spark a further discussion (on a listserv, no less). When I reviewed Aaron Starmer’s The Riverman I included some thoughts on ambiguous endings. Monica Edinger took one look at my half-baked ideas and created a fully baked blog post out of them. The post is Tolerating Ambiguity: Endings. Feel free to add your own thoughts over there. I’m still formulating my own.
- As anyone familiar with my Re-Seussification or Re-Sendakification knows, I’m a sucker for people illustrating in the style of others. So when I heard that Nancy Vo recently attempted to do a variety of crows in the styles of other children’s book illustrators I was there. The results are delightful. Here’s her Jon Klassen, for example:
- If nothing else, this past Caldecott committee was the most open to feedback and to describing the process out of any I’ve seen. First we had Travis Jonker asking for people’s thoughts (you’re a brave man, Mr. J.). Then Judy Freeman did a guest post at Calling Caldecott to describe the process. Get your thoughts in while you can, folks. Future committee members won’t be able to do much in the blog realm at all, it seems. Oh, and Travis’s post on The 2014 Youth Media Awards: Things I Love, is a lovely little pep talk to start out your day. Don’t miss it.
- Unlike our YMAs, the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals over in Britain have longlists. Check out what’s up for contention and cheer and boo in turns. Awfully nice of them to include books by Americans too. If only we could have returned the favor for The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas. Loved that one!
- And speaking of medals (do I ever speak of anything else?) for those of you sad that Battle Bunny by Barnett, Scieszka and Myers got nothing in the awards arena, there is an exception! Observe the following.
The Center for Children’s Books of the Graduate School of Library ad
Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is
pleased to announce the 2014 Gryphon Award winner: *Battle Bunny*, written
by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett and Alex, illustrated by Matthew Myers but
mostly Alex, and published by Simon and Shuster. Both a sendup of
saccharine period picture books and a tribute to kid invention, this
deliciously comic outing follows young Alex’s savage textual and
illustrative transforming of a treacly bunny tale into a saga of a thwarted
attempt at world rabbit domination.
The Gryphon Award committee also recognized three honor books:
– *Lulu and the Dog from the Sea*, written by Hilary McKay, illustrated
by Priscilla Lamont, and published by Whitman
– *Year of the Jungle*, written by Suzanne Collins, illustrated by James
Proimos, and published by Scholastic
– *Like Bug Juice on a Burger*, written by Julie Sternberg, illustrated
by Matthew Cordell, and published by Amulet/Abrams
The Gryphon Award is presented annually to the author of an outstanding
English language work of fiction or non-fiction for which the primary
audience is children in kindergarten through fourth grade. The title chosen
best exemplifies those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in
difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for
practiced readers. More information about the award can be found at the CCB
Gryphon Award webpage <http://ccb.lis.illinois.edu/
- Daily Image:
Some food for your nightmares. Bone structures and interior organs of famous popular characters. Mostly animated, but once in a while you get a children’s literature character. Example A:
Thanks to Kate for the link!