- Good old brackets. They’re the greatest gift basketball ever gave to children’s literature. I’m certain you’ve all been following the Battle of the Kids’ Books over at our sister blog here at SLJ. That upcoming schedule sure looks like a doozy. 3/12 Doll Bones vs Eleanor & Park judged by Lauren Oliver? Lauren, baby, my condolences. 3/13 Far Far Away vs Flora & Ulysses judged by Sara Mlynowski? You can bet I’ll be there that day to watch THAT bit of logic. But if it’s even more brackets you seek, NYPL is doing some Literary March Madness doozies of their own on Instagram. Around March 9-12 they’ll be posting the childrens/YA brackets. Hat tip to Morgan Holzer for coming up with the idea for #LiteraryMarchMadness in the first place. So what’s it going to be? Shel Silverstein vs. Dr. Seuss? Beverly Cleary vs. Judy Blume? The choices are entirely yours. Good luck with all that.
- In case you missed it, SCBWI Announces 2014 Golden Kite and Sid Fleischman Award Winners and Honorees. I’m particularly fond of the Sid Fleischman awards since they’re the only awards in America (that I’m aware of) that reward humor. The Brits and their Dahl awards are a bit more extensive, but for now I’ll take what I can get. Congrats to all the winners!
- This is not the first time I’ve come across a particularly interesting blog post from the site Teach From the Heart. I don’t know that many straight up teacher blogs, but what I’ve seen coming out of this site is consistently thought provoking. Particularly the recent piece Dear Google, You Should Have Talked to Me First which tackles the sticky, thorny subject of Accelerated Reading. As of this writing, 253 comments and climbing, folks.
Many of you know my true and abiding love of that old Hardy Boys knock-off series The Three Investigators. Far superior to their contemporaries in every way, The Three Investigators combined good old-fashioned boys detective action adventure heroics with the sensibility of Scooby Doo and the bizarre presence in many of their titles of Alfred Hitchcock (Jim Averbeck take note!). Sondra Eklund pierces the veil surrounding the trio’s first adventure The Secret of Terror Castle (how can you resist a title like that?) and the results are fabulous. I mean, the bad guy in the series was named Skinny Norris. Tell me that’s not the best character name you’ve heard in a while. Sounds like an escapee from Goodfellas.
- Ever wondered how to pronounce my name? Um . . . no. No you haven’t. As names go mine is probably one of the easiest to figure out. Still, that didn’t stop me from putting in an explanation about said name when TeachingBooks.net offered me the chance to appear on their site. Hear my pronunciation n’ such here, if you’ve a desire to do so.
- Petition time! Folks, there’s a children’s literary collection out there that needs you help. Apparently UC Berkeley has slated their Tolman Children’s Library for closure. Fortunately some concerned souls found out about this and decided to prevent the event If you’ve a minute to spare, they would like to get 300 signatures at this time, but they’ve only hit the 200 mark. So head on over to the petition for Save the Children’s and Young Adult Literature Library in Tolman Hall and see what you can’t do to give them a bit of a boost. Children’s collections everywhere are facing similar cuts. It’s nice to feel like you might be able to prevent at least one of these somewhere, somehow.
- I’ve been quoting the “He seemed to be a permanent bridesmaid” line Vicky Smith came up with in regards to Brian Floca’s win of a Caldecott quite a lot lately. This was one of the many bon mots on display at the relatively recent Children’s Book Boston gathering, as reported by PW. Great little piece for those of you wondering how the big ALA Awards get chosen.
- Me and Business Insider. We’re like peas in a pod. I don’t know how financial mags keep hooking me into their productions considering the sheer lack of funds in my own personal life. First the Forbes article and now this. Recently BI (I assume someone somewhere presumably calls it BI, right?) asked NYPL if someone like my pretty self could recommend some books that adults should revisit in their waning days. Or, as they put it, Kids Books Adults Should Read Again As an Adult. They took the bulk of my suggestions and even integrated some of my comments and news items along the way. They didn’t mention everything I liked, but I was very impressed that they kept my mentions of Suzuki Beane and Who Needs Donuts. Well played, guys!
Know a children’s literary enthusiast in need of some hipster insider children’s lit clothing? Look no further than this little offering from BustedTees:
Granted it’s clearly making a more specific reference to the movie adaptation of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (a movie that I need to rewatch one of these days, if only to confirm that it was as creepy as I recall) but we won’t hold that against it.
Thanks to Alison Morris for the link!