First and foremost, hello. How are you? Are you having a nice day? So nice to see you here, but before we go any further I must tell you that you very much need to leave me. Just for a little while. As you may have heard, my book with Jules Danielson and Peter Sieruta, Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, is coming out August 5th. To prepare, Jules and I have created a blog that posts a story a day that got cut from our final book. Here’s what you may have missed so far:
- A story about the greatest ALA Conference photo of all time.
- A tale of all the various authors and illustrators who have gotten advice from Maurice Sendak over the years.
- Advice on why you should never invite Hans Christian Andersen to stay the night.
- A tribute to everybody’s favorite Wicked Angel.
- Two rough broads / Newbery and Caldecott winners.
- A tribute to the fantastic Nancy Garden.
That said, here’s all the other news what wuz.
- All the world is ah-buzz with the information that J.K. Rowling just released on Pottermore. Rita Skeeter is still reporting (so no, there is no justice in the universe) and she has the scoop on 34-year-old Harry today, as well as his buddies. For my part, I’m just socked that I’m only two years older than Harry. Makes my crush on Snape that much more creepy, I guess.
- One of my favorite blogs, Pop Goes the Page by the Cotsen Children’s Library, is turning one! Best of all, if you send them your artistic birthday well-wishes, the selected winner will receive a $150 online shopping spree at Discount School Supply. Not half bad! Go do that thing.
- Credit Martha Parravano for creating a quite incisive interpretation of the Caldecott winners and near misses of 2013. Lots to chew on, even if you don’t always agree.
- Now here is what we call guts. Allan Ahlberg has declined the inaugural Booktrust Best Book Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award because it is sponsored by Amazon. You, sir, are my hero of the day. Thanks to Alison Morris for the link.
- There were many reasons to attend this last ALA Conference in Vegas. But three in particular are standing out for me today. Reason #1: I could have seen Mo Willems and Daniel Handler sharing a stage at the same time. THAT would be an event well worth witnessing. Can I get a witness who was there?. Reason #2: Starr LaTronica’s Shoes.
Reason #3: This blog got a little shout out in Brian Floca’s Caldecott speech. See if you can spot where it is (hint: it’s not by name).
- Anywho, I wasn’t able to attend that conference because of my pregnancy. I also wasn’t able to attend this conference: The Second Annual 21st Century Nonfiction Conference. Doggone it. Held in lovely New Paltz, NY, I was pleased at least to see that my co-worker Amie Wright kicked butt and took names. You can read a great write-up of the event here.
- I know you have a lot going on today, but if you enjoyed watching Faerie Tale Theater with Shelley Duvall back in the day then maybe you’ll appreciate this catchy little ditty made out of all the times the charming host said, “Hello, I’m Shelley Duvall.” I don’t do ringtones but if I had to choose one . . .
- I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Way back in 1992 I listened to a librarian read Sukey and the Mermaid by Robert D. San Souci (illustrated by Brian Pinkney) to a group of kids. It was remarkable at the time, not just because it featured a black mermaid, but because it featured a mermaid at all. I don’t know if you read my recent review of The Mermaid and the Shoe, but mermaid picture books aren’t exactly prevalent. Well over at Latin@s in Kid Lit, Cindy L. Rodriguez has written the post Diversity Needed Under the Sea: Not All Mermaids Have Blond Hair and Blue Eyes. Their focus is mostly YA, but it’s interesting to note that aside from Sukey, picture book mermaids of color are few and far between. Fairies of color have it even worse.
- More sadness (those folks were good to me too).
- Alternate title for this Guardian article: Has the Carnegie medal lost its way? Some folks will get the reference.
- Get out your fightin’ gloves. SLJ has just launched the Up for Debate series. Them’s fighting words (literally).
- Daily Image:
Trying to figure out how we could pull this off in the States. Over in Britain the Story Museum hired a photographer for its 26 Characters exhibition. His mission? To photograph famous authors as their favorite literary characters. The image of Neil Gaiman as Badger from Wind in the Willows circulated a couple months ago. Now more pics have been revealed and they are lovely. Here are two . .
Philip Pullman as Long John Silver
Michael Morpurgo as Magwitch from Great Expectations
Naturally I’m trying to figure out how we could do this here. The Eric Carle Museum could host the images (we’d have a brief debate over whether or not photography is technically “illustration” and then decide ultimately that it was). Or maybe the Rich Michelson Gallery could do it. Then it’s a question of finding a photographer and picking the authors. As for the costumes and make-up, Britain utilized The Royal Shakespeare Company. Can’t really top that but it would be nice to get professionals involved. Pondering, pondering, pondering . . .