- As per usual there are some Wild Things links I’d love to share today. Lemme see here . . . Well we got a real stunner of a review over at Chapter 16. That’s some good and gorgeous stuff going down there. Phil Nel called us “Punchy, lively, and carefully researched.” The blog The Boy Reader gave us some serious love. And today on our blog tour we’re at There’s a Book. And then there’s the video at the Wild Things blog. N.D. Wilson sent us a vid of the true behind-the-scenes story of Boys of Blur. It’s kicking off our video series “Wild Things: Sneaky Peeks” where authors reveal the stories behind their books.
Aw heck. I’ll save you some time. Here’s the video. This guy is amazing:
Don’t forget to keep checking back on the site for a new author a day!
- It’s one thing to notice a trend. It’s another entirely to pick up on it, catalog the books that represent it, and post accordingly. I’d noticed in a vague disjointed way that there was a definite uptick in the number of picture books illustrated with photographs this year. Trust Travis Jonker to systematically go through and find every last livin’ lovin’ one in his The State of Photography Illustration in 2014 post. In his comment section I’ve added a couple others I’ve seen. Be sure to do the same!
- Since I don’t have school age kids yet I’m not in the school loop at the moment. So it was a BIG shock to me to see the child of a friend of mine having her First Day of Kindergarten picture taken this week. Really? In early August? With that in mind, this may seem a bit late but I care not. The melodic cadences of Jonathan Auxier can be heard here recommending truly fantastic summer children’s book fare. The man has fine fabulous taste.
- In other summer news I was pleased as punch to read about the Y’s Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program. You know summer slide? Well it’s good to see someone doing something about it. Check out the info. Check out the stats. Check out the folks trying to combat it.
- It’s interesting to read the recent PW article Middle Grade and YA: Where to Draw the Line? which takes the issue from a bookseller P.O.V. Naturally librarians have been struggling with this issue for years. I even conducted a panel at NYPL a couple years ago called Middle Grade Fiction: Surviving the YA Onslaught in which MG authors Rebecca Stead, N.D. Wilson (he’s everywhere!), Jeanne Birdsall, and Adam Gidwitz discussed the industry’s attempts to brand them as YA (you can hear the full incredibly painful and scratchy audio of the talk here). It’s a hot topic.
- This. This this this this this. By the way, and completely off-topic, how long until someone writes a YA novel called “This”? The sequel could be named “That”. You’re welcome, publishing industry.
- Harry Potter fan art is near and dear to my heart but in a pinch I’m happy to consider Harry Potter official cover art as well. They just released the new British covers (and high bloody time, sayeth the masses). They’re rather fabulous, with the sole flaw of never aging Harry. What poor kid wants to look the same age at 10 as he does at 17? Maybe it’s a wizard thing. Here’s one of the new jackets to chew on:
That might be my favorite Dumbledore to date.
- There are whole generations of children’s librarians that went through graduate school reading and learning about educator Kay E. Vandergrift. I was one of them, so I was quite sad to read of her recent passing. The PW obit for her is excellent, particularly the part that reads, “Vandergrift was one of the first professors to establish a significant Web presence, spearheading the use of the Internet as a teaching tool. Her website, a self-declared ‘means of sharing ideas and information with all those interested in literature for children and young adults,’ was considered an important resource for those working with children and linked to more than 500 other sites.” If you need to know your online children’s literary history, the story isn’t complete without Kay. I always hoped she’d get around to including a blog section, but what she had was impressive in its own right. Go take a gander.
- I don’t consider myself a chump but there are times when even I get so blinded by a seemingly odd fact on the internet that I eschew common sense and believe it to be correct. Case in point: The Detroit Tigers Dugout Librarian. Oh, how I wanted this to be true. Born in Kalamazoo, a town equidistant between Detroit and Chicago, my baseball loyalties have always been torn between the Tigers and the Cubs (clearly I love lost causes). So the idea of the Tigers having their own librarian . . . well, can you blame me for wanting to believe? I WANNA BEE-LIEVE!
- Amazon came up with a list of 100 children’s books to read. Amazon, I’ma gonna let you finish but the NYPL had the best 100 children’s book list of all time! Which . . . I wrote. . . . so . . . . yeah. No bias here or anything. *whistles to self*
- I’ve a new pet peeve. Wanna hear it? Of course you do! I just get a bit peeved when popular sites create these lists of children’s books and do absolutely no research whatsoever so that every book mentioned is something they themselves read as children. That’s why it’s notable when you see something like the remarkable Buzzfeed list 25 Contemporary Picture Books to Help Parents, Teachers, and Kids Talk About Diversity. They don’t lie! There are September 2014 releases here as well as a couple things that are at least 10 years old. It’s a nice mix, really, and a great selection of books. Thanks to Alexandria LaFaye for the link.
- So they’re called iPhone wallpapers? I never knew that. Neil Gaiman’s made a score of them based on his children’s books.
- Daily Image:
Maybe it’s just me but after seeing the literary benches cropping up in England I can’t help but think they make a LOT of sense. More so than painting a statue of a cow or a Peanuts character (can you tell I lived in Minneapolis once?). Here are two beautiful examples:
Wind the in the Willows
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Thanks to Stephanie Whelan for the link!