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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

International Migratory Bird Day or Bye Bye, Birdie

MigratoryBirdDay

Those canny readers amongst you will notice immediately that the date of this post is all wrong.  What am I trying to pull here?  After all, International Migratory Bird Day (as every good schoolchild knows) is always held on the second Saturday in May.  Yet here I am on June 29th, saying unto you that […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2016: Summer Prediction Edition

LastStopMarket

The Summer Prediction edition of my Caldecott/Newbery ponderings is always a tricky beast.  If the spring edition is looking primarily at books coming out in the spring, summer, and early fall, then the summer edition is looking at almost the entire year. However, at this point I’m still relying more on buzz than the considered […]

We Are the Book Champions, My Friends

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Here’s how I blog. I sit around, twiddling my thumbs, waiting waiting waiting for someone else to write something on a topic that has been bubbling and percolating in my noggin.  Then, when they go that extra mile, I STRIKE!  Today’s example: Travis Jonker’s piece Where Do You Fall On The Book Critic/Book Champion Continuum?  […]

Let’s Put On a Show! The Introvert’s Dilemma

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The other day Monica Edinger writes to me, ” I hate performing in public and am far more comfortable shmoozing at dinners and lunches. You seem to be just the opposite.”  An interesting statement, to be sure.  For while I love me a good lunch and dinner shmooze, I certainly won’t pass up an opportunity […]

Cover Reveal: Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

CountingThyme

Folks sometimes ask me if I’ll ever do cover reveals of debuts.  It’s an interesting question.  Often the books that I’m doing cover reveals of are by authors or illustrators that I admire.  If I’m doing a review of someone new, how do I know they’re any great shakes?  I don’t, of course, but sometimes […]

Buttocks — Fiction

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Full credit (or blame, depending on how you look at it) goes to MK Eagle and Gretchen Kolderup on this one.  It’s a pretty simple post.  Hardly worth mentioning . . . except that at heart I think we’re all 10-year-olds.  And it’s completely librarian related, so I don’t even know if you’ll be as […]

Gary Soto, the Art of Not Writing for Children, and the Public Shame Theater

WhyIDontWrite

I was flipping through my most recent copy of Horn Book feeling pretty special since I’ve an article in there (“Apples to Elephants: Artists in Animation”) and when I get to the back I see a mention of a book I’ve never heard of before: Why I Don’t Write Children’s Literature by Gary Soto. If […]

Day of Dialog 2015: Putting the Chaotic Past Into Some Kind of Order

MiddleSchool1

Book Expo’s a funny beastie. For years it existed for the booksellers of America.  Librarians?  Sure, they could go but we weren’t exactly encouraged to attend.  We had our ALA Conferences and that was nice and well and good. But times, they change.  The internet appeared. The bloggers congealed (I’m trying to find a better […]

What Makes a Picture Book Mega-Hit?

BookWithNoPictures

It’s not that it’s impossible to predict the “next big thing” in children’s literature, but it’s also not exactly a hard science.  Indeed, whenever a publisher starts spending beaucoup de bucks on a given title (hardcover f&gs, a serious marketing campaign for a debut author, etc.) I cringe a bit.  They’ve made their bets and […]

Five Questions with Kids Comic Authors: Dan Santat!

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I’m so pleased to be participating in the Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour.  Today I’m happy to also announce that our interview is coming to us via the multi-talented Jorge Aguirre and Raphael Rosado (they of the books Giants Beware and this year’s Dragons Beware).  They’re coming over here to chat with a fairly well-known […]

In Search of the Elusive Lesbian Mom

MixedUpBerry

On a typical day at work I might be called upon to come up with a list of children’s books pertaining to one topic or another.  Recently I decided to pull together a GLBTQ list for grades K-3 and one for grades 4-8.  Easy peasy.  I know a lot of the books, both old and […]

What Are the Great Children’s Literature Writing Retreats?

Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop (OCCBWW)

This one’s for the writers, but could be of just as much use to those folks who want to be published authors and just haven’t gotten there yet.  In my time as a roving children’s librarian I’ve spoken at two different but enchanting writing retreats.  I should probably define my terms, though, so when I […]

When Illustrators Surprise You

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Brinton Turkle: Purveyor of Terror. For that statement to strike you funny you have to first be familiar with the collected works of a man that, I would argue, was the most successful Quaker author/illustrator in the business. Today I want to tackle the phenomenon of what happens when you discover a new book from […]

The Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala or I’m Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. Scieszka

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Subtlety was never my strong suit. And speaking of suits, how crazy is that one?  Yes, if you happened to be at this Monday’s 8th annual Children’s Choice Book Awards gala then you may have cast thine peepers on this understated little ensemble.  Twitter at the moment is vacillating between whether or not it belongs in […]

Ben Hatke and the One and Only Miracle Molly

MiracleMolly

I’ve always been a particular fan of author/illustrator/cartoonist Ben Hatke.  From the moment I first laid eyes on a little graphic novel by the name of Zita the Spacegirl, I was well and truly hooked.  Now Ben’s working on a couple different projects and he’s been making the internet rounds talking about them.  Today, here […]