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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Historical Kids: What the HECK is Going On With Nonfiction Bios These Days?

Sacagawea

Maybe it’s Common Core.  Maybe not.  I’m not always quite certain how far to place the blame in these cases.  However you look at it, children’s nonfiction bios are getting weird these days.  In some ways it’s quite remarkable.  I’m the first one to say that nonfiction for kids is better now than it has [...]

Books to Films – Coming Soon So Be Prepared!

Boxtrolls

The advantage of having a bookstore in the library is when it has a tendency towards brilliance.  Take this recent list the employees of the Schwarzman Building of NYPL came up with.  I can take no credit for this.  It’s just smart stuff (and very useful for my ordering as well).  With mild tweaks on [...]

Film Review: The Giver

Giver1

[SPOILER ALERT: This whole review pretty gives away every plot point in both the book and film versions of The Giver.  Abandon ship all ye who wish to remain surprised.] On Sunday night I had an extraordinary experience.  I was sitting in a theater, just about to watch Guardians of the Galaxy, and seeing what [...]

The State of Children’s Literary Blogs Today (Prepare to Update Your Blogroll)

sljcover

As you may or may not have heard the offices of School Library Journal moved/are moving to a new location here in NYC.  As such, a fair number of folks have been cleaning house.  One such person wrote me an email letting me know that they had extra copies of “my” SLJ issue and they [...]

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . .

WildThings

And by “you’ve all” I mean “me”. Yes, today marks the official release of my book co-written with Julie Danielson and Peter Sieruta, Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature!!  To celebrate we’re engaged in a blog tour.  Head on over to 100 Scope Notes for our first post in which we are grilled [...]

Wikipedia, Amelia Bedelia, and Our Responsibility Regarding Online Sources

AmeliaBedeliaWiki

When I was a children’s librarian with NYPL’s Children’s Center at 42nd Street I conducted a lot of class visits with older kids (ages 9-12, usually).  Sometimes these would be groups of kids learning how to do research using the library’s resources.  For them I covered the usual databases and image library stuff, but also [...]

Theatrical Reviews: The Snow Queen

SnowQueenMusical

I was trying to remember the last theater review I wrote for this site.  At first I thought it might be the review I did way way back in the day for the staged adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline where the main character was played by a heavyset middle aged woman (it worked quite well, [...]

Cover Reveal: The Whisper by Aaron Starmer

Whisper

When I originally read The Riverman by Aaron Starmer this year it blew me away. I couldn’t think of anything to really compare it to. Entirely original, wonderful and strange, it has remained quite clear in my memory ever since. Yet I was shocked when I learned that it was just the first in a [...]

The Scourge of Upside Down Knitting

Hereville-sequence

When you grow up with a mother who is a knitter, there are certain facts in life that you simply have to accept.  Knitting all the time, everywhere, is the norm.  A bookshelf full of different kinds of yarn is not weird.  Fiber Fests are de rigeur and knowing the difference between a gossip wheel [...]

The True, the Cut, the Unedited . . .

WildThings

So as I may have mentioned there’s a l’il ole book of mine coming out on August 5th by the name of Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature.  Co-written with Jules Danielson (of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast) and the late great Peter Sieruta (Collecting Children’s Books) it’s a peek into the stories [...]

Sure #WeNeedDiverseBooks but don’t forget #WeNeedMoreWalterDeanMyerses too

walterdeanmyers

Like everyone I was shocked and saddened by the announcement that author Walter Dean Myers had recently passed away.  The first National Ambassador of Children’s Literature to leave us, there is little to say about his life that hasn’t been said by others far more eloquently than I in the last 24 hours.  However, I [...]

Just Walk Away: Authors and Illustrators Who Do

OfficerBuckle

I was perusing the old Top 100 Picture Books and Top 100 Chapter Books polls of yore (still my most popular posts, even after all these years) when a thought occurred.  Looking at the list you can see a lot of folks who are still working to this day.  Your Mo Willemses.  Your Eric Carles.  [...]

Deconstructing Daniel Tiger or Why Children’s Programming Is Freaking Me Out, Man

LadyElaine1

Today we deviate slightly from our usual rounds into the world of children’s literature to look at children’s television programming in the early 21st century.  Put another way, I have a new baby and a three-year-old so this is about the level of literary criticism I’m capable of today.  You’ll have to bear with me. [...]

2014 Quaker Books for Quaker Kids

ThyFriendObadiah

So I’m having lunch with a fellow from the entertainment industry the other day and by some quirk of conversation we begin discussing Quakerism.  I attending a Quaker liberal arts college called Earlham (“Fight! Fight! Inner light! Kill, Quakers, Kill!”) and he, I believe, was raised Quaker.  And since the focus of everything in my [...]

Posthu-must we?*

GoodnightSongs

I was listening to a Pop Culture Happy Hour show the other day when the topic turned to posthumous works published after a creator’s death.  When is it okay to raid a dead author or illustrator’s drawers for unpublished material? Is it ever okay?  And is there a significant difference between works that someone finished [...]