I'm taking a stab at this, having seen it on A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy, who in turn saw it on Semicolon. I hereby solemly swear in the coming year the following:
I'm taking a stab at this, having seen it on A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy, who in turn saw it on Semicolon. I hereby solemly swear in the coming year the following:
So my trolling of kidlit websites has yielded a couple goodies here and there. I'm itching to get back in the reviewing game, so we'll see how that goes this coming week. Until then, Children's Illustration has been uniquely helpful in terms of interesting tidbits out there. Some things mentioned recently that amused me include:
Along the same lines as Kiddie Record King is also a website containing old comics from the past. It's a great project that takes comics that haven't been fully appreciated and digitizes them for public consumption. Says the site:
Understandably, a publisher would be hesitant to take on the huge financial risk of publishing an obscure title or cartoonist, but digital reproduction offers no risk at all and allows for a terrific means of restoring, preserving, and making available again the vast amounts of material that have been unseen and unappreciated for far too long.
Really beautiful. Hopefully they'll get a proper printing with support of this site.
Thanks to Sandbox for the second link.
Fans of Bookseller Chick's blog will discover that shortly before Christmas Day they received word that her store will be closing soon. As the daughter of a woman who worked in Kalamazoo's oldest independent bookstore, I know all too well the pain of closing a beloved location. Bookseller Chick is the only bookseller blog I read at the moment. She'll continue to post, fortunately, but it's certainly a loss.
I would be amiss if I did not mention my favorite Mock Newbery discussion of them all. When I was but a dinky MLIS student working for my degree, I participated in Gail Nordstrom's St. Paul/Minneapolis/Stillwater Mock Newbery/Caldecott discussion and had quite a good time doing so. As I recall, anyone could participate, but few knew about it. So if you happen to be living in the Twin Cities area and wish to get down and dirty with your own Mock Schtoof, this would be the place to go. Their reading list isn't too shabby either.
Nancy Pearl has a wiki.
. . . you have to give the man credit when it comes to fiction that isn't Harry Potter. Now I've always felt that Mr. Bloom's sneering dismissal of HP was the literary snob equivalent of those evangelicals who wish to burn the boy wizard. If it's popular it must be populist, or something along those lines. But his defense of Little, Big is to his credit. So well done there, I guess.
A person receives an advanced reader's copy of a book in the mail. They remove the book from its package, take a gander at it, and lo and behold there sits a letter inside the front cover. It's a pitch letter, explaining why you should read this book and how this magnificent title fits in to the general scheme of the universe. I never really thought much about these letters before, but a recent Galleycat piece asks Do Reviewers Care About the Pitch Letter? Well, do they? Punk?
What's a Saturday without a little NRA funded graphic novel news?
It's not too dissimilar from when you get back from Winter Vacation during college only to find that hardly any of your friends are around to talk to. Some bloggers are updating these days, but a lot of the regulars are off galavanting who-knows-where. So where does that leave my kiddie lit news items? In the lurch, that's where.
I'm back! Didja miss me? Didja even notice I was gone? No?
"When I was working on The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins I was bitten by a goose in the park where the dinosaurs still stand in London. A bookseller gave me this goose puppet in honor of that somewhat painful incident."So here we have a children's literary goose with a fine pedigree that is just PERFECT for playing Saracen to my Mosca in future booktalks. I couldn't be more pleased. I spent all of yesterday cuddling my (which is to say, Donnell's) new toy. Should any of you care to stop by my library, I'll be happy to show it to you. Yay, Brian Selznick!
Hide your women! The robots are here! Or, to be more precise, they're at Chicago State University where mechanical drones are replacing clerks in terms of shelving books. The uninformed Wired Magazine, who seems to believe that all that librarians do all day is shelve shelve shelve, has reported accordingly and offers us these enticing numbers.
(2 hours to retrieve 5 books?)
Robotic Librarians by the Numbers
- Top speed of CSU’s robotic librarians: 7 mph
- Average time for a robot to retrieve five books: 2.5 minutes
- Average time for a student to retrieve five books: 2 hours
- Capacity of CSU’s high-density storage: 800,000 volumes
- Robots making out in the stacks: 0
Martin Handford would be turning in his grave. If he were dead, that is. Apparently the surprise bestseller of the past British Christmas season is none other than a political play on the old Where's Waldo? riff entitled Where's Bin Laden?.
I've grown very fond of the Children's Illustration blog as run by illustrator Julie Fromme Fortenberry (and how awesome a name is that?) as the months have gone by. Her posts are always interesting, and always touch on topics that no one else is bringing up. Case in point, her recent posting simply entitled Illustrators with Umlauts. Nuff said. And extra points for directing public attention to the entirely charming Anthony and the Girls.
Off-topic madness time.
Somebody slip J.L. Bell a mickey. Most of us veg out during the holidays and let our blogs go to pot. Does he follow suit? No, sir. No, instead he hands us piece after piece of interesting tidbits. A Harry Potter forecast. Info on the First International Children's Literature Conference In India. M.T. Anderson and the Case of the Missing Plots. It's bloody embarrassing. I thought I might get some sort of head start over my fellows now that I've come back. Not much hope of that now, is there?
I'm simply awful. When was the last time I mentioned the Cybils? Well, we are in the high drama period now. The final days of sorting through all the nominees to get to the top five. In the Middle Grade Fiction committee, my group has settled on three definites and we're currently trying to winnow down the final two. Once we hear from a remaining member, all will be clear. And I assure you that when we've settled on the top five, you, my darlings, will be the first to know. Till then, fingernails are rapidly being chawed down to the bone.
I leave for a couple of days and just look what happens! One of the shining stars of kiddie lit ends up dead. Naughty naughty. What do you think is going to happen when I go to ALA? Are we going to find Maurice Sendak or Tana Hoban pushing up the daisies? What's that you say? Tana Hoban is also dead? Well what about Theodore Taylor? WHAT? Look here, my lovelies, we lost many fine and outstanding souls this year (Ernestine Gilbreth Carey comes to mind). Enough is enough. No one else is allowed to die, got it?
Hi. My name is Betsy, and I'm a manga snob.
Why see the movie when you can read a delightful review of this bit of treacle firsthand? Here is the list of things that reviewer Scott Weinberg does NOT want to see in a movie ever again.
And it gets better.
A wizened old mentor teaching a young pupil to let something "flow" through him. A scene in which someone rides the back of a dragon while whooping and cheering. A young hero rushing off to save his friends despite being warned that such actions spell d-o-o-m. An explanation from a henchman to a villain detailing why he came back empty-handed.
When an author tries to get out of the soul-damning machinations of publicity, they're often looked upon as batty or deranged. Remember when Jonathan Franzen didn't want The Corrections to be an Oprah book of the month? People just couldn't wrap their heads around that one. Less publicized is the case of British children's author George Walker. When his book Tales From an Airfield started doing well in bookstores, Amazon.co.uk picked it up against his wishes.
"What they are actually doing is getting the independents to do their market research," said Mr Walker, a passionate advocate of independents. "When a book gets a certain amount of attention, they will attempt to stock it and cut the independents out. Not with my book!"Wow. That is one amazing guy. He's so dedicated to independent bookstores that he'll tell the biggest book retailer out there where they can shove their "help". He even promotes a British independent bookstore website. I think I'm in love. If any American publishers would care to pick up his book I'd be happy to buy the first 100,000 copies or so just to help get it off the ground.
I don't often have to request a review copy of a book from a publisher these days. Just the same, the few times I try to do so I often run into the old "Fax a copy of your request on company letterhead" statement on the website. It's a bit of a bother, as my blog hasn't quite nailed down our, er, company letterhead as of yet. Perhaps I'll glue some fuses to a sheet of stationary. But now Ron Lieber with the Wall Street Journal states what many of us have only been thinking.
Why, in late 2006, must reporters seeking review copies fax their request on company letterhead? Is fraud really so rampant that you can't accept an email suffix like @wsj.com or @time.com as proof that someone works where they say they work? Or is it not possible to take two seconds to Google somebody's name to check them out if it's unfamiliar?Galleycat has the link. And they're just as curious as to why publishers are so firmly attached to this somewhat out-of-date requirement, although more from the blogger perspective. I wonder as well.
Remember remember the 15th of .... January (note to self: doesn't rhyme).
It's a rather good idea. In the wake of Time Magazine making YOU the person of the year (this particular YOU would like to thank all the other YOUs she's known throughout the years) The Syntax of Things has come up with an Underrated Writers 2006 list. And as you might imagine, it's not interested in underrated children's writers. If I had the power to do so (power = Web know-how) I'd create a kidlit version of this list and find some contributers of my own to suggest authors. Maybe next year, kids. Maybe next year.
I, personally, don't have a problem reading children's books on the subway (I really only get funny looks if I'm delving into my picture book stash). Still, there's always this undercurrent present in the kid book community that suggests that if you read them you're really not indulging in real a.k.a. adult literature. Tired of going to cocktail parties only to find that your fellow guests just don't get how cool the Bartimeaus trilogy is? Ursula LeGuin to the rescue. In her article Imaginary Friends published in the New Statesman, Ms. LeGuin defends the fantasy genre. One bon mot goes so far as to say that for adults that pooh-pooh fantasy, "There should be a word - 'maturismo', like 'machismo'? - for the anxious savagery of the intellectual who thinks his adulthood has been impugned." Sock it to 'em, lady!
Realism comes in three separate age categories, fully recognised by publishers. Didactic, explanatory, practical and reassuring, realistic fiction for young children hasn't much to offer people who've already learned about dump trucks, vaccinations and why Heather has two mommies. Realistic "Young Adult" novels tend to focus tightly on situations and problems of little interest to anyone outside that age group.Just as few adults read fantasy when they cross into maturity, so too do I suspect that Ms. LeGuin hasn't gotten her hands on any realistic children or YA novels written in the last ten years. How funny that she couldn't defend one form of fiction without beating down another.
Two items regarding Coraline in all its many shapes and forms.
Hot topic! Hot hot hot topic!
Care for a meme? I found this one at Confessions of a Bibliovore and figured that if Kids Lit was participating then I would too.
The Advanced Search page of lib-web-cats is designed to help identify libraries according to the library automation system they use, collection size, and affiliations.I found this in my rounds and thought it might be of interest to you. Basically you can search for library collections all over the country, if that happens to be your wont, by size and affiliations. It would be heavenly if you could limit your searches to children's collections and where the best ones are, but as of yet the site doesn't allow for that search term. If your library system has not submitted its information, consider doing so. The lib-web-cat is run by Marshall Breeding, the "Director for Innovative Technologies and Research for the Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt University", so it's on the up-and-up.
I heard a month or so ago about the spiffy little machine that could print, align, mill (mill?), glue and bind a book in seven minutes for your instant reading needs, but I hadn't given it much thought. Then I found out that New York Public Library is getting their very own Espresso machine (that's what they're called) in February.
Christmas is coming early this year.
Once you read it you'll understand why my brother said, upon hearing it, "So much for Harry Potter and the Happy Bunnies".1. Go to http://www.jkrowling.com and choose the graphic interface (not text-only).2. On the main page, click on the eraser. This will take you to a room with a door.3. Click on the door in the mirror: It will open, revealing a Christmas tree.4. Click on the top of the main door: A wreath will appear.5. Click on the mirror above the Christmas-tree door: Garlands will appear.6. Click on the cobwebs: They will disappear.7. Click on the second chime from the right: It will turn gold.8. Drag the golden chime and it will become a key. Insert it into the lock, and the door will open.9. Click on the present, and it will unwrap.10. Click on the page you can see sitting inside the present. A game of "Hangman" will open.
Though a release date has not been announced, the name announcement for the sixth book took place on June 29, 2004, with the book published on July 16, 2005. So if that is a precedent, then [the latest book] should be published approximately 383 days later, which would be January 8, 2008. We'll see if that prediction bears out...Make of it what you will.
When all is said and done and the Newbery is picked and a certain someone I know is able once more to read books made in nations other than her own, that same someone is going to have a lot of books on her hands. A lot. So what does one do with a lot of books?
This shows you how behind the times I am. I never noticed that The Dirty Cowboy (illustrated by the illustrious Adam Rex) was banned from a southern Texas elementary school by the name of W.C. Andrews Elementary. Now fess up, people. Who just read that sentence and misread the name of the school as V.C. Andrews Elementary? I can't be alone in this.
Remember that Encyclopedia Brown where a kid finds a huge pile of ambergris on the beach but when they go back it's gone and it's up to Encyclopedia Brown to track down Bugs Meaney and make him give it up? Do ya, do ya, do ya?
I mean no offense.
Y'all may have noticed the multiple articles out there discussing the sudden influx of "adult" pop-up books on the market today. To what do we owe this trend? Well, according to this article
"Pop-ups appeal to adults because it allows them to revert back to their childhood experiences with things that amaze them. When an adult's eyes light up when turning the page of a pop-up, I know they've become kids again."No one who has ever picked up a Robert Sabuda or Matthew Reinhart book would disagree. The Boston Globe weighs in on the matter and gives some nice attention to the books recently published. I took issue with the mention of that gawdawful Hitchcock book, but appreciated that it was able to say, "Coming next year: 'The Pop-up Encyclopedia of Star Wars,' 'The Chronicles of Narnia,' and a sequel to the celebrity meltdowns book."
This pans out nicely. The following article came out a mere day or two after I brought some attention to the New York Review of Books blog. From the Washington Post, reporter Bob Thompson sheds some much needed light on the wonders of reprinting lost treasures. I found this statement particularly spot on.
And whatever the numbers, the books' reappearance makes booksellers and buyers happy -- reversing, in a tiny but symbolic way, the odious publishing trend toward keeping books in print for shorter and shorter periods of time.It has inspired me to add a little link section at the side of my blog entitled BRING IT BACK!!! They're my little treasures. Let me know if they hit your bookstore shelves anytime soon.
Librarians aren't the most adventurous souls. We might scale a mountain or fight wild wildebeasties in the buff, but change even the slightest period or exclamation point in a children's book we love and watch the fur fly.
Ah. Good. I haven't had a chance to link to Gotta Book in a while.
The fact that the film rights to Peter Pan In Scarlet have been sold won't raise too many eyebrows. After the intensive publicity campaign that book received, it would have been pretty shocking if someone hadn't plucked it for a big-screen adaptation. But who did this plucking? Not Hollywood.
The property will be developed by the U.K. Film Council, which aims to promote British moviemaking; BBC Films, the movie arm of state broadcaster BBC; and Headline Pictures, a company co-founded by former BBC executive Mark Shivas.This, to my mind, is for the best. However, I wouldn't mind seeing Jason Isaacs getting a little more Pan-related work with this newest venture. Woof.
I heard about that nationwide Charlotte's Web reading that was being in conjunction with the film. As such, I had no opinions on it one way or another. But then not every blogger is as laissez-faire on the topic. Behold 50 Books and its piece Books: Is Any Reading Good Reading? No one wants to shill for corporations but I have been inordinately pleased by how quickly my copies of Charlotte have been flying off the shelves. Not all movies have this effect either. Our books didn't disappear half as quickly for Lassie and Flicka. Remember those films? No? Well there you go.
Sorry to quote Europe on you. I wanted something appropriately out-of-date AND uncool to preface this.
Hm. Not much to post today. So what better excuse need I have to drag this from my Wait Until Christmas files? Woe betide my readers when I like something. Fly By Night? I'll run that topic into the ground and dance a tarantella on the dust (re: one of my postings a little farther down). Emmet Otter? Baby, there's nothing I won't do to promote that little bit of down home eccentricity. For the Riverbottom Nightmare Band fans amongst you, enjoy.
I try to steer clear from YA topics in general. Not that I don't like Young Adult literature or anything. It's just that I have enough work cut out for me with all the free floating children's literary info in the world. Teen lit would serve to push me over the edge entirely, I should think.
My blogroll is fairly humming with all the lovely booksellers, librarians, authors, illustrators, and editors out there. Still, I've always felt that there was something missing. A certain je ne sais quoi, if you will. Where, oh where, are all the Executive Director of The Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC) blogs out there?
It seems a pity. Right now I've the latest Rick Riordan book in his Lightening Thief series just ah-sitting pretty on my desk at work. I refuse to read it until I've read any of the books that came before, yet I will not allow myself to glance at books one or two until the Newbery is over and done with. In the meantime, I'm certain that there are kids out there dying to get their cute little paws on this top-notch object. So to assuage my guilt I direct you to Mr. Riordan's website. Scroll down a little and you can hear the man himself read the first chapter of The Titan's Curse. How sweet would it be if other authors followed his lead? J.K. Rowling reading the first chapter of the last Harry Potter book would be a truly excellent thing, don't you think?
You can preach and preach till your voice is hoarse and people tune you out as easily as they would white noise, but when vindication comes your way all you can remember is how sweet it is. Consider this a roundabout way of me saying how happy I am to see that Oz and Ends has recently finished and enjoyed Fly By Night. YESSSSSS! How sweet it is. Who else hasn't read it?
The good people at Drawn can explain what this is far better than I can.
... the “Where the Wild Things Are” CG test from 1983. It featured John Lasseter’s (and Glen Keane’s) hand animated characters on 3D computer backgrounds done by MAGI Synthevision. Disney dropped the project, but both Lasseter and LucasFilm saw the potential of this new medium. John was hired by LucasFilm (later named Pixar) soon afterwards and, well...you know the rest.
When the byline of an NPR piece is mildly insulting, you have to wonder from whence this curmudgeonly wind blows.
Happy Feet is just one of a string of successful feature films aimed at children. Why are so many movies being made for young audiences? Is quality declining as a result?Yes. Obviously when children have a choice of movies to pick and choose between, quality suffers. Best that we give them Barnyard this year and then wait 6 months before another film of comparable quality comes along.
It won't dethrone Unshelved anytime soon, but for those of you inclined to pepper your desktops with Internet links, you may be pleased to hear that yet another library-based comic strip has entered the arena. Turn the Page is low-tech, but for members of my profession it is bound to be read voraciously. Or, as the Unshelved mavens put it, "Soon all comic strips will be set in libraries."
I'd heard about this Nancy Drew movie trailer on the child_lit listserv but only got around to watching it now.
In general, filmed Nancys have been more feminine than their print counterparts. Ilana Nash devotes a chapter of her _American Sweethearts_ to an excellent analysis of the changes between the series and the Warner Brothers movies and the way they weakened Nancy's character. The 1970s TV series didn't stop with just mangling Nancy, but also managed to conflate Bess and George into one person.I wonder if Borge/Gess was blond.
I've talked on and off about cover design and the impact a good or bad cover can have on children's book sales. Until this moment, however, I've never really considered how the cover of a children's graphic novel can help or hurt its presentation. So once again today we turn to the ever informative Drawn. They've a piece entitled Cover Design: Bone that dissects various Bone related covers over the years through various reprintings. The general consensus by the end is that Scholastic's current covers are, by and large, well thought out, eye-catching, and impossible to resist when they're sitting on a library shelf. They're the best of the lot. And I can personally attest to the fact that when you give these books the proper presentation, they disappear off the graphic novel shelf within minutes. Scholastic's doing something right here, and I hope the rest of the publishing world is taking note.
A big thank you is going out to A Different Stripe for inclusion on their blogroll. I posted some information about the site last week, but hadn't expected them to take any notice. Additional thanks to them for making the blogroll alphabetical and for counting the "A" in "A Fuse #8 Production". I love it when people do that.
There's a lovely little ode to everyone's favorite gun-wielding boy reporter in the article Tintin: One of the 20th Century's Great Heroes. Agree or disagree, the piece was inspired by Paris's Pompidou Centre and their current exhibit honoring Herge himself. Enthusiasts of Tintin will appreciate Nicholas Lezard's approach to this most popular character. Of course, you have to not mind the occasional heady sentence like,
Just as Haddock and Tintin combine to form a fully-rounded view of the world, so Asterix represents, in its burgeoning comedy, the Dionysian approach as against Hergé's more austere, Apollonian line.Me like Tintin and Asterix too.
I know for a fact that some of you out there are coming to NYC for the holiday season. As you enter this noble burg, however, I will be high-tailing it to Kalamazoo, Michigan for my own private Yuletide soiree.
What's better than the best book of the year? The best book of the year's cheesy online computer game. Low-tech? You betcha. But name me one other title where you get to lug around a homicidal goose. I'm suffering from the mild shock I received when I realized I'd not seen this before.
Those THE END OF THE BOOK IS NEAR proselytizers haven't been raising their voices lately much, have they? One would think they've either run out of steam or, not entering any libraries or bookstores, think they've won.