Fusenews: We’re Going on a Blog Hunt. We’re Gonna Quote a Big One!
Justification! Sweet glorious justification! Last year I cooed and ooed and went seven kinds of gaga over the version of Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat that was illustrated by Stephane Jorisch. But it didn’t really catch on like I wanted it too. That made me feel sad. But guess what? Canada’s Governor General Literary Awards were just handed out on Tuesday and who who who just won the Children’s Illustration Award? You got it. Seriously, y’all should see this book. One of the most amusing interpretations of that old poem I’ve seen in years. Thanks to Scott Robins of Kids Can Press for the heads up.
Meh, makes the dictionary. Wonderful! Now I can use it with impunity. Thanks to Bookninja for the link.
Sort of a fascinating piece on children’s literature is up and running at First Things: The Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life . In the piece Children’s Books: Lost and Found the text is prone to sentences like this one about Beatrix Potter: "nobody actually reads her; we all somehow only reread her." Then author Joseph Bottum launches into a takedown of everything from Swiss Family Robinson to Little Women, almost immediately wonders if his dislike of LW is warranted (it ain’t). He then doubles back with a history of the genre, turning about yet once more to pull no punches on authors and titles he finds overrated. I am always fond of strident children’s literary opinions, even if they clash with my own, and this fellow has them in spades. This is excellent reading for when you have the time. Thanks to Educating Alice for the link.
No one’s really talking about it in the children’s literary sphere, but there was a great piece in last Sunday’s New York Times that touched upon a forbidding subject. Essentially, "book reviews that any author worth his salt knows are unjustifiably enthusiastic." Author Joe Queenan is talking about cases where you, the author, receive a glowing review that loves you, but doesn’t feel right. "Authors know that even if one reviewer hates a book, the next 10 will roll over like pooches and insist it’s not only incandescent but luminous, too." This is very heartening. That means that if I write a critical review I don’t have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings. I think that this situation extends to children’s book blogger reviewers quite nicely. The piece is a magnificent cataloging of review-ready comparisons and exhaultations which we must all be quite careful to avoid. Too bad. I was really hoping to say someday that a writer knew how to, "write like Charlotte Bronte on acid." Some other time. Thanks to Bookninja for the link.
As a child I spent a significant amount of time and brainpower wishing that adult characters on my TV shows, comic books, and works of literature would hook up (which, to my five-year-old brain, naturally meant marriage). Alison Morris is playing a similar game over at ShelfTalker with the question "Put yourself in the role of literary matchmaker: What two characters, from two different books, would you pair with one another?" She suggests Hermione Granger and Encyclopedia Brown, but there are so many more possibilities. Check out the comments. I was particularly taken with this one by Andrew Karre: "Adam/Paul from Cormier’s I AM THE CHEESE and Aslaug Datter from MADAPPLE. Then back away slowly."
But will they play in Peoria? The Forbes Library in Northhampton, MA has gone the extra step. They’ve started circulating a ukulele. Walter over at The Monkey Speaks is understandably very excited upon learning this news. He suggests providing programs that teach the kids to play. He also wonders how well this would work in a large library system. I have to admit, I wondered the same thing. But you might get to hear a librarian yell, "No ukulele playing in the library!" and that would be incredibly swell. Thanks to Walter for the link.
The usual spate of wonderfulness continues unabated over at Golden Age Comic Book Stories. This most recent offering has included The Face in the Pool: A Faerie Tale by J Allen St John (Mr. Door Tree writes, " (the only book I’m aware of written and illustrated by St John )" and this fabulous image from Princess Pourquoi.
Speaking of great illustrators, unbeknownst to me, Jules Feiffer’s been drawing cute little lions on behalf of my children’s room. Check out this flyer which I saw for the first time yesterday. Awww.
Jane Yolen has been writing in her online journal a kind of how-to on creating a picture book for kids. It’s interesting stuff. She discusses the creation of a Ben Franklin book called The Leather Apron Club (good title). Unfortunately her online journal doesn’t allow me to link to individual pieces, so you’ll need to skip over the more recent entry and find the one entitled "Interstitial Moment: 1 of 3 on Writing A Picture Book ".
Many thanks to Crooked House for the find.
Filed under: Fusenews
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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