Fusenews: Packing, However, Can Wait
Well, it’s almost that time. We’re all gearing up to get ready to visit Boston for the Midwinter American Library Association Conference. I myself will be hopping a bus there sometime this coming Thursday afternoon. All plans have been formalized. Empty bags are packed for the filling. And I will be reporting, video blogging, tweeting, the whole nine yards. So look for some updates later in the week. I can’t say I’ll be laying on the V-blogging as heavily as I have in the past, but at the very least it should be serviceable. Say hi if you see me there!
You know what I love? Donuts. You know who also loves donuts? Mark Alan Stamaty, author/illustrator of Who Needs Donuts? You know who loves Who Needs Donuts? None other than Tom Nissley over at the blog Omnivoracious who recently created some rocking interview questions for Mr. Stamaty. The piece not only talks about Book #81 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll, but also discusses a book that I wish, I wish, I wish wish wish I could get my hands on. Sadly, Stamaty’s autobiographical Shake, Rattle & Turn That Noise Down!: How Elvis Shook Up Music, Me and Mom eludes my clutching fingers. If any of you out there have a copy, please please send it to me. I will reimburse your postage, I will. I want it so very badly. Please.
At the moment I am busy collecting votes for the 100 Best Middle Grade Fiction Chapter Books Poll (vote for your own!) and I’m seeing all kinds of titles, both familiar and new. One title that I remembered hearing about years ago (I think Phillip Pullman is a big fan) was The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay. American audiences may be unfamiliar with this classic piece of Australian children’s literature, and more’s the pity since it is apparently just the loveliest little book ever to come down the pike. The appropriately named Witty’s Blog draws some analogies between the book and the public domain. Delightful stuff. Many thanks to Jenny Schwartzberg for the link.
Want to see a good query letter in action? One that gets the attention of an editor and ends as a beautifully published book? Editor Cheryl Klein reprints the query letter of Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of 8th Grade Superzero, with annotations. It’s a lovely example of how to do a query letter right. And it makes for a rather good companion piece to my agent Stephen Barbara’s mock complaint in Publishers Weekly about the assault of well-written queries.
Two awards were announced recently that are well worth noting.
The Charlotte Zolotow Award is given annually for outstanding writing in a picture book for children in the birth through seven age range published in the United States in the preceding year. It is selected by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This year the winner is “What Can You Do with a Paleta?” by Carmen Tafolla, edited by Abigail Samoun and published in the United States in 2009 by Tricycle Press. The 2010 Zolotow Award committee named three Honor Books: “Birds,” written by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek edited by Virginia Duncan, and published by GreenwillowBooks / HarperCollins; “Pouch!” written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein, edited by Nancy Paulsen and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons / Penguin Group; and “Princess Hyacinth: (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated),” written by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Lane Smith, edited Anne Schwartz, and published by Schwartz & Wade Books / Random House Children’s Books. The 2010 Zolotow Award committee also cited four titles as Highly Commended: “Hello Baby!” written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Beach Lane / Simon & Schuster); “Ready for Anything!” written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza (G.P. Putnam’s Sons / Penguin Group); “Under the Snow,” written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Constance R. Bergum (Peachtree); and “Who Will I Be, Lord?” written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by Sean Qualls (Random House Children’s Books). Thanks to K.T. Horning for the news.
April Halprin Wayland and Stephane Jorisch, author and illustrator of New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story, Robin Friedman, author of The Importance of Wings, and Margarita Engle, author of Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba, are the 2010 winners of the prestigious Sydney Taylor Book Award.
Congrats to the winners, one and all!
As for merely being nominated, the 41st NAACP Image Award nominations were released. Did you know that they have a literary category? And for kids at that? Here are the nominees:
Outstanding Literary Work – Children
– "Child of the Civil Rights Movement" – Paula Young Shelton (Random House Children’s Books)
– "Negro Speaks of Rivers" – Langston Hughes (Author), E.B. Lewis (Illustrator) (Disney-Jump at the Sun/Disney Book Group)
– "Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change" – Michelle Cook (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
– "Peeny Butter Fudge" – Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
– "Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Toeshoe Trouble" – Whoopi Goldberg (Disney-Jump at the Sun/Disney Book Group)
Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens
– "Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice" – Phillip Hoose (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Farrar Straus and Giroux)
– "Just Another Hero" – Sharon Draper (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
– "Mare’s War" – Tanita S. Davis (Random House Children’s Books)
– "Michelle Obama: Meet the First Lady" – David Bergen Brophy (Collins-An Imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books)
– "Rock and the River" – Kekla Magoon (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
Speaking of awards, my fellow bloggers are tossing their own hats into the prediction ring. Over at Educating Alice, Monica speculates upon seven distinguished Newbery contenders while over at 100 Scope Notes Travis considers some real Caldecott possibilities. A nice follow-up to that is his re-jacketing of various Newbery contenders.
Sound the alarm bell! Hoist the mistmast! Batten down the hatches! (What the heck’s a mistmast?) Doesn’t matter because there’s a new blog on the horizon people. A new blog and I find it (imagine me stroking a white cat as I say this) amoooooosing. There is a fellow in Northern California. His name is Mike Jung. He has a site called Mike Jung’s Little Bloggy Wog, which right there contains language I can understand. Goofy language. He and Tara Lazar of the blog Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) have considered When You Reach Me in a review that is wholly original! I ain’t seen nothing like it before! My eye is on you, Jung and Lazar. I look forward to your books.
Don’t let people tell you otherwise. The real trend of 2010 (we’re 13 days in, which means I’m allowed to call a new trend) consists of authors and the child readers who don’t like their books. First there was James Kennedy and his teen critiquer. Now Kate Messner has a post called Why I’m thankful to Patrick (who did not love my book). As blog entries go, that’s an eyecatcher.
All right. Fess up. How many of you made a New Year’s resolution to start blogging? I know you did, and I’m pretty sure you did, but Macmillan too? Time to check out the MacKids blog, everybody. Yup. Seven cute little imprints all getting together to produce one blog. I like it as it, but it didn’t hurt matters that in this piece on Reka Simonsen it begins with an image of the wall above Reka’s desk that contains one piece of art I had a hand in. See that sideways toucan sitting on a pile of books? Jaime Temairik made that for me. The tubby little toucan is even on little bookplates that you can purchase.
Other people’s dining rooms are not interesting. Other people are not Mo Willems, though. And other people have not necessarily turned the walls of said dining rooms into blackboards. Willems shares a recent family coat-of-arms spree that occurred as of late.
If there’s one post I look forward to reading around this time of year, it’s the annual Chicken Spaghetti round-up of all the "Best" lists that have come out. You say you want to see a couple "best of" lists and children’s literature prizes for books published in 2009? Well honey, there is only one place to go, as I see it.
Audiobooks should always use their power for good instead of evil. Sometimes, though, it just doesn’t work out that way. Abby (the) Librarian considers two audiobooks. One works, one doesn’t. I hear that.
Kidsmomo is up to its usual tricks. This time, it’s children’s book Venn diagrams. Any post that contains the line, "Naturally, Aragorn would become club secretary" has my interest anyway. Check it out.
Watch out kids. First I speak at the Little Airplane Academy which "specializes in quality film & television programming for young children". Then I host a Children’s Literary Cafe discussing the adaptation of children’s picture books into television shows (which got a record turnout of 100+ attendees, so a big thank you to all my speakers). And now I’ve noticed that the aforementioned Little Airplane Academy is offering a very cool program that y’all should check out ASAP! For those of you interested in children’s books, it sounds like a must.
Why, ALA! Is that you? Last time I saw you in that old ratty website of yours you were looking a little long in the tooth. And is that a new website you have on? It seems like a vast improvement, dahling. So classy. Such a nice layout. You’ve been holding out on us all these years. Just nice to see you in a searchable format, that’s what I say. Kudos to you! Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
Speaking of new, there’s a new children’s imprint in town. FSG just handed the reins to Margaret Ferguson for her own Margaret Ferguson Books (debuting 2011). Boo-yah, as they say.
If I might be serious for a moment, this article from paidContent.org is worth reading. The title is "Closures and Layoffs Coming at Reed Business U.S. ; Sale Process Falls Flat, Again." Reed Business, I don’t need to tell you, owns SLJ as one of its titles. This blog is hosted by SLJ. So there is that.
We’re feeling low key today. Just a bookmark then.
Thanks to swiss miss for the link.
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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