Fusenews: Coals to Newcastle, Pearls Before Swine, and So On and Such
I must apologize to you for falling down on my regular Video Sundays. Saturday night I made the executive decision to rewatch Ghostbusters so as best to ascertain its relative awesomeness. Conclusion: The movie continues to rock. I was surprised to hear that the shots of the Ghostbusters in the stacks of my library were actually filmed at the L.A. Public Library and not NYPL, but at least the Rose Reading Room and exterior shots (with some seriously odd scaffolding) were authentic.
- Cybils time, Cybils time! Lovely lovely Cybils time! Yes if YOU would like to be a judge on a Cybils committee this year, now’s the time to sign on up. The Cybils are the only book awards given out by YA and children’s literary bloggers. They pick well and have good taste so if you’ve never served on a book committee and you blog, consider joining before August 31st. Woot!
- YA controversies. Can’t live with ’em, can’t . . . um. . . . anyway. In my bubble of children’s books it takes something particularly big and weird to break through and catch my attention. Big and weird is a good description of the controversy surrounding the Victoria Foyt Revealing Eden: Save the Pearls brouhaha. A lot of folks have said they won’t talk about it because it just gives the author more attention. I figure it pays to know what’s going on out there, if only on a basic level. If you haven’t been following (and this has been a source of conversation for a couple weeks now), the gist of the matter seems to be that a woman named Victoria Foyt self-published a book of YA speculative fiction that many consider to be racist. Complete with blackface YouTube video and a coals vs. pearls plot (yup) YA Highway collected the best links saying, “You may have noticed that we’ve ignored the controversy over Victoria Foyt’s Revealing Eden and “Save the Pearls” marketing campaign. Nicole M. Taylor’s explanation goes for us too– namely, we didn’t want to boost her signal. But Weird Tales magazine got involved, and N. K. Jemisin has a post worth reading about it.” I was particularly taken with the Shattersnipe recap as well.
- The Racine Public Library wants to collect all the Little Golden Books ever produced. If they reach their goal they should have Leonard Marcus (who wrote Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing, and Became an American Icon Along the Way) come in and give a talk. It just makes good sense. Thanks to AL Direct for the link!
- Am I the only one who read this Entertainment Weekly interview with Dav Pilkey and immediately tried to figure out who the best person for the role of Captain Underpants would be for the film? At first I was thinking Rob Corddry from The Daily Show n’ such, but then it came to me: Paul Giamatti. I looked him up and nothing appears to be on his slate for 2015 so . . . there you go. Problem solved.
- When I like to pretend to have lots of lovely money I look upon the Eric Carle Honors Auction with a practiced eye. I decide which piece I’d put in the living room (the Gabi Swiatkowska, NO DOUBT!) as opposed to the one that would hang over my bed (the Lane Smith). The nursery would have that Lucy Cousins, naturally. Including original art from books like Meet Danitra Brown, Mama Miti, and many more, you should definitely take a peek at all the art here. Feed your imagination if nothing else.
- Ah HA! I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. The film Return to Oz WAS brilliant all along!! Didn’t I tell you all? Didn’t I? I didn’t? Well I’m telling you now and so is the blog 366 Weird Movies (I never said it wasn’t odd) in the post The Three Fetishes: Transformation and Ethical Engagement in Walter Murch’s Return to Oz (1985). We had a discussion the other night as to whether or not the failure of the film was based in the fact that it was considered too scary for kids when it came out. Maybe so, but it stays with you, man. It stays.
- K.T. Horning’s article about Maurice Sendak The Naked Truth: Librarians Stood by Maurice Sendak, No Stranger to Controversy is great reading in and of itself. The rumor that librarians painted underwear on Mickey in In the Night Kitchen was something I too learned in library school. Horning investigates the truth behind the claim. Another element that caught my eye was the accompanying illustration by Sergio Ruzzier, an artist who received The Sendak Fellowship not too long before Sendak’s death. The piece says that, “By utter coincidence, he worked on his illustration for SLJ while staying at Sendak’s home, drawing at his desk with his German shepherd nearby.” Neat! You can read about Sergio’s experiences with Sendak here if you’re curious.
- I don’t know if you’re aware of Bronies. These are men who enjoy, possibly without irony, watching the new animated My Little Pony show on television these days. I’m not sure if John Farrier would label himself a brony, but certainly his Professional Assessment of Twilight Sparkle as a Librarian (Twilight Sparkle, as I am sure you all know, is the unicorn librarian of *checks sources* Equestria) shines. It’s actually good reading for MLIS students since it covers the basic requirements of a good librarian. Be sure to read the nitpicky comments as well. They’re almost as good as the article. Thanks to AL Direct for the link!
- Deathwatch 2012 continues unabated with the loss of Nina Bawden, author of the novel Carrie’s War amongst others. I encountered this book when I attempted to systematically read through the Phoenix Award winners (an award given out yearly by the Children’s Literature Association to hidden and forgotten literary gems). The other loss this week was Jerry Nelson, arguably my favorite Jim Henson puppeteer outside of Jim and Frank Oz. I had wondered by Jerry hadn’t participated in the recent Muppet Movie (I think David Goeltz was one of the very few original puppeteers in it). This tribute to Jerry in various videos is a lovely look at his many many characters over the years. It ends with this appropriate little video: my favorite song from Emett Otter’s Jugband Christmas (based on the Russell Hoban children’s book of the same name) sung by Jerry at Henson’s memorial service.
- This next one just goes to show that you never know. For years when folks asked me for a picture book of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer I’d tell them no such book existed. That it was just a television special and song. That surely I would know if such a thing had ever been published. Well . . . no. I wouldn’t know because back in 1939 there WAS a Rudolph book. One that is now back in print (and available through Ingram) and that you can BET every library in the country is going to want to get their hands on it. Honestly, I can’t wait to see it myself. Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link!
- Daily Image:
Who knew decaying books could be so lovely?
Thanks to AL Direct 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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