Fusenews: The bumps on the tongue just add insult to injury
Good morning, campers! Are we ironing out the last of the holiday season from our socks? Are we eyeing our decorations with a jaded eye? Well, wonderful news! 2016 is on the horizon and I bring you news of the peppy variety. Packed deep in snow, no less, since I appear to be living in ice storm land at the moment.
- First up, I wrote a piece a year or two ago for a periodical and then never had it published. All that has changed thanks to the delightful online children’s literature publication, The Read Quarterly. My piece The Last Taboo: What Interactive Print Says About the Digital Revolution is available for your reading, whenever you’d like to give it a gander.
- Two awards to celebrate today. First up, you may be aware that over in Britain they did away with their beloved Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize. Apparently there will be a new Dahl prize in the near future and they didn’t want to confuse it with this other one. Fortunately, there’s a new funny lit prize and it’s called The Laugh Out Loud Award or, for short, The Lollies. Michael Rosen is, as ever, involved. Attention! Britain? The representative from Illinois would like to request that America be allowed Lollies of our own. We could change the name slightly to The ROFLs, but that sounds slightly perverse when you say it out loud. In any case, funny awards here, please.
- The other award is the recent unveiling of the latest winners of the 2015 Arab American Book Award (sponsored by the Arab American National Museum) given in the Children/Young Adult category. The winner, I’m happy to say, is The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye (Greenwillow Press). Honorable Mention was awarded to The Olive Tree by Elsa Marston and illustrated by Claire Ewart (Wisdom Tales Press). Well done, one and all!
- Insufficiently happy by today’s news thus far? Okay. Try this. They’ve turned some of the Bad Kitty books into a play and you Bay Area lucky ducks get to see it. Playwright Min Kahng, who also did a musical adaptation of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon amongst other things, is interviewed here. As for Bad Kitty herself, I like her looks:
- Other me stuff. I helped contribute to Brightly’s list of The 50 Best Books for 7- and 8-year-olds. A lot of old favorites are on that one. Anna Hibiscus. Rickshaw Girl. The Penderwicks. And new ones like Lola Levine and Grandfather Gandhi. Worth looking at.
- Brightly also came up with 2015’s Biggest Moments in Children’s and YA Literature. A good list, though I would rewrite the title slightly to say instead that it’s more accurately “2015’s Biggest Controversy-Free Moments in Children’s and YA Literature”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
A Rita Williams-Garcia book has people talking, but it may not be the book you first think of. How many of you read her new picture book Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street? Well a recent article about the actual boys who dance the streets of New Orleans says that Rita’s book has gotten people to talking. The subheading “Depicting happy children” sounds familiar in light of the conversations surrounding A Fine Dessert as well, though the context is different.
- Something to warm the cold cockles of your heart. I’ll just let the title of the piece speak for itself. Award-winning Canadian picture book a gift for every Syrian refugee family. The book in question? The magnificent Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith. Thanks to Minh Le for the link.
- Aw, heck. One more. Tis the season. From The Washington Post: First Book mixes market forces and philanthropy to help poor children. I love that they picked up Boats for Papa as one of their titles. Clearly they have excellent taste.
- Daily Image:
I saw the new Star Wars movie, loved it, and was listening to a recent episode of the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour when they mentioned the worst Star Wars merchandising in existence. There are many items that could fit the bill (look up the Slave Leia perfume or the C3PO tape dispenser, if you doubt me) but the unqualified winner was so terrible sounding that I honestly didn’t believe that it existed. This has nothing to do with children’s literature in any way, shape, or form. I just wanted to give you a couple new nightmares tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, the Jar Jar Binks lollipop. Sharp-eyed spotters may be able to see why it may be considered far and away the worst marketing of all time.
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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