Fusenews: Born and raised in South Detroit . . .
This blog has spoiled me beyond all hope or recognition. Over the years I’ve used it to find nannies, to get books re-published, and now it has solved a mystery that lay dormant for years. Back in November of 2009 I decided I wanted to track down a book from my childhood. Writing stumpers into the internet ether is usually rather pointless and the post Thanksgiving: The Ernestine Mystery was no exception. So imagine my surprise when reader Desiree Preston wrote me the following note this week:
“Speaking of happy childhood memories, I was able to track down what is for sure the book I was looking for when I read you article at https://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2009/11/26/thanksgiving-the-ernestine-mystery/#comment-4765. I don’t know if it is really the one you were looking for, but I thought I’d let you know. It is called Good Old Ernie by Jerry Mallett. Shout out to my second grade teacher, Judy Gomoluch, who is still good friends with my fourth grade teacher Mary Kain, and saw and answered my Facebook post.”
Could this be true? Jerry Mallett? So I tracked down the cover and lo and behold . . .
That’s it, people. I can’t believe it. After seven years the mystery is solved. Let that be a lesson to you, kids. DON’T STOP BELIEVING! HOLD ONTO THAT FEEEEEEEELING . . . .
So what else is going on in the wild and wonderful world of children’s literature? Well, since I’m already talking about Thanksgiving, it’s not much of a stretch to mention Christmas as well. Now has anyone else noticed that there are a LOT of Nutcracker books out in 2016? I honestly think I’ve seen five different picture book versions of the story, all from different publishers. Now I’ve heard something that may interest my Chicago readers. Brian Selznick has recently been working on some fun new projects, including a Chicago related ballet. According to him . . .
“I’m writing the story for the new version of The Nutcracker (to be set during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair) at the Joffrey choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. It premieres this December! I think it’s going to be good…http://joffrey.org/nutcrackerbios.”
One glimpse at the folks behind it (Basil Twist! Christopher Wheeldon!) and I don’t merely “think” it’s going to be good. I know it’s going to be good. Sendak (the only other children’s book illustrator I know who had a hand in a reinterpretation of The Nutcracker) would be proud. Hat tip to Brian for the tip.
Now let’s double back to NYC, since I’m sure there are folks in that neck of the woods that would like a little children’s literature-related fun. Interested in a book festival that’ll get you out of the city? Why not try The Warwick Children’s Book Festival? As it was sold to me . . .
“Apple- and pumpkin-picking, farm markets, lovely shops, galleries and restaurants downtown…lots to enjoy for families looking for a fun afternoon on a holiday weekend. And among other illustrious authors and illustrators such as Wendell Minor, Jane Yolen, Ame Dyckman, Brian Karas, Roxane Orgill, one of your Boston Globe/Horn Book 2016 award winners, will be there with Jazz Day! And…the Festival is presented by Albert Wisner Public Library, winner of the Best Small Library in America 2016 award conferred by Library Journal! We’re excited to invite everyone from the NY Metro Area to discover our festival, our library and our town.”
Go in my stead, gentle readers. Go in my stead.
I’ll linger just a tad longer in the NYC area since to my infinite delight I found that the irascible, entirely delightful Brooklyn librarian Rita Meade has just been named a “Celebrity Librarian” and one of The Brooklyn 100. Go, Rita, Go!
Now I’ll hike back over to the Midwest again. Maybe I’ll stop in Detroit on the way. Why? Because in a bit of absolutely fascinating news we’ve learned the the newest American Girl is Melody Ellison, a child of early ’60s Detroit. Mental Floss also had this to say about the gal:
A six-member advisory board worked to craft her portrayal and included prominent members of the NAACP, history professors, and the President and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Along with author Denise Lewis Patrick, they worked together to ensure Melody’s story was as true to life as possible—including her hair. The texture of the doll’s locks was changed multiple times to reflect the era.
“In the late ’60s, the majority of African-Americans did have straight hair,” Juanita Moore, President and CEO of the Wright Museum, said to the Detroit Free Press. “It may not have been bone straight, but it was straightened.”
Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the news.
No doubt you’ve heard it elsewhere by now, but the saddest information of the week was that Llama Llama’s mama, Anna Dewdney, died recently. I don’t think my family owns any full runs of picture book series . . . with the exception of the Llama Llama books. There’s a lovely obit for her in PW worth looking on. She will be missed.
Turn now to happy news. They’ve announced the speakers for the upcoming ALSC Mini Institute, which will occur before the ALA Midwinter Conference in January. Behold the speakers for yourself, then sign up.
Pop Goes the Page at Princeton is still up to their usual tricks. Today they’re wowing us with their tribute to Alice in Wonderland. Try not to keen too mournfully when you realize you missed a chance to hear Leonard Marcus talk about the book’s relationship to surrealism.
Not much on the roster today, so why don’t I just send you off with a picture of me reading the latest John Patrick Green graphic novel Hippotomister to my kids? They adore it, by the way. So two thumbs up from 2-year-olds and 5-year-olds equally over here.
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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