Fusenews – Warning: May use eigenface decomposition methods to calculate facial similarities
All right! Been a couple months since I did one of these and they’ve been burning a hole in my draft folder. My laptop is at 25% and I can’t find the cord to plug it in so let’s make these short and oh-so sweet!
In the good news department, Idris Elba is going to be in the film of G. Neri’s fabulous Ghetto Cowboy. Because sometimes the universe is a place I enjoy residing within.
Leave it to Marjorie Ingall to give Russell Freedman his proper due. In the Table article A Children’s Book Author Who Never Lied to Kids she gives him the best tribute I’ve read to date. And just listen to this line she quoted from his Newbery acceptance speech:
“Condescension used to be the rule in children’s nonfiction. The belief that we needed to dramatize history to make it palatable and keep kids reading. So we lied. We created unbelievable characters—bland stereotypes—and fictionalized their lives. Biographies, almost without exception, were adulatory and reverential … Now, we can’t fool kids anymore. They want the facts. They want to know that history is driven along by human nature, and human nature is what they recognize in their daily lives.”
Thanks for highlighting this, Marjorie!
When the Twilight phenomenon was at its height I couldn’t understand why the Sunfire romance novels weren’t republished. I mean, talk about a series where one girl had to constantly choose between two boys. Now, reading the Bookriot piece Remembering Sunfire Romances, I may have an answer to my question. Some may not have, ah, aged all that well, it seems.
Of all the tributes out there to Anthony Bourdain, I think it’s particularly nice that one of the finest was a piece of fanfiction where he visits Narnia written by YA author Rachel Manija Brown. Apparently Bourdain himself enjoyed it as well saying, “This is astonishingly well written with an attention to detail that’s frankly a bit frightening. I’m both flattered and disturbed. I think I need a drink.”
Recently I ended the reveal of my Top 100 Board Books list and what snuck its way onto the #1 slot? Old Goodnight Moon, yet again. Now novelist Celeste Ng of Little Fires Everywhere is writing in The Atlantic about the book and I know my sister will enjoy the piece because Ng has some things to say about the sheer disconcerting weirdness of the title itself.
Peter Hunt at Lithub proposes that the most quintessentially English children’s book (written by a Scot – and no, it’s not Harry Potter) is not, in fact, a children’s book at all. I’m not following him down this particular rabbit hole (to mix my British fantasies) since I’ve often said that the only way to write about adults in children’s novels is to turn them into animals (Brian Jacques, the creator of Redwall, was a huge Wind in the Willows fan, and little wonder) and Grahame’s book is no exception. Still, this makes for very enjoyable reading, particularly when you realize that he’s right about some things. There isn’t a willow in that book in sight.
The Washington Post writes a headline like Is Dr. Seuss’s Lorax real? These professors may have solved a 47-year-old mystery, and we all shake our heads at it a little. Kidlit clickbait at its rawest. Not that it isn’t amusing or worth a read. Patas monkeys, it seems, are more important than any of us ever realized.
Oo! In case you missed it, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast just got some new killer fan art of the site itself. A tip of the hat to the work of Jaime Hogan. A beautiful piece.
Can the way languages are displayed in bilingual picturebooks can disrupt the status quo? I don’t see why not, but I’ve no personal knowledge to apply to that area. Happily Nicola Daly has studied this subject in-depth, and come up with some interesting conclusions. Check out How Children’s Picturebooks Can Disrupt Existing Language Hierarchies, if you’ve half a mind to become a smarter person.
Looks like the Library of Congress is getting a new logo.
Hm. Well. At least they’re not shying away from the word library (Informational Media Center of Congress isn’t doing it for me). But I’m thinking this isn’t going to go down quite as smooth as the butter they’re hoping for. Thanks to Sharyn November for the info.
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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