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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Maurice Sendak, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 158
1. Five Family Favorites with Rebecca Colby, Author of It’s Raining Bats & Frogs!

Whenever one person grabs a book and curls up in bed or on the sofa, the rest of the family inevitably follow. ... So we chose our favorites individually and then agreed on one shared family favorite.

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2. My Writing and Reading Life: Dan Scott

Dan Scott was born in Surrey, England. Growing up, he became interested in ancient Rome and his love of historical fiction provided plenty of inspiration for the adventure stories he began to write as a child. Eventually, his characters and stories developed into the action-packed Gladiator School series.

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3. Maurice Sendak Exhibit Opens at The Breman Museum

Sendak Exhibit (GalleyCat)The Breman Museum has been hosting the “Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak in His Own Words and Pictures” exhibit.

Here’s more from the press release: “The exhibition includes interactive locations where visitors dress up like wild things, slide into a bowl of chicken soup, and pick one of many of Sendak’s books to read on Rosie’s Stoop. Additionally there are videos that emphasize Sendak’s legacy and emphasize strategies for reading with children.”

Visitors will also enjoy a display of drawings, artifacts, and biographical information. Exhibition manager Tim Frilingos served as the curator for this exhibit. A closing date has been scheduled for July 5th.

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4. Celebrating Maurice Sendak’s 87th Birthday

Maurice Sendak 200Today marks the 87th birthday of children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak. Sendak passed away in 2012. To honor the life of this Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator, we’ve put together a list of four ideas on how to celebrate.

1. Up for a little culture? Visit the “Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak in His Own Words & Pictures” exhibit at the Breman Museum.

2. Karaoke, anyone? Sing along to the opera based on the Where the Wild Things Are picture book.

3. Hitting the movies? Watch the 2009 Where the Wild Things Are film adaptation.

4. Throughout his career, Sendak wrote and illustrated dozens of books. Explore his work with a Sendak-themed read-a-thon.

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5. Blank on Blank Creates a Ray Bradbury Video

The Blank on Blank organization has created an animated video starring Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury. The video embedded above features a long-lost interview between Bradbury and a student journalist that took place in 1972.

During this chat, Bradbury shared his thoughts on friendship, fear, and writing. In the past, the producers behind this YouTube channel have made pieces with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings memoirist Maya Angelou, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues author Tom Robbins, and Where the Wild Things Are creator Maurice Sendak.

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6. Illustration Inspiration: Stephanie Graegin, Illustrator of Peace is an Offering

Stephanie Graegin spent her childhood drawing and collecting fauna. These days, she lives in Brooklyn, is still drawing, and has managed to keep her animal collection down to one orange cat.

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7. Ridgefield Locals Hope to Establish a Maurice Sendak Museum

Maurice Sendak 200A group of locals from Ridgefield hope to build a museum to honor the legendary children’s books creator, Maurice Sendak. Sendak spent forty years of his life as a resident of this small Connecticut town.

Both the Maurice Sendak Foundation and the townspeople have approved the pursuants’ proposal. They hope to build this institution inside a glass building which was notably designed by architect Philip Johnson.

Here’s more from The Associated Press: “The 45-acre campus of the energy services company Schlumberger, including the proposed museum site, was acquired by Ridgefield in 2012 for $7 million. On Tuesday, town voters approved the sale of 10 of the acres for residential construction, returning $4.3 million to the town. The first selectman, Rudy Marconi, said the sale could help the museum proposal by giving planners flexibility on decisions regarding the rest of the property.” (Photo Credit: John Dugdale)

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8. Neil Gaiman On the Value of Ghost Stories

Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman headlined “a semi-secret late-night event” during the TED 2014 conference. Brain Pickings reports that Gaiman performed recitations of a ghost story and an essay entitled “Ghost in the Machine.”

Here’s an excerpt from Gaiman’s readings: “We have been telling each other tales of otherness, of life beyond the grave, for a long time; stories that prickle the flesh and make the shadows deeper and, most important, remind us that we live, and that there is something special, something unique and remarkable about the state of being alive. Fear is a wonderful thing, in small doses.”

Press play in the Soundcloud player embedded above to listen. In his essay, Gaiman discusses human society’s history with terrifying tales and the value of ghost stories. During the event, Gaiman also talked about why he agrees with J.R.R. Tolkien and Maurice Sendak’s idea that “there is no such thing as ‘children’s’ books” and “the ghosts of today that terrify” him.

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9. Fusenews: Coldplay, Sendak, and Golden Book Bodices

  • This news comes to us less than a week after Coldplay (yes, that Coldplay) hid something in one of the books in my Children’s Center at 42nd Street.  Apparently the doors opened that day and people tore into the room demanding, ultimately, Jeff Belanger’s Who’s Haunting the White House?  One wonders what Jeff Belanger thinks of all this.  Or if sales of his book have gone up.  Six copies of the books are now checked out of my system, I see.
  • Oh, and it only took a year but The Paris Review finally made it over to NYPL to check out the current children’s book exhibit The ABC of It.  They liked it, which is good when you consider that it’s up and running until September now.
  • May as well seek out the Secret Libraries of New York City as well, if you happen to be in town.  I knew some of these but others (the Conjuring Arts Research Center?!) who wholly new unto mine eyes.
  • Unless you resided under a Wi-Fi free rock you may have missed the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign that went wholly and totally viral.  PW summed the whole thing up with its piece BookCon Controversy Begets Diversity Social Media Campaign.  At the time, I didn’t think to alert NYPL to the campaign, but as it turned out the folks there were already on board with it.  They whipped a Celebrate Diverse Children’s Books list out of some of the titles that have appeared on our 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing lists over the last three years.  It’s a nice list too.  Good show.
  • There are, of course, children’s awards out there that remain under the radar, no matter how many diversity campaigns spring up.  Such is the case with the Children’s Africana Book Award.  Their history?  According to their site: “In 1991 the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association accepted a proposal from Africa Access to establish awards for outstanding K-12 books on Africa published in the U.S. The awards are designed to encourage the publication of accurate, balanced children’s materials on Africa, to recognize literary excellence and to acknowledge the research achievements of outstanding authors and illustrators. Collectively CABA winners show that Africa is indeed a varied and multifaceted continent. CABA titles expand and enrich our perspectives of Africa beyond the stereotypical, a historical and exotic images that are emphasized in the West.”  I was pleased beyond measure to see that Monica Edinger’s Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad won in the Best Book for Older Readers category.  Well played, Monica!
  • In other news the Tomás Rivera Book Award Winners which honors, “authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience” were announced and amongst the winners was Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People by Susan Goldman Rubin.  Woohoo!
  • Just to round out the awards, the winners of the 2014 Irma Black Award were announced and the results were absolutely splendid.  PAR-ticularly The Cook Prize for the best STEM picture book.  The Boy Who Loved Math was a shoo-in to my mind, but it’s nice to see folks agreeing on that count.
  • And here I thought I knew the bulk of the Maurice Sendak illustrated classics.  So how is it that only now I’m hearing about the fact that he illustrated The Velveteen Rabbit?  The technique is fascinating.  Like he wanted it to look as if a child had scribbled all over the book at strategic moments.  See, here’s what I mean:

velveteenrabbitsendak4 500x394 Fusenews: Coldplay, Sendak, and Golden Book Bodices

  • There are just too many folks to congratulate with the recent bout of 2014 ALSC Election Results but I will give one or two shout-outs just for the heck of it.  Big time congrats and woohoos to Andrew Medlar, our bright and shiny new Vice-President/President Elect. On the Caldecott committee, our fair GreenBeanTeenQueen Sarah Bean Thompson will be serving (yay, bloggers!).  The Newbery committee is seeing the delightful Allie Bruce of the Bank Street College of Education (did you see her latest SLJ article?) and Christine Scheper, my Materials Specialist colleague at the Queens Library System.  Well done, everyone!
  • The issue of when one should begin telling kids about the Holocaust has come up time and time again in conversation.  How young is too young?  What makes a book appropriate or deeply inappropriate for a given age?  Well, Marjorie Ingall over at Tablet Magazine has some thoughts on the matter, even as she examines two very recent Holocaust titles that she admires (and that I need to read stat).  As Marjorie puts it, “A lot of us drag our heels when it comes to discussing the subject at all. We tell ourselves we want our kids to maintain their innocence for as long as possible. But what avoidance means, practically speaking, is that someone else often does the educating.”
  • This is fun.  Recently I took part in a Facebook chat on the subject of getting kids into summer reading as well as various topics books can cover (the stars, science fiction, and camping, amongst others).  With that in mind the illustrious Lori Ess and I created the Reading Under the Stars Pinterest page.  A collection of spooky, camping, and space titles, it covers ages 0-18 and has a little something for everyone.
  • Woo-hoo!  I love hearing whom The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will honor at their yearly gala.  This year marks the ninth annual gala and fundraiser and so they’ll be honoring the following folks:

Artist: Jerry Pinkney

Angel: Reach Out and Read represented by Brian Gallagher and Dr. Perri Klass

Mentor: Henrietta Smith

Bridge: Françoise Mouly

For what it’s worth, I had the honor of hearing Dr. Perri Klass speak recently at the opening of a new NYU library and she was fan-friggin’-tastic.  So pleased she’s getting her due!  Henrietta Smith, for her part, is a children’s librarian so cool she has her own Wikipedia page.  And she served under Augusta Baker!  Man!  I wanna meet her stat.

  • When I was asked if I had heard about the anthology Altered Perceptions I had to confess that I had not.  And here I thought I knew all the anthologies out in 2014.  Turns out, Altered Perceptions is a unique case.  Thirty-one authors ranging from Shannon Hale and Sara Zarr to Lauren Oliver and Brandon Mull have joined together to help out writer Robison Wells.  Rob suffers from four different mental illnesses, so his friends have donated writing to help him out of his financial debt.  It’s sort of a win-win situation.  You buy a book that includes work from one of your favorite authors and you help a guy out.  They’re halfway to their stated goal with only 17 days left to raise the funds.  Be a sport.  Help a guy out.
  • When I hear that the Huffington Post has an article out with a title like 50 of the Best Kids’ Books Published in the Last 25 Years all that I ask of the universe is that when I open the dang thing I don’t immediately cringe upon seeing the picture book image they used to headline it.  So I opened this piece up and . . . yep.  Sure as shooting.  Cringeworthy.  Now add in the factual mistakes (the Galdone version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff came out in 1973, folks, not 1989).  Most of the books are fantastic, but man oh geez it’s an odd little list.
  • Daily Image:

I’ve blogged the Little Golden Book Gown before on this site, so the fact that it exists shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.  What I did not know was that it’s about to be on display here in NYC on May 30th.

goldenbookgown21 500x435 Fusenews: Coldplay, Sendak, and Golden Book Bodices

Stats about the dress include the fact that the paper skirt is comprised entirely of the original book illustrations sewn together with metallic gold thread and that the bodice is made from the books’ foil spines backed by tape adhesive.  So if anyone wants to lend this to me for an upcoming Newbery/Caldecott Banquet . . . hey, I’m totally game!

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10. Chicks ‘n ducks ‘n geese

WONDERFUL FARM HARPER Chicks n ducks n geeseWe’re off tomorrow to spend a few days with the Sendak Fellows, Nora Krug and Harry Bliss, at a farm Maurice owned in upstate New York. (Why did he need a farm? Did he need a place to get away from it all from his place to get away from it all in the wilds of rural Connecticut?). The management tells me my job there is to “be Maurice,” but someone and his pal Wolfie are up in heaven laughing themselves sick at that suggestion. Instead, I imagine myself poking my head around easels, saying “perhaps a little more green there, Nora” or “Harry, you know, Brownie here would make an excellent companion to Bailey, yes?”

I guess the one thing I can tell them about is what Maurice loved and hated–and it was generally one or the other, whether it came to his taste in pictures, movies, TV, books, music or food. “I love it!” “I hate it!” The tricky thing with him, though, is that even though you coulda sworn he’d said he loved something, catch him ten minutes later and his passion had reversed. What I wish I had was Maurice’s talent for contagious enthusiasm: he could make you love what he loved, even if, years later, you finally–secretly and hoping he doesn’t overhear–admit you really don’t find Christa Wolf all that enjoyable.

I’m sure I’ll think of something to say. And we’re going to Tanglewood to meet Lizzie Borden; we’ll show Brownie the land of his birth (he was found wandering in the Berkshire woods); and I’m to be given the opportunity to milk goats. I hope I can see them run!


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11. Where the Wild Things Are

We all hold our favorite childhood books dear, but there's a reason Where the Wild Things Are is one of the most beloved picture books of all time. Of course it's about Maurice Sendak's whimsy, his spare poetry, his imagination. Of course it's about his impeccably detailed illustrations, depicting the beauty of a night of [...]

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12. Illustration Inspiration: Christopher Weyant

Christopher Weyant’s work has been published worldwide in books, newspapers, magazines, and online. His cartoons are in permanent collection at The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. YOU ARE (NOT) SMALL is his first children’s book.

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13. Leo Tolstoy Gets a Google Doodle For His Birthday

Tolstoy Doodle
Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Leo Tolstoy’s 186th birthday. The image pays homage to three works by the famed Russian novelist: War & Peace, Anna Karenina, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Artist Roman Muradov designed the piece. Google has posted an essay Muradov wrote explaining his creative process: ”The language of cartooning, likewise, is the language of reduction; it’s less descriptive than realistic artwork or film, and is less likely to replace the reader’s vision. It seemed fitting to focus on Tolstoy’s central theme of dualism and to highlight his stylistic nuances through the rhythm of the sequences – the almost full moon against the almost starless night, the red of Anna’s handbag, Ivan’s fatal curtains that stand between him and the light of his spiritual awakening.”


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14. A Birthday Surprise: 420 Books for Kids

Wendy Moore’s best friends couldn’t wait to give her a special surprise for her 50th birthday. To honor her great love for books, they set up a virtual book drive with First Book and collectively raised over $1200 to purchase brand-new books for kids in Wendy’s hometown of Wilson, NC.

The need for books in Wilson County Schools is high. Located a little over an hour outside of Raleigh, the rural district ranks as Tier One community – a title reserved for the most distressed counties in the state. But Wilson residents like Wendy are committed to their children’s education.

Every year the county hosts a Back-to-School Fair, an event that celebrates education and equips kids with backpacks and school supplies for the upcoming school year.

where the wild things are

Journey received one of the free copies of Where the Wild Things Are at the Wilson County Back-to-School Fair. She said the book is her favorite!

The event draws hundreds of the community’s neediest families, many lining up as early as 10 p.m. the night before the fair in order to receive school supplies.

At this year’s fair, Moore joined staff at the Wilson County Schools booth to distribute the books purchased through First Book with the funds raised by her friends. In less than 90 minutes, all 420 copies of her selected book Where the Wild Things Are were in the hands of excited students.

“Hopefully it will inspire at least one kid to dream and do things that go far,” said Moore.

In your hometown and across the nation, kids need books to foster a love of learning. Click here to find out more about hosting your own virtual book drive.

The post A Birthday Surprise: 420 Books for Kids appeared first on First Book Blog.

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15. A Very Special House

A Very Special House by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak

by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins, 1953)

School’s been back in the swing of things for a couple weeks, and it has been bananas. But I’ve got this beautiful new space and some read-in-me-for-hours lounge chairs and the kids named our bright new sitting area The Birdhouse. This week: shelves and books. The heart and soul.

The Birdhouse

That’s why I needed to visit a book that is about all of those things: comfort and wonder and imagination and a very special place.

A Very Special House by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak

I love this little dancer-dreamer: dee dee dee oh-h-h.A Very Special House by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak A Very Special House by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak

This book is the hope of yellow and the broken-in-ness of blue overalls and the loose lines of childhood. This book started with two masters but belongs to the rest of us. It’s root in the moodle of our head head heads.

A Very Special House by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak

And this is what I want for anyone who finds a story in our very special place: A Very Special House by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak

They and I are making secrets 

and we’re falling over laughing

and we’re running in and out

and we hooie hooie hooie

then we think we are some chickens

then we’re singing in the opera then

we’re going going going going ooie ooie ooie.

The view


Tagged: color, libraries, maurice sendak, ruth krauss, stories

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16. Blank on Blank Creates the ‘Maya Angelou On Con Men’ Video

The Blank on Blank organization has created an animated video starring I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings memoirist Maya Angelou. The video embedded above features an unheard interview that took place in 1970 between the late author and Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction writer Louis “Studs” Terkel. In the past, the producers behind this YouTube channel made pieces about Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak and Infinite Jest novelist David Foster Wallace.

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17. Illustration Inspiration: Hervé Tullet

Hervé Tullet is known for his prodigious versatility, from directing ad campaigns to designing fabric for Hermès. But his real love is working with children, for whom he has published dozens of books, including Press Here.

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18. Neil Gaiman Recites ‘Jabberwocky’ From Memory

Once again, Neil Gaiman agreed to perform a reading of a beloved children’s story for a Worldbuilders fundraising venture. The choices included Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, ‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll, Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss, and Goodnight Moon written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd.

‘Jabberwocky’ received the most votes and the organization has raised more than $639,000.00. The video embedded above features Gaiman in the woods delivering a dramatic recitation of Carroll’s famous nonsense poem from memory—what do you think?

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19. Blank on Blank Creates the ‘Tom Robbins on Jitterbugs’ Video

The Blank on Blank organization has created an animated video starring Even Cowgirls Get the Blues author Tom Robbins. The video embedded above features outtakes from a previously unheard interview conducted with Tod Mesirow that took place in 1994. In the past, the producers behind this YouTube channel made pieces about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings memoirist Maya Angelou, Where the Wild Things Are creator Maurice Sendak, and Infinite Jest novelist David Foster Wallace.

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20. Top Book Editors Pick their Favorite Children's Books of 2014

With so many wonderful books published in 2014, it's hard to know where to begin in making reading choices. One easy way to discover amazing stories is to take a look at Publishers Weekly round-up of top children's book editors 2014 picks (only books not published by their own company). In this article you'll discover the books the editors wish they'd snagged before another publisher got to them first, how they learned about the books, and why they love them. Their favorites also include some older classics.
The picks include:  The Bunker Diary; The Iridescence of Birds; Grasshopper Jungle; El Deafo; Blue Lily, Lily Blue; The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender; The Winner’s Curse; Half Bad; Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Brown Girl Dreaming; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; The Glassblower’s Children; Sideways Stories from Wayside School; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children; The Storm Whale; The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making; Wild Rover No More; The Secret Garden; Egg & Spoon; and Grasshopper Jungle.

A few quotes from the piece:

David Levithan, Scholastic. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. "Grasshopper Jungle is a messy, repetitive, horny, ridiculous novel with a main character who will strain your sympathies about as far as they can go. And I love it for all of these qualities, and for the exuberance of its daring."

Nicholas During, New York Review Books. Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. "There’s something rather melancholy about the story in combination with Sendak’s illustrations, and, don’t ask why, I find it’s a bit of sadness that makes the best children’s books."

Brittany Pearlman, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Steifvater. "There’s a line in the book where the main character, Blue, reflects about herself and her four male companions (the Raven Boys): “We were all a little bit in love with each other”; and that’s exactly how I feel about every one of the characters. The magical realism and fantasy make the story truly enchanting, but it’s always grounded in character so that you feel completely immersed."

T.S. Ferguson, Harlequin Teen. Half Bad by Sally Green. "Half Bad by Sally Green has obvious comparisons to the world of Harry Potter, but the story unfolds in such a uniquely compelling way that I couldn’t put it down. I loved the themes of racism, genocide, and terrorism as viewed through a fantasy lens."

Liz Herzog, Scholastic. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. "When I brought the book home and read it, I loved the way Riggs had so artfully built a rich and engaging world all from a collection of found photos. It made me think about where stories come from, and how pictures can be a powerful jumping-off point for the imagination."

Megan Barlog, HarperCollins Children’s Books. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. "This book takes the best elements of fairytale romps like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz and transforms them into a tale of daring adventure."

Be sure to visit Publishers Weekly for the complete article.

What were your favorite books of 2014 for children?

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21. Fusenews: Chock full o’ NYPL

  • Some me stuff to start us off.  NYPL turned its handy dandy little 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2014 list into an interactive bit of gorgeousness.  So as to help it along, I wrote a blog post on the library’s website (I have two blogs, if you want to get technical about it, but only one of them has my heart) with the following clickbait title: They Put THAT Into a Book for Kids?!  Forgive me, oh blogging gods.  I couldn’t help it.  It was too much fun to write.  Oh, and while we’re on the NYPL blogs, I really enjoyed Andrea Lipinski’s post about our old (and I mean OLD) Books for the Teen Age lists.  How can you resist this cover, after all?
  • Recently I was alerted to two older but really fascinating links regarding ARCs (Advanced Readers Galleys) and their procurement and use in the book world.  Over at Stacked Books one post discussed the current state of handing out galleys at large national conferences like ALA.  The other one took the time to poll people on how they use their ARCs and what they do with them.  Both make for magnificent reading.  Thanks to Charlotte Taylor for the links.
  • It’s sort of nice when our reference librarians, both past and present, get a little acknowledgment for the super difficult questions they have to field.  Boing Boing recently related a piece on some of the crazier questions the adult reference librarians have to field.  Children’s librarians get some out there ones as well, but nothing quite compares to these.
  • Ah. It’s the end of an era, everyone.  In case you hadn’t heard the ccbc-net listserv has closed its doors (so to speak) for the last time.  Now if you’re looking for children’s literary listservs you’ve PUB-YAC and child_lit.  Not much else to read these days, I’m afraid.  Except bloggers, I suppose.  *irony laden shudder*
  • I was over at Monica Edinger’s apartment the other day when she showed me this little beauty:

She’d already blogged a quickie review of it, so when the news came in that it won a UK Costa Award I had the odd sensation of being, if only momentarily, inside the British book loop.  And if you looked at that cover and thought to yourself, “Gee, that sure looks like a WWI sequel to E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It” you’re sort of right on the money.

  • So I’m prepping my branches for some hardcore Día programs (El día de los niños/El día de los libros or Children’s Day/Book Day) by buying them lots of Día books.  I go on the Día website to order off of the book lists they have there, and what do I find?  Some of the coolest most up-to-date STEM/STEAM booklists I have EVER had the pleasure to see.  They’re so good, in fact, that I had to alert you to them.  If you’re looking for STEM/STEAM fare, search no further.
  • Daily Image:

Pretty much off-topic but while strolling through Bryant Park behind the main library for NYPL, my boss and I came across the fountain back there.  Apparently when the temperatures plunge they figure it’s better to keep it running rather than risk bursting the pipes.  Whatever the reason, it now looks like this:


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22. No Fee Writing Contest

Maurice Sendak’s Little-Known and Lovely Posters Celebrating Books and the Joy of Reading



Real Simple – Sixth Annual Life Lessons Essay Contest

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Maybe, in the course of your life, you’ve had an Erin Brockovich moment: say, the time you stood up to a bully in second grade, or the day you ended a long-standing friendship that had turned toxic. Or maybe your acts of courage have been less dramatic but no less powerful: moving to a new country. Daring to fall in love a second time around. Leaving a settled career to embark on a risky new venture. Whatever your story, share it with us.

Enter Real Simple’s sixth annual Life Lessons Essay Contest and you could have your essay published in Real Simple and receive a prize of $3,000.

Send your typed, double-spaced submission (1,500 words maximum, preferably in a Microsoft Word document) to lifelessons@realsimple.com.

Contest runs through 11:50 P.M. EST on  September 19, 2013.

All submitted essays must be nonfiction. Open to legal residents of the United States age 19 or older at time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. (Entries will not be returned.)

Read This Year’s Winning Essays

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How should I format my entry? A. Essays should be submitted in English at a maximum of 1,500 words and typed and double-spaced on 8½-by-11-inch paper. Essays exceeding this length or handwritten may not be considered. If submitted by e-mail, we prefer that you send the essay in a Microsoft Word document; however, we will also consider essays that are pasted into the body of the e-mail itself.

Also be sure to include your name, address, and phone numbers (home, work, cell) in the body of the e-mail and on any copies or attachments of the essay itself.

Q. How do I submit my entry? A. You have two options.

  1. E-mail your submission to lifelessons@realsimple.com.
  2. Mail your entry to the following address: Essay Contest Real Simple 1271 Avenue of the Americas, 9th floor New York, NY 10020

Each e-mail submission will receive a return message verifying that the essay was received. Please be aware that due to the volume of submissions, we cannot send verification that we have received your specific submission by mail. Additionally, please note that winners and runners-up will be notified in and around January 7, 2014. If you are not contacted, you are free to submit your piece elsewhere.

Q. What happens if I go over the word limit? A. Your essay can be excluded from consideration. And although there is no word minimum, we strongly encourage all contest participants to submit at least 1,000 words to maximize their chances of winning.

Q. Can I choose to remain anonymous? A. Unfortunately, we cannot consider anonymous entries for this contest.

Q. My piece has been previously published. Will you consider it? A. No. All entries must be original pieces of work and not be previously published.

Q. Should I send in photos or other memorabilia that relate to my essay? A. Please don’t. The essays are judged on the following criteria: originality (25 percent), creativity (25 percent), use of language (25 percent), and appropriateness to contest theme (25 percent). No supporting materials will be considered, and they cannot be returned to you.

Q. Is there anything else you can tell me about how to stand out from the crowd? A. Certainly. Here are a few pointers from the Real Simple editors who judge the contest.

  • Stick to the theme of the contest. Sounds obvious, right? But every year we get many entries that diverge—sometimes wildly—from the stated topic. You may have an amazing essay in the bottom drawer of your desk, but if it doesn’t cover the contest theme, it’s not going to win.
  • But don’t feel the need to parrot back the exact wording of the contest theme in your essay. For example, if the theme is “What was the most important day in your life?” try not to begin the piece with “The most important day of my life was…”
  • Check your spelling. Double-duh, or so you’d think. But as many as one in five entries has multiple misspellings.
  • Avoid clichés. (And please don’t try to work the phrase ‘real simple’ into your essay. It almost never works.)
  • Try writing on a less-expected subject. Many submissions cover similar ground: pregnancies, weddings, divorces, illnesses. Many of these essays are superb. But you automatically stand out if you explore a more unconventional event. In one year’s batch of submissions, memorable writers described the following: a son leaving for his tour of duty; getting one’s braces off; and learning that an ex-wife was remarried.

For more information, see the official contest rules.

What do you have to lose? Fifteen Hundred Words is easy and you only have to email it in. Who knows you could put a little extra cash in your pocket.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Contest, earn money, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Life Lessons, Maurice Sendak, No fee Contest, Posters, Real Simple Essay Contest

6 Comments on No Fee Writing Contest, last added: 9/11/2013
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23. Re-Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Previously on A Fuse #8 Production . . .

In 2012 I came up with a crazy idea.  We all love Dr. Seuss.  We all know his work.  So for fun I asked folks to illustrate a scene from their favorite Seuss book in the style of a different children’s author.  The result: The Re-Seussification Project.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, was going to be the end of that.

Then Phil Nel had a notion.

What if The Niblings (Travis from 100 Scope Notes, Phil from Nine Kinds of Pie, Jules from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, and myself) were to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication date of Where the Wild Things Are?  Truthfully, we didn’t know the precise date that it hit bookstore and library shelves nationwide.  What we did know was that it was in the fall, possibly October.  So October 15th just seemed a good stand-in date to celebrate.  Today you will find that each one of us has come up with an interesting and original way of celebrating the man and his legend.  In my particular case, I do it by exploiting the talents of others.  I feel no shame.

Back in April, you see, I put out the call.  Folks were to redo a scene from a Sendak illustration in the style of another artist in the field.  It could be something he illustrated, something he wrote, anything.  I wondered if folks would all do the same books and illustrators or if they’d shake it up a bit.  I never expected what I received.  You’re in for a treat.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . the results!

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Saul Bass

BassSendak 500x386 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Jim Averbeck


Alligators All Around in the style of Tomie de Paola

DePaolaSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Bernie Mount


Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Jules Feiffer

JulesFeifferSendak 500x305 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Nick Bruel

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Oliver Jeffers

JeffersSendak 500x429 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Ken Min


In the Night Kitchen in the style of Kevin Henkes

HenkesSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Susanne Lamb

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Clement Hurd

ClementHurdSendak 500x351 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Airlie Anderson


Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Crockett Johnson

CrockettJohnsonSendak 500x364 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Minh Le


Really Rosie in the style of Ezra Jack Keats

EzraJackKeatsSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Cecilia Cackley


Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Robert Lawson

RobertLawsonSendak 500x388 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Mike Boldt


Chicken Soup With Rice in the style of Laura Numeroff

NumeroffSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Deirdre Jones


Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Miroslav Sasek

MiroslavSasekSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Nancy Vo


Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farm in the style of Miroslav Sasek

Sasek2Sendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

(For those of you unfamiliar with the original, Mr. Burks was kind enough to pass along the original Sendak image, seen here:)

SedakPiggle Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by James Burks


Bumble-Ardy in the style of Richard Scarry

ScarrySendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by K-Fai Steele


Pierre in the style of Chris Van Allsburg

VanAllsburgSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Nathan Hale

And that might have been the end, had I not received the following email from Bernie Mount, a librarian at the St. Rita Catholic School:

“So, I had my 7th grade students try their hand at the Re-Sendakify project.  It’s funny to see them try to think outside the box and really grasp the concept . . . They had a good time and I was happy to introduce them to Maurice Sendak.  It was amazing how many of them only knew “Where the Wild Things Are” and some only the movie version.”

Well, with an intro like that I couldn’t help but wonder what the kids had come up with.  I’m grateful to anyone that turns one of my pet projects into a school assignment.  What’s also very interesting to me here is that at least two of the kids’ images think along the same lines as the artists above.  It makes you wonder what it is about certain illustrators that you would naturally equate Pierre with Van Allsburg or Harold with Max.  Here, in any case, is the work of some truly talented kids:

A Hole is to Dig in the style of Kevin Henkes

Henkes2Sendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Analee A., Savana S., and Gabby S.


Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Crockett Johnson

Johnson2Sendak 500x385 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Quinn B., Kevin P., & Matthew W.


Little Bear’s Visit in the style of Jon Klassen

KlassenSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Carson W., Nicholas J., & John Alfred Z.


Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Ian Falconer

FalconerSendak 500x383 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Helen H. & Maggie K.


One Was Johnny in the style of James Dean

JamesDeanSendak 500x378 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Maddy M., Paige M., Molly F.


Pierre in the style of Chris Van Allsburg

VanAllsburg2 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Lauryn S.


Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Melanie Watt

WattSendak 500x385 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Christopher R., Barrett L., & Luke H.

Thanks one and all to the talented artists that spend untold gobs of time to put these together.  One could not hope for a better celebration of the man and his works than this.  And be sure to see posts from Travis from 100 Scope Notes, Phil from Nine Kinds of Pie, and Jules from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast for more 50th anniversary high hilarity.

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10 Comments on Re-Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results, last added: 10/15/2013
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24. John Steinbeck Gets Google Doodle For His Birthday

steinbeck doodle

Google has created a Doodle to celebrate John Steinbeck’s 112th birthday. Throughout his writing career, Steinbeck penned many beloved works including East of Eden, Of Mice & Men, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning title, The Grapes of Wrath.

To this day, Steinbeck is a widely respected and read author. According to SFGate, the organizers behind the Steinbeck Festival plan to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath at this year’s event. In April, the Of Mice & Men play starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd will open on Broadway.


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