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This may sound a little crazy, but even though I’m on maternity leave for three months or so, this video made me nostalgic for my system. It’s the rather remarkable Why Libraries Matter short documentary from The Atlantic. Beautifully shot and LOOK! There’s Rita Meade again! Somebody give that gal her own show.
While we’re loving our libraries, let’s keep on keeping on. Here’s Brooklyn Public Librarian Alla Roylance on her own journey and time in the library. And yes, there are pregnant iguanas involved.
Oh, what the heck. One more. Here’s a piece on how popular our storytimes are. Shout outs to Danielle Kalan and Rachael Payne, who both appear in this piece.
I know he’ll soon be living in Brooklyn for a year, but I’d never had a chance to see the man behind Press Here actually speak. Et voila! Herve Tullet discusses his latest book.
Actually, 100 Scope Notes had most of the good videos this week. Like John Green’s 47 Charming Facts About Children’s Books. Tell me this isn’t awesome.
Of course Fact #18 may be untrue. I did some research for my upcoming book Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature (how’s that for a plug, eh?) and though it didn’t make the final cut I have evidence that suggests that it was Potter’s MOTHER and not Potter herself who insulted young Roald. I do not, however, have any evidence to suggest that it wasn’t Ms. Potter who yelled at Diana Wynne Jones’s sisters for swinging on her fence. That story appears to be legit.
And for our off-topic video, a very amusing video for Les Miserables fans. It’s what happens when you run the lyrics to One Day More through a Google translator and back again.
I recently went to an exhibit at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and 5th Avenue in New York City. It is titled “Why Children’s Books Matter”. This exhibit walks you through the history of children’s books from early colonial times through Manga and the graphic novels of today. I really enjoyed the displays that included some of my favorites. From Alice in Wonderland to Winnie the Pooh, to Where the Wild Things Are, all the classics were represented. There were examples of children’s books from Russia and India, a history of the origin of children’s books, and a reading section where kids(or adults for that matter) could sit and read from the shelves of children’s books available. Some of the displays included props that I have never seen anywhere else.
The Original Winnie the Pooh & Friends
I think that kids will really love some of the interactive displays there. There is a replica of the car from The Phantom Tollbooth, a life sized fireplace from Goodnight Moon, and a rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland for kids to crawl through. Even if you don't bring any children, there is still enough on display to invoke memories from your own childhood. The original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal was on display along with Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger. Mary Poppin’s umbrella was alongside the original book and clips from the movie were playing on the adjacent wall. Across from this exhibit, original drawings from the Wizard of Oz hung on the wall.
My First Introduction to Poetry
What really made me feel like a kid again was seeing a vintage copy of Mad Magazine on display. This magazine helped fuel an irreverent sense of humor which I still have to this day. It also introduced me to poetry and taught me the concept of rhyme and meter before anyone else. Before I had ever read Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in school, I read Rhyme of the Modern Skateboarder in Mad Magazine. Like any good children’s book, this exhibit doesn't preach to you. It doesn’t tell you why children’s books matter. It simply shows you the work and lets you draw your own conclusions. But I do know why children’s books matter to me. They introduced me to a vast array of ideas and different ways of thinking. They taught me about the world and about myself in ways that I could relate to. They also influenced me in ways I would not fully understand until much later on in life. After all, who knew back then that I would wind up recommending that budding poets read vintage copies of Mad Magazine to sharpen their poetry skills? If you get a chance, I highly recommend seeing this exhibit.
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:
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.
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.
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!
I have a sister. Did you know that? Tis true. She’s not a librarian and her interest in children’s literature pretty much begins and ends with me, which is probably why she hasn’t come up before. One thing she is? Crafty. Crafty as all get out. And the kicker is that she’s just started this new blog called The How To, How Hard, and How Much to Your Creative Products. Here’s how she describes it:
What if there was a blog out there that took Pinterest ideas and showed people how to do it, how much time it took, how much money was spent, and had a level of expertise (1-5). Maybe even sell the final product. Is this something people would read? Has it already been done? How could I rope guys into doing it (other than if it involved mustaches and bacon)? I’ve never blogged before but I feel like it might be helpful, especially since the holiday season is quickly approaching. People could even send me recommendations and I could do those as well.
And make it she has. Amongst other things she has a wide range of Halloween ideas including spider cookies, 5 minute ideas, and my personal favorite, the cleaver cupcakes. In fact, if you could just repin those cupcakes onto your Pinterest boards she’d be mighty grateful (there’s a contest she’s entering them into). But of special interest to the blog (aside from outright nepotism) was her recent posting on literary jewelry where she turned a book of mine into a bracelet. Nicely done, l’il sis.
I attended the Society of Illustrators event the other day (did you know the place is free on Tuesdays?!) and the New York Times Best Illustrated results are on the cusp of an announcement soon. Both lists are chosen by artists as well as librarian types, and so one could consider them the form with which artists are allowed to voice their opinions about the best of the year (just as the National Book Awards are how authors talk about writing). Still, there are those that have disliked the Caldecott from the outset because it is decided not by artists but librarians. Robin Smith recently dug up a 1999 interview with Barry Moser voicing just such a concern. A hot little discussion then emerged in the Horn Book comments. Go! See!
Brian Biggs + Jon Scieszka + 6 way auction = interesting.
Our first shout-out! And from Tomie dePaola, no less. On The Official Tomie dePaola Blog you will find a lovely mention of the upcoming Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature as penned by myself, Jules Danielson, and Peter Sieruta. Woot!
I think a fair number of us have seen Business Insider’s Most Famous Book Set in Every State map by this point, but I’d just like to mention that what pleases me the most about it is the fact that they included children’s books as well as adult. Six children’s and one YA novel by my count.
And since we’re on an interesting title kick, let’s throw out another one. True or False? Multicultural Books Don’t Sell. We’ve all heard that argument before. Now an actual honest-to-god bookseller tackles the question. You may normally know Elizabeth Bluemle from the ShelfTalker blog at PW, but here she’s guest talking at Lee & Low. Cleverly, she specifies whether or not we are talking about how they don’t sell to kids or how they don’t sell to adults. Without giving anything away, let me just say that her experiences mirror my own in the library.
In other press release news, I am shocked and appalled that I wasn’t aware of this until now. I mean, I knew that Kate Beaton, the genius behind Hark, A Vagrant, was working on children’s books. What I did not know was how close to fruition my dream of shelving her in my children’s sections truly was. The Wired blog Underwire, of all places, was the one with the scoop when they interviewed Ms. Beaton. She discusses the book, which contains her most famous creation (the fat pony) and a princess. Says she about princesses in general, “. . . for little girls historically [princesses] are the only people like them who had any power at all. It’s not just oh, princes and dresses. It’s also, here’s a person with agency. Is she just someone who wants a pretty dress and prince? Or is she a warrior living in a battle kingdom? I think it just depends on how you depict what a princess is.” I think we know the direction Ms. Beaton will go in. And I waaaant it. Thanks to Seth Fishman for the link.
As slogans go, this might be one of my favorites: “Kill time. Make history”. How do you mean? Well, NYPL is looking for a few good bored folks. Say they, “The New York Public Library is training computers how to recognize building shapes and other information from old city maps. Help us clean up the data so that it can be used in research, teaching and civic hacking.” Sometimes I just love my workplace.
Me stuff time. Or rather, stuff I’m doing around and about the world that you might like to attend. You see, on November 6th I’ll be interviewing legendary graphic novelist Paul Pope at 4pm at the Mulberry Street library branch here in NYC. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Pope’s name, all you really need to know is that he’s a three time Eisner Award winning artist who wrote the recent GN Battling Boy and whose work is currently on display at the Society of Illustrators on their second floor (which just means I get to tell you again that you can get in for free on Tuesdays). This event will also be free. If you’ve ever wondered what the “Mick Jagger of graphic novels” would look like, you’ll find out soon enough.
Also going on in NYC, they have transferred Allegra Kent’s Ballerina Swanto the stage for kids. Makes perfect sense when you put it that way.
My reaction to finding out that Henry Selick was going to direct Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm was simple. The best possible person is doing the best possible thing and is making everyone happy in the process. My sole concern? Selick’s going live action on this. What was the last live action film he directed? Monkeybone, you say? Ruh-roh. Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.
Remember that nice Marcie Colleen I mentioned earlier with her Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide? Well, turns out she’s engaged to Jonathan Lopes, the Senior Production Manager at Little, Brown. And amongst the man’s many talents is the fact that he occasionally sculpts with LEGOs. Recently Hachette “held their Gallery Project, showcasing the talents of their employees.” Here’s what Jonathan made.
He’s 6-feet-tall and all LEGO, baby. Many thanks to Marcie Colleen for the link!
A little more than a year ago I conducted a Children’s Literary Salon at NYPL with a bunch of talented female graphic novelists of children’s literature (Colleen AF Venable (Hamster and Cheese), Raina Telegemeier (Smile), and Tracy White (How I Made it to Eighteen)). It was recorded for posterity (unlike most of my Salons) and that was the last I heard of it. Then the other day I find out from J.L. Bell on Twitter that it’s up and running on the NYPL website. Glory be, who knew! So if you’ve ever been curious as to what a Literary Salon consists of, have at it.
Again, this was yet another pretty darn good week for videos. Trailers abounded, and not just for movies. The big news of the week was that a Bill Joyce picture book had been turned into what may be the most cinematic picture book app we’ve seen yet. It’s called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and is so gorgeous, in fact, that I’m going to do something I’ve managed to avoid until now. I’ll buy it. Here’s why:
Thanks to Ben Rubin and Paul Schmid for the link!
On the book trailer side of things is this one for what I’m going to call the most anticipated fall children’s book of 2011, I Want My Hat Back:
And then on the actual movie world, two trailers were released this week. One gives me hope. The other . . . not so much. So on the hope side of things is this new, longer Tintin trailer. I was always convinced that Tintin could never be done well because who’s going to allow a kid like him to handle a gun onscreen? I never counted on CGI to save the day. I usually hate this style of animation but here . . . it kinda works because it acknowledges how cartoony it can be. Oddly, I could only find a trailer online that had French subtitles. Ah well.
Nice yes? Well retain that happy feeling because the other trailer released was a bit of a disappointment. I don’t know why Martin Scorsese got it into his head that the title “Hugo” sounds better than “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”. Plain old &ldquo
Winnie-the-Pooh will turn 90 years old on August 21st.
The New York Public Library will collect birthday cards to celebrate the occasion. Three to twelve-year-old kids can make cards for Pooh Bear and his friends at a special craft event on Tuesday, August 9th.
In New York City, any library patron with $15 or more in fines can’t check out books. To ease this restriction, the New York Public Library and the Queens Public Library will allow 143,000 blocked kids a chance to “read down” their fines this summer.
Children who sign up on Summer Reading can take part in this program. Every fifteen minutes of reading reduces an overall fine by one dollar. The kids then record the titles and the time they spent reading on their Summer Reading 2011 account. The program kicked off on July 25th and will run until September 9th.
NYPL official Jack Martin told The NY Daily News: “Kids might be afraid or ashamed because they are delinquent with the library. The idea of this program is to bring them back in. We are in such hard economic times and children and teens depend on the library.” Do you think this is a fair trade-off? Would adults be open to “reading down” their fines too? (via BookTV)
It’s still way too early to decide the winner in the social network race (but it appears Google+ might be lagging as it’s already losing visitors. In our opinion, the network still has yet to show how it’s better than Facebook)... Read the rest of this post
The general public has its own questions about the plan to renovate its Fifth Avenue main building. Anthony Marx, the library's president, agreed to answer a few of them, selected by The New York Times.
Whew! Been a while, hasn’t it? I hardly know where to start. Might as well begin with my place of work, eh? You see my library enjoys making little movies about itself from time to time. When you’ve got an iconic set, how can you resist? In my building (big stone lions, etc.) my Milstein Division conjured up this little video. Probably the sexiest genealogy vid I’m ever likely to see on this good green earth. More info on it here.
Now it seems to me that there’s room enough in this world for a fine bit of psychedelic middle grade. And when you’re dealing with something like Dan Boehl’s Naomi and the Horse-Flavored T-Shirt . . . well, honestly this is preeeee-cisely the kind of video you would hope for. To the letter.
Couldn’t stand in sharper contrast to this next video, and yet the two work as very good examples of how sophisticated book trailers are becoming these days (Flash animation has a lot to do with it, of course).
Aw, heck. Just one more. You’re going to have to stick around for the credits.
Clearly I’ve been sitting on a lot of videos for a while, but I doubt that it’s too late to put up this one. Recently Matthew Kirby (Icefall & The Clockwork Three) emailed me the following:
Here in Utah, we have the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Workshop, run by Carol Lynch Williams. It’s an intensive week-long workshop, taught by amazing writers and illustrators. I attended back in 2007, and in combination with SCBWI, it’s where I “got my start.”
Now the people running the conference have created a little promo video of their success stories to encourage folks to attend. Smart cookies. Least I can do to show it, eh?
Finally, for the Off-Topic Video of the Day, I’ve many piled up but this is the one closest to my heart today.
Visitors will find this exhibit at the Donald & Mary Oenslager Gallery inside the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts building. The New York Times reports that archivist David Leopold curated the exhibit.
LOVE this new video PSA from the New York Public: "Shout it Out for your Library!" Mario Batali, Amy Tan, Better Midler, Malcolm Gladwell, Barbara Walters and other celebs voice support for the library and reiterate the value of the public library for the community.
Also like the blocker page they have up now about supporting the library monetarily, on NYPL. It's a great way to remind people that while the library is free to use, it isn't free to maintain and run.
Having worked on previous advocacy campaigns with OCLC, I know the challenges of finding the right audience for your we-need-financial-support message. Especially with the down economy, you have to make every marketing dollar count. YouTube and Twitter are great ways to get the word out to new audiences. Using local celebrities isn't all bad, either.
This Friday the 13th has been very lucky for my latest book. An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers was selected as one of New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in the non-fiction category. Here's the link.
This past weekend we took refuge, for a spell, inside the New York Public Library, a place I always try to visit whenever I come to New York.
As we stood beneath this Rose Room sky, I recalled, as I always do, my first trip to that building, which happened in the company of my first editor, Alane Salierno Mason. Alane bought three of my books, not just the first, and she brought to each one a rigorous, unyielding eye. Alane cares very much about the state of books, not just in this country, but in the world.
I wrote something about that Rose Room in 1998, in the wake of my experience at the National Book Awards and published it then. Today, in between a spate of client projects, I was feeling melancholy and looked at that old essay again:
Hours before the 49th National Book Awards ceremony got under way, Alane Salierno Mason, my literary editor, remembered a room I had to see; we went. A lion, an edifice, a swoop of stairs, a room: big as a city block, and skied with permanent weather. There were six-hundred pound tables and a constellation of polished lamps, people enough for a subway station, though this was the New York Public Library, the newly splendoured Rose Reading Room. I thought I heard a holy hush. I felt drawn out, thrown out of kilter by the hundreds hunkered down with books.
A while later, John Updike took the stage at the Marriott Marquis to accept the 1998 award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. His voice had a quiet, avuncular appeal, and in that darkened room he stepped his audience back into the library of his youth, the glamor of a typeface, the beauty of a book “in proportion to the human hand.” There were stacks of books on every table, images of books hung like pendants on the walls. There were authors in the room, editors, publishers, agents, reviewers, there were readers, and we understood why we had come.
The media, the next day and for days to come, would write of dark horses, battlefields, upset victories, dueling styles. They would tally winners and losers as if bookmaking were a gamble or a sport. They would declaim the event because their heroes had not been crowned, because somehow they had not deduced the final outcome. But what too many lost in their rush for the headline was the reality of what that evening was: a celebration of books. A communion of stories. A tribute to the humanity of words.
What I’ll remember is not so much who won, but what was said. What I’ll remember is how Gerald Stern, upon accepting the poetry honor, venerated his fellow poets: individually, distinctively, with elemental and essential grace. I’ll remember how Louis Sachar, winning for Young People’s Literature, did the same, and how Alice McDermott, one of the most exquisite, time-proven novelists in the land, hadn’t the ego to believe her name was called. I’ll remember the dignity of that old-fashioned tribe, the integrity of the jurors, the company I was keeping—my husband, my parents, my brother, the W.W. Norton team, my agent, Amy Rennert. I’ll remember how it felt to be sitting there amongst the others all because I’d been given the certain exceptional privilege of publishing a little book about love.
Why do we read? Why do we write? For me, the answer made itself known some 24 hours prior to the ceremony, when t
I have a funny habit of buying books when I know—it's an unbeatable, unbearable fact—that there will be no time to read them. They sit on the chair that sits opposite my desk, their lovely perfect spines toward me. They tease, they seduce until I finally give in—slip one into my bag and take it with me, everywhere.
I steal into a page or two while waiting in the Whole Foods line. I read while warming up for Zumba. I hover over pages while on hold on conference calls. I say to my husband, "Go ahead. No, seriously. You watch that show on the air battles of World War II; I'm just going to go upstairs."
It feels so good it almost feels wrong.
Here are the books that came into my home this week, in the order in which I believe I will read them. (I've already started The Disappeared, and so far it's the dream I thought it would be after reading the review in last week's Times):
The Disappeared (Kim Echlin) The Girl with Glass Feet (Ali Shaw) How I Became a Famous Novelist (Steve Hely) A Jury of her Peers (Elaine Showalter) Unfinished Desires (Gail Godwin)
Hachette Book Group (HBG) has joined with NetGalley to organize the distribution of HBG information and products. Through this deal, select reviewers, press, and booksellers will be given access to digital press kits and digital galleys.
Several enhancements will be included with the galleys such as video, audio, tour schedules, author Q&As and photos. The galleys will be readable on Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, Kobo or a desktop.
1.) First of all, THOMAS AND THE DRAGON QUEEN was listed last year by the New York Public Library as one of their recommended top 100 books. Yay! Listed in: “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.”
2.) And . . . I’m happy dancing for a good friend of mine and a writer I mentored a year or so ago. Her name is Tracy Bilen. She won me as a novel mentor for a year in Michigan’s SCBWI (Soc. of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) group. Her manuscript had the basics of a great read…a riveting plot and an empathetic main character. But it needed deepening and developing. She worked hard, took many of my suggestions and always did the homework I suggested. Just this week she received an offer from Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster. YAY! I think I am more excited about this than anything else that’s happened lately. It’s so fun to know that soon another great young adult novel will be in the hands of readers. It will make its debut in 2012. Hugs to Tracy!!! (And we’ll roll out the red carpet when the book comes out.)
3.) A really different and fun book just made the news on National Public Radio. It’s called YOU CAN COUNT ON MONSTERS by Richard Evan Schwartz. It’s not a picture book–though it’s all about pictures of monsters (and numbers). I’ve highlighted it to the right. Enjoy!
4.) Wow!! Michigan rocks…In the recent ALA awards Erin Stead won the Caldecott Medal for A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE (written by her husband Philip). Sure am proud to live in Michigan!
500 players will join the “Write All Night” event on May 20th. Inside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, they will use laptops and smartphones to find 100 objects from the library’s collection of treasures and perform a related-writing challenge.
The video embedded above features a promo clip for the event; it seems to mimic The Da Vinci Code‘s film trailer. If you want to participate, just answer this question: “In the year 2021, I will become the first person to __________.” Submit your answer before 11:59 PM Pacific Time on April 21st.
You know what? Skip everything I’ve ever suggested about visiting the Bologna Book Fair. Airflights take a lot of time. Your sleeping schedule gets off. And then there’s all that walking. Phew! It’s enough to exhaust you just thinking about it. No no, far better to just watch this little video created by Bart Moeyaert. It’s the fair in 90 seconds. You’re in. You’re out. Slap your hands together and you’re done! Couldn’t be easier.
In other news, my library is doing this:
First off, I love that it makes my workplace, the building where I earn my daily bread, look like something out of a movie (and not just the set like in The Adjustment Bureau and Arthur, both in theaters now). So cheers there. Second, this is a game inspired by our upcoming Centennial celebration. You can see the website for the game here, if you’d like to join in. You have to fill out an application by April 21st, though. There’s nothing specifically keeping employees like myself from participating, but I suspect that since my body these days conks out effectively at 10:30 each night, I am in no position to add my own expertise.
When you are a child of the 70s or 80s you may have a unique gift. Thanks to television shows like Sesame Street, it’s entirely possible that your brain is filled with small animated shorts and clips that will burst into fiery remembrance when seen. Take, as today’s example, the news that Maurice Sendak has a new picture book coming out soon. Called Bumble Ardy, the book was originally a short on Sesame Street. Now, if you had stopped me on the street and asked me if I had ever seen said short I would have given a sharp bark of a laugh. Me, forget a Maurice Sendak bit of animation? Not hardly! Then I started watching this and the memories . . . oh the memories . . .
Those memories just keep on coming back. Probably the only time you’ll hear Jim Henson’s voice (as Bumble at the end) voice a Sendak character too. Thanks to Mr. Schu for the link.