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I was going to spend a lot of time on this Fusenews. Then I picked up Doug TenNapel’s Cardboard and lost most of my evening in the process. So it goes. I really am going to have to be brief today. To sum up:
Opinions I do not share. #1: “Here is a list of eleven children’s books that still have value in a writer’s adult years.” I might agree with you if you meant that Rainbow Fish makes for an excellent source of protein. #2: “Ten Tips for Avoiding Terrible Children’s Books.” This may actually be the strangest collection of children’s book-related advice I’ve seen in years. I live in hope that I misread it and that this is all the stuff you’re supposed to avoid, not do.
Stephen Fry + a pub called The Hobbit = lawsuit city. Actually, you don’t even need the Stephen Fry part.
It’s spine poem time! With Poetry Month right around the corner you just know you want to partake. Spine poem it up!
Of course THIS month is Women’s History Month. So I wrote a little guest blog piece just for the occasion where I noted the little known historical heroines making their debut in juvenile print this year.
Speaking of apps n’ such, did you know that over in Italy where the Bologna Book Fair takes place there is now a Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award? In incredibly good idea. International apps. A whole new world.
New Blog Alert: New to me anyway. We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie which describes itself as “Being a Compendium of Children’s Books by Twentieth Century ‘Adult’ Authors Currently Out of Print”. It’s beautifully done. Go see.
When a video has reached over two million views, it’s usually safe to assume that everyone has seen it. However, there’s always the possibility that you have not, so with that in mind what better way to start off today’s Video Sunday then by looking at books with a sense of rhythm? This is the kind of thing that clearly puts the “labor” in the term “labor of love”.
Now as a great number of you know, Monday morning we’ll see the announcement of the Newberys, the Caldecotts, and all the other awards ALA hands out each year. Seems appropriate then to post a video of past Newbery winners. First up, this amazing look at Virginia Hamilton, the woman behind the Newbery winning M.C. Higgins the Great (amongst other things). I am ashamed to say that before I saw this I had no idea that Jaime Adoff was her son. Ye gods! The video also features Jean Craighead George of Julie of the Wolves. You get a glimpse of her Newbery Medal in its velvet case at one point.
Open Road Media made these to sell the ebooks. Nice covers too. Check out the one for Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush. Print publishers should take notes.
Now to look at some hardcore bookshelves. Here in America we’ve these wimpy little bookshelves that anyone can reach. In Berlin? You need a freakin’ harness to get what you want.
Of course, I get angry. Of course, I get sad. I have a full range of emotions. I also have a whole smorgasbord of ways of dealing with my feelings. That is what we should give children. Give them ... ways to express their rage without hurting themselves or somebody else. That's what the world needs. Fred Rogers
I hope that you explore many ways of dealing with feelings with your craft today and in the days to come. For me, books were the key. I learned to navigate my emotions in the pages of books. I hope you take your work seriously and give it the time and attention it deserves. Think about the implications -- your work is going to steady the future of many children. If you don't do it, some child might be less. That ought to light a fire under you.
Here's a little message from one of my life-long friends (I didn't really know Mr. Rogers; watch the video and you will get it.)
Last of all, think about attending the Seattle Kid-Lit Drink Night...
"Did you do Molly Blaisdell’s Golden Coffee Cup Challenge? NANOWRIMO? Did you make any kind of writing and/or illustrating goal in November?
If you hit the jackpot…if you plodded along…even if you didn’t take a single step…come to celebrate and hang out with your peers at our own Kidlit Drink Night! November 30th at Broadway Grill in Seattle (on Broadway in Capitol Hill, across from the QFC – 328-7000) at 5:30pm. Cash bar. Molly will be giving out the Golden Coffee Cup awards (Don't worry if you're from out of town, you don't have to be present to win. "
Street parking is available, or you can park at QFC for a small parking fee (or get your ticket validated by making a purchase).
This is a video of little boys with incredible dance skills [YouTube]
Last Friday, I challenged all of our readers to write a sestina. I expect many of you discovered just how difficult this form can be. I’d like to highlight the poem I received from Paul Gallear of Wolverhampton, UK. Paul is one of the voices behind the Artsy Does It blog and you can follow him @paulgallear.
I’m a dirty-shirted mess.
My eyes are heavy and thick
With fatigue; I’ve not slept for days
And I’ve never been so tired.
All I need to do is sleep,
Long and deep and numb.
My thoughts are thoughtless, numb;
My skin, greasy; my hair, a mess.
Things change without sleep:
I’ve become listless, thick
And stupid – I’m idiot tired,
Living in a stunned daze.
Time moves from hours to days
And perspective becomes numb.
My mind begins to mess
Around. There’s a kind of thick
Which only comes from lack of sleep.
I daydream of sleep.
Waiting – the hours the days
Crawl as though caught in thick
Honey, drowsy, lethargic and numb.
While they are mired in that mess,
I grow more weary, more tired.
One day, I won’t be tired.
The time will come for sleep.
When I am enough of a mess,
And my dignity went days
Ago, I won’t care. I’ll be numb
And sleep will be long and thick.
I hope the night is black and thick
And that even the moon and the stars are tired.
They can make their lights numb
And pale to help me sleep.
The sun will shorten the days
To help me out of this mess
If the night is thick, I’ll sleep.
I’m so tired, it’ll be for days.
Until then, I’m one numb mess.