May 3, 2016

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Politics and Mainstream Children’s Literature in 2016

You may have seen the Guardian article the other day ‘Oh, what a big gun you have': NRA rewrites fairytales to include firearms.  The title pretty much is the whole story, except that these are tales posted on the NRA’s website and not (at this time) actual published books.  I was looking at the post […]

Review of the Day: When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano

When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons By Julie Fogliano Illustrated by Julie Morstad A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) $18.99 ISBN: 9781596438521 Ages 6 and up On shelves now. I don’t think I can adequately stress to you the degree to which I did not want to review this book. […]

Fusenews: “Rich. Famous. That’s all I’ve got”

We’re diving right in today.  Check out this killer poster: Now if you’re one of the lucky ducks living in NYC, or will be there on the date of 4/16, you now have your marching orders.  This is an event held at Bank Street College of Education and in wracking my brains I can’t think […]

Press Release Fun: Matt Bird and The Secrets of Story

Reprinting PW deal announcements is not what I tend to do.  Today, however, we’ve a rather extraordinary occurrence.  Some of you may know that my husband Matt Bird is a bit of a blogger and screenwriter in his own right.  Add the term “published author” to that description now.  Publishers Weekly has just announced Matt’s […]

Video Sunday: “A man sits . . . in a setting . . .”

You know that nightmare you have where you’re up on a stage and you suddenly realize you have to give a TED talk but you have absolutely no idea what the subject is and you’re pretty sure you don’t have the little remote that’ll allow you to flip between slides anyway?  That one?  You don’t […]

Spotted! Author Visits

When I moved to Evanston from New York City I guess I thought my life would calm down a bit.  New York City’s all about the publisher previews, the author events, the crazy dinners for big name authors and illustrators, and it is clearly party central.  And for the most part Evanston is calm.  Quiet.  […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2017: Spring Prediction Edition

What?  Who?  Now?  Yes, if you’re checking the calendar you’ll see that three whole months of 2016 have gone by and you know what that means.  Prediction time! But Betsy, you say, that is quite simply the kookiest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s March, for crying out loud.  We’ve ten months until the next award […]

Children’s Week Bookmark Reveal (psst . . . It’s El Deafo related!)

Books. Kids.  This is pretty basic stuff.  One should read the other.  Preferable requently.  And I suppose that for some of us there’s a perception that urging children to read is a recent phenomenon.  An outgrowth of the digital age when kids have so many things to distract and entertain them.  Gone are the days […]

Review of the Day: Dwarf Nose by Wilhelm Hauff

Dwarf Nose By Wilhelm Hauff Illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger Translated by Anthea Bell Minedition $19.99 ISBN: 97898888341139 Ages 8-12 On shelves April 1st It seems so funny to me that for all that our culture loves and adores fairytales, scant attention is paid to the ones that can rightfully be called both awesome and obscure. […]

Children’s Literary Salon: Ethics in Nonfiction

You know what the kids today are into?  Ethics.  Specifically, ethics in nonfiction.  Could anything be more fun?  Actually, no.  At least, not the way I play it. As you may know I’ve started my Children’s Literary Salon series here in Evanston, IL and as luck would have it there are a slew of talented […]

Cover Reveal: Welcome to Wonderland by Chris Grabenstein

Okay, a little background before we launch into this one.  Before Chris Grabenstein wrote Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (a book for which he is justifiably famous) he wrote a whole heaping helpful of other books.  For decades.  Seriously, the man has paid his dues.  Now he has a new book out with absolutely zip, zero, zilch […]

Building the Perfect Nonfiction Blog/Site

Recently I taught a course at National Louis University on social media as it pertains to various aspects of literature for kids and teens (I believe the official name of the course was “Social Media and P-12 Youth Literature”).  Never having taught before, I was a bit nervous.  Fortunately my students, a group of savvy […]

Video Sunday: Great Scott!

Ack!  Too many good videos, too little time!  We’ve an embarrassment of riches today.  The only question really is where to start.  And the only natural answer is with Obama’s nominee for the Librarian of Congress.  Not much of a question there, really. Next up, there is beginning to be a bit of a tradition […]

Smell No Evil

There’s gold in them thar book sales! So I’m at the Evanston Public Library in their booksale room and lo and behold this beauty jumps out at me. Putting aside the fact that this is without a doubt the first and only Sesame Street book that repeats the word “evil” in its title, it took […]

Review of the Day: The Storyteller by Evan Turk

The Storyteller By Evan Turk Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $24.99 ISBN: 9781481435185 Ages 4-8 On shelves June 28th Credit the internet age for doing what the television age never could. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is a movement around the world that can be interpreted as nothing so much […]

Fusenews: Different cultures. Same battlefield.

Happy Leap Day!  Unlike Leap Day William here I have no candy to bestow upon the weeping children of the world, but I do have some keen links.  First and foremost, this old newspaper article (possibly The New York Times) courtesy of Andrew Fairweather.  It’s a little difficult to read here but it says, “THE […]

Review of the Day: ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito, from A to Z by Lulu Delacre

¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito, from A to Z By Lulu Delacre Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee & Low Books $18.95 ISBN: 978-0-89239-327-5 Ages 4-7 On shelves now Adults, I have a little secret. Have you ever wanted to sound smart at dinner parties? Knowledgeable in the ways of […]

The Promise of Booger Beard: The Rights of Diverse Silliness

Last year this book came out: It’s pretty much just as gross as you might expect.  Boy sneezes.  The sneeze congeals into a massive beard o’ boogers.  The boy is enraptured with his newfound facial “hair”, though his mom tells him to remove it before he eats.  He’s disinclined.  It was sort of a graphic […]

Jolts of Children’s Literature in Unexpected Places

This is one of those series I like to do, regardless of whether or not anyone else finds it interesting. So, in effect, it’s the most self-indulgent of my postings.  Still, I think these books say something about how children’s literature is viewed by mainstream culture.  And in that there is a benefit. Onward! I […]

Review of the Day: The Magic Mirror by Susan Hill Long

The Magic Mirror: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King, and a Pickpocket Squirrel By Susan Hill Long Knopf (an imprint of Penguin Random House) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-553-51134-2 Ages 9-12 On shelves May 10th What do you want from a fairy tale? Magic? Romance? Derring-do? Despicable villainy? Academics and scholars have puzzled […]