July 23, 2017

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Newbery/Caldecott 2018: The Summer Prediction Edition

Did Betsy drop the ball in her last Spring Newbery/Caldecott Prediction post? Yes, Betsy did drop the ball in her last Spring Newbery/Caldecott Prediction post. Will Betsy do better with her Summer Newbery/Caldecott Prediction post? Yes, Betsy will do better with her Summer Newbery/Caldecott Prediction Post. Back in the spring I ran into a bit […]

New Podcast Alert: Mine!

It’s a little kooky to say, but as strange as it may sound I’ve jumped back into the podcast biz.  Years ago I created a little personal project in NYC that was fun but exhausting!  Today, I am pleased to announce that there’s a new children’s literature podcast in town.  Called Fuse 8 n’ Kate, […]

Review of the Day: Town is By the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, ill. Sydney Smith

Town Is by the Sea By Joanne Schwartz Illustrated by Sydney Smith Groundwood Books $19.95 ISBN: 978-1-55498-871-6 Ages 4-9 On shelves now There’s been a lot of talk lately about how a parent can engender empathy in their children. It’s a good question and worth a lot of discussion and listening. As a parent I’ve […]

We Need Diverse Collectables: Why the Collectors of Children’s Books Needs to Diversify

We need diverse books.  But it’s not as simple as you think. When I do presentations for up-and-coming authors and illustrators of children’s books I sometimes show them this slide: Impossible to read here thanks to the teeny tiny type, this is my breakdown of the different factions that make up children’s literature.  To spare […]

Never Meant for Children: The Odd Consumer-Driven Rise of the Graduation Book

This comes just on the tail end of graduation season, but I’m sure we’ve a couple schools going through the process here and there even now.  And across this great nation, at graduation parties for high schoolers and college grads alike, gifts will be exchanged.  And inevitably some of those gift will be children’s books.  […]

Forgotten Favorites: Remembering the Monster Blood Tattoo Series

To Do in 2017: Get The Winged Girl of Knossos back in print Watch America finally come to grips with the true glory that is Frances Hardinge Get America to now appreciate Monster Blood Tattoo . . . That’s the nice thing about a To Do list.  You can always find something new to put […]

Review of the Day: Real Friends by Shannon Hale, ill. LeUyen Pham

Real Friends By Shannon Hale Artwork by LeUyen Pham Color by Jane Poole First Second (an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan) $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-785-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. The autobiography assignment. I don’t pretend to know precisely why teachers give it out or what they hope child readers will get out of it. […]

An Ode to Cars Galore: The Wackiest Picture Book in the Last Ten Years

I have, what you might call, a penchant for the peculiar.  Particularly as it applies to books for children.  To my mind, it is easy, oh so easy, to write a book that follows the “rules”.  Color within the lines.  Be nice to your fellow humans.  Pick up after yourself.  It is also easy, odd […]

Fusenews: May Contain Comic Seriousness

Hey there, hi there, ho there, mouseketeers!  Ain’t the weather lovely out there?  Ain’t the politics insane?  Don’t you want to forget about it for a second or two and indulge in some children’s literature news?  Well now you can! I’ve some interesting tidbits for your consumption.  Behold the following:   I don’t know about […]

Query: Is 2017 a Stronger Than Usual Year for Children’s Nonfiction?

Once at NYPL I asked Marc Aronson to do a Children’s Literary Salon on the topic of the history of children’s nonfiction. It was eye-opening. It was extraordinary. It was not recorded for posterity so unless he does it again sometime (hint hint, Marc, hint hint) we have nothing to refer to aside from his […]

Review of the Day: The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish

The Ethan I Was Before By Ali Standish Harper (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-243340-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Southern Gothic children’s literature. Sounds crazy, no? But as weird as it might sound it’s a legitimate genre. You may think it’s all Flannery and Faulkner but kids have a delightful range to […]

Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature: You Had Me at “Hellenic Mystery-Cult”

It’s that time again.  The adult world constantly infringes upon or draws from the rich roster of children’s books we have out there.  Here’s the latest crop of titles you might not have heard about otherwise:   Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller At first this looks pretty standard.  An adult novel about Laura […]

Review of the Day: The Ring Bearer by Floyd Cooper

The Ring Bearer By Floyd Cooper Philomel Books (an imprint of Penguin Books USA) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0399167409 Ages 4-7 On shelves now. Decent, hard-working, necessary picture books are, in many ways, the hardest books I review. Decency, should anyone ask, is not exciting. Deplorable books are exciting. Madcap horrendous books are exciting. Dirty, indecent, awful, […]

THEY’RE ALIIIIIIIIVE! 2017 Out-of-Print Books Back From the Dead

I like too many things. It’s beginning to get suspicious. One day I might write a post about the necessity of world literature on our children’s bookshelves. The next day I turn around and start beating the drum for small publishers. Blink again and it is imperative that I talk to you about the importance […]

Video Sunday: It’s Been a Long Long Time, M’Dear

Howdy! I’m neck deep in book promotion for old Funny Girl these days, but that doesn’t mean I can’t cut a little chunk of time out of my daily schedule to bring you a swath of some good old-fashioned videos for this Sunday morn.  And what a swath it is!  First up, a video that […]

Russia and Children’s Literature: A Storied History

If you haven’t been living under a large comfortable rock for the last year or so then you might have noticed that Russia has been in the news quite a bit. If you have been under a large comfortable rock, is there room down there for me too? It’s funny but with all the talk […]

Review of the Day: Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix By Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee Illustrated by Man One Readers to Eaters $18.95 ISBN: 978-0-9836615-9-7 Ages 5-10 On shelves now. A kid walked up to my Reference Desk. Looked me square in the eye. Said, “I need a biography…” “Sure thing!” I chirruped. That’s […]

Metareading in Picturebooks: A Dissertation by Melanie McGilloway

The Twitter has its uses, you have to admit.  The other day I was looped into a conversation there with a seemingly simple question: What are the picture books that favorably portray children reading ebooks?  This question turns out to be a lot more difficult to ascertain than you might think.  Over the years we’ve […]

Funny Girl Week: Some of the Funniest Children’s Books of 2017 by Women

Well, we’ve had a good week of it. And figuring out how to end my ode to all things funny and womanly wasn’t easy.  I thought about doing a post on funny writers for children from other countries.  I considered looking at funny female character in children’s books.  I definitely wanted to mention in some […]

Funny Girl Week: In Defense of Harley Quinn – The Rarity of the Female Trickster

In 2007 Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, published the anthology The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales. It was edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, and edited edited (if there’s a better term of this, I’d love to hear it) by the great and wonderful Sharyn November (who, as luck would have it, initially […]