September 26, 2016

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When Celebrity Picture Books Go Kuh-kuh-kuh-KRAZY!

Celebrity picture books.  The gift that just keeps on giving. Now in the past I’ve had my say about CPB ah-plenty.  Heck, there was an entire chapter devoted to them in Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature. Today, we’ll switch tactics and tackle a topic that no one ever discusses. Weeeeeeeeeeird celebrity picture […]

Monster Mash: Aaron Zenz Goes On Tour

Blog tours.  Generally speaking I don’t really do them.  Nothing against them personally, they just don’t always speak to the tenor and distinctive tone of individual blogs.  It takes a particularly keen one to get me out of my hidey-hole so that I’ll participate.  It takes, in short, Aaron Zenz. But first . . . […]

Review of the Day: Kid Beowulf by Alexis Fajardo

Kid Beowulf: The Blood-Bound Oath By Alexis E. Fajardo Color by Jose Mari Flores Prologue Color by Brian Kolm Amp Comics for Kids (an imprint of Andrews McMeel Publishing) $10.99 ISBN: 978-1-4494-7589-5 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. This is a true story. I started college in 1996. Earlham College. Richmond, Indiana. Nice place. Little Quaker […]

Stranger Things Booklist: This One’s for the Kids

It’s a booklist kind of week. Like many children of the 80s I’ve been just delighted by the Netflix 8-part horror fest Stranger Things.  I may not get most of the Stephen King and John Carpenter references but the E.T., Aliens, and Akira stuff hits home hard.  For work I decided to put up a […]

The Hamilton Reading List: For Those Kids That Just Can’t Get Enough

This summer I was walking about the Printer’s Row Book Festival in lovely Chicago, IL, passing a group of about twelve 16-year-old girls.  All of whom were singing “Satisfied” from the musical Hamilton.  It reminded me of similar past experiences walking by large groups of 8-year-olds singing Frozen two years ago.  Now Hamilton is slated […]

Fusenews: My Weirdest Childhood Mystery Is Solved

A little nepotism to go with your coffee this morning? Don’t mind if I do!  As you may know, my husband Matt Bird has a book coming out this spring that is a culmination of his blog’s breakdown of what makes a good story.  Called The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction […]

Talking Tinyville: Roping Brian Biggs Into Conversation

I have a two-year-old son. He is very cute. He is also the most stereotypical boy reader I’ve ever encountered in my life. Trucks, trains, construction equipment, you name it. Unsurprisingly he’s also keen on community workers so every other day we read through Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. Or, when […]

Review of the Day: Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Ghost By Jason Reynolds Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-5015-7 Ages 9-12 On shelves August 30th This is a generalization, but in my experience librarians really enjoy reading within their comfort zones. They’ll travel outside of them from time to time but always they return to the books that they like […]

Pimp My Nursery (Kidlit Style)

So I’m sitting at the reader’s advisory desk today (it’s a small library so I do 2-4 hours a week) with a co-worker and we get to talking about nurseries.  She has a friend who turned theirs into a paean to hunting.  We’re talking arrow theme, faux bearskin rug, and antlers antlers antlers.  This leads […]

Beyond a Snowy Day: Out-of-Print African-American Children’s Book Classics

Recently Slate decided to create a “pop-up blog” of sorts with a concentration on children’s literature. They’ve called it nightlight.  A good name.  We would have also accepted “flashlight under the sheets”.  In any case, I was initially worried that this would be another case of writers who have just found themselves to be parents […]

Review of the Day: Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol

Leave Me Alone! By Vera Brosgol Roaring Brook Press (an imprint of Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 9781626724419 Ages 4-7 On shelves September 13th Knitting. It shouldn’t be so hard. I say this as the grown daughter of a chronic knitterer (not a word). I grew up neck deep in roving. I know the difference between a […]

Some of the Best Picture Books of 2016 Thus Far (Mid-Year Summary)

Thusly is the deal.  Since taking a job in Evanston, I’m not the big time reader I used to be.  I just don’t devour the books as quickly as I once did, nor do I have access to a committee that would discuss a wide range of children’s literature.  As such, I’ve decided that the […]

Fusenews: Though I See The Pigeon as More of a King George Type

Here’s the thing about Minh Lê. He doesn’t blog terribly often, but when it does it just sort of explodes like an atom bomb on the scene.  His Hamilton starring Elephant and Piggie . . . sheer brilliance.  I’m just mad I didn’t think of it myself (not that I could ever have paired the […]

Wanted for Big Cash Prizes: American History Books

I think I need a new hobby.  I should collect, and place on a website somewhere a listing of all the high cash, little known book awards for children’s books out there.  Perhaps this already exists somewhere.  Hm. In any case, it wasn’t long ago that a friend alerted me to the Grateful American Book […]

Review of the Day: Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat By Javaka Steptoe Little, Brown & Co. $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-316-21388-2 Ages 5 and up On shelves October 25th True Story: I’m working the children’s reference desk of the Children’s Room at 42nd Street of New York Public Library a couple years ago and a family walks […]

Press Release Fun: A Curious George Documentary on the Horizon

Documentary Following Curious George Creators Hans A. & Margret Rey Announced – Ema Ryan Yamazaki Directorial Debut New York City, NY – July 26, 2016 – In celebration of the world’s most beloved monkey, who turns seventy-five years old this year, filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki announces the first ever mixed-media documentary about Curious George. Monkey […]

I’m So Vain, I Probably Think This Book Is About Me

Today we’re going to talk about what happens when your name is so common, it shows up in children’s books willy-nilly without actually having anything to do with YOU.  Which is to say, me. I took my name willingly.  No parent in their right mind should name a child “Betsy Bird” after all.  When I […]

Historical Nonfiction Children’s Books I’d Like to See (Based Entirely on Drunk History Episodes)

Recently I did a post where I mentioned several wonderful Hark, A Vagrant webcomics featuring historical figures that I’d love to see turned into picture book biographies.  Well, in a similar vein, I’m a big fan of the Drunk History series on Comedy Central too.  It’ll be returning soon for a fourth season and has […]

Review of the Day: The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow

The Mighty Odds By Amy Ignatow Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams) $15.95 ISBN: 978-1-4197-1271-5 Ages 10 and up On shelves September 13th If you could have one weird superpower, what would it be? Not a normal one, mind you. We’re not doing a flight vs. invisibility discussion here. The power would have to be […]

Picture Book / Movie Pairings: They Make Sense in My Head!

The other day I was sitting with a group of talented children’s librarians discussing Dan Santat’s Are We There Yet?  Boy, I tell ya, there’s nothing like sitting down with smart people to hear them discuss a picture book in full.  I walked out of that room with a lot more knowledge crammed into my […]