June 25, 2016

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Spotted at BEA: Upcoming Goodies

A light smattering of things that caught my eye at BEA. Here’s the thing about Book Expo America.  As conferences go it yields less love amongst librarians than our own, beloved American Library Association conferences.  And that just makes sense.  BEA is about the business side of books. Booksellers are the primary focus and they’re […]

Day of Dialog 2016 Recap: Chicago Edition!

I feel like it’s been a long time since I “reported” on anything. It isn’t just the move to the Chicago area. It’s more that subtly over the years I’ve pulled back from the rote typing that I used to engage in so often. Blame Twitter. Blame aging. Blame my left pinkie finger which, even […]

The Children’s Literary Salon: Full Video Showcase

As you may or may not know, this past Saturday I conducted a Children’s Literary Salon at my library with panelists Travis Jonker, Mr. Schu, and Colby Sharp.  And, as ever, I recorded a live feed of the event.  That’s fairly snazzy, but before I post that video here I want to take a moment […]

Walking and Talking with . . . Kate DiCamillo!

Recently I hosted a Literary Salon where an attendee asked at the end whether or not it was true that Kate DiCamillo deleted every draft she wrote, right after finishing it, so that she could rewrite it again.  As it turns out, this isn’t exactly the case, but it did lead a lot of us […]

Can Adult Authors Be Taught?: Considering the Alternative Celebrity Children’s Book

The title of the New York Times piece is Masters of Prose Warm Up to Children’s Picture Books.  Innocuous enough.  Inside, the article looks at the current spate of authors who normally write for an adult audience but have recently switched their focus to our youngest readers. Jane Smiley, Sherman Alexie, and Calvin Trillin are […]

Default: White

Alternate Title: The Call Is Coming From Inside the House So yesterday at lunchtime I trotted out my neat little stack of periodicals to read while I munched a ham sandwich.  I picked up the latest Kirkus (1 May 2016) and there I saw the Vicky Smith article: “Unmaking the White Default”.  As many of […]

Review of the Day: Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Wolf Hollow By Lauren Wolk Dutton Children’s Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House) $16.99 ISBN: 978-1101994825 Ages 10 and up On shelves now. I am not what you might call a very brave reader. This is probably why I primarily consume children’s literature. I might puff myself up with a defense that lists the […]

Interview Time! John Patrick Green in Conversation with Eric Colossal

Who? What? Where? When? Why? It’s a blog tour, kiddos!  A tour of bloggy goodness.  More than that, it’s a graphic novel blog tour done to celebrate Children’s Book Week in all its fancypants glory. The subject of today’s interview is none other than Eric Colossal.  Colossal, if the name is new to you, is […]

Children’s Literary Salon: The Art of Enthusiasm

We’re just hitting it out of the park now.  Fast on the heels of our last Salon with Jeanne Birdsall and N.D. Wilson (info below), this coming Saturday I managed to bring together the three kings of children’s book social media.  Behold! If you’d like to watch the discussion live, tune in 2:00 CST here.  […]

The Rabbit Hole or “It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can’t suck.”

This is big. Maybe the biggest idea in the realm of children’s literature I’ve seen in years.  Possibly my entire career.  I don’t like using the term “gamechanger” but I can’t think of a better word in this particular case. Okay.  So imagine, if you will, a new children’s book museum.  But where that term […]

Review of the Day: One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom

One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree By Daniel Bernstrom Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of Harper Collins) $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-235485-3 Ages 3-6 On shelves May 3rd Like any children’s librarian, I like to assess each picture book that crosses by my eyeballs for readaloud potential. While every picture book (even […]

Fusenews: I wouldn’t waste my time riding a bike

Hokey dokey.  Too much stuff here to cover very well, but try we shall.  Hold on to your hats, folks!  It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.   First off, you know how I was talking the other day about constructing the ideal educator website of children’s literature resources?  Well, this might have to be one […]

Surprising Jolts of Children’s Literature in Unexpected Places

It’s back!  I’ve been doing my thing, buying lovely adult titles for my library system, and time and again I’ve run across ideas or names that fall squarely in the children’s book realm.  Here then are some real beauties. Things you just might not know about otherwise. I know and like Elisha Cooper but I’m […]

Video Sunday: The Other Man in Purple

So many good videos to choose from today!  First and foremost, I begin with a very special message from Jon Scieszka.  It seems you still have two days to vote in the Children’s Book Choice Awards and . . . well . . . Jon would really like your kids to do so.  Seriously. I […]

Children’s Literary Salon: On Beyond Narnia

Today a co-worker pulled me aside and asked about our next Children’s Literary Salon.  She wanted to know how I was getting such fabulous stars, particularly since the next Salon (a week from this Saturday) will be featuring not just Penderwicks scribe Jeanne Birdsall but author N.D. Wilson to boot.  Add in the topic (a […]

Review of the Day: Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune By Pamela S. Turner Illustrated by Gareth Hinds Charlesbridge $16.95 ISBN: 9781580895842 Ages 10 and up On shelves now When you read enough children’s books published in a single year, folks tend to believe that you’ve an ability to spot trends in the general literature. Trend-spotting is […]

Never Gonna Sequel

It’s happened to us all.  You hear that one of your favorite books for kids or teens is being adapted to the silver screen and you are struck with a simultaneous feeling of hope and fear.  You go to see it and it’s even worse than you imagined.  Then you leave the theater and realize […]

An Authorial Bookstore

You may have seen the piece in Publishers Weekly. Judy Blume, Bookseller, it was called.  When I saw the title I just assumed it was just about one of those events when authors go into bookstores and take over for the employees for a day.  Instead, what I found was that Ms. Blume opened up […]

Review of the Day: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Raymie Nightingale By Kate DiCamillo Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8117-3 Ages 9-12 On shelves now My relationship to Kate DiCamillo’s books is one built entirely on meaning. Which is to say, the less emotional and meaningful they are, the better I like ‘em. Spaghetti loving horses and girls that live in tree houses? Right up […]

Fusenews: In my next life I’m coming back as a “Rotraut”

A lot to say and so little time to say it.  Let’s get started!   Today, if you are at all feeling blue, I suggest you read The Toast piece Jaya Catches Up: A Little Princess which is a killer breakdown of what is inarguably a problematic book.  The Marie Antoinette portions are particularly choice. […]