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August 29, 2015

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Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Between the Osprey & the Gar

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Between the Osprey & the Gar; written and illustrated by Trahern Cook. Studio Campfire Books, 2014. 32pp. Paper ed. ISBN 978-1500876265. $11.99 As Grandfather tells it, there’s […]

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WTF, ALA?

WTF, ALA?

The new Banned Books Week poster has too many design elements to keep straight, uses a dumb and hard to parse neologism as its main message, and dog-whistles anti-Islamic sentiment with an image of what looks like a woman in a niqab. You had ONE JOB….  

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Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Kell and the Detectives

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Kell and the Detectives

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Kell and the Detectives; written by Darcy Pattison; illustrated by Rich Davis. Mims House, 2015. 118pp. Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-62944-028-6. $ 21.99; Paper ed. ISBN […]

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Starred reviews, May/June 2015 Horn Book Magazine

Starred reviews, May/June 2015 Horn Book Magazine

The following books will receive starred reviews in the forthcoming May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine: It’s Only Stanley; written and illustrated by Jon Agee (Dial). My Bike; written and illustrated by Byron Barton (Greenwillow) . I Yam a Donkey!; written and illustrated by Cece Bell (Clarion). Where is Pim?; by Lena Landström; illus. by Olof Landström; trans. from the […]

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What ELSE do you do?: five questions for T. A. Barron

What ELSE do you do?: five questions for T. A. Barron

Author T. A. Barron instituted the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes in 2000. Named for the author’s mother, the Prize is given annually to fifteen young people “who have made a significant positive difference to people and/or our environment.” Each winner receives $5,000 toward his or her work or higher education. Barron’s latest fantasy […]

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You may be a boy but HEY

You may be a boy but HEY

On my post the other day about gender representation in books, I mentioned as an afterthought the problem wordless picture books present in identifying gender. I thought the topic deserved a post of its own. It’s not some kind of queer-theory intellectual problem, either, as books that don’t identify the gender of its characters play hell with a […]

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2015 Zena Sutherland Lecture by Jack Gantos

2015 Zena Sutherland Lecture by Jack Gantos

Please join us for the 2015 Zena Sutherland Lecture, “A Pair of Jacks to Open,” with Jack Gantos. Friday May 1, Harold Washington Library in Chicago, 7:30PM. The lecture is free but tickets are required.

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Gender by the numbers

Gender by the numbers

A poster in our office lobby for the upcoming Simmons International Women’s Film Forum alerted me to the interestingly low–29%–number of female protagonists in films for children.* I guess it ain’t all Disney Princesses after all. How does this compare with the numbers in books for children? I asked myself. The gender disparity had been on my […]

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Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Mary-Ellen O’Keefe’s Word-Speaking Diet

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Mary-Ellen O’Keefe’s Word-Speaking Diet

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Mary-Ellen O’Keefe’s Word-Speaking Diet; written by Tom Neely; illustrated by Sharad Kumar. Tom Neely, 2014. 36pp. ISBN 978-1502-44425-7. Paper ed. $9.97. Mary-Ellen has always been a […]

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Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Bandits Peak

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Bandits Peak

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Bandits Peak; by Chris Eboch. Pig River Press, 2015. 173pp. ISBN 0-978-0692346006. Paper ed. $9.99 Jesse is out for a wander in the wilderness he loves […]

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A Lovely Night

A Lovely Night

We saw the new Cinderella last night and you should see it too. What I loved most was that it was genuinely a children’s movie. While Cate Blanchette as the stepmother and Helena Bonham-Carter as the fairy godmother were on hand to provide some camp (and there was a PG-pushing plethora of men in tights), neither […]

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Selfie Sweepstakes reviews: The Legend of Dust Bunnies

Selfie Sweepstakes reviews: The Legend of Dust Bunnies

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] The Legend of Dust Bunnies: A Fairy’s Tale; written byMichelle R. Eastman; illustrated by Kevin Richter. Byway Press, 2014. 40pp. ISBN 978-0-9916244-8-5. Paper ed. 14.95. […]

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Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: A Cape!

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: A Cape!

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] A Cape!; written and illustrated by Marty Kelley. Marty Kelley, 2014. 32.pp. ISBN 978-0-692-22596. 16.95. Who needs pants? Not the superhero of this story, for whom briefs, […]

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Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: The Strength of Wild Horses

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: The Strength of Wild Horses

The Strength of Wild Horses; by Sandra Tayler; illus. by Angela Call. Tayler Corporation, 2014. 32.pp. ISBN 978-0-9835746-8. 12.95. Amy, who resembles Pippi Longstocking by way of Tony Ross, has lots of great ideas but, like wild horses, they can run too fast. “And when the run was over, there was Amy, and the mess.” […]

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I’ll show you WINTER.

I’ll show you WINTER.

Seasonally enough, last night I attended Blizzard of Voices, an oratorio by Paul Moravec (husband to your friend and mine Wendy Lamb). While you might have thought the warm and woody Jordan Hall would have been an oasis in Boston’s horrible weather, Moravec’s commemoration of the 1888 Schoolhouse Blizzard was terrible–in the exactest sense–in its evocation of […]

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Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Drawbridges Open and Close

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Drawbridges Open and Close

Drawbridges Open and Close; by Patrick T. McBriarty; illus. by Johanna H. Kim. Curly Press, 2014. 40pp. ISBN 978-1-941216-02-6. $15.95 Gr. K-3. I was glad I had read this book prior to my recent visit to Ft. Lauderdale, where everybody gets around by car, negotiating a host of drawbridges back and forth across the Intracoastal […]

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Inside and out

Inside and out

Nina Lindsay has a terrific article up at SLJ about this year’s ALA Award winners and What It All Might Mean.  And in my latest editorial, I write about the need to value art from outsiders as well as insiders. Can we have both? Can we HAVE IT ALL?

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Building strong bodies 16 ways

Irene Smalls, who is moderating the children’s book panel I told you about, has sent along this bibliography of books she put together  to encourage children–particularly African American children–to be more active. Or, as my mother always said,” Go out and play.” Thank goodness Daylight Saving Time is less than two weeks away–I got in […]

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Buy the book

Buy the book

I’m a judge for this year’s Pannell Award for children’s bookselling and our slate of nominees has been announced. Anything you want to tell me?

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SO gay.

SO gay.

The March cover of the Horn Book, that is. Gertrude and the boys should be in your mailbox soonish–we lost a couple of days due to the weather. But dePaola’s springtime palette gives me hope!

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