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October 25, 2014

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Press Release Fun: Hervé Tullet – The Exhibit

Press Release Fun:  Hervé Tullet – The Exhibit

My 3-year-old daughter is currently an Hervé Tullet fan, but not in the sense you might think.  It’s not Press Here that strikes her fancy (though she enjoys it well enough) but his board books with Phaidon.  Who knew?  Now there’s an exhibit up over in Brooklyn I need to take her to. Brooklyn Public [...]

Belzhar

Belzhar

Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer Dutton, September 2014 Reviewed from ARC There’s always some weird dance of anticipation and dread when an author you respect as an author for adult readers dips into the YA world. Happily, Meg Wolitzer is very clear eyed about YA and about why she writes YA — it’s not to jump on [...]

Link Du Jour: Author vs. Online Critic

Link Du Jour: Author vs. Online Critic

The latest outrage in the book world comes from Kathleen Hale and her article for The Guardian ‘Am I being catfished?” An author confronts her number one critic. Aside from making the author look terrible, it brings up all kinds of questions about the current state of online book reviewing. (Warning: the article contains occasional [...]

The Family Romanov

The Family Romanov

First of all, you need to know something about me as a reader to understand why I find this one quite possibly the most distinguished contribution of American literature for children this year.  I like biography, but it can often feel too claustrophobic for me to inhabit a single viewpoint with a very linear narrative [...]

Video Sunday: Meet Jbrary for All Your Hand Rhyme Needs

Video Sunday: Meet Jbrary for All Your Hand Rhyme Needs

So here’s the deal.  In libraries nationwide there are systems where trained children’s librarians are a scarcity.  There are any number of reasons for this.  It could be that the city or system is low on funds and isn’t hiring.  It could be that there isn’t a reliable library school in the state.  Whatever the [...]

Tin Stars and Clear Days

Tin Stars and Clear Days

Nostalgia and the Printz process don’t really go hand-in-hand. But those old school feelings really can color reading experiences. We have to do a lot of work to recognize them and move past them in order to assess a book more objectively. The first time you read someone, you might have been a young, impressionable [...]

Preview: Mishka and the Sea Devil

Preview: Mishka and the Sea Devil

Mishka and the Sea Devil is a new release from the small publisher Action Lab (known around these parts as the publisher of Princeless) that came out during New York Comic Con last week. I can’t find a catalog page on the site for it, but here’s the info from their marketing e-mail: Eleven days [...]

Placeit and a round-up of image mockup tools

Placeit and a round-up of image mockup tools

I love playing around with images. I use mock-ups for customized screensavers, posters, signs, presentation slides, for telling digital stories, for visual announcements on websites. I just discovered a cool little tool that will come in handy for our more techie displays. Placeit.net is an image generator that allows you to upload an image, or [...]

This Week’s Comics: Real Life Skylanders

This Week’s Comics: Real Life Skylanders

Halloween is still two weeks away. There should not be Christmas comics yet! DC Comics has the right idea with the release of the first trade of Batman ’66. First Second releases a box set of Olympians, putting all six volumes together in a nice slipcover box, and Titan Comics continues the adventures of Doctor [...]

I Feel Smart: On Wordless Picture Books and Perception

I Feel Smart: On Wordless Picture Books and Perception

Just thinking out loud here… It’s another great year for wordless picture books. What draws us to stories told exclusively through illustration? A good story is paramount, of course, but I think there’s something about our brains that respond to visuals first. It’s how we take in the world. I keep coming back to the [...]

National Book Award Finalists

National Book Award Finalists

And we have finalists! With yesterday’s announcement of the National Book Award Finalists in the Young People’s Literature category it’s really starting to feel like awards season. Last month, Karyn wrote about the longlist, observing that social conscience seemed to be a common thread among the nominees. Now that we’re down to five titles, her [...]

Brown Girl Dreaming, and How I Discovered Poetry

Brown Girl Dreaming, and How I Discovered Poetry

In another interesting pair of subject-matter-coincidences, we have two works in verse from African American female writers this year that are memoirs of their childhood experiences which prepared them for their writing careers.  (These both follow closely on last year’s Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes, for a triple coincidence.) Jacqueline Woodson’s BROWN GIRL DREAMING is [...]

Review: Snoopy’s Thanksgiving

Review:  Snoopy’s Thanksgiving

Snoopy’s Thanksgiving By Charles M. Schulz Fantagraphics; $9.99 Now here’s something to be thankful for—the fourth in Fantagraphics’ growing line of seasonal-themed gift books collecting classic Peanuts material. Snoopy’s Thanksgiving, as the title indicates, is concerned with next month’s big holiday. While there was, of course, an animated  Peanuts holiday special about Thanksgiving—1973′s A Charlie [...]

Books on Film: Morning Blend with Klassen and Barnett

Books on Film: Morning Blend with Klassen and Barnett

Hot off the presses! Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett made an appearance on the Milwaukee area Morning Blend show.

Preview: Uncle Grandpa #1

Preview: Uncle Grandpa #1

This week, BOOM! Studios adds another Cartoon Network comic to its kaBOOM line with the release of Uncle Grandpa #1. It’s a goofy collection of short strips and gags by an assortment of creators, with a strong Mad Magazine vibe. Check out our preview to see for yourself; the comic is out in comic shops [...]

Poetry from the Streets

Poetry from the Streets

For teen in my community, in Vallejo, CA, mentioning Tupac Shakur is pretty much guaranteed to give you some credibility, and his book of poetry, The Rose That Grew from Concrete is one of our most read (and lost) poetry collections. So when I saw that David Tomas Martinez’s debut collection, Hustle, not only name-checks [...]

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, Susan Kuklin Candlewick Press, February 2014 Reviewed from ARC Does literary quality mean that a writer has to have a strong authorial presence? I bring this up because Beyond Magenta is a wonderful nonfiction book. It’s easily one of the strongest contenders for this year’s YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction—but [...]

Fusenews: “Red Nine doth here stand by”

Fusenews: “Red Nine doth here stand by”

Me stuff.  You have been warned.  So the first thing to know today is that this coming Saturday I’ll be speaking at the Eric Carle Museum about Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature.  It will prove to be an amusing talk and if you live in the area I’d desperately love it if [...]

Historical Accuracy in Illustration: Shifting Standards or Stubborn Certainties?

Historical Accuracy in Illustration: Shifting Standards or Stubborn Certainties?

There’s been a lot of talk about accuracy in children’s nonfiction recently (which is just a fancy way of saying that there’s been a lot of talk on this particular blog).  Everything from invented dialogue to series that are nonfiction-ish.  One element we haven’t discussed in any way, shape, or form though is the notion [...]

Books on Film: Illustrators Illustrate Before Your Eyes

Books on Film: Illustrators Illustrate Before Your Eyes

The Guardian children’s books blog busted out a bit of a treasure trove this week. They captured ten top UK illustrators doing their thing via Vine (the six-second video service). Here’s Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo) drawing a character from his latest book with Julia Donaldson, The Scarecrow’s Wedding: The rest are just as cool (I [...]