Monthly Archives: June 2010

Initials (with Apologies to the Creators of Hair)

MRE took the ACELA*
Down to DC USA
When she got there
What did she see?
The librarians of America at ALA

DC 95 DS**

DC 97 DS

ALA AAA*****

ALA CSK******
DC 99 DS

ALA PPP *******
ALA FFF ********


*poetic license
**degrees in the shade
*** Newbery Caldecott Banquet
**** books books books
***** authors authors authors
******Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast
******* publishers publishers publishers
********friends friends friends


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Filed under ALA, awards, Newbery

Come to Dance the Macabray (with Book Carts)

I first heard about ALA’s Book Cart Drill Team competition after Jon Scieszka and Mo Willems stumbled upon it a few years back and took over the commentary.  But I’d never been there in person until this year when I finally managed to drop by just in time to see this group.   (I had to leave after this, but heard from Mo that there was one more group that did some sort of John Cage thing.  Can anyone tell us more about that one?)


Filed under Neil Gaiman

Beautiful, Beautiful Books

Thank you, Alison Morris, for directing me to the book sculptures of Su Blackwell.   Here are a few that are particularly apt for this blog, but the others are extraordinary too, many from classical children’s stories.


Filed under Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Super Agents

My agent Stephen Barbara lets us in on what two of his Foundry colleagues are looking for. (via Kathi Appelt).

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Filed under Other

Award Winners, Critics, and Editors Talking

This looks fantastic!

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Filed under Other

The Two Umas’ “Out of the Way! Out of the Way!”

When Uma Krishnaswami asked me if I would like to participate in a blog tour I was intrigued. I’ve never done one, but the featured book (illustrated by another Uma, Uma Krishnaswamy) looked charming online and was being brought out by the admirable Indian publisher Tulika Books.  So I said yes.

I’m glad I did.  A clever cumulative tale for very young children, the book is a pleasure to read and view.  Having never been to India I can’t weigh in on authenticity, but it comes across as very real. Set in India, created and published in India, it offers an insider’s view of India, understandably quite different from the one you get, no matter how well-intended and well-researched,  created and published by outsiders.  Those looking for books about other cultures and places for young kids should definitely snap this one up.

Wanting a more youthful perspective I read the book to some of my book blogging 6th graders and invited them to write their own blog posts.

  • Wrote KM, “It’s set in India, which is one reason I liked it so much. I go to India every summer to see family, and so I also have a general idea of the setting and stuff.”  Read her whole post here.
  • LW gave it a 9.5 out of 10 and thought that it is, “….  kind of like The Giving Tree, except that in The Giving Tree the boy was very selfish and cruel to the tree, but in this book the boy really loved the tree and protected it from all of the dangers of a growing city.” Read her whole post here.
  • TB notes that the book has a, “… wonderful collection of similes, India and a child’s love for the environment.” LD notes that “… it has that Indian tradition, which includes the modern part of India.” Read their whole post here.
  • In her post, RC urges you to move out of the way for this book.

So there’s our take on this pretty book.  For some other perspectives do visit the rest of the tour stops this week:

Monday June 21:
Educating Alice (Monica Edinger)
Saffron Tree (artnavy)
Tuesday June 22:
Chicken Spaghetti (Pooja Makhijani)
Through the Tollbooth (Sarah Sullivan)
Wednesday June 23:
PaperTigers (Marjorie Coughlan)
Thursday June 24:
Brown Paper (Niranjana Iyer)
Plot Whisperer (Martha Alderson)
Friday June 25:
Notes from New England (Nandini Bajpai)
Saffron Tree (artnavy)

Saturday June 26:
Scribbly Katia (Katia Novet Saint-Lot)
Jacket Knack (Carol Brendler)
Sunday June 27:
The Drift Record (Julie Larios)


Filed under Picture Books

Sin, Formality, and Snicket

How does writing for children compare to writing for adults?

They feel like the same thing to me. I think of children’s literature as being a sort of genre, so writing a children’s book is like writing a mystery novel – some things you have to put into it, otherwise it doesn’t qualify. And there are things that don’t belong in it or else it doesn’t qualify, but other than that, it feels like the same thing.

Daniel Handler in conversation at the LA Times.

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Filed under Other

Trailer for “Library of the Early Mind”

I remember learning about this intriguing documentary, enjoying the production blog, and then kind of forgetting about it as it was still being created.  But now it is all done and the first trailer is just up. Not only is it full of familiar names and faces, but it looks beautifully edited and produced. I sure wish I could get to the October 19th screening at Harvard, but I can’t (school and all that). Hopefully more will be announced soon, say one in NYC.


Filed under Children's Literature

Orlando has just soared in my estimation

NCTE disappointed me recently by turning down a convention session proposal of mine that included the participation of this year’s Newbery winner and I briefly contemplated not attending. However, now that Orlando has the WWHP my whole view of the place has been transformed and I’m so there come November.  Anyone want to join me for a butter beer the weekend before Thanksgiving?


Filed under Harry Potter, NCTE

Poetry — Hmm

At the Guardian Stephen Hill considers the question, “What is the Future of Poetry?“.

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Filed under Poetry