1982 was a shitty year. I was 9 years old and in the 4th grade in Appleton, Wisconsin. My parents were going through a nasty divorce, the kind of thing you see on Jerry Springer....more
Posts Tagged: children’s books
After publishing a collection of short stories earlier this year, B.J. Novak has just released his first book for children, Book With No Pictures. The title is pretty self-explanatory—as an interview with Novak in the Atlantic puts it, instead of traditional pictures,
…words form statements like, “My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named Boo-Boo Butt.” The joke is that the grown-up has to say every outrageous thing on the page, which makes the kid feel like an evil genius.
At the New York Times, writer Terry Pratchett discusses what he’s reading, who inspires him, and what makes a good fantasy novel. He also reveals one of his favorite childhood books and what made it so great:
I found a book called “The Wind in the Willows,” by Kenneth Grahame, and I just exploded.
The New York Public Library owns an absolutely peculiar collection: a 6000+ cards catalog of hand-typed children books reviews, written by librarians over the years. Lynn Lobash, NYPL reader services overseer, explained to Quartz that, “There’s about a billion card catalogs in the library, but these are special in that they were used as a tool for collection development, for the staff to evaluate the children’s collection.”
Be sure to check out NYPL’s Instagram account, where new review cards are posted every Tuesday....more
The classic children’s book Goodnight Moon is a model example of successful narrative structure, argues Aimee Bender in the New York Times. The story follows enough traditional patterns to be satisfying, but also deviates in new and unique ways:
“Goodnight Moon” does two things right away: It sets up a world and then it subverts its own rules even as it follows them.
3D printing has all sorts of unique applications, and the most recent of these is making it possible for blind and visually impaired children to read classic children’s books like Goodnight Moon and Harold and the Purple Crayon. The project, started by researchers at the University of Colorado, uses printing technology to create pages with raised illustrations....more
In the story, a young girl, Nancy, mysteriously receives a single Christmas gift – the steamroller. She takes the gift out for a ride and flattens many things along the way, one of which was human, as I recall. I believe the human popped back up, unrealistically.
How does a child experience a book? It’s such a different experience reading on a tablet or a smartphone. A physical book has a heft, a permanence that you don’t get digitally. So our hope is that the bookstore will remain a vital, important part of communities across the country and the world.
The lack of people of color in children’s book is stifling, but what’s even scarier is a generational staying of the trend. Kathleen Horning examines this stagnancy for the School Library Journal:
If we want to see change, if we want to see more diversity in literature, we have to buy the books.
British art giant David Hockney is best known for pop-art paintings like A Bigger Splash, but he has also worked in many other mediums—including, it seems, illustrations for children’s books.
Over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova highlights a recently reissued collection of fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm with striking, discomfiting drawings by Hockney....more
The Green Branch Library has done amazing work providing books and other materials about social and environmental justice to kids in Oakland.
Now they’re hoping to expand their reach to kids all over the Bay Area with a a bookmobile!
Check out the extraordinarily adorable Claymation video they made for their Indiegogo campaign and make a tax-deductible donation!...more
If it’s always been your secret ambition to write a children’s picture book, Buzzfeed Books can help you get started with this handy-dandy thirteen-step guide, illustrated by the Rumpus’s own Jason Novak (with a little help from his daughter Gertie).
There’s some golden advice in there: probably avoid rhyming, send to agents instead of publishers, and don’t try to micromanage the illustrator....more
This post by Soraya Chemaly looks at the numbers and finds that kid-lit books feature twice as many male protagonists as female ones (three times as many when the characters are animals), and about a bajillion more white protagonists than protagonists of any other race—and that’s just for 2012....more
The one with people feet, I thought, had once been human, but had changed. He grew wild. Everyone grew wild at times…...more
Last week, British children’s author Terry Deary (famous for his Horrible Histories series) declared that public libraries are unnecessary relics of a past age; they cheat authors of their rightful earnings and “are doing nothing for the book industry.”
A few days later, Julia Donaldson, another British children’s author, fired back:
…libraries are the places where our readers and book-buyers are created.
What was your favorite book as a child?
The Phantom Tollbooth? Little House on the Prairie? Something by Roald Dahl that was kind of grotesque and frightening but also a complete immersion in delight?
The Sensible Nonsense Project collects short essays about favorite childhood books and how they continue to reverberate with us into adulthood....more
Mark Twain’s humor is post-age. His children’s book, Advice to Little Girls was published in 1865 and was a comedic gem amongst the moralizing, heavy-on-the-role-models books of the genre. His story is recast as a slideshow of illustrations by the children’s book illustrator and writer, Vladimir Radunksy....more
Seems like big kids and parents alike are getting a lot of writing mileage out of Go the Fuck to Sleep, Adam Mansbach’s playfully honest plea to his daughter to expedite her bedtime rituals.
The book and its hype have generated all kinds of discussion–on parenting, on the popularity of e-books, on the genre of “children’s books for adults.” Particularly interesting are the questions of whether the book would have been such a hit had it been written by a woman, considering the different scrutiny burdening moms who are learning to be perfect on the job....more
“After years of finding children’s books tucked away in authors’ bibliographies (Graham Greene wrote children’s books!), followed by quick disappointment (how can they be out of print?), I realized that I was having this same frustrating revelation over and over. And when I would bring these discoveries up with my friends, they would have the same reaction (John Updike wrote children’s books!...more
Magazine offices are the new Detroit.
The winner of the second annual World Building of the Year award: the Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre.
NY Times on the best Children’s books of 2009.
Most bad-ass headline of the day: Plan to pierce heart of urban monster volcano....more