Posts Tagged: children’s books

Intergenerational Cycle of Crap

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Gabriel Roth has some hard truths about The Poky Little Puppy, and he’s not wrong.

Millions of people enjoyed The Poky Little Puppy as children, because it was cheap and because, being children, they had no standards. They grew up to be parents, remembered the book fondly from childhood, and purchased it for their own children.

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Conversations with Literary Ex-Cons: Jack Gantos

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Jack Gantos discusses the sense of “delusional invincibility” he had in 1970s New York that led him to prison—and then on to a career as an award-winning children’s book author. ...more

Where We’ve Been

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It’s hard to enjoy reading Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time when the stack of books on your bedside table keeps reminding you of all the cultural capital you have yet to consume. Flavorwire’s Sarah Seltzer wonders why we stop re-reading our favorite books as we get older:

I’ve come to understand that I’ll rarely experience that first rush of discovery again, and perhaps that’s the problem with re-reading.

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McBooks

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McDonald’s Happy Meals are about to get a little more literary, with the addition of children’s books. The LA Times reports that a deal with HarperCollins will put versions of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Big Nate: In a Class by Himself, Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses, and other titles into the popular children’s meals through February.

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The Optimistic Bear

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Paddington Bear, the iconic British children’s book character, finds himself in a new film adaptation this year. The Guardian spoke with Paddington’s creator, the 88-year-old Michael Bond. With 35 million books in print in more than 40 languages, Paddington has endured for more than 50 years, something Bond attributes to the bear’s optimism:

“Paddington is eternally optimistic and always comes back for more, no matter how many times his hopes are dashed…”

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Book With No Pictures

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After publishing a collection of short stories earlier this year, B.J. Novak has just released his first book for children, Book With No PicturesThe 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.

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House of Library Catalog Cards

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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.

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Goodnight Structure, Goodnight Narrative Form

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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.

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3D Printing Helps Blind Children Read

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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.

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Wimpy Bookstore with Strong Ideas

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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.

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Grimm Fairy Tales Just Got Grimmer

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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.

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Green Branch Library to Branch Out with Bookmobile

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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!

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Children’s Books Still Dominated by White Boys

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We’ve blogged before about the issue of representation in children’s and young-adult literature.

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.

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Biting the Hand That Stamps Your Library Book

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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.

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