Posts Tagged: children’s books

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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A Helpful Guide to Writing Children’s Books

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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.

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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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What Would A Kid Say About Go the Fuck to Sleep?

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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.

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Children’s Books Written By Adult Authors!

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“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!

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