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Posts Tagged: children’s literature

The Rumpus Interview with Sanae Ishida

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Sanae Ishida discusses her debut children’s book, Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl, embracing her creativity after years in the corporate world, and finding inspiration in her young daughter.

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The Magical World of Children’s Literature

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Over at the Atlantic, Colleen Gillard takes a critical look at the differences between British and American children’s stories. While British stories for children tend to be rooted in fantasy and folklore, she writes, American children’s classics tend to be more grounded in realism. “Each style has its virtues, but the British approach undoubtedly yields the […]

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New Ambassador for Young People’s Lit

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The Library of Congress is, for the first time, naming a graphic novelist as the Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The honor goes to Gene Luen Yang, author of the graphic novels American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints, among others. The post was created in 2008 to help promote children’s and young adult literature, and […]

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Home, Even in the Most Dangerous of Times and Places

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For the Guardian, Julia Eccleshare explores why homelessness is rarely represented in children’s literature. What she finds is that novels for young readers tend to capitalize on the idea of “home” as a place of “fundamental security,” a theme that young readers can easily comprehend: But perhaps the specifics of homelessness in terms of either time or […]

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Internet Content Mills Have Nothing on the Hardy Boys

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Even after eighty years of publication, Simon & Schuster is still putting out several Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew titles each year, thanks to ghostwriters and an assembly-line-like process: Book packagers are a kind of outsourced labor, not unlike factories in China or tech-support centers in Mumbai. They develop new story ideas, recruit and manage freelance […]

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The Rumpus Interview with Matthew Baker

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“Master fictioneer” Matthew Baker talks about his new middle grade novel, If You Find This, artists as tricksters, his favorite comic strips, and why children are still capable of believing in impossible things.

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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. It’s […]

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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.

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The Rumpus Interview with Tomi Ungerer

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Writer and illustrator Tomi Ungerer discusses his exile in Ireland, being a target of censorship, and his work’s recent resurgence of popularity in the US.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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The Jewish Little House on the Prairie

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Sydney Taylor’s beloved children’s classic All-of-a-Kind Family is being resurrected by Lizzie Skurnick books. The series of books follows the lives of a Jewish family of four girls and their brother living in pre-WWI New York. These are not only personal favorites of mine and personal favorites of readers, they’re a piece of a very […]

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Pink Books and Blue Books

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Across the pond, the Let Books Be Books campaign is circulating a petition calling on publishers of children’s books to stop labeling books according to gender and to “allow children to choose freely what kinds of stories and activity books interest them.” Prominent British authors and publishers have come out in support of the campaign—Phillip Pullman, […]

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Absent Characters

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People of color have been largely excluded from children’s literature. Of the 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, only 93 featured black characters. In his essay, “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature,” Christopher Myers speaks out against the trend of allowing members of certain racial groups to go unseen because of the color of their skin. […]

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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. As Popova […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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The Next Letter for Kids: Irene Latham

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Exciting news: The next Letter for Kids, going out this Thursday, is from Irene Latham! Poetry editor of the Birmingham Arts Journal, Irene has written two novels for kids: Leaving Gee’s Bend and Don’t Feed the Boy. Dear Wandering Wildebeest, forthcoming in 2014, is her third collection of poetry—but her first collection of poetry for young readers. Not bad […]

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Literary Black History Month Resources for Kids

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Looking for a literary way to celebrate Black History Month with the kids in your life? Reading Rockets has a wide-ranging list of resources, from children’s book recommendations to writing activities to interviews with black writers and illustrators. There are also recommendations for museums and interactive websites if you want something more hands-on.

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Followup: Beyond Dora

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In response to the New York Times‘ article about the lack of Latino characters in children’s literature, Aurora Anaya-Cerda, owner of East Harlem bookstore La Casa Azul, compiled a list of books that do feature Latinos. They range from elementary-level storybooks to young-adult novels, and they’re a great place to start if you’re looking for stories about […]

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