Saturday, July 23, 2011

Link Love - A Clickable Roundup of Kidlit Bits

New feature! This week I'm starting a (hopefully) regular effort to share some of the useful, funny, off-the-wall and oh-so-relevant links I've stumbled upon in the recent past. I wouldn't say this is "news" per se, but rather a gathering of stuff that might peak your curiosity, if you're the kidlit-minded sort -- which presumably you are, unless you just happen to know me in real life and are reading along out of sheer politeness. Either way, thank you. Consider this your reward!

  • First up, birthday wishes and all felicitations to Winnie-the-Pooh. The silly old bear turns 90 years old this summer. 90! And he doesn't look a day over five. Send Pooh your own birthday wishes care of the Children's Center at the New York Public Library (sorry, no honey pots accepted).
  • While we're talking classics, for me it begins and ends with Ramona Quimby, the precocious kindergartner that I fell in love with many years ago. Author Beverly Cleary celebrated her 95th birthday this past spring, and had a lot to say about writing, balancing a career, and the state of children's books. I love that she didn't see the point behind "refreshing" the illustrations in her books. Apologies to Tracy Dockray, the new illustrator, but to me Ramona will always be as Louis Darling saw her. Guess I'd better start scouring used bookstores now to find the oldies for Sprout.
  • Speaking of the little man, he is a hard-core Thomas the Tank Engine devotee right now. We love us some Useful Engines, and all their assorted friends and adventures. Good thing he's still too young to plan our next family vacation -- now that the location of Sodor has been revealed, I have a sneaky hunch that's where we'd end up!
  • This next click comes from the UK as well. Kidlit fans, test your knowledge with the Guardian's quiz about beloved kidlit characters in the classroom. And yes, Hogwarts leads the way.
  • If you aced that one, test your knowledge with this piece about little-known kidlit by famous writers. Seems like a few things here are better left undiscovered.
  • My last post was about the devastatingly brilliant novel One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. Of course you've read that post, right? If not, scroll down first and then read this interview with Williams-Garcia's editor. "As an editor, the smartest thing I can do is leave Rita alone." Whoa!
  •  At last! An imprint brings us sci-fi, fantasy and mystery novels WITH DIVERSITY! Tu Books is the product of the ever-fantastic Lee & Low Books, and the brainchild of editorial director Stacy Whitman. I can hardly wait. Check out the Tu Books debut list, pubbing this fall, and then read this awesome interview with Whitman over at the HappyNappy Bookseller. How crazy wonderful is that Tankborn cover??!?
  • How did I not know that Jeff Smith's amazing Bone books are finally being made into a movie? Ah well, this is what I get for neglecting my entertainment news in favor of studying. Anyway, the word from Comic Con is that things are coming together for a three-film project. Here's hoping they do those racing cows justice.
  • And finally, I can't possibly ignore the biggest publishing news of the week: the total liquidation of the Borders chain, and the loss of jobs for nearly 11,000 booksellers. This news makes me terribly sad, not least because that's 399 fewer outlets for kids to connect with books, and for books like those published by Lee & Low and all the other diversity-minded houses to be discovered. I owe a lot to Borders -- my bookselling roots were planted in a Waldenbooks outlet, grew and flourished at several more, and branched out to an indie and a used bookstore. I met my husband there, made some wonderful friends, and discovered amazing kidlit during all those hours of shelving. Say what you will about Borders, but they were the home base of some incredibly knowledgable and enthusiastic booksellers, and their talents will be missed by everyone whose lives they touched. Here's a great response from one indie, who hopes that the flames kindled within Borders customers can continue to burn at local bookstores everywhere.

No comments: