Sunday, August 14, 2011

Link Love - Brit Lit, Africa, and Screening Out the Baddies

Another week gone by (where, exactly, I don't know). But here's a look at links that popped up on my radar this week:

~  First, The Guardian commemorates the 100th anniversary of one of my favorite novels: Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden. Do kids still read this one? I remember being so enchanted by the idea of stumbling on a whole secret place where you could hide away from the rest of the world. Still am, truth be told.
~ Another childhood favorite was Peter Pan, and it was recently announced that there are plans to turn the house that was JM Barrie's inspiration into center for children's literature. I can hardly stand it. How old do you think Sprout has to be before we can visit?? Maybe we'll make a world tour out of it -- Flavorwire has other locations that inspired literary classics.

~  Also from The Guardian, test out your knowledge of kidlit villains. Bonus points if you know the one about Cruella de Vil, one of my all-time favorite baddies (even if they spelled Dalmatians wrong).

~ And while we're talking about villains, do you dial down the badness factor when you read to your kids? Lots of parents do, but Kate Tuttle wonders who we're really trying to protect when we edit out the scary stuff. Screwy Decimal poses a similar question, albeit a whole lot funnier.

~ Things that scare me: newly discovered works by beloved authors. Because really, lots of times the lost should just stay lost. Since they were previously published, this new Random House collection of "lost" Dr. Seuss stories might be different -- but I'll be looking with one eye closed, just in case.

~ Many of you know that my heart belongs to Africa, mostly because of my darling Sprout. And so I get more than a little overly enthusiastic about things like Africa Access Review, a group that aims to help librarians and teachers curate and develop their collection of materials about Africa. Reviews, book clubs, awards -- if you want quality in your library, this is the place to find it. Thanks for Fuse #8 for the link.

~ Alphabet books are tricky -- the ultra-creative ones can sometimes stray too far from the point, the straightforward ones can be DULL. Sprout loved the recent Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray, for its clever plotline and graphic, retro illustrations. And I think this one looks right up our alley too (plus, how can you not love that title??). Thanks to Rasco from RIF for the review.

~  I'm a little late to the party, but I finished The Hunger Games this week and of course LOVED it and can't wait for the movie. According to this I have my deadline for finishing Catching Fire before the movie release. Might just take me that long to move up the library queue!

~ And finally, here's one for the hubs. Jake's ongoing project is seeking out African American characters in comic books, with the goal of hooking Sprout at a very young age. I suspect he's secretly yearning for a ComicCon buddy, but anything that keeps Sprout reading is fine by me. Check out this glimpse at African American superheroes from The Network Journal.

If you come across a kidlit link that you'd like to see featured here, please shoot it my way! Contact me at sproutsbookshelf *at* gmail *dot* com. Thanks!

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