The past week or so has been a bit hectic for me, work-wise, compounded by the fact that I got a new laptop, and I had to spend quite a lot of time getting it set up and working. (It is gorgeous, and only weighs 3 pounds!). But this has kept me largely absent from the kidlitosphere for a few days. And boy, you disappear for a few days, and you miss all sorts of interesting things. Here are a just a few highlights, from a very quick glance. I'll be back with more soon.
- Jennifer discusses When to Quit over at Snapshot. She includes a list of "signs that it might be time to quit (a relationship, a job, a ministry, a committee)." Having struggled with this at times myself, I found comfort in her words, as did a variety of commenters.
- Jennifer Schultz of The Kiddosphere at Fauquier is starting a new feature: Around the World with Your Library Card. She begins with Indiana, complete with maps, tourist information, and, of course, various children's books that take place in Indiana. It's a fun trip!
- I am very late in reporting this, but Lisa Yee has announced the winners in her fractured book title contest (in which you change the first letter of one word of a children's book title, and come up with a short description of the resulting book). The winner is: "Billy's Purple Plastic Purse: When Billy brings his latest fashion accessory to school, Mr Slinger helps the kindergarten class understand that it's okay for Billy to march to the beat of a different drummer." If you find this funny, head on over and check out the full list of nominations. It had me giggling so much that Mheir was actually concerned for my sanity (OK, the jury's still out on that).
- And, for another quick dose of amusement, check out Journey Woman's photos of computers that you can use while comfortably lying down. They are a bit scary, actually. But tempting. Very tempting. I don't think that my new 3-pound baby computer would hurt me.
- On a more serious note, there's been quite a bit of discussion going on regarding the nature of awards, and of the Cybils in particular. You can read some of Colleen's thoughts at Chasing Ray, or you can find an intense discussion in the comments of this A Fuse #8 Production post. Midwestern Lodestar also has some thoughts in response to the Fuse post. For my part, I think that Cybils co-chairs, Anne and Kelly, have done a tremendous thing in a short amount of time, and with a lot of help from the Kidlitosphere. I'm equally sure that next year, with the benefit of experience, will be even better.
- There's also a prolific discussion going on over at Read Roger about the Newbery awards, diversity, picking books that kids want to read, and more. It's all well worth thinking about, especially for those of us judging for the Cybils. Thanks to A Fuse #8 Production for the link. See also Leila's response to the Read Roger post, over at Bookshelves of Doom.
- And as a nice counterpoint to the awards discussion, Gail Gauthier writes about Why Blog Reviews are Important. Among other excellent points, she notes that "Blog reviews bring books to the attention of readers who had never heard of them, but they also remind readers of books they'd been meaning to read but had forgotten about." She challenges blog reviewers not to replicate the print journals by always scurrying to review the newest thing, but to take time out to review other, older gems, also. Thanks to Liz B. for the link.
- And, on the topic of what kids like to read, check out this guest article at Chicken Spaghetti, by Deborah J. Lightfoot, about the Accelerated Reader program. It's eye-opening stuff! Some of the comments are quite vehement, too.
- What with Mary Lee and Franki from A Year of Reading having reached their goal of finding 100 Cool Teachers of Children's Literature, Franki is proposing a new list: 100 Great Children's Books About Books and Reading. Let her know if you have anything to add.
- Also on the scene with a new list, Wendy from Blog from the Windowsill and Lady Schrapnell from So Many Books... are compiling a list of "our favorite tough, selfish, mean, even downright rotten kids." So fun!
And oh, I know there's a lot more. But this should keep you all busy for a while.