February Edition of The Edge of the Forest
Children's Literacy Round-Up: Read Across America Day Edition

Sunday Afternoon Visits: Babymouse, Butterflies, and Creative Play

I've been a bit busy this weekend, and so this has evolved to more of a "Sunday night visits" post. But here are some recent posts from around the Kidlitosphere that have caught my eye.

  • Babymouse: Puppy LoveVia Matthew Holm, I learned that School Library Journal has a new article about the advantages of graphic novels for younger readers, complete with a list of 25 recommended titles (including Babymouse: Puppy Love). I especially enjoyed this part (also highlighted by Matt): "Teachers and librarians are also beginning to realize that these books are perfect for young readers who are making the transition from picture books to text-only titles. And with graphic novels’ hypnotic power to pull kids into a story, they’re also perfect for promoting recreational or free voluntary reading—one of the most effective ways to increase literacy and create lifelong readers." Click through to see the full list. See also this related SLJ article (also via Matt).
  • Becky has a lovely post over at Becky's Book Reviews about her childhood love of reading, and how it was nurtured by her mother. She also recaps several of her favorite childhood titles, and discusses why she prefers reading the old battered copies to newer editions. This is a post for all book lovers, as Becky's specific details inspire each of us to reflect on the books that have made us who we are.
  • Sarah from The Reading Zone has been posting day by day summaries of her recent trip to Mexico to see the Monarch butterflies. Although this is a bit off-topic from children's books, she has some lovely photos, and these posts are well worth a look. Start here, and work your way forward.
  • Camille reminisces about several children's books that feature dolls as important characters over at Book Moot. It's a great list, but I really had to suggest the addition of Ginnie and the Mystery Doll, by Catherine Wolley. I don't remember much about it, but I know that I was fascinated by it as a child.   
  • Peter at Collecting Children's Books has a nice post about collecting "perfect" first editions vs. collecting books that have been loved (he sides with the latter). I feel the same way he does - that there's a charm to seeing an old inscription by which a grandmother chose a book to give to a grandchild 60 years ago, and the like. I especially cherish books that belonged to my mother and my grandmothers, and I'm thrilled if I can find written evidence of that inside. Thanks for the validation, Peter!
  • Over at Kids Lit, Tasha links to an interesting NPR piece about the importance of creative play for children, and shares a lovely verbal picture of her daydreaming son.
  • And speaking of creative play, check out this post from Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup, about brownies, both the little mythic creatures and the desserts. She also features some A. A. Milne, something that should never be passed by.
  • I know I already mentioned that Pam Coughlan has been guest blogging at ForeWord Magazine's Shelf Space. But I simply love her new post, about her dual roles as a mother and a reader and how she strives to raise her children to be readers. My favorite part is this paragraph (emphasis mine): "I’ve also been asked by parents that with today’s busy lifestyle, how I find time for my kids to read. For this question, I allow a quick wide-eyed expression of shock so the questioner realizes the very seriousness of the inquiry. For me, it’s as if they’ve asked how I find time for my children to eat dinner. In my family, reading is a necessary and vital part of our day. We formed the habit early, and rarely break it." Keep 'em reading, Pam. Keep 'em reading.
  • Inspired by a. fortis's recent post at Finding Wonderland, Charlotte writes about "things that stuck in (her) head" from children's books at Charlotte's Library. The things she highlights are "are more guidelines for living than facts, and not big guidelines, like respecting others, but little things." I feel completely the same way about what I've learned from children's books - I learned values and guidelines, rather than dates and places. See also Kelley's response at ACLA Youth Services blog.
  • Speaking of Finding Wonderland, please join me in congratulating a. fortis and TadMack on Finding Wonderland's three-year anniversary. They inspire us all. And don't miss TadMack's post about visiting the Museum of Childhood. So fun!!
  • Finally, Cheryl Rainfield reports (citing a Telegraph story) that J. K. Rowling has started a new children's book, unrelated to the Harry Potter series. Only time will tell...

And that's all for this weekend. I'm headed out on a business trip tomorrow, but I hope to squeeze in some time for a literacy round-up tomorrow night. Happy reading!