Sorry I've been so absent from the blog lately. I had to travel to the east coast for a funeral, a sudden, this was really NOT supposed to happen, funeral, and I've had neither the time nor the heart for keeping up these past couple of weeks. But I do very much appreciate the supportive comments that I've received (and I'm especially grateful to Terry for taking on last weekend's literacy round-up). And now, I am ready to get back to some semblance of normal. Which is a good thing, because there have been crazy amounts of activity in the Kidlitosphere this week. Here are a few highlights:
First up, Pam Coughlan (MotherReader) reports that you can now start making hotel reservations for the Third Annual Kidlitosphere conference. The conference will be held October 16-18, in Washington, CDC. Pam also announced the date for the next 48-Hour Book Challenge (June 5th - 7th). Be sure to get both of those on your calendar.
Various initiatives launched April 1st, in honor of National Poetry Month. There's Greg Pincus' 30 Poets / 30 Days at Gotta Book, Tricia Stohr-Hunt's Poetry Makers series at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Jone MacCulloch's Poetry Postcard project at Check It Out, and Elaine Magliaro's various prizes at her new Political Verses blog. See also an interview with Greg about 30 Poets / 30 Days at Just One More Book!
Also, as reported by Jules at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, "at Poetry for Children, Sylvia Vardell will be reviewing a new children’s poetry book every day. And at Pencil Talk — School Poems, author and teacher and blogger Anastasia Suen is inviting K-12 students during the month of April to write their own poems and send them to her. She will post them there at Pencil Talk." Jules also notes that at 7-Imp "celebrations will occur in the form of some interviews/features with poets and poet/illustrators AND artists who have illustrated poetry titles, and I’ve got some new poetry collections and anthologies I’d love to share."
National Poetry Month also inspired an enormous outpouring of posts for last week's Poetry Friday (a year-round event by which KidLit bloggers focus on poetry on Fridays). Amy Planchak Graves has a simply amazing round-up. Also don't miss Lynn Hazen's Imaginary Blog, where Lynn is celebrating "Bad Poetry Friday", with a poem written by Betsy Bird of Fuse #8 when she was 17 years old. Lynn is also the subject of a delightful ForeWord Magazine interview this month.
And speaking of Fuse #8, via Fuse News, I found a link to the International Edible Book Festival announcement, and I could not resist sharing. "This ephemeral global banquet, in which anyone can participate, is shared by all on the internet and allows everyone to preserve and discover unique bookish nourishments. This festival is a celebration of the ingestion of culture and a way to concretely share a book; it is also a deeper reflexion on our attachment to food and our cultural differences." I do find the April 1st date somewhat suspicious... But did I ever mention that Mheir got me a chocolate book last Christmas? Well, it was a book, but when you opened it up there were delicious truffles inside. But close enough to being a chocolate book. He does know me.
Still speaking of Betsy (she is everywhere this week), please join me in congratulating her. Betsy just had two picture books acquired by Greenwillow. The timing seems particularly fortuitous, given that she's just started releasing the results of her fabulous Top 100 Picture Books poll. You can find the results so far here and here. These are must-read posts for picture book fans. More than just listing the titles, Betsy also includes cover images and commentary. I find myself very curious about what books will be showing up on the rest of the list. I did chime in with my picks, but I haven't yet been bold enough (or had time enough) to post my top 10 list here.
I'm also kind of curious to see what books show up on a list that Laurel Snyder has started: 100 Horrible Picture Books. She explains: "For the next week, I ask that you email me... and tell me the name of a picture book you HATE! And please, if you can, a few words about why you detest it. Here’s the catch: It has to be a book other people love. A classic. A bestseller. A “gem” of some kind." I'm pretty sure that there will be overlap with a book that's already been featured on Betsy's list... you all know which one I'm talking about.
And as long as we're being irreverent, Minh Le from Bottom Shelf Books and Farida Dowler from Saints and Spinners are running a contest called Unnecessary Children's Book Sequels that Never Were. It's pretty self-explanatory, but you can find the details here.
Amy has a lovely post at Literacy Launchpad about children's books as family heirlooms. She begins: "What if you had something in your family to pass down through the generations that was truly beautiful, appreciated, practical, valued, and could make your children (or grandchildren) smarter and more successful? I bet you do! Children's books!"
And while we're on the subject of adults who cherish children's books as heirlooms, don't miss Melissa's recent rant at Kidliterate, asking adults to please stop apologizing for reading kids' books. She says: "I don’t care if you don’t have kids. I don’t care if you have kids. It is okay to read books written for children and young adults. It is okay to enjoy them. It is okay for other adults to see you reading them. It is okay to tell other adults to shove it if they mock you for reading books written for children and young adults." Hear, hear!
One thing that brightened my own week was that Natasha Worswick from Children's Books for Grownups (is that a great blog name, or what?) gave me an I (heart) your blog award. I'm not going to directly pass this one along, but of course I love all of the blog that I've mentioned here, and the others that I'll be linking to in Monday's Children's Literacy Round-Up. Thanks for cheering me during a tough week, Tasha!
And finally, some quick tidbits:
- The Readergirlz featured title for this month is Impulse by Ellen Hopkins.
- My fellow dystopian fiction fan Adrienne has a fun post about The Top Five Things You Might Want to Read/Watch If You Want to Make THIS the Year You Start Canning.
- On the subject of dystopias, Gail Gauthier links to a fascinating article by Farah Mendlesohn in the Horn Book Magazine about the state of science fiction for kids. I'm going to echo Gail in saying that Sheila Ruth must read this one.
I can't even tell you how great it feels to be relatively caught up on the doings of the Kidlitosphere. Thanks for being here, guys!
© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.