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Posts from June 2010

Fourth Annual Kidlitcon Announced!

I've been pretty out of the blogging loop since Baby Bookworm was born. But I couldn't let the announcement of Kidlitcon 2010 pass by unremarked. The Fourth Annual Kidlitosphere Conference, a gather of children's and young adult book bloggers, will be held on October 23rd, 2010. The conference rotates each year, to give more people a chance to attend. Year 1 was in Chicago, year 2 in Portland, OR, and year 3 in Washington, DC. Now we're back to the central US. This year's conference is being organized by Andrew Karre (Carolrhoda), Ben Barnhart (Milkweed Editions) and Brian Farrey (Flux) in beautiful downtown Minneapolis.

I'm not sure that I'll be able to attend, given the presence of Baby Bookworm (who isn't supposed to be traveling that early). But we'll see... I'm part of a select group of people who have attended all of the Kidlitcons held so far, and I do really hate to miss it.

But my own participation aside, if you are in any way involved in blogging about children's and/or young adult literature, I STRONGLY urge you to see if you can find a way to attend Kidlitcon. It's sure to be packed with useful sessions about kidlit blogging. More important than that, I think, attending Kidlitcon gives you a chance to meet other kidlit bloggers face to face. A chance to discover that, yes, your blogging friends really are as amazing as they seem online. A chance to surround yourself with people who are as passionate as you are about children's books, and encouraging kids to read them.

If all you're looking for is free books, this isn't the conference for you. There will no doubt be a few books available. But that's not the purpose of Kidlitcon. The purpose of Kidlitcon is to bring people together, in a warm and friendly environment (something that's hard for the huge conferences like ALA and BEA to pull off), and talk about the joy that is blogging children's and young adult literature.

You can find details on the Kidlitcon 2010 blog, and/or follow along on Twitter. A call for submissions will be up later this week.

Kidlitcon 2010. Don't miss it!

Baby Bookworm is 2 Months Old Today

Amazing as it seems, our daughter is two months old today, and closing in on 8 pounds. She's still two weeks away from her original due date (June 18), but would have been considered full term if she was born today. She's doing really well with eating, and we're hoping that she'll start to sleep for more than an hour or so at a time one of these days. We still have to keep her a bit isolated from people (especially children), because her immune system isn't very well developed, but she doesn't seem to mind.

She's definitely showing her own personality already. She is very stubborn, and knows what she wants. But we think that being stubborn has helped her to do as well as she's doing, so we have no complaints [check back with us in about two years on that subject ;-)]

She's still not very interested in looking at pictures, so I'm continuing to read chapter books to her. We read Pippi Longstocking this week. I hadn't actually read that one myself in a long time, and was interested to see how it would hold up. It was a much easier read-aloud than The Secret Garden (our previous book), and without the same richness of language. Still, I found it a good mix of description and dialog for read-aloud, and found many passages laugh-out-loud funny.

Pippi remains one of my favorite literary characters - one of the ultimate "cool girls of children's literature". She is strong and independent. She can not only take care of herself, but she can amuse herself. Although thoughtless in some ways, she's incredibly kind in others (hiding gifts for Tommy and Annika to find, for example). She is a lot of fun.

The book is a product of its time and place. There are some references that are a bit dated (Annika always wears dresses, the neighborhood mothers complain about their maidservants, a four and five year old child are left alone in a house that catches fire, and there's no implied criticism, etc.). I was a bit floored by the last chapter, in which Pippi gives Tommy and Annika guns to take home as gifts. If Baby Bookworm was older, I'd certainly have to do some explaining while reading this book. But that's one of the benefits of reading books aloud, isn't it? I'm glad to have spent some time with Pippi this week.

I have Ballet Shoes queued up next (I was going to do The Penderwicks, but realized that I had listened to that one on audio, and have to procure a printed copy).

I send out my best wishes to those participating in this year's 48 Hour Book Challenge at MotherReader. Perhaps next year I'll be able to participate again. Happy reading, all!