Kaavya Viswanathan's "Unintentional Copying"
The Railway Children: E. Nesbit

Miscellaneous Items of Interest

I wasn't traveling this week, but I still didn't manage to keep up with what was going on out there in the blogs. Maybe I've become too ambitious, and I try to visit too many blogs. Of course, having a day job that's completely unrelated to children's books doesn't help. Anyway, here are a few things from the blogs that have caught my eye this week:

  • A Fuse #8 Production (which seems to have something interesting to say every single day) has a hilarious response from author Mo Willems to his inclusion in Fuse's "Hot Men of Children's Literature" list. I like his closing "Yours tepidly". You'll have to go read the whole letter yourselves. Kelly at Big A little a called this post "the best thing you (will) read all day."
  • Also on A Fuse #8 Production, you'll find How to Create the Perfect Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. As long as she kept Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka (which she did), I'm all in favor.
  • Kelly at Big A little a links to an article in the Independent, in which Jacqueline Wilson, the U.K. Children's Laureate, urges parents to continue reading to their children until their children are 12 years old. According to the Independent article, by Sarah Cassidy, "Research revealed that fewer than a quarter of children over the age of seven have a regular storytime at home. Only 3 per cent of 12-year-olds are read to, the research, commissioned by Scholastic Book Clubs and Fairs, found." Isn't that sad? You can find the whole article here. I think that if parents can find the time to read more with their children, even after they are old enough to read themselves, everyone will benefit.   
  • And also on the subject of what parents can do to help with their children's literacy, Camille at Book Moot recommends Raising A Child Who Is Ready To Learn (My Shining Star), by Rosemary Wells (who is a strong literacy advocate). Camille says "This little book is going to be my gift to new parents along with Goodnight Moon and a Mother Goose book." Sounds like a great idea to me!
  • Kids Lit reports that Per Nilsson's You & You & You won the L. A. Times Book Prize for young adult fiction. I haven't read it, so I can't comment further.
  • Read Alert has launched a new website "for young people about books."
  • Michele at Scholar's Blog has an interesting post about what makes a book series epic, and whether or not the Harry Potter books qualify for this distinction. Sadly, I think that answer may rest on whether or not Harry lives happily ever after (or lives at all), at the end of book 7. Personally, I'm torn between my love of the characters, and wanting them to be happy, and my sense of drama, and what makes a great story.
  • Cynthia Leitich Smith writes about a new literary prize for children's books: the Lacapa Spirit Prize, in memory of Michael Lacapa. "The Lacapa Spirit Prize will be given annually to the best illustrated children's book that focuses on the spirit of the peoples, culture and natural landscape of the Southwest. Books published in the two years prior to the award are eligible for consideration." You can find more details at Cynsations.
  • I enjoyed this post at Gail Gauthier's blog, Original Content, about a school visit that she made to an elementary school in Massachusetts (perhaps this caught my eye because I went to elementary school in Massachusetts). She was actually brave enough to have lunch in the school cafeteria, and lived to tell about it.
  • Illustrator Don Tate has a funny vertical comic strip on his blog showing what a book signing can be like for the signer. He calls this post "staying humble."
  • The Library Lady has a brief rant about censorship that I agreed with. As she says "You have the personal power to censor what is read and watched in your home", but not in other people's homes. Or at least, that's how it should be!
  • Sherry at Semicolon posted about living in children's books, in response to my suggested topics from a couple of weeks ago (which I had expanded from an original idea on Blog from the Windowsill). Sherry got lots of good feedback to the questions in her comments! I also had just a response on my blog to this question from my wonderful niece.
  • Although it's not a blog, I simply must mention the nice plug that author Chris Abouzeid made for my blog on the Anatopsis website. I reviewed Anatopsis here
  • Finally, I've added a bunch of new blog links. Check out the right-hand sidebar, and scroll down. I have a new category of parenting and homeschool blogs that I visit. And yes, it's a fine line in some cases as to whether a blog is a children's book blog or a homeschool / parenting blog. But I did my best!

That's all for now. I'm off to watch the latest Pride & Prejudice movie, which I have been dying to see. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!