Happy Birthday, Dana
48 Hour Book Challenge from MotherReader

Sunday Afternoon Visits

I've been really enjoying these little "Sunday Afternoon Visits" posts that I've been making over the past couple of weeks. Of course if they were in person, someone might offer me a lemonade or a chocolate chip cookie, but I'll settle for a comment or two. Here are some things that especially caught my eye this week:

  • Kelly (author of the wildly popular Poetry Friday tradition, and editor of the wonderful online journal The Edge of the Forest) has started a new feature at Big A little a: the Tuesday book review roundup. If you check out her entry for this past week, you'll see that she's included links to all of the children's book reviews that she came across in the blogs in the previous week, neatly categorized by age and genre. It's a wonderful resource. I learned of several new blogs, as well as appreciating the convenience of having a record of all of the reviews right there in one place. I also feel motivated to write more book reviews, in the hope of having them included in next week's entry.
  • Liz B. over at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy has an amusing and envy-inducing write-up of her experience at BookExpo America last week. It's envy-inducing because she "picked up over 60 ARCs and books", and was able to get several books signed. Wow! I think I might have to go to BEA next year. It's in New York the first weekend in June. I have a friend in New York who I bet could be induced to come and hang out there with me. Liz also had some nice praise from author Maryrose Wood for her recent review of the recently challenged Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall In Love.
  • And speaking of meeting authors, A Fuse #8 Production has an interesting post (inspired by a discussion on the Critical Mass blog) about how honest book reviewers can be when they know that they might end up meeting an author personally. I have been wondering about this issue a little bit myself. Not that I've met very many authors, but I have had some nice email chats. I've been fortunate so far, in that I've genuinely liked the books that people have sent me. But what if a nice author goes to the trouble of sending me a copy of a book to review, and I don't care for it? My official policy would be to just not review the book in that case. But I suspect it's easier said than done. Fortunately for us all, the children's and young adult publishers seem to me to be doing a great job providing quality reads. So I don't really expect to have much trouble.
  • Michele at the BLTeens Blog (from the Bryant Library in Roslyn, NY) offers a list of what the Bryant Library offers, in comparison to the lure of American Idol (which recently drew some 50 million votes). I think that people from most libraries will be able to relate.
  • Gregory K. at Gotta Book has a highly inspirational post about how he and a team of other parents and volunteers worked together to bring an L.A. elementary school library from zero to 10,000 books in one year. He says: "It's all a testament to a group of bullheaded parents and volunteers who have worked hard, thought outside the box, gotten lucky, and in the process, dare I say it, have shown a school full of kids how important we think books are. In return, we've been rewarded by seeing how much the kids love the library... love picking out their books... and, it seems to me, genuinely love reading." Do go and read the whole story at Gotta Book. I predict that in the long run, this will be a much more meaningful legacy than even the ever-popular fibs that Greg invented. You should read the comments, too. Also, since writing the post, he's had some nice donations from Gotta Book readers.
  • MotherReader has a hilarious post about how she managed to meet Mo Willems. She talked to him about being a Hot Man of Children's Literature, gave him the link to her blog, got his picture, and got a couple of books signed, too. He also mentioned Susan's blog at Chicken Spaghetti, which I thought was cool and much deserved. But go and read the whole post yourself. It's a lot of fun!.
  • The Disco Mermaids have the next clue to their dePaola Code.
  • Michele at Scholar's Blog has started a new companion blog: Scholar's Blog Spoiler Zone. The idea is to be able to talk about books in depth, without worrying about spoilers for people who haven't read the book. I think this is great, because I hate spoilers of books I haven't read, but I do respect Michele's in-depth analysis of the genre. This is a welcome compromise.
  • The Library Lady has a Self-Test for Literature Abuse. Apparently this has been around for a while, but it's the first time I've seen it. Supposedly you might have a serious reading problem if you answer yes to more than five of the twenty-nine items. I answered yes to 16. Hmm...
  • And just in case you missed it, I'm collecting nominations for cool girls of children's literature. I've had great suggestions from Wendy from Blog from the Windowsill, Katie from the First Book Blog, and Liz from A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy. I hope that you'll share your thoughts, too!

Hope that you're all enjoying the holiday weekend. Happy Memorial Day!