Poetry Friday: Days of Innocence 1
The Thirteenth Tale: Diane Setterfield

Sunday Afternoon Visits: November 5

I'm a bit late with my Sunday visits, because Mheir and I went to visit the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium in San Jose this afternoon. It was very cool. It's freaky to look at mummies and think, "This person was alive and walking around 3000 years ago." Anyway, there are many interesting discussions going on around the kidlitosphere this week. Here are a few highlights:

  • The ESSL Children's Literature Blog (Education & Social Science Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) takes on the question of what really constitutes a classic of children's literature.
  • You can download a fun poster called "The Rights of the Reader" from the Walker Books website. I learned about this from Read Roger. My favorite is "The right to read anywhere."
  • The h20boro lib blog (from the Waterboro, ME Public Library) asks "Have Personal Libraries Obviated the Need for Public Libraries?", linking to a Times online opinion piece that suggests that, in Britain, "books have killed libraries." The idea is that because so many people can afford to buy books now, libraries aren't as necessary, just as public baths fell out of favor once people could afford to install baths at home. A scary thought, isn't it? (Though, happily, libraries certainly don't seem to be falling out of favor where I live).
  • Over at The Magic of Books, PJ Librarian asks people to share "comfort books." These would be "a book or books that you keep coming back to and re-reading and re-reading that just provides a sense of balance or comfort". My comfort books include Gone Away Lake, The Forgotten Door, The Velvet Room, and Anne of Green Gables, among many others. Head on over to share your favorites.
  • OK, this is not exactly book-related, but Paradise Found reports that "Lego is short on bricks this holiday season. According to this article, they’ve actually turned down store orders, which could mean a shortage of stock for retailers." Scary stuff!
  • I loved this article over at Book Moot. Before handing out any Halloween treats, Camille asked her neighborhood trick-or-treaters: "What's a great book you've read this year?" She has an excellent list of frequently named titles, and concludes "It was really so heartening thing to hear all these great titles being shouted out. There has been a definite leap in the reading levels of the neighborhood over the past year according to this informal Halloween poll." How cool is that?
  • Franki Sibberson from A Year of Reading (home of the 100 cool teachers of children's literature) has an article on the Choice Literacy website about her newly discovered addiction to blogging. She discusses several failed attempts at hobbies ("I took up scrapbooking, bought over $500 of supplies, and ended up spending about $264 per finished page before I abandoned that hobby") and concludes "No matter what I tried (prior to blogging), my only sustained hobbies have been reading, shopping, and baking." She writes warmly of the kidlitosphere, and includes brief descriptions of several of her favorite blogs. I was so pleased to be included in her list! You can read the full article here. There are also lots of other great resources on the Choice Literacy website.
  • For another article about the kidlitosphere, check out Ilene S. Goldman's article in The Prairie Wind (newsletter of the SCBWI - Illinois chapter). This is the first of what will apparently be a new column about the kidlitosphere. Ilene says: "In this column, we’ll explore new territory and discover established outposts. We’ll talk to bloggers, so if you have specific questions you’d like me to ask, let me know. And we will investigate the interface between blogs and publication, promotion and sales." Definitely worth bookmarking! Ilene is also a contributor to Book Buds, and has an inspiring blog about her daughter called Charlotte's Journey Home. (the adorable 18-month old Charlotte has a serious heart condition).
  • And speaking of Book Buds, the kidlitosphere's own Anne Boles Levy (editor and co-creator of the Cybils) has an in-depth review of Voices, by Ursula Le Guin, in yesterday's L. A. Times. Way to go, Anne!
  • Janice from 5 Minutes for Mom posts about her son's joy in receiving a personalized book. She includes a great picture of this kid just utterly engrossed in the book. The book that's about him, and his family, and his friends. Neat!
  • Don't forget to celebrate the upcoming Children's Book Week, November 13th-19th. "A celebration of the written word, Children's Book Week introduces young people to new authors and ideas in schools, libraries, homes and bookstores. Through Children's Book Week, the Children's Book Council encourages young people and their caregivers to discover the complexity of the world beyond their own experience through books." Thanks to Leila at bookshelves of doom for the link.
  • Author Kirby Larson writes about stepping outside of her comfort zone, and her progress at NaNoWriMo (where people try to write a complete novel during the month of November). What I especially liked about her post was her observation that somehow, by making writing a priority, she's able to crank out 1600 words a day while still keeping up with the other demands on her time. I think that this has implications for everyone, not just NaNoWriMo participants. If you make the things that you care about a priority, you will somehow find time to do them. I don't think that I'm always good about this - I get discouraged when I don't have enough time to read, or work on my blog. But Kirby's post made me think that I should be finding a way to prioritize these things anyway, no matter how busy my life is. And I appreciate that.
  • On a related note, cloudscome over at A Wrung Sponge lists 25 things that make her happy. She challenges others to make their own list. Maybe sometime soon... Books, blogs, red wine and chocolate all come to mind, though.
  • And Adrienne at What Adrienne Thinks About That offers an inspiring fall health and fitness regimen (let's just say that it involves chocolate).

That should keep you busy for a while! Happy Reading!