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Wednesday Afternoon Visits: June 10

Here are some items worth mentioning from around the Kidlitosphere:

Colleen Mondor has started a new feature at Chasing Ray called What a Girl Wants. She'll be showcasing writers whose young adult novels have strong female characters. In the first installment of the series, Colleen asks her participants to share memories of books that they read as teens, books that made a lasting impact. Colleen's own thoughts on A Wrinkle in Time particularly caught my attention, but all of the mini-essays are worth reading.

Newlogorg200 And speaking of authors who write about strong female characters, Readergirlz is featuring Sara Zarr's Sweethearts this month. You can find details here.

The UK has a new children's laureate. Anthony Browne will be replacing Michael Rosen in this position. Do you think he'll have tea with Jon Scieszka? I first saw the news at Children's Books for Grown-Ups, where Natasha Worswick reports: "Anthony’s agenda as next Childrens Laureate is to  stimulate and encourage a lifelong love of reading."

Betsy Bird has made her mid-year predictions for the Newbery and Caldecott awards at A Fuse #8 Production. She mentions one of the books that I read last weekend, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate 

Booklights Susan Kusel has a brilliant analysis of the design of Where the Wild Things Are at Booklights. She looks at how the ratio of white space to text and illustration change throughout the book, and how it affects the reader's experience. Jules from 7-Imp also pointed out that today is Maurice Sendak's birthday, so this is an extra-fitting post.

Mitali Perkins is running a poll on her site about whether or not it's ok for publishers to "edit beloved children's books like LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE or THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA to eliminate racial or ethnic stereotyping?" I'm kind of on the fence about this. I don't like the idea of making changes like this. I think it's better to leave the classics as-is, and use the racial or ethnic stereotyping as a jumping off place for discussion. However, if an author wants to make such changes herself, I hesitate to say that we shouldn't let her. If you all have thoughts on this, please share them at Mitali's.

J. L. Bell has a post at Oz and Ends about "representation of racial and ethnic minorities in American children's books" and the realities of today's publishing industry. He thinks that: "The challenge isn't convincing individual gatekeepers. The challenge is convincing those editors' corporate employers--and the corporations they work closely with, such as the chain booksellers--that there's enough money to be made from those families to justify publishing more books than they already are." Which sounds realistic to me.

I've mentioned Greg Pincus' new blog, The Happy Accident, before. I especially liked this recent post, in which Greg introduces a social media "rule of three" for producing good content. The idea is that you should think about why you're using the tool in the first place, whether you're serving that purpose with individual updates, and whether you're getting the results that you want. Which seems like good advice to me.

These are both a bit off topic, but Lois Lowry had two posts at her blog that I particularly enjoyed. Last week she had a post documenting an encounter (while on a trip to Africa) with elephants. Big ones protecting a little one. Gorgeous! (My grandfather used to collect elephant figurines, and elephants still catch my eye). Then, returning home, she shared a lovely post highlighting the upside of living in a rural place. Since she had missed her tulips blooming while she was away, her letter carrier took a picture of them for her. Kind of made me want to live in a small town, you know?

LiteraryBlogger And last, but not least, thank you to Melissa from Book Nut for giving me a Literary Blogger Award. She said that "promote and inspire people of all ages to read", which is a lovely compliment. I'm great company, too!

That's all for today.

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