Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lauren Child in Times Online

The Times Online recently posted an article about Lauren Child, including her trip to the slums of Mongolia and Mexico with UNESCO, and her annoyance with the question she gets most often.
How do you write for children when you don't have any children? . . . Would you ask most writers that? Do you ask a crimewriter if he's committed any murders recently? Childhood: we've all been there.
And judging from her books, Lauren seems to remember it awfully well.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Oliver Jeffers Interview

Over at the Guardian, they posted a nice article about author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers. Snippets, you say? Coming right up!
In some ways, Jeffers's drawing is childlike - almost schematic - but it is never demeaning or condescending. Together, the plangent simplicity of the drawing and the powerful emotions of the boy make these stories genuinely moving. With a gentle humour and an airy touch, free of extraneous detail, he celebrates the emotional freedom of the child whose imagination is not yet weighed down by the limitations of reality.
Whew. High-falutin'. But I love that the Guardian takes the artistic aspects of children's illustration so seriously, even if it does make a point of assuring its readers that it's okay to respect Jeffers because he also paints real paintings and does installations (which always make me think of plumbing, but then I'm a Philistine).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Wild Things Are Here

Had a gander at this yet? Fuse #8 posted the link to these images from the upcoming "Where the Wild Things Are" movie.

I like them. I think they strike a nice balance between scary and cosy, with plenty of outlandish to spice it up. Without the book to hand, of course, I can only identify one or two (maybe three) that looks like they came right from Sendak's pen, but that's enough for me at the moment.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's the French for Itsy Bitsy Spider?

Jen Robinson pointed me at this one: a website that collects international nursery rhymes. Kind of awesome. If you're sick of This Little Piggy, try this one from Spain:
Here the Bird Laid the Egg
This one found it
This one cracked it
This one put salt on it
And this fat rascal
Gobbled it up!
I will point out, however, that most experts say to talk, read, and sing to your infants and toddlers in the language that you're most comfortable in, so they get a firm grounding before you get them started on any others.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Awards Reactions

Now that everyone's had time to chew it over, here's what I think of the picture-book and early readers winners from the ALA.

Caldecott: I reviewed The House in the Night back in December and loudly proclaimed my love for it. When they announced this title on the webcast, I screamed so loud that my co-worker had to make soothing noises.

Geisel: Now I haven't read Are You Ready to Play Outside? But I have read other Elephant and Piggie books, and you have to admit, Willems really knows what he's doing in this field. The honors were what made me go, "Hmm!" I did love One Boy, which is one of those picture books that wasn't marketed as an early reader but works as one. I wasn't expecting a nonfiction book like Wolfsnail to show up (although it's not strictly prohibited here or in any of the other awards which normally go to fiction). I was interested to see that Stinky is actually a sort of very young graphic novel. I think I'll go use my ALSC and YALSA memberships to bug people for a GN award.

Coretta Scott King: I haven't read The Blacker the Berry. I hope that when I do, I'll understand why Before John Was a Jazz Giant just got an honor.

Agree? Disagree? Desperately craving an ice cream sandwich? Do share. Especially the ice cream if you got it.

Dash over to Confessions of a Bibliovore for my take on the YA and MG winners.

Monday, January 26, 2009

ALA Awards Are Here!

Whee! The most exciting day of the year if you happen to be a gigantic kidlit dork like me . . . and I had to work through the webcast. Blah.

Anyway, chickies, here they are! As always, the (H) signifies an honor.

The Big Three

The John Newbery Medal (for the best children's novel of the year)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
(H) The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
(H) The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle
(H) Savvy by Ingrid Law
(H) After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson

The Randolph Caldecott Medal (for the best picture book of the year)
The House in the Night illustrated by Beth Krommes and written by Susan Marie Swanson
(H) A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee
(H) How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz
(H) A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams illustrated by Melissa Sweet and written by Jen Bryant

The Michael L. Printz Award (for the best YA novel of the year)
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
(H) The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson
(H) Nation by Terry Pratchett
(H) Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, The by E. Lockhart
(H) Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

The Rest of Them, Which Are Very Nice Too

The Alex Awards (for ten adult books with teen appeal)
City of Thieves by David Benioff
The Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick
Finding Nouf by Zoë Ferraris
The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
Just After Sunset: Stories by Stephen King
Mudboundby Hillary Jordan
Over and Under by Todd Tucker
Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
Three Girls and Their Brother: A Novel by Theresa Rebeck

The Andrew Carnegie Medal (for excellence in children's video)
Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly, Weston Woods Studios, producers of "March On!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed The World" (links to book)

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards (for the best book about the African-American experience)
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson
(H) The Blacker the Berry written by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
(H) Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
(H) Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
The Blacker the Berry illustrated by Floyd Cooper, written by Joyce Carol Thomas
(H) We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
(H) Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Sean Qualls
(H) The Moon Over Star by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (for the children's author or illustrator who's made a lasting contribution to the field)
Ashley Bryan

The Margaret A. Edwards Award (for the YA author who's made a lasting contribution to the field)
Laurie Halse Anderson

The May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture Award (for an individual in the field of children's literature, who will then present a paper at ALA's Annual Conference)
Kathleen T. Horning, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award (for the best translated children's novel; presented to the publisher)
Arthur A. Levine Books for Guardian Of The Spirit (Moribito) by Nahoko Uehashi, translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano
(H) Eerdmans Books for Young Readers for Garmann's Summer written and illustrated by Stian Hole, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett
(H) Amulet Books for Tiger Moon written by Antonia Michaelis, translated from the German by Anthea Bell

The Odyssey Award (for the best children's audiobook of the year)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian written and narrated by Sherman Alexie
(H) Curse of the Blue Tattoo written by L.A. Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren
(H) Elijah of Buxton written by Christopher Paul Curtis, narrated by Mirron Willis
(H) I'm Dirty written by Kate and Jim McMullan, narrated by Steve Buscemi
(H) Martina the Beautiful Cockroach written and narrated by Carmen Agra Deedy
(H) Nation written by Terry Pratchett, narrated by Stephen Briggs

The Pura Belpre Award (for the best children's book about the Latino/a experience)
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle
(H) Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book by Yuyi Morales
(H) Reaching Outby Francisco Jiménez
(H) The Storyteller's Candle/La velita de los cuentosby Lucia Gonzalez, illustrated by Lulu Delacre
Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book by Yuyi Morales
(H) Papa and Me illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Arthur Dorros
(H) The Storyteller's Candle/La velita de los cuentos
illustrated by Lulu Delacre, written by Lucia Gonzalez
(H) What Can You Do With a Rebozo? illustrated by Amy Cordova, written by Carmen Tafolla

The Robert F. Sibert Medal (for the best children's nonfiction book of the year)
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
(H) Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Pastwritten by James M. Deem
(H) What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy! written by Barbara Kerley, illusrated by Edwin Fotheringham

The Schneider Family Book Award
(for the best book about the disability experience)
Picture Book: Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker
Middle Grade: Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
Young Adult: Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen

The Theodore Seuss Geisel Award (for the best early reader book)
Are You Ready to Play Outside? (An Elephant and Piggie Book) written and illustrated by Mo Willems
(H) Chicken Said, "Cluck!" written by Judyann Ackerman Grant
(H) One Boy written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
(H) Stinky (Toon Books) written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis
(H) Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator written by Sarah C. Campbell, photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell

The William C. Morris Award (for the best YA novel by a first-time author)
A Curse Dark as Goldby Elizabeth C. Bunce

Surprises? Delight? Rage? Express it all in the comments.

Cross-posted from Confessions of a Bibliovore.