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End-o'-the-Week Kid-Lit Roundup

In this week's Kid-Lit Roundup, we visit Harry Potter in China and eventually come around to dancing with a pig and an elephant:

Learn a Harry Potter spell in Chinese. Heidi and I discovered the hip language-learning site ChinesePod before our trip to China a couple years ago. We still get their e-mails, and we were excited to see this week's lesson using Harry Potter--or "Hali Bote," as he's transcribed in the comments. Harry is pretty popular in China (he apparently has his own statue in a housing development somewhere), and you can find the books in nearly every street-side book cart.

Rogernyc2Podcast Pick: Roger Sutton talks to kid-lit historian Leonard Marcus. Roger Sutton, the head of Horn Book (and a prolific and entertaining blogger besides) recently traveled to NYC and interviewed Leonard Marcus, the author of the acclaimed Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children's Literature. The podcast's atmospherics are charmingly NPR-esque (from the herds of schoolkids at MoMA to chirping birds in Central Park), and the short interview is packed with great anecdotes, including a story about members of the 19th-century American Library Association saying, "Children in America are just reading way too much these days."

ALA video blogging with Fuse #8. Speaking of the American Library Association, Elizabeth Bird is trying her hand at video-blogging on her trip to the annual ALA conference, going on in Anaheim through Wednesday. Get started with her arrival. (This year's conference logo features a surfer, so we're holding out hope for some surfboard-mounted webcam footage.)

Why do homes in picture books often look so dated? Kids' book author Erica S. Perl asks the question--and documents the weirdness--in an entertaining and well-annotated slideshow in Slate. For example, when's the last time you saw a corded phone like this?

Llama

Are kids the best judge of what's age-appropriate for them? A couple of opinion pieces have made pretty persusasive, practical arguments to that effect, one from blogger Ann Giles in the Guardian and one from Aussie librarian Miffy Farquharson in The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children's Literature.

Brush up on your Jamaican Patois with Dr. Seuss. This just gets funnier and funnier:

(Found via the 100 Scope Notes.)

Elephant and Piggie dance! If you don't love Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie series, you have a heart of stone. What's the sure cure for a heart of stone? Playing the new Elephant and Piggie Dance Game:

Elephant_and_piggie

I'm embarrassed to say that I played it for so long, I discovered you can set up combo dance moves. If you need homework this weekend, you can join me in trying to perfect your own Robo-Gerald-3000.... --Paul

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