End-o'-the-Week Kid-Lit Roundup
From "Lookybook" to "36 Pages." The author and illustrator behind the Stanley series, Craig Frazier, may have had to shut down his otherwise ingenious site Lookybook, but he's keeping busy with another great kid-lit site: 36 Pages. Check out his latest entry, on The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale, which recasts the pig protagonists as Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and Frank Gehry:
Candlewick and Toon Books team up. Candlewick is starting an imprint for Toon Books, which we've talked about here before. The starting lineup includes award-winners like Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!
Kid-lit swears. The Guardian has a fun and thoughtful roundup--accompanied by a long comment thread--on swearing in kids' books, and how it's becoming more acceptable (so long as it's deemed "appropriate" and not "gratuitous"). What's most fun are the specific examples, like this critique of pseudo-profanity in Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan: "'Clart' is a good coinage for 'shit'--it sounds appropriately dirty--but 'bum-rag' just gets overused by the heroine-posing-as-hero in her attempts to swagger convincingly, and 'Barking spiders!' is frankly rubbish." (And here I had forgotten that The Outsiders "features no language more colourful than 'Glory!', 'Shoot!' or a very occasional 'Hell!'")
Bird books. School Library Journal points out that now is the perfect time to talk about birds because "no matter where you live, there's a migration taking place." They have four picks up that are "really for the birds," including Basil's Birds for younger readers. ("It's hard to say what trumps in this title--the delightful text or Reed's energetic and colorful gouache illustrations!")
New "Notes from the Horn Book." The September issue of the Horn Book's monthly newsletter is out. Some of this month's highlights include a Q&A with Russell Freedman ("children’s literature’s most distinguished historian"), and recommendations for new installments in chapter book series and "entertaining picture books starring familiar characters."
Jane Yolen Q&A. School Library Journal just did a sweet, short interview with Jane Yolen, before the publication of her 300th(!) book, Elsie's Bird. On why she doesn't like the word "prolific": "'Prolific' carries with it a sneer, a sense of the pejorative. Critics use it to mean a hack, someone who is not careful about what they write. I prefer the word 'versatile,' which is an admiring word, as in 'Gosh, she's so versatile. I'm amazed!' So 'prolific' is a hack, and 'versatile' is a national treasure. Which one would you rather be called?"