Babar Turns 75

Yahoo! News tells us that Babar, elephant hero of children’s books, turns 75 this year. The article is wonderful and ends with this:
“Children of an age to appreciate Babar, that’s to say between two and seven years, haven’t changed that much even if they sometimes like playing with computers,” de Brunhoff said.
That’s right! They may enjoy computers, but those kids can and will read books as long as the adults around them make it a priority. Just think of all the great books new and old to share with one another. Makes you want to run right out to your local library, doesn’t it?

Eric Carle Profile

Expatica’s German news in English: The man behind the caterpillar
His target group are those children starting school at a time which Carle describes as the “leap from home and security, from the world of play and the senses to the world of the mind, abstraction, order and discipline.”

American Indians in Children's Lit

Here is one of the more important children’s literature blogs to come around in a long time. Debbie Reese is an American Indian who teaches American Indian Studies. Her blog: American Indians in Children’s Literature looks at recommended authors, websites, and resources for those interested in having accurate information in their libraries on American Indians.
Thanks to Cynsations for the link.

Lanagan in the House


Margo Lanagan, author of Black Juice, has been blogging as the Writer in Residence at Inside a Dog.  Yes, I am just discovering this now and her month as Writer in Residence is almost finished!  But her writing is superb in both her books and on the blog.  A new author will be in residence in July.  This is one that you will have to travel to, there is no RSS feed that I can find.

Bedtime Stories

Independent Online Edition has an article on some of the top-selling children’s book authors in Britain (and around the world.) The names are all familiar, or if the names are not, then the characters they have created are. What is nice is that each author has a nice series of paragraphs about their background and how they became such a success. The authors include Lucy Cousins, Katherine Holabird, Judith Kerr, and Lauren Child.
Speaking of Lauren Child, I have now seen the Charlie and Lola show and recommend it heartily. It takes the graphics of the books and creates a living world. Charlie and Lola are just as charming and wonderful as they are in the books and if it leads more children back to the book series and Clarice Bean as well, then it is doing a great job.

Chasing Ray

Chasing Ray is a blog by Colleen Mondor, a reviewer and author. It is named Chasing Ray because Ray Bradbury is her favorite author and inspiration. On her blog you will find insightful posts on children’s literature news mixed in with science fiction, and general fiction. Enjoy!

Kirkus Graphic

Kirkus has just released its 2006 Graphic Spotlight which contains reviews of graphic novels for children, teens and adults. Some of the children’s graphic novels look like great fun, though I wish that there were more of them listed.
One warning. This is a very large pdf file. Make sure you have Adobe installed and then be very patient. Have a book nearby to read while you wait. 🙂

Summer Reading Extravaganza

CBC Magazine has a very nice collection of summer titles: Summer Showcase 2006. It covers picture books, elementary grade books, teen, and graphic novels. Great fun!

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist



Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.
Once in awhile a teen books hits it completely out of the ballpark, capturing vividly and exactly what being a teen feels like.  This is one of those books.  Nick is a straight musician in a queercore band.  Norah is a very straight-laced daughter of a famous record producer.  When Nick finds himself unable to flee from his exgirlfriend, he asks Norah to be his five minute girlfriend and they start kissing.  But the connection is made and the five minutes turn into a whole night together.  The night is not perfect as their connection together is tested, ruined, lost and rediscovered. 
The book perfectly captures the angst, pride, hubris, and pain of being a teen and looking for the right person to form a connection with.  Though the book is set in the punk rock, clubbing world, all teens will see themselves in this pair.  All teens will hear themselves in their speech, recognize the ache between two people, and find themselves caught in the net of Nick and Norah.
Rarely does a book ring so true with dialogue so right on and sparkling.  Witty one moment and fumbling the next.  One caveat is that there is strong language and very heavy petting in this book.  If you are uncomfortable with that in a school library, don’t order this one.  If you are working in a public library, this is a must-have book that will have plenty of appreciative teen fans.  Here’s hoping that this duo continues to write books together, though they do well apart too.  But there is a certain chemistry to their joint writing that is thrilling to read.