>We guys do love our schematics

>I’m so happy when a picture book for adults is published as just that. Like this one.

>In lieu of a gift

>I’m guessing they’re too busy to read this but maybe you’re not.

>Something stinks

>Bloggers criticizing perfume–what will those pesky scamps get up to next! I can’t believe the reporter left unchallenged and unexplored the claim that a “prominent blogger” was “threatened with a lawsuit by a perfume company because she had deemed its product ‘only O.K.’ and ‘a little disappointing.’” The juiciest and most provocative statement in the […]

>For reals?

>I’d like to take a moment to thank HarperCollins for putting a nail into the coffin of a word that’s long outlived its usefulness. Explaining their plans to publish a series that will provide opportunities for product placement, Harper children’s boss Susan Katz explains: “If you look at Web sites, general media or television, corporate […]

>Taking the Children

>It’s been a while, but Richard clipped an article for me that speaks to us all. It’s NY Times movie critic A. O. Scott writing about taking his kids to movies for which they are putatively too young, and he builds his argument from books: ” . . . something in me rebels against the […]

>What are the odds?

>The New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books have been announced; as commenter Ruth notes on a previous post, the gender score is eight to two. Elsewhere in the Times‘s special section on children’s books I review Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Spell Book of Listen Taylor (Levine/Scholastic). I note with only fortuitous smugness that the last […]

>A small correction

>I have a short piece about Harry Potter up on the New York Times site, and it has a small but glaring (to me, anyway) mistake. The passage that reads Nonreaders found in Rowling a benignly authoritarian guide: she told you what to look at and how to feel about what you saw. Those already […]

>When good kids show bad judgment

>Today’s NYT article about the popular Junie B. Jones books brings up a number of reasons adults don’t like the series, mostly citing its demonstrations of bullying and other bad behavior. But my heart belong to a Mr. Lewis Bartell, a man mindful of the future: “My dad doesn’t like the grammar,” said the Bartells’s […]

>The Owl Has Landed

>And the UPS lady told me they had two trucks in my neighborhood this morning, packed with copies. Our reviewer is on her way over now. While you’re waiting, take a look at this op-ed from a man after my own heart: “Our obsession with spoilers has a diminishing effect, reducing popular criticism to a […]

>And here I thought Monday would be timely.

>But the New York Times and Baltimore Sun got the jump on us, with reviews today of the new Harry Potter. And bravo to them: while Scholastic is entitled to try and stoke the flames of publicity–I mean, “preserve the magic moment”–by insisting on all kinds of secrecy, it’s equally the job of the press […]