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Archives for November 2006

>Debating the A-word

>Most of my phone call this morning with old pal Betty Carter revolved around gossip, grandchildren and the pleasures of being a Scorpio in an unsuspecting world, but Betty did advance a question that I thought might be of interest here. “Have you noticed,” she asked, “that most of the book debate this year has […]

>Go to the movies

>Okay, it’s not The Queen, The Departed, or even Marie Antoniette, but you can catch the all-dancing, all-singing Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards ceremony right here.

>The spammers are getting better

>The email subject line read “Remember the fairytale about Cinderella?” Inside: “With Ultra Allure Pheromones women will do anything just for your sake.”

>The Irony of It All

>I’m sorry to have been neglecting you all; at work we’ve been doing performance evaluations (everybody passed), which always involve a flurry of concomitant schedule and workflow and management plans, all of which put my head into a different space, man. But two items therein of interest to you: we’ve hired Elissa Gershowitz as the […]

Krik, Krik, Krik: How Aardema & Co. Attuned Us to African Folklore

Richard Dorson, the late dean of American folklorists, had a word for folklore that was not authentic, not the voice of the people. He called it fakelore, and to his mind most folklore published for children fell into that category. Dorson and other folklorists didn’t concern themselves with “Cinderella” and the like, stories that had […]

>Here’s a cheerful thought

>Well no, but salutary nonetheless. From Bill Bryson’s recent memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid (a birthday present from a friend who apparently knows my taste even better than I do myself, as it’s not a book I would have ever picked up on my own yet I loved it): Each year […]


>as my grad school roommate would call them, are consuming a great deal of my time just now, as we read and read in preparation for selecting our annual Fanfare list to be published in the January issue. More than a dozen of the titles on the longlist are first volumes, middle volumes, last volumes–the […]

>November-December Horn Book

>The latest issue is out and, partially, up. But do subscribe. This blog don’t pay the bills!

>Ten Rules to Read By

>Walker UK is bringing back Daniel Pennac’s The Rights of the Reader, and I hope it will make its way over here, too. Walter Mayes gave me a copy years ago that seems to have gone astray, but I’ve not forgotten its maxims (at least in my private life!), including “the right not to finish […]

What Makes a Good Gift Book? Step Aside!

I find it hard to give children’s books as presents. First, because I’m afraid my friends and family will think I’m just unloading surplus copies from the office, but mostly because it seems completely impossible to know just which book to give. How was I to know that “everybody” had already read Holes in fifth […]