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>It Looked Like Spilt Milk

>Yes, one can sense a fluffernutter trend in my apres-ALA postings, but just one more. Go look at the hilarious contest Lisa Yee just ran, where you change the first letter of one word in a children’s book title, then give a sentence explaining what the book is about. I love Lisa’s example of Old Keller: “Deaf, dumb blind girl gets rabies and has to be shot.” You’re terrible Muriel.

You see these fractured-children’s-book-titles lists all over the place now (Goodnight Bitch by Eminem), and we published a good one by Ron Koertge in last September’s Magazine. But when Elizabeth and I began the Books for Mature Young Readers list when we were in Zena’s children’s lit. class, we thought we were pioneers (and full credit to E., who acquired most of the titles). We were going to publish reissues (Hop on Pop) and new titles (A Boy, A Dog, A Frog, and a Sheep; Don’t Move and It Won’t Hurt). I thought of one the other day: Amazing Grace Jones.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Elaine Magliaro says:

    >I loved Ron Koertge’s “Unlikely Titles.” As soon as I finished reading it last fall, I was inspired to write more “unlikely titles.”

    I want to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for your wonderful May/June 2005 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine on poets and poetry. It was great reading for a poetry lover like me! I return to it time and again.

  2. Andy Laties says:

    >Dare I mention Norton Juster’s proposed next book to be written by Eric Carle: “The Very Horny Bunny Rabbit”. (Norton has told me this joke enough times that I assume it’s public domain…)

  3. rindambyers says:

    >It’s awfully late for me to be thinking straight–or crooked-but here’s a couple:

    “Chicken Soup With Mice”

    What the cats cooked after the humans went to bed.

    “Chicka, Chicka, Boom Room”

    Where the wanta-be famous chicken rap group, Chicka Chicka, is cutting a disc.

  4. Andy Laties says:

    >Also, Books for Mature Readers that had “mature” content would of course be reviewed by experts at The Horny Book.

  5. >I’m not sure whether *Chicken Soup with Mice* or *Calf Magic* (from Yee’s site) is my favorite, but I feel a finer person for having been exposed to both alternate realities. (I also really liked the ones that included sample review quotes.) But I’m going to introduce a new subject. On 11/27 Roger talked about how difficult it is for graphic novels to win major awards, but (presciently) mentioned that the Printz criteria are more flexible than those for the Caldecott or Newbery and talked about *American Born Chinese* as a test case. Anything you want to add to that, Roger?

  6. Roger Sutton says:

    >Well, as I read the Printz rules, I don’t think American Born Choice is eligible, because it is not specifically published as a book for young adults, but obviously the committee interpreted things differently. I was hoping that book would be the one that might get the Printz rules rewritten but it looks like they were just bent instead 😉

  7. >Interesting. Perhaps it has dual citizenship? It was a National Book Award Finalist in the Books for Young People category. The Bulletin said it was for grades 6-10, VOYA said ages 12-18, KLIATT said Sr. High thru Adult, Booklist “Older Readers.” It was starred by SLJ and on their Best Books List. (I’m getting all this from the Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database.) Perhaps if enough people believe hard enough that it’s YA, . . .

  8. >Hi Roger!

    The Grand Prize Winner of the Book Title Contest has finally revealed herself. It’s Kathleen Horning from CCBC. Her winning entry was:

    When Billy brings his latest fashion accessory to school, Mr Slinger helps the kindergarten class understand that it’s okay for Billy to march to the beat of a different drummer.

    The runner-up was:
    After Atticus loses the big trial, he wallows in drink and depression, no longer caring what happens to the yahoos in his stupid small town.

  9. Roger Sutton says:

    >I DO think American Born Chinese is YA. But I also think Perks of a Wallflower is YA, and that book was disqualified because it wasn’t published specifically as a young adult book. Neither was this one.

  10. Jordan Sonnenblick says:

    >Here’s my favorite fractured kid-lit title:

    _The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Malfunction_

  11. >Lili Wilkinson has taken that old joke of adding “in your pants” to children’s book titles (pinched, as she acknowledges, from Maureen Johnson and John Green’s blogs); her blog entry is very amusing. (Hoping this html linking thing works.)

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