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What shall they read?

I wanted to call your attention to two articles we have recently published about African American children’s literature. Kim Parker and Our Elissa interviewed Denene Millner about her publishing of instant-landmark Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, and her interest in black everyday life stories. Children’s literature professor Jonda McNair politely raised an eyebrow at […]

She’s no longer a gypsy

Demonstrating that the social pressure to change the names of things is not limited to librarians and Laura Ingalls Wilder, Actors’ Equity has announced that the legendary “Gypsy Robe” has been renamed the “Legacy Robe.” (Sound familiar?) The Gypsy Robe referenced neither actual Roma people nor Broadway’s most famous Gypsy (Rose Louise); it is awarded at each […]

One of these things is not like the others

ALA’s latest elucidating Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights‘ Article VI (“Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use”) has it in hot water. In this revision of […]

What lies beneath

Pursuant to that Trump biography, over on Facebook Sarah Hamburg told me about a really perceptive article about biographies for young people. “George Washington and Slavery: Going Beyond Picture Books to Teach About Our Flawed Founders,”* written by my erstwhile Child_Lit colleague Ebony Elizabeth Thomas along with James Joshua Coleman and Lindsay R. Cicchino, asks–and […]

A new journal!

Here’s a welcome and link to the new kid on the block, Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, coedited by Sarah Park Dahlen and Gabrielle Atwood Halko. RDYL is a “peer-reviewed, online, open-access journal,” meaning it is an academic journal that everyone can read for free. The debut number contains five meaty essays touching upon […]

My friend Hazel

I met Hazel Rochman when I was Zena’s assistant and Hazel was a member of her Advisory Committee for The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books: Hazel, Isabel McCaul, Yolanda Federici, Ellin Greene, and Bob Strang. Every Wednesday afternoon this gang would come over and read the freaking twenty-something reviews Zena had written that week and […]

Talks With Authors

Despite the fact that I told them I dropped an f-bomb back in my first-ever preschool story hour, the powers that be have still decided that I’m going to host my first-ever live webcast, and it’s coming your way this coming Wednesday. For “Exploring Race, Mistakes, and Friendship through Poetry,” I’ll be joined by Irene Latham, […]

Letter to the World

Over on Facebook, Penguin/Putnam Executive Editor Stacey Barney* led me to a great how-I-got-into-publishing-and-how-publishing-could-be-better piece by Random House adult editor Chris Jackson, best know for his publishing of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. I was especially struck by Jackson’s story about being in his first publishing job and not knowing how to type […]

I’m rubber and you’re glue

Over on the Horn Book’s Facebook page, there’s an opinion that Javaka Steptoe only won the Caldecott Medal because his father was John Steptoe. When pressed for evidence, the (former, as she’ll tell you) subscriber replied that “the pattern of ALA award committees in the past several years in its selections of winners/honors. Promote diversity […]

Diversity by the numbers

Please read Martha’s interview with K.T. Horning about the CCBC‘s fabled accounting of diversity in children’s books. I wonder what those numbers would look like from here, that is, if you counted the same variables for those books reviewed by the Horn Book Guide, would you get the same kind of numbers? I don’t think […]