Okay, so I’m long overdue to do some children’s literature chatting. I have a couple fun things:
First, Alison over at ShelfTalker has riled everyone up again by asking which books were loved by everyone but you. There’s lots for me, but what sticks out is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (likewise, Great Joy), Wrinkle in Time, Artemis Fowl, Kitten’s First Full Moon, Stinky Cheese Man, anything by Giselle Potter. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying I loathed these books (okay, well, I did a couple…). I’m just saying that so many looooooved them and thought they were wooooooonderful. And I just didn’t get the big deal. Either way, check out Alison’s post – last I checked, there were 86 responses and climbing.
Second, Editorial Anonymous has a post up about why publishers don't seem to work more closely with librarians and teachers to publish the sorts of things we find important, useful, and interesting to children. After all, we're on the front lines, right? EA was honest in her opinion, which I happened to agree with. Think about your colleagues, whether they be teachers or librarians. Thinking? Okay, how many are dedicated to children, know children's interests, work with children all the time? Most of them, right? But how many can you honestly say are up-to-date, current, in-the-know with children's literature? Not as many, I would venture. At least, that's the case with me and my workplace. Likewise, most of them also don't understand or have access to the business of publishing. It is a business, after all. And while we might find a book useful for reports (why, oh why, aren't there more books published on Verrazano?!), if it's not going to also appeal to bookstores and other outlets, then the publisher most likely can't make a profit. And they need to make a profit to stay in business. Also, I argue that publishers make lots of effort to connect with librarians and teachers: conferences, publishers previews, sales reps, etc. Anyway, lots of posts over at EA on the topic - go take a look.
Third, remember I went to lunch with David Fickling last week? Well, what I didn’t talk about in that post was that I visited Bloomsbury Children’s afterwards. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure I did an internship with Bloomsbury back in 2005 when I had just earned my Master’s and wasn’t sure what direction I was heading in, and I have kept in touch with a few people there in the past couple years. Anyway, so I stopped by, mostly as a social visit. Naturally, I wasn’t there for five minutes and Stacy Cantor, editor at Walker Books, hands me a galley of her first solo book: Violet Raines Almost Got Struck By Lightning by Danette Haworth. I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but I’m assured that this first-time author is very promising. And then, besides gossiping, the rest of my time there was spent trying to pilfer a copy of Rapunzel’s Revenge, Shannon Hale’s upcoming graphic. Victoria Wells-Arms, editor-at-large and mother of the cutest damn twin girls ever, had already left for the day but, when we stopped by her office, she had THREE copies of Rapunzel’s Revenge there. Oh, you guys, it’s so RAD - I couldn't stop delighting in the eye candy. Did I dare take one? Of course not, Victoria wasn’t there. Deb Shapiro, publicist extraordinaire, could hook me up. But she was out too! What does a woman have to do to get a copy of this book?!?! That’s right – I have to blog about it.
(And lest I forget to mention her, one of the best people at Bloomsbury is Liz Schonhorst who hooks me up with all my galleys, introduced me to the Flatiron Grill and Go Fug Yourself, and generally keeps me in the loop)
Eat, drink, and don't be ashamed to beg for Rapunzel's Revenge