Monday, September 23, 2013

Some Professional Reading

I dropped the new issues of the SCBWI Bulletin and The Horn Book into the tub last week. Yeah, that's into a tub that had water in it. I managed to pull the pages apart enough so I could finish reading them, and the magazines have been sitting on the edge of the tub, all dried, hard, and wrinkled, ever since. Though the method of communication is the worse for wear, the content being communicated is still meaningful.

One of The Horn Book's articles I want to hold back and talk about in November, when I'm planning to focus on picture books more than I usually do because of Picture Book Month. Among the reviews I noticed was one for The Waffler by Gail Donovan, which I mention because Gail was one of the first people I met through NESCBWI. I saw another for the first in a new series, Lockwood & Co., by Jonathan Stroud, author of the Bartimaeus books, a definite favorite of mine. Lockwood & Co is described in The Horn Book as "part procedural," which I like and "part ghost story," which I don't. The procedural aspect and the Bartimaeus connection are enough to get me to give this book a try. Three of the books on the longlist for the 2013 National Book Award were also reviewed in this issue: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, The Real Boy by Anne Ursu, and Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang.

My favorite article in  the SCBWI Bulletin was The Ins and Outs of Write-ins by Wendy Henrichs and Colleen Kelly. A write-in is a gathering at which writers write. They are there to work. Write-ins don't take time away from writing the way critique groups do. Why gather to write instead of writing alone? I'm assuming lunch or breakfast could be involved.

Both publications carried an article on The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter, an exhibition at the New York Public Library. The Horn Book article was written by Leonard S. Marcus who curated the exhibit and happens to be my favorite children's book historian. Or maybe my favorite literary historian, period.


Alex said...

I haven't read The Horn Book yet this month, but I have read my SCBWI Billetin and found the write in article interesting, though I have never participated in one. My daughter does out in CA and loves it.

The article on The ABC of it by Leonard S Marcus was also interesting. I was lucky enough to be part of a group that had him as a tour guide for his exhibit. It is a wonderful exhibit. If you haven't, I hope you get to see it. This past Sunday I went on a walking tour of Greenwich Village with him that was focused on children's authors, librarians and books, what was really informative (so much I didn't know and I lived there for years).
He has been leading at Bank Street Center for Children's LIterature as well this fall. There is one this evening at 7:00PM and another on October 2nd.

Gail Gauthier said...

I heard Marcus speak a number of years ago at the University of Connecticut. He's great at organizing material and presenting it meaningfully.

It's unlikely I'll get into New York to see the exhibit, but I have a couple of family members I believe are going in later this year, and one of them is a middle school librarian. I'll be promoting The ABC of It to them.