Posts Tagged ‘Children’s Literature’

“If it’s raining, it’s always Billie Holiday.” There are so many things Navigating Early, by Clare Vanderpool, gets right. This is a story about navigation, first of all, and it begins with being lost. Everyone in this book has lost something or someone, and each in some way must find a way home. Jack Baker […]


John Green‘s Looking for Alaska won the 2006 ALA Michael L. Prinz Award and was the 2005. School Library Journal’s Book of the Year. Sumner County Schools in Tennessee have just banned the book, considering a brief oral sex scene as too racy for the teen audience. They are not the first to do so: […]


“No more twist.” Twist, by the way, can be either decorative braid or a braided thread used for extra strength for buttons, and I’m not certain which was the intended usage in this story. It does seem as though the decorative would be the more likely–“all that was wanting was one skein of cherry-colored twisted […]


Beatrix Potter, the amazing writer, illustrator, naturalist, mycologist . . . wrote and illustrated 23 children’s tales and I think they saved her life. For those new to Beatrix Potter, and I’m not sure anyone is, she was the creator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and of such characters as Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle […]


What have we established? Kids love stories, and some stories seem to be timeless. They occur across cultures and over thousands of years. Children’s picture books are loved through generations and these books and fairy tales seem to accrue power through repetition.  (OK we didn’t actually establish the repetition thing, but anyone who’s had the […]


Before I start I must make a confession. Yesterday Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay came out, and instead of writing this post after work last night I spent the evening compulsively reading the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy. The difference between the two books could not be more stark. Truth be told, I think I like […]


Thinking about The Juniper Tree and about younger kidlit and comparing it with Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson. YA literature attacks issues far more head-on than the younger literature. Think about, for instance, the way that The Juniper Tree took on issues of identity, emerging sexuality and parental love. These were certainly layered elegantly into […]


“HERE was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen. On Christmas morning, when he sat wedged in the top of […]


I didn’t get the chance to write this March 2nd, the anniversary of Theodore Seuss Geisel’s birth, but I guess I ought to today. If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good. I can rap The Cat in The Hat . . . and Green Eggs and Ham can […]


Lavinia

20Feb10

I just finished reading Lavinia, by Ursula Le Guin, and I love it. It’s the tale of the daughter of Latinus and Amata, king and queen of Latium. She is introduced to the world in book six of Virgil’s (Vergil’s) Aeneid, when the spirit of Anchises, Aeneus’ father, shows Aeneus the shades of those spirits […]