Monday, January 31, 2011

The Lorax and the Truax

Howdy, all!

Here's a link to a .pdf copy of The Truax, a children's book written by one Terri Birkett as a response to The Lorax:

It's very much in the "score-to-settle" vein, but is worth a read as part of the range of responses to Seuss.

Tally ho,
Fred P.

conan's terrifying lullabies

when conan was still on 'late night' (ah, the good old days), he used to do a bit (well maybe he still does?) where he would sing really gentle lullabies - about absolutely horrible things, part of which he would show on video (after singing "now turn baby, away from, the tv screen, away from, the tv screen"), like bear maulings and plane crashes.

since the conan/leno/nbc thing, it's really hard to find any clips of it (it was pretty hard before, even), but here is *possibly* the worst youtube video ever made. it chronicles one baby's experience with the song.

oh - the connection. well, i thought of this when we were talking about parents reading to very little babies, when they can't even tell what is being said. that's the idea behind the conan thing - it's all in the tone of voice. you could sing it the unabomber's manifesto.
anyway, enjoy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

NYT Book Review: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Check out a review of Peggy Orenstein's book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Orenstein, a mother seeking to navigate the pink fluffy marketing targeted at young girls of her daughter's age, explores "the princess" phase, a stage during which young girls often turn to glittery princess paraphernalia as a way to assert their female identity. Through field trips to toy fairs and stores, child beauty pageants, and, yes, a Miley Cyrus concert, Orenstein wrestles with this princess culture as a parent, debating its pros and cons. Definitely worth checking out (the review and the actual book) if you're interested in fairy tales and pop culture!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Children's Best-seller list on Regis and Kelly

A few minutes ago Kelly Ripa showed off a copy of "It's a Book" by Lane Smith (for beginning readers, published by Roaring Brook Press in 2010). She had mentioned it first several months ago, and has now received a copy from the author telling her that the book is now on the NYT Children's Best-seller List! "How timely!" I observed to the invisible sprites around me. And then Kelly got a cheer from the audience by saying "Let's take it to number one!" So we'll all watch, shall we?

If you search for the book on Amazon, you'll find the info about the book--it's only 32 pages long, and you'll see the sly premise.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Linking back to this morning

This is an accessible but well-written (and supa-short!) online essay which discusses the "Victorianization" (or whatever) of fairy tales - which is what I feebly tried to express today near the end of class. Although the title and conclusion of this essay are geared toward choosing Christmas gifts, the bulk of it is concerned with history, revision, and adaptation, and it takes the Little Red Riding Hood tale as its example.

Also, Spongebob.

Denison Alum Writes Children's Book About Vegetarianism

Denison alum Nathalie VanBalen '09 recently published a children's book titled Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice, which explores the vegetarian lifestyle, something that few children's books have done. VanBalen controlled all elements of the publishing process, from the art design to the marketing and publishing. Congrats, Nathalie!

Find out more here:

Favorite Books Recap

Thanks to everyone who shared their memories of their favorite book as a child in class today! Just a quick recap of the books that were mentioned and why:

Several students pointed to a book's use of humor, parody, and/or originality as reasons that made their favorite children's books so memorable, books like Dumb Bunnies and The Paper Bag Princess. Others talked about  the personal relationships they shared with the physical book itself (that book that you just can't put down, like Holes and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) or with others, especially family members, who were also part of the childhood reading experience in some way (Anne of Green Gables, the Just So Stories. Some students reflected upon the themes that made a book a favorite--the enticing world where it rains ice cream in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, for example--and still others reminisced about the impact of the pictures in stories, like the metallic fish scales on the cover of Rainbow Fish.

Children's books make powerful impressions on us for a variety of reasons, and we invite you to share with us your own favorite books as a child and what made them so memorable.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ALA | ALA Press Releases

Check out this year's award-winning children's and young adult books selected by the American Library Association!

ALA | ALA Press Releases

Link clusters: adaptation, challenged books

Alright, I just decided to dump all the mildly relevant things from my tumblr blog into one post -

adaptation-related things:
sesame street fans? anybody like elmo?
Dr. Seuss "does" Star Wars
Nerdalicious LOTR chart
youtube: star wars according to a three year old.

"bad"/banned books things:
ALA: Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009
ALA: The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000
Wikipedia: List of most-commonly challenged books in the United States
and, along those lines,

90-Second Newbery

Hey all - check out the New York Public Library's new 90-Second Newbery Video Contest! (here)

And so it begins!


If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

--Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

Welcome to the class blog of English 310, Children’s Literature! As this semester is the first time Denison has offered a course on children’s literature, this blog will be a space for members of this class to chronicle our exploration, to share resources, and to continue our conversation of children’s literature outside of the classroom. Whether you are a student in the course or someone who has stumbled upon this blog by accident, we invite you to “come in! come in!”