27 June 2013

Coloring Outside the Lines: The Diversity Gap in Children’s Literature(@BookRiot)

There's been a lot of interesting discussion in the kid's lit world about diversity thanks to Lee & Low's post on “Why Hasn’t the Number of Multicultural Books Increased In Eighteen Years?”. In particular, I was interested in the question raised by the always on point Betsy Bird, who said “we need to officially address how we feel about white authors and illustrators writing books about people of other races. Is it never okay? Sometimes okay? Always okay?”.

I took a stab at responding over at Book Riot. CLICK HERE to read it.

Some links:

The Good, the Bad, and the Unread

Book Riot recently polled its readers on their Favorite Novels, their Most Hated Novels, and theNovels They Keep Meaning to Read. The posts generated some lively debate, so we decided to take a closer look at the results.
Here is how the three lists overlap:
Note: the Favorites circle is larger because of a larger sample size.
Note: The Favorites circle is bigger because of a larger sample size.
CLICK HERE for the full article (and more venn diagrams!) at Book Riot

14 June 2013

The Narrative Magic of Picture Books: An Interview with Mac Barnett (@BookRiot)

If you don’t think picture books can be considered literary fiction, that Harold and the Purple Crayon is strictly child’s play, then a few minutes with Mac Barnett may change your mind. The author (whose works include Chloe and the Lion and Extra Yarn) speaks passionately about his craft and has strong opinions about the power and potential of children’s literature. After hearing him at a recent picture book panel in DC (where he held court on everything from metafiction to skeomorphism), I decided to track him down for a few questions.

[Click here for the full interview at Book Riot]

Also, definitely head over to Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast to check out the joint interview with Mac, Jon Scieszka, and Matthew Myers about Battle Bunny.

07 June 2013

Zooey Deschanel as Amelia Bedelia: A Match Made in Quirk Heaven(@BookRiot)

Note: I originally posted this on Book Riot.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature, Peggy Parish’s Amelia Bedelia. As luck would have it, the universe has provided us with the perfect actress to play her: Zooey Deschanel.
Deschanel oozes the odd-but-endearing nature that is Amelia Bedelia’s signature. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the classic series, Amelia Bedelia is a maid who is constantly getting into trouble for misunderstanding (or taking too literally) common sayings like, “drawing the drapes” or “stealing home plate.” Of course, Hollywood would probably modernize the script, replacing the iconic maid’s outfit with a closet of hipster-chic sun dresses and turning the story into some kind of millenial rom-com… maybe something like:
“Loveable but unlucky in love, Amelia Bedelia is a Brooklyn barista who gets fired after a series of unfortunate misunderstandings. Unwilling to move back in with her parents, she takes a job as a live-in maid for a wealthy Park Slope family. Despite her repeated mishaps, she slowly wins everyone over.  But the question remains: will she ever find true love?”
Here are a few scenes to whet your appetite for this hypothetical movie:
Things at her new place get off to a bit of a rocky start:
While things on the homefront improve, Amelia eventually becomes disillusioned with the single lifestyle:
Zooey Deschanel Amelia Bedelia 4
So she decides to start playing the field, with mixed results:
Zooey Deschanel as Amelia Bedelia - baseball
At one point she gets involved with and tries to help a guy with a shady past:
Then in an unexpected twist, the movie takes a bizarre science fiction turn:
But in the end, it looks like Amelia Bedelia might have found someone who actually gets her:
So, what do you say Hollywood? Coming soon to a theater near you?

Some links: