Friday, October 31, 2008

Surfing Squash

In honour the big night tonight and the fact that Tough City is also a surfing kind of place, I give ye this photo of the creation by Nathan Colgate. And I refer you back to this older post. I am proud to say that I know own my very own copy of ABC Spook Show. So fabulous and with some of the best end papers I've seen in a long while.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Congratulations to all those nominated for the various "tree awards" of the Ontario Library Association.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Books for Hard Financial Times

A slide show from Slate. I think I'm in the same age demographic as the author of this article -- Little House and Ramona Quimby were high on my list of childhood favourites.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Inspired Typewriters

These are just too cool not to share. From the blog, Uppercase, typewriter-inspired art warm and fuzzy and android-cool.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Head On Over to I.N.K.

Two recent posts on I.N.K. (Interesting Non-fiction for Kids) caught my eye. First, this one on graphic novels. I am such a fan of these books. Both for their (usually) stunning art and also for their ability to capture the attention of the somewhat reluctant 11-year-old reader I live with. She is currently into the second book in The Fog Mound series, Faradawn, which Anna Lewis mentions in her post. Bring 'em on, I say. Sure there will be some dreck, but I think (hope?) publishers will take their time with this genre and only produce the best.

And, following on the heels of the idea of nature-deficit disorder our children may be suffering, Jennifer Armstrong muses on Nature (Book) Deficit. I totally agree with Armstrong's wonder at why those current darlings--the "dangerous" books for boys and girls -- are so popular.

Both of these present outdoor activities, skills and games that used to be the common currency of childhood as nostalgia. A chapter on snowballs? On skipping stones? Is outside now so outlandish that children need instructions for even its most casual use? Does this presentation imply that although outside may have been the playground of long ago, it is too quaint to be taken very seriously now?

When I looked at them, I went "What?" What's new about these books? These sorts of activitites have been trotted out in book after book for decades. Where have these people been that they find these books innovative?

Proving Any Dolt Can Write a Kids' Book -- Duh

Oh, puleese stick to what you do best and don't think that just anyone can write a good children's book. Next up on the celebrity author role? David Beckam and Jools Oliver (as in Jamie). Why do I even bother?

But children's fiction - why, Jools, why? Well, as Mrs Jamie explained, she was inspired when she "couldn't find enough books that offered simple, good stories for children". The woman speaks wisely: generations have reluctantly had to make do with the drivellings of Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Philip Pullman and JK Rowling, impatiently waiting for Jools Oliver's contribution to the canon.

I probably shouldn't even give them blog space. I have better things to do.

Read Book, Lose Weight!

Can reading books fight obesity? One new study says it might help.