Wednesday, January 07, 2009

PC Fairy Tales (or Not)

No surprise that fewer and fewer parents are seeking out the original versions of fairy tales because they are not PC enough. Better than the article though, is BookNinja's thoughts on this:

Guys, if my kid isn’t lying awake in bed each night, staring at the ceiling and thinking of what he’s just read or been read, then we’ve got the wrong books. Though perhaps the HP Lovecraft was a little early. I jest. Don’t call the cops. Seriously though, he’s scared shitless of Medusa. And who can blame him. So beautiful, so snakey. The cyclops too. And I think that’s a good thing. It’ll teach him to keep away from giant, deformed fellows. And around these parts, you never know.

(Have I already said this year that you should make Bookninja required daily reading?)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Yes, but can they name ONE Canadian children's author?

No doubt you've heard this startling news. If that's not distressing enough, I doubt the percentage for Canadians who writer for children would be much, much lower. If you feel the need to do some educating of your friends, family and colleagues in this regard, a great place to direct them would be to the Authors and Illustrators lists on the CWILL-BC and CANSCAIP websites. Second rant of the day now officially over.

Fairy Tale Generator

Needs some inspiration or just looking to waste a bit of time? Try this fairy tale generator from Brown University. I chose trickery, departure and wedding and this is what appeared:

The man smelled my skin and laughed. "You smell like fresh meat," he said. "You smell like you expect to be killed and eaten alive. What kind of boy would run around this fog like that?"

I had no choice but to leave. Out, away from home was the only place I could go. The wind rustled the walls of our wooden shack, but neither my father nor my mother stirred from their deep slumbers. I put only a small piece of bread and a snippet of dried meat in my satchel, fastened my shoes, and quietly walked out of my home, our small wooden home, into the wind and fog that enveloped me into the night.

As the soil on me continued to turn into gold, the ground of our garden sprouted trees, fruits, and vegetables. My family and I stared in a daze as we watched our land grow rich and the people of the soil draw away.

Yes, I'm Still Here

Happy New Year to you all. I realize there's been a bit of a drought here, but my one nod to a New Year's Resolution is to try to keep this site somewhat active. As always, my goal is to make this a place to bring you the news on Canadian kid's book and Canadian writers (and, yes, peppered with a bit of news now and then about my own writing), but with work, school and a few other writing projects brewing (not to mention trying to be a pleasant mother), this will be an on-going challenge. Still, I'll do my best with your help. If you ever come across kid's book news, then please pass it on.

For a start, of course, those keen on Canadian books for kids could always go to the Canadian Children's Book Centre and subscribe to their wonderful Children's Book News. Money very well spent IMHO. More and more I am feeling so strongly that we need to put our money where our collective mouths are if we want to nurture a culture of books, reading, writing and literacy in our children. Of course that sounds like a no-brainer, but I think we need to support local bookstores, suck-it-up and not always search for the bargain when it comes for quality books, and get libraries and librarians back in every school in this country. Okay, rant over.

Here's some food for thought on the topic of buying second hand here.

Quill & Quire's Books of the Year issue gave the nod to five books for children that the mag. felt were "books to remember from 2008." Congrats to:

Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)

Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson (Penguin Canada)

Thing-Thing by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Nicolas Debon (Tundra Books)

Bonechiller by Graham McNamee (Random House)

Ojingogo by Matthew Forsythe (Drawn & Quarterly)