Thursday, March 31, 2011

Last day of work

As of today, I am a retired librarian.

I am a working writer.
a mom
a grandmom
owned by cats
hmmmm. I'll fill in more blanks, later.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nonfiction Monday--Zoo Borns!

Zoo Borns! Zoo babies from around the world by Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland. NY: Beach Lane Books, 2010.

Full page photographs of newborn zoo babies accompany a few short sentences about each animal. But these are not common American animals -- they're from around the world.

Most confusing to me was the difference between the Aardvark, which I had always thought was an anteater, and the anteater, otherwise known as a Tamandua. Ah, at the back of the book is more information about each animal. The Aardvark eats termites and the Anteater eats ants.

Adorable photo of a baby white tiger on the cover!

More Nonfiction Monday posts can be found at Practically Paradise. Click away and enjoy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Historical Fiction v. true Nonfiction

Interesting article in the March/April 2011 issue of The Horn Book Magazine:

A Fine, Fine Line: Truth in Nonfiction
by Tanya Lee Stone

Is it fair to put "made up" things in a nonfiction book? Is it fair to the reader? What happens when the reader discovers that these things didn't happen that way, or those people actually never even met?

Think about it.
And read this article.

Come back next week when I'll talk about a recently published biography that is disturbing me for this very reason.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Links for Writers

I'm busy working on a writing assignment (or four), so I'll leave you today with a link to a wonderful page of links for writers.
Andrea Beaty (she of the Three Silly Chicks blog and writer of funny books like The Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies) has set up a nice page of links where writers can get more information about the publishing process.

Click here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

BIC -- The Writer's Mantra

Jane Yolen keeps saying -- to be a writer, you need to keep "Butt in Chair."
I often (when I'm speaking at a school) change it to "Keep your bottom in your chair and WRITE."
Either way, it's the only way to get things done.

If, to become a master of your craft, you have to put in over 10,000 hours working on that craft, just what does that mean? Ingrid Sundberg has it all calculated out on her blog, Ingrid's Notes. Click on over and then calculate if YOU can do it, too.
-w o

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A new book about writing is published!

Today is the shipping day of a book that writers will find very useful. Instead of being required to have attended a conference to hear Editor, Cheryl Klein, give a talk about writing, now you can purchase a book full of her speeches. Plus other information about the writing and publishing process.

You can see her book and how to order it for your very own library of writing advice (otherwise known, at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, as a Craft Book), by clicking on this link to her blog, Brooklyn Arden.

I've already ordered mine and it's been shipped.
Now, if only the person delivering the box knows to put it onto my back porch, not my front porch, I'll be happy.

Why the back porch?
Because, when the road was redone, the county, in its wisdom, cut off the way to get to our front porch. Any person trying to deliver there must hack their way through bushes, cross the lawn, and duck their head to avoid being hit by hanging tree branches. But some delivery people still try to reach the front. Which means, a week or two after the delivery date, I get to do the hacking and etc. (or simply go out the kitchen door and go around the other side of the house to reach the front door) in order to check for packages on the front porch.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Timeline of Picture Books

Someone sent me the link to a wonderful Timeline of Picture Books. It's a slide show of the history of children's picture books from the 1700s to now, hitting most of the important ones.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Advances in Pop-Up Books

For years the Pop-Up books (and flap books and other oddments) were among the most popular books in the young area of the library. But they were so fragile. They would circulate a few times and then self-destruct. Either the pop-up part would no longer fold back nicely onto the pages or parts would be torn and lost. Or -- they would look ugly with the pull tabs sticking outside the pages of the book.

But recently a new, hopefully better, version of this type of book has been showing up in our library.

The newly reissued Maisy Goes to Bed (Lift the flaps! Pull the tabs!) by Lucy Cousins is a good example of this better type of book. Candlewick is now using heavier paper, creating a sturdier book.

But the most important step of all that publishers are doing is the change in the pull-tab. Instead of it being a straight out pull that is difficult to push back into the book, the tab now bends, creating a handle. And the pages seem looser, making it much easier to push and pull on the tab -- easier to put the tab Back Into The Book!

Librarians everywhere thank you, Candlewick.
(and thank you to all the other publishers who are now using this system.)

Another review of this book is at the Oh Boy, Books blog.