30 November 2005

Library of Congress Evacuated

That's about all of the story that's out there. In it's entirety, the item reads: "The main building of the Library of Congress was evacuated Wednesday morning while a hazardous materials team investigated what people in the building said was a suspicious odor.

Capitol Police officer Dan Kurtz said two people in the Jefferson Building, located across the street from the Capitol, complained of feeling faint. One was treated at the scene and another was taken to a local hospital."

I hope all is well...

29 November 2005

Stan Berenstain has died

He was 82. Read the obit.

(Sorry this isn't the lengthier entry he deserves, but this is making me very sad. I will try to come back and write something better later.)

20 November 2005

Happy Birthday, ICDL!

Today marks the 3rd Anniversay of the International Children's Digital Library! This amazing site was "designed to provide children ages 3 to 13 with an unparalleled opportunity to experience different cultures through literature and an unequaled ease in accessing online books."

The ICDL now features 829 free children's books in 32 different languages. Definitely worth a minute (or 10) of your time, to see what kinds of stories children all over the world are sharing and cherishing.

17 November 2005

Does the NBA predict the Newbery winners?

Okay, I did some digging (well, not digging so much as compiling easily found data) to see if the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature is a good predictor of which title will win the Newbery Medal.

It looks like the first National Book Award for Young People’s Literature was presented in 1996. [A note about the appearance of date discrepancies in the comparison: Because the National Book Award is presented at the end of the year (November) and the Newbery Medal is presented at the beginning of the year (January), the 1996 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature is drawn from the same pool of books as the 1997 Newbery Medal winner. A bit confusing, but true, nonetheless.]

So, is the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature a portend of things to come in January?


Only once have the two committees agreed, and that was on Holes by Louis Sachar. (And really -- who *did* argue with that selection?) This isn’t a bad thing, I think, since it brings more quality books for young people to the attention of the book-buying public.

So, what does this mean for The Penderwicks? Probably nothing. Just something I was wondering about and thought I might as well share since I spent time figuring it out…

(I will add links later, when I have more time.)


National Book Award: Parrott In the Oven: Mi Vida by Victor Martinez
Newbery: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

National Book Award: Dancing on the Edge by Han Nolan
Newbery: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

National Book Award: Holes by Louis Sachar
Newbery: Holes by Louis Sachar

National Book Award: When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberley Willis Holt
Newbery: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

National Book Award: Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan
Newbery: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

National Book Award: True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Newbery: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

National Book Award: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Newbery: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

National Book Award: The Canning Season by Polly Horvath
Newbery: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo

National Book Award: Godless by Pete Hautman
Newbery: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

National Book Award: The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Newbery: ?

To Smoke or Not to Smoke?

From the New York Times: In the great green room, there is a telephone, and a red balloon, but no ashtray. "Goodnight Moon," the children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown, has gone smoke free.

The controversey is apparently over a picture of illustrator Clement Hurd from which a cigarette has been digitally erased. Why not just find a picture in which Hurd was not smoking instead of altering the other one? *I* don't know. But it's causing a fuss.

There's a website that discusses this, too: Goodnight Moon Reality. There, you can vote for which version of the picture you prefer.

Chris Van Allsburg at MSI

There's a special exhibit of Chris Van Allsburg's artwork at the Museum of Science and Industry. Yay!

Penderwicks Prevail!

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall is the winner of the 2005 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

The judges said, "This enormously heartwarming and satisfying novel honors and enriches the beloved tradition of the classic children's family story. The Penderwicks are worthy companions to Alcott's March sisters or Nesbit's Bastables—endearing and enduring characters whose company we can cherish."

I read the book, somewhat reluctantly, and was utterly charmed. It is a gentle tale that doesn't fall into cloying sentimentality. I am not sure I agree these sisters *quite* hold up to the March sisters (although they, too, have a writer, a gentle, shy animal lover, a mothering sister...), but they are a lovely family nonetheless.

I would be interested to know how many times the same book has won the Newbery as the National Book Award? Hmm... Mayhaps I shall take a look at that.

Meanwhile, some other people won stuff in other categories, too. Check it out.

11 November 2005

How was this even a debate?

It seems shameful that this was even a question, but thankfully it has been resolved: "Libraries in Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck's hometown of Salinas, California, will remain open after voters approved an increase in the local sales tax, according to election results posted on Wednesday."

Read the rest.

07 November 2005

I kinda hate this commercial...

... for DHL. Am I being too sensitive?

Actually, I often get a kick out of the librarian stereotypes. Just, when I saw this, I wished there was a teensy bit more balance in the way people saw us. Like, if so many people didn't believe that this was the truth of most librarians, it would be funnier.

SIGH. Guess it's good to have a library on tv, anyway.

In Memoriam: John Fowles

John Fowles, author of seven novels, including The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Collector, has died at the age of 79.

An obituary is here.

New Norton Anthology

From the Boston Globe: "Why are adult readers so drawn to children's literature? A lavish new Norton anthology suggests some answers."

Read the the review.