Tag Archives: Children’s Books

As Demographics Shift, Kids Books Stay Stubbornly White

“When it comes to diversity, childrens books are sorely lacking; instead of presenting a representative range of faces, theyre overwhelmingly white. How bad is the disconnect? A report by the Cooperative Childrens Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that only 3 percent of childrens books are by or about Latinos — even though nearly a quarter of all public school children today are Latino. When kids are presented with bookshelves that unbalanced, parents can have a powerful influence. Take 8-year-old Havana Machado, who likes Dr. Seuss and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. At her mothers insistence, Havana also has lots of books featuring strong Latinas, like Josefina and Marisol from the American Girl Doll books. She says she likes these characters because, with their long, dark hair and olive skin, they look a lot like her.” (via NPR)

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Homophobia comes to children’s books with ‘God Made Dad & Mom’

“It’s unfortunate that the American Library Association announced its list of the previous year’s most offensive books in April, because the clear winner for the 2013 calendar year has recently emerged. “God Made Dad & Mom,” an ostensibly innocuous children’s book, has beaten all other releases — if only by dint of its lamb-like exterior accentuating the strongly homophobic content.” (via New York Daily News)

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Bestselling Author Of Children’s Books Accuses Public Libraries Of Stealing His Paychecks

“Maybe there’s a scientific explanation for the sort of behavior that leads normally beloved people to suddenly veer into previously unexplored areas of misanthropy and jettison all the goodwill they’ve built up over a lifetime. It’s not necessarily just a case of “old men yelling at clouds.” The subject of this piece isn’t necessarily old (although, I admit I keep moving those particular goalposts with each passing birthday) or unnecessarily coherent. He’s just… so horribly, awfully, completely wrong. Terry Deary, author of the Horrible Histories line of children’s books, has a problem with libraries. Perhaps urged on by UK Publisher’s Association’s collective mental breakdown (libraries = “tawdry theft”) early last year, Deary has joined the not-really-all-that-large number of voices decrying the existence of libraries and the countless free books contained therein.”

via Techdirt

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Maurice Sendak, ‘Where Wild Things Are’ Author, Dies

Associated Press – “Maurice Sendak, the children’s book author and illustrator who saw the sometimes-dark side of childhood in books like Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, has died. He was 83. Longtime friend and caretaker Lynn Caponera says she was with him when he died early Tuesday at a hospital in Danbury, Conn. She says he had a stroke on Friday.”

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The Artistry Of ‘Children’s Picturebooks’ Revealed

NPR – “Children’s books seem simple, but good ones are deceptively complicated to write and illustrate. “Traditionally illustrated books are books where the text makes sense on its own. It doesn’t necessarily need words,” writer Martin Salisbury tells NPR’s Renee Montagne, whereas with picture books, neither the text nor the images stand separately — they need each other. Salisbury is the author of the new book Children’s Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling. He says classic picture books, like Babar, may succeed because the simple visual style allows readers to project their own personalities and thoughts onto the character. “I guess it’s a combination of the extraordinary writing of Babar, the strange world that’s created, and those very simple faces that allow us to use our imagination,” he says.”

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Palo Alto family’s experience depicted in children’s book on gay marriage

San Mateo County Times – “When “Yes on 8″ signs began popping up on lawns in their Palo Alto neighborhood in 2008, Kathy and Lee Merkle-Raymond found themselves on the front line of the battle over gay marriage in California. The same-sex couple, who were campaigning against Proposition 8, had to explain to their two young daughters why some of their friends’ parents didn’t want them to be allowed to marry. Then, with their daughters’ encouragement, the couple decided to tie the knot before the ban on same-sex marriage took effect. Their story is now the basis for “Operation Marriage,” a new children’s book that could make its way into classrooms and school libraries now that California passed a law ensuring that children learn about the contributions of gays and lesbians. Author Cynthia Chin-Lee debuted the book Wednesday at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park before an audience of local families, educators and faith leaders.”

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