Children’s Literature

The Man, His Work, and Its Impact–The Dr. Seuss Controversy

Posted by on Nov 3, 2017 in Children's Literature, Illustration, Race | 0 comments

B8OSR0HIEAIvoty

Not one of Dr. Seuss’s finer moments. He did get better.

Maybe you’re not up on what’s going on with Dr. Seuss? For details of the current controversy, check out this and this.

I was going to post my thoughts, but I have to take a back seat to Grace Lin here: she says everything that needs to be said, thoughtfully and wisely and eloquently.

A few highlights:

We know that Dr. Seuss’s early career is filled with creations of racist propaganda. He drew horrible stereotypes against Jews, African-Americans–you name it…. However, as time passed, Geisel began to regret his earlier images. It is widely accepted that his beloved book, “Horton Hears a Who!” was his way of apologizing for his earlier art….That is what makes Geisel a good man and artist. Because he was willing to grow from his original mindset, realize the harm the his work could do and get better.

No artist deserves to be judged and dismissed on the basis of one work or one image. No artist gets to be judged and idolized only on the works he or she would prefer to be selected.

 

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What To Read When

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Book: Amazing Animals, Children's Literature, Educators & Librarians, Nonfiction | 0 comments

Pam Allyn’s What to Read When is a great resource for parents and teachers trying to find that just-right book for a certain age or interest. What a thrill to find one of my own books included! Amazing Snakes is listed under “Research Books” for five-year olds. I love the idea of my books helping to inspire a love for science and a fascination with the natural world.

Allyn says, “What better way to introduce our kids to the value of exploration and research than to seize their interests and passions early on and and introduce them to books that will help them puzzle out the answers to their most fervent wonderings.” I couldn’t agree more!

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Books = Change = Hope

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Childhood, Children's Literature, Educators & Librarians, Race | 0 comments

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From Ursula

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Childhood, Children's Literature, Editing | 0 comments

381134Ursula Nordstrom edited and published some of the greatest writers and illustrators for children: Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, Ruth Krauss, Garth Williams, Margaret Wise Brown, and many more. I like to look through her collected letters for joy and inspiration when the creative slog feels longer than usual.

In 1953 she wrote to Meindert Dejong:

“Did I ever tell you that, several years ago, after the Harper management saw that I could publish children’s books successfully, I was taken out to luncheon and offered, with great ceremony, the opportunity to be an editor in the adult department? The implication of course, was that since I had learned to publish books for children with considerable success perhaps I was now ready to move along (or up) to the adult field. I almost pushed the luncheon table into the lap of the pompous gentleman across from me and then explained kindly that publishing children’s books was what I did, that I couldn’t possible be interested in books for dead full finished adults, and thank you very much but I had to get back to my desk to publish some more good books for bad children.”

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