This is ynl's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following ynl's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
ynl
Children's books reviewed for grownups.
Recent Activity
Image
It can't be easy, right? Writing a cookbook for kids? I mean, if you're writing a cookbook, that means you are a good cook. You know your asparagus from your elbow macaroni, if you know what I mean. And here you are writing instructions for people who don't know what the salt looks like when you tell them to get it out of the cupboard. IT'S THE BLUE CYLINDRICAL CONTAINER. CYLINDER. YOU KNOW, ROUND LIKE A... oh Christ I'll get it. SEE? THIS IS SALT. I'm writing an article about books about food for kids for School Library Journal. It's... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2014 at Pink Me
Image
It is the damnedest thing. In recent years, YA trends have come on about as subtly as a brick tornado. Vampires. Zombie plagues. Fairy tales. Mermaids, oh god the mermaids. Last year it was cancer. And you'd think, if I took a mermaid trend in stride, I would not be surprised by the sudden appearance of dragons in contemporary YA fiction. I'd be like, "Aw come on guys - it's all dragons nowadays!" But there I was, five pages into Talker 25, going "What the...? It's dragons?" I think it's because they're just so doofy. Right? Giant lizards with wings?... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2014 at Pink Me
Image
Well there aren't a lot of shopping days left until Christmas, but the good news is that in these depressing final days, when the best that most stores can offer is a choice between Picked-over or Shopworn, your favorite independent bookstore is an absolute ACE at getting that brand-new book - or books - for you just about right away. Let's place our order, shall we? LEGO Space: Building the Future by Peter Reid and Tim Goddard. What looks like a building guide – along the lines of the terrific LEGO Play Book: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
I have never been very good at all that best / best of / ten best BS. My little mind has trouble finding a common metric between different books. How can you say whether the silly and charming linear narrative of Sophie's Squash is "better" or "worse" than - for example - the dreamlike, lyrical Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue ? Naoko Stoop paints on plywood. Anne Wilsdorf's lively ink and watercolor art. Which illustrations are better? DOES NOT COMPUTE. I try, though - as previously mentioned, I'm a first-round Cybils judge and I will help pick a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
Dot, Clem, Ozzie, Ollie, Maya, Nalah, Loula, and Ripple. Henry, Dorothy, Francis, Betsy, Willow, Jemmy Button and Anna Hibiscus. Plus French film icon Jacques Tati and former Vikings defensive end Alan Page. These are my new best friends. And they are just a very few of the main characters of picture books nominated for Best Picture Book in the Cybils Awards. Go on, take a peek at the nominations list. Wow, right? It's a diverse bunch of folks - there's a dolphin, a dog, foxes, monsters, princesses, squirrels and more than one bunny. Loula is French, Noah and Na'amah are... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
Captain Cat is a crazy-eyed, cat-lovin', Santa-bearded old sailing man. After a lifetime as a sort of less-than mediocre trader (he tends to swap valuable goods for worthless felines), Captain Cat decides it's finally time to see the places on his bucket list. Blown way off course by a really nicely drawn storm, he and his crowd of cats fetch up at a sweet, wealthy, rat-infested remote island presided over by a skinny-legged wild-haired Queen. With her unhinged grin and mens' shoes, the Queen is kind of like a tropical Pippi. MAN this is a great story. I'm not kidding.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
There's a lot of horror running around loose on the streets these days. It's a trend. Brainless monsters, mad government scientists, possessed townsfolk and crafty killers lurk in the alleys and infest the woods by the side of the highways. Yep, it's a stimulating time to be a teen reader. Until fairly recently, horror had been in kind of a slump. Horror had a big day back in, hm, the late 70's, early 80's. Throughout the 80's, the Halloween movies were in theaters and Stephen King was putting out two books a year. In 1978, I was pretty sure this... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
Fast and furious edition: (So fast, so furious, I am just copying the event descriptions off the festival website.) (All events take place in the Children's Bookstore Tent unless otherwise noted.) DON'T MISS Tiger Beat, 5:30 PM on Friday Sept 27! "YA rock sensation Tiger Beat features Libba Bray 's charged lyrics, Dan Ehrenhaft 's arena-ready power chords, Natalie Standiford 's face-melting bass riffs, and barnabas miller 's searing drumming. They will open an evening celebration of YA literature." Nat Standiford! Local hero! Her dad was my pediatrician! Also, obviously, LIBBA BRAY OMG. KEEP READING THERE'S MORE DON'T MISS Jon... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
...which is my way of saying oh my life - and my reading - has been HELTER-SKELTER for the past couple of months. Here's why - allow me to solicit your interest in some excellent upcoming events and ongoing projects: 1). I'm on YALSA's Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults booklist committee (nominate your favorites today!) 2). I'm a facilitator at Enoch Pratt Free Library's biannual teen reading fest Books for the Beast (join us!). It's an all-day event (free lunch!) October 19th with super speakers and small group discussions. This year, we will be joined by RAINA TELGEMEIER ! SHARON... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
Nobody gonna take my car I'm gonna race it to the ground Oooh it's a killing machine It's got everything Like a driving power big fat tyres And everything I love it I need it I bleed it yeah it's a wild hurricane Alright hold tight I'm a highway star! God I love Deep Purple. Am I the only one anymore? To me, Deep Purple is the seminal sound of teenhood. It's music you listen to in stale basement rec rooms - mindless and churning, full of movement but not getting anywhere. The long-haired, cigarette-smoking boys who hung in a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
Summer Reading season is just about drawing to a close at the ol' public library. For the past month we've been dredging up copies of Beloved and Animal Farm . We've scurried around looking for Trash , The Book Thief , and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind for po-faced youngsters who absolutely can't stand the idea of summer homework. I often try to sweeten the visit (thanks teachers for making a visit to the library a chore!) by offering the kid an additional, just-for-fun book. Summer is the time for kids to remember that reading is an entertaining activity.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
Portmanteau post time! Since returning from vacation I've made a concerted effort to catch up on new picture books. It's a burden. I'm kidding. It's a joy. I love paging through a giant stack - it's like sitting on your friend's floor going through her records. Thirty years ago. *shakes head* *misses 12" record albums for a minute* *wonders where all her Siouxsie and the Banshees records got to* Anyway, when you read ten or twenty picture books at a time, the winners - and the weirdos, and the "hmm" books - quickly distinguish themselves from the rank and file.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
Stay with this one. The book, I meant, but now that I've started writing this review and it went jackknifing off the rails before it even left the station, I mean the review too. MOVING TO MONTANA SOON I read Wise Young Fool (due out today! from Little Brown) sitting in a chilly hotel room in Cusco, Peru, during the couple days it took me and my children to adjust to the radical changes in altitude and gut flora that accompany - well, going to Peru. Which sounds like a euphemism, and in fact is now a euphemism in our... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
Man, I do love talking about books on the radio. Last week, the Marc Steiner Show needed a librarian for a segment about what kids are reading this summer, and I was lucky enough to be in the supply chain for that request. I had never been to the WEAA studio at Morgan State University, and it was spacious, bright, and airy. Plus, it was extremely wild to conduct a conversation with That Voice. Marc has been on Baltimore radio for ever - he is smart, friendly, and uncompromising, and I've tuned in to his wave a thousand times I'll... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
Oh Book Expo, my favorite event of the year. It's where we get to listen to creators and editors talk about their work and what excites them about it - it's where we pick up books and book-related swag, run into old friends and make new ones standing in line. It's where I get to hug Jack Gantos and be in the same room as Susan Cooper. I'll have a long recap in the coming days - I took a lot of notes and I did a lot of thinking - but here are a few photo highlights in the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2013 at Pink Me
Not really. Nobody sings. Well, they sing, but it's not... Oh just watch it. I know what you're thinking. "Oh, sure, she's always complaining she has no time to read, but she'll spend most of Memorial Day weekend - when she should be barbecuing or binge-watching Arrested Development (Fun fact: I have never watched Arrested Development!) clipping video." It's true. But I can't help it. I love making videos with my kids. And this one was inspired by the forthcoming Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett, pictures by Matthew Myers. Actually, I was just looking for an excuse... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
I mean, this is cool - this Kickstarter campaign for The Very Hungry Cthulhupillar. It's already fully funded, but for $25 you'll get the hardcover when it comes out. I don't know Eric Carle personally, but I have it on good authority that he has an excellent sense of humor... Ah, Cleveland. Sometimes Cleveland does the coolest things. I went to college in Cleveland, and there was always something experimental going on. I think it's a result of the stakes not being terribly high in that town - it doesn't cost a whole lot to, say, transform a few vacant... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2013 at Pink Me
After three months of Blind Date With a Book, we've gotten pretty proficient at wrapping books in tissue paper. I did a little stop-motion video of the quickest method I've found to wrap a book, with the fewest folds. Also, Mariah Carey serenades you while you wrap: Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2013 at Bookmarks
Image
1. What useful information have you learned from the resource that you have been monitoring since week one? I subscribe to the email newsletters from Shelf Awareness, Booklist, First Edition, Early Word and the Library Journal prepress alerts, which tells you which books will be reviewed in the next issue.... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2013 at Bookmarks
Image
I know it's a losing battle, keeping the place in some kind of tidy shape, and it's certainly not all the fault of my kids. The books, lord the books. But sometimes I am just in a GET IT ALL OUT OF HERE mood, and such is the mood that descended tonight. I haven't had the time to read hardly anything lately, so as we picked up books and shelved them or put them in the Back to the Library bag, I got Milo (11) and Ezra (nearly 10) to talk about the books they've read. Ezra: Battle Bunny is... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
This week's assignment is all about Goodreads. Oh sure, I am on Goodreads. I am reeeaalllly on Goodreads. I have 2782 books on Goodreads, including two I added just last night (Lucy Knisley's graphic novel food memoir Relish and For the Good of Mankind, an interesting upper-grade nonfiction book about... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2013 at Bookmarks
Image
You might think, if you know me from reading Pink Me, that I am a children's or teen librarian. I'm not - at my system we are all generalists. So while I love fixing kids up with great books, the fact is I also enjoy helping grownups. I spend most of my time drumming up copies of just the right David Baldacci, or helping readers find Amish romance novels and car repair manuals. Which, um... Amish romance novels? Right. I'm going to need a finding aid for that. So I am a little bit of a sucker for books about... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2013 at Pink Me
Image
Let's find books for hypothetical readers! Hypothetical reader Kate Winslet has this look on her face for just about the whole movie. Maybe he should switch from Doris Lessing to Sylvia Day. Reader #1, come on down! You like Oprah books and Eat, Pray, Love - we're finding you something... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2013 at Bookmarks
Image
This week's Be More Bookish assignment was all about appeal factors. Project Cain and Cain's Blood by Geoffrey Girard These paired novels tell the same story - about a government-sponsored project in which serial killer DNA is used to create clones, which you know can't end well - from the... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2013 at Bookmarks
Graphic novels are uncharted territory for some of us. Here's the presentation that TK, Melissa, and I did at Genre Boot Camp. and then let's talk about superheroes: More booklists and materials are in the Genre Boot Camp folder under Collection Development on BCPL's network, but I wanted to take... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2013 at Bookmarks