This has a very tenuous connection with KidsLit (it concerns a Newbery Winner, at least), but a very strong connection to my heart, so I had to share:
“An alien trinket of unimaginable cultural significance”
Have you guys seen the blog My First Dictionary?
When I was about eight, I begged my parents to buy me a set of children’s encyclopedias at a garage sale. They were falling apart, and I don’t remember when I ever used them, except once, to look up the word “Notorious”. The definition was something along the lines of “famous, but for a bad reason”, and the illustration was similar to “The Movie Star is famous. Buffalo Bill is notorious.” I didn’t get the difference (I have to admit that, at the time, I was pretty into Annie Get Your Gun).
My First Dictionary has a much better example:
My top 10 favorite things list definitely includes Sweden, Art Deco, and Fairytales*, so I am shocked to find that I’ve never seen Bland tomtar och Troll, or Among Gnomes and Trolls. This book is, apparently, a Swedish standby, published every year with new illustrations to accompany the folktales and fairytales it tells. The first edition, in 1907, was illustrated by the incredible John Bauer (I wonder if they called him Jack?). These dark illustrations, with their loose lines and drama, exemplify what ideal fairytale artwork should be in my mind. The gloomy, naturalistic nature of Scandinavian folktales in particular — with their shadowy forests and earth-dwelling dwarfs rather than unicorns or cupids — matches Bauer’s style, and the results are spectacular. Art editors, take note. Let’s get some more books that look like this:
See a much more complete gallery at Golden Age Comic Book Stories (a great blog, by the way, and one you should check out).
*The rest of the list? Pie, old bookstores, glacial lakes, TV marathons, King Arthur stories, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and I’m leaving one spot up for grabs.
See that swanky new kid-reading-a-book image to your right?
Some organization, which I confess to knowing nothing about, is encouraging people to put down iPhones and pick up real, black-ink-on-white-paper books. To spread their message, they’ve put together some buttons and icons etc, so you can use electronic media to show your enthusiasm for physical media. Neat-o!
Get your own at Read the Printed Word.
I promised a return, but have thus far not delivered. So here, for your edification and debating pleasure, is This Recording‘s list of the “100 Greatest Sci-Fi or Fantasy Novels of All Time”.
Carnavale puts “Litany of the Long Sun” at number one.
Alex, I love you most of the time, but have you lost your mind? Any list of Sci-Fi Fantasy that doesn’t have Lord of the Rings in the top 10 is just wrong.
You’ll notice there’s a whole lot of Le Guin love going on here, which is big problem for me. I’ve never found her more than slightly above mediocre, which I realize is a high crime in the world of Sci-Fi geeks. Sorry, all, I have no defense.
Debating entirely subjective lists may be nothing more than a Hornby-inspired exercise in time-wasting, but have at it. Any other ideas about what should dominate in those Top-10 spots?