Archive for February 12th, 2006

Presenting the First Carnival of Children’s Literature

February 12, 2006 @ 9:00 pm | Filed under:

Boys and girls come out to play,
The moon doth shine as bright as day.
Leave your supper and leave your sleep,
And join your playfellows in the street.

Welcome to the first Carnival of Children’s Literature! What an exciting week it has been, watching all the submissions roll in. The response has been overwhelming! Posts came in from authors, reviewers, book-loving parents, and even a couple of teenagers. In reading through all the submissions, I realized what an apt description “carnival” is for this kind of gathering of posts: it brings together a wild assortment of different rides.

So come with a whoop, and come with a call! Off we go…

Gray goose and gander,
Waft your wings together,
Carry the good king’s daughter
Over the one-strand river.

One of the best things about books is the way they take us on journeys far from home, as CityMom and her children have discovered in their literature-based geography studies.

Queen of Carrots shares the books that carried her to an adventure with ducks, while over at A Hen’s Pace, another mom and her children discover the world of crystals with Snowflake Bentley.

Happyheartsmom explores just why it is that what Charlotte Mason called “living books” have the power to carry us away.

The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
All on a summer’s day;
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,
And carried them clean away.

We have all encountered certain characters in children’s literature who have stolen our hearts away as certainly as the Knave of Hearts walked off with those famous pastries. At Cottage Blessings, Alice tells how the Swallows and Amazons won her family’s heart. And in Bonny Glen’s contribution, I list several other fictional families who have become dear to my children and me.

Over at Conblogeration, Jeff discusses the profound impact a Margaret Wise Brown book had on him in “Why I am a Mr. Dog Conservative”.

And at Read Mommy Read, a mother explains how she found a friend in Mr. Book.

I had a little nut tree, nothing would it bear,
But a silver nutmeg and a golden pear.
The King of Spain’s daughter came to visit me,
And all for the sake of my little nut tree.

Children’s books, like the little nut tree, require a great deal of nurturing before they bear fruit. In our next group of posts, several authors give us a peek into their gardens, where silver nutmegs and golden pears are ripening on the branch.

Cynthia Lord, author of Rules (hitting the bookstores on April 2nd), writes about stealing real-life details to enrich her book in a lovely post called Thieves R Us.

Author Greg Fishbone discusses the challenge of writing a blurb for his middle-grade novel, Septina Nash Presents: The Penguins of Doom, which will be published in 2007.

In a fascinating behind-the-scenes post, Chris Barton (whose book The Day-Glo Brothers is forthcoming in 2007) shares his experiences at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

Indian Shoes author Cynthia Leitich Smith, whose incredible website is a must-see for any fan of children’s literature, treats us to interviews with authors M. T. Anderson (Whales on Stilts) and Heather Vogel Frederick (Spy Mice).

James Bow gives us a look at the process of revising his YA novel, Fathom Five.

Janni Lee Simner, author of Secret of the Three Treasures, explores the difference between generic book characters and characters with real personality.

Over at Book Moot, Camille tells about attending a booksigning where author Jonathan Stroud answered questions both good and bad.

Care to visit more author sites? Love2LearnMom has compiled a list.

Little Jack Horner sat in the corner,
Eating his Christmas pie.
He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum
And said what a good boy am I!

When a person discovers a plum of a book, he is usually eager to share it. These bloggers offer reviews of delicious books they have enjoyed.

Over at A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy, Elizabeth revisits Seven Alone, a childhood favorite, and finds out that there’s more to the story.

Chicken Spaghetti cooks up a review of Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins.

At Semicolon, Sherry reviews Newbery Honor Book Swift Rivers (with delightful commentary from her children).

Becky of Farm School finds the work of Roald Dahl to be Dahlicious.

Big A little a treats us to a review of Sebastian Meschenmoser’s picture book, Learning to Fly.

Noelle gives five stars to Kate diCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie.

Dominion Family presents a list of picture books written by husband-and-wife teams.

Adria, one of our teenaged contributors, chimes in with a review of Greg Leitich Smith’s novel, Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo.

Jen Robinson tells why Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief should have won a Newbery.

The Median Sib explores Amelia’s Road by Linda Jacobs Altman.

At Full of Grace, Anna shares some thoughts on Robin McKinley’s novel, Beauty.

Gail Gauthier takes comfort in Sam the Pig and the Dragon by Alison Uttley. (Note: Gail’s permalinks don’t seem to be working. Scroll down to her February 7 entry for this post.)

Bookcarousel whets our appetite for Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming.

Michele raves about Geraldine McCaughrean’s The White Darkness.

The Kids Lit blog sends us soaring with a review of Super Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold.

At A Pictureseque Life, Bethany finds a message on the sanctity of life in Horton Hears a Who.

Spunky explains why Johannah Bluedorn’s picture book, Bless the Lord, passes her “again test.”

Classical Liberalism takes a look at the work of Jules Verne.

Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean.
And so betwixt the two of them,
They licked the platter clean.

Of course, not everyone has the same taste in books. In this post, Scott of Left of the Dial explains why he’s not so wild about Harry. (I, on the other hand, am wild about Scott.)

At Why Homeschool, Henry Cate asks, “What do I want out of children’s literature?”

Laurie Bluedorn shares her criteria for what makes a good children’s book.

Spunky Jr. explains why she believes that books, like all other good things, should be enjoyed in moderation.

Librarian Lori Feldstein takes a look at gender roles in children’s literature.

Wendy Betts laments the quantities of twaddle she was forced to endure as a book reviewer.

And finally, Kelly takes issue with some well-known authors’ answers to the Royal Society of Literature’s question, “What are the top ten books all children should read?” Gail has thoughts on this as well.

Sing a song of sixpence, pocket full of rye,
Four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a pie;
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing—
Now wasn’t that a dainty dish
To set before the king!

Well, we’ve had a great many more than four-and-twenty blackbirds in this big Carnival pie. Many thanks to all our contributors! Don’t forget to post a link on your own sites. And stay tuned for details about the March edition of the Carnival of Children’s Literature, which will be hosted by Susan at Chicken Spaghetti.

This carnival is registered at TTLB’s ÜberCarnival.