Mulling About Picture Books (and Another Book Birthday!)

by Erin on November 3, 2011

in EMLA News, Overheard

After Anita Silvey’s great, thought-provoking piece about picture books in SLJ this week, my reading-week mind has been working on picture books in the background, even as my notes to picture book writer after picture book writer say “Tighten it up!” And today, Chris Barton takes the thinking a step further. So much to chew on—this is part of why I like the wide-open spaces of reading week; it gives me more time to let ideas begin to gel. I hope they’ll gel into something worth adding to the discussion next week.

Tuesday I mentioned one book birthday—well, this week also brings a book birthday for a wonderful author, Anna Staniszewski—her debut, MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE! Please go watch the hilarious trailer, read the first chapter (UnFairy-Tale-Life-Chapter-1) for free, catch Anna giving advice about how to survive a unicorn attack, and, most importantly, buy the book! Happy book birthday, Anna!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Luke Reynolds November 4, 2011 at 8:11 am

What a great round-up! Anita’s article was tremendous, as was the blog Chris wrote. I’ve been intrigued lately to see what picture books my own 3-year old chooses, and we’re becoming Julia Donaldson roadies. We started with the tremendously witty THE GRUFFALO and then moved onto TIDDLER and now THE SMARTEST GIANT IN TOWN. What strikes me as interesting is that Donaldson uses a good amount of text, and loads of adjectives and description. But it all fits seamlessly into the rhythm of her rhyme. Granted, Donaldson is (I think) a genuis–but she models how to craft a PB that is long and heavy on story and repetition and small nuances of character, while also keeping young readers–even 2 and 3-year olds–interested and invested the whole way through. Can’t wait to see what’s going to be happening with PBs this year–and thanks for the timely and thought-provoking post Erin! AND Happy Birthday to MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE!


Cynthia Levinson November 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Luckily for me I get to hear Anna read from her book this Sunday!


Anna Staniszewski November 5, 2011 at 8:31 am

Aw, thanks so much for the book birthday wishes! And thank you for the thought-provoking PB links!


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