Close your eyes and throw a dart in the children’s section, and you’ll probably hit a book that has fat-phobia. It may have a snide comment about a fat character – or a book with no fat characters at all. I’m not sure which one is worse. It’s practically a tradition in children’s literature to depict fatness as synonymous with gluttony, with ugliness, with stupidity, or with evil. In Harry Potter, you have major and minor fat villains: Dudley, Umbridge, Crabbe and Goyle. Stuart Gibb’s best-selling Funjungle series features a b-side villain referred to as “Large Marge” throughout the series, who is regularly derided as idiotic and incompetent. And if we started talking about fatness and Roald Dahl, we’d be here all day. Where does this fatphobia come from, and why do we put up with it?
Children’s librarians hear a lot about princesses. “Do you have any princess books?”, “My child will only read princess books”, “Princesses books are silly, I need a real book for my child.” We can answer most of these questions pretty easily. But what about the harder question, what books would you recommend to a princess? Below are some picture book recommendations that I believe princesses might enjoy.
Prince Harry has written the foreword to Hospital on the Hill, an upcoming book by author Chris Connaughton. The book reportedly tells the story of a young person whose parent worked—and died—on the frontlines of a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The royal’s introduction discusses the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, when he was 12 years old.
Scholastic’s “Empowering Young Voices Through Illustrated Stories” was like a behind-the-scenes meeting with the creators of three new picture books. These titles included Lala’s Words by Gracey Zhang, The Little Blue Bridge by Brenda Maier, and Wishes by Mượn Thị Văn and Victo Ngai. All eloquent storytellers, visual and written, the creators put emphasis on the importance of empathy and multicultural representation, as well as believing in oneself and the change that we can create ourselves. Mượn Thị Văn says these steps can be big or small and has hope that readers will be empowered to take them after reading Wishes. Brenda Maier pointed out a lesson in The Little Blue Bridge, that you cannot control others, only how you react to a situation yourself. Gracey Zhang expressed how important words are and the way they are used, as well as the importance of the images and what they portray….
As we continue to stay at home, continue to provide remote programming, and continue to miss large family gatherings, this month’s post from the Intellectual Freedom Committee provides some picture books to help us take a step back and breathe a little.
This Is Not Another “Best of” [input year] Post I promise you this is not another Best of [input year] post. In fact, if I were to rename it, it’d be The Most Exciting Stuff in the Youth Services World, like, right now; right now. I like pointing these things out so much I create a biweekly Youth Services newsletter for my colleagues. [mysteriously] Who knows, maybe I’ll unleash it upon the internet in 2021? [strokes goat goatee] It’s loaded with all things frabjous, from live webinars with authors whose work we drool upon to easy crafts, programming ideas, news – [foreign accent] your interest is piqued, no? Oh! And this stuff is all totes free! Sans fees! Gratis! Famous Authors Live! This subheading should read “Not Another Webinar” Probably the most important webinars For the Parents and Caregivers we serve This is not a section about stuff to do…
Is the delight of sharing a picture book also an opportunity to foster social and emotional growth, laying the foundation for critical thinking skills?
Another year is behind us, with wonderful new releases in the picture book genre. I’m excited to share these particular titles with you. They’ve flown somewhat under the radar, with little fanfare. They stood out to me for various reasons: unique topics, incredible illustrations, humor. Please let me know about any other “underdogs” from 2019 you’d like to share! And without further ado… my 10 favorite underdogs! You are New by Lucy Knisley Good books for baby storytime are hard to come by, so I was excited to stumble upon Lucy Knisley’s “You Are New.” I love the minimalist illustrations, abundance of action verbs that lend themselves well to caregiver-child interactions, and hopeful message about being new in the world. Change to I love you from head to toe?” Bloom Boom by April Pulley Sayre Photographer and author April Pulley Sayre really hit it out of the park with this…