New books in the world today: first, Bay Area SCBWI member Deborah Underwood is the ghost writer on Whoopi Goldberg's new children's book (!), Sugar Plum Ballerinas. Doret@ Happy Nappy Bookseller gives it a vote of confidence -- surprise, surprise. Apparently, this is NOT a BACA Book (though if you're in need of some real snark on the topic the Guardian can still make you laugh). Props to Deborah Underwood!
The 2008 Cybils Nominees are all wrapped and packaged and ready for reading. Take a zip through the list, which is thoughtfully broken down by genre, and get ready to do some holiday shopping! It's definitely going to be a book year in our family; I just found out my wee nephew calls spiders "Kill-its" (thanks to his paranoid and beastly father) and so I shall be forced to buy him a book that displays spiders in a positive role, uses their actual name, counts their legs, etc., until he graduates to Charlotte's Web and learns of arachnid fabulosity himself. (Since he's 14 months old, we have a ways to go.)
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed 60 years ago, in 1948, by the United Nations General Assembly at the end of World War II, and if you've never looked at it, please take a minute to do so! You'll note that it has a lot of ... words in it. Honestly, they're good words and gorgeous words, and words that will make you put your hand on your heart and close your eyes and dream hard of a better world. But, there's also a lot of "whereas"-es and "thereins" and that kind of thing in it. Enter We Are All Born Free a lovely children's edition of the UK version of the declaration (spelled with more u's), illustrated by the bright lights of children's literature here, the sale of which will benefit Amnesty International.
This beautiful little volume came out the first of October and I WISH I'd recommended for the Cybils! Since I didn't, I'm going to flog it here. Go and page through it online and tell me it's not something that would be really amazing for not necessarily just small children, but bigger ones, who need to know the awesomeness of the dream that was held for the world, once upon a time, before things got messy... What a great, tangible reminder of a way to get back on track, and what a good personal reminder about individual freedoms, and that basically, not even your parents have the right to force you to do things -- nor do you have the right to force others. Everyone should know their rights, and relish the right to be left alone, and politely demand from their governments what is due to each.
Ooh, new vampire book from Marcus Sedgewick. I'm still traumatized from the first book of his I read; I may have to wait until summer to read this one.
I'm used to finding the odd (and in the case of The Slidy Diner VERY odd) Random Illustrator Features over at the 7-Imps, but was pleasantly surprised to discover this illustrator interview with Nicole Tadgell over at Big A, little a. No Mush Today is a book by Sally Derby from Lee & Low, and it's adorable and colorful and full of disgust for squishy hot cereal and squishy, stuffed-toy-stealing baby brothers. (I completely relate to this book as I am still smarting from the theft of a particularly cute lamb toy by my... *cough* a perfidious baby I know. Who is now, like, seventeen. But I digress.) Nicole is a fabulous, lively illustrator, and I love that there are pictures of her working -- I can never get enough of seeing regular people at their desks, doing their thing.
And speaking of regular people at their desks, procrastinating, that's it for me. Happy Monday.