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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Rambling Around

Gorky RisesOh, how I love the Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves blog. A feast for the eyes, I enjoy the richness of these illustrations and the memories they stir. Not of my own childhood. I had curiously few books, primarily those that could be purchased at a grocery store or dime store. These are books I remember shelving in the St. Louis Park library in my first and best-ever job.

On her April 13th blog entry, Burgin Streetman talks about Gorky Rises by William Steig, published in 1980 by FS&G. “The fact that publishers got behind him and children embraced him really shows that no matter how quirky or abstract your art may be, if it’s created with love and vision, it will stand the test of time.”

Speaking of William Steig, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum (an absolute treasure) in Wausau, Wisconsin, is featuring “William Steig: the Man Who Never Grew Up” from April 17th through June 20th. The Woodson Museum tries to feature at least one exhibition of children’s illustration art each year and they do an excellent job. We saw a double feature of Denise Fleming (on hand, demonstrating how she makes paper … oh, my) and Wendell Minor’s illustration art a couple of years ago.

Speaking of Wendell Minor, we hope you’ve scoped out the new video interview with Wendell talking about his 2009 book with Jean Craighead George, The Last Polar Bear (HarperCollins), a book about the environment and the children of Alaska helping polar bears adapt to a new environment. The video is on the CLN home page, in Through the Lens. For a sneak preview of the new Wendell Minor showcase page on CLN, mosey on over.

Speaking of publishing, Publishers Weekly reported yesterday (Jim Milliot) that “a staggering 764,448 titles were produced in 2009 by self-publishers and micro-niche publishers, according to statistics released this morning by R.R. Bowker.” Although output of traditional books fell about 1,500 titles in 2009, children’s books rose “6%, to 32,348.” Overall, including self-published books, over 1,000,000 book titles were published last year. That’s numbing.

Speaking of numbing, eyeballs can take only so much. Until tomorrow …

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