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 â€¦

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