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All The Wonders This Week w/ Jarod Roselló: August 27, 2019
The Harvey Awards, Dot Day, and a new nonfiction book for the young writers in your life. We’ve got all this and more. I’m Corrina Allen and this is All The Wonders This Week.
Joining me today to talk about all things exciting and new in the world of children’s literature is Jarod Roselló - a literacies researcher and creative writing professor at the University of South Florida. And author of graphic novels for children and adults, including the recently released (and amazing!) Red Panda & Moon Bear.
- The Harvey Awards are open for voting right now. Voting closes on September 10th, and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on October 4th. You can apply at HarveyAwards.com and then just wait to be approved before you can cast your vote.
- At the Disney fan expo, D23, Disney announced a new Phineas and Ferb movie, Candace Against the Universe, a movie set in the Monsters, Inc. universe called Monsters at Work. a live-action Ms. Marvel series, and a new unscripted, short-form Muppet show coming in 2020. Also two new Star Wars projects they have planned - a live-action spin-off called The Mandalorian and an Obi-Wan Kenobi series with Ewan McGregor back playing that role.
- Disney’s new streaming service, Disney Plus
- Last week, Entertainment Weekly published an eye-opening article called “LGBTQ books are being censored in middle school. Authors are speaking out” where they interview various booksellers, publishers, authors about the kinds of “soft censorship” these stories are facing in some schools and the behind-the-scenes actions like pulling titles off of book fair shelves.
- Make sure you check out the “10 Back to School Books for Little Readers” and an upcoming craft featuring a school bus crayon box.
- NerdCamp Long Island registration is open. It takes place in Huntington, New York on Saturday, November 2nd.
- International Dot Day is coming up! If you are not familiar, Dot Day is inspired by Peter Reynolds’ picture book The Dot and is a celebration of creativity and courage and collaboration where teachers and librarians across the globe read the book to their kids, do a Dot-inspired project, and sometimes connect with other classes. And even though Dot Day is one day, the celebration lasts the entire week. And you can get lots of inspiration and ideas from their website - thedotclub.org.
- The Small Press Expo is happening September 14th & 15th in Bethesda, Maryland. All the indie comics publishers will be there along with hundreds of creators selling their small press and self-published comics.
Today's New Releases
- Oscar the Octopus: A Book About the Months of the Year by author and illustrator Matthew Van Fleet
- Jessie Sima who you all may know from Not Quite Narwhal has a new picture book called Spencer’s New Pet.
- New in board book format today is Now I’m Big by one of my favorite authors - Karen Katz whose Mommy Hugs and Daddy Hugs are well-loved in our house.
- AND we get a new Sandra Boynton board book today called Silly Lullaby with chickens in a bathtub on the cover! From the bit I could see, it reminds of The Going to Bed Book.
- I’m also excited about the follow-up to Brenden Wenzel’s They All Saw A Cat called A Stone Sat Still.
- The third book in the What if Everybody series is available today - this one is called What If Everybody Thought That?
- And another book that made the Indie’s Best list for the fall is one called Once Upon a Goat by Dan Richards and illustrated by Eric Barclay. It’s about a king a queen who wish for a child and end up with… a goat!
- Author and illustrator husband and wife team Sarah Stewart and David Small have a new book out today called This Book of Mine. about “the connection between diverse readers of all ages and their books”.
- Elena K. Arnold has a new picture book out today - What Riley Wore about a gender-creative kid who wears whatever clothes feels right to them, and it’s illustrated by Linda Davick.
- Another picture book that’s getting all kinds of buzz is one called Squeak - a chain reaction story that looks like it’s going to be a great read aloud. This one is by Laura McGee Kvasnosky and illustrated by Kate Harvey McGee.
- And I can’t wait to read Mike Ciccotello’s debut picture book - Twins! Mike was one of the original contributors at All the Wonders so I am delighted to see his success and can’t wait to check out his book!
Chapter Books / Middle Grade
- Today we get the middle grade debut of National Book Award Finalist Ibi Zoboi called My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich. This one is set in 1984 and is about a 12 year old girl who moves from Alabama to live with her father in Harlem.
- Another middle grade debut by a picture book author is Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj - this novel is told in alternating points of view and is about how two middle school kids use the power of social media to counter a racist attack on one of them who is Indian American.
- One that I am really looking forward to is Dead Voices by Katherine Arden. The first book, Small Spaces, was a huge hit with my students and kids who like creepy are going to love this series.
- Another middle grade sequel - or spin-off that is out today is the follow up to Paula Chase’s So Done - and is called Dough Boys.
- Karuna Riazi’s follow-up to her action-adventure steampunk-ish The Gauntlet is also released today and is called The Battle.
- And today is also the release of The Spinner of Dreams by K.A. Reynolds - a novel that explores mental health, which we need more of, and is called “Inventive, empathetic, and strange in all the best ways”.
- Katherine Rundell’s The Good Thieves is out today. It’s about a group of kids who band together to exact some corrective justice. Which happens to be one of my favorite kinds of justice to read about.
- If you know kids who like funny books with lots of illustrations, then definitely check out King of the Mole People by Paul Gilligan which is sort of like a cross between Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Last Kids of Earth
- Best Friends, the sequel to Real Friends, by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham comes out today. I loved Real Friends, I thought it was so funny and thoughtful and heartfelt. I think Shannon and LeUyen did a fantastic job capturing the anxiety and tension of young friendships.
- And the new volume of Catstronauts by Drew Brockington is also out today, it’s subtitled Slapdash Science. I love the irreverent humor of these books and how the humor propels us through unlikely narratives. I also love how much kids love these books. I’m eager to see what the Catstronauts get up to in this new volume.
- A nonfiction book to have on your radar for those kids in your life who are aspiring writers is Brave the Page: A Young Writer’s Guide to Telling Epic Stories and is put out by NaNoWriMo - which stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is I believe - every November.
- Another nonfiction picture book I have my eye on is Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López.
- Also out today is A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation by Barry Wittenstein with illustrations by the legendary Jerry Pinkney.
- Glacier on the Move is another nonfiction book out today that looks fabulous - about a glacier called Flo.
Other Media New Releases
There is not much in the way of new movie releases for kids this week. However….
TV Shows / Miniseries
- The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series is coming to Netflix on August 30th. And it’s a 10 series prequel to Jim Henson famous Dark Crystal movie from 1982.
- Well, classes started yesterday for me, so I’m doing all my own assigned readings for now. For my grad fiction course, I’m reading Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X, Jewell Parker Rhodes’ Ghost Boys, and Carmen Maria Machado’s story collection, Her Body and Other Parties. And for my undergrad comics class, I’m reading the 2018 Best American Comics anthology, edited by Phoebe Gloeckner. I’m also reading this really interesting book on narrative structure and form called Meander, Spiral, Explode by Jane Alison.
- This past week I read Hello, Door by Alastair Heim and illustrated by Alisa Coburn - which is a clever and cute homage to Goldilocks and the Three Bears featuring a thieving fox. And my daughters and I are pages away from the climactic ending of Bone Jack by Sara Crowe which is an eerie mystical horror middle grade set in - I think Cornwall, England - featuring an ancient Stag Chase.
On my mind this week is a post that a school counselor I follow on Instagram shared about how back-to-school can be filled with anxiety for kids of all ages (and adults!) - even when it’s something you are looking forward to. And she had some really great tips like making and practicing a good-bye ritual, making a practice run, and reading about it to help process those feelings. And it was geared for primary kids having a rough time, but the advice I think is good for kids of all ages, so I’ll share a link to that so you can check it out.
A few days ago, there was an article, though really more of a hit piece, published about the partnership between We Need Diverse Books and the Scholastic Book Club and the curated list that appeared in one of the recent book club mailings. I don’t want to draw any attention to the publication or author of the piece, but it was an explicit attack on the idea of diversity. The author clearly hadn’t read any of the books, but was offended by their audacity to exist and show the complexity and nuance of the lives of children. It’s easy, when you’re talking to your friends and fellow authors and teachers, to believe that we’ve gotten to a place where we can agree on the inherent worth of diversity, especially in children’s literature, and the necessity to engage with difference and difficult stories. But there are still people (who can get published) calling for an end to diversity because it challenges their worldview and poses a threat to their power and dominance. As someone who writes stories about Latinx characters, about the borderlands between cultures, histories, and languages, I am again reminded that those stories aren’t always welcome by all people. Progress is not always linear. There’s no quick solution, we just have to continue to insist that our voices be heard, that spaces be made.
Thank all of you for listening and sharing your Tuesday with us!
You can find an outline of the show and links to all the books and topics we chatted about at allthewonders.com. If you have a question or comment, I’d love to hear from you! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Twitter or Instagram. And reviews on iTunes or Stitcher are always much appreciated.
The All the Wonders This Week podcast is brought to you by All The Wonders, where children's books are for everyone. Journey beyond the page with podcasts, videos, crafts, and more at allthewonders.com.
See you next week!