Banned Books Week

Perhaps you read my post about the A, B, C… children’s book exhibit at the NYC Public Library. In it I posted this pic of the tower of banned books.

IMG_1622 IMG_1623 IMG_1624

This is the week that we celebrate all those brave authors, illustrators, and industry professionals who brought these books into the world and the teachers, librarians, parents and others who championed them. By standing behind these books, these gatekeepers also recognized that their role is not to keep gates closed to children but to swing them wide and trust that children will make a choice that is right for them.

This week I’ll be posting links to Banned Books Week articles. Today:

This 2009 School Library Journal Article, A Dirty Little Secret: Self-Censorship
By School Library Journal Archive Content on February 1, 2009 


This School Library Journal Article from just a few days ago: NCAC: School Visits Nixed for Medina, Rowell, By Debra Lau Whelan


Meg Medina’s book, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, is on my too-tall and ever-wobbly To Be Read list.

I just finished Rowell’s, Eleanor & Park which led me to post this on Twitter.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 7.25.55 PM

I’m a parent, and I’ve seen my kiddos make some bad choices in life (throwing sticks at one’s brother who has climbed a tree and can’t get down) but they choose well in books. I’ve also seen them start a book and then hand it back to me saying, “I don’t get this.” or “This isn’t for me.” or “Maybe in a few years.” or “This is scary.” or “Ick. They kiss in this one.” My policy at home? fREADom.

Summer Blog-lag and A photographic apology

It has been a busy summer of trips both expected and unexpected. My constant travels have taken me away from social media which is a mixed blessing. On one hand, it feels great to be unplugged and to have relief from the constant stream of information. I’ve made some progress on my WIP, caught up on some reading, and had some wonderful family time.

On the other hand, I feel guilty not to be contributing to said constant stream. “My blog readers will go elsewhere for pithy observations, book reviews, and industry buzz.” C’est la vie. 

If you need time-wasting excuses, I’ll be posting pictures from my recent adventures over the next few days. Enjoy! Then go read, write, draw, and enjoy the summer outside unplugged.

Trip One: To NYC

I went to NYC to be with my brother who has been quite ill. Happily, he is making steady if slow progress towards healing. I did take one morning to visit THE A,B,C’S OF IT: WHY CHILDREN’S BOOKS MATTER, a free exhibit at the NY Public Library. If you get a chance, please visit. Fabulous artifacts (primers from the 1600’s) and great history of children’s books and how they’ve changed to meet the educational philosophy of the times.



Who doesn’t love the iconic NYPublic Library Lions?






So happy to see my friend Michelle Knudsen’s  fabulous book, Library Lion, in the display case!





New Yorkers! You are so lucky to have this amazing temple to the book!


Winnie-the-Pooh and friends took a journey from their usual spot in the children’s room to be in the A, B, C’s exhibit!



The wonderful Wanda Gag. (Rhymes with fog.) I’d never seen her picture and was struck with the thought that perhaps Kirsten Cappy of Curious City Books is Wanda Gag reincarnated.



Original sketches for Alice in Wonderland!



Striking fold-out book about the tsunami in Southeast Asia.




Original artwork of Mainer, Ashley Bryan. See video below for more….


This is a carefully constructed column created from banned books.



A closer look at a tiny section of the stack.


The plaque underneath the column.



Good-bye lions… good-bye library!

Tomorrow, midcoast Maine and Monhegan Island.


Ashley Bryan video:

Five on Friday

1. We are wrapping up "Banned Book Week" but the challenges continue. Challenges often ramp up at the beginning of each school year.  See for more info on books under attack. I’ve ordered 100 of these buttons…

from the ABFFE (American Booksellers Foundation For Free Expression) and I’m itching to hand them out at PTO meetings, potluck dinners and the like.
2. In the same vein, has a wonderful collection of haikus over in the comment section of her blog this week in support of free expression. Take a look. Here are my contributions.

rooted deep in fear
censors dictate their one truth
micro-manage youth

If all books portray
people who link and think the
same as me? Boring

3. I have completed my sketches for the book I’m illustrating for The Telling Room, in Portland and turned them in yesterday. Yea, me! The project, Fufu & Fresh Strawberries, seems much more real now. The pub date is May of 2010. Would you like a sneaky peaky? Okay, you talked me into it. Here are a couple of sketches…

4. So now I’m going to go work on an oil painting for a harvest show that is calling for entries.
5. Then I need to buckle down and write my critical essays for my MFA, packet number 3, the over the hump packet! Have a great weekend!
(By the way, no one has left any comments in the last three posts, so for my piece of mind, could someone just say "hello" so I know these are posting? Thanks.)