Monday, October 25, 2010

VCFA Lecture

I'll give my 45 minute long graduate lecture at the January residency of Vermont College of Fine Arts. The lectures, given by faculty and graduating students, are always super high quality. So much of what I've learned during my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program, I've learned by attending the lectures.

I turn in my lecture description next week. Here it is.



Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle!” exclaims Alice in Wonderland. How does the writer answer the vital question of “Who am I?” when developing characters? I’ll explore how writers can use both internal and external aspects of identity on the page and in the story. I’ll also discuss roles, not stereotypical or archetypical roles, but the everyday, down to earth, nitty-gritty multiplicity of roles and look at how we use roles to influence action and plot when we craft story.

Titles discussed will include Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, Hanging on to Max by Margaret Bechard, Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia, The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling, and of course, Alice in Wonderland.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Frankfurt Book Fair 2010

The Frankfurt Book Fair was again wonderful. It wasn't as overwhelming this year as it was last year. (Here is the link to my photos and blog from last year.)

Emily Smith Pearce came to Frankfurt and we spent the day at the fair. She graduated from Vermont College several years ago.
Here is a photo of Emily in the Boyd's Mill booth (it was in the German children's section) with her recently released early reader, Slowpoke, which is on the lower shelf near her hand. She writes about her impressions of the fair at her blog.

I took a lot of photos at the Bologna Book Fair earlier this year, but had been so amazed by the Korean books that I forgot to use my camera, so here is a shelf of Korean books. I would love to be able to buy several of these--preferably in English so I could read the stories. The photo does not do these covers or books justice.

At the Bologna Book Fair, I fell in love with A Big Dream, a book published by Kalandraka, who publishes books for the Spanish speaking world. I made arrangements beforehand with an editor to buy a copy in English so I now have my own copy. Yes, I wanted the book that bad! This is such a delightful book!

I look forward to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2011!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Link to great essay by Gita Wolf

"The Politics of Voice" by Gita Wolf, publisher of Tara Books, who just spoke at an international IBBY conference, is an important essay. She talks about the importance of giving child readers "variety of perspectives" and "acknowledging a multiplicity of experience" and giving a voice to those who are normally not heard. Her vision of publishing gives both India and the world stunning picture books, as well as celebrates the wide range of experiences and cultures in the world.

Tara Books looks to traditional artists to illustrate some of their wonderful books, such as Do! (the Bologna Ragazzi New Horizons winner), The Night Life of Trees, and I Like Cats! I'm excited to see Tara Book's booth next week at the Frankfurt Book Fair and hope to catch up with Gita. The books she publishes are both works of art and literature.