The children's book of the week at the Sunday Times: The Wizard, the Ugly and the Book of Shame, by Pablo Bernasconi, an Argentinian artist. 'Tis fantasy, my dears, for the fives to eights. In her review, Nicolette Jones also mentions an interesting-sounding guide to recent kids' books in translation; the title is Outside In.
Newsday considers Adam Gopnik's novel The King in the Window and finds that the New Yorker writer " is no J.K. Rowling." The San Francisco Chronicle ran a profile of Gopnik last week. He's a fan of Lemony Snicket, it turns out. Last but not least on the Gopnik front, the author writes about C.S. Lewis and Narnia in the current issue of The New Yorker. Well, almost last but not least. See below.
Cornelia Funke's Inkspell leads off at the Washington Post, and a re-issue of Lois Lenski's 1948 picture book Now It's Fall "harks back to a time when picture books reflected a simpler life," according to Elizabeth Ward.
A pre-holiday kid-book hullabaloo at The New York Times Book Review wraps up the editorship of Eden Ross Lipson, who recently retired. (Sam Tanenhaus is still the overall editor of the Book Review.) Do read this online if you don't have a copy. A number of talented writers examine many of the year's notable children's books; reviewers include Daniel Handler (a.k.a., Lemony Snicket), Sam Swope, Karla Kuskin, Eric Foner, Paul O. Zelinsky, David Leavitt, Polly Shulman, Meg Wolitzer, and Leonard Marcus. I've picked on the NYTBR once or twice (how bloggerish of me), but, really, this is an awesome group.
The titles reviewed concern the Holocaust, the Revolutionary War, the Gold Rush, women's suffrage, apple pie, quilts, John Lennon, and, yes, chickens. Plus, there's a lovely spread of the Book Review's "10 best illustrated children's books of 2005." The illustrator David Small explains Istvan Banyai's picture book The Other Side: "Flip a page and the macrocosm became the microcosm again and again, as if reality had sprung a series of leaks." Small recommends the book to older children. Older than yours truly, I presume, because the book confused me. At least there's still hope.
In this issue, the NYTBR talks about books by, among others, Wynton Marsalis, Jon Agee, Carl Hiaasen, Betsy Maestro, Jacqueline Woodson, Rick Riordan, Cynthia Rylant, and again with the Gopnik.