For a children’s book lover like me, attending a big KidLit event is akin to a giddy movie fan attending an after party for the Academy Awards. Granted—it’s been a long time since I’ve cared to watch an award show, but that’s not the point. In my opinion this far exceeds any of that brouhaha, and I can tell you—I’ll eat my bookmark if I didn’t see a red carpet on the sidewalk in front of the Bank Street Book Store for its Grand Re-Opening celebration on March 7th!
Never mind that this was in Manhattan, much like the Bronx Bombers’ “Murderers’ Row,” the line up of 31 guest authors and illustrators was filled with KidLit “home run” hitters. We’re talkin’ Newbery and Caldecott, people! No, I kid you not! Continue reading →
Born in England on July 9, 1713, at the age of 16, John Newbery left his home town and parents’ farm to work for a printer. So was his first step into the world of publishing. In 1737 he became co-owner of a publishing company. At that time, the books typically given to children were tedious and lesson-filled, or handed-down folktales written for adults. These were considered “tall” tales, so thought of more for children. Books such as Gulliver’s Travels and Robinson Crusoe were among them, though young children weren’t capable of reading at that level. Newbery eventually came up with the groundbreaking idea to publish books designed specifically for children by making the books fun to read. It was risky and he could’ve ultimately lost his business if the idea failed, but he was confident children would like them. He was right.Continue reading →