Monday, January 27, 2014

Children's Lit in the New Year: Kate DiCamillo, The Little Prince Exhibit, and More

Greetings students, professors, and children's literature enthusiasts! The Spring semester has started and 2014 is well underway- we hope you're all settling comfortably into your classes, projects, and books. Below are some exciting announcements, reminders, and other children's lit-related tidbits of interest. Welcome back!

1. This morning the American Library Association announced their 2014 youth media award winners! The Newbery Medal goes to Kate DiCamillo for Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. DiCamillo was also named the Library of Congress's National Ambassador for Young People's Literature beginning in 2014 (here's a nice little NYT article about DiCamillo and the Ambassador position). Her novel The Tale of Despereaux won the Newbery exactly 10 years ago in 2004 and Because of Wynn-Dixie got a Newbery honor in 2001. Recognizing her talent early on, SDSU Professor Emeritus Jerry Griswold reviewed The Tale of Despereaux in the NYT back in 2003. As you can read in this interview with Griswold published in the Unjournal of Children's Literature, DiCamillo was quite encouraged by this review!

2. The deadline has been extended to submit to the upcoming conference, "i Will Be Myself": Identity in Children's Media, Literature, and Culture! Take advantage of this opportunity to see SDSU's own Dr. Phillip Serrato as keynote speaker, and submit your proposal by February 1st. The conference will be held at the University of British Columbia on Saturday, May 3rd.

3. There are more fascinating conferences coming up, with time left to submit proposals. Don't forget about "Enchanted Places,” Imagined Childhoods: A Symposium on Children’s Literature and Psychoanalysis, submission deadline Feb. 15th. More immediately is the deadline for the 2014 Australasian Children's Literature Association for Research conference! Submissions for the ACLAR conference, themed "Emotional Control: Affect, Ideology and Texts for Young People," are due January 31st.

4. The Morgan Library and Museum is now showing an exhibition titled "The Little Prince: A New York Story" running through April 27th. I am a most dedicated fan of The Little Prince (I actually have a Little Prince tattoo on my forearm!) and I have never wished more for a trip to New York- especially after reading this delightful and encouraging NYT article about the exhibition!

5. If you aren't one of the 15,000 readers to have checked out Griswold's essay "Saving Mr. Banks" But Throwing P.L. Travers Under the Bus, you should do so now. The conversation about the way Disney represented the author of Mary Poppins has lead to many interesting places, including Debbie Reese's research on P.L. Travers and the Navajo and an article in the New Yorker, "Behind Two Good Movies, Two Great Books," about not forgetting to give attention to the books behind movies. Adam Gopnik writes, "The real Mary Poppins is a disciplinarian—a stern and unsmiling order giver—and she is also a mystic and a guide, who brings vital disorder, and it is the combination of the two veins that gives the books their magic."

6. Last but not least, we want to welcome our NCSCL Director, Dr. Joseph Thomas, back to campus after a research sabbatical. (P.S. If you haven't read his article published in Slate back in October, get caught up now!) It's great to have you back, Prof. Thomas! 

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