Monica Edinger's Blog

May 22, 2016

Yesterday Debbie Reese and I hadan interesting twitter conversation about the odd American Indian obsession that so many German-speakers still seem to have. Debbie has now followed up with the blog post, “Stereotypes of native peoples, in children’s books, in Switzerland” and here is mine.

It fascinates me thatthe German writerKarl Mayand his legacy still have such a hold inGerman-speaking countries. While unfamiliar in theUS, thisprolific 19th century German writerwrote a series of adventure...

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Published on May 22, 2016 04:10 • 5 views

May 17, 2016

I really like Gene Luen Yang‘s new book challenge. He asksreaders to step out of their comfort zones. It is about no-walls rather than walls-so-high-we-can’t-see-over-them. It is about opening and expanding world views rather than limiting oneself to one’s own. My students’ school year is now an intense dash-to-the-last-day, but I want to figure out a way to get them to do this. If not now, next fall for sure.

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Gene asks on his blog that:

When you finish, take a photo of you and the book (or...

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Published on May 17, 2016 02:12 • 4 views

May 16, 2016

I would say there are never too many awards, especially those that honor children’s book creators. So here’s anice, shiny new one (with not just a shiny medal, but some significant cash, and positioning of the winning title in stores):

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ —In keeping with its vision to create a more emotionally connected world, Hallmark Cards today introduces the Hallmark Great Stories Award, honoring new children’s picture books that celebrate family, friendship a...

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Published on May 16, 2016 11:08 • 6 views

May 6, 2016

It is “moving towards the place where I think the end will be. I’ll be so glad to reach it so I can cut my hair.” He has promised not to do so until the book is done. “When I cut my ponytail off I shall put it in a zip-lock bag and give it to the Bodleian,” he says with a smile. In a tone of mock self-importance, he adds: “Present it to the nation.”

“The book is getting longer. But it is filling up with things that are all germane to what the story is becoming. Some of the themes I turned up...

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Published on May 06, 2016 01:38 • 8 views

May 2, 2016

“The children went to school as usual, and read their books as usual, but the beautiful rise and fall of their voices as they read out loud got weaker and weaker until they were no longer capable of reading aloud,” reads one passage in the English translation by Helen Wang. “People were worried. They were sweating with anxiety. When the hunger was at its worst, they thought about gnawing on stones.”

That’s fromBronze and Sunflower, a venerated work of Chinese children’s literature by thenewes...

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Published on May 02, 2016 05:33 • 2 views

May 1, 2016

I don’t think I’ve mentioned here yet that I’m a member of the 2018 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee. I was surprised and delighted when invited as I had thought ALA committees like this were out of bounds for me given my hope to have another book under contract one of these days. But there is no problem with this committee as far as that goes and so I’m on it!I’m veryexcited to be working with my fellow committee members: chair Betsy Bird, Timothy Capehart, Wendy Lukehart, and Sharon McKell...

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Published on May 01, 2016 02:43 • 13 views

April 30, 2016

Trying to navigate throughsocial mediacan be challenging at times. I struggle to figure out how representational of our country today are certain widely reported statements. For example, the disturbing statements directed toward women (often notable ones), because they are women. Are we really a nation full of people who think so poorly of women? Is it a small loud group harnessing Twitter and the like? Or is it a reality that there is indeed a significant portion of Americans who indeed harb...

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Published on April 30, 2016 03:30 • 7 views

April 29, 2016

“Justbecause you throw colored powder around, doesn’t mean you are celebrating Holi,” Priya Patel, a Bed-Stuy resident of Indian descent told us.Shesharedher own personalhistory with Holias a counterpoint:

“My family used to go to a Hindu temple is Jersey City which was about a two and a half hour drive from our home. We had low key celebrations in the parking lot after service withdholaks and kirtans on blast. It was fun, [but] it was definitely a smaller scale operation. I never would have...

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Published on April 29, 2016 02:32 • 8 views

April 24, 2016

In response to the“Hannah and Allie Talk Jewishness and Whiteness” postover at the Reading While White blog last week I wrote the following comment:

I think daily of the importance of recognizing that there is no single story. Many of my students are multi-racial, multi-ethnic. The other day we were filling out answer grids for standardized tests and some of these students were understandably stymied and frustrated at the optional question regarding race and ethnicity. As for religion, we hav...

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Published on April 24, 2016 08:08 • 4 views

April 16, 2016

I’ve been thinking a lot about the identification of race in print, say inpublicationssuch asreviews as well as in the books themselves. Thoughtful posts and discussion about it (such as this one from my friend Roxanne Feldman,this Read Roger blog post, this from Kirkus editor Vicky Smith, andthis episode of the Horn Book podcast with special guest Hannah Gómez)regarding how and when and if to identify race, not to mention the fraught possibility of misidentification, have certainly informed...

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Published on April 16, 2016 04:35 • 10 views