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In this Newsletter…
Audio Now Available from Leonard Marcus’ Lecture
New Faces at the CCB and the Bulletin
Stay tuned for orientation events and the CCB Open House, which will take place in early September!
Technical difficulties have prevented us from posting this month's bibliography of short story collections. We will post the link on the CCB homepage as soon as as possible and we will also link to the bibliography in the September newsletter. Thanks for your patience.
"What I realized was that, while picture books written by celebrities aren't unique . . . they are unusual in that they are not really written for the same audience as most picture books. They are written for the gatekeepers."
How did you become interested in your topic?
I came to GSLIS intending to get my master’s degree and be a children's librarian. A couple years into being a librarian I realized that I wasn't quite able to achieve the balance between day-to-day librarianship and pursuing my own research. I love librarianship. I am passionate about public libraries, but what was feeding me, what was keeping me interested, were the research projects I was pursuing through presentations at ALA and writing articles. And so I decided to combine my passion about libraries, my enthusiasm about teaching, my interest in research, and come back for my PhD.
When I worked at the main branch of the Clarke County Library in Springfield, Ohio, I had noticed a pattern with books that I specifically remembered had gotten bad reviews and yet were getting huge numbers of requests. So books that we wouldn't have purchased at all – or we would have bought a single copy – suddenly I was ordering three or four copies and I sat down to look at that more carefully and I realized that they were all celebrity books. They were Madonna and Paul Simon.
And so I did what I usually do when I find an interesting topic, I threw it to my kids, may patrons. . . read more.
Tell me about your research.
I kind of view it as an inverted triangle. First, I'm interested in identifying celebrity. I'm specifically interested in folks who aren't authors but are coming to this clean. For better or worse, what comes along with celebrity picture books are these huge publicity tours. What sparked the ire of the library world was Madonna going on David Letterman when English Roses came out and she said, "You know, Dave, I started reading to my daughter and I realized there's nothing good out there."
Read the complete interview or skip to a question . . .
Do you have a sense, having been a librarian yourself, of how this research might inform the work of practicing librarians?
Our Affiliates Out and About
SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing) Conference
New Books We Just Had to Read
Every month, the CCB Graduate Assistants highlight books reviewed in the most recent issue of the Bulletin that we were excited to read. These decisions are based on personal preference, but all books listed are Recommended by the Bulletin. For complete reviews, visit the Bulletin website (http://bccb.lis.illinois.edu/) to learn how to subscribe.
Laurel ’s Choice: Mr. Sam: How Sam Walton Built Wal-Mart and Became America’s Richest Man by Karen Blumenthal
Miriam’s Choice: Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi
Donna Parisi is still weighted down by her father’s death three years ago and now she has to figure out whether to go to college or follow a different path. Donna’s situation calls for a parent, friend, mentor, or counselor who can connect with her and help her process her feelings. But that person never comes along. Donna’s relationship with her mother becomes increasingly strained, in large part because Donna decides she doesn’t want to go to college and instead wants to study mortuary science. Donna finds bits and pieces of support from other people, but most importantly, she begins to rely – shakily at first – on herself. She makes friends with a new girl at her high school, Liz, whose self-assurance keeps Donna a bit in awe of her. Donna starts dating an older college guy who introduces Donna to intimacy and pleasure but whom Donna never trusts to share her emotional burdens. Throughout, Donna’s simple and observant reflections are honest, they are often uncomfortable, but they are genuinely reflective of the imperfect process of healing grief, growing older, and being in difficult and rewarding relationships with family, friends and lovers. Donna’s attention to certain details also hones in on the physicality of her experience – whether she is observing a classmate’s earlobes or locating her grief as a feeling in her chest – and in this way Violi reminds us of our own very physical – and mortal – existence.
Highlighted Book from Our Wish List
San Vicente, Luis. The Festival Of Bones (El Festival De Las Calaveras): The Little-bitty Book For The Day Of The Dead. El Paso, Tex: Cinco Puntos Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0938317678.
Created by Mexico City native and first published in Mexico, this lively book for young readers illustrates and explains the traditional Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead.
For more book selections or to order this one, visit the CCB’s Amazon Wish List.
CCB Summer Hours and General Information
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The Center for Children's Books
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
501 E. Daniel St. | Champaign, IL 61820 | 217-244-9331 | email@example.com