Glee's Chris Colfer is writing a children's book.
The Land of Stories, aimed at middle grade readers, will come out next year.
He joins many other famous folks
who have decided to write for younger readers. Perez Hilton is doing one
. Madonna's done many
. Even the "stars" of Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice got in on the kidlit craze
. Of course, many of these authors don't actually write the books
they publish. Even if/when they do, many readers find the results underwhelming. "If you are looking for the next Beatrix Potter or Maurice Sendak, you will not find it here
," claimed the Guardian. There are exceptions,
but it seems that for a lot of celebrities, literature for children has become merely another form of brand extension
. Author, Adam Rex has countered with "An Open Letter to Everyone Who Thinks it Must be Easy, Writing Kid's Books
" Or, as EB White said
, "You have to write up to children, not down..."
posted by cal71
on Jun 9, 2011 -
Book rescue turns nightmarish.
A Saskatchewan couple saved 350,000 books from being burned by a neighbor, but now the house they bought just to store the collection is collapsing from the weight. What to do?
posted by Tsuga
on Jun 8, 2011 -
is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe
(later The Cartoon History of the Modern World
), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies
) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit
. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn
chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States
, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides
to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment
, and (yes!) Sex
. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention
, assorted math comics
), the Muse magazine
mainstay Kokopelli & Co.
(featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"
), and more
. See also these lengthy interview snippets
, linked previously
. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 6, 2011 -
, arguably one of the greatest screenwriters in Hollywood history, started his career in the (sometimes literally) cutthroat world of Jazz Age journalism at the Chicago Daily News. Throughout 1921 he wrote a series of remarkable vignettes collectively titled the Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago
: stories of drifters, fops, and artists from Michigan Avenue to Chinatown, but most of all a fond portrait of the city itself. Collected in book form and gorgeously illustrated, the Thousand and One Afternoons
are in the public domain and readily available online
. Each story is four or five short pages in length, and goes great with coffee.
posted by theodolite
on May 31, 2011 -
Medicine in the Americas is a digital library project that makes freely available original works demonstrating the evolution of American medicine from colonial frontier outposts of the 17th century to research hospitals of the 20th century. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on May 31, 2011 -
Bob Ferry used Google Books to find old magazines that described mechanics, showed pictures and gave descriptions of a 1906 Oldsmobile Model B Runabout so he could build it 100 years later.
Lots of pics and "how to" info at the article.
posted by dbooker
on May 26, 2011 -
Slate magazine has posted an excerpt from Brooke Gladstone's "The Influencing Machine
." It's a reflection on the media done in quasi-comic book form and illustrated by Josh Neufeld. The fairly beefy excerpt is an interesting discussion on the concept, and the history of the concept, of Objectivity.
posted by Trochanter
on May 19, 2011 -
Free Comic Book Day
is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores. Here's the store locator
posted by BlahLaLa
on May 7, 2011 -
‘Everyone is a worker.’ That is a powerful statement, if you think about it. Richard Scarry wasn’t afraid to paint contemporary American society in such bold strokes. Nor was he afraid to explain commerce and capitalism to children.
- What Do People Do All Day
posted by Artw
on May 4, 2011 -
an augmented reality app for shelf-reading library stacks, from Miami University Augmented Reality Research Group (MU ARRG!
posted by steef
on Apr 19, 2011 -
Books2Barcodes is an ongoing effort to convert all the world's great books to QR codes (2D barcodes). Each work featured here is the entire text of a piece of classic literature translated into several thousand barcodes. With a mobile device equipped with a camera and a barcode-scanning app, you can experience the joy of a great book as read through 800-character fragments on your cellphone.
posted by Wolfdog
on Apr 1, 2011 -
"The finished Strahov library panorama
, released Tuesday on Martin’s website, is a zoomable, high-resolution peek inside one of Prague’s most beautiful halls, a repository of rare books that is usually off-limits to tourists... Martin’s panorama lets you examine the spines of the works in the Philosophical Hall’s 42,000 volumes, part of the monastery’s stunning collection of just about every important book available in central Europe at the end of the 18th century — more or less the sum total of human knowledge at the time."
posted by languagehat
on Mar 30, 2011 -
The Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore.
"Argentinians are a famously literary people. In coffee shops, parks, on the bus and even while walking down city streets, their heads are often buried in a book. So it’s only fitting that Buenos Aires can lay claim to one of the world’s most incredible book stores: The Ateneo Grand Splendid."
posted by Fizz
on Mar 28, 2011 -
A new kind of book
has been created in Holland, where its sold over 1m copies since it came out in 2009. Now finding its way to England, called the "flipback", the pages are super thin Bible paper with a special lay-flat spine and small format, making it suitable for reading with one hand, thumb page-flips, and shirt pocket storage.
posted by stbalbach
on Mar 21, 2011 -