That’s right. Pulling rabbits out of hats. It happens whenever I read one of her titles to children. Like those young listeners, I don’t know how she does it every time. Magicians shouldn’t reveal their secrets. But I’m glad she keeps that magic touch.
Nancy, what’s good right now about children’s literature?
Well, in picture books it is exciting! I love the new clean look in a lot of the art. There is a wonderful simplicity in lots of the books which I really like. There is also a trend for art to look a bit older…maybe from my era the 50s and 60s, Marla Frazee comes to mind. I love her art SO MUCH. Her style reminds me of Make Way For Ducklings. She is such an awesome draft person. Some of the new picture books are also nicely designed…young artists are learning from the master Lane Smith!( His wife Molly Leach designs his books.)
I am excited about picture books! They are getting better and better. There aren’t as many being published…but the new ones that I saw coming out new this year are gems! I just hope parents take the time to look beyond the what they see on TV and take a chance with picture book, with a character not all involved in the license business! MY favorite picture book this year is Boss Baby by Marla Frazee.
I am also very excited to see all the wonderful poetry books being published. Thank you Joyce Sidman and many others! My son learned to read from poetry books because he could not sit still for a longer story. The artwork in poetry books is stunning! My students love Susan Marie Swanson‘s book The House in the Night for the art and her gentle words. There is so much to be excited about… I just hope libraries can continue to have youth librarians on staff so they can share all the wonderful new books and old classics with the public!
From your perspective, what can make that “good” better?
Promote picture books for children do not push them into chapter books before they are ready! Keep the gimmicky stuff out…if we can or keep it a a minimum! Respect children as a sophisticated audience. TV show books not be promoted as much as the classics or other fine picture books! Keep your eye on good tales with good characters that teach and help children through the ups and downs in life.
There will be digital out there but lets try to keep a balance between both mediums.
Nancy Carlson‘s newest book is Henry and the Bully. Her current project is illustrating Zip It for Carolrhoda. A new member of the Kerlan Board, she teaches all over the Twin Cities at The Loft. Split Rock, College of Visual Arts, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she graduated in printmaking. She adds, “Please check out my daily doodle on my blog where I just have fun using my imagination!”