of the Center for
|The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based list of titles available only on-line. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have th
em to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.|
Business and Pleasure
selected by Janice M. DelNegro
By this time in the new year all of us have made and broken several self-improvement resolutions. Here's a list of titles that will make sticking to that "I'm going to read more professional literature" resolution a bit easier to accomplish. The selecti
ons are a mix of useful and fun, old and new, inspirational and informative, with (hopefully) something valuable for everyone. Boring tomes need not apply.
--Janice M. Del Negro, Editor
- Bauer, Carolyn Feller. New Handbook for Storytellers, with Stories, Poems, Magic and More. ALA, 1993.
After reading and abstracting this title, one of my storytelling students called Carolyn Feller Bauer "the Martha Stewart of Storytelling," an evaluation that isn't all that far fetched. "Bauer's popular introduction [to storytelling] which incorporates
a broad variety of media and props into the storytelling process, is here updated from the 1977 edition with new suggestions, examples, and booklists. Beginners and veterans alike can benefit from this practical approach to program planning and promotion
, story selection and preparation, and activities extending various themes or occasions." (BCCB 5/94)
- Hearne, Betsy. Beauties and Beasts. Oryx, 1993.
"Dividing her anthology into three parts ('Rescued Beasts,' 'Questing Beauties,' and 'Homely Women and Homemade Men'), Hearne includes here twenty-seven variants on 'Beauty and the Beast.' The stories range from Turkish to Appalachian to Lithuanian tales
; a concluding section includes activities, an annotated list of picture book versions, sources, and a bibliography." (BCCB 11/93) Hearne's title is one of four of a valuable Oryx Press series that examines cultural variants of traditional tales; other t
itles are Judy Sierra's Cinderella, Margaret Read MacDonald's
Tom Thumb, and George Shannon's A Knock at the Door.
- Horning, Kathleen. Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books. HarperCollins, 1997.
"Horning's organized, sensible approach begins with an overview of how children's books are published in the United States, the physical parts of a book, and categories of children's books. The next six chapters are devoted to the definition and scope of
those categories: non-fiction or information books; traditional literature (folktales, myths, legends, etc.); poetry, verse, rhymes, and songs; picture books; easy readers and transitional books; and fiction. . . . This is a succinct, highly readable, an
d eminently useful overview of the fine points of evaluating and critiquing children's books." (BCCB 5/97)
- Lehr, Susan, ed. Battling Dragons: Issues and Controversy in Children's Literature. Heinemann, 1995.
A collection of twenty essays, "In Battling Dragons the voices, perspectives, and experiences of authors and educators from all over the world come together to form a collage of ideas and images about well-written children's books." (Introduction, p. xii)
Essays include "The Disturbing Image in Children's Picture Books: Fearful or Fulfilling?" by Barbara Kiefer; "Gender Issues in Books for Children and Young Adults" by Shirley B. Ernst; "Cultural Politics and Writing for Young People" by Joel Taxel; "D
escribing the Fantasy of My Own Life" by Brian Jacques; and an afterword by Violet Harris entitled "May I Read This Book? Controversies, Dilemmas, and Delights in Children's Literature."
- Marcus, Leonard S. A Caldecott Celebration: Six Artists and Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal. Walker, 1998.
"In honor of the sixtieth anniversary of the Caldecott Medal," Marcus "has selected one medal winner from each of the six decades as representative of the pantheon of award winners. . . . Each brief entry is packed with information about the conception,
execution, and publishing of the Caldecott-winning book, with some background on how the artists began illustrating books for children and quotes from the artists themsleves. . . . Marcus' chatty, conversational style stays on topic (the books and their a
rt), while his copious quotes allow the artists to speak for themselves in a way that is eminently satisfying." (BCCB 11/98)
- Marcus, Leonard, ed. Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom. HarperCollins, 1998.
"One of the great influences on twentieth-century children's literature, Ursula Nordstrom edited a multitude of groundbreaking and classic books: E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, Margaret Wise Br
own's Runaway Bunny, Louis Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy, John Steptoe's Stevie . . . the list goes on and on. Marcus. . . has pulled together a delicious and well-footnoted assortment [of letters] that conveys both editorial pro
cess and a significant portion of literary history." (BCCB 11/97)
- Opie, Iona. The People on the Playground. Oxford University Press, 1993.
"Opie's account of playground culture may be one of the most entertaining books you'll read all year. The People on the Playground chronicles two years' worth of Opie's weekly visits to a British school, watching seven through eleven-year-olds d
uring what Americans would call recess. . . . Pleasures of reading aside, this is an in-depth survey of a world most people have time to see only in flashes; all of the truths about playground gestalt are revealing, some surprising, some expectable. So p
ut your feet up, enjoy, and gain a better understanding." (BCCB 5/93)
- Patterson, Katherine. The Spying Heart: More Thoughts on Reading and Writing Books for Children. Dutton, 1989.
The second volume of award-winning author Patterson's speeches is an eclectic combination of humor, insight, and rueful self-awareness. In the title speech Patterson discusses the importance of the connecting conjunction "and," declaring that "Connectin
g is a vital, not a minor function." These eighteen speeches are more invitations to converse (on topics related to children's books, literature, and life) than stand and deliver sort of narratives, and as such they have sincere warmth. They will connect
with readers now the way they did to those listeners who heard Patterson deliver them originally.
- Sawyer, Ruth. The Way of the Storyteller. Viking, 1942.
This is a classic storytelling title that is well-worth re-reading, for Sawyer has a deep love and abiding respect for story and storytelling that will inspire beginning tellers and re-energize experienced ones. To quote from the author: "This is no boo
k on how to tell stories and what to tell. It is a call to go questing, an urge to follow the way of the storyteller as pilgrims followed the way of Saint James in the Middle Ages, not for riches, or knowledge, or power, but that each might find 'somethi
ng for which his soul had cried out.'" A good cup of tea, a warm fire, and Sawyer will work wonders in restoring your professional soul.
- Schimmel, Nancy. Just Enough to Make a Story. Sisters' Choice Press, 1992.
The third edition of Just Enough to Make a Story, in print since 1978, is an unintimidating how-to book about storytelling. "The suggestions in 'Active Heroines,' 'Stories in Service of Peace,' and 'Sources for Stories to Tell to Adults' are sti
ll singularly valuable, and the tone of the book-a down-home approach that will get storytellers started with experienced but undaunting advice-makes this one of the best available resource books on the subject." (BCCB 4/93)
- Silvey, Anita, ed. Children's Books and Their Creators. Houghton, 1995.
"Silvery has here compiled an enjoyably browsable encyclopedia of children's literature. . . . Entries are of three kinds: biographical cum critical essays about authors and illustrators; bibliographic essays on topics such as 'Canadian Children's Literat
ure in French,' 'Easy Readers,' and 'Holocaust Literature for Children;' and 'Voices of the Creators,' brief essays by authors and illustrators about how and why they do what they do. . . . A comprehensive author, title, and subject index as well as plent
y of reproductions of children's books illustration. . . . aid both enjoyment and usefulness." (BCCB 2/96)
- Stewig, John Warren. Looking at Picture Books. Highsmith, 1995.
Stewig presents a "broadly researched, widely knowledgeable text discussing picture-book art. Chapters include an overview, 'Pictorial Elements,' 'Composition,' 'Media,' 'Book Design Elements,' and 'The Infleunce of Art Movements,' and examples of childr
en's books ranging from Caldecott's John Gilpin and Other Stories to Allen Say's Book of Cranes. . . . Marginal commentary, suggestions, and pointers to further research are bibliographized at the end of each chapter, as are the children
's books discussed; appendices of 'Books about Art and Artists,' 'Ethnic Bibliography,' and 'Picture Book Genres' are included, as is an index that comprises terminology as well as book titles and illustrators." (BCCB 6/95)
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