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Posts Tagged ‘Betsy Bird’

The Legacy of Ursula Nordstrom

9780064462358You probably enjoyed Charlotte’s Web or Harriet the Spy at one point in your life. But do you know who edited those great kid’s books?

After covering the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Summer Conference last weekend, I caught up with the New York Public Library’s Youth Materials Collections Specialist Betsy Bird and Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blogger Julie Danielson, co-authors of the brand new book, Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature (co-written with Peter Sieruta).

Q: Could you tell us more about the life and work of the great children’s book editor Ursula Nordstrom? What are some of the books you recommend from this great editor?

Betsy Bird: ”Ursula’s list begins to resemble nothing so much as a Who’s Who in children’s literature after a while. She had this crazy sense of humor that went well with her ability to spot potential children’s literature talent.

I mean, seriously, who would have looked at Shel Silverstein‘s rather explicit cartoons in Playboy and thought ‘There’s the man that children everywhere will love!?’”

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Adult Reactions to Kidlit Horror Stories

nypl-lion-statue.jpgThe New York Public Library‘s monthly children’s literary salon recently featured authors Kate Milford, Adam Gidwitz, and Michael Teitelbaum. The afternoon centered on their scary stories, The Boneshaker, A Tale Dark & Grimm, and The Scary States of America.

Moderator Betsy Bird asked about the adult reactions to their books. Milford responded: “A [unnamed] reviewer once said ‘I wouldn’t really recommend this for a kid. It’s too unsettling for me.’”

Gidwitz added: “Most kids love it. Many adults really love it.” Teitelbaum concluded: “I haven’t gotten any hate mail from the kids … Most adults ask, ‘Is that [your story] true?’”

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