Friday, January 18, 2008


The American Library Association announced their picks for best books for children and young adults this week. View the list here.

A unique book was awarded the Caldecott Medal (best picture book) this year. The winner is the novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Yes, a 500+page novel won the picture book award.

So is it really a picture book? A writer friend of mine tried to listen to the audiobook, but could not follow the story until she read the actual book with illustrations. The illustrations are an integral part of this story. So Hugo Cabret has the unusual distinction of being part novel, part picture book.

I am not a picture book writer and I’m definitely no illustrator. It is rare that I can say that I own the Caldecott winning book. Until now. My son and I are currently reading Hugo Cabret together. It is a wonderful book. Librarians agree. To hear their response to the announcement at the ALA earlier this week, click here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

By Any Other Name?

The hubby and I went to East Nashville earlier this week to see Elmo Buzz perform. But it wasn’t Elmo Buzz. It was Todd Snider doing a special show. But we knew that, that’s why we went. In the movie, Notting Hill, the movie star character played by Julia Roberts always used a pseudonym (a Disney character’s name I believe) when checking into a hotel. Writers use pen names. So artists of all types go by code names on occasion.

I will tip my children’s book writers’ hat to a few famous pseudonymous writers:
Lewis Carroll
Dr. Seuss
Lemony Snicket

Say you have to pick a nom de plume/code name/alias today. What would it be? How would you decide?