Of Cabbages and Kings: November 17th 2018

I’m reviving this (hopefully) weekly feature where I post recommendations and links to interesting things I’ve encountered throughout the week.  

tom gauld
Image courtesy The Guardian

Children’s author Shabnam Minwalla describes what prompted her most recent early chapter book When Jiya Met Urmila, in which her eponymous characters strive to bridge the economic barriers between them – a feat she admits might not be so easily achievable in real life, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

Writer Lisa Gabriele takes a stab at rewriting the synopses of traditional “dude” books by placing women at the forefront – and the results are incredibly delightful.

Anne of Green Gables and Little Women are two of my favourite “classics” so I can’t wait to get my hands on these two new books which offer fictional (Marilla of Green Gables) and historical (Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters) explorations – meanwhile I have to content myself by reading this conversation between the two authors about the enduring influence of these fictional women.

Speaking of Anne Shirley-Cuthbert, have you been watching the spectacular Anne With An E on Netflix? Since I’m such a slow watcher of things, I’ve been making my way through it for over a month and a half (there are only two seasons and seventeen episodes which makes that even more pitiful) but I love spending my afternoons in Avonlea!

This article examines arguments for and against reading classic children’s books with racist undertones or references when there are so many better books out there. Personally, I agree with the view that these books can act as good conversation starters about historical and contemporary prejudices – if the young person wants to read them in the first place, that is.

Competitive book sorting in a public library is honestly the only sort of sport I’d ever be interested in (well, maybe Quidditch too).

October might be over but it’s always a good opportunity to drool over Harry Potter themed illustrations created as a part of Inktober – the annual daily drawing excercise for artists.

Every time I come across the story of how Alvin Irby started an out-of-school reading programme to engage black boys with reading in barber shops, it just fills my heart with glee. More informal reading spaces for ALL the children please!

I love a good book list and this one is doubly excellent because it features a bunch of books which celebrate libraries and reading.

Picture books are another of my favourite things and this article lists some stellar ones published in 2018 which should find homes on the shelves of both young people and adults.

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