Saturday, January 31, 2009

Somewhere Over the Rainbow List

A much more exciting development from the ALA conference (um, in The World According to Linas, nowhere else): Gay America was selected for the Rainbow List ("A recommended list of books dealing GLBTQ themes and topics for children and teens through age 18, under the auspices of the American Library Association's Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) and Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT)")!!

Yay Gay America!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bring On the Tickertape!

Today is a very big day in American children's book publishing: the Youth Media Award winners were just announced at the American Library Association (ALA) Mid-Winter Conference in Denver.

Beth Krommes won the Caldecott for The House in the Night, a book I hadn't seen or heard of before:


To judge a book by its cover (!), though--didn't the almost-black-and-white Kitten's First Full Moon win the award not long ago? But again, I haven't actually seen this one in person yet.

Neil Gaiman won the Newbery Award for The Graveyard Book, which seems--without having read the book myself!--to answer Anita Silvey's earlier complaints about Newbery winners lacking kid appeal.
 

Then again, I will admit to a small part of me that thinks it's somewhat of a wasted opportunity for helping a book by someone not-huge-like-Gaiman, that could have really used the attendant publicity that a Newbery generates... 

But honestly and sincerely, kudos to them, as well as to the winners of the various other honors announced today!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Achtung, Baby

I really love warning signs that include pictures. I think it's because they go beyond just issuing safety alerts--like many a Victorian-era picture book, they go ahead and tell a story about an unfortunate someone who just didn't listen (at least in my mind). Take this sign near our house in the archipelago, where the road becomes a quay when you reach the water:


I feel like it should have a soundtrack somehow--"bam bam BAMMMM!" (Or maybe Debbie Downer's  "wah-wahhhhh"...)

One of my all-time favorite examples of these signs is located in the elevator of our friends' apartment building. We went over there for a lovely dinner party last night, and I realized that because they're moving in a couple months, I had to be sure to take a photo (sorry, it's a little fuzzy):


Yup, I'm sold. No taking tall, wheeled containers into the elevator.

Friday, January 23, 2009

An Interesting Disparity

Not sure what valid conclusions can be drawn, but...

In the US this week:

"In the poll, released Thursday by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, global warming came in last among 20 voter concerns; it trailed issues like addressing moral decline and decreasing the influence of lobbyists. Only 30 percent of the voters deemed global warming to be "a top priority," compared with 35 percent in 2008."

versus in Sweden this week:

"Swedish voters placed a high priority on climate issues with 65 percent responding that this was the most important election issue, the highest in the EU."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yes We Can

Okay, I couldn't not do anything to commemorate this amazing week...


...although Jack and Bob are pretty off-message, aren't they?

(thanks to obamiconme)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Life in Sweden - Madeline in Day-Glo


On my way to the studio: Stockholm kids on some kind of a field trip from dagis (daycare), in proper formation: buddy system, flourescent vests, rope attachments, optimized adult shepherding positions.

It reminds me of Ludwig Bemelmans:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome!

Hello! 

*gulp* 

Oh, don't give me that look. A personal blog? Why?! Like there aren't enough personal blogs in the world that no one reads? 

Who. Honestly. Cares.

Wellll...maybe somebody. Or not. In any case, I figure this is a good way to keep a "diary" for myself, as well as an easy way  to share updates on my expat life for people I know and love back in the States. 

Hopefully, though, this will be of some interest to people I don't already know, especially people who have found their way here because of shared interests (i.e., children's books--especially mine!, current events, the struggle for lgbtq equality, the overlap between nature and urban life, design, parrots, etc.--yeah yeah I know the list is random and wide-ranging. Whatever, I'm human.) Y'all don't have to read everything, that's what preview windows in feed readers are for. 
*sticks out tongue* 

Anyway, I imagine this thing will mutate and evolve as time goes by. Or go extinct--hard to say.

Um...enjoy!