Racism is a National Emergency

For this year’s Seuss birthday, an excerpt from Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature and the Need for Diverse Books (Oxford UP, 2017). The thesis: Support a US Anti-Racist Education Act because racism is a national emergency that threatens our democracy. But first, and with thanks to The…

Don’t run. #PlagueSongs, no. 28

Surf rock in the middle of winter? And how is “Walk, Don’t Run” a plague song? Excellent questions. To answer the second one first, I might say that its title evokes the slow pace of the vaccine roll-out. I want speed, but instead must endure this andante stumble. Or I might point out that the…

Over 100 Kansas Distinguished Profs to KBOR: Rescind New Termination Policy Immediately.

03 distinguished professors from four Kansas universities (K-State, KU, Wichita State, KUMC) are calling for an immediate end to the Kansas Board of Regents’ new termination policy. It threatens long-term damage to the missions of each institution. It undermines the purpose of tenure, which is to allow faculty to pursue their scholarship without fear of repercussions. Academic freedom is the foundation upon which we build discovery, robust research, scholarship and creative activities.

Keywords for Children’s Literature 2.0, unboxed!

Tired of watching the coup attempt on TV? Well, here’s the unboxing video I planned to post today — announcing Keywords for Children’s Literature SECOND EDITION, which is now out from New York University Press. Its editors are me, Lissa Paul, and Nina Christensen. And contributors? Well, take a look! Adult by Victoria Ford Smith…

I’m lucky to be here. #PlagueSongs, no. 27

This song is a personal favorite of mine, and one I’ve long considered recording for this Plague Songs series. However, in an effort to keep the mood more upbeat, I have — up until now — chosen more uptempo selections. But, as coronavirus deaths in the U.S. surpass 350,000 (and 1.85 million worldwide), it’s time for…

I got the medicine. So, you should keep your eyes on the ball. #PlagueSongs, no. 26

“Dynamite” is cheerful, bright, and contagious — but in a good way. That’s one reason I decided to record a version of it. We could all use a little joy, and this song is full of joy. I also like the ESL poetry of the lyrics — a series of common English-language phrases, many of them encouraging…

Unboxing Barnaby vol. 4!

In which you get all the excitement of receiving a package… without the package itself! Yes, I have made an unboxing video. It’s my first. See what you think! I can tell you what I think: I should have shown more of the interior of the book! Crockett Johnson’s cartoons! If I were more energetic,…