Ruth Krauss in German

How do you translate children’s colloquial speech — with its flexible syntax, unusual diction — into another language?  In celebration of Ruth Krauss’ 119th birthday (or what she would have called her 109th birthday), I’ll sketch two possible answers to that question by looking at A Hole Is to Dig in the language her grandmother spoke: German!…

The Cat, Seuss, and Race

Last June, on rather short notice, the Artistic Director for the Adventure Theatre Company asked if I would write a program note for their upcoming production of The Cat in the Hat (June 18-August 21, 2019). They had read my work on Seuss and racism, shared these concerns, and asked if I could provide something,…

Call for Papers: MLA, Jan. 7-10, 2021, Toronto

Comics and Graphic Narratives for Young Audiences Co-sponsored by the MLA Forum on Comics and Graphic Narratives and the MLA Forum on Children’s and Young Adult Literature. This panel for the 2021 MLA Convention in Toronto (Jan 7-10, 2021) explores intersections between children’s literature and comics (including manga and graphic novels). All periods and nations welcome. Children’s…

How to diversify the classics. For real. (Oxford UP blog)

As last week’s failed attempt at diversifying classic literature recedes in your memory (the pace of news can overwhelm, I know), over at Oxford University Press’ blog today is a piece I turned in on Friday. I offer five better ways that publisher might bring diversity to the classic novels. Here’s an excerpt: Publishers and…

Children’s Literature, Comics/Graphic Novels, and Childhood Studies at MLA 2020

With thanks to Ramona Caponegro for creating the initial document, here are the panels devoted to Children’s Literature, Comics/Graphic Novels, or Childhood Studies at the 2020 Modern Language Association Convention in Seattle. Hope to see you there! Also, if anything is missing, please alert me and I will add it. Thank you! 080. Diverse Destinies:…

Trump is a liar. Tell children the truth. (Public Books)

Over on Public Books today, my essay “Trump is a liar. Tell children the truth” recommends some good books for educating young people about “President” Trump, and brings in a few examples of the type of books that ought to be avoided — indeed, that a conscientious publisher would have never published in the first place.  (Also:…

Mundo Azul, Berlin

This is the bookstore I want to live in. Mundo Azul (Choriner Straße 49, Berlin) is an international celebration of beautiful children’s picture books — some of which I knew, many of which I did not, and all of which are well worth reading. While browsing, I had the sense that the proprietor, Mariela Nagle,…

“The Cat Is Out of the Bag”

As we reconsider the works of Dr. Seuss on what would have been his (well, Theodor Seuss Geisel’s) 115th birthday, I encourage you to take a look at Katie Ishizuka and Ramón Stephens’ “The Cat is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti-Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss’s Children’s Books,” just published in Research on Diversity in Youth Literature last…

Children’s Literature and Comics/Graphic Novels at MLA 2019

Going to the MLA Convention in Chicago? Here are all the sessions on children and YA literature, and on comics.  Or, at least, this is what I could find.  If I’ve missed anything, please let me know.  Thanks! 012: Comics Fandom in Transition  12:00 PM–1:15 PM Thursday, Jan 3, 2019  Hyatt Regency – Roosevelt 3…

Migration, Refugees, and Diaspora in Children’s Literature (ChLAQ)

Separating children from their parents is a violation of basic human rights and does not deter asylum-seekers.  Hostile to facts and compassionate only towards himself, Mr. Trump has pursued this policy with reckless indifference to its consequences.  As of the end of last month (over four months after the court-imposed deadline to reunite these families),…