Harold vs. Donald, round 2

Last year, there was Donald and the Golden Crayon, a satirical look at Mad King Donald, inspired by Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955). For more on that, see my interview with the book’s author and publisher from October 2018. This year, it’s Donald and the Black Sharpie, in which at least four five six people have invoked Johnson’s hero to…

Delights

If you have yet to read Ross Gay‘s The Book of Delights (2019), here is an invitation to pick it up. A collection of 102 brief essays he wrote over the course of a year, the book is about the possibility — the necessity — of attentiveness to joy in the world. We live in dark times, and the…

RESIST! A mix for 2019

To keep our spirits up amidst the cascading catastrophes inflicted by the Russian Asset and his quislings (the GOP), the resistance needs a soundtrack. Here’s my offering for 2019. And here’s last year’s mix, which is also featured in a post that includes “75 better names for 45,” since there are so many more apt…

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),…

Donald and the Golden Crayon

Today (20 Oct. 2018) would be Crockett Johnson’s 112th birthday.  In commemoration of that event, I have two — yes, two — posts for you!  The first is an interview with the author and the publisher of the new satirical book Donald and the Golden Crayon.  Enjoy! “In the middle of the night, Donald woke from his…

Why Trump Jails Crying Children. How We Resist. (A Twitter Essay)

1. The Trump regime feels threatened by crying children because they — and all refugees — refute the Trumpist/fascist lie that humanity depends upon citizenship. — Philip Nel (@philnel) June 21, 2018 2. As Hannah Arendt wrote of refugees, they “have lost all distinctive political qualities,” “lost all other qualities and relationships—except that they [are]…

RESIST! Year #2 begins NOW.

On the one-year anniversary of Russia’s successful hacking of American democracy (congrats, Vlad!), a bit of encouragement for those who oppose the Trump regime’s assaults on healthcare, the environment, women’s rights, civil rights, human rights, the very idea of rights, basic human decency, and truth itself.  I’ve divided this into three sections: (1) a resistance…

Resolutions for a New Academic Year: A survival guide for higher education in perilous times (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education today, I have a piece on “Resolutions for a New Academic Year: A survival guide for higher education in perilous times.” Here’s one of those resolutions: Teach students to use language well. We can help them to be wary of lazy euphemism — not just because it is bad…

Laughter and Resistance: Humor as a Weapon in the Age of Trump (Horn Book)

In its new issue, The Horn Book joins the resistance. If the previous statement is a slight overstatement (and it is, because the magazine’s values have opposed those of Trumpism since before it acquired that name), it is only a slight overstatement.  The May-June 2017 issue includes at least four pieces critical of the current regime:…

Refugee Stories for Young Readers: Francesca Sanna’s The Journey (Public Books)

Over on Public Books today, I have a new, short piece on Francesca Sanna’s The Journey, a.k.a. one of the best picture books published last year.  If you have yet to read it, check out “Refugee Stories for Young Readers” (my essay), which includes some images from the book.  In the piece, I observe that As Francesca Sanna’s…