Give Love. #PlagueSongs, no. 31

David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure” (1981) has long been a favorite. I chose it for this (eventually ending) series of plague songs because it expresses such vulnerability, and because it calls us all to love. Given the extraordinary talent of the original performers (and of the Karen O – Willie Nelson cover, wow!), I’m…

Wild Visionary: Maurice Sendak in Queer Jewish Context

If you missed this book launch today, please do check it out! On-hand was MIT Prof. Marah Gubar (children’s literature scholar extraordinaire), Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked), Brian Selznick (author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret), and of course Golan Moskowitz himself. It’s a pretty big deal to gather such a constellation of luminaries for a book…

A 2nd shot in the arm

The exciting sequel to A shot in the arm! Because I am both civic-minded and slightly silly, I filmed myself getting the second shot of the Pfizer vaccine & made another brief Get Vaccinated! video. (Featured performer: Anna Capps on the needle!) Surprising no one, I again adapted lyrics from Hamilton. Sincere apologies to Lin-Manuel…

Still worthwhile. #PlagueSongs, no. 30

The music — written by Charlie Chaplin himself — first appears in Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936). Eighteen years later, John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added lyrics. That version was a big hit for Nat King Cole in 1954. It’s since been recorded by Tony Bennett, Janelle Monae, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Durante, Elvis Costello, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean…

Happy Birthday, Linda!

Dear Linda, You’ll already have a card and physical iteration of one of the musical compilations (below), but I thought you might want a more portable version (via Spotify), and I didn’t make CD mixes of the other two — though I can, if you would like them. I also thought that others might enjoy the…

A shot in the arm

Last week, Kansas added higher education to Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout. This past Monday, I got my first shot of the Pfizer. To encourage you to get yours, I filmed myself. Hey, what’s that on your head? I hear you ask. A deranged, sentient shrub? An off-brand Muppet? The very latest Larry Fine…

Seuss, Racism, and Resources for Anti-Racist Children’s Literature

In the wake of last week’s intense focus on Dr. Seuss and racism, I’m gathering (a) some resources for anti-racist children’s literature, and (b) a sampling of the Seuss-and-racism media. Many people have emailed or messaged me with questions. If I neglected yours, I apologize. I hope these links will give you a place to…

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…