Routledge: out with the old, in with the new

I’m pleased to announce that Kenneth Kidd and Elizabeth Marshall are the new editors of Routledge’s Children’s Literature and Culture Series. (At IRSCL in Toronto last August, I announced that this transition was in the works. It is now official.) Here’s today’s Routledge press release (click on this sentence). I became editor of Routledge’s Children’s Literature…

Was the Cat in the Hat Black? — cover reveal

Here is the cover for my next book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, forthcoming from Oxford University Press in July 2017.  Since it (the cover) is now on some websites (notably Oxford UP & Amazon.com), I thought I’d share it here. THANKS to Oxford UP’s Lucas…

Legend, Gentleman, Friend: George Nicholson (1937-2015)

George Nicholson died yesterday. He was 77 years old. He was a legend in children’s publishing. George was in the children’s literature business for over 50 years. In the 1960s, he introduced paperbacks to the children’s book industry. That’s something we take for granted now, but we owe it to George. As an agent (at…

“The Boundaries of Imagination”; or, the All-White World of Children’s Books, 2014

Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books? — Walter Dean Myers, “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” too often today’s books remain blind to the everyday reality of thousands of children. Children of color remain outside the boundaries…

The Edwin Mellen Effect

  It’s Opposites Day at The Chronicle of Higher Education. The headline reads, “Edwin Mellen Press Drops Lawsuit Against University Librarian.” The article reports that Edwin Mellen Press has withdrawn the suit against McMaster University and Dale Askey, BUT Edwin Mellen Press is still suing Dale Askey.  Beyond the fact that the Chronicle should have let its readers know…

Vanity, Thy Name Is Lawsuit

As you may have heard, the Edwin Mellen Press is suing librarian Dale Askey and his employer, McMaster University, for damages in excess of $4 million. Why?  The suit alleges that Askey is guilty of libel for calling Edwin Mellen Press “a vanity press” and suggesting that it lacks “academic credibility.”  There are several problems…

A Brief Inquiry Into the Paradoxes of Academic Achievement

When I started writing what was then a biography of Crockett Johnson (back in the late 1990s), I thought: When I finish this, I really will have achieved something. Even as I wrote other books, I continued to think of the biography — which became a double biography of Johnson and Krauss — as The Big Achievement….

Harry Potter, the American translation

In remembrance of a great university press, I’m posting: my essay, “‘You Say ‘Jelly,’ I Say ‘Jello’?: Harry Potter and the Transfiguration of Language,” and a full list of each difference between the Bloomsbury (UK) and Scholastic (US) editions of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books — well, to be accurate, the first three Harry Potter books, and…

The Joy of Index

OK, “Joy” might be the wrong word — unless we modify that title to “The Anticipatory Joy of Finishing the Index” or “The Joy of Finding a Great Index.”  Creating an index can be a mind-numbing slog, and creating it while checking proofs (as I am doing right now) doesn’t make it any more fun.  But…