Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature

Author(s): Betsy Bird

Literary Criticism & Essays & Journalism

Secret lives, scandalous turns, and some very funny surprises -- these essays by leading kids' lit bloggers take us behind the scenes of many much-loved children's books. Told in lively and affectionate prose, this treasure trove of information for a student, librarian, parent, or anyone wondering about the post-Harry Potter children's book biz brings contemporary illumination to the warm-and-fuzzy bunny world we think we know.


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The best part is that Bird, Danielson, and Sieruta's knowledge is so vast, even the well-informed will be introduced to new books and the drama that surrounded the publication and reception. ... Bird, Danielson, and Sieruta's collection of anecdotes and backstories highlight the irreverent and scandalous authors and illustrators that we all know so well. Told conversationally, moving easily from book banning to social politics to plain old sour grapes, this collection dispels any notion that children's literature is apolitical and humorless. Librarians, writers, teachers, scholars, and enthusiastic readers alike will revel in the information that complicates the world of children's literature--VOYA The authors' enthusiasm and engagement will keep the pages turning. [F]ascinating... The discussion of censorship is particularly thoughtful, both emphasizing intellectual freedom and considering the problematic nature of classic literature amid changing cultural sensibilities. ... [A] whole lot of enjoyment and no small amount of edification.--Kirkus Reviews Three children's book specialists gleefully shred the "romanticized image" of children's authors, illustrators, and editors, slinging behind-the-scenes lore, recalling censorship controversies, and profiling innovators like Maurice Sendak, Ursula Nordstrom, Roald Dahl, and others who eschew cutesiness. ... This chatty volume sheds light on children's literature's household names.--Publishers Weekly Memorize every word of this brilliant book, then quote it at cocktail parties and watch as knees buckle beneath your erudite greatness.--Jack Gantos, author of "Dead End in Norvelt," winner of the Newbery Medal I was afraid this book might be one of those eat-your-vegetables, musty history lessons. To my delight it skipped the vegetables entirely and went straight for delicious and dangerous desserts. I ate it up in one sitting.--Lane Smith, illustrator of "The Stinky Cheesei

Betsy Bird is the youth materials collections specialist for the New York Public Library and the author of "Giant Dance Party, "illustrated by Brandon Dorman. In addition to writing for "The Horn Book "magazine, she is the creator of the blog "A Fuse #8 Production." Julie Danielson is a regular contributor to "Kirkus Reviews, "and in her blog, "Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, "she has featured and/or interviewed hundreds of top names in picture books. Julie Danielson lives in Tennessee. Peter D. Sieruta (1958-2012) was an author, book critic, and frequent reviewer for "The Horn Book "magazine. His blog, "Collecting Children's Books, "served as inspiration for his contributions to "Wild Things! "

General Fields

  • : 9780763651503
  • : Candlewick Press
  • : Candlewick Press
  • : October 2014
  • : 236mm X 173mm X 25mm
  • : United States
  • : November 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 277
  • : black & white illustrations
  • : Betsy Bird
  • : Hardback
  • : English
  • : 808.899282