Monday, August 18, 2014

Wild Things Blog Tour: Guest Blog Post by Betsy Bird

I have a very special guest on my blog today: Betsy Bird, one of my favorite kidlit bloggers! Her passion for kidlit and her excellent blog posts are some of the reasons I decided to start blogging about kidlit and YA lit!

Betsy has written a book with her fellow American kidlit bloggers, the late Peter Sieruta and Julie Danielson. (Julie is also one of my favorite kidlit bloggers, and one of my favorite people in the whole wide world.) There aren't physical copies of Wild Things in the Philippines yet, but if you click here, us Philippine readers can get Kindle editions. Wild Things is a behind-the-scenes look at the American children's book industry. A *naughty* behind-the-scenes look. The book *is* about "acts of mischief in children's literature." :D

Betsy, thank you so much for visiting Into the Wardrobe. Dear readers, Betsy's guest blog post is below.

You Know When They Say Winning the Lottery is the Worst Thing That Can Happen to You? 
It’s True.  
By Betsy Bird

You may have seen YA author John Green allude to this recently. Not too long ago he created this lovely little Mental Floss video called 47 Charming Facts AboutChildren’s Books. At around 2:53 you’ll hear John talk about the great Margaret Wise Brown. John points out that Ms. Brown almost randomly left the rights to her classic picture book Goodnight Moon to the neighbor kid next door. Literally. The boy next door. But this being a quick video John doesn’t exactly go into any detail. Curious about why exactly Margaret did that and what the effect was on the kid? In Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature (written by myself, Julie Danielson, and the late Peter Sieruta) we looked into the story and here’s what we found. 

The fact of the matter is that Ms. Brown was lovely, vivacious, and died tragically young. As recounted in our book, she was just 42 when she died of an embolism. In fact, it was the cute little can-can kicks she did for her doctor to show how great she was feeling that ultimately did the deed. 

Few perfectly healthy 42-year-olds expect to be dead at any moment, so we should take Margaret’s will with a grain of salt. She apparently changed it more than once and had she lived she probably wouldn’t have kept it the same for very long. Nonetheless, and for whatever reason, she did indeed leave the rights to what would become her greatest work to Albert Clarke, her 9-year-old neighbor. 

Weird? Not as much as you might think. See, the fact of the matter is that Goodnight Moon wasn’t really a hit in Margaret’s lifetime. It did okay but it took some time for the book to gain any ground in the cultural mindset. So when she granted Arthur the rights it wasn’t supposed to be any great shakes. 

Next thing he knows, the kid’s a millionaire. Fabulous, right? Apparently not. Though it might be a bit of a stretch to say it this way, money ruined Arthur. But for the details of how exactly he was ruined I’m afraid you’re just going to have to read our book. Sorry about that, but trust me when I say that I hope John Green learns a lesson or two from Margaret’s story. The next time he feels like leaving the rights to, say, An Abundance of Katherines to little Johnny down the street as a nice gesture, maybe he should think again. Trust me. Little Johnny will be just fine without the cash.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Call for Papers: Children's Rights and Children's Literature



Special Issue of The Lion and the Unicorn

Guest Editors:
Lara Saguisag, College of Staten Island-City University of New York
Matthew B. Prickett, Rutgers University-Camden

We are seeking papers that investigate the intersections between the histories, theories, and practices of children's rights and children's literature. In response to the ratification of the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC) in 1989, advocates and scholars have debated the necessity and revealed the complexity of defining and implementing children's rights across the globe. Critical discourse on children's rights, however, has not yet fully examined the role that children's literature plays in shaping, promoting, implementing and interrogating children's rights. This special issue invites scholars to explore the connections between the institutions of children's rights and children's literature.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Depictions of young people's political and/or economic participation in children's and young adult literature
Literary representations of child soldiers, child laborers, child sex workers and other young people whose rights are deemed violated
The role of children's literature in fulfilling young people's rights (such as the right to education and the right to leisure)
The relationships between charters on human and children's rights (such as the 1930 White House Convention Children's Charter, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1989 United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child) and twentieth-century children's literature
How historical fiction and non-fiction about other rights movements (women's rights, gay rights, Civil Rights, labor rights, immigrant rights, etc. ) attempt to shape young readers' understanding of rights
U.N.-funded children's books that explicitly promote children's rights
Poverty and children's and young adult literature
Colonialism/Postcolonialism and children’s and young adult literature
Citizenship and children's and young adult literature
Censorship and children's rights
Conflicts between child characters and adult characters over the child's rights and obligations

Essays should be sent to guest editors Lara Saguisag and Matthew B. Prickett at by May 31, 2015. Submissions should be 15-20 pages (4000-6000 words). Accepted articles will appear in issue 40.2 (2016) of The Lion and the Unicorn.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The 2014 Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards!

For 2014, the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards will be open to books published from January to December 2013, in the following categories:

Fiction in English - A novel in English, in any of the following genres: literary fiction, mystery/thriller, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, horror, speculative fiction

Fiction in Filipino (or Taglish) – A novel in Filipino (or Taglish), in any of the following genres: literary fiction, mystery/thriller, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, horror, speculative fiction

Romance in English – A novel or novelette in English, in any of the following genres or classifications: romance, chick lit, erotica

Romance in Filipino (or Taglish) – A novel or novelette in Filipino (or Taglish), in any of the following genres or classifications: romance, chick lit, erotica

Fiction Anthology – A short story compilation by a single author or multiple authors, in either English or Filipino

Young Adult Fiction – A novel aimed towards the young adult audience, in either English or Filipino

Children’s Picture Book – A children’s picture book, fiction or nonfiction, in either English or Filipino

Comics & Graphic Novels – A comic compilation or graphic novel, fiction or nonfiction, in either English or Filipino

Poetry – A collection of poetry by a single author or multiple authors, in either English or Filipino

Inspirational / Religious – Nonfiction, in any of the following classifications: religious, spiritual, inspirational, in either English or Filipino

Humor – Nonfiction work, classified as humor, in either English or Filipino
Food & Cookbook – Nonfiction work, classified under food or cooking

Nonfiction – A single work or anthology, of the following classifications: arts and culture, memoir, autobiography, biography, creative nonfiction, history, philosophy, psychology, in either English or Filipino

Nominations for the awards will be open until August 18. Anybody can nominate books! To nominate books, just fill out this online nomination form.

For more details on the 2014 Filipino Readers' Choice Awards, please visit this link or email filipinoreaderschoiceATgmailDOTcom.

Friday, March 21, 2014

This weekend!!!

Art in the Park: An Affordable Art Fair

March 23, 2014 (Sunday)
10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Jaime Velasquez Park
Salcedo Village
Makati City

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Calling all English teachers in Malaysia and Singapore!

Helloooooo to all my fellow English teachers in Malaysia and Singapore. Please encourage your students to join the Scholastic Writers' Award 2014!

If you are in Malaysia, check out this link. And if you are in Singapore, check out this link. :o)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Press Release: Celebrate International Book Giving Day on February 14!

International Book Giving Day, February 14, is a day dedicated to getting new, used, and borrowed books into the hands of as many children as possible. 

Share the love of books and the generosity of giving . . . all on a day synonymous with love. 

International Book Giving Day was built and created by Amy Broadmoore, founder of the American children’s book website, Delightful Children’s Books, in 2012. Inspired by her son’s desire to "invent a holiday when people gave books to each other," the determination to link that with Valentine’s Day was born just 10 days before the day itself! 

Within a short space of time Amy’s initiative has continued to grow, sparking enthusiastic responses from across the globe. "I used the connections I had as a children's book blogger to invite people from around the world to celebrate International Book Giving Day." 

Amy continues: "People not only give books to kids in their communities, they also share stories and photos via Twitter, Facebook, and International Book Giving Day's website. Connecting with others who are giving books to kids is part of what makes this an inspiring holiday." 
The support of well-known authors and bloggers has been instrumental in International Book Giving Day's success.
2014 sees an increased presence of Emma Perry of My Book Corner - UK, as Amy creates a little more room to squeeze in even more bookish projects.
Perry says: "The enthusiasm from all who hear about International Book Giving Day is infectious. The reaction I’m getting already really is wonderful - illustrators are donating their time, children are donating books to other children, and independent bookstores are in love with the philosophy behind the day." 
International Book Giving Day has received great support from well known children’s authors from around the world: Mem Fox, Clara Vulliamy, Dub Leffler, Katrina Germein, Chris Haughton, Sindiwe Magona, Ed Emberley, Dianne Wolfer, Kathryn Apel, Ed Vere, Claire Wildish, Peter H. Reynolds, Sandy Fussell, Priya Kuriyan, Janeen Brian, Barney Saltzberg, Hazel Edwards, and Frane Lessac have all given books to children on February 14 and have encouraged others to do the same.
The beauty of International Book Giving Day is its simplicity. Participants do not need to organize a huge event to take part. 

They are invited to celebrate by: 

1. Giving a book to a friend or relative. 

Gift a book to a child who would enjoy receiving a book on February 14. A perfect alternative to overpriced chocolate . . . although chocolates still make a good present! 

2. Leaving a book somewhere.

Choose a waiting room where kids are stuck. Purchase a good book and deposit your book covertly or overtly in your waiting room of choice. Try leaving books in playgrounds. The goal here is to spread the love of reading to kids! 

3. Donating a book.

Donate books to a school library, children’s hospital, or nonprofit organization working to ensure that all kids have access to books.

Participants are encouraged to let us know they are participating at

Photos of Book Giving Day festivities are shared each year on social media, by adding the hashtag #giveabook to Instagram / Twitter / Facebook photos or by emailing photos to

Let’s see how many people we can get to commit to giving a book to a child on February 14!