Friday, February 6, 2015

Book Review: Wild Things

Wild Things:  Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature
By Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter Sieruta
Candlewick, 2014
Review from eBook
Audience: For the Pros
ISBN:  9780763651503
Publication Date:  August 5, 2014

I've been name dropping this book for a while now, so it's time to get down to talking about it.  If you are a librarian, or teacher, or crazy person that thinks children's authors are the real celebrities, then Wild Things is the book for you.  To the outsider, children's books might be all fluffy bunnies and smiling authors living in quaint Vermont towns sipping cider and typing on old-timey typewriters.  But those of us in the biz know that Roald Dahl was a grumpy-face, Go Ask Alice was written by some doctor, and the best children's morality stories are scary German tales about barbers.  

The whole book is one big unveiling of some of children's literatures greatest secrets and funniest stories.  There's plagiarism, sex, unusual starting careers, and treating children like capable human beings that can make their own decisions.  The whole book flies in the face of conservative American ideals for children and books, and should quite frankly be banned in all 50 states right now!

Please ban this book!  Then everyone will read it!

Honestly, I read this book in fits and starts in the early days after having Alice.  I would read aloud from it while trying to ease her to sleep, which is no easy thing since I was reading her the section about the previously mentioned crazy German barber.  This book is most likely for a scholar of children's literature.  It's the kind of book that a librarian wants to talk about at a cocktail party, but none of her friends know these authors and can't really get into it.

So if you're a librarian and you've read it, call me!  Then we can also get all gushy about the YMAs.  Six Caldecott honors?  What the what?  

I need more librarian friends people.

If you want a book that will make you laugh out loud while discussing children's books, then this is perfect.

Happy Reading!

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