Category Archives: Musings & Ponderings

When good books go bad

A few nights ago I was having dinner with a friend who doesn’t work in publishing, and I was talking about how I think librarians are really great and I’m always impressed by the thoughtful ways in which they grapple with some truly tough issues.

“Er…like what?” he asked.

So I gave him this example from the NY Times about the Brooklyn Public Library’s recent decision to basically quarantine Tintin au Congo, a 70-year-old picture book with some pretty racist cartoons:

Tintin teaches the natives about the Belgian colonizers
Tintin teaches the "natives" about the Belgian colonizers

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Remembering Armando

The theme of the week is back to school. When we acquired, Armando and the Blue Tarp School in 2006, it was one of those moments when you are simply in awe of certain individuals and the good work they do in the world.

Armando and the Blue Tarp
Armando and the Blue Tarp

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Whose class are you in?

It’s Back to School week on the blog and we’re talking about W. Nikola-Lisa’s My Teacher Can Teach…Anyone!, which is giving me all sorts of flashbacks to that last day of school when you got your report card and on the bottom, all hidden away by the signature lines and stuff, were a few words that would pretty much define your quality of life for the next year: the name of your next teacher.

My Teacher Can Teach...Anyone!

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New Beginnings with Augusta Savage

We’re starting up a new feature on the blog: A Book a Day. The third week of every month, we’ll pick a theme, and each day (Monday-Friday) one of us will talk about one of our books that fits into the theme.

So, to inaugurate the feature, I bring you the first book of our Back to School theme: In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage.

It seems fitting that we should start a brand-new feature on a brand-new blog by talking about the beginning of the school year. Each new year, new school, new class is a new beginning, building on where you’ve been but taking you someplace different. Take, for instance, Augusta Savage. Ceramics and sculpture were always a part of her life; from a very young age, she made little clay figures out of the clay she found in her back yard. Her father didn’t approve and money was tight, so she practiced her art quietly as she grew up, got married, had a daughter, and was widowed. It wasn’t until she was twenty-seven that she went to art school and became a professional artist.

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