Show and Tell by Dilys Evans (Chronicle Books, 2008) carries the subtitle “Exploring the fine art of children’s book illustration,” and that is what it is: a full-color coffee table style book that highlights a few of the best children’s book illustrators by examining what makes their art “fine art.” Because I love reading picture

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I am not personally attached to any physical volume or edition of literature, but I certainly appreciate a nicely bound book, and the history (or marginalia) of old works can be quite interesting. The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios by Eric Rasmussen (Palgrave Macmillian 2011) is a personal account of Mr Rasmussen’s

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When my son and this blog were newborns, I purchased a copy of Seth Lerer’s Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History and began reading some of the classic children’s books that I loved as a child and/or that have been influential in creating children’s literature as we know it. My project through the classics in that

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At one point in my life, I thought I was destined to be a writer: a writer of fiction, that is. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that writing fiction was not my forte. I still love to write, but it took the direction of literary criticism (in college) and now, blogging

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Part ghost story and part mystery, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (published 2006) captures the power of stories and books in a lonely life.  Amateur biographer Margret Lea is invited to write the story of Vita Winter, aging popular writer with more than fifty published works to her name. Although the two women are

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In A Caldecott Celebration: Six Artists and Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal, Leonard Marcus illustrates the long road six Caldecott illustrators followed to produce to an award-winning book. This book is a combination of biography and art history as it looks at how six artists approached children’s book illustration over the last six decades.

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When, in 1918, a clerk erroneously ordered twelve times the number of children’s books intended, Western Publishing Company may have faced ruin. Instead, the company persuaded Woolworth’s department stores to sell it, a practice unusual since children’s books were normally only sold during the holiday season. Years later, in the 1930s, one publishing novice was

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