Out of Print, But Not Forgotten

From the CBC Web site: “Is there a children’s book you absolutely love that has gone out of print? “From November to February the Children’s Book Council is asking librarians, teachers, parents, and kids to name a book they would love to see reissued. The poll is a project of the ALA-CBC Joint Committee, and the top ten books will be announced in the spring.”
You’ll find a form on the site, asking for the title, author, and illustrator.
Traditionally, children’s books used to build by word of mouth, passed on to each set of young readers as they came of age for picture books, chapter books, middle grades, and YA novels. But the shift to big business has us leaning more in the quick hit-or-miss direction of television shows and movies.
Today, titles are known to go into and out of print, even before the traditional three-year cycle for state awards passes. In fact, a friend of mine had a novel make two state lists at about the same time her tweener went out of print, a factor insufficient for her big-house publisher to reconsider its decision.
Within my own body of work, I had a short story, “The Naked Truth,” published in In My Grandmother’s House: Award-Winning Writers Tell Stories About Their Grandmothers, edited and illustrated by Bonnie Christensen (HarperCollins, 2003). This wonderful anthology, which includes stories by Alma Flor Ada, Beverly Cleary, Gail Carson Levine, and Diane Stanley is already out of print.
The book I’d most like back…

Muskrat Will Be Swimming by Cheryl Savageau (Abenaki-French Canadian), illustrated by Robert Hynes, featuring a Seneca traditional story retold by Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki) (Northland, 1996). When a young Native girl is called “Lake Rat,” she is comforted by Grampa who both reveals how he was once called “Frog” because of his French-Indian heritage and shows how those intended insults are signs that the bullies don’t appreciate the joy of the frog and wonder of the lake. Ages 4-up. How about you?

Cynsational Notes

See Keeping Books in Print by Harold Underdown from The Purple Crayon.
Cynsational News & Links
Holiday shopping? How about an “Allen Say’s Journey” T-shirt (in adult and children’s sizes) from the Japanese American Museum? Also see the museum’s picks for kids’ fiction and non-fiction.

Or surf over to Storyopolis and shop for a children’s book illustration. If I had $4000, I’d buy Chicago by E.B. Lewis. Um, Santa?

The December issue of Kid Magazine Writers features: quotes from Spider editor Heather Delabre; an article on “sentence length and editing for younger readers;” an article on “getting in the right mindset for connecting with young folks;” “an annotated list of nonfiction articles taken from magazines targeting very young readers,” and more.

Between the Lines: An Illustrator’s Viewpoint: “Texture Creates Feeling in Pencil Works” by Kevin Scott Collier.

Children’s Bookwatch from the Midwest Book Review. December 2005.