Time has a way of marching on, doesn’t it? I can’t believe it’s already May, we are nearing summer, and the year is nearly halfway done. I thought I’d take a breather today and, instead of talking about new books, I’d write about several children’s lit-related news items that are making me happy.
I’ll list five in honor of the fifth month.
ONE – One of my favorite graphic novels series of all time, Luke Pearson’s Hilda, has been animated for television and will be on Netflix in September of this year. I’ve known this for a while but read more about it this week and got excited all over again.
Actress Bella Ramsey, who plays Lady Mormont on Game of Thrones, will voice Hilda. And evidently Pearson is serving as an executive producer.
Is it September yet?
TWO – Speaking of graphic novels, a new graphic novel imprint has been announced, and it sounds like it’s in great hands. Random House Children’s Books recently announced the launch of Random House Graphic, a graphic novel imprint to be led by Gina Gagliano as its publishing director. Their first books will be released in fall 2019.
Gagliano has worked for over a decade at First Second Books, the graphic novel imprint of Macmillan Publishing. She definitely knows her stuff. And we seem to be living in a bona fide golden age for graphic novels, so I can’t wait to see what this new imprint brings readers.
THREE – One of the best things about summer is the announcement of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. If I have my facts straight, 2018 winners will be announced this month. It is always exciting to see what these small annual committees pick. Will they pick books published in the latter half of 2017, as well as ones published this year? They choose winners in the categories of Fiction and Poetry; Nonfiction; and Picture Books.
I’m looking forward to this year’s big announcement.
FOUR – The annual summer conference of the American Library Association is just around the corner. This means, for all children’s literature fans, that the Big Speeches will take place: Erin Entrada Kelly will give her Newbery speech for having won for Hello, Universe; Matthew Cordell will give the Caldecott speech for Wolf in the Snow; and Jacqueline Woodson, always a pleasure to hear, will give her speech for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.”
I’m not attending this year, but those of us who will not be there can read the speeches afterwards. This year’s conference will take place in late June in New Orleans.
FIVE – Lastly, while we’re talking about summer, let’s just stop to appreciate the fact that it’s almost here. If you have children, summer means less assigned reading (though there may be some) and more reading-for-pleasure. And if your children love to read, it really is one of the best things about this time of year. No homework. Kick back. Read some new books. Re-read your favorites. Read all day, if you want. Even though, for us adults, our work won’t stop for the summer, I’m ready for a bit more relaxed reading, too.
Bring it on!
Julie Danielson (Jules) conducts interviews and features of authors and illustrators at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a children's literature blog primarily focused on illustration and picture books.