Friday, October 15, 2010

In the News This WeeK

Fridays on the SCBWI blog, I share snippets of and links to some of the publishing/media-related news I've read during the last week that I found interesting, helpful, and/or fun. Click titles to get to the full articles.

Among this week's news: two pieces in the Huffington Post offer (yet more) reactions to the NYT picture book piece; kids and screen time; National Book Award finalists (in case you missed it); a new Seuss manuscript and new book from Hilary Duff (did I just mention them both in the same sentence?); Facebook vs. Twitter for content creators, children's comics; iPad news, authors who wrote in their birthday suits; Grover spoofs the Old Spice Guy (video below); and more.

There's Good News and Good News about Picture Books
The recent New York Times article, "Picture Books no Longer a Staple for Children" set off understandable ripples of concern, anger, worry, and dismay. But I have to say it didn't bother me because what I see in my little corner of the reading world has me certain that the picture book is alive and well. What I do see as changing is a broadening (not narrowing) of the age of the audience and a wonderful extending of the concept and form of the book itself.

Adults Take the Fun Out of Reading, Again (HuffPo)
The big story on The New York Times today is that parents are again urging children to ditch children's books. Sure, Where the Wild Things Are and Green Eggs and Ham may be beloved by generations of kids, but many parents are concerned that colorful pictures and imaginative stories aren't going to give their 5-year-old a leg-up on their SATs. According to the Times:

Screen Time May Consume Nearly 1/3 of Day for U.S. Kids (Yahoo)
Children and teens in the United States spend an average of seven hours a day using television, computers, phones and other electronic devices for entertainment, compared to an average of three hours a day watching TV in 1999, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  Parents, physicians and educators need to understand the effects of this increasing exposure to media and educate youngsters about media use, the academy said in an updated AAP policy statement released online in advance of publication in the November print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Patti Smith, Peter Carey Among National Book Award Finalists (PW)
Today, writer Pat Conroy announced the finalists for the 2010 National Book Award from the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home in Savannah, Georgia. The finalists include rock legend and poet Patti Smith, whose memoir Just Kids (Ecco) is a nonfiction finalist, and Man Booker finalist Peter Carey, for his novel Parrot and Olivier in America (Knopf).

Dr. Seuss Manuscript Surfaces (GalleyCat)
Would you pay $1,000 for a handwritten Dr. Seuss book? That’s the current bid for a long lost Dr. Seuss manuscript up for auction at Nate D. Sanders. The collection is pictured above, via the auction site (click to enlarge).

Someone alert the Pulitzer board! Hilary Duff turns author as she debuts her new novel (Mail Online)
It's not enough to just be an actress these days... or a singer... or a fashion designer...or a model.... or a combination of all five as Hilary Duff is. Today's young stars seem to feel the need to try their hand at absolutely everything, especially crafting their words of wisdom into the novel form. 23-year-old Duff is the latest celebrity to join the ranks of author, with the release of her new book, Elixir.

Kids' Comics Everywhere at New York Comic Con
While sales of graphic novels are down, comics for children and teens seem to be a bright spot, and they were attracting plenty of attention at New York Comic Con last weekend.
Traditional children's publisher Archie Comics had some of the biggest news of the show with the announcement of a new line of Mega Man comics, based on the character from Capcom's video game. The comics will be written by Ian Flynn and drawn by Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante, who both currently work on Sonic the Hedgehog. The new series will debut in spring 2011.

Open Road Media in Deal with Albert Whitman; Adds More Mysteries (PW)
Children’s book publisher Albert Whitman & Co. has reached an agreement with Open Road Integrated Media to publish all 150 titles of Whitman’s Boxcar Children Mysteries series in e-book format. The first 19 e-titles in the series will be released in time for Christmas 2010. Originally written by Gertrude Chandler Warner, who wrote the first 19 books, the popular series has sold more than 50 million copies across the 150 titles.

Children’s Story Apps Dominate Top 10 Paid Apps (eBook Newser)
Oceanhouse Media’s The Berenstain Bears app tops the Top Paid apps in the book category this afternoon. Disney Publishing Worldwide’s Winnie the Pooh app follows this $2.99 children’s story app at No. 2.

Facebook Vs Twitter: Which Performs Better? (AllFacebook)
Which has more value to content producers – a tweet or a Facebook share? New data from SocialTwist throws up some interesting answers. The company’s Social Media Sharing Trends 2010 Report is based on the social media sharing analysis of millions of referral messages sent using the Tell-a-Friend widget from August 2009 to July 2010. It suggests that Facebook is the dominant social networking site for sharing links but Twitter might be better for click-throughs.

Apple’s iPad Is Coming To Walmart (eBook Newser)
Apple is gearing up to push iPads this holiday season by stocking up on the popular devices in big box retail stores. The iPad is going to go on sale at WalmartWalmart this season, and according to reports, it could be any day now.

20 Kid-Friendly YouTube Channels That Moms Need To Know (+ 5 Channels for Moms) (SocialTimes)
A lot of my mommy friends have expressed frustration that there are no good lists of kid-friendly YouTube channels and playlists out there, so here at Social Times we’ve decided to compile one. I’ve put together a list of 20 great YouTube channels and playlists for kids that moms will love, based on recommendations from friends as well as my own love for children’s television. Check out our 20 picks after the jump and stay tuned at the end for 5 fun YouTube channels geared towards moms as well!

Seven Authors Who Wrote While Nude  (GalleyCat)
Writers have always had interesting stories beyond the ones they put down to paper. Here’s the naked truth: Neatorama has outed seven well-known authors as nudist writers. The authors are Victor Hugo, Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, James Whitcomb Riley, Edmond Rostand, Benjamin Franklin, and Agatha Christie.

The Story Behind Sesame Street’s Viral Old Spice Spoof
Sesame Street’s spoof of Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” commercials has reached 2.6 million views in just five days. Given the video’s rapid spread, we reached out to Miles Ludwig, vice president and executive producer of Digital Media at Sesame Workshop, to find out how the concept was hatched.

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