I am getting off my throne as Queen of Procrastination to actually 1) Blog and 2) Start a project I've been intending to start for awhile (as I always say, my road to Heck is very well paved).
So, obviously #1 is happening right now. What's #2?
Well, I'm sure many of you heard about Ann Morgan who made it her goal to read a book from every country (196 is what she counted) over the course of a year. More info at her site, http://ayearofreadingtheworld.com/
When I heard about her project I thought, "How cool. I could do that with children's books." But did I? NO. Did I have various friends and colleagues say I should do that? YEP. But did I? NO (are you starting to see the pattern?)
Well, today IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) put out their awards www.ibby.org/ so I'm taking that as a kick in the tuchus to get myself moving on this project.
My first step was to e-mail IBBY and see if I'm still a member, if my membership has expired, then I'll sign up again right away because they will be the perfect resource for this.
Why do I want to do this? Well, I remember taking my first children's literature class 19 years ago and we were taught "If you don't know the story, you can't understand the culture." and I completely agree with this. A people's values are often shown in their literature, especially the literature written for children.
That same teacher (shout out to Dr. Beverly Vaughn Hock) also ran a conference called Reading the World, which was an AMAZING gathering of people who created and supported multicultural children's literature, so I'm keeping her (and Ms. Morgan's) title for this project.
I love reading and I love learning about other cultures, so this is a perfect way to really expand my worldview.
I served for a year on the American Library Association's Mildred L. Batchelder Award Committee (for best books in translation) and truly enjoyed it. I can't tell you what we discussed because it's one of those "If I told you I'd have to kill you." committees (like Newbery and Caldecott). But I can tell you that I did help 're-translate' the Batchelder winner for the year before my year. We had read it to see an example of a winner and I noticed an awkward paragraph. Since the book, SOLDIER BEAR, had originally been written in Dutch (which is my second language, not normally a useful second language since all Dutch and Flemish speakers speak English WAY better than I speak Flemish) I was able to check it out in its original language and discovered the paragraph had been translated incorrectly. The publishers changed the translation in the paperback edition.
I'm wondering why I wrote the above paragraph and realized that 1) trying to establish my creds and 2) I wanted to brag (well, at least I'm honest about it) :-)
You may also be asking "Why is everything in italics now?" Well, I'll tell you, it's a very deep, thoughtful reason..... I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO TURN OFF THE FRIGGING ITALICS!!
So, signing off for now. The next blog will be italics free (I hope).