Nov 25, 2012

Welcoming a Friend to the Blogosphere

My plans for this week's post were put on hold due to unexpected events involving a cheesecake that caught fire. 
Fire safely extinguished. 
Minimal damage.
Smoke and fumes cleared. 
Clean up completed (after many hours). 
Repair services scheduled. 
Research begun on new ovens (of the non-flammable variety). 
Much for which to be thankful.
Take-away tips:

  1. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
  2. Keep a large box of baking soda in the same place.
  3. If possible, use the baking soda. (Note to self- USE THE SODA IF YOU CAN!)
  4. When making cheesecake, place on another pan WITH EDGES to catch spills or overflow.
Enough excuses already...
Next week I'll be back with notes on more favorite picture books, but this provides me with an opportunity to direct your attention to a recently launched blog you won't want to miss. It was created by none other than the esteemed John Warren Stewig, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Children's Literature at Carthage College

Dr. Stewig's long career focused on children's literature as a professor, author of textbooks and picture books, academic leader, member and chairperson of Caldecott committees, and winner of more honors than I have space to list here. His picture books feature retellings of traditional tales, both familiar (King Midas, Stone Soup) and less well-known (Whuppity Stoorie, Clever Gretchen), with more titles to come.

Anyone eager to gain a complete understanding of the visual aspects of picture books should take the time to read his text book, LOOKING AT PICTURE BOOKS. The resource list of titles at the end of each chapter is reason enough, but if you take the time to read it your insights into picture books will be forever changed.

Now he has launched a blog, CHILDREN'S BOOKS: ALL THE ARTS AND THAT'S ALL, which features an abundance of titles in conveniently tabbed sections: Visual Arts, Dance, Theater, Music, Architecture, Literature, and Notable Design Qualities. Why a blog? This is from the home page:
Mission Statement: 
           To help teachers, librarians and parents use books about the arts to enhance children's literacy.

I encourage you to take a look, read some of the reviews, and see for yourself. Then share it with someone you know who loves picture books and appreciates the arts. Spread the word about the blogosphere's newest contributor. 

And before making cheesecake, review the tips above. Especially #4.

Comments on the new blog and/or fire safety tips are always welcome.


  1. The blog is looking very nice! I like the streamlined look and appreciate how easy to navigate it is. Hope you recover from the Flaming Cheesecake Incident of '12 asap!

  2. Julie, thanks for checking out the new blog and for the encouraging words. I keep telling myself there's story in there somewhere, but it may take a little more time and distance to find the "funny" in it.

  3. Quick follow-up... The new oven/range/stove (what are they called, anyway?) was delivered and hooked up today. Let the holiday cookie-making begin!


Picture books are as versatile and diverse as the readers who enjoy them. Join me to explore the wacky, wonderful, challenging and changing world of picture books.