Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature

Betsy Bird Julie Danielson Peter Sieruta

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Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature

Wild Things Acts of Mischief in Children s Literature Secret lives scandalous turns and some very funny surprises these essays by leading kids lit bloggers take us behind the scenes of many much loved children s books Did Laura Ingalls cross paths with

  • Title: Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature
  • Author: Betsy Bird Julie Danielson Peter Sieruta
  • ISBN: 9780763651503
  • Page: 249
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Secret lives, scandalous turns, and some very funny surprises these essays by leading kids lit bloggers take us behind the scenes of many much loved children s books Did Laura Ingalls cross paths with a band of mass murderers Why was a Garth Williams bunny tale dubbed integrationist propaganda For adults who are curious about children s books and their creators, heSecret lives, scandalous turns, and some very funny surprises these essays by leading kids lit bloggers take us behind the scenes of many much loved children s books Did Laura Ingalls cross paths with a band of mass murderers Why was a Garth Williams bunny tale dubbed integrationist propaganda For adults who are curious about children s books and their creators, here are the little known stories behind the stories A treasure trove of information for a student, librarian, new parent, or anyone wondering about the post Harry Potter book biz, Wild Things draws on the combined knowledge and research of three respected and popular librarian bloggers Told in affectionate and lively prose, with numerous never before collected anecdotes, this book chronicles some of the feuds and fights, errors and secret messages found in children s books and brings contemporary illumination to the warm and fuzzy bunny world we think we know.

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      Posted by:Betsy Bird Julie Danielson Peter Sieruta
      Published :2018-06-14T21:05:24+00:00

    One thought on “Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature

    1. Lia Marcoux on said:

      I enjoyed reading this, but overall I would have liked a meatier read on these topics. It felt more like chit-chat, whereas I like my nonfiction to be written in a tone that justifies my feelings of smugness for reading it ("I'm Improving My Mind", I want to be thinking). This was irreverent, which makes sense given the subject matter, but it was sometimes at the expense of actual information. I really enjoyed the chapter on well-meaning censorship in children's literature. I'd like to learn mor [...]

    2. Christina (A Reader of Fictions) on said:

      For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.For those who don’t know, I have a degree in librarianship. Sadly, I hated my Master’s program, but you can call me “master” which is pretty cool. One of the only courses I actually enjoyed during my time in library school was on the history of children’s literature. I’ve been a reader all my life and despite the fact that I didn’t read many of the children’s’ classics (or I did and forgot them), the history of [...]

    3. John on said:

      I was hoping this would be more about dishing (Wanda Gag’s diary: “We would quote some more of the passages for you, but the pages of this book might ignite.” Dang, guys! It’s evil to tease like that!) and less about Issues…but there’s still sufficient scandal threaded through the moral and social ruminations to keep things lively. I did see a contradiction in all the mocking of pundits and librarians who object(ed) to language, character types, violence or values in children’s boo [...]

    4. Joan on said:

      This was loads of fun to read! The number of famous kids lit authors and illustrators who had unacceptable for then sexual inclinations, (I mean LGBT) boggles the mind. Good thing most weren't publicly known about at the heyday of their career. It likely would have ended a number of careers. Speaking of sex, did you know that the reason Ungerer vanished from the scene was because he self published a book of erotica? Can't have a kids' writer who admits an interest in sex after all! Actually, tha [...]

    5. SmokingMirror on said:

      Overall quite contradictory, in its condemnation of books that will doubtless be re-evaluated in the near future, and its utilitization of a nebulous definition of "PC," deciding for others what is offensive and why. Many aspects of the book will not hold up as well as, say, Caldecott and Co.: Notes on Books and Pictures, or Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood, but I still highly recommend "Wild Things!" for its varied opinions on many books and issues."Wil [...]

    6. Maryanne on said:

      I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. On the one hand, it contained some dishy, gossipy stories that I never knew and I enjoyed that. It also discussed several issues about children's publishing that I think are important, like the influx of celebrity authors and the impact of the Harry Potter series, and these issues are discussed in an intelligent and balanced manner. On the other hand, I felt throughout my reading experience like I was missing something. Often when that happens, it's [...]

    7. Julie on said:

      Ok, so, this book is pretty much my ideal book, as far as nonfiction books go, so my views of it as Completely Awesome are probably pretty subjective. I'm hugely interested in children's literature, the history of children's literature, and the study of non-mainstream stories for kids, which is all what this book is about. But this book, besides being about all those things, is also delightfully written, engaging, and witty. The authors know what they're talking about, and it's clear that a ton [...]

    8. Kaethe on said:

      The three authors were all US children's book bloggers, so the focus is there. They cover such issues as diversity in authors, book banning, the history of kid's books in the US, adults-reading-children's books, and many other things as well (sex, matricide-with-a-fork, "celebrity" "writers", etc.)Lots of fun stuff, well-presented, and amusingly. Should appeal to readers of children's books, librarians, teachers, and those of us who just can't ignore a catchy phrase like "matricide-with-a-fork" [...]

    9. Virginia Walter on said:

      Even readers like me who have spent many decades reading, writing, writing about, and teaching about children's books will find interesting new bits of gossip and trivia here. Who knew that Wanda Gag had a scandalous sex life? Or that Tolkien turned down Maurice Sendak as an illustrator for a new edition of THE HOBBIT because an editor mistook Sendak's drawing of wood elves for hobbits, thereby convincing Tollkien that Sendak hadn't read the book closely enough? Some of us can't get enough of th [...]

    10. Jean on said:

      While it may not be the most definitive work on children's literature or on the naughtier bits of author's lives, it still was a fun and informative read. I've already recommended it to a few people but I think anyone interested in children's lit will find something of interest here.

    11. Corinne on said:

      Wild things is a book for Bibliophiles. It's an ode to children's literature - a romp through the ins and outs and behind-the-scenes adventures of the authors, publishers, editors and yes, readers of literature for the young. In a conversational and familiar tone, this book assumes the reader knows a little about books and wants to know MORE, more about how this book world works and more about how it came to be the way it is.I found it to be really engaging. I particularly loved the anecdotes an [...]

    12. Caren on said:

      If you are at all into children's books, this behind-the-scenes tell-all is sort of like reading a supermarket tabloid about the stars: lots of juicy gossip. Still, some serious issues are addressed (and truthfully, those chapters are not nearly as much fun). The three authors blog about children's books and are apparently friends (although one of the authors has passed away and the book is dedicated to him). This book was just a real lark of a read. I kind of skimmed the preachy bits---I have p [...]

    13. Darren on said:

      If you like children's lit, you'll appreciate this. ButI had trouble with the voice and focus. Right from the start, the authors seem to apologize for children's literature and then, through their "shocking" tales, rescue it from a perceived world of "cute." First, I just don't think a non-believer is going to pick up this book, so the apologizing isn't really necessary, nor is it based in anything accurate. Second, those who do pick up the book (the aforementioned children's lit "believers") ar [...]

    14. Dawn on said:

      This is a terrific book for anyone who is passionate about children’s literature. For those who have grown up reading classic children’s books, those who have written and will write children’s books, and anyone who loves to hear the juicy secrets lurking behind a seemingly tame body of works. This is a collection of little known facts about favorite authors, discussions on what makes children’s literature so great, and helps explain why we never seem to completely grow out of it. AND the [...]

    15. Edward Sullivan on said:

      This book will be especially entertaining and informative for readers who don't have a lot of knowledge about children's books but who would like a fun and entertaining backstage history of this world that is not all fluffy bunnies, rainbows, and unicorns. I know a lot about children's publishing history but there are some great stories in here I never knew. I would have liked a bit more juicy gossip but anyone who wants to know the stories behind some the most revered children's book creators w [...]

    16. Ami on said:

      This book hit all the right tones with me. It felt a little gossipy with fascinating snippets about some of my favorite authors, but at the same time meatier issues such as book-banning and diversity are addressed. As a bonus, I knew almost all of the authors discussed which made me feel well-read and high brow. It's always a plus when that happens.I would have loved to have had more. More stories shared, more gossip given, more speculation, and more topics discussed. Maybe they'll make a second [...]

    17. Kay Mcgriff on said:

      I expected to enjoy this romp through children’s literature based on reviews I had read before Christmas, and I was not disappointed. Reading it is like sitting down with a group of smart, funny friends who know the dirt on everyone in the business. Not only do they know fascinating trivia and scandalous stories, but they also have immense respect for the people–writers, illustrators and editors (maybe not all the celebrities)–who have contributed to children’s literature through the age [...]

    18. Adrienne Furness on said:

      Smart, funny book about children's books, and not just because I'm quoted. Julie, Betsy, and Peter have such an impressive combined background and knowledge--and they communicate their stories and ideas in ways that are as entertaining as they are informative. (I have read a LOT of books about children's books this year, and this is the only one that made me snort-laugh.) I've added things to my to read list and am thinking about a few things in a whole new way. Fantastic.

    19. Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance on said:

      Honestly, the truth is that we don’t need to tell everything. I’d have to say that, for the most part, that is true of this entire book. Do we really need to know all the secret lives of our most beloved authors and illustrators? I’d say no. And, consequently, I’d tell you, if you feel the same way, then don’t bother reading this book.

    20. Jessica Robinson on said:

      Light and charming from beginning to end. This isn't the book for someone wanting an in-depth look at the childrens' book industry but if you want to learn about a beef between J.R.R. Tolkien and Maurice Sendak which robbed us of a Sendak-illustrated Hobbit or hear how Laura Ingalls Wilder implied that her Pa may have rid the world of a few serial killers, this is the book for you.

    21. Toby on said:

      Thoroughly enjoyable, I liked the flippant tone and their choice of topics, especially the discussion of how children and adults read the same books differently. Also, from Jennifer Boylan's mother: "it is impossible to hate anyone whose story you know." I Iook forward to a sequel.

    22. Margaret on said:

      Loved, loved, loved this book! If you have any interest in the history of children's literature, or the hidden stories behind some of your favorite children's authors, you have to check it out!

    23. Monica Edinger on said:

      Fabulous fun. The three do a great job bringing out the real world behind all those fluffy bunnies. At times hilarious, poignant, and informative. Well done, Betsy, Jules, and the late great Peter.

    24. Beth on said:

      Just the right amount of academia and snarkI'd love it if there was eventually a Volume 2 of Wild Things.

    25. Rachel on said:

      “Children’s literature makes us fall in love with books and we never recover – we’re doomed.” (p.5)“Childhood is not a phase to be disregarded; the same should be said of the books children read. They deserve well-crafted tales from the people who have the talent to write and illustrate them and who take their craft seriously.” (p.6)“Children are the eternal battleground upon which all wars are fought, all desires placed, and all hopes and dreams embodied.” (p.14)“For a great [...]

    26. Katie on said:

      3.5 stars. I found this a bit redundant with the Children's Literature class I took in college, and the title to be a bit of a misnomer. I liked their well-deserved shout-out to Julie Edwards Andrews in the mire of terrible celebrity children's books, and the series mentioned in the chapter on books kids love and critics hate.

    27. Nan on said:

      A really good book with a misleading title. Only the first two essays out of 11 deal implicitly with the attraction of mischief-making to book-loving children. The rest tackle issues from book banning to LGBT literature for young people to celebrity authors (Make them stop!) to books that kids love and critics/parents hate and vice versa. Great topics for discussion.

    28. Aimee Neumann on said:

      What a fun book! As a first grade teacher, I was familiar with most of the authors discussed in the book, but I had no idea about most of their secrets! Definitely changes the way I think about many books and authors! Thank you for the thorough research and enjoyable text.

    29. Sasha Boersma on said:

      A lot to think about in this book about America children’s literature. Great collection of insights, history, agency and the racism debate. Also contains a small history of LGBTQ participation in children’s literature that was fascinating.Excellent read for all who work in children’s media.

    30. Kate on said:

      I really enjoyed this book. It offered insight into many children's books, authors, and illustrators. There were times I laughed out loud and other times I was really touched. This is definitely a good book for anyone who loves children's books.

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