Just a few days until Halloween, and I still haven’t bought any candy, or at least none I wish to share with miniature ghouls and goblins. The dog, on the other hand, is welcome to whatever falls off my lap. I confess that I’ve been rather busy of late, but I have managed to visit a few of my favourite sites. Here are some highlights from the world wide spiderweb…

A Picture Book Proclamation, signed by the likes of Jon Scieszka, Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen. I may not have published any picture books…yet...but this blog is devoted to, and in celebration of the principles outlined in this manifesto. I couldn’t have said it better, or at least as succinctly, although I have been accused of soapboxing it every now and then. Nice to see folks standing up for art. Hurray!

Speaking of Jon Klassen, Zoe at Playing By the Book takes on I Want My Hat Back in an interesting review which goes against the tide of praise washing over this witty and beautifully drawn picture book. The dry wit may leave some kids cold. Good point. Conversely, the dry wit leaves this sarcastic old(ish) gal all warm and cozy. Who’s right? Well, there is no right and wrong, just individual preferences, and as with the above noted proclamation, I’m just very happy to see people discussing picture books. Good picture books.

What is der Simpl? Read about Germany’s leading graphic satire magazine, thanks to The Daily Heller. Completely and utterly Der Whacked. Keep waving that freak flag boys (and girls)…

A handful of international picture book imports reviewed at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Check out Duck, Death and the Tulip. Looks incredibly moving, but disturbing. It’s the giant skulls. Or maybe the tulips. Can’t decide if I’m going to pick it up, but there is an excellent list of unusual selections here, and great reviews, as per usual.

Florence Parry Heide, author of more than 100 books for children, died on October 17th at the age of 92. Read this interview from Curious Pages as she discusses her collaboration on the Treehorn books with Edward Gorey. More on Ms Heide from Lane Smith. And don’t forget Dillweed’s Revenge, recently reviewed in this very blog.

From Galley Cat~Chris Van Allsburg talks about picture book writing & new collaboration with major authors. Can’t wait to pick up this Harris Burdick redux.

Today marks the birthday of an American icon, illustrator N.C. Wyeth. A tip of the tricorn hat from the Children’s Book a Day Almanac. While I appreciate Wyeth senior, I’m all about Junior, Mr Andrew Wyeth, especially during these autumnal months. The Wyeths are like the Finns: Neil, Tim and Liam. Talent just oozes out of that family.

Via Sam Copeland: “Writers! Complaining that there are too many distractions? I have the perfect solution for you.” Hilarious.

In keeping with the season, from 50 Watts~ “…wrote about my favorite ghost story for The Second Pass (along with John Crowley, Ed Park, and others.)”


More Halloween treats from Roger Ebert’s always interesting twitter feed, “the 25 best horror films of the Aughts, by the staff of Slant. Not your usual roundup.” I’ve only seen a few of these movies, but here’s a noticeable omission-Stephen Soderbergh’s Contagion. Let’s just say I’m now avoiding bats, bananas, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Next post: something to remember…