Christmas brunch with the dog-an annual tradition

Whoa…it’s been almost two months since I posted a Picks & Tweets on this blog! Other than a pre-existing case of indolence, I have two fat excuses-I travelled to Sweden (and Norway) in November, and upon my return, was hit smack in my jet-lagged face with Christmas-the great sucker-upper of time (and everything else.) Didn’t even have time to put rapidograph to paper and ink my annual Christmas card (sorry people.) However, now that we are thankfully passed the fever pitch of festive activity, I have collected a few of my favourite tweets from this month, and parts of the last, in one butter tart-induced burst of hyperglycemic energy. I expect to crash at any moment…

Of all the ‘best of’ lists, the one from 100 Scope Notes has to be the best of the bests, or at least, the most well-researched (and funniest)~2011 Children’s Lit-All the trends, mustaches, and what-have-yous of the year.

Straight from the Guardian, The Artists’ Artist: Children’s illustrators nominate their favourite artists. Kinda interesting, especially Lisbeth Zwerger’s choice.

From MrSchuReads~”The Picture Book Nerdie Goes to…” I’m including it here because there are some good videos, including one with the always awesome Peter Brown, and a really nice photo of Patrick McDonnell (yes, I’m a nerd.)

Lots of good stuff from 50 Watts in the last month (or so…) Old Man Winter Comes to Town (1959 German kids’ books.) Death and the Alphabet: Woodcuts by Hans Friedrich Grohs c. 1918-31. And finally, a long neglected sub-category of fine art-The Hamster. Think of this book as Monet’s haystack, only with whiskers and beady eyes. The art is outstanding.

Cybèle Young wins the 2011 Governor General’s Award (Illustration) for Ten BirdsSo deserving! Also nominated this year: Along a Long Road by Frank Viva and Migrant by Maxine Trottier, illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault. Congrats to all!

From John PtakThe Cat in the Hat: Dr Seuss and the 236 words that changed reading forever. Fascinating stuff, fascinating man.

Not apropos to this blog, but entirely apropos to its writer, I just wanted to say a few words about one of my favourite humans. Although we all knew it was coming, it was still wrenching to hear that Christopher Hitchens passed away in early December. I have read most of his books, and while his exquisite intellect was a challenge for my flabby brain, his humour and unflinching devotion to humanism was a great and lovable thing. I will miss him terribly. Here’s a few worthy articles from among the many: Thank you to Sunday Telegraph’s Matthew d’Ancona for tweeting a link to a wonderful tribute to Christopher Hitchens by his brother, Peter. Courtesy of Roger Ebert: 15 Memorable Christopher Hitchens quotes. And finally…the last article he wrote for Vanity Fair.  Brutal and poignant, to the last minutes of his life.

Next post: Something icy, or something up a tree…can’t decide. Apparently I require more butter tarts.