The best thing about February is that it’s a short month. Not as short as it could be (I’m talking to you day 29), but still brief enough to delude myself into thinking spring is just around the corner. It’s not, but I’m fully prepared to live with my delusions awhile longer, or at least until the Easter Bunny makes his annual appearance. Contributing mightily to the percentage of sane-like particles in my brain is the daily, sometimes hourly, occasionally minute to minute forays into the wonderful world of the interwebs. And chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.

Along with the caloric content of a large bag of M&M’s, the most thought-provoking thing I read this week is a report that U.S. kids’ books lack a Connection to Nature. Is it different in Canada? Well, we have a maple leaf on our flag and a beaver on our nickel so it’s fair to say the natural world looms large in our national psyche. More on this soon…

Loved this article entitled Do Book Bloggers Really Matter? I guess it depends on what is meant by ‘matter’, but as a former bookseller, I know that advocacy does make a difference. A blog is a pimped up staff selections section, with a spotlight and a megaphone. Instead of hand-selling a book one person at a time, potentially, I have a much bigger audience, which is especially gratifying when I’m writing about a loved but perhaps less well-known title, or one that’s been ‘resting’ quietly in the dark for far too long. Do bloggers matter? I dunno, but books matter.

To William Joyce, storyteller, illustrator extraordinaire, and now Oscar nominee for best animated short~The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore…um, seriously dude. Is there anything you can’t do, cause you sure know how to write and illustrate gorgeous picture books, and…make one of the most beautiful and moving animated movies ever. Ever ever. Download it on iTunes.

If you haven’t seen the two-part Stephen Colbert interview with Maurice Sendak, then I suggest you do so here (part I), and here (Part II.) It’s truly one of the funniest, and sublimely moving conversations I’ve seen in a long time. These particular clips may only be available in Canada, but there are plenty of other clips online, maybe even some without commercials.

A nice visual obit for the brilliant cartoonist Ronald Searle in the Lines and Colors blog.

The fantastic video of what happens in a bookshop after dark is the most viral thing to hit the interwebs since a dog was mercilessly teased with bacon (the maple kind, yeah.) Funny, all that happened in my former bookshop at night was that it got robbed. All the time.

Generally, I’m against this sort of thing, but I did enjoy the scrolling graphic story book Hobo Lobo of Hamelin, especially as I am planning to do a ‘thing’ on the Pied Piper soon. However, it will be good ‘ol two-dimensional writing and illustration. No scrolling, unless you have a really old computer.

When the 2012 Caldecott and Newbery awards for the best children’s books were announced a few weeks ago, of the many reports, I especially enjoyed this one from the always entertaining Read Aloud Dad blog. I am thrilled that Lane Smith’s Grampa Green and Patrick McDonnell’s Me…Jane made the Caldecott shortlist. Congrats to all.

Lewis Carroll meets Salvador Dali for some truly weird visuals Alice in Wonderland. Thanks to my guru GailVazOxlade for the link to the Brainpickings article.

Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow bathes with her kids. Though tempted to file that under Who Gives a Sh**, I am instead reminded of Else-Marie and the Seven Little Daddies enjoying a family soaker in Sweden, not…um…Canada.

I learned a new word last week: Pinterest. I should clarify…I became familiar with the word, but I’m still not sure I understand the concept. In any case, here’s my very own 32 Pages Pinterest page, which I did not know I had until it was pointed out to me (thank you K.) And courtesy of Galleycat-10 Pinterest boards for book lovers. I don’t get it, but it’s pretty!

In an interview with the Guardian, Jonathan Franzen warns ebooks are corroding values: “Seriously, the world is changing so quickly that if you had any more than 80 years of change I don’t see how you could stand it psychologically.” Yup.

One of my favourite blogs is The Age of Uncertainty. Steerforth’s recent post on the subject of private lives was incredibly moving, and witty. He’s a fabulous writer. Should be writing books, this guy.

Next post: in response to the first link, a book with snootful of nature.