Archive for Niblings

The Niblings: And Now We Are Six

The Niblings
Well, as a group, the Niblings are actually two years old — we started in February of 2013. But we four children’s-lit bloggers have just become six children’s-and-YA-lit bloggers! For the official announcement, read on!

The Niblings (consisting of bloggers Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes, Jules Danielson of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Philip Nel of Nine Kinds of Pie, and Betsy Bird of A Fuse #8 Production) are pleased to announce two new members of their happy little sphere.

Mitali PerkinsTo fill the much-needed YA slot, Mitali Perkins joins us. A distinguished author, responsible for such books as Rickshaw GirlBamboo PeopleSecret Keeper, and this April’s upcoming Tiger Boy, Mitali has maintained her blog, Mitali’s Fire Escape, since 2005, where she discusses books between cultures. You may also find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Minh LeWe’ve been impressed by and big fans of the work of Minh Le for years. Not only has he been blogging for Book Riotthe Huffington Post, and Bottom Shelf Books, but he recently sold his debut picture book, Let Me Finish!, to Disney-Hyperion. You can also find him on Twitter.


Since the Niblings are also moving into our third year as a collective, I’m concluding this post with a look back at Hilary Leung‘s Lego rendition of the Niblings logo (original version, seen at the top of this post, was designed by Megan Montague Cash). Leung shared this with us via Facebook, right after we announced our debut, in February 2013. With thanks to Mr. Leung, here’s his Lego logo!

Hilary Leung's Lego version of the Niblings logo (designed by Megan Montague Cash)

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Making Mischief of One Kind and Another: Wild Things!

Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter Sieruta's Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children's LiteratureIf you follow The Niblings (via Twitter or Facebook), you’ll know that two of us — Betsy Bird (Fuse #8) and Julie Walker Danielson (Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast) — have co-written a new book, Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature. It’s out today! It’s great! Go get it!

Oh, I should probably tell you what it’s about first. Right. It has been described as follows:

With tales of banned bunnies, drunken ducks, and gay penguins, Wild Things! leads the battle against the ignorance, half-truths, and just plain foolishness that afflict so much writing about children’s literature. Punchy, lively, and carefully researched, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in books for the young. So. Stop reading this blurb, and buy the book.

Yes, that’s me, in my blurb. There are other even more notable blurbs, from the likes of Lane Smith, Jack Gantos, Jon Scieszka, Jules Feiffer, Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney.

But you don’t have to believe the blurbs. (I mean, I don’t know why you’d doubt any of us, but you could doubt us, of course….)  For the past month, they’ve been posting the deleted scenes — the many great stories that did not fit in their entertaining book — on the Wild Things! Tumblr.  You can learn of famous feuds in children’s literature, and great children’s books that were almost never published, and many other things. The stuff in the book is even better.

They also have a piece in today’s Huffington Post (in which Trina Schart Hyman gets up to mischief). And there’s an interview over at the Let’s Get Busy! podcast (where you’ll learn, among other things, where Fuse #8 got its name!).

Since I haven’t yet figured out a way to include the book’s third co-author, Peter D. Sieruta, let me do that here. He passed away a couple of years ago, while the book was in its editing phase. But you can still read his blog.

So. To conclude, the book — which I read an ARC of, last October — is out. Let’s de-romanticize children’s literature! Unleash Wild Things! in your libraries, classrooms, and homes!

[Please insert comically maniacal laughter here. Thank you.]

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Introducing the Niblings

The Niblings

Meet the Niblings, a new blog consortium (found on both Facebook and Twitter), representing Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast (Julie Danielson, a.k.a. Jules), A Fuse #8 Production (Betsy Bird), Nine Kinds of Pie (yours truly), and 100 Scope Notes (Travis Jonker). We considered calling ourselves “100 Notes on Why 7 8 9,” but, happily, the group liked my suggestion of “The Niblings.”

Our goal with this group is to share — in one convenient location — links from our blogs, as well as other interesting links related to the field of children’s literature. Instead of us sharing links to our respective blogs on four separate pages, consider this (the Facebook page or Twitter feed) a one-stop resource center for information on children’s literature. This was initially Jules’ idea, ’cause she isn’t happy unless she’s collaborating with others, and she has immense respect for these three other blogs. And she couldn’t pass up the fun numerology in these four blog titles.

“The Niblings” comes from Tove Jansson’s Moomin series: 

“Do you like educational games?” Hodgkins asked cautiously.
“I love them!” said the Nibling.
I sat down and didn’t know what to say.

— Tove Jannson, final chapter of Moominpappa’s Memoirs (1968, revision of The Exploits of Moominpappa, 1950), translated by Thomas Warburton, p. 147

Why this name for our group?

  1. Tove Jansson‘s Niblings love educational games and are, of course, often hungry. And we four children’s-lit bloggers have a comparably rapacious curiosity.
  2. It is the nature of blogs to take small bites of things. Niblings like to gnaw on things, too. (Niblings also chew off noses they think are too long. We vow not to do this.)
  3. “Niblings” is a term for nieces or nephews and thus offers an additional link to young readers.
  4. The word evokes other literary groups, such as the Inklings (C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, et al), as well as Fanny Burney’s 1779 play The Witlings (which satirizes the literary world).
  5. It’s slightly absurd, rather like Monty Python, Moxy FruvousBoing Boing (the blog), or A Fuse #8 Production (Betsy’s blog).

The NiblingsWe hope you enjoy our group. The cover image/logo was created by the great Megan Montague Cash and is © 2013 The Niblings (Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, Travis Jonker, Philip Nel).

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