We hear it every day.
“Oh! You blog about children’s books? I just love children’s books! They’re so...so...sweet!”
As longtime children’s book bloggers, Elizabeth Bird of the Fuse #8 blog , Julie Danielson of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast , and I have often wondered what causes so many adults -- sophisticated, cynical, even downright jaded adults -- to get all sloppy and sentimental at the mere mention of children’ s books. It seems that, for many, the topic conjures up a world of gumdrops, rainbows, and fluffy little bunnies that love you forever and like you for always.
Betsy, Jules, and I are not fans of this “fluffy bunny” mentality. In fact, it kind of makes us want to puke.
But, instead of reaching for the barf bag, we decided to write a book together.
The premise of our book is that children's literature is often misunderstood or romanticized by the general public. (Not you, of course. If you read our blogs, you're obviously cool...very cool.) The three of us continue to be amazed by how many people visualize children's authors writing their stories with a quill pen in hand and two or three cute fluffy bunnies curled up at their feet. We're not even sure Beatrix Potter lived like that. Something tells us that, after a hard day of writing, Trixie herself probably kicked-back with a mug of beer and a big bowl of...rabbit stew. And those are the kinds of tales we plan to uncover in our book, tentatively titled WILD THINGS! : THE TRUE, UNTOLD STORIES BEHIND THE MOST BELOVED CHILDREN’S BOOKS AND THEIR CREATORS.
And the good news is that our book proposal has just been accepted by Candlewick, a publisher known for its award-winning books, editorial quality, and high production values (“Oh,” sighed a friend of mine, who has been published elsewhere, “your book will be printed on WHITE paper!”) We feel Candlewick is the perfect “fit” for our book and we couldn’t be happier. In fact, it feels like Christmas came a little early for us this year! During the next few months, Betsy, Jules, and I will continue writing our blogs, of course, but we’ll also be spending a lot of time exploring the rich, complex, and sometimes dark history of children’s literature, not discussed in most texts, histories, and trade books.
As a final note, it should be stressed that no fluffy bunnies – real or stuffed – will be harmed in the writing or publication of our book. However, a few fictional bunnies may end up biting the dust along the way.
WILD THINGS! is going to be irreverent...it’s going to be fun...and -- don't worry! -- it’s going to be written with a lot of affection for the subject matter.
After all, we love children’s books too.