Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Stinky Cheese Man Assesses 2009

Author Jon Scieszka -- The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales being one of his many great books -- is finishing up his two-year role as the Library of Congress' National Ambassador of Young People's Literature.  He writes of his tenure here, and sums up the past year's literature in this letter published by the L.A. Times.

Jon has long been an advocate for encouraging kids to read, with a special emphasis on reluctant boy readers.  He is pleased with the amazing variety of forms into which children's literature has morphed.  In particular, Jon notes such diverse books as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Graveyard Book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Skippyjon Jones, Horse Song: The Naadam of Mongolia, as well as the excellent, traditional style of The Magician's Elephant.

We couldn't agree more with Ambassador Scieszka except to note his own recent contributions.  Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka is a very, very funny autobiographical look at his Michigan childhood.  The Trucktown series for very young readers (illustrated by David Shannon, Loren Long, and David Gordon in an amazing collaboration) has been a huge hit. Though first published several years ago, Jon's edited work Guys Write for Guys Read: Boys' Favorite Authors Write About Being Boys (featuring contributions by Avi, Dan Gutman, Brian Jacques, Stephen King, Walter Dean Myers,  Dav Pilkey, Daniel Pinkwater, Lane Smith, Jerry Spinelli, Chris Van Allsburg, and many others) continues to sell well at our store.

Little Shop of Stories would like to thank His Honor for his years of service to the cause, which included a visit to Little Shop of Stories in 2008 and this year's Decatur Book Festival.  Hopefully he will stop wearing that sash everywhere he goes.

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