One habit people have long teased me about—whether I’m visiting family and friends or touring a historic home—is scanning the bookshelves. It’s a habit I’ve had most of my life and I choose to believe it’s done me a service. My curiosity opened conversations with my grandparents about our family history, sparked debate with close friends about what did or didn’t work in a novel, reminded me of forgotten favorites, and introduced me to titles and authors I’d never have found otherwise.
And while I’m happy to discuss my love of Tom Robbins or debate which Brontë is the strongest writer or share which translation of Don Quixote I prefer, my biggest literary passion has always been children’s books—that all encompassing category that covers books published for those from birth to somewhere into young adulthood. This love has influenced my work and personal life and absolutely informs how I view much of the world.
For years, I’ve had friends from all around the country ask me if I would share my thoughts about children’s literature via blog or newsletter. I’m finally answering, “Yes.”
Aunt Feather’s Bookshelf is a place for me to share some of my favorite books, to remind you of things you may have forgotten, and to explore titles I overlooked (or stubbornly refused to read) when I was the target audience. I also hope that it becomes a place for discussion about what is and isn’t working in children’s literature and what we—as publishers, parents, librarians, educators, aunties and uncles—can do to keep children of all ages vibrant and interested readers.
So, welcome. There’s limeade in the fridge, that big green bowl has snacks in it, the chair in the corner is the comfiest, and the shelves are yours to explore…