Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson and Peter D. Sieruta

51QWecZJ3fL   Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson and Peter D. Sieruta,  Candlewick Press, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  4

What did you like about the book?   Sit down to a gabfest with three people who love books as much as you do in this peek behind the scenes of the publishing industry. Enjoy a smorgasbord of book-centered topics, ranging from subversive children’s literature and GLBT books to publications that critics hate but children love as well as the HP phenomenon and its aftermath. The chapters on book banning and sex and death are particularly compelling. Lest you doubt the truth of any of the spicier tidbits presented, the information is thoroughly documented in nearly 50 pages of source notes, bibliography, and index.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  It is unusual these days to find books illustrated in black and white as this one is. It works, but color illustrations would have been preferable. Also, in the section on ‘Hidden Delights of the Painted Kind’, there are several  reproductions of book illustrations that are small and not very clear which is frustrating for the reader since the reason the illustrations are there is to illuminate fascinating insights just presented in the text.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to any adults who adore children’s literature and want to know more about it, but especially authors, children’s book publishers, librarians and teachers of English and reading.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and anyone who would enjoy getting the inside scoop on books and the publishing industry.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve in the 800s with literary criticism.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review: 11/15/14

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