The Un-Holiday One: El Deafo, Susan Sontag, The Best Children's Books of 2017, and Kid Columnists

Rebecca Pitts Newsletter November 2017

Here come the holidays! Zip zip zoom. I’m starting my social media siesta early this season, so perhaps I will find the time to make these before Christmas — instead of checking Facebook I can work in a few stitches here and there. I’d love to get my daughter in on the fun, too. (Any tips for sewing with a five-year-old)?

In the same way one can pile 12 books into a suitcase before a one-week vacation, I am excited to see what I will accomplish / read / scheme about over the next few weeks of screen-free time. More books, obviously. The stack on my nightstand looks something like this: Wild Things by Bruce Handy, Wonderby R.J. Palacio and I Learn from Children by Caroline Pratt. (The backlog is real.)

This is the last letter of the year so I'll see y'all in 2018. Whatever you do, I hope it’s a good one. May this find you in a fluctuating state of a creative flow and contented hygge.

On to this month’s notes:

Reads for Growns

Greta Gerwig's Radical Confidence is all about "making a certain kind of art out of life — an art steeped in female reciprocity and resilience." Fellow writers (insert business owners, producers, idea-catchers and pitchers): "Collect rejections." This month in the archives: sifting through Joan Rivers' type-written jokes on index cards. This month in libraries: the New York Public unveils $317 million master plan including a Center for Research and Learning "where high school and college students can be introduced to working with primary-source collections." Suburban city-planners take note: when community trust eclipses liability concerns, magic can happenHillary is set to guest-edit Teen Vogue's December (and final?) print issueHow children change the way we see. An exercise in journaling the same date (September 27) each year is a meditation on life itself: "The fact that rays of thought, looking back into the past and looking ahead into the future, can penetrate through the layers of time strikes me as a miracle."

Kid-Lit

7 children's books about dyslexia via my dear friend Becky. This list is brimming with lots of good holiday gift ideas for the littles: The best illustrated children's books of 2017Gosh, I love this: The New York Times gets a kid columnist. On the cult of niceness in kid-lit and how it masks the dominance of white woman: When Women Speak by Zetta Elliott. We are completely hooked on graphic novels; last month, it was Ghosts by Reina Telgemeier and now we're obsessed with El Deafo by CeCe Bell. (But we're also having an interest vs. content problem as some of the issues discussed aren't really appropriate for a five and a half year-old.) Speaking of age-appropriateness, is it too early to start on the Harry Potter series with a kindergartener? Asking for a friend.

Looking

Family movie night was (mostly) a win with The Triplets of Belleville.