Astrid Lindgren, Libraries as Laboratories, and Spring-Loaded Citizens

Rebecca Pitts Newsletter February-ish 2018

Whew! What a month! My youngest turned 3. The flu swept the house. An old-ish assignment rose from the dead. I visited an archive

This month also marked my first Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators conference, with Cheryl Klein's master class in picture book making as the highlight of the conference for me. If you are interested in writing for kids, check out her amazing book Magic Words. (Also, because I cannot help myself with book recommendations, she referenced two new-to-me picture books that have quickly become family faves. Check them out here and here.) 

On to the notes:

Kid Reads

Found a copy of Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren at our library's book sale.

Also at SCBWI: Dan Santat shared background on his latest, After the Fall, a riff on the classic Humpty Dumpty. (It's a story about overcoming anxiety.)

Dance Is For Everyone by Andrea Zuill. This is such a lovely book about inclusivity. A very enthusiastic crocodile with a very big, swishy tail just wants to dance like everyone else. So, his ballet teacher and fellow students create a routine where the reptile can shine. It's delightfully illustrated, too, with crisp black and white drawings spotted with color here and there. 

Llama Llama! Single mama?

History has its eyes on her.

Grown-up Reads

The mystery of Michelle. (And her portrait.)

A book publicist / author therapist talks success: "what it looks like to each of us is actually radically different from person to person."

When the coin laundry becomes the $5-per-cup-coffee shop: Ann Friedman talks gentrification in L.A.

"In the age of Google, the hardest information to find is local." Enter libraries.

The venn diagram of protest and design.

The kids are alright. (OK, they're resilientorganizedbrilliant, and have been doing this for awhile now (Really.)

The Parkland students have had the benefit of a high-quality education steeped in the humanities, drama, debate, and journalism, writes Dahlia Lithwick in Slate. They were "spring-loaded" for this moment.

How to teach art to kids, by Mark Rothko.


I admittedly have a thing for time hacks, productivity advice, and processes for accessing both the sublime and mundane portals to the creative process. The 99U crew has produced some fascinating stuff in this area, including Jocelyn Glei, who now hosts the podcast Hurry Slowly (which has the perfect name, IMO).

The Strong Towns podcast because walkability, affordability, and livability (in the suburbs!) have been on my mind lately.


Ronja, the Robber's Daughter with my kindergartener. It's a Studio Ghibli production of the classic story from the author of Pippi Longstocking. We both love it. (Also, every newsletter should have two Astrid Lindgren references.)

Queer Eye and High Maintenance are winning at television. You guys, are you watching these, too? 

Michelle Wolf's standup special on HBO made me laugh. A lot. I want to watch this again with all of my girls. 

“The true luxuries are silence and time.” - Fanny Auger