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All Books Come From Trees, This Book Turns Into One

Once you finish reading Mi Papa Estuvo en la Selva, simply plant it in the ground, add water, and wait.

image via youtube screen capture

The next big thing in children’s literature isn’t necessarily an imaginative story or lush illustrations. In fact, if you’re looking for a particularly innovative children’s book, you might not even find it on a bookshelf at all.

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Feminist Heroes to Teach Kids Their ABCs in Badass New Picturebook

From Sonia Sotomayor to Patti Smith, “​Rad American Women A-Z”​ has all your favorite female icons in illustrated form.

A is for Angela Davis

Why just learn your ABCs when you can be empowered by them? A new illustrated children’s book from iconic City Lights press, “ Rad American Women A-Z,” offers kids the chance to educate themselves on women’s history and the alphabet at the same time. Written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, the book was inspired by Schatz’s 2-year-old daughter. As the writer told Mic, the book was created to fill the “feminist-shaped hole in children's literature” and goes from A (for Angela Davis) to Z (Zora Neale Hurston).

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The Key to Maurice Sendak's Success With Children? His Contempt for Adults

The beloved author of Where the Wild Things Are is dead, though he may not mind that much.


Beloved children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak died today at age 83. Though there are thousands of children's authors whose works have touched millions of people, Sendak, whose most famous story was 1963's Where the Wild Things Are, made books that were somehow able to endure the ages. He seemed to have an almost cult-like fan-base—perhaps rivaled only by the followings of Roald Dahl, who died in 1990, and Shel Silverstein, who passed in 1999—that's been supporting him for decades. Ultra-hip director Spike Jonze made Wild Things into a big-budget film in 2009, and the outpouring of grief for Sendak from tastemakers and celebrities on Twitter has been monumental. So what made an octogenarian who was by many accounts a cantakerous crank into one of the world's most beloved icons of childhood whimsy? Probably the fact that he didn't treat kids like dummies.

What young people want—more than ice cream or video games or ponies (maybe not more than ponies, actually)—is to be grown up. Many children would kill themselves in car accidents or with fire if left to their own devices, but they want some agency in a world that continually tells them they're too stupid, immature, and small to do anything of real value. Between signs reading "You must be this tall to ride this ride" and restrictive bedtimes, children are well aware that adults think less of them, and that realization is infuriating when they know they're smarter than anyone realizes. It's easy to tell from Sendak's work that he understood children felt this way, and that he refused to treat them like the impotent dullards many adults took them for.

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