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Blue Ox Review

from the Curator of the Kerlan Collection

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Paul Von Drasek

Book industry veteran Paul Von Drasek dies

A fierce advocate for writers and readers, Paul Von Drasek, 71, died in his sleep of natural causes on May 16. He began his career in bookstores and then spent more than 30 years in sales for book publishers. He is survived by his wife, Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries.
cover image of You Can't be too Careful by Roger Mello

Event: Thursday April 1, 2021 Peter Sis and Roger Mello

A Conversation with Roger Mello and Peter Sís, hosted by the Eric Carle Museum April 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm On April 1st at 7:00 PM EDT, the Eric Carle Museum will host an online conversation between Roger Mello and Peter...
Beverly Cleary signing Mitch and Amy

Remembering Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary died this past week at age 104. She gave many gifts to her readers, the greatest among them: the gift of seeing themselves on the page.
Screenshot of Michele and Barak Obama smiling and holding the book Word Collector

#Operation Read Aloud: The Word Collector with Michelle and Barack Obama

From Lisa: For many of us distance-learning will continue into the fall. On the Facebook page #OperationReadAloud, we are aggregating resources to support home and classroom learning. Thank you to the creators for their hard work and...
Screen shot of Zoom meeting with MCAD interns

Update from the Curator

A Thank You Thank you to the Kerlan Friends who have been keeping in touch during these Covid-19 times. FAQ's Where are you? And what are you doing? And how are you doing? I have been working from...
Ask a Manager Blog Logo

Public Service Announcement: Helping Job Seekers

Off Topic- Job Hunting As a curator and a librarian, part of my mission is to supervise interns and mentor new graduates. Stating the obvious, these are tough times. That said, there is help out...

George Floyd and Emmett Till

A few people have been asking about the lack of postings here on the Blue Ox Review lately. This is a time of listening, learning, and reflections. I have been thinking a lot of the 2014...
JoAnn Jonas, left, with Mary Schultz

A Celebration of Life — JoAnn Jonas

Please join us for A Celebration of Life — JoAnn Jonas, on Sunday May 17. The celebration will be held via an online Zoom Meeting, at 3:00 p.m., Eastern; 2:00 p.m., Central; 1:00 p.m., Mountain; and 12:00 p.m., Pacific time.

#OperationReadAloud and Red Balloon on MPR

Holly from Red Balloon and I will be on MPR this morning at 11:00 am talking to Angela Davis about children's books and being at home during the pandemic. I've been thinking about books. I've been thinking...

Covid-19 STEM Comics for kids

  Princess Black Case of the Coronavirus By Shannon and Dean Hale Illustrated by LeUyen Phan Candlewick Press From LeUyen Phan on Facebook: "Been wanting to send this out there for a while... If you’ve got a Princess in Black fan...
Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo and ‘One Book | One Minnesota’

We celebrate the consortium of higher education and public institutions that recently announced "One Book | One Minnesota," a new statewide book club that will feature Kate DiCamillo's book, "Because of Winn-Dixie." In honor of DiCamillo, we offer this 2014 conversation between the author and Lisa Von Drasek.

Covid-19, #OperationReadAloud, #MinnesotaProud

I Had Ambitious Plans For The Sequester I was going to interview educators to help parents facilitate learning at home. I interviewed one. Mollie Welsh Kruger, Supervised Fieldwork Advisor and Course Instructor from the Bank Street...
Tomie dePaola

Remembering a dear friend: Tomie dePaola

The online world is hosting a wake — for prolific children’s book creator Tomie dePaola, 85, who died from surgical complications on March 30. Thousands of teachers, librarians, authors, and illustrators whom he mentored in classrooms, conferences, and on-line are posting on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. These messages speak to how Tomie and his work filled the world with his generosity, joy, and kindness.  “To be with Tomie felt like you were his close friend.” says Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the U’s Kerlan Collection of Children’s Literature.


Children's Book Creators, Publishers, Librarians, Teachers A pandemic was announced. Schools were closing. People were asked to stay home. Not surprising Children's book creators-writers and artists Educators-teachers and librarians Children's book community- publishers and bookstores wanted to provide the best...

Mathical Book Award Winners

2020 Mathical Winners Announced 2020 Mathical Book Award Winners for Ages 2-18 Berkeley, CA – March 12, 2020 — From online gaming to middle school math journaling, from pigeons on a wire to chickens in a coop, this year’s...

Out-of-School Learning: 826 National Resources

  I am sharing a message for 826 National "In your community and across the world, educators are banding together to navigate uncharted, historic territory in response to COVID-19. As we write this, UNESCO reports that...

Authors Reading-Aloud: Bruce Hale, Big Bad Baby

Many librarians, authors, and illustrators thought it would be great to have children's book creators reading aloud to families at home. Here is Bruce Hale. How do I know Bruce Hale? I first met Bruce Hale through...

Authors Reading Aloud! Stephanie Calmensen

I am gathering content from the internet. This video is from KidLit TV. Stephanie Calmenson Stephanie Calmenson is one of my favorite authors of picture books for young children. Her words sing off the page. The...

Covid19: Children’s Book Authors in the Home

A Consolidated List of Children's Book Authors Olivia Van Ledtje @thelivbits Reader, thinker, kid voice   Podcast: The KidLit Show @pinnaaudio and author of: Spark Change (MOMitered acct) has consolidated a list of children's book authors and illustrators who are reading...

COVID19 and Out-of-School Learning: Tracey Baptiste

COVID19 For Facts and Information Social Distancing Social distancing From the New York Times: "The virus can easily spread in dense places — in a packed subway car, for example, or at a rally or concert. Social distancing...
Child with a box of tissues

Covid- 19 Facts and Books

Book Recommendations and University of Minnesota Information Book Recommendations What are germs? How do we get sick? Germs Make Me Sick! (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)  by Melvin Berger    illustrated by Marylin Hafner   2015 Ages 4 and up AND Germs:...

YA Readers Reference: Agnes at the End of the World

Cults, Dystopia, End-of-Times When a publishing friend said she wanted me to read a galley, I was resistant. I have a pretty big to-be-read pile already. This was a June 2020 pub. It was January...

Bologna Ragazzi

What is the Bologna Children's Book Fair? For 57 years BCBF has been the  premiere international event for children's publishing. Every spring the universe of books, illustration and multimedia contents are featured in Bologna, Italy,...

Comics: Easy As ABC

This guide to comics for kids is an essential tool for all those who enjoy comics. Simple cartooning basics are outlined with easy examples to follow. kids, parents, teachers, and librarians will love the humorous step-by-step lessons by master cartoonist and teacher Ivan Brunetti. Even reluctant artists will be inspired to pick up a pen and give it a try.

Readers’ Reference: What Are Dreams?

Reference question: A friend who has a 7-year-old who has been asking, "What are dreams?" She would like to find some books to read with her daughter on this topic. Piece of Cake Nots so fast,...

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