Two podcasts I listened to were found on PW KidsCast, a podcast site where author’s of Children’s Literature were interviewed. The two authors were Holly M. Mcghee and Marcus Pfister, author of The Rainbow Fish (1992).
Mcghee is a literary agent who decided to publish the book under her own name because of personal emotions that are expressed in the book. Her latest book, Matylda, Bright & Tender (2017). It is about a young girl coming to terms with looking after a yellow gecko, which echoes the author’s experiences with taking care of pet geckos at home. She believes that channeling the harder emotions is a very moving experience and that by digging deeper, the result is much stronger (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/podcasts/index.html?channel=5&podcast=696). The interview focused more on the nature of the writer’s motivation than on specific details, so as not to spoil the book. This approach is something to consider so that reading the book will be a surprise even after parents/kids look up the reviews of the book.
Marcus Pfister’s interview was based around celebrating the 25th anniversary of Rainbow Fish (1992) and the upcoming eighth book You Can’t Win Them All, Rainbow Fish (2017). He commented about how his original protagonist was a sleepy owl and decided to make a story about a very colorful fish, to make a hero with problems who changes to improve and have kids identify with a less perfect character (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/podcasts/index.html?channel=5&podcast=699). The idea that more complicated characters will reach children better than the perfect heroes is something to keep in mind when developing a collection of books for children and create a focus on finding flawed-but-redeemable heroes.
Podcasts compliment the research used when studying Children’s literature. It acts as a means of direct questioning when it comes to speaking to the authors as well as see how people in the business of publishing/writing Children’s literature perceive the business. When used with sites like the Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database, the reviewer can search to see if there’s podcast by the author of the book to find more in-depth analysis that can contribute to researching a books relevance in libraries for children.
Mcghee, Holly M. Matylda, Bright and Tender. Candlewick, 2017. 224 pages. Tr. $9.65, 978-0763689513
Recommended Grade: PreK and up
Pfisher, Marcus. You Can’t Win Them All, Rainbow Fish. NorthSouth Books, 2017. 32 pages. Tr. $12.79, 978-0735842878 (Available, June 7th).
Recommended Age: PreK and up.