Monday News: kid lit characters, emoji love letters, Monticello gets real, and adorable ‘Beauty and the Beast’ photos
People Of Color Accounted For 22 Percent Of Children’s Books Characters In 2016 – In the past twenty years, the percentage of characters of color in children’s books has increased by only 13%, from 9% to 22% – and only 12% of books last year were written or illustrated by artists of color. Sure, more books are probably published now than twenty years ago, but 22% is still pathetic. And embarrassing. Not only should children be able to find characters they identify with in books, but they also need to understand the world beyond their own experiences:
Stacey Barney, a senior editor at Penguin Putnam Young Readers, said that one of the most important things about literature — particularly literature consumed by children and young adults — is that it helps young people learn to look beyond their own personal experiences. “You can grow up and think, ‘Oh, well everybody must get up and watch cartoons and eat cereal and go to school and that’s just what life is.’ ” – NPR
What a love letter looks like in 2017 – Forget the annoyance of book reviews full of GIFs – how long do you think it will be before book reviews AND books are written almost entirely in emojis? Or maybe that is already trending somewhere? In the US, at least, many states don’t even teach cursive writing anymore, and while I’m sure the pendulum will swing again (it always does), efficiency seems to have become a core component of entertainment bytes, including written stories. If it gets more people to read, then that seems a benefit, but how much interpretive work and breadth are we ultimately sacrificing?
Times have changed, and our romantic exchanges have evolved from infrequent letters fraught with longing and desire, to quick, GIF-laden, emoji-rich text messages.
There are probably one or two Cyranos left out there, but let’s be honest: The world lives in bite-size chunks, and we all seem to prefer it that way. People are reading more short stories on their pocket-size screens. Snapchat’s success rests on the backs of 5-second messages. Even the NBA is considering speeding up games to accommodate for shorter attention spans.
It’s only natural we’d prefer our love letters that way too. – CNET
For decades they hid Jefferson’s relationship with her. Now Monticello is making room for Sally Hemings. – So first I find it interesting that this piece is published in the “Style” section of the Washington Post. Still, it’s way past time that Monticello starts to get real about the role that slavery had in its existence, and in the life of the man who hypocritically opposed slavery while owning more than 600 slaves. And it seems like an especially urgent time to de-mythologize Jefferson and educate USians, especially, about the nation’s real history. “Mulberry Row,” where many of the slaves lived and labored at Monticello, has long been gone, and is only now being reconstructed, more than two-hundred years after the estate was built. The room that is widely assumed to have belonged to Sally Hemings was converted into a restroom in the 1940’s (WTELF?!), and for many, many years her name was never mentioned to the hundreds of thousands of people who visit Monticello annually. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that the plantation aspects of Monticello were really part of the visitor experience.
“Visitors will come up here and understand that there was no place on this mountaintop that slavery wasn’t,” said Christa Dierksheide, a Monticello historian. “Thomas Jefferson was surrounded by people, and the vast majority of those people were enslaved.” . . .
Stanton and her colleagues sought to recreate this lost world via an oral history project, interviewing more than 100 descendants of Monticello’s enslaved people and collecting images of those ancestors. . . .
“If you are going to get people to come to historic sites, you should show them what it was really like,” said [David] Rubenstein, who has also underwritten renovations to the slave quarters at Arlington’s Custis-Lee Mansion and James Madison’s Montpelier. “The good and bad of history.” – Washington Post
Dad gives daughter authentic princess treatment with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ photo shoot – Please tell me that this father is as amazing as he seems. Because this is seriously adorable. He even photographed the real castles that inspired the Disney films and ordered professional costumes for the shoot. And he seems to be focused on his daughter as the star of the story, which is even cooler.
Commercial photographer Josh Rossi wanted to give his daughter special photos she’d cherish forever, so he arranged for the two of them to have an absolutely magical “Beauty and the Beast” photo shoot complete with real castles and authentic costumes.
“This is priceless,” Rossi, who is currently living with his family in Puerto Rico, told ABC News. “I love being able to use my talent for something in the family that will live on forever. It’s a representation of the relationship we have together. And instead of having a poster of Justin Bieber over her bed in a few years, she can have this awesome photo of herself.” – ABC News