Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The accidental BLOG

My name is Jill Davis.
I am starting a blog.
I know--I am the last person to start one, but that's okay.
It was an accident.
My husband Eric told me to do this.
I'm not usually so late--but I am no techno-wizard.

I live in an apartment in NYC.
I have two boys and no pets.
I work in the big wide WONDERFUL disfunctional world of children's books.
I work at home since publishing is a mess.
I just unpacked 12 boxes of book and I feel as though
I should start a book group for four-year-olds.
Does anyone want to come? I will serve cookies and juice.
I can even water it down!

Tonight I read two great books to my kids.
Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, which is
the story of the slave Henry "Box" Brown who mails himself to freedom.
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson, it is an eye-opener for kids.
It is stunning and clever and an important piece of history.
Ellen is a great storyteller. The book brought up the quandary
of how to explain the Underground Railroad--which was in literal terms
neither underground nor was it a railroad.

Then we read I'm Not a Baby by the fabuloso Jill McElmurry--
even though Gus (older) wanted another one like Henry's Freedom Box.
I felt I would lose the younger one if we stayed so serious.
He was leafing through a Laura Vaccaro Seeger book
( BLACK WHITE DAY NIGHT) and wanted more fun, less fact!

I'm Not a Baby is the definition of quirky, and as often happnens
when I read a picture book to Gus and Henry (9 and 7)
they get rambunctious, riled up--and begin to speak in loud British accents,
cracking themselves up--as I have taught by example--
until they fall asleep unwillingly. It's the story of a little boy who
remains a baby in his family's eyes (bonnet and romper!) until the every end of the book
when his family finally notices and exclaims: THE BABY'S HAD A BABY!
This is a hilarious crowd pleaser. My crowd is only two--
but it's a great one to read in the classroom, too!

Jill is illustrating a book I signed up--written by Ruthie
Knapp (a first time picture book author) about
when the Mona Lisa was stolen in 1911. It's going to be fantastic
and coming in 2011 from Bloomsbury, where I once worked as an editor.

Blogging is fun. I think I will do it again. Until then, good night!


  1. Jill, I like your blog. The books are great, and the kids happy.

  2. The world has long awaited a written record of what goes on in your head. Hooray!

  3. Happy blogging! I look forward to your amusing musing.

  4. Jill,
    This is from your mother. Don't put out too much personal info on the blog. I will worry about your privacy and your getting overcommitted. Enyoyed your first blog, love you.

  5. I love the idea of your bedtime stories informing thousands of American's faced with "spine out only fatigue" at Barnes & Noble picturebook section. I will send your blog to all my friends from Katherine's nursery school. Perhaps you could upload a podcast of you actually reading them too? Is there a way to make money in there?!
    Good luck-xo

  6. Love your blog. In fact I've been looking for some new books for the kids and I'm going to start with those you mention.

    By the way, I love your mom's response to your blog!

    Happy Blogging!!

  7. Thanks guys, I will continue blogging later this eve. Everyone loved my mom's comment, and I will def. post a video of me reading to the kids asap.

  8. Jill, I'm so happy you read my book to your kids, that they liked it, and then you mention it on your new blog. Wow! Signed, Jill

  9. Jill, this is from your mother.
    I forgot how to post this blog.
    Just wanted to let you know I am keeping up with your blog and happy that others are being amused and entertained and enlightened.
    Love you,