There was quite the hullabaloo on Twitter yesterday about Snooki's book A Shore Thing landing on the New York Times bestseller list—much of which I'll wager is coming from aspiring novelists, because let's face it, this shit isn't exactly sacrosanct. (I can't actually find her book on the list—as far as I can tell, the only source for any of this was a tweet from Snooki herself—but had no trouble locating Tucker Max and, at number one on the paperback nonfiction [??] list, "a boy’s encounter with Jesus and the angels during an appendectomy.") And so I was quite happy to ignore Snooki's foray into prose, until a reader pointed us toward this Publisher's Weekly story:
It’s become a tradition that, the day after the Youth Media awards are announced at ALA’s midwinter meeting, the Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners, along with an ALA representative, are interviewed live on the Today Show, at NBC’s studios in New York City. But this past Tuesday, those hoping to catch the first nationally televised interviews with Clare Vanderpool and Erin Stead were disappointed. For the first time in 11 years, there was no special coverage featuring the Newbery and Caldecott Medalists. With the national television news outlets providing wall-to-wall media coverage since Saturday of the tragedy in Tucson, it’s not surprising that two children’s book award winners would be overlooked during a week of breaking news. But, to some who tuned into the Today Show on Tuesday morning expecting to see the Newbery and Caldecott Medalists, insult seemed added to injury. The program did indeed take a break from its coverage of the shootings during the second hour to interview an author. But it was an author who's not likely to win a prestigious literary award any time soon: Nicole Polizzi, better known to the world as Snooki.
See, that's worth getting irate about. In response, a Facebook campaign was launched last week to have Erin Stead and Clare Vanderpool featured on the show.
It's no Today Show, but here's a little plug: Jennifer Green of the lovely Green Bean Books selected Erin Stead's A Sick Day for Amos McGee as one of her favorites of the year, writing "Every day, gentle zookeeper Amos McGee spends a little bit of time with each of his dear friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, playing chess with the elephant, keeping the shy penguin company, and even lending a handkerchief to the runny-nosed rhinoceros. When Amos falls sick one day, the animals take a bus to his home to take care of their friend just as he has always taken care of them. Sick Day is a charming tale of friendship, delicately illustrated with light pencil strokes atop colorful woodblock prints."