• Grace McKinney

Cosmic Weekly: Pop-Up Books and Anne of Green Gables

Aaaand we're back. Gaby and I both have quite the busy holiday season, both full of travels and deadlines of all varieties, and somehow it bled into the new year, too. We missed our Cosmic work (and each other!) very much, but after a happy meeting at our favorite local library, we've got some updates we'd love to share.

Grace McKinney: Gaby, what's been keeping you so busy?

Gaby Brabazon: This month flew by! It's been a busy one: I've joined the Literati team full-time as Editorial Lead and am writing this update from Austin, Texas, where they're based. I'm excited to now spend *all* my time writing, thinking, talking, and teaching about books for young people! 

GM: Ah, so exciting! Now, please, bring back some warm weather and maybe a taco or two from Texas to ease the pain of this winter.

GB: Thank you! If I could, you know I would.

GM: And can you tell us about anything you're reading or hoping to read? Any exciting bookish gifts from the holidays?

GB: I received an enviable cache of books over the holidays that I've been savoring. Some stand-out favorites from the Young People side are Inside the Villains, an incredibly elaborate pop-up book by Clotilde Perrin perfect for poring (which, as you know, is my favorite thing to do with a book); the now out-of-print The Big Book For Peace, an anthology by a slew of incredible writers and illustrators published in 1990; and lastly, Onibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter, a graphic novel, is on the Middle Grade/YA side. I'm halfway through this one and it's hitting all my interest points: ghost stories, travel, local legends, and art. 

GM:Oh, I cannot wait to hear about Onibi. These all sound like they could keep you occupied for months... but try not to disappear on us again! Especially since we have such exciting things planned! Can you tell us what you're hoping to add to Cosmic this year?

GB: I'm definitely looking forward to spending more time sinking into these books as time goes on, but don't worry—I'm also exciting to start talking about a few interviews we have coming up for the blog... but it's still a little too early to reveal just yet. I'm super excited to be back at the Cosmic desk!

GM: Waiting on pins and needles.

GB: Okay, your turn. Any updates?

GM: Beyond traveling hither, thither, and yon over the holidays, I've mostly been keeping busy working on my albums for my Montessori training. I'm headed into my second summer in June and have wrapped up almost all my assignments, so spare time is most likely going to be spent doing Cosmic things!

GB: And boy do I know how much time that can take. Glad you're making progress! And what about books? Any time to read in there?

GM: I received a copy of Anne of Green Gables from a dear friend of mine back in the fall, and I finally read it. It's one of those books that everyone was shocked to hear that I'd never read, and now I'm shocked that I'd never gotten my hands on it, either! My Saturday morning a few weeks ago was spent weeping over the last chapters of that book, and I'm just waiting to get to the next one. And to watch all the miniseries. I'm undeniably a convert.

I've also decided that this is the year of middle grade novels, and I have a stack waiting in my bedroom to be eaten up over the snow day I'm crossing my fingers for...

GB: Snow days are the best. Get yourself some popcorn! Any plans for Cosmic that you're able to share?

GM: After a recent Parent Education Night, I starting thinking about the questions we're asking and being asked, which is setting me on a trail to think more deeply about "books with a message," and how we present lessons to children, whether way-too-obviously (i.e. "And that's why, children...") or through story alone. Expect to see a few blog posts and lists on that as I mull it over... And, of course, those middle grade books will likely crop up a time or two.

We're so excited for all that's in store! Thanks for joining us thus far, and here's to a new year of wonder. What have you been reading?

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