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16 Clever Quips from Ogden Nash

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Happy birthday to poet Ogden Nash, known for his ability to turn a witty verse on everything from politics to celery. “I think in terms of rhyme, and have since I was six years old,” he once said [PDF]. Lucky for us.

In honor of what would have been his 114th birthday today, here are some of his greatest hits.

1. ON LIQUID COURAGE:

“Candy
Is dandy
But liquor
Is quicker.”

— "Reflections on Ice-Breaking"

Nash updated the poem in 1968, adding this line at the end: “Pot is not.”

2. ON PROGRESS:

“Progress might have been alright once, but it has gone on too long.”

— "Come, Come, Kerouac! My Generation is Beater Than Yours"

3. ON HAPPINESS:

“There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, and that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all.”

—"Interoffice Memorandum"

4. ON WORKING:

“If you don’t want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won’t have to work.”

—"More About People"

5. ON VISUAL POLLUTION:

In 1958, a reporter asked Nash if he thought any of his poetry had done anything to help the human race. Nash smiled and recited this piece:

“I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.”

— "Song of the Open Road"

6. & 7. ON ANIMALS:

“The trouble with a kitten is
THAT
eventually it becomes a
CAT."

— "The Kitten"

“The cow is of the bovine ilk; one end is moo, the other milk.”

— "The Cow"

8. ON INSECTS:

"God in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why."

—"The Fly"

9. ON MIDDLE AGE

“Middle age is when you've met so many people that every new person you meet reminds you of someone else.”

— "Let's Not Climb the Washington Monument"

10. ON MARRIAGE:

“To keep your marriage brimming
with love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.”

— "A Word to Husbands"

11. ON PARSLEY:

"Parsley
Is gharsley."

— "Further Reflections on Parsley"

12. & 13. ON MONEY:

“Certainly there are lots of things in life that money won’t buy, but it’s very funny —
Have you ever tried to buy them without money?”

— "The Terrible People"

"O, money, money, money,
I’m not necessarily one of those who think thee holy,
But I often stop to wonder how thou canst go out so fast
When thou comest in so slowly.”

— "Hymn to the Thing that Makes the Wolf Go"

14. ON YETIS:

“I've never seen an abominable snowman
I'm hoping not to see one.
I'm also hoping, if I do,
That it will be a wee one."

— "The Abominable Snowman"

15. ON CHILDREN:

"Children aren't happy with nothing to ignore,
And that's what parents were created for."

"The Parent"

16. ON CHOCOLATE:

“If some confectioners were willing
To let the shape announce the filling
We’d encounter few assorted chocs
Bitten into and returned to the box.”

— "Assorted Chocolates"

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The Best Children's Books of the Year, According to Bank Street College of Education
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The Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education in New York City recently released its 2018 list of the best children's books on the market. Separated into five age-appropriate categories, the list includes more than 600 titles published in the U.S. and Canada in 2017.

In making their selection, judges considered books' literary merit, presentation, and potential emotional impact on young readers, as well as originality of the story, credibility of the characters, and absence of stereotypes. They also looked for positive representations of religious and ethnic differences.

Nonfiction books were checked for accuracy, balance, and documentation, while poetry books were assessed for their language, sound, rhythm, substance, and emotional intensity. Each book on the list was read and reviewed by at least two members of the committee, and then considered by the committee as a whole.

Of the books on the list, three are selected for special awards each year. For 2018, the Josette Frank Award—given to an outstanding novel in which a child character handles difficulty in a positive and realistic way—was awarded to Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson. The Claudia Lewis Award for poetry went to One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes, and the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for inspiring nonfiction went to Hawk Mother: The Story of a Red-Tailed Hawk Who Hatched Chickens by Kara Hagedorn.

Below is a selection of some of the books on the list. All of the titles below were awarded "outstanding merit" by the committee. For the full selection, click on the PDF link next to each individual category.

Under five category [PDF]
Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root and G. Brian Karas
Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown
Mine! by Jeff Mack
Noisy Night by Mac Barnett and Brian Biggs
Sam & Eva by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Snow Scene by Richard Jackson and Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer and Richard Jones

Five to nine category [PDF]
After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat
Alfie: The Turtle That Disappeared by Thyra Heder
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas by Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban
Good Night, Planet by Liniers
Pandora by Victoria Turnbull
Robinson by Peter Sís
Sleep Tight, Charlie by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo
Spiders!: Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle and Meryl Henderson

Nine to twelve category [PDF]
All's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
A Properly Unhaunted Place by William Alexander and Kelly Murphy
If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams
Little Bits of Sky by S. E. Durrant and Katie Harnett
Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King
Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain, Philip C. Stead, and Erin E. Stead
The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Twelve to fourteen category [PDF]
Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali
Satellite by Nick Lake
The Book of Chocolate: The Amazing Story of the World's Favorite Candy by H. P. Newquist
The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner
Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner and Maxime Plasse
Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson and Andrea Offermann

Fourteen and up category [PDF]
Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

A print copy of The Best Children's Books of the Year, 2018 Edition ($10, plus $3 shipping) can be purchased by emailing bookcom@bankstreet.edu.

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You Can Now Rent the Montgomery, Alabama Home of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald Through Airbnb
Chris Pruitt, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

The former apartment of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, perhaps the most famous couple of the Jazz Age, is now available to rent on a nightly basis through Airbnb, The Chicago Tribune reports. While visitors are discouraged from throwing parties in the spirit of Jay Gatsby, they are invited to write, drink, and live there as the authors did.

The early 20th-century house in Montgomery, Alabama was home to the pair from 1931 to 1932. It's where Zelda worked on her only novel Save Me the Waltz and F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote part of Tender Is the Night. The building was also the last home they shared with their daughter Scottie before she moved to boarding school.

In the 1980s, the house was rescued from a planned demolition and turned into a nonprofit. Today, the site is a museum and a spot on the Southern Literary Trail. While the first floor of the Fitzgerald museum, which features first-edition books, letters, original paintings, and other artifacts related to the couple, isn't available to rent, the two-bedroom apartment above it goes for $150 a night. Guests staying there will find a record player and a collection of jazz albums, pillows embroidered with Zelda Fitzgerald quotes, and a balcony with views of the property's magnolia tree. Of the four surviving homes Zelda and F. Scott lived in while traveling the world, this is the only one that's accessible to the public.

Though the Fitzgerald home is the only site on the Southern Literary Trail available to rent through Airbnb, it's just one of the trail's many historic homes. The former residences of Flannery O'Connor, Caroline Miller, and Lillian Smith are all open to the public as museums.

[h/t The Chicago Tribune]

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