The Kidlitosphere, Part 2: Blogging for a Cure

The Kidlitosphere, Part 2: Blogging for a Cure

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the kidlitosphere has come together to create a new book award. These indefatigable bloggers have taken on another huge project this season, as well: the kidlitosphere is out to cure cancer with snowflakes and children’s book illustration. Or at least, to help raise the funds to do so.

It all started with children’s author and illustrator Grace Lin, and her husband, Robert Mercer, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma shortly after their wedding, and with a story about a mouse that Grace made up to entertain Robert as he recovered from treatments that left him enervated. As Grace recounts here, that story became the book Robert’s Snow, and the real Robert’s cancer went into remission soon afterwards.

When the cancer returned, in 2004, Grace and Robert were told that his best chance for survival lay with a cancer research breakthrough. So, using “Robert’s Snow” as an inspiration, they designed a fundraiser: they asked children’s illustrators to paint wooden snowflakes, and held an auction of the resulting works of art, raising more than $100,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and another book, Robert’s Snowflakes, was created out of the snowflake works of art. The event was repeated the following year, with more beautiful wooden snowflakes raising more money for cancer research.

This August, Robert Mercer passed away, at the age of 35. And this month, starting on November 19, the Robert’s Snow for Cancer’s Cure snowflake auction will be held online for a third time, with over 200 illustrators contributing snowflakes.

In memory of Robert, and in honor of Grace Lin, her friends and fans and fellow bloggers are going all out to promote this year’s auction. Every day, starting on October 15 and running all the way to the eve of the auction, on November 18, blogs all over the kilitosphere have been featuring a different individual artist and the snowflake that he or she has created. Over half of the artists will be featured as part of this "Blogging for a Cure" effort by the time the auction opens. Many bloggers have also been posting each week’s snowflake feature schedule in advance. The resulting posts have been, in their own way, as stunning as the works of art they are promoting: a blizzard of eloquence and energy pouring out into the online world.

This post at the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, whose authors, Jules and Eisha, took on the daunting task of organizing the blogging effort, gives a list of all the featured artists, and a schedule of the first three weeks of snowflake posts. Elaine Magliaro of Wild Rose Reader, a fellow instigator, has also written many posts about the snowflakes and the auction. To view all the snowflakes in their variegated loveliness, take a look at the auction site and browse through the individual items to be had.

And for one last snowflake illustrator post at the very, very last minute, check out Librarian Mom on November 18.

November 7, 2007

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