Archive for October, 2009

Dance Party!

h1 Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Jules: We’re here this morning with guest Adrienne Furness of What Adrienne Thinks About That to welcome authors Sara Lewis Holmes and Tanita S. Davis with some strong cyber-coffee before breakfast and Q&As about their new titles — Sara’s Operation Yes (Arthur A. Levine Books, September 2009) and Tanita’s Mare’s War (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, June 2009). Sara’s novel is about a group of middle-school students on a North Carolina Air Force base and their inspiring teacher, Mrs. Loupe, who brings them together with improv theatre, only to find that Mrs. Loupe will need their support in turn after her brother is reported missing in Afghanistan. Tanita’s novel, told in alternating chapters, tells the present-day story of two girls on a road trip with their eccentric grandmother and the grandmother’s own tales of having joined the African American battalion of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about a novel—that didn’t have illustrations in it—but when two friends write really great books, you find yourself wanting to crow about them. Right, Adrienne?

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Chomp. Chomp.

h1 Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

“Remember: This is NOT a storybook. It is NOT a book of rhymes. It isn’t a how-to book or a dictionary. It’s a book that eats people.
(Click to enlarge spread.)

There’s this book. It’s about a book. A book that likes to eat people. It wants to have you for one impossible breakfast. And it’s called—you’ll never guess—The Book That Eats People (Tricycle Press, August 2009). In fact, I’m nervous even posting about it, lest it find out and come after me. I know, should I ever see it, not to read it with syrupy fingers or with cookies in my pocket, and I know not to turn my back on it or read it alone. Because it is ALWAYS HUNGRY. But let’s just say I’m prepared: If I hear it growling and clomping towards me, I’ve got something heavy to put on top of it.

This public-service-announcement of a book—warning us of the legend of this book and, did I mention, to always assume the book is ready to snack, people—was written by John Perry and illustrated by Mark Fearing, who is also a comic book artist, animator, and graphic designer. (Why, no, I’m not making up his last name.) John, who told an Ann Arbor freelance writer that he wrote this after getting worn out with the “fairy stories, stories with morals and stories that went to the beach” he was reading to his young daughters, says his life’s mission is to warn readers about it. Well, even though this is serious business, folks, this book makes me laugh, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun I’ve had with it in my home, my wee daughters putting heavy objects on top of it and gasping whenever they see it in a new spot. Mwahahaha. And you all know I’m fond of books in which characters get devoured. As the illustrator puts it below—since both book-creators are here today to talk a bit about it and their work—it’s “not too cute, not too darling, not full of sugar,” and I always like to talk about books like that. Even if they’re threatening to end me.

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Some Sendak Before Breakfast

h1 Monday, October 5th, 2009

I’m still nervous about seeing the film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. As Eisha and I were talking about recently, the book’s just sacred to me, not to mention my raving fan-dom for All Things Sendak. This video certainly helps quell some fears. (I saw part of this in a movie theater, while waiting for the weird-ass “Ponyo” to start, and I nearly jumped up, did an arm pump, and yelled “SENDAK!”)

And anyway, no matter how you feel about the upcoming movie, it’s always a good day when you get to hear Sendak talk. (Please excuse the ad at the beginning.)

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #135: Featuring Sandy Nichols
and Mark Karlins

h1 Sunday, October 4th, 2009

“The audience cheered. Never before had there been such a performance!”
(Click to enlarge.)

Jules: Meet the Fabulous Fortunatos, who sing, dance, play the banjo, tell jokes, and juggle brilliantly. With them is their son, Lorenzo, who often felt like he had been born into the wrong family. He pondered important matters in his crib, drew pictures of the planets on the walls as a toddler, and generally kept his head in the clouds. Instead of, you know, somersaulting and walking on tightropes like the rest of his family.

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