Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘children’s lit’

Shop Talk |

it's okay to be scary…and scared

One last take on Where The Wild Things Are: its author, Maurice Sendak, has some advice for parents who think the book is too scary for kids: “I would tell them to go to hell,” Sendak said. And if children can’t handle the story, they should “go home,” he added. “Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like. But it’s not a question that can be answered.” In a bracingly unsentimental interview with Newsweek, Sendak, director Spike Jonze, and screenwriter Dave Eggers discuss why Max’s dinner is “still hot” and not “still warm,” why he believes Disney is bad for […]

Shop Talk |

Wild Things Roundup

Maurice Sendak’s picture book Where the Wild Things Are is nearly 50 years old, but the release of Spike Jonze’s film adaptation has sparked a resurgence of critical interpretations of the story. A sampling: On the Oxford University Press blog, philosophy professor Stephen T. Asma ties our love for Where the Wild Things Are to our fascination with other monsters–“zombies, vampires, and serial killers”: As the movie’s trailer reminds us, “Inside all of us is a wild thing.” And in our therapeutic era, we generally accept that it is good and healthy to visit our wild things –to let them […]

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Buy a book for a public school library!

Via Jeffrey Rotter: ReadThis is a great organization “devoted to promoting access to books and reading wherever needed.” Among other projects, they helped create a library last spring for the public middle/high school Brooklyn Collegiate. Now you can help stock this library by clicking here and buying a book (chosen by the school to fill gaps) from Book Culture for for its collection. ReadThis will pay shipping, and the bookstore will donate 15% of sales for each book back to the school as a donation. In one swoop you’ll be supporting a library and an independent bookstore. Geri Ellner, Library […]

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Newbery skirmish

Earlier this fall, School Library Journal published an article called “Has the Newbery Lost Its Way?”, sparking a heated debate about criteria for what has long been recognized as the most prestigious prize in children’s literature. Are the latest Newbery medal-winning books really too “inaccessible” for kids? Should accessibility and popularity be issues in determining a winner? Are popularity and quality mutually exclusive? Does the Newbery tend to favor “good” books over “great” ones? What responsibility does the award have to young readers? What do you think?

Reviews |

YOU'VE GOT TO RE-READ THIS: Moominsummer Madness, by Tove Jansson

The first review in FWR’s “You’ve Got to Re-Read This” series. These days there is always something for children to do–often a rather shallow electronic distraction–but Tove Jansson’s Moomin books show readers of all ages that quietly sitting and thinking by yourself is a valuable activity. Her characters let us know that almost everyone is lonely from time to time, and that while community can be an antidote to loneliness, we can also learn from solitude.

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It's 13 days til Halloween…

I’d already planned to curl up with Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and get into the mood. And things, it appears, are getting better all the time. The author’s 9-city video tour concluded on October 9, and now, as I read, I can go here to watch and listen to Gaiman — in a fetching leather jacket, no less — read the entire book to me. To learn more about the much-acclaimed The Graveyard Book, listen to this episode of All Things Considered. The NPR page also features a review by Laurel Maury, some of the book’s haunting artwork, an […]