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While Where the Wild Things Are is (arguably? No.) the greatest Caldecott Medal winner ever, the children’s book awards from the American Library Association flourish in their own right, honoring each year’s most distinguished achievements in literature for young people. If you’re coming to the ALA convention in Anaheim, please join me for the Horn Book’s Live Five series of in-person interviews with this year’s winners including Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka, Newbery Medalist Jack Gantos, and Margaret A. Edwards Award winner Susan Cooper. A complete schedule of the interviews to come.
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Finished my building rendering job. Sorry I didn't follow through with the step-by-step thing - I had to burrow in and just get it done and didn't feel like stopping to scan and all that. Maybe the next one. I did like doing the different crop, and putting in a little Fall foliage. Sometimes I get pictures to work from that are covered with snow, and have to fake in the 'growie bits', but this one was easier to capture.
Other news - I did my art show / fair this weekend, and think I've recovered. It was OK, the people running the show were lovely and the restaurants and businesses involved get an A for support, and for handing out samples of Orange Chicken and other delectables for all of us artists.
But I have to say, the flip side was that I've confirmed my feeling that art shows are not my thing. I don't particularly like sitting behind a white cloth draped table with framed and matted samples of my art, watching people slow down and smile and look, or maybe make a nice comment, then move on enthusiastically to the booth next to me with the guy selling little glass turtles he makes out of marbles.
There was one other guy there who is also an illustrator, and a really good one. He's been around a while, doing architectural illustration (the real kind, for architects and builders, of new buildings) and has had to branch out some because of the economy, and the fact that no one is building anything nowadays. It was kind of sobering to think that he and I were both trying a venue like this, just to see what would happen, when I know that in the not too distant past neither of us would even remotely consider this as a viable option for selling /getting work.
I may - no, make that will - be paring down my 6 holiday shows to, oh, one or two more that I've committed to, and that will showcase my knitting as well as art. They're both a little bit different environment, and may be more rewarding.
Found this today:
I'm amazed that these people spend all day doing this, knowing that it will all be washed away at the end of the day. Not only could I not bear that thought, I couldn't sit all cramped up like that on a hard sidewalk for hours. So my hat (if I wore one) is off to them.)
I also really enjoyed this article by Bruce Handy in the NYTimes about Where the Wild Things Are (the book, not the new movie).
(Illustration © Christian Northeast)
I never read the book until I was an adult, so I don't have the 'kid perspective' on it he speaks of. Interesting to think about. I only looked at it as a budding illustrator who dissected his rendering technique, more than as a good or not-so-good children's story.
I also love Maurice Sendak's recent comment telling parents who think the movie is too scary to "go to hell". How refreshing! Especially in the 'nicey-nice' children's book world, where you don't generally hear that kind of thing.
Its raining cats and dogs here, wow. It went from way too hot to this in no time flat. What happened to Fall? I see one of my too-tall rose bushes has already succumbed to the wind, and has a large branch broken and hanging sadly lawn-wise. I had planned to go out today for a little R&R, but maybe I'll rethink that. This is one of those days where people who have good sense just hunker down and stay inside until it passes. I am worried about my little wild kitty friend who comes to eat every day and is usually waiting on the back porch for the cat door to open in the morning. He's a no show today, and I wonder where he's tucked in - hopefully somewhere dry and warm. He'll be hungry when he does make an appearance, I'm sure!
Wow, what a great movie. I'd gone in expecting another Spirited Away, which I found gorgeous but rambling and portentous and adult, but Ponyo is a true kids' movie. That's not to say I didn't have a fine time playing spot-the-allusion--forget "The Little Mermaid," Ponyo has The Magic Flute all over it--but the heroes seem like true five-year-olds. I also loved the way the human boy, Sosuke, interacted with his mother Liz Lemon--needing her, disregarding her, helping her--and always from the point of view of a kid, not from an adult's idea of how a kid should view things. It's great, too, in a world of airbrushed Pixar animation, to see moving pictures again--when was the last time a cartoon showed what looked like a hand-drawn line? And, best of all, I never once heard a joke or saw a scene that seemed intended as a sop or wink to the adults in the audience, something even the best Pixar movies do regularly. I love the fact that even nine-year-olds might feel too old for this film.
I think Sendak would adore this movie--it was preceded by a preview of Where the Wild Things Are and, truth be told, I felt a little worried by the wooden dialogue. But let's wait for the whole thing.
Have you seen Betsy Bird's poll results for the Top 100 Picture Books on A Fuse #8 Production? Sure, everybody's seen them right! In case you missed it, or want to go back and check them out again, here's that link Top 100 Picture Books.
I can't believe with all the books on my bookshelf I don't have either of the top two voted classic. But thanks to Jean Reidy, it's now one down, one to go! Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon is one the way to my studio. Thanks for the contest Jean.
Now, for the #1 ranked picture book Where the Wild Things Are. I had to check my bookshelf to make sure. Maybe I have a Scholastic paperback sandwiched somewhere between a couple of other titles. Maybe I forgot to file it alphabetically. Maybe I filed it with my autographed copies. (OK, now that's dreaming!) But alas, maybe I just check it out from the library for extended periods of time over and over. I mean I know the text by heart. I know all the images. But I don't have my own copy of Maurice Sendak's all time classic! That's just wrong. I guess know the next book I'm buying.
Did anyone catch the shoutout to Maurice Sendak on The L Word this week? He didn't, but allowed to me this morning that Jennifer Beals nekkid would definitely be worth drawing (I'm not being gratuitous; see the recap).
In any event, he was far more worked up about Susan Patron's problems with a few librarians, having been there himself, and wanted me to tell you all how disgusted he was by the whole controversy. "This is such a putdown to those of us who spend our lives creating art for children. It's acutely embarrassing to adults, and shows a complete lack of respect for children and their books, especially when you know children's fascination with and candor about the body. Bravo for the lady who put it on the first page."