Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Things aren't the same, and they never will be."

Picture books have used artwork as a core part of their storytelling as long as the art form has existed, yet they have always evolved, too. "The printed book hasn't stayed static—look how popular graphic novels are with kids," says Eliza Dresang, the Beverly Cleary professor for children and youth services at the University of Washington and author of Radical Change: Books for Youth in a Digital Age. "Things aren't the same, and they never will be."


Publishers and authors typically say they want kids to be able to read (and interact with) a story in any form, including electronic devices. "They're not so much competitors as they are companions," says author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose Little Pea is the book of the month for Readeo.com, a subscription site that lets children and adults in different cities see live video of each other sharing digital picture books. "You might own it in both forms. One doesn't preclude the other."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Children's Book

I've been curious about the novel The Children's Book by AS Byat since it came out:
Olive Wellwood lives an apparently perfect life; a successful writer of children's books, she lives in a beautiful old farmhouse in the Kentish countryside - Todefright, "tactfully extended and modernised in the Arts and Crafts style" - with her husband Humphry, her sister Violet and her brood of children. There they hold parties and mix with their friends and neighbours, well-known figures in the worlds of art, literature and politics; indeed, the novel begins in the run up to the Wellwoods' Midsummer party, with its Shakespearean themed costumes and a visiting puppet show.


Meanwhile Olive, pregnant again, continues to work not only on the children's books she writes for publication, but the individual, handwritten volumes she fills with stories for each of her own children, mysterious tales of secret worlds accessed through invisible doors, gaps in tree roots or cracks in tea-cups. Yet as with the Wellwoods' own lives, these beautiful fairy tales are filled with secrets and with danger, foreshadowing difficult times ahead as the children begin to grow out of their seemingly idyllic lives.

Read the whole review by Elizabeth Gregory here.

Maurice Sendak on what being an illustrator means

"When you hide another story in a story, that's the story I'm telling the children."

I found this via Mark Mitchell at How to be a Children's Book Illustrator.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Library of the Early Mind

From Publishers Weekly: New Film on Children's Book Authors and Illustrators:

Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar stories, or more specifically Adam Gopnik’s interpretation of them as part of the common language of childhood in the New Yorker in September 2008, serve as both title and inspiration for an upcoming film on children’s literature, Library of the Early Mind, directed and produced by Edward J. Delaney and co-produced by Steven Withrow.


“We wanted to do a film that would be interesting to people who may not have an interest in children’s literature,” says Withrow. “We wanted to describe how the writers and illustrators become artists and how these personal experiences really were the crucibles of the art they created.”

Here is the film's website.