The end of the year is nigh upon us and by my calculation we’ve had roughly 52 weeks of Video Sundays in the last 365 days. From these I’m culling the best of the best. The ones that really made me stand up and take notice. Of course, my favorite of all these, the number one video of all time, would have to be this:
Do not attempt to adjust your computer screens. Alas, you can no longer see the video to which I allude. Back in February author/artist Jarrett Krosoczka made a kooky crazy video with all his local friends about trying to think up a new book idea. In it you got to see Tomie dePaola instructing his young grasshopper (which you can still view here), Mo Willems drinking champagne weighed down by his Emmys, and Jon Scieszka avoiding Jarrett’s phone calls. Watch the outtakes for fun instead.
UPDATE: Jarrett has informed us that a special viewing of Book By Book is up and running for a limited time. See it here if you didn’t before!
Jarrett wasn’t the only person getting creative with web videos in 2009. Though she’d made quite a few prior to this year, Amy Krouse Rosenthal first came to my attention when she created vids like this exceedingly clever promotional creation:
I dare say she’s one of the greatest living picture book author promotional video creators living today. Hands down.
As for the best old-fashioned example of an author reading from their own book in 2009, that prize goes to Mem Fox for her reading of The Goblin and the Empty Chair.
Then there were the videos I created myself. In 2009 I made about eleven YouTube videos, of varying length and girth. These included everything from infomercials to happy dances to crazed Newbery wrestling to book cart drill teams. The most popular video I did, weighing in at 1,112 views thus far, was my Randolph Caldecott Music Video, seen here:
That one took a lot of work, but it was not my favorite. My favorite video of the year was the interview I conducted with Dan Santat. Cock-eyed crazy, you’ve never seen the like of this before.
Speaking of music videos, my favorite vid created by a graphic novelist who works in the children’s book field on occasion was this insane but delightful little French piece. The artist, as you can see, is none other than Joann Sfar. This just made me happy. Mind you, it features a half naked lady dancer type, so workplace friendly it may not be.
In January of 2009 Neil Gaiman won the Newbery. I am therefore contractually obligated to include a video of him somewhere in this round-up. Lessee… lessee… OH! I know. We’ll put on his Colbert Report interview. I like it because Stephen is able to repeat full passages from The Lord of the Rings from memory at the drop of a hat.
Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
In other late night talk show news, there was nothing to beat Will Arnett reading from Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.
We also saw Twilight hit the mainstream like never before this year. No better time to repost the old Buffy Vs. Edward mash-up then.
2009 was the year I started using Twitter for the first time. I think I’ll never be able to separate it out in my mind from this video, though. Admit it. It sounds plausible.
That video pairs very well with a commercial I discovered this year showing how the internet was conceived back in 1969.
And it pairs very well with this video of how they envisioned futuristic clothing in the 1930s.
It seems cruel to designate a single book trailer the best. I’ll just say that this one was, for me anyway, one of the most effective. There is much to be said for remaining subdued. It’s more horrific that way.
My favorite discovery of a now dead children’s author/illustrator from the past, was this insane Shel Silverstein appearance on The Johnny Cash Show. As I said at the time, basically Shel was just "a screaming beard with teeth".
It came out just last week and almost didn’t make it in, but I would be amiss in not including this Onion parody of children’s book phenomenons crossing over to the mainstream.
Finally, in 2009 I decided to end each Video Sunday with an off-topic video. And strangely enough, when I looked through all the off-topic videos I’ve included, this one is my favorite. Maybe it has something to do with being a Bird.