Wonka Opera. Hard to say. Harder still to see since the darn thing keeps closing. NPR recently had a great story on the opera Golden Ticket, and the various trials it underwent in a bid to be seen by the masses. The world premier is now going on at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. One of my best friends is the great up and coming contralto Meredith Arwady. I’ll need to find a way to finagle her into that show. Thanks to Marci for the link!
A couple weeks ago we started getting some strange requests in the Children’s Center. Young men in their 20s and 30s were coming in asking for Michael Morpugo’s War Horse. We only have a single circulating copy in the system, while the reference copy sits securely in our stacks. After much blood, sweat, and tears that reference copy was located… only to disappear again a bit later. But why did all these people want to see it? Turns out, Steven Spielberg’s to blame. As The Independent reports, Europe’s finest join up for ‘War Horse’. A casting call went out in NYC as well, hence the hoards of folks looking for the book. It’s out of print, but fear not librarians of the world. By September it looks as if it will be reissued once more. Or so sayeth Baker & Taylor.
- When it comes to children’s literary illustration, no gallery does it like the R. Michelson Galleries. Of course, this being the art world and all, Richard Michelson also exhibits other kinds of art. At the moment he’s gearing up for an exhibit of Leonard Nimoy’s photography. Rich sent me two links about the show (here and here) and then asked me, “Can you recognize the 7 children’s book writers/illustrators that participated in this photoshoot?” Hoo boy. I got one out of seven. Should have gotten two too. You’ll do better in this game if you have an inkling of what authors and illustrators reside in the Northampton, MA area of the world. I wonder how many of you out there will beat my score.
- Big N.D. Wilson news out this week. According to Variety: “Mpower Pictures (‘The Stoning of Soraya M.’) and Beloved Pictures are teaming to co-produce C.S. Lewis’ fantasy novel ‘The Great Divorce.’ Veteran producer and Mpower CEO Steve McEveety will lead the production team. Childrens’ book author N.D. Wilson (‘Leepike Ridge,’ ’100 Cupboards’) is attached to write…” And SPEAKING of 100 Cupboards: “Three-year-old Beloved Pictures is developing ’100 Cupboards,’ having acquired feature rights to the N.D. Wilson young-adult fantasy trilogy.” Well played, Nate. Well played indeed. Thanks to Heather for the link.
- You know, blogs are always doing these cute little book giveaway things which is fine. But reporting on them? Dull as dishwater. That’s why I like having blogs like From the Mixed-Up Files to turn to for a little creativity. In short, we’re looking at Book Cover B-I-N-G-O here. The whole process involves Bingo PDF files, 80 book titles, and fabulous prizes with which to stock up your depleted library shelves. I like this idea. It might also be fun to play this kind of game with other blogs as well. Particularly if you made a sheet of categories and then followed certain blogs, never knowing what they were going to review next.
- Wow! Now that’s a heckuva nice looking blog! The site is called Show and Tell Me, and it describes itself by saying, “Children’s book creators show and tell: • where i work • favorite place • made it • found it • quote i love.” The creator wrote to me and said, “I’ve got a gorgeous Mary DePalma knitted sweater (did you know she used to be a professional knitter?). I’ve got an MP3 from Illustrator Adam Gustavson singing about a little green fly that wouldn’t let him alone during a picnic. And there’s a particularly cute puppy — Art Corriveau’s. I want this online zine to basically be a place for a quick hit of inspiration, or to maybe create a smile. It’s the kind of stuff I always know about people — because you just KNOW that children’s book creators do a lot of OTHER stuff besides writing kids books.” I love the simplicity of the layout and the choices of the authors and illustrators that have contributed to it thus far. The most recent entry involved this mossy fellow. It’s all the stranger when you find out which beloved children’s book author wrote, “ Moss Man – I’ve had lifelong obsessions with both mannequins and moss. Last summer, I combined them. Oh, yeah… Sheer genius. Friends who visit are either utterly horrified or insanely jealous. There is no middle ground.“ Color me jealously horrified.
- Me stuff. While hobbling around ALA I ran into the delightful Texas Sweethearts, P.J. Hoover and Jessica Lee Anderson. They offered a great deal of sympathy for me in my de-crutched state. It’s funny I saw them too since I’d recently participated in an interview with them on their website. In it, I got to define my plan for the future of children’s literature. Honestly, I hadn’t really thought of the plan until I started answering their questions. Now it will mark the means with which I shall conquer the world. Thanks for the interview, guys!
- My old boss (aw, it’s still sad to write) sent me this link to the web comic Shelf Check. I recently incorporated this particular storytime song into my repertoire because my niece had been singing it to me. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll freak out a parent with the consistently dead monkeys, but the children never seem to have any problem with that aspect of the rhyme. Thanks for the link, John!
- What is the opposite of Avatar? When you un-blue something, I think. That’s my assumption after reading this Michael Rex piece on how his fabulous Curious George parody Furious George Goes Bananas was adapted to the stage. Aw.
I’m just not meta enough to pull this one off.