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children's literature from a pineapple-lover's point of view…

Category Archives: Graphic Novels

I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted but check me out on Auntie Karen’s Book Pile at http://auntiekarensbookpile.blogspot.com/

Look for new posts coming soon!

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In the spirit of Halloween I’m going to talk about monster picturebooks. My new favorites for this year are Zombie in Love and Mostly Monsterly, both tales of creatures who don’t quite fit in with their surroundings. Written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Scott Campbell, Zombie in Love features Mortimer, a zombie looking for love in all the wrong places. DiPucchio and Campbell work together beautifully to fill in the comical gaps in the text and together they create a fun story about holding out for true love. Tammi Sauer and Scott Magoon take a slightly different route to self-fulfillment in Mostly Monsterly, the tale of a girl who is the only monster at her school who has interests in things other growling and lurching (like petting kittens and picking flowers). She struggles to reconcile these two parts of herself in a way that is comical and relatable, teaching readers the ideas of compromises and group hugs.

As I mentioned in the last post I have an awesome Frankenstein pop-up book, as well as the Maurice Sendak pop-up, Mommy? Frankenstein is set up as a pop-up book meets graphic novel so if you’re a fan of graphic novels it’s definitely worth checking out. Sam Ita does an impressive job of mashing the two concepts, as well as a fine job of engineering the pop-ups. Sendak’s Mommy? Is about a lost boy who looks suspiciously similar to Max from Where the Wild Things Are. He loses track of his mother and searches in various rooms of castle for her, including the laboratory and Dracula’s room. Will Bizarro Max ever find his mother? And when he does, what kind of monster will she be? Sendak worked with Arthur Yorinks, who won a Caldecott in 1987, and master paper engineer Matthew Reinhart (swoon!) to bring you the answers to those questions

The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey is an alphabetical list of ways to kill, be killed, die, etc. featuring zombie-esque children so I’m going to add it to the list of awesome monster picturebooks and if you’re a fan of Gorey you should definitely check out Ten Little Zombies: A Love Story by Andy Rash. Both Gorey and Rash find comical and unusual ways to kill their victims characters and the illustrations are always funny and straightforward. I’m also adding in the coolest/creepiest version of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Jeremy Holmes because even though it’s not exactly “monster” it has a very monsterness about it. It’s by far one of the coolest looking books I’ve ever seen (http://www.amazon.com/There-Was-Old-Lady-Sallowed/dp/0811867935).

Spookily, Scarily yours,

Mel

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Hello blogosphere!

So, after almost 36 hours of children’s literature-related activities this past weekend I decided it was time to finally get this thing up and running. I spent Thursday through Sunday at the Body Electric Institute hosted by the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College.

(for your viewing pleasure: http://www.simmons.edu/institutes/childrens-lit/)

Although we were really cold and stupid-tired we got to meet the rockstars of children’s literature and, suffice it to say, I walked away with a ton of signed books, a much lighter wallet, and a lot of scribbled notes to Kristina.

Prior to this class, students of Simmons College were invited to participate in a Body Electric Symposium, a month-long class that met twice a week to discuss the various books by the authors attending the Institute. I spent six hours a week talking about cerebral palsy, allergies, child abuse, child-fox body-switching (there were a surprising amount of foxes), ADD, ADHD, slavery, sexuality, and anything that addressed the body in any of our texts. We read tons of articles, novels, graphic novels, poetry, picturebooks, and textbooks that deal with the treatment of the body, perceptions of the body, limitations of the body and more.

And on top of that I had another paper due on Tomi Ungerer (if you don’t know him check him out) so I discovered way more about the body than I bargained for.

But it was fabulous and it got me thinking about my own contribution to the body (get it, body?) of children’s literature. I’m getting my MA in Children’s Literature and my MFA in Writing for Children so, of course, I hope to publish books some day, but that’s too far off into the future–what do I do now, today?

Yup, you guessed it: a blog.

I’ll post when I can and hopefully I’ll post something interesting enough for you to keep reading. I have a feeling that most of my posts will deal with picturebooks (the first ones totally will) but I just restarted Harry Potter and I have a ton of YA novels on my list so I’m sure some of that will pop up somewhere in here. And I’m re-watching LOST so I can’t guarantee I that that won’t seep in too. Gotta vent somewhere, right?

Until we meet again…

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