31.5.08

Eggs and bacon

In a Telegraph article here which talks about Paddington Bear's 50th Birthday and the results of a recent British survey showing that fewer than half of parents read to their children at bedtime, Melanie McDonagh also has the following to say about picture books:

The survey found, in the Telegraph's words, that "fairytales and traditional children's bedtime classics are being shelved in favour of funny books". This is no cause for lament. The top three favourites were The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffer, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and The BFG by Roald Dahl - ahead of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Wind in the Willows.

While I yield to no one in my admiration for The Wind in the Willows, I would hesitate to read it to a child of less than, say, eight. For a three- or four-year-old, the Very Hungry Caterpillar is brilliant. And Julia Donaldson's rhyming story about a little mouse who outwits a succession of predators, culminating in the Gruffalo, a beastie with orange eyes and a poisonous wart on the end of his nose, deserves that overworn title of classic. And need I remind anyone of the unvarnished genius of Roald Dahl, whose naked moralism and delight in the hideous punishment of his villains precisely reflects the outlook of most children?For the best children's books, traditional and modern, share the same characteristics: an element of subversiveness, perhaps of danger overcome, refuge from the rest of life and ideally a sense of justice being done.

They also share something that most adult fiction lacks - pictures. Julia Donaldson's books wouldn't have half their appeal without the captivating drawings of Axel Scheffer. Actually, it's pictures rather than words that stay with us as children. As for the double act of Roald Dahl's stories and Quentin Blake's drawings, why, it's like Ernest Shephard and Kenneth Graham, Gilbert and Sullivan, eggs and bacon - a combination so sublime, it's impossible to imagine one without the other.


I showed a galley of my new book to a friend last night and we had a nice chat about how lucky I am to have found just exactly the right illustrator. She draws the way that I can only imagine.

30.5.08

Book Expo America

If you are at Book Expo America this weekend take a look for Simply Read Books (Publishers Group West). They really do make the most beautiful books (okay, including mine). And if you don't believe me then you can download a catalogue here.

29.5.08

In the situation room ...

Okay, this is funny:



More here and thanks to Maud for the link.

Try Before You Buy

In her post about the Harper Collins preview on Fuse #8, Elizabeth Bird mentioned that HarperCollins is being downright generous with its previews on new books. I decided to check this out for myself, and started by looking up the new Skulduggery Pleasant book, as it is one we're interested in. And look! the first 80 pages are up online here:



You might also want to check out Jennifer Lanthier's first Hazel Frump novel which has just come out in the U.S. as The Mystery of the Martello Tower (her second novel launches in June in Canada):



You can check out the whole selection of "Try Before You Buy" options here.

28.5.08

Hay You

At the Guardian site you can listen to a podcast on children's writing from the Hay Festival. Claire Armistead talks to Francesca Simon (Horrid Henry), Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl), plus the poet and performer Lemn Sissay who is a patron of The Letterbox Club.

Here's a bit about that initiative: It focuses on improving the educational outlook for children aged 7-11 in foster families by providing them with a parcel of books, maths activities and educational materials every month for six months.

The podcast is about half an hour long and full of all kinds of goodies, but you really need to listen to the first few minutes just for the voices of the children.

27.5.08

Neon-Lit Dark Ages

Philip Pullman profiled here. Thanks to Educating Alice for the link.

I loved this bit:

Videogames, iPods and DVDs had left us all "living in a neon-lit Dark Ages," he said. "We've lost oral communication. We're all isolated, atomised."

What is to be done? "Tell stories. To children. To each other." He remembered sitting around a fire on a school trip, "listening to a voice coming out of the dark. It is so entrancing. It goes right back to the dawn of history. A story will enchant and beguile and bewitch."

Bay of Fundy

My pal Gwen Buchanan who has a great blog called Desideratum which is all about living in St. Martin's and making art and jewelry, pointed me in the direction of this blog called Bay of Fundy Blog. And there you can watch this amazing time-lapse video of the highest tides in the world:



Okay, so now you're probably asking what does this have to do with children's writing? Well, I've just (about) finished writing a YA novel set on the Bay of Fundy. I've been writing it with my son, Liam. It's called Malone Alone and the plot concerns a young boy whose parents move him from Vancouver to St. Martin's and then vanish.

26.5.08

Book Expo

I'll be signing copies of the prettiest book in the world at Book Expo (Toronto) on June 15th from 1:30 to 2:30.

I'm also planning to attend this:

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre's Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 12, 2008, featuring special guest speaker, Barbara Reid, illustrator of this year’s TD Canadian Children’s Book Week poster.

Thursday, June 12, 2008
6:30 p.m.
Room 224 B & C, Northern District Library
40 Orchard View Blvd.
(Yonge & Eglinton)
Toronto, Ontario M4R 1B9

Reception to follow at The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Suite 101, Lower Level, Northern District Library

Members and public welcome.

Please RSVP by June 5 to Maria Santos at 416.975.0010 or info@bookcentre.ca.

Anybody I can expect to see there?

24.5.08

Getting Animated

Coming soon to a TV near you: Melanie Watt's Scaredy Squirrel.
(Ta to Big A little a for the link.)

Also, here's a little teaser for Jeremy Tankard's Me Hungry!



Found over at BookLust.

Field trips

One of our young chums has just started reading Philip Ardagh, which made me think of Ardagh's website which I hadn't checked for some time. Well worth a visit if you're looking for somewhere to go on a Saturday. (We're all eagerly awaiting Eddie Dickens: The Movie.)

And if you visit the Pitt-Rivers site you can do a virtual tour of the museum. It's part of a series of panoramas of Oxford created by Dr. Karl Harrison. We'd like to do a non-virtual tour one day soon.

If you pop by the Doctor Who site here you can play games online. (And I'm about to be kicked off the computer by someone who wants to do just that.)

As for us, we're off today to see Indiana Jones and the Whateveritisthistime. Enjoy your Saturday.

23.5.08

My New Hero

The other day I came across an article about a woman named Amy Krouse Rosenthal who had the bright idea of leaving money for people to find and asking them to send a postcard to say how they'd spent it.

She writes:

I’d like to say that I set out to do this for purely altruistic reasons. But, more accurately, I did it because I’m easily bored/easily amused, and experiments such as this inject a morsel of suspense into the week.

That, and I really like getting mail.


Genius, I thought. But could this be the same Amy Krouse Rosenthal who wrote Little Hoot and Little Pea and that Cookie book I keep meaning to look for? Maybe America is full of Amy Krouse Rosenthals - all of them doing interesting things. Yet somehow, I suspect there there is only one Amy Krouse Rosenthal and by clicking that link you can find out about her children's books, her books for adults - including Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and The Book of Eleven: An Itemized Collection of Brain Lint. You can read articles about parenting and find out about her radio show and her gift collection. You can even listen to her kids slurping cereal!

22.5.08

Found in Translation

Congratulations to Sheila Fischman on being awarded The Molson Prize for her contribution to the arts. Fischman has translated over a hundred books - including this one:


The story is The Sweater by Roch Carrier, and if you've got a Canadian fiver in your wallet, you can read an excerpt.

21.5.08

Doctor Who

The new head writer for Doctor Who was announced the other day and I thought I finally had some intelligence to share with my resident Doctor Who fanatic.

"Steven Moffat," he said. "He's been a writer for ages. He wrote your favourite episode - The Empty Child. He wrote the Time Crash!" And once again I was forced to admit my ignorance.

I loved this quote in the interview with Moffat where he talks about taking over from Russell T. Davies:

“My entire career has been a secret plan to get this job,” he said. “I applied before but I got knocked back cos (sic) the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven."

Dear Mr. Moffat, There's a seven year old here with an eye on your job.




Or maybe David Tennant's.

Over at Neil Gaiman's blog, he riffs about Tennant's plans to play Hamlet:

I know that David Tennant's Hamlet isn't till July. And lots of people are going to be doing Dr Who in Hamlet jokes, so this is just me getting it out of the way early, to avoid the rush...

"To be, or not to be, that is the question. Weeelll.... More of A question really. Not THE question. Because, well, I mean, there are billions and billions of questions out there, and well, when I say billions, I mean, when you add in the answers, not just the questions, weeelll, you're looking at numbers that are positively astronomical and... for that matter the other question is what you lot are doing on this planet in the first place, and er, did anyone try just pushing this little red button?"

It's thanks to reading Gaiman that we realised that Douglas Adams had written for Doctor Who. We're currently working our way back through old episodes and the Tom Baker ones are some of my favourites. A great line the other night: "First things first, but not necessarily in that order."

Rosen, Rowling, Hurling

Over at the Guardian today, Michael Rosen clarifies what he really said about Harry Potter:

Towards the end, he asked me about Harry Potter, and I made two main points: that I, personally, as an adult reader haven't read much of the series, (two and a half books) and it isn't to my taste as an adult reader; that young readers reading on their own (eg five to seven-year-olds) find Harry Potter quite tough going whereas they often find Enid Blyton easier.

From a long interview, all that remained of my contribution was a series of misquotations and extrapolations to the effect that I thought the Harry Potter books "inappropriate" and "boring". Yesterday, this "news" seemed to have spread like wildfire.


He also makes the point that a lot of space has been given over to this - like we're all dying for a Rosen-Rowling feud (which one do you think gets to be Norman Mailer?), while so little space is given to what he sees as big stories:

The world of children's books is full of extraordinary stories of people writing in adversity, of new and exciting experimental writing, of huge successes post-HP, of new publishers trying things out. It's also full of stories about how things could be improved or helped through television and radio, changes to the school curriculum and the library service.


It's true that stories on children's writing can be a hard sell - particularly in a world where newspaper coverage of books seems to shrink daily. But there's also this vestigial attitude that there is automatically something twee or precious about children's books. I laughed today at a headline for a review by Tegan Tigani of the wonderful Oliver Jeffers book The Way Back Home : Children's Books That Won't Make You Hurl.

20.5.08

The Way to Write for Cave Men

Remember that very small children are the equivalent of Stone Age Man. Since they cannot yet read for themselves--or are just on the brink--they need the texts they hear to be immediately memorable, so that, when they are alone in cot or playpen, they can summon up the pleasure once more for themselves. Rhythmic words have a remarkably solacing effect in trouble, too.

~Joan Aiken, The Way to Write for Children: An Introduction to the Craft of Writing Children's Literature by an Award-Winning Author (St. Martin's Press)

19.5.08

Mouse books

Over at Weekend Stubble, I came across Paul Collins noting the following:

An actual letter to the editor that I found in the New York Times for June 18, 1922:

Rats and Mice in Movies.
May I ask why it seems necessary to feature rats and mice so conspicuously in moving pictures? They are as repulsive to many as reptiles, yet snakes are seldom seen in pictures.

MRS. ALBERT SACKETT
Longmeadow, Mass., June 8, 1922


Moving pictures is one thing - Ratatouille anyone? - but why do cute little rodents so often feature in children's picture books. It makes me wish that like the character from Dr. Seuss I could "read with my eyes shut." I love Barbara Reid's books but am forced to shun The Subway Mouse, and Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread tempts me not at all.

Anyone else similarly afflicted?

17.5.08

Buy Olympia

I've just been having a browse round at Buy Olympia and would like to suggest you do the same. They have some very pretty picture books there (okay, including mine), but beyond the interest in their selections, they are beautifully presented. I'm snagging some images just in case you need persuading.

Here's a notecard you can buy here - it's an image from Sunny by Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman.



You can see more about Sunny here and buy a copy of it or else Windy or Snowy and Chinook. Actually, they're so pretty you are going to want all them.

This looks lovely too - Awake to Nap by Nikki McClure.



There are several other McClure titles and assorted items. McClure's work was familiar to me from the cover of the John Masefield novel The Box of Delights which is also available here. Put that one on your Christmas list.

I was wondering who/where Buy Olympia were and here's their answer: We're a small, three-person operation located in downtown Olympia, Washington. We carry unique and interesting goods from all over, not just Olympia. We started back in 1999 as a way to help our friends sell their awesome handmade crafts online, and have since grown to have a lot more friends from all over world.

The shop is full of all sorts of things besides books, things that you may not know you need until you see them. I'm just wishing I had some use for these:



Would be a nice tie-in item if you were buying that Red Shoes (Simply Read) book as a gift!

Current Reading

"It is customary to speak of children as vessels into which books are poured, but I think the reverse analogy is more accurate: children pour themselves into books, changing their shape to fit each vessel. 'I have been Tom Jones,' said David Copperfield; he was also Roderick Random and, armed with the centrepiece of an old set of boot trees, 'Captain Somebody of the Royal British Navy, in danger of being beset by savages, and resolved to sell his life at great price.' We haven't become ourselves yet, so we try on literary identities, fantastic at first and then closer and closer to home. Am I more like Mole or like Toad? I asked myself at six, undeterred by such trifling details as size and species. At eight, when gender was still no barrier: Aravis or Shasta? At sixteen: Dorothea or Rosamond? I think that's why so many children prefer fiction and so many adults prefer nonfiction. As we age, we coagulate. Our shapes become fixed and we can no longer be poured."
~ Anne Fadiman, in her introduction to Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

16.5.08

Red Shoes

Talking about football boots got me thinking about a book we had ages ago called Willy the Wizard by Anthony Browne.




I'll post more about Browne and his work when I've got more time, but I do remember we loved that book even before we got obsessed with soccer.

And also, on the subject of shoes - red ones in particular - I received a very pretty book this week called The Red Shoes by Eleri Glass with illustrations by Ashley Spires.



This is a simple little story about a girl who desires a pair of red shoes: "The red shoes are happy apples, waiting to be picked." Spoiler alert: she gets them. A beautiful little book for girls, little or big.

15.5.08

Funny is as Funny Does

British Children's Laureate (have I mentioned lately that Canada needs one of these?), Michael Rosen has announced a new children's book award. Called the Roald Dahl Award, it will honour funny books.

This strikes us as a fine idea, and since my son finds Mélanie Watt's Chester enormously funny, we would like to announce that she is the first winner of the Euan O'Leary funny book award.



Any suggestions for other recent funny books we should be reading?

14.5.08

Picturing books

Two very good picture book reviews online from the NY Times: the wonderful Sarah Ellis talks about sibling books here and Daniel Handler (who channels Lemony Snicket) talks about picture book sequels here. (I think my new picture book is actually a prequel - is there a category for this?)

Meanwhile, over at The Independent, there's a slightly heartbreaking piece about just what a hard sell picture books have become.

13.5.08

Apparently there's more to life than just books ....



There are also footy boots.

Books, Boys, and Bookwitch

I'm off for the day - my first born turns fourteen and I'm thinking this calls for pancakes followed by a bit of shopping. Maybe for books since he goes through them at a prodigious rate. (Suggestions welcome - current faves include Derek Landy, Philip Ardagh, and Joseph Delaney).

In the meantime, might I suggest you head over to the Bookwitch site and check out her terrific profile of Oliver Jeffers. May inspire you to do a bit of shopping of your own.

12.5.08

Art to Make You Smile

Art to Make You Smile
by Elizabeth Newberry
(Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

You can preview this book here but you won't be able to see all the wonderful art Elizabeth Newberry includes - for that you'll have to buy the book.



Newberry has also done a book called Art to Make You Scared, but I can't show you any. It's too scary.

11.5.08

Mama Robotic



Mama Robot (Tundra Books)
Written by Davide Cali
Illustrated by Anna Laura Cantone
Translated by Marcel Danesi

When we first got this book my son advised me not to read it. "It might hurt your feelings," he said. "It's about a boy who wishes his mother was a robot." Then he read it and decided that it all came out all right in the end, and that the story was unlikely to traumatize me.

It's actually a terribly sweet story about motherhood, even though the first page gave me a sick clench in the gut:

My mom is always busy.
She's at her desk every day,
sometimes even on Saturday.
When I get home from school, dinner's on the table
and there's a note that always says the same thing:
"I'm working. Brush your teeth after
you eat. Do your homework. Tidy up
your room. Hugs and kisses, Mom."


I was beginning to worry that this was a cautionary tale about what happens to the children of writers. A sort of Running With Scissors for ages 4-7. But after a little flight of fancy about the benefits of having a mother you could turn off with a remote control, the narrator comes to the conclusion that a robot mom wouldn't be soft like his real mom, or smell nice like his real mom, or know how to cuddle.

This is a gorgeous book, and while both the writer and illustrator are based in Italy we can claim Canadian bragging rights on translator Marcel Danesi.

Happy Mother's Day to all the real moms out there. And a big smackeroo to my own wonderful mother from me & my darling boys.

10.5.08

Maybe Sparrow

Beautiful animation by Julie Morstad in this Neko Case video - love those feet on the swing.

9.5.08

Empty Library


Somebody named chris 9 has the wonderful photo you see above on his Flickr page here. I've borrowed it (and hope he doesn't mind), to illustrate this news item for today.

Here's the full press release from The Earth Times:

Berlin - Germany began ceremonies Friday to recall how Nazi Germany heaped books on bonfires 75 years ago in a ritual "execution" of democratic ideas that completed the Nazis' takeover. The trauma of the May 10, 1933 burnings, conducted by students on city squares and cheered on by Nazi crowds, runs deep in Germany, inspiring politicians to condemn censorship and recently to defend Danish newspaper cartoons that many Muslims considered blasphemous.
In Berlin, President Horst Koehler called for "freedom of the arts" to be upheld worldwide.
"Whoever tries to prohibit books, films, theatrical shows or caricatures is on the wrong road," said Koehler in remarks prepared for delivery at a Berlin ceremony hosted by the Academy of the Arts in Berlin on Friday.
He said Germany's past experience of this obliged it to stand up for freedom of opinion in other parts of the world today.
Records show that at least 35,000 books, many from libraries, were burned in 22 cities between May and the end of August 1933. Copies of most survived and many of the titles became best-sellers again when reprinted after the Second World War.
Actors, authors and schoolchildren were to read from the works of some of the around 130 authors whose works went up in flames, among them Bertolt Brecht, Sigmund Freund and Thomas Mann.
On Saturday, Berlin's renowned Humboldt Library and the Cervantes cultural institute of Spain were to joint hosting readings and recitals in Berlin from works which the Nazis denounced as un-German.
The event was taking place on August Bebel Platz, the square where some 40,000 Nazi supporters once gathered to witness a book burning. Today an underground memorial marks the spot. Conceived as an "empty library" visitors can view it through a glass window built into the pavement.

8.5.08

The Human Body

We had to make a little trip to the hospital yesterday and in advance of that, sat down and had a good look at a new book called Human Body by Linda Calabresi (Simon & Schuster).

It was enormously useful - good, clear text and loads of realistic and fascinating illustrations. Turns out my little boy is made of more than snakes and snails and puppy dog's tails. Who knew?

Great addition to your reference library. And if I had loads of money I'd buy a couple cartons of this one and donate it to the Children's Hospital.

7.5.08

We have winners!

Congratulations to Kenneth Oppel and Duncan Weller whose respective books Darkwing and The Boy From the Sun have both been honoured with a Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award. Story over at CBC here.

I'm on the run today but here's a quick peek at Weller's work:




You can see more at his website.

6.5.08

Ology

I was in Montreal's wonderful Paragraphe bookstore last night, talking with my young friend Georgia about our mutual love for the Ology books. Georgia received Egyptology as a confirmation gift and now covets Pirateology.

It got me wondering how many Ologies there now are so I've just looked it up. The books are published by Candlewick and if you visit their site you find a link to Ologyworld. May I suggest you pay a vist. I'm listening to an extract from Mythology right now. I think it wins my Most Coveted Award of the day. There is a satisfyingly long list of titles by Dugald A. Steer on the Candlewick site - spin-off titles include everything from a field guide to dragons, to a code-writing kit to a "Noble Guide for Young Squires."

Here's a peek inside Mythology.

5.5.08

Words, glorious words

In the words of Mr. Eliot, "I've got to use words when I'm talking to you."

And if you're in the market for some new ones, may I recommend the following:

Burgess Unabridged: A Classic Dictionary of Words You Have Always Needed By Gelet Burgess. This is a new edition published by Walker and with an introduction by Paul Dickson.

Take a look - doesn't it look classic?



Burgess is the creator of the Goops, and died in 1951 at the tender age of 85. But he's also the creator of any number of words, some of which - like blurb - we use, and some of which would come in incredibly useful. May I offer up gorgule (an unwished-for gift), lallification (a verbose story), and oofle (a person whose name you cannot remember). Now off you go and put those to good use.

But first, I've got another book to tell you about: L is for Lollygag: Quirky Words for a Clever Tongue which is full of previously coined words that could also come in useful - galoot, hodgepodge and moxie being fair examples.

The book is published by Chronicle - who do some very fun things - and is completely unattributed on the cover. A little investigation reveals that it was developed and compiled by Molly Glover and illustrated by Melinda Beck. I can't find an image online to show you what a pretty thing this and my camera has gone to Belfast without me, but here's a peak at Melinda Beck's charming work:



Okay, off you go. No lollygagging now.

4.5.08

The coolest stuff in the universe section

Cory Doctorow's new YA novel Little Brother has just been released. You can listen to an excerpt of the audio version by clicking below. You can also listen to him talk about free usage - Doctorow being one of the pioneers in this particular territory.

Link to purchase and download this audiobook without Flash interaction


Over at BoingBoing, Doctorow had the following to say about where his book is shelved in stores:

My editor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, rang me yesterday to talk about a weird little phenomenon: people who were going to stores looking for my newest, Little Brother, were walking away unfulfilled because they were looking in the science fiction section, not the young adult section. Many of us grew up in an era before the young adult section -- when the kids' section in the store was just picture books and some 400-volume sharecropped series like Sweet Valley High. No longer -- practically every bookstore now sports a large (and growing) YA section filled with some of the most amazing work being done in any literary genre today.

Living in a space that no one watches too closely is one of the secret ways that people get to do excellent stuff. Science fiction's status for decades as a pariah genre meant that writers could do things with literary style, theme, and political content that their mainstream counterparts could never get away with (games, comics, early hip-hop, mashups, and many of the other back laneways of popular culture have also enjoyed this status). These days, a lot of the coolest stuff in the universe is happening in the kids' section of your bookstore (and yes, I'm aware of the irony of calling attention to a field that has prospered because it wasn't receiving too much attention to blossom).

3.5.08

June

Very pleased to note that I will be in Toronto mid-June for Book Expo.

And here's why ...


If you're in NYC

...save me a seat!

Coraline
Music and Lyrics by Book by
Stephin Merritt David Greenspan
Based on the Novel by
Neil Gaiman
Directed by Leigh Silverman
World Premiere
May 6-June 20, 2009


Poor bored Coraline. She’s left to rattle round her perpetually distracted parents’ house all by her lonesome. Then one day, her dreams of a better reality are answered as she steps through an old oak doorway and passes into a perfected replica of her own world. Greeted there by a vastly loving Other Mother and kindly Other Father, she’s thrilled! But, as the saying goes: Be careful what you wish for…

A musical like no other, Coraline sprang from the minds of three of the most wildly popular cult heroes of our time. Adapted from the truly terrifying children’s book by Neil Gaiman (author of the international sensation Sandman), this tale of menace and mayhem is set to music and lyrics by smart-rock iconoclast Stephin Merritt (of The Magnetic Fields), and boasts a book by celebrated downtown actor-cum-auteur, David Greenspan, who serves double-duty as the villain, Coraline’s suspiciously nurturing Other Mother.

Anytime, anywhere

Ooh ... this is fun:



Via Bookshelves of Doom.

2.5.08

Once Upon a School

(reposting this one because I couldn't get the video embedded the other day)

TO DO
- watch this
- get inspired
- go here

That Dave Eggers knows how to get things done.

Through the Wardrobe

This looks potentially interesting, don't you think?



Through the Wardrobe: Your Favorite Authors on C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, edited by Herbie Brennan. You can find out more about it here.

Susan Juby has an essay in there, which is how I heard about it.

We're currently watching the old BBC versions of the Narnia novels. All because of our Tom Baker obsession. He's absolutely brilliant as Puddleglum in The Silver Chair.

Curiosity

I am very curious about this book:



Here's the description:

With just a few select books to date, the British publisher (and design company) Fuel has already made a splash with its beautifully produced books on such ephemeral or popular arts as tattooing (Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia Volumes I and II), soccer programs (Match Day) and improvised domestic implements (Home-Made). Fuel's latest publication extends this visual anthropology to the Internet, specifically the blog BibliOdyssey. Across the world, libraries and institutions are only recently starting to make their collections available online, and the bulk of this amazing material goes unnoted by the casual surfer.

BibliOdyssey's mission over the past two years has been to diligently trawl the dustier corners of the Internet and retrieve these materials for our attention. Thanks to the daily efforts of this singular blog, a myriad of long-forgotten imagery has now re-surfaced, from eighteenth-century anatomical and architectural drawing to occult and alchemical engravings and proto-Surrealist depictions of the horrors of industrialization (for example, the half-plant, half-people illustrations of J.J. Grandville). Each of the images is accompanied by commentary from "PK," author and curator of the BibliOdyssey blog.


I found BibliOdyssey at a site called (not so coincidentally) BibliOdyssey where I went wandering to see the Japanese crepe paper fairy tales (as recommended at Fuse #8).




Whoever this PK/peacay person is, he does have a wonderful cabinet of curiosities. Nice place to visit.

Children's Story (Not for Children)

1.5.08

Awesome

An Amazon enthusiast named L. L. M. Sanchez has included my little picture book on a list titled: "Awesome Frickin' Picture Books For So-Called Grown Ups," which I must say sort of cracks me up.

Some nice stuff on that list: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman, Flotsam by David Wiesner, The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey and, of course, When You Were Small.