Daily Archives: March 25, 2007

Philip Pullman at the Oxford Literary Festival

I’m a busy, busy poster today for a change! (Can you guess that I’m just starting two weeks of spring break? Sadly it is no vacation for me as I’m using it to prepare for my online graduate fairy tale course, work on the 2007 NCBLA list, and read, read, and read some more for Newbery.) Anyway, thanks to BridgeToTheStars for providing a link to Seastina’s report on yesterday’s panel “Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass: From Book to Film” at the Sunday Times -Oxford Literary Festival.

Here’s a particularly intriguing tidbit from Seastina’s report:

When asked what The Book of Dust will be about, he said, “Uh, it’s about Dust.” Nice. Elaborating, he said that Lyra is, in fact, the main character, and that she will be older than she was in Lyra’s Oxford. He implied that some other familiar characters will be present as well, though no specific mention of Will…. Anyway, he said he’s well into it but expects that it will be a very lengthy work. He estimates two years until publication.

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Alex Deacon Profile

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Thanks to Achukablog for directing me to Joanna Carey’s Guardian article, “Brain Theatre” about the terrific British illustrator, Alex Deacon. He illustrated one of my favorite books of last year, Barbara Jean Hicks’ Jitterbug Jam. We selected it as one of the 2006 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts and here is my annotation for it ( from our “Spotlight on CLA Book Awards” in the Fall 2006 Journal of Children’s Literature).

Here’s a fresh take on the perennial themes of bedtime monsters and mean big brothers. Poor little monster Bobo; nobody believes that there is a boy under his bed, especially not his big brother Buster who calls him a fraidy-cat. After receiving some advice from his grandpa Boo-Dad, Bobo is able to confront the boy and discovers that all is not as it seems. Hick’s delicious language is gloriously enhanced by the art of comic-strip panels, speech bubbles, sequences of spot images moving down and across a page, arresting full-page spreads, and meandering ribbons of text. These are just some of the more describable techniques used by Alex Deacon that will bring young readers back to this book again and again. With its rollicking text and winsome story, Bobo’s story is equally perfect for a large group read-aloud as it is for a twosome of emergent readers as they happily follow the little monster’s story along its winding and creative path.

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The Pirates of the Caribbean meet Neil Gaiman

The trailer for Stardust is here! Now it has been quite a few years since I read (and loved) the book so I will be the first to admit my memory ain’t what it used to be (if ever it was), but I had to go back to my Charles Vess illustrated copy to find the pirate ship action that so dominates the trailer. And yes it is kinda there, but only as a very tiny part of the book. Of course, trailers are often notoriously off (Bridge to Terabithia, anyone?) so I’m still confident that the movie is going to be on par with Gaiman’s book. Certainly, he’s been very enthusiastic about it on his blog. I’m not sure when it is coming out, but I’m definitely looking forward to it!

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