Aggle, flaggle, sniff.
I was fortunate enough to receive the F&G of the forthcoming finale to the Knuffle Bunny saga at Thursday’s HarperCollins preview. That afternoon my Book Blogger club met and we read all three books, noting the beautiful development of Trixie over time. The kids were incredibly quick to catch all sorts of lovely little touches. Two of their posts can be read here and here.
A New York Times article “Children Without Clothes” provoked quite a few letters, including this one:
To the Editor:
Your article was balanced in presenting the varying perspectives that parents and guests have toward raising children.
The 40,000 members and their families who belong to the American Association for Nude Recreation have opted to raise children and grandchildren with an open, matter-of-fact approach to the human body. My wife and I have found this very beneficial as we have raised our own four children. They respect the sensibilities of others but would prefer skinny-dipping at our favorite nudist club to a sandy swimsuit, if given the choice.
As your article notes, in the early years you don’t usually have to teach kids how much fun it is to play without clothes on.
To help explain to them the appropriate time and place to be nude, there is a new resource available: “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed,” a children’s book written and illustrated by Mo Willems. The story provides a springboard for talking with children about social nudity, social customs and making choices.
ERICH E. SCHUTTAUF
The writer is the executive director of the American Association for Nude Recreation.
Sit Down, Shut Up, a new animated series set in a high school premiering tonight on Fox, has an interesting pedigree. According to this article, after seeing a copy of Knuffle Bunny in a bookstore, the show’s creator, Mitch Hurwitz brought Mo Willems into the project.
Hurwitz may or may not have been aware of Willems’ track record as an animation producer and scripter (The Off Beats, Sheep in the Big City, Codename: Kids Next Door) before moving onto a new career as a children’s book author and illustrator. Knuffle Bunny itself had been turned into a cartoon short using the same technique of drawn characters atop photographic backgrounds, but Willems’ sharp-edged character designs also caught Hurwitz’ eye.
“I got in touch with Mo, and he actually designed [SDSU‘s] characters. He has asked that the show not be represented as Mo Willems’ show, because he’s like the number one picture book guy and there’s a lot of inappropriate stuff for kids. There’s a lot of stuff that’s inappropriate I think even for Will Forte.”
These excerpts from the show give you an even better sense of Mo’s distinctive style. I have to say, despite Mo’s visual style and all those Arrested Development folk (loved that show), the bits I’ve seen so far are not wowing me, but hopefully the full show works better for me.