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Saturday, December 02, 2000

Gory stories for tiny tots
"Many of Edward Gorey's most fervent devotees think he must be both a) English and b) dead," reads the biographical note on one of his darkly illustrated tales of hapless babies, consumptive waifs and sexually traumatising furniture. "Actually, he has never so much as visited either place."
No longer, sadly: though Gorey never did make it across the Atlantic, he is now - owing to a heart attack in April, aged 75, in the cat-filled Cape Cod farmhouse where he lived alone - a permanent resident of the other side. It's easy to see why readers thought he moved there years ago, his more than 50 books seeming to have issued from the pen of the love child (orphaned, of course) of Ivy Compton Burnett and Edgar Allan Poe.
Books Unlimited
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:25 AM

Friday, December 01, 2000

ALISON LURIE: The Oddness of Oz
The year 2000 is the centenary of a famous and much-loved but essentially very odd children's classic: L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz. Those who recall the story only from childhood reading, or from the MGM film, have perhaps never realized how strange the original book and its sequels are.
The New York Review of Books
posted by Marco Graziosi 2:34 PM

'Seussical: The Musical': The Cat! The Whos! The Places They Go!
Whoever the many chefs were, the finished product is a flavorless broth. The heightened brightness of all the ingredients — the eye- searing design palette, the dizzying lighting effects, the bouncy orchestrations, those mega-watt smiles — perversely meld into a general gray dimness.
The New York Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:44 AM

Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Enchanting visions of fairyland
We cannot get rid of the past, even if we try to. Just as history constantly informs the present, so childhood stays with us, shaping our gestures and responses. If the child makes the man, it is not surprising that children’s stories might also attract and please adults. Hans Christian Andersen took this insight one step further. He wrote fairytales that were aimed explicitly at both children and adults, and self-consciously used the form as a way of exploring autobiographical obsessions.
Another review of Wullschlager's Andersen bio, plus TROUBLESOME THINGS - A History of Fairies and Fairy Stories
TROUBLESOME THINGS - A History of Fairies and Fairy Stories
The times
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:34 PM

Children’s Christmas books
Recommendations from the Electronic Telegraph's BooksOnLine
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:06 PM

Monday, November 27, 2000

'Grinch' Helps Get Hollywood Back on Record Pace "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a lavishly mounted offering from the director Ron Howard, starring Jim Carrey, has virtually catapulted families into movie theater seats, dominating the five-day Thanksgiving weekend and earning an estimated $137.4 million in its first 10 days of release, nearly $74 million of it since Wednesday.
The New York Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:40 AM

Boing! Pop-Up Books Are Growing Up Pop-up books may be the literary preserve of children, but lately the whirligig pages of flaps, foldouts, pull- tabs and double wheels are moving frenetically to attract grown-ups.
The New York Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:26 AM

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