News Round-Up


Since we are home for yet another snow day, I’ve had time to catch up on the news from the land of children’s books – blogs and newsletters and magazines.  Lots of fun things to report, like…

– When I was working on my biography of John F. Kennedy, I was interested to learn that Ludwig Bemelmans had proposed an idea for a Madeline story that would take place at the White House. Bemelmans presented his idea to Jacqueline Kennedy and suggested that he and the First Lady collaborate on a story featuring Mrs. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline.  Bemelmans died in 1962, and the book never materialized. However, the author’s grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano, was inspired by his grandfather’s notes and recently released Madeline at the White House, a story about “12 little girls in two straight lines” and their visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

– Eric Carle has a new picture book – his first in four years. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse will be published in October.  I wonder how many of those will find their way under 2011 Christmas trees…

– Attention Fans of Katniss Everdeen: The Hunger Games movie release date is March 23, 2012. I’m tempted to buy a 2012 calendar soon so I can circle the day in red! 

– Chris Van Allsburg has a new book – that is reason to celebrate! Queen of the Falls is being released in April.  Here’s the review from Booklist: “Any kid who has beheld Niagara Falls—or even taken a good look at pictures of it—will be suitably gobsmacked by the true story of charm-school teacher Annie Edson Taylor, who, at age 62, decided on a whim to fund her golden years by being the first person over the falls. At first, local barrel makers turned her away in horror, but her determination was convincing, and on October 24, 1901, the reinforced and padded 160-pound vessel was dropped into the water in front of thousands of nervous spectators. Van Allsburg’s trademark framed illustrations have the unnerving stillness of old-timey photos, though they struggle for a while with settings unconducive to excitement. Once Taylor hits the water, though, Van Allsburg’s restraint becomes a master class in tension, keeping his drawings of the barrel’s interior small enough to communicate claustrophobia. Van Allsburg’s telling of the rest of the tale—Taylor’s failure to parlay her adventure into cash—is especially affecting, and readers will embrace her resolve. Grades 3-5.”

– Finally, from across the pond…Ricky Gervais is going to be the voice of Mole in a new movie adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. I’m a fan of Gervais – this has potential to be perfect casting!


6 thoughts on “News Round-Up

  1. As you know I loved the Hunger Games book. I did not like the concluding book to the series, Mockingjay, but the first two, had amazing writing. I cannot wait too see the movie! I hope that the movie still has the same story and the characters are not too old. Other than that I cannot wait.

    • Thanks for your comment, Daphne. I totally agree. I loved books #1 and #2, but was lukewarm about the third volume. Like you, I’m really looking forward to the movie and hope they find just the right person to play Katniss.

    • I agree – many movies based on books are disappointing, which is why I skip most of them. However, since it comes out the day after your birthday, we will hope it is the perfect “gift.”

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