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Posts Tagged ‘Maurice Sendak’

Neil Gaiman On the Value of Ghost Stories

Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman headlined “a semi-secret late-night event” during the TED 2014 conference. Brain Pickings reports that Gaiman performed recitations of a ghost story and an essay entitled “Ghost in the Machine.”

Here’s an excerpt from Gaiman’s readings: “We have been telling each other tales of otherness, of life beyond the grave, for a long time; stories that prickle the flesh and make the shadows deeper and, most important, remind us that we live, and that there is something special, something unique and remarkable about the state of being alive. Fear is a wonderful thing, in small doses.”

Press play in the Soundcloud player embedded above to listen. In his essay, Gaiman discusses human society’s history with terrifying tales and the value of ghost stories. During the event, Gaiman also talked about why he agrees with J.R.R. Tolkien and Maurice Sendak’s idea that “there is no such thing as ‘children’s’ books” and “the ghosts of today that terrify” him.

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John Steinbeck Gets Google Doodle For His Birthday

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Google has created a Doodle to celebrate John Steinbeck’s 112th birthday. Throughout his writing career, Steinbeck penned many beloved works including East of Eden, Of Mice & Men, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning title, The Grapes of Wrath.

To this day, Steinbeck is a widely respected and read author. According to SFGate, the organizers behind the Steinbeck Festival plan to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath at this year’s event. In April, the Of Mice & Men play starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd will open on Broadway.

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Zora Neale Hurston Gets a Google Doodle for Her Birthday

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Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Zora Neale Hurston’s birthday. According to the official Zora Neale Hurston website, she was born on January 7, 1891.

Through her writing, Hurston became an important figure during the Harlem Renaissance. Time reports that Hurston had written “four novels, dozens of short stories, plays and essays, and two books of folklore based on her anthropological research that captured some of the oral history of African Americans.”

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‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Revisited on Kickstarter

The late children’s book author Maurice Sendak vowed never to write a sequel for Where the Wild Things Are, but Geoffrey O. Todd and Rich Berner are raising money for an illustrated poem inspired by the classic book.

They hope to raise £25,000 on Kickstarter to print hard copies of Back to the WildClick here to listen to the poem in its entirety. We’ve embedded a video about the project above–what do you think? Here’s more about the project:

How does Back to the Wild connect with Where The Wild Things Are? Sophie is Max’s daughter and she too is excited to hear about the strange Wild Things, but time has elapsed. Max in our world, is now probably in his 30s and the Wild Things have been ‘marooned’ for almost 30 years … We have also been very careful not to impinge on Mr Sendak’s copyright and have taken the necessary legal advice around this whole project. We fully acknowledge his wondrous creation and hope that our work takes the story forward in a respectful, engaging and creative way.

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James Gandolfini Reads ‘In the Night Kitchen’ by Maurice Sendak

The great actor James Gandolfini died yesterday. To remember the actor, we’ve linked a 92nd Street Y video of Gandolfini reading In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.

Follow this link to jump straight to the reading. You can watch the reading at the 43:50 mark in the video embedded above–filmed at Sendak’s 80th birthday celebration in 2008.  Haaretz has more about Gandolfini’s connection to the author:

But perhaps his most Jewish role came in Spike Jonze’s “Where the Wild Things Are” (2009), an adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic illustrated children’s story. Gandolfini played Carol, one of the titular characters dreamed up by the Max (Max Records), a disobedient little boy with a vivid imagination who is sent to bed without his supper. Max constructs a fictional world in a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown Max as their ruler.

(Link via)

Maurice Sendak Gets a Google Doodle for His 85th Birthday

Google has created an animated Google Doodle celebrating Maurice Sendak‘s 85th Birthday. The literary world mourned Sendak’s passing last May.

You can watch the full animation at this YouTube link. Here’s more from Slate:

It begins, of course, with Max sailing to the land of Where the Wild Things Are, but soon also ventures to the surreal cityscape of In the Night Kitchen and ends, appropriately, with the birthday party from Sendak’s 2011 book Bumble-Ardy. Happy birthday, Mr. Sendak.

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Kids Can Vote for Children’s Choice Book Awards

The 2013 finalists for the Children’s Choice Book Awards have been revealed. Kids can vote from March 19th to May 9th.

The winners will be announced live at the Children’s Choice Book Awards gala on May 13th. Nominees have been divided into four groups classified by different school grades.

In the Author of the Year category, middle-grade fiction writers and young-adult novelists dominate. The nominees include The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 7: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, The Heroes of Olympus 3: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, and Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

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Brian Selznick Creates Free Children’s Book Week Poster

The Invention of Hugo Cabret author Brian Selznick has created the beautiful 2013 Children’s Book Week poster embedded above, a tribute to authors and illustrators Remy Charlip and Maurice Sendak.

Schools and libraries can get free copies of the poster during April and May, encouraging kids to keep reading. To order a copy, you must pay for shipping. Here’s more information:

To receive a free poster(s) with activity guide, please send a 9 x 12 self-addressed envelope (for 1 or 10 posters) or a 10 x 13 self-addressed envelope (for 25 posters) with appropriate postage affixed. Note that Postal regulations have changed. Please use the USPS Postage Price Calculator to determine postage cost, or ask for help at your local post office … There is a 25 poster maximum per person. Due to the volume of poster requests, we cannot process any poster orders that do not include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

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Most Expensive Book Sales of 2012

AbeBooks has released its annual list of the most expensive books sold by the used and rare books dealer.

This year, an 1603 astronomy text by Johann Bayer topped the list–selling for $47,729. An inscribed first edition of Ian Fleming’s  Casino Royale took third place as a $46,000 purchase. We’ve collected the top five books below, with Louisa May Alcott and Maurice Sendak tied for fifth place.

Here’s more from AbeBooks: “In third place is Franz Kafka’s novel Die Verwandlung (aka The Metamorphosis), which sold for $30,000.The original German edition is highly sought after because of Kafka’s ability to deliver unexpected impact at the end of his sentences. This effect has been difficult for English translators to replicate so the original German script is essential for Kafka collectors.”

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Books of Wonder Needs To Raise $100,000 to Survive

Books of Wonder, a New York City-based children’s bookstore, must raise a minimum of $100,000 to stay in business. The independent bookseller has turned to the crowd-funding site indiegogo for the campaign.

As of this writing, they have received more than $20,000 in contributions. The campaign will last for 30 more days. Backers, depending on the amount they donate, can claim a number of special rewards including a Maurice Sendak collection (four signed books), a birthday party at the store and deluxe Harry Potter film posters.

Here’s more about this fundraising campaign: “When we moved into our current space eight years ago, we leased out 40% of the space to a well-established NYC bakery to provide a cafe for our customers. Unfortunately, the Great Recession was even harder on cupcakes than children’s books and they were forced to close, still owing us many months back rent and utilities. Worse still, with the economy hurting, we could not find a new subtenant, and so had to pay the rent on the space we had previously rented. The result of these unexpected expenses, is that BOOKS of WONDER has had to layout over $300,000 in rent and utilities that we expected to be paid by our subtenant. This has strained our resources to the limit. And that is why we are launching this campaign.”

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