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Posts Tagged ‘Roald Dahl’

Forgotten Roald Dahl Story Reappears from Do-It-Yourself Children’s Storybook

On eBay, Jerry Biederman recently auctioned the original copy of a 300-word unfinished story by Roald Dahl for $1,900. It was part of an uncompleted 30-year-old project.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, Biederman and his partner sought short unfinished stories from famous kidlit authors for a Do-It-Yourself Children’s Storybook–a book that allowed children to finish the stories themselves.  Dahl (pictured) submitted a short piece called The Eyes of Mr. Croaker. Other authors who participated include Richard Adams, P.L. Travers, Madeleine L’Engle, and Joan Aiken.

Now Biederman intends to create an interactive version of the original 1980s project, hoping to solicit contemporary authors like J.K. Rowling for contributions.

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Literary Thanksgiving Dinner

As households around the country prepare Thanksgiving menus, we’ve started a  #literarythanksgiving hashtag on Twitter to collect book-related dishes.

Post your ideas in the comments or on Twitter. Here are some ideas to get you started:

James & the Giant Peach Cobbler: Roald Dahl‘s protagonist couldn’t legally have a cocktail, but hopefully you can. This peach-flavored whiskey concoction would be perfect for the pre-dinner palette.

Cloudy with a Chance of Turkey Meatballs: You could never have too much turkey on Thanksgiving. If it were up to author Judi Barrett, these Italian-style turkey meatballs would rain down from the sky.

Life of Pumpkin Pi: Dessert is a must and surely Yann Martel would give his approval for this seasonal pastry treat.

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Roald Dahl’s Illustrator Misses Roald Dahl Funny Prize

Louise Rennison and Louise Yates have each won a £2,500 Roald Dahl Funny Prize. The humor prize includes two categories: one for books targeting ages 6 and under and the other for books for ages 7 to 14. Interestingly enough, Dahl’s longtime illustrator Quentin Blake made the shortlist for both categories.

Rennison won for her Emily Bronte-spoof, Withering Tights (7 to 14). Yates got it for her canine story, Dog Loves Books (6 and under). The Roald Dahl Funny Prize recognizes authors and illustrators who create children’s books that inspire laughter.

Blake was nominated for Angela Sprocket’s Pockets (6 and under) and the David Walliams book he illustrated, Mr. Stink (7 to 14). Blake has won the 1974 Whitbread Award for Children’s Book and the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Medal.  (Link via The Guardian, photo via Booktrust)

Roald Dahl and the Bad Report Card Factory

This week Penguin imprint Puffin released a new Roald Dahl collection that includes a secret ending to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a fudge recipe, and excerpts from the author’s terrible report cards. Among his collection of bad grades, one teacher called the aspiring writer “consistently idle.”

According to The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets, Dahl’s teacher described the would-be writer in 1931: “A persistent muddler. Vocabulary negligible, sentences malconstructed. He reminds me of a camel.” In 1932, another teacher added more criticism: “This boy is an indolent and illiterate member of the class.”

Penguin has dubbed September Roald Dahl Month, featuring a reading marathon in the writer’s honor. Meet Dahl in the video embedded above, where the author explained witches in a strange television special.

Books I Loved Growing Up Hashtag Sweeps Twitter

roald dahl bfg author.JPGThe “books I loved growing up” hashtag generated a wave of tweeted responses this week.

Book series dominated the list with titles like Encyclopedia Brown, Little House, the Boxcar Children, Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew, The Babysitters Club, the Chronicles of Narnia, and Goosebumps.

Some authors were only mentioned by name. They included: Roald Dahl (pictured), Louise May Alcott, Beverly Clearly, Christopher Pike, and Judy Blume.

Individual titles to garner recognition are The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown, The Phantom Tolbooth by Norton Juster, and the Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks.

Evil Wylie tweeted the most surprising book: The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Was Machiavelli‘s The Prince also part of your bedtime stories?

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Decemberists Lead Singer Colin Meloy Inks Three-Book Deal

cmeloy.jpgColin Meloy–the lead singer and songwriter behind the critically acclaimed indie rock band The Decemberists–has sold a children’s series to HarperCollins after a five-publisher auction. Entitled Wildwood, the first book will be illustrated by Carson Ellis.

The three-book middle-grade series sold to Donna Bray, the co-publisher of the HarperCollins imprint Balzer & Bray. The deal was negotiated by Steven Malk of Writers House. Described as “a classic tale of adventure, magic, and danger, set in an alternate version of modern-day Portland, Oregon,” publication is set for fall 2011.

Meloy (pictured, via) had this statement: “The germ of this series goes back a long way … For me, this is the culmination of a long-term collaboration with Carson, matching words and art. I grew up on a steady diet of Lloyd Alexander, Roald Dahl, and Tolkien; this is our humble paean to that grand tradition of epic adventure stories.”

After “Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars;” Updating Classic Children’s Books

Yesterday we pondered that movie trailer for Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars starring Jennifer Stone (one of the leads in the Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place)–a blogging update of a beloved children’s book.

The good folks at Jezebel took the idea and ran with it, updating other children’s classics with 21st Century twists–including The Bridge to Tumblrbithia and Wikipedia Brown, Boy E-Tective. Here’s a Twitter-centric re-write: “The Twits–This Roald Dahl classic is tailor-made for a social media updating. Mr. and Mrs. Twit are two online misanthropes who use their shared Twitter account to say mean things about people. Then they learn that Twitter is for niceness, and everyone lives happily ever after.”

So far, 87 readers have added their own titles, proving that this renaming game is addictive. Add your imaginary updates in the comments section–we’ll round up the responses in a future (or futuristic!) post.

Adaptations Score New York Film Critics Circle Awards

push23.gifToday four adaptations of books scored five major awards from the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC), moving one important step closer towards the Academy Awards.

The literary winners were: Meryl Streep won best actress for “Julie & Julia” (based on Julie Powell‘s memoir); Mo’Nique won best supporting actress for “Precious” (based on “Push” by Sapphire); George Clooney won best actor for “Up In The Air” (based on Walter Kirn‘s novel) and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (based on the book by Roald Dahl); and finally, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” took the best animated film award.

These wins can be crucial for a film’s award season. In 2007, the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy‘s “No Country for Old Men” scored best picture, director and best supporting actor at the NYFCC awards–winning big at the Academy Awards that same year. eventual Oscar winners all. case you were wondering, the adaptation of Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight Saga: New Moon did not take a single award.

Wes Anderson Adapts Roald Dahl Book

Director Wes Anderson has wrapped his adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s children’s book, “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

Anderson wrote the script with Noah Baumbach, the screenwriter who helped write “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.” According to the LA Times, they co-wrote the movie in the late author Dahl’s writing studio. The article includes some rocky stories from the film’s crew.

Here’s a quote from Anderson, from the article: “We wanted to make the movie an homage to Dahl … Mr. Fox’s study is based on the hut where Dahl used to write. Both the main farmer, Bean, and Mr. Fox are inspired by Dahl as much as they’re inspired by what’s in the book.”

Rosen Tapped as UK Children’s Laureate

The Bookseller reports that Michael Rosen has been selected as the new Children’s Laureate, replacing novelist Jacqueline Wilson. The role will see him working to promote children’s literature to as wide an audience as possible. He will hold the position for two years. Rosen’s prolific writing work as the author of over 140 books encompasses non-fiction, novels, picture books, stories from other cultures and poetry, and he is currently working on a biography of Roald Dahl.

Rosen told The Bookseller that he will use his time as Children’s Laureate to work to change the current perception of children’s poetry. “Poetry sales are struggling in the trade and I’d love to speak to retailers about how we can work together to change that,” he said. As children’s laureate, he will also focus on children’s literature in general and is looking to achieve a much more local focus on children’s books and authors. “Wouldn’t it be good to have local trails of children’s literature? Libraries have fantastic records of local figures and that would be a great starting point for this kind of project,” he said.

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