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Posts Tagged ‘Maurice Sendak’

As part of our mission to promote authors, the joy of reading, and to better understand the craft of writing, we’ve paired with the The Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont to present an ongoing series entitled “3 Questions”.  In it, we pose three questions to authors with upcoming visits to the bookstore.  Their responses are posted on The Book Jam during the days leading up to their engagement.  Our hope is that this exchange will offer insight into their work and will encourage readers to attend these special author events and read their books.

This post we feature Tracey Campbell Pearson, author of Elephant’s Story and other picture books such as Bob and Myrtle. Ms. Pearson studied at Syracuse University and the Parsons School of Design in NYC. She has lived in Cleveland, New York City and Connecticut, among other places, but now makes her home in Vermont.

Ms. Pearson will appear at the Norwich Public Library between 1 and 3 pm on Saturday, February 8th as part of a Second Saturdays, a new collaboration between the library and the Norwich Bookstore to highlight great books for children.  Saturday’s event will offer fun Valentine’s Day related art projects and an introduction to her latest book Elephant’s Story. 

Reservations are not needed this time.  Just stop by to meet Ms. Pearson and make some Valentines crafts.  Call 802-649-1114 or email info@norwichbookstore.com with any questions or to reserve your book.  AGAIN – this event is at the LIBRARY.

Product DetailsProduct Details

1.What three books have helped shape you into the author you are today, and why?

1.  The Beast and Monsieur Racine by Tomi Ungerer. This is the book that made me want to make picture books. Tomi pushes the envelope with his humor while leaving us with the kind and gentle Monsieur Racine. A perfect balance of salty and sweet. I was introduced to Tomi’s work while I was studying with Maurice Sendak in NYC in the ’70’s.
2.  Fish for Supper by MB Goffstein takes the picture book down to it’s simplest form but can still be read again and again. A lovely book.
3.  Any collection of *Mother Goose poems. I have many.  I Saw Esau by Iona and Peter Opie with Maurice Sendak‘s illustrations is a favorite.  * I can go on forever about how children need their Mother Goose!!

2.What author (living or dead) would you most like to have a cup of coffee with and why?

Mr. Edward Lear.  Why?  Well…He answers the question himself below…

How pleasant to know Mr. Lear

How pleasant to know Mr. Lear,
Who has written such volumes of stuff.
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few find him pleasant enough.

His mind is concrete and fastidious,
His nose is remarkably big;
His visage is more or less hideous,
His beard it resembles a wig.

He has ears, and two eyes, and ten fingers,
(Leastways if you reckon two thumbs);
He used to be one of the singers,
But now he is one of the dumbs.

He sits in a beautiful parlour,
With hundreds of books on the wall;
He drinks a great deal of marsala,
But never gets tipsy at all.

He has many friends, laymen and clerical,
Old Foss is the name of his cat;
His body is perfectly spherical,
He weareth a runcible hat.

When he walks in waterproof white,
The children run after him so!
Calling out, “He’s gone out in his night-
Gown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!”

He weeps by the side of the ocean,
He weeps on the top of the hill;
He purchases pancakes and lotion,
And chocolate shrimps from the mill.

He reads, but he does not speak, Spanish,
He cannot abide ginger beer;
Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish,
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!

3. What books are currently on your bedside table?
I have book “piles” on my bedside table. I just started The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. It’s delicious.   It’s a big book to travel with so on my most recent trip I packed a Donna Leon mystery and Alice Munro’s short stories.
You didn’t ask about the books “under my bed”. This is where I keep a pile of heavy art books.  No room on the “bedside table” but plenty of room on the “bedside floor”.  My sister just sent me a Sendak book for my birthday. It is lovely.
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Listen Now to Ken Cadow on the Book Jam

Another first-time author and Vermont resident, Ken Cadow, joins us to kick off the Book Jam for the month of May (full disclosure: Ken is Lisa LC’s husband). His new book Alfie Runs Away , published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, is a gem for the read-aloud-crowd and looks at the age-old subject of running away. Cadow’s story, however, offers up a twist on the theme: Alfie’s mom actually helps him to pack his bag!

A little girl looses her tooth and goes around the block. Or is it around the world?

But “Alfie” is not the focus of our discussion. Instead, we talk about the books that Cadow would pack  if he were to run away – both as a little boy and now, as a writer of children’s books who’s all grown-up.  Where the Wild Things Are was his earliest favorite story (his local librarian even had a copy reserved just for him!) and would be the first in his suitcase. Next would  be the works of Peter Sis
(MadlenkaTibet Through the Red Box, and The Wall:Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain) as “every page” he observes, “is like walking through a mural.”

A story of creating one's own family

Cadow’s bag wouldn’t be complete without the Chronicles of Narnia or the works of E.B. White.  He particularly “appreciates E.B. White’s sense of place” and his “awareness of the cycle of life and death.”  One Man’s Meat: A Book of Collected Essays is one of White’s books that Cadow rereads annually. As is The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell with “decorations” (and not illustrations, mind you) by Maurice Sendak). This enchanting story, one Cadow has read to his own children countless times, tells the tale of a lonely hunter who lives on an island who creates his own family from a mermaid, a bear, a lynx and a finally, a baby.

And Cadow “wows” the Lisas with a little know piece of Tolkein knowledge from the Lord of the Rings. Listen all the way to the end of this episode, and you’ll even hear some unedited, encouraging words from J Lisa C (she’s nice and funny even when she thinks the tape is turned off!).

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