Snowflake Bentley

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 1999

Snowflake Bentley

By Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Illustrations by Mary Azarian

New York: Scholastic, 1998

30 pp.

Age: 5+

Interests: snowflakes, snow, biography, science, scientists, photography, nature

Also about W. A. Bentley: My Brother Loved Snowflakes by Mary Bahr

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Mirette on the High Wire

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 1993

Mirette on the High Wire

by Emily Arnold McCully

New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1992

Age: 4+

Interests: Paris, circus performers, tightrope walkers, plucky heroines

Next: sequels Starring Mirette and Bellini, and Mirette and Bellini Cross Niagara Falls

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How I Became a Pirate

How I Became a Pirate

by Melinda Long

illustrated by David Shannon

Orlando: Harcourt, 2003

34 pp.

Age: 3+

Interests: pirates!, ships, ocean, adventure, soccer

Also by this author and illustrator: Pirates Don’t Change Diapers

Also by this illustrator: No, David! (Diaper David series), A Bad Case of Stripes, Alice the Fairy

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Jack Zipes interview re. Fairy Tale Movies

Here’s a Salon interview with fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes, promoting his book The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films. Jack Zipes has written voluminously about fairy tales and modern consumer culture, and can always be counted on for a really curmudgeonly viewpoint. (Which I always enjoy.)

Another aspect of the current spate of “dark” movie versions of fairy tales that they don’t talk about here is that these films are obviously not intended for children to see. In one sense, this is actually true to ancient fairy tale tradition, after all the stories were told orally to whomever was around to hear them. They were not created specifically for children. So modern movies may actually be liberating the old tales from the “ghetto” of children’s amusements where they have been languishing for over a hundred years.

The downside of very dark fairy tale movies (plus the very adult comic book hero movies), is that they reflect the growing childishness of “grownups”. No more putting aside of childish things when we grow up – today adulthood simply means we are finally able to buy all the expensive toys we want and play games all day. The entertainment industry caters to the new infantilized adult, serving up children’s movies that aren’t really made for children (Pixar and comic book movies) and endless childish tv shows and games on very mature topics.

Um, but this article isn’t really about that. That was just me venting again…

Read the article here.

Click to Jack Zipes’ book on amazon here.

All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.