Courtesy FSU Special Collections
Anyone living near Tallahassee would be well advised to check out a current exhibit at Florida State University featuring artwork by Lois Lenski, winner of the 1946 Newbery Medal for Strawberry Girl. The physical exhibit runs through September 30th. There is also a supplementary digital collection, available to all.
“The members of Dr. Teri Abstein’s spring 2013 Museum Object class have been working with Florida State University Special Collections to design the exhibit entitled Farms, Fields, and Florida: Lois Lenski Illustrating the South. Through materials that have not been on display since Lenski presented them herself, the exhibition highlights the children’s author’s connection with the rural south, focusing on the state of Florida. Showcasing tales such as Bayou Suzette (recounting the life of a young Cajun girl in Louisiana), Strawberry Girl (the Newbery Award winning novel depicting the life of a young Cracker girl in Florida), and Judy’s Journey (tracking a young migrant girl’s travels through the south and eastern coast), the exhibition displays the rustic yet realistic tapestry of Southern life woven by Lenski. In addition, with featured photo albums, handwritten manuscripts, fan letters, original illustrations, and her published books, visitors receive a glimpse into Lenski’s own life and process.”
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite things to read, watch, and listen to over the holidays in a series I’m calling Make The Season Bright.
I recently sat down to watch the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 1986 film version of the Nutcracker and really enjoyed it. Maurice Sendak’s set design and costumes were just as impressive as I expected they would be and the many film-version-only transitions are stunning! PNB’s Nutcracker is available in its entirety on Netflix and YouTube.
“Maurice and I went back to the original Nutcracker story by E.T.A. Hoffman and incorporated much more of the story into the production. Clara and Herr Drosselmeier will be the central figures though the story essentially remains the same. The essence of the Nutcracker story is really a fantasy dreamed by Clara, a young girl on the verge of growing up. The ballet is seen unfolding through her eyes, in an atmosphere tinged with mystery, where there are no boundaries between dream and reality. We have worked on the concept of this new production for two years. Seeing our plans become a reality for our company is an incredible accomplishment—one we feel will be well worth it for all our Nutcracker fans.” — Choreographer Kent Stowell, November 1983
A good glimpse of the set design from the more recent stage production(s):
Fiction Writers Review is casting a spotlight on young adult literature this month. Content includes essays, short reviews, a “YA We Love” series, and interviews. Editor Lee Thomas explains the series here. The coverage so far has been a nice mix of nostalgia and commentary on current trends. I recommend you check it out!
Recently came across some terrific children’s literature bibliographies compiled by Kathleen Collins, the Children’s and Young Adult Literature Specialist at the University of Washington. (Aside: What a cool job!) They appear to have been created in conjunction with exhibits within the UW libraries.
They’re all great resources. I plan to seek out the wordless books I haven’t read in the Ann Arbor District Library’s catalog. Hope they’re useful for you too.
There are some days when you love your awesome adopted home town (and local library) just a little bit more. Today was one of those days. I dropped by the Downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library to pick up some research materials for a project I’m working on when I realized I’d stumbled smack dab into the Kids Read Comics event.
Look who I caught there:
None other than Raina Telgemeier (and her husband Dave Roman), winner of an Eisner for Smile, as well as the creator of Drama and the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel series!
Yes, in retrospect I regret not buying a tee-shirt. You live and you learn, eh?
Follow Raina on Twitter: @goraina
Follow Dave on Twitter: @yaytime
Follow Kids Read Comics on Twitter: @krcomics