26 April 2009
Here is a quick round-up of the results:
First Place: Harry and the Can of Purple Spray Paint (Kate Coombs)
Second Place: The Very Hungry Larva (Elaine Magliaro)
Third Place: Kitty's First Meteor Hurtling On A Terrifying Death Path Toward Earth (Hannah Mahoney)
And some of the Honorable Mentions:
24 April 2009
Harry and the Can of Purple Spray Paint: Whatever you do, don't call him Harold. He's a big boy now, and he wields a mean can of spray paint! Follow Harry up and down dirty alleys and streets, also beneath overpasses, in this touching sequel. Remember: when you see that magical purple tag, an H with a skull-handled dagger slashing through it, you know Harry's been there and left his mark. -Kate Coombs
So there you have it! Congratulations, Kate!
And a big thanks to everyone who submitted their awesome suggestions... and thank you Melangell and Phil for judging and of course, thank you Farida for thinking up and organizing the contest!
23 April 2009
The Taking Tree: Shel Silverstein's sequel to The Giving Tree proves to be much less popular, as children everywhere shun trees for fear of grabby branches and thieving twigs, and parents complain about the bad morals being conveyed to their impressionable tots. Book rated highly with test audiences, but it was later revealed that test audience consisted mainly of rhododendrons. -a.fortis, Finding Wonderland
The Tree: Co-dependent No More!: A burst of insight leads the formerly Giving Tree to shed its unhealthy relationship with The Boy as it sprouts a new branch from the stump it has become. -MotherReader
Counting Rings: A Very Special Crime Scene Investigation of 'The Giving Tree': Using the current DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), "Counting Rings: A Very Special Crime Scene Investigation of 'The Giving Tree'" breaks down, in a child-friendly counting-book way, the psychoses and delusions behind your child's first - and favorite - dysfunctional relationship. -Lee Wind
The Irate Stump: The Giving Tree has a few regrets . . . -Jamie Michalak
The Trading Tree: The story of a cunning tree which, starting with the offer of an apple for allowance, slowly trades a young boy out of his considerable inheritance over the course of his life, leaving him with nothing but a place to sit. -Tony Dowler (not an official entry, since he's a relation...)
And one more for good measure--the unnecessary sequel to Bread and Jam For Frances:
Brie and Foie Gras For Frances: After spending a month-long summer vacation in Paris with her parents and younger sister, Frances returns home and refuses to eat anything other than brie cheese and foie gras imported from France. -Elaine Magliaro
That's it for now. Remember to check in with Saints and Spinners on Friday to see who got first place in the contest!
p.s. there are a ton of other honorable mention worthy submissions that I hope to get too in time... unfortunately, if I spend any more time on photoshop my eyes might pop out of my skull and/or my wife might stuff my laptop down the garbage disposal (with good reason).
22 April 2009
The Very Hungry Larva or Moth Madness: This is the tale of a "mad about plaid" caterpillar that eats his way through all the heirloom tartans in a Scottish castle. The larva is finally caught and "kilt" by a wild and woolly sheep shearer and his weaver wife who live on the banks of Loch Lamb. -Elaine Magliaro
Congratulations Elaine, and thanks for the great suggestion! 1st Place (and maybe a few more honorable mentions) will continue to rollout during the rest of the week. Check in with Saints and Spinners for all the details!
Note: Contest judges were the worldy and wise Melangell and Phil. Thanks guys!
21 April 2009
An unnecessary addition to Eric Carle's iconic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? series: Wet Dog, Wet Dog, What Do You Smell?
...or if you want one of Penguin's newer/edgier designs, try the Penguin UK Modern Classics version:
That's it for now! (Hope that didn't gross you out too much!)
Remember to check in tomorrow at Saints and Spinners to find out who is the second place winner of the Unnecessary Children' Book Sequels That Never Were Contest!
20 April 2009
Unnecessary Sequel Third Place Winner: Kitty’s First Meteor Hurtling on a Terrifying Death Path Toward Earth
Kitty’s First Meteor Hurtling on a Terrifying Death Path Toward Earth: Henkes goes for the dark side in the sequel to Kitten’s First Full Moon. Please note that scenes of worldwide panic and of the apocalyptic destruction of the eastern seaboard may not be appropriate for the very youngest readers. -Hannah Mahoney (Copy Manager, Candlewick Press)
And then of course (as with all successful children's books these days), comes the blockbuster movie adaptation:
Congratulations Hannah, and thanks for your winning submission! 2nd and 1st Place (along with more honorable mentions) will be coming up throughout the week. Check in with Saints and Spinners for all the details!
Note: Contest judges were the eminent Melangell and Phil. Thanks guys!
19 April 2009
Thanks to everyone for their creative suggestions, and stay tuned for more throughout the week!
Where the Wild Things Aren't: a loving commentary on boredom and conformity. -Greg W.
Where the Wild Things Aren't: After seeing his pediatrician and a child psychologist, max is prescribed medication for his anger management issues and night terrors. -Rocco Staino and Cynthia Sandler
Where the Wild Things Are Having a Bash: Max grows up and leaves home for Carousal State College--the biggest party school in the country. There, he meets other "wild things" and sails off with them into drunken oblivion every weekend. Of course, when he sobers up on Monday mornings, his Friday night dinners are always cold and moldy. -Elaine Magliaro
Where the Wild Things Aren't: Max grows up, becomes an accountant, marries the nice Jewish girl next door and spends the rest of his life in painful anonymity. -The Library Lady
Wild Things: A Tropical Theme Park: This picture book is a story about an important industry called tourism. In it, we welcome you to a tropical paradise reached by some pretty clever chronological sailing. See our monsters in their very specially designed habitat and later you can even watch a trained monster show while sipping on banana daiquiris as the sun sets over the ocean. Written and developed by Imperial Corporate, Inc. just for you. -Kate Coombs
16 April 2009
Author: Robert Munsch
Illustrator: Michael Martchenko
The moral of The Paper Bag Princess is a welcome and subversive take on your standard fairy tale fare. A pretty princess loses her clothes and realizes in the end that she doesn't need all those pretty clothes to be a princess. She emerges stronger, more independent, and wielding a new vision of femininity that serves her well as she battles dragons, close-minded boyfriends, and the wedding industry.
Unfortunately, I think the message of this book may have been too subtle because the moral seems to have been lost on some of our modern day princesses. Whereas the original Paper Bag Princess shed her clothes in a bold act of defiance, bravely discarding the trappings and confines of traditional femininity, today's female royalty are shedding their clothes for an entirely different reason.
The phenomenon was thoroughly examined in Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, and will be further explored in Almeta Grayson's new book Paper Bag Princess, which profiles the disturbing trend of sexual exploitation as a route to fame. (exhibit A: Paris Hilton; exhibit B: Kim Kardashian).
From Publishers Weekly: "These sobering portraits force the reader to question a society that not only encourages this brand of sexploitation, but rewards it with prime time TV deals and endless magazine covers. A well-balanced but jarring social critique, Paper Bag Princess will change the way you watch TV... and how you see the world."
Note: This started out as a standard satirical post, but I have to admit that I am legitimately disturbed by this. Maybe it's because I'm getting to the age where the idea of fatherhood is not just a distant and abstract concept, but I consistently find myself flipping through the TV saying to myself (or my wife), "Our children will not watch TV. We are moving to a remote cabin in the woods where E! cannot find us." Call me a prude, but the idea of raising a daughter in a world where sex tapes are a legitimate path to stardom scares the sh!t out of me.
A Lighter Note: For a more thorough discussion of the actual Paper Bag Princess, see Fuse #8's profile of the book, which came in at #70 in her Top 100 Picture Books List.
15 April 2009
"I Am Still a Bunny" by Ole Risom.
We've already spent one fun-filled year with Nicholas the Bunny. Now the cute rabbit takes another trip through the seasons, in which he continues to be a passive, isolated observer of the pagent of life. "In spring, I watch other animals making friends." Children will be comforted by the fact that flowers still bloom, leaves still fall, and Nicholas is still watching them.
"A devastating meditation on the nature of passivity in a society obsessed with hyper-engagement. If only we could all still be bunnies."
-Jonathan Franzen, author of How To Be Alone
Thank you, Charlotte for that awesome suggestion! Stay tuned for more soon...
Note: Not all of the contest illustrations will be children's books re-imagined as books for grown-ups... but I reserve the right to scratch that book design review itch when necessary.
14 April 2009
So here is the first installment... Goodnight Moon redesigned as a noir-ish novel:
10 April 2009
09 April 2009
My friend Karin sent me this... the perfect way to jumpstart an otherwise lethargic Thursday morning!
p.s.: I realize that there have been an inordinate number of posts about poop lately. I can't explain it, but I am doing my best to rectify the situation. (no pun intended.)
06 April 2009
The Unneccessary Children's Book Sequels That Never Were Contest over at Saints and Spinners is still going strong! You've got until Friday to submit your winning entry. Go to Farida's site to see all the rules, but basically, submit your entry and judges will choose the top three submissions. I will then attempt to illustrate or photoshop-ustrate the winning entries for your viewing pleasure. Winners get their choice of prizes!
So think hard about your favorite children's books (or if you need to jog your memory, check out Fuse #8's definitive list of Top 100 Picture Books) and imagine the bizarre and unnecessary directions that they may lead...
To get you primed, last week we brought you the delightfully squirm-inducing Millions of Rats (see above). We've gotten some really good responses so far, so too keep the momentum going here is another unnecessary sequel--the follow up to Leo Lionni's heartwarming classic Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse... Alexander and the Logitech MX610 Wireless Laser Mouse!
From the press release that never was:
"In a bold new joint venture to promote cross-industrial synergy, the Lionni estate has partnered with industry leader Logitech to launch a new series of children's books that will teach children about the importance of compassion, the beauty of friendship, and the advantages of the cutting-edge technology that only Logitech products can provide. Now available at your local Best Buy. "
Now go join in on the fun and GIVE US YOUR BEST SHOT!
02 April 2009
And using his prescribed method of estimation, I came within 100 jelly beans of the correct answer! Hot Diggigity Donuts! Now if I could only travel back in time to the third grade...
Also, be sure to check out Oliver's website. He gives you an insider's look at the thought processes behind the pages of National Geographic, which (if you're a dork like me) is like freakin' candy (a giant jar of jelly beans, if you will).