Happy Fourth of July!
For the past six weeks, my new home should have had one of these book promos hanging from the front door:
As readers of this blog know, I gave myself a deadline of July 4 to finish unpacking and get things in order.
Well, it took all day, but I finally got most of the boxes moved out of the garage and off the floor of my new library. Then it took me the rest of the day to make my first video ever. Here it is -- the first public viewing of my home library, along with a quick scan of all my Newbery Award and Honor Book first editions:
For those who can't view videos online (and that includes me up until a couple weeks ago), I'm including a few photographs as well. Sorry for the poor quality of some of them:
The Newbery collection:
Only one author gets an entire shelving unit to herself -- my favorite writer, M.E. Kerr!
RED AND BLACK
I like reading plays and earlier this week I happened upon LADY IN THE DARK, a musical by Moss Hart. I was surprised to see that most of the text was printed in regular black ink, but certain sections -- dream sequences revealed during the heroine's psychoanalysis -- were printed in red ink.
It was an unusual choice, and something I only recall seeing in one other book, THE PRINCESS BRIDE by William Goldman.
Given the visual nature of most kids, I'm surprised that more children's books haven't tried this device.
Or have they?
Can anyone think of any children's books printed in more than one color?
THERE ONCE WAS A GIRL NAMED JENNY
One of the musical numbers in LADY IN THE DARK is called "The Tale of Jenny" and includes the lyrics "Poor Jenny, Bright as a Penny." The words sounded familiar and I recalled that there was once a YA problem novel by this title.
In fact, I own a copy:
I came upon this book in a very strange way. One day I was looking up something on eBay and noticed that several books by Shirley Rousseau Murphy were on sale -- and you could have them personally inscribed. Thinking that Ms. Murphy herself was selling the books, I ordered POOR JENNY, BRIGHT AS A PENNY as well as the intriguing TOWER OF GRASS. In my bid, I told the author how much I had enjoyed her books in the past.
As it turned out, Ms. Murphy was not selling these books herself. Instead, the sale was being negotiated by Sylvia Louise Engdahl -- another equally well-known author (and also Ms. Murphy's webmaster.) So I ordered the books from Ms. Engdahl, who sent the info on to Ms. Murphy, who signed the volumes:
NEWBERY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
There was an interesting article by playwright Theresa Rebeck in the New York Times earlier this week. In the piece she asked if a play can be "too funny."
The passage that caught my eye said: "It's a bit of a balancing act — you need to land a laugh early, then build, keeping the laughs interspersed so that the entire enterprise stays afloat. It’s like that raft that soared through the air with the 21 balloons when Krakatoa blew up. All the balloons have to be equally full of hot air, or the raft will tip, and the people will fall off. You don’t want the people falling off. You want them listening with delight, and then erupting into laughter all at the same time."
I wonder how many readers wondered about the Krakatoa reference. Did they think it was an historic fact, or did they realize she was citing the 1948 Newbery winner, THE 21 BALLOONS by William Pene Du Bois?
Since I've spent this entire day cleaning and unpacking, today's blog is shorter than average. Thanks for sharing your holiday weekend with Collecting Children's Books.
...Oh, and if you're wondering what happened to all those boxes and bags I unpacked this week?
Well, let's just say you'd be wise not to open the doors of the basement storage room, the hall closet, the laundry room, or my bedroom closet!
In fact, I think I'd better hang this book promo item on the doors of each of those places: