To occupy kids and their parents during the Thanksgiving holiday Pixar’s animated movie, The Good Dinosauropens today. It’s not based on a book, but it comes with a range of tie-ins.
The title cuently rising on Amazon’s sales rankings is the Little Golden Book version, which most libraries do not buy, The Good Dinosaurby Bill Scollon and illustrated by Michaelangelo Rocco (PRH/Disney/Pixar). It is currently at #32, putting it close to best sellers The Martian and The Day the Crayons Came Home.
The director turns to different material for his next adaptation, Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck (Scholastic, 2011). Whe
n the project was announced in May, the Haynes already had several other projects in the works. Today is was announced that Julianne Moore will star, indicating Wonderstruck may be next on his list.
This will be Selznick’s second book adapted by a celebrated director, after Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hugo, based on The Invention Of Hugo Cabret.
The book portrays history through the making of a single dessert, blackberry fool, in four different centuries, 1710, 1810, 1910, and 2010. The section from 1810 portrays an enslaved woman and her daughter making the dessert for a white family, then licking the remains from the bowl while hidden in a closet. Many objected that the mother and daughter appear to be enjoying the process of creating the fool, feeding the myth of the “happy slave” and that the closet scene, while stark in contrast, needs more context (see the NYT story for images of the pages).
The reactions have caused a soul-searching on the part of the books’ creators as well as at least one reviewer.
As the NYT notes, author Emily Jenkin has posted an apology online, saying that she will donate her writing fee to the campaign We Need Diverse Books.
Illustrator Sophie Blacknall, however, defends the book, as she did on Tuesday, responding to direct criticisms from author Daniel José Older at the Fall Conference of the New York City School Library System (section begins at time stamp 21:15).
The book received four starred reviews (the only holdout and the only prepub reviewer to raise a flag about the issue was Publishers Weekly). The Book Review Editor for School Library Journal, Kiera Parrott, wrote that publication’s starred review. She has posted comments on Twitter, and published them on Storify as “Reflecting on A Fine Dessert,” saying that at first she first felt the book’s depiction offered “a great opportunity to talk to [children] about America’s dark and painful history.” After reading what others have had to say, she says that she now realizes she was wrong and that, “It may feel odd for those of us who want to see more diversity to realize that sometimes NO representation is better than bad representation.”
For those who want to dive deeper into the issue, SLJ, has published a bibliography of discussion.
“Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland … The Hatter has lost his Muchness, so Mirana (Hathaway) sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the chamber of the Grand Clock which powers all time. Returning to the past, she comes across friends – and enemies – at different points in their lives, and embarks on a perilous race to save the Hatter before time runs out.”
Tim Burton produces the film but does not direct this time, leaving that to James Bobin, known for his work on the recent Muppets movies.
A TV adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series is in the works by the BBC with New Line cinema producing. Pre-production and casting will not begin until next year and no date has been set for the series debut.
The first book in the series, The Golden Compass, was made into a movie in 2007, starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman, with plans for it to become a franchise.
The Guardian, sees it differently, ” It was a success, taking £230m around the world, but some fans were upset about departures from the original storyline and planned sequels never materialised.” They also dismiss claims from cast member Sam Elliot that New Line was scared off by opposition from the Catholic church to themes of atheism.
This is not the first time a movie franchise has switched to TV. The 2013 movie City Of Bones based on Cassandra Clare’s popular YA series made a similar move and will debut on Jan. 12 as a TV series titled Shadowhunters.
In news that might overshadow her PR push for the newest Cormoran Strike novel, JK Rowing said during an interview on BBC Radio 2 Book Club that she is going to write another children’s book:
“I’m not going to give you an absolute date because things are busy and I’ve been writing a screenplay as well. But I will definitely write more novels under JK Rowling. I’ve written part of a children’s book, which I really love. I will definitely finish that. I have ideas for other adult books.”
Let the watch begin.
UPDATE: The U.K. trade publication, The Bookseller, followed up with Rowling’s agent. You can almost hear the sigh in his voice as he replies, “J K Rowling has talked previously about writing a children’s book and, as she said to Simon Mayo in the interview, it is on-going, with no plans to publish as yet.”
She is also gamely promoting her latest adult title, Career of Evil (Hachette/Mulholland), the third in the Cormoran Strike mystery series.
She has much to say on that same BBC interview but she also talked with David Greene for NPR’s Morning Edition, discussing how her research into the feelings and motivations of killers gave her nightmares and why she chose to disguise herself as a male author.
“… there was a phenomenal amount of pressure that went with being the writer of Harry Potter, and that aspect of publishing those books I do not particularly miss. So you can probably understand the appeal of going away and creating something very different, and just letting it stand or fall on its own merits.”
Netflix is adapting Jay Asher’s multi-award winning 2007 YA novel about teen suicide into a 13-episode series. The news caused the book to jump up Amazon’s sales rankings (#355 from #719).
According to Variety, Selena Gomez will serve as an executive producer and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Brian Yorkey will write the pilot. Back in 2011, Universal acquired rights for a big-screen adaptation, but it seems those plans have changed.
Asher’s novel, with the stylized title TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, (Penguin/RazorBill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), is about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, each addressed to one of her classmates, explaining how they contributed to her decision.
Deadline reports that Gomez will not star in the show herself and the leads not been cast. An air date has yet to be set.
A YALSA Best Books of 2008, it was a NYT best seller in hardcover for over two years and continued as a paperback best seller until two weeks ago.
A harbinger of the holidays, the New York Times Sunday Book Review‘s selection of the ten Best Illustrated Books of 2015 is available online today. It will appear in print in the upcoming issue.
The titles range from several that have already received wide acclaim, such as Leo: A Ghost Story, by Mac Barnett, illus. by Christian Robinson (Chronicle), and Sidewalk Flowers, JonArno Lawson illus. by Sydney Smith (Groundwood), to a couple of under-the-radar picks. Both of those are coincidentally, about the same famous Parisian edifice), Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower, Greg Pizzoli (Penguin/Viking Young Readers) and the only translated title on the list, Madame Eiffel: The Love Story of the Eiffel Tower, Alice Brière-Haquet, illus. by Csil (Little Gestalten; 978-3899557558; Nov).
“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children … While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, the play is based on “an original story by Potter scribe Rowling, English TV writer Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany who won a Tony Award for Broadway’s Once.”
USA Today reports the play follows events set directly after the epilogue in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, 19 years after Harry defeated Voldemort. It is scheduled to begin its run the summer of 2016 at London’s Palace Theater. Similar to the final HP movie, the play will be in two parts.
Ten years ago Rick Riordan got kids interested in reading about Greek mythology with the publication of The Lightning Thief. Since then he has also written series based on Roman and Egyptian mythology.
In and interview withEntertainment Weekly Riordan says that Norse myths present a special challenge because are gruesome and he had to figure out how to “present this accurately but also in a way that’s not completely terrifying”
PW reported last week that it sold 10,000 copies in two days. Ehrlin, a Swedish psychologist, originally self-published the bedtime story, which Random House acquired after its huge popularity over the summer and has just re-released.
It debuts at #3 on the NYT‘s Picture Book Best Seller list this week, sandwiched between Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers’s crayon books and a seasonal choice, Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean.
It is also on the USA Today list, which includes titles in all formats and for all ages, now at #35 down from an earlier high of #6.
Both testers qualified their findings by acknowledging the presence of cameras or microphones could not have helped create the necessary atmosphere.
For those still game to try it out, NPR reports sleep experts suggest that parents make it a constant routine at bedtime and practice delivering the story until they get the lulling rhythm down pat.
If all else fails, parents can at least get some comfort in knowing they are not alone in their bleary-eyed frustration and entertain themselves with the another best selling title about sleep and kids, Adam Mansbach’s Go the F**k to Sleep.