Thursday, November 28, 2013

My gratitude for good writing is unbounded

…for some of us, books are as important as anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid pieces of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet you or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. They are full of the things that you don’t get in life…wonderful, lyrical language, for instance. And quality of attention: we may notice amazing details during the course of a day but we rarely let ourselves stop and really pay attention. An author makes you notice, makes you pay attention and this is a great gift. My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean. 
–Anne Lamott

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why Children's Books Matter

This weekend, while in New York, I went to the New York Public Library exhibit The ABC Of It: Why Children's Books Matter.

The exhibit is free of charge and runs from June 21st, 2013 thru March 23rd, 2014.

If you love children's books, you'll love this exhibit of over 250 literary artifacts.

From Harry Potter to Charlotte's Web, from Good Night Moon to The Phantom Tollbooth, children's books are an amazing romp between fantasy and reality.

Once you've experienced the exhibit, you will leave with your own answer to Why Children's Books Matter. 

Spoiler Alert… it has everything to do with a shared understanding of what growing up is all about.

Raising a Ruckus
Children's books have often served as lightning rods for controversy, with topics considered taboo - death, race, and sex chief among them - and notions of child-appropriateness triggering sharp debate and vigorous efforts to limit or bar access to certain books. While acts of censorship are often driven by overt political or cultural agendas, other, more ambiguous cases blur the line between blatant suppression and well-intentioned editorial - or parental - judgement.
In the United States, censorship has typically been instigated by self-appointed gatekeepers, not centralized governmental authorities. Cold War-era authors Garth Williams, Madeline L'Engle, Maurice Sendak, and Judy Bloom saw their popular books routinely challenged, primarily by fundamentalist religious groups. Nearly a century before, Mark Twain had divined an upside to such pious literary witch-hunts. When informed that the Concord, Massachusetts, public library had "expelled" Huckleberry Finn from its shelves, deeming it "trash", Twain crowed to his publisher, "That will sell 25,000 copies for us sure."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The movie trailer is out… and, yes, it's awesome.

Release date: March 21, 2014

There's still time to read the book!

Monday, November 11, 2013


In the UK there's a department store chain called John Lewis. They make wonderful holiday advertisements. This year's production is a story told through a combination of stop motion animation and standard animation.

Take a look...

John Lewis - The Bear & The Hare from Blink on Vimeo.

Even more amazing is a look into the making of The Bear and The Hare

John Lewis 'The Bear & The Hare' - The Making Of from Blink on Vimeo.

In addition, check out the BBC's attempt to interpret the meaning of this story. My personal favorite is interpretation number three… it's all about emotional connection.