Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bring Back My o.p. Books

I appreciate it when celebrities use their powers for literary good. Emma Thompson made the film "Nanny McPhee" (I've not seen it) and thus, Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda has returned to us. J.K. Rowling said she loved Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse and now a film is in the making. While The Little White Horse has been one of the few Elizabeth Goudge titles to remain in print over the years, perhaps it is not too much to hope for a reprinting of others that haven't been as lucky. The New York Review of Books has my everlasting gratitude for bringing back Esther Averill's Jenny Linsky series and Eleanor Farjeon's The Little Bookroom.

Well done.

Now, I would like whomever else has clout, money and wisdom* in the ways of children's literature to bring some of my favorite books back into print. Here is a small list:

I Can't Said the Ant--Polly Cameron

The Green Hero: Early Adventures of Finn MacCool-- Bernard Evslin, illustrated by Barbara Bascove

Henrietta's House (UK)/ Blue Hills (USA)--Elizabeth Goudge**

Cat's Pajamas--Thacher Hurd

Daughter of the Moon--Gregory Maguire

Changeover--Margaret Mahy

The Pumpkin Man and the Crafty Creeper--Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Helen Craig

Dinner at Alberta's--Russell Hoban, illustrated by James Marshall

Zigger Beans--Diane Redfield Massie

Elephant Buttons-- Noriko Ueno

Rich Cat, Poor Cat--Bernard Waber

The Compleet Molesworth (including Down With Skool! A Guide to School Life for Tiny Pupils and their Parents )--Geoffrey Willians, illustrated by Ronald Searle

Question of the Day: If you were to show up on an ALA celebrity READ poster, what book would you hold? My book would be The Hounds of the Morrigan, by Pat O'Shea.

*Not you, Madonna, unless you heed my list.

**Technically, at this very moment, there are some hardcover copies available. I suspect that it won't be long before it's totally o.p. again. Last year, I paid $25 USD for a paperback copy of The Compleet Molesworth. I wanted to be able to lend it out while I kept my hardcover copy on the shelf. As of this morning, those paperback copies are going for $249.99. Preposterous! I'll lend you my copy. Just send it back when you're done, please. August 15, 2006


Nonny said...

I've not heard of any of those books. I didn't read many children's books when I was younger. Other than the whole Judy Blume series and the Chronicles of Narnia. I'm quite glad that "How To Eat Fried Worms" has been made into a movie. It is actually the first chapter book I ever read and holds dear memories for me.

I'm still looking for that book of fairy tales with the awesome illustrations.

goddess of clarity said...

Those are all new to me too, but outside of the Nancy Drew and Little House on the Prairie books and my mom's Agatha Christie collection, I didn't really read much as a kid.

The posters are neat, though why did Britney Spears get Harry Potter?! I think I would pick Catch-22. It was the first book that I wanted to read over and over again, and the first book that made me feel smart.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

On an ALA poster,
of course I'd hold up Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights".

The only other contender would be "Gorilla Hunting for Beginners" by Christopher Lee.

abcgirl said...

has anyone held up any of the douglas adams' books on a poster yet? that would be my choice. or maybe robin mckinley's "the hero and the crown"

Melangell said...

Excellent choice of children's books, my dear Alkelda! I have read them all and concur wholeheartedly. Now the challenge for me is to come up with a favorite that perhaps you have not read. (It is too much to hope for a reprint of "The Mongoose Family" which was published in Calcutta in the 1940's, I think. But that book certainly lives in me.)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Nonny: Word on the street is that they've significantly changed "How to Eat Fried Worms."
:( Hiss boo! Here's Fusenumber8's take on it:

How to Deconstruct Fried Worms . The quote from the screenplay writer makes me want to punch him in the mouth:

If I was adapting something longer, say an adult-length novel, I probably would've taken more pains to be loyal to the book.

Snide, snide, snide. And because I've written it three times, that really drives home my point, eh?

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

ABCGirl: If the celebrities haven't yet chosen Douglas Adams or Robin McKinley, it's about time. Really, this is an opportunity to hawk a good book that needs more exposure.

Goddess: On the one hand, it's great that kids see their favorite celebrities holding up the books the kids themselves like (i.e Dr. Seuss et al.), but Britney Spears holding up Harry Potter makes me think she just chose the most popular book on the bestseller list and didn't actually read it (or listen to it). Do I presume? Yes, I do.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Melangell: I think The Mongoose Family had a limited run on a tiny, tiny press. If it's going to be reprinted, it'll probably be up to you to do so! The "mongoose" is portrayed as a goose, which makes me wonder... did the person who wrote it actually know what a mongoose was??

The Moy said...

I'd be holding A CANDLE IN HER ROOM, one of the best and creepiest children's books ever!

Jen Robinson said...

I loved A Candle in Her Room and other books by Ruth M. Arthur. Excellent creepy material. I have used copies of a couple of them that I have picked up over the years, but would love to have others. I would also like to Inez Haynes Irwin's Maida series reprinted. Those were my favorite books when I was a kid, although they were already long out of print then.

Thanks for the birthday greetings!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'm going to have to Interlibrary-Loan A Candle in Her Room. It's not available in my local library system. Thanks for the new (old) titles!