Monday, July 07, 2008

The breadth of children's literature

It's a wide world, all right. I'm editing Guide reviews this week and got conceptual whiplash when I hit these two picture book reviews in a row:

Harriet Dancing, by Ruth Symes and Caroline Jayne Church. "A hedgehog's feelings are hurt when the dancing butterflies won't let her join in."

Giant Meatball, by Robert Weinstock. "A reckless, oblivious jumbo-sized meatball bounds into a small town, unintentionally terrorizing its residents."

Really--between those two, what more could you need?

8 comments:

Melissa H. said...

These seem like very timely books, especially in our current political climate: oblivion to what's going on around us, fear of those who are different, recklessness, terrorism. Looks like more of these grimly realistic books for kids...sigh.

Alex Flinn said...

But they're similar, aren't they? About characters marching to their own drummers -- though the hedgehog book seems more approving of non-conformity than the meatball one.

Roger Sutton said...

Indeed--the meatball gets et.

Alex Flinn said...

Exactly! I was trying to envision a happier ending for this story, but then I thought, "Well, it's a meatball. It would be downright wasteful not to eat it." ;)

janeyolen said...

A small red hen can't get the other animals to cook with her.

A bannock/pancake/gingerbread man tempts a number of humans and animals, and in the end gets et.

So what's new?

Jane Yolen

Anonymous said...

Shrewd comment by Jane Yolen. She should be an editor!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that Melissa and Alex were being sarcastic in their responses to those two plot lines? Or is this typical chi-lit talk? Maybe I've missed the point of this professional humor?

sdl said...

My patron who's writing a book about a hot dog will be disappointed that the meatball one has beaten her to press. But still, she did tell me, "I could care less about the book. It's all about the marketing rights," so maybe she won't be that upset after all.