Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bring back Louis Darling!

Some on the ALSC listserv are complaining that a new ALA poster lacks ethnic diversity. (If you squint you can see two kids of color in the background.) But the poster is based on Beverly Cleary's major characters (white people all, yes?) as seen in their latest editions, illustrated by Tracy Dockray. As black-and-white illustrations within the books, Dockray's drawings are serviceable but bland; on this poster they look generic and thus, I think, the complaints. Dockray's illustrations have not taken enough hold that people look at this poster and think, "ah, Ramona!" They just see (mostly) white people, so the slogan "Libraries are for everyone!" seems a little optimistic.

9 comments:

Erin said...

Speaking of Ramona, what are the feelings regarding the new "Ramona and Beezus" movie that is being released this week?

I think it is obvious that they changed the order of the names in the title (the book of course being titled "Beezus and Ramona") to highlight the appearance of Selena Gomez.

I am also not sure about the casting: Beezus is described as being kind of gawky and awkward, and I think that Selena Gomez is too pretty (in an obvious way) to really portray Beezus as Beverly Cleary wrote her.

Anonymous said...

also, i know this is a ramona-centric poster, but can we get a mouse somewhere? on a motorcycle?

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

I miss Alan Tiegreen, too.

iconoclast said...

I think they just changed the title because, um, the movie isn't based on the book Beezus and Ramona. Anyway, genuinely puzzled: how does changing the order of the names highlight the actress playing Beezus?

Roger Sutton said...

Anamaria, yes, it seems to me like each generation of illustrations for the Ramona books has gotten less distinctive, but maybe it's more about what you grew up with.

Iconoclast, I'm reminded of the billing for George Clooney's Ocean's Eleven, where the last credit was "and introducing Julia Roberts."

Erin said...

What I meant was that by mentioning Beezus last, I thought the story was going to focus on her (meaning Selena Gomez), and give the audience her POV throughout the movie, when the real star of the books was always Ramona. Even in the book "Beezus and Ramona" (which the movie is not based on, though I mistakenly thought it was at first) which is told from Beezus' POV, Ramona is the center of the story from the very first sentence.

I should have explained better, so my apologies.

Beth said...

I don't mind his illustrations of Ramona, but this does not work as an ALA poster. Thank you for pointing out that the glaringly all white-cast does not match the slogan "Libraries are for Everyone". I thought I was the only one who noticed...

Erin said...

I am sorry if this question is a little off the main topic of the ALA poster, but could someone please tell me what illustrator did the covers for the Ramona stories from the Dell Yearling books?

The image of her face on "Ramona Quimby, Age 8" has always stayed with me.

Maxine Shaw, attorney-at-LOL said...

The Louis Darling illustrations that we grew up with are not the illustrations that children today associate with Ramona. I should know - I worked in an elementary school library.

As a black woman who took great pains to scan every original LD and AT drawing and embed them into e-books, I have to laugh at your whole "Keep Klickitat Street White" campaign. I guess it never dawned on you that the inclusion of children of color - even in the background - can be a GOOD thing.