Variety has the news that Neil Gaiman’s new book which hasn’t even been released yet has already sold the film rights. Hansel and Gretel is being developed into a live-action movie by Juliet Blake. The book itself is released in October.
“For me, retelling Hansel and Gretel was a way of telling an old tale in a way that made it immediate and true, and about us, now,” Gaiman said. “It reminds us of how paper thin civilization really is. It’s about hunger, and about families.”
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Author/illustrator Cece Bell has created a graphic novel memoir of her loss of hearing as a child. At age four, Cece contracts meningitis and the disease takes away her ability to hear. At first Cece attends school with other children who have hearing loss and wear hearing aids, but then she is sent to first grade with a new super-powered hearing aid, the Phonic Ear. Her new teacher has to wear a microphone, one that she sometimes forgets to take off (even when she uses the bathroom) which leads to some rather interesting sounds! But along with these superpowers come some ethical questions and some technical problems. As Cece copes with her hearing loss, she is also living the normal life of a child, attending school, making new friends, all with a big hearing aid on her chest.
Bell writes with a great honesty here, revealing helpful hints about what deaf people need to help them read lips and understand people better, things that other people can help with. There is plenty of humor throughout the novel, making it very appealing. Also adding to the appeal is Bell’s transformation from human to bunny in the illustrations, sending herself as an imaginary superhero flying upwards with her long ears.
While this is a book about a disability, it is much more a book about Bell and how her creativity helped her through times that required a real strength of character. Her sense of humor also helped immensely, and it is her positive take about her hearing loss that makes this such an incredible read.
A top graphic novel for children and libraries, this is a must-read and a must-have. Appropriate for ages 7-10.
Reviewed from ARC received from Amulet Books.
Oliver and His Egg by Paul Schmid
Oliver from Oliver and His Alligator returns in a second book. While on the playground, Oliver finds an egg, really a large smooth rock, that he imagines will hatch into a big orange-polka-dotted dinosaur. He would have a new friend and they would go on adventures together. As Oliver dreams of their adventures, the other children find that he is sitting on the “egg” waiting for it to hatch. So he tells them of his enormous dinosaur-sized dream and they all have to find eggs of their own.
Schmid’s picture book is simple and cheery. Oliver is a creative little boy, inventing his own worlds. The book also shows that all children can be creative and use their imaginations. Just as in the first book, the text is minimal, offering less than a sentence on each page. It suits a book that is about imagination to have so much left unsaid.
The illustrations are simple too. Clearly drawn characters are done in simple lines with small touches of color. They are combined with the rock “eggs” that are photographed stones, giving them a weight that the light illustrations don’t have. It’s a dynamic combination on the page.
A cheerful follow-up picture book, this second outing for Oliver is great fun for toddlers. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:
Berlie Doherty’s top 10 watery tales | The Guardian – http://buff.ly/1pwFwIc – perfect for a rainy Friday
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: how much do you know? – quiz | Books | The Observer http://buff.ly/WaDzdj
Reading Rainbow to Publish LeVar Burton’s First Picture Book – GalleyCat http://buff.ly/WcEGcw
Librarians Are A Luxury Chicago Public Schools Can’t Afford : NPR http://buff.ly/1pjz2MD
Why Your Library May Soon Have Laser Cutters and 3-D Printers | Design | WIRED http://buff.ly/1xcC7Z9
Gene Luen Yang’s rousing diversity speech at the 2014 National Book Festival gala – The Washington Post http://buff.ly/1waq0aT