Tuesday, February 16, 2010
NEW ARRIVALS: Children's Books
Tove Jansson, Moomin, Book One
Tove Jansson is revered around the world as one of the foremost children’s authors of the twentieth century for her illustrated chapter books regarding the magical worlds of her creation, the Moomins. The Moomins saw life in many forms but debuted to its biggest audience ever on the pages of world’s largest newspaper the London Evening News, in 1954. The strip was syndicated in newspapers around the world with millions of readers in 40 countries. Moomin Book One is the first volume of Drawn & Quarterly publishing plan to reprint the entire strip drawn by Jansson before she handed over the reigns to her brother Lars in 1960. This is the first time the strip will be published in any form in North America and will deservedly place Jansson among the international cartooning greats of the last century.
The Moomins are a tight-knit family – hippo-shaped creatures with easygoing and adventurous outlooks. Jansson's art is pared down and precise, yet able to compose beautiful portraits of ambling creatures in fields of flowers or rock-strewn beaches that recall Jansson’s Nordic roots. The comic strip reached out to adults with its gentle and droll sense of humor. Whimsical but with biting undertones, Jansson’s observations of everyday life, including guests who overstay their welcome, modern art, movie stars, and high society, easily caught the attention of an international audience and still resonate today.
Maxfield Parrish & Louise Saunders, Knave Of Hearts
Louise Saunders, talented wife of legendary editor Max Perkins, teamed with one of the most popular illustrators of all time to create this unforgettable fable. Known for his beautiful coloring and humorous touch, Maxfield Parrish’s work is iconic — and The Knave of Hearts is his ultimate achievement. Filled with 22 colorful images, and lavishly finished with a full-color endpaper painting.
Dino Buzzati, The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily
Dino Buzzati's classic tale chronicles the terrible winter that sent the starving bears down into the valley in search of food, as well as their struggles with an army of wild boars, a wily professor who may or may not be a magician, snarling Marmoset the Cat, and, worse still, treachery within their own ranks. Over all this, the bears triumph with bravery, ingenuity, humility, and high spirits.
The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily is one of the noblest books I know. At once a philosophical history and a tragic inquiry, the tale also contains a magic wand, a haunted castle, and a giant sea serpent, which automatically make any story much more interesting. Little wonder that it is not only my favorite book, but Daniel Handler's as well.
— Lemony Snicket
Christian Morgenstern, In the Land of Punctuation
Illustrated by Rathna Ramanathan, Hardcover, $19.95
Written in 1905 by the German poet Christian Morgenstern, In the Land of Punctuation is a darkly comic linguistic caprice that holds a resonant mirror to our times. Situated at the crossroads of language, design, and politics, this illustrated edition is a unique picture book for adults. Translated faithfully by Sirish Rao, with typographic illustrations by Rathna Ramanathan, this is a brilliantly inventive dance of text and image.
H Hoffmann & Walter Hayn, Slovenly Betsy
A companion volume to Struwwelpeter for girls
Goscinny & Sempe, Nicholas Again
Following on from the publication of Nicholas, Nicholas Again is the equally beguiling second title in this well-loved series of books, now available to English-speaking children all over the world. Firmly established as a literary cult figure, the sublimely innocent Nicholas has already charmed millions of readers world-wide since these books were first published over forty years ago. Considered classics and available in twenty-six languages, the Nicholas stories have the ability to delight both children and adults. They are also regularly used as teaching materials by primary and junior school teachers.
Edward Lear, The Book Of Nonsense
"The owls, hen, larks, and their nests in his beard, are among the fey fauna and peculiar persons inhabiting the uniquely inspired nonsense rhymes and drawings of Lear (20th child of a London stockbroker), whose Book of Nonsense, first published in 1846, stands alone as the ultimate and most loved expression in English of freewheeling, benign, and unconstricted merriment."
These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:
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