Tag: Roald Dahl

  • What Happened To Rosemary Fawcett?

    Roald Dahl’s work wasn’t always illustrated by Quentin Blake. Dirty Beasts, for example, was originally illustrated by a young woman new to the field, Rosemary Fawcett. The edition she illustrated is now out of print. Jeremy Treglown explains the story in his biography of Roald Dahl: To one British critic, Russell Davies, “the buzz of misanthropy from Roald Dahl grows stronger.”…

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  • Gross-out Children’s Books

    What Are Gross-out Books? Gross-out books are frequently classed as ‘trash‘ and rarely win the big awards, perhaps partly because they sell so well. Gross-out books fall into the category of ‘carnivalesque‘. In academic terms, these gross-out books might be called ‘carnivalesque-grotesque’. Carnivalesque-grotesque narratives directly address the personal and sociocultural anxieties induced by knowledge of the vulnerability of both the…

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  • Revolting Rhymes

    I have clear memories of this book. First, I remember my father buying it for me in Paper Plus. I was in attendance. He thought I wouldn’t notice, then snuck it into my santa sack. Second, it was very unusual for my father to buy any books at all. Third, this was a whole-family read and I remember reciting it theatrically…

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  • Mothers In Children’s Literature

    Mothers In Children’s Literature

    Mothers are either held up as paragons of selflessness, or they’re discounted and parodied. We often don’t see them in all their complexity. Novelist Edan Lepucki contemplates motherhood Mothers in fairy tales have a way of being absent, typically through untimely deaths (think Cinderella, Snow White or Beauty and the Beast) or thanks to storylines that position them as background…

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  • What Is Quality Children’s Literature? What Is Trash?

    What Is Quality Children’s Literature? What Is Trash?

    Children’s literature is often lumped into two broad groups: treasure and trash. The former is sometimes called ‘literary’, the latter ‘commercial’.

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  • What can flight symbolise in literature?

    What can flight symbolise in literature?

    Flight is amazingly common in children’s stories. Several other motifs should be considered symbolically similar: FLOATING AS FLIGHT SYMBOLISM Characters might hold onto helium balloons, levitate by magic or by supernatural means. A picture book example of floating can be seen in “Outside Over There” by Maurice Sendak, in which Ida floats backwards out the nursery window, then floats through…

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