March 27, 2009

Friday Misc.: Anniversaries, Awards, and More!

You all know by now that I'm an inveterate NPR junkie. Today I was driving around, running errands, and on PRI's The World I happened to hear a tidbit about this year being the 50th anniversary of a beloved French children's book character--and no, he's not Le Petit Prince, though he is petit: Le Petit Nicolas (link leads to story/podcast permalink) is a wisecracking, troublemaking French schoolboy brought to life by Rene Goscinny and currently being commemorated with museum exhibits and other celebratory events.

The news story stood out to me for two reasons: one was the interesting angle about how Le Petit Nicolas never quite caught on in the U.S., partly because it's now somewhat dated but also because it's just so indefinably French. Of course. The other reason it stood out was that I've actually read this book, I think because it was recommended by my high school French teacher. I enjoyed it, but then I wonder if that's because I also like a lot of books set in that authoritarian British school system of old. Something to ponder.

"A story retold in graphic novel or manga form will necessarily lose most of its original word count. The challenge is to retain the bones and sinew of the original and to present it in a strikingly visual form," says Betsy Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief of Del Rey Books, in a roundtable on Read the rest of the roundtable on adapting prose to comics--very interesting stuff.

On the awards front, Nickelodeon Magazine announced the winners of its first annual award for kids' comics, and a lot of familiar names and faces populate the list, such as Garfield, Snoopy, Calvin (of "and Hobbes" fame), and the Simpsons, along with favorite graphic novel series Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I'm still not convinced that's strictly a graphic novel, but I guess it's moot now! Check it out here.

Lastly, on the topic of anniversaries AND awards, we've got the 40th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, given to African American authors and illustrators for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions. The 2009 awards were announced already, of course, including one of our personal favorites, Kadir Nelson's We Are the Ship. (That man is ADORABLE and BOY can he paint!!) Also recently posted to the page were a number of resources, including book talks with various winners and a page of fun facts about the awards--for instance, Walter Dean Myers is the author with the most Coretta Scott King Book Awards, with five wins. Read more here.


Jennifer said...

I love Nicolas! I laughed myself sick the first time I read the stories...they're hard to find here because the newest reprints are expensive hardbound editions...I still have gotten my hands on the latest, Nicolas on Vacation. Sigh.

tanita✿davis said...

Hey! I think my French teacher actually read those to us as well!!

Trippy. I do wish I'd had a copy myself.