Posted: November 22nd, 2009 | Author: timp67 | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: Animals, Books, Favorite Things, Fun | No Comments »
The tall Mr. Dahl.
Six foot five-inch tall writer Roald Dahl is one of the Immortals. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and his other great books will live from now until the end of time.
Two of Mr. Dahl’s books have been made into stop-motion films. Stop-motion is a form of animation where moveable models are photographed in incremental movement. A model is photographed, then repositioned and photographed again, and again and again until a required action is completed.
The first of Mr. Dahl’s books to become a stop-motion adventure was James and the Giant Peach in 1996.
James and the Giant Peach—the book.
Grasshopper and James mid-adventure in the stop-motion film version. Photo (c) cinefantastiqueonline.com
Now Fantastic Mr. Fox has received the amazing stop-motion treatment.
Fantastic Mr. Fox—the book.
A scene from Fantastic Mr. Fox, the stop-motion film. Photo (c) bbc.co.uk
Wes Anderson is the director of the filmic Fantastic Mr. Fox. He talks about bunk beds and toy trains—the inspiration behind one of the scenes in the movie—here. Included is a sketch of his ideas, and a clip of the scene in question from the new film.
Mr. and Mrs. Fox on the set of their new stop-motion film. Photo (c) huffingtonpost.com
A peach that grows big enough to live in and a fox that talks may sound crazy, but not to those who enjoy having fun. “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men,” Mr. Dahl was known to say.
The Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the great writer. It is the current home of Mr. Dahl’s writing chair, where James and Mr. Fox came into being. Not everyone gets to sit in Mr. Dahl’s chair, but author Val Tyler can boast of having done so.
Mr. Dahl in his chair. Photo (c) Roald Dahl Museum
Ms. Tyler in Mr. Dahl's chair at the Roald Dahl Museum. Photo (c) valtyler.co.uk
No wonder she looks so happy. She’s probably picking up a lot of great ideas!
Posted: August 20th, 2009 | Author: timp67 | Filed under: Letters to T | Tags: Artwork, Bad Behavior, Books, Favorite Things | No Comments »
Marianne from Palo Alto, CA writes:
I was the naughtiest child you could ever imagine. My goodness, did I ever get into mischief! I nearly drove my poor parents crazy. I haven’t a clue as to why I was so naughty. Misbehaving certainly didn’t make me happy. No, it was quite the opposite. It made me feel absolutely miserable. But I was a child possessed and couldn’t stop myself from breaking every rule I came across.
Fortunately, when I was eight or nine years old, I came across a book that changed my life for the better. It was the charming story of a brother and two sisters who share exciting adventures while helping their mother after their father mysteriously disappears. They move from their home in the city to a cottage in the country, and save a train filled with passengers from a landslide, and rescue a baby from a fire, among other heroic deeds.
This book taught me that there are nobler and more fulfilling pursuits in life than breaking every rule there is, and now that I am a grandmother with four naughty grandchildren, I would like to introduce them to this wonderful tale. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the title for the life of me! Can you help?
Welcome, Marianne! I’m pretty sure that the book you’re describing is The Railway Children by E. Nesbit. As it was written more than a hundred years ago, it had already been kicking around some by the time you read it at eight or nine years old. Although it takes place long ago in England — which means American readers must exercise their brains a little in order to understand the curious things about another time and place — the adventure is every bit as gripping as it was in 1905, the jokes are just as funny, and the children in it still show bravery, generosity, perseverance, and how to be good without being a total suck-up. I’m certain your grandchildren will enjoy it as much as you did. It’s a favorite of mine, too.
This is the 100th Anniversary edition of The Railway Children by E. Nesbit, with a jacket illustration by Caldecott medalist Paul O. Zelinsky.