My good friend sends me clippings from civilization (Maryland and Massachusetts) with stories about authors and books – she knows my proclivities well. Recently, she informed me of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings, reminding me of the Public Garden in Boston where children clamber over the duck family.
Curious George is also celebrating his seventy-fifth anniversary, and Alison Lobron of the Boston Globe bemoans his descent from scary to safer adventures over the years in Incurious George Finds a Safe Space. When the original authors, H.A. and Margaret Rey, wrote , the stories were scary – about the little monkey breaking his leg when chased by grown-ups or being “snatched from his home in the African jungle.” In the late twentieth century, George’s publishers turned him into “a good little monkey” with shorter adventures.
My pile of clippings also includes a few places I’d like to visit.
A Library in a Phone Booth
Although some of us wish cell-phone booths would become popular (Cell-Phone Booths? They’re For Real), the old fashioned phone booth is hard to find today – unless you are looking for a small library or a coffee shop. In her article for Bloomberg, Lisa Fleisher describes the trend to turn old British red telephone boxes into lending libraries in Phone Booths Find Their Second Calling, and includes a picture of an ardent borrower at the children’s collection.
Roald Dahl’s House
Elizabeth Warkentin described Dahl’s Gipsy House in Great Missenden, England in A Phizz-Whizzing Visit to Roald Dahl’s House. With its bespoke writing hut, birdhouse with window ledges lined with “dream Jars” (from the BFG), and lush gardens, Dahl’s country home from 1952 until his death in 1990 welcomes readers. The town has the Roald Dahl Museum with interactive exhibits and snacks for the hungry – Bogtrotter cake with smarties and marshmallows.
My good friend also sends clippings with background on authors of recent books – Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow); J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) – but more of those later. My clipping file runneth over…