MacDonald’s Fantasy Tales Illustrate Well
George McDonald’s fantasy tales illustrate well. As evidence, know that famous illustrator Maurice Sendak illustrated three of MacDonald’s fantasy tales. Now contemporary-classic illustrator Marc Johnson-Pencook, an admirer of Sendak, has illustrated another — The Carasoyn. The book, published November 12, 2022, can be purchased wherever Young Adult books are sold.
Mark Twain Connects with China
Mark Twain connects with readers in China in a way he doesn't usually connect with readers in the USA. Running for Governor, one of three stories in Twain Illustrated, stands out as the best example of why this is so: The Chinese adore Twain as a satirist, while Americans have largely ignored this aspect of his wit.
More than a century after his death American readers still hold Twain the author in the highest esteem. He is widely viewed as the preeminent American humorist and most critics credit him as the founder of the American voice in literature. He is iconic, and has been all along.
Twain Illustrated that he was Running for Governor
Twain Illustrated contains three funny stories by Mark Twain. All three stories are funny, but one, Running for Governor, is also scary, since it strikes so closely to what is currently happening in the USA and elsewhere. Democracy is in danger because so many people don’t know what to believe in this information/disinformation age of ours. Of course, as the story shows, this phenomenon is not exactly brand new. For most of the nineteenth century, politicians funded major newspapers throughout the US. In 1870, only 11% of urban daily newspapers were independent of corrupt influence by politicians. Twain surely had this in mind while writing Running for Governor for his monthly column in The Galaxy, a literary magazine, in which he portrayed his fictional candidacy for Governor to be just as hopelessly futile as it would have been in fact.
Adapted Classics: The Humor of Twain, Poe, and Hawthorne
Want to grab and hold the attention of middle school students in English class? Why not use Adapted Classics illustrated stories to compare and contrast the humor of Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne? Twain Illustrated, Poe Illustrated, and Hawthorne Illustrated, are all available from Follett School Solutions in Follettbound editions, made to last forever, as classics merit, even when put into the hands of middle school students! And that’s a great start.
But more important, it’s hard to imagine a more engaging topic for middle school students than humor or a better approach to introduce them to classic literature.A classroom discussion about humor would be educational fun for all, students and teachers alike, since humor has many forms that are worth learning and laughing about. It’s a difficult subject, but one worth exploring.
Twain Illustrated: Twain Presumes Too Much
Twain illustrated contains one reborn story—Emerson, Holmes, and Longfellow—largely requiring rebirth because even the great Mark Twain could presume too much. The story is my adaptation of a speech he delivered in 1877 at a Boston banquet honoring esteemed American poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Twain presumed his audience was in a playful spirit that night as he prepared to deliver a speech that poked fun at literary giants Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Either the audience was not feeling playful, or maybe everyone was reluctant to laugh because all three poets were seated right there at the head table with Whittier. For neither the poets nor anyone else in the audience laughed, not even once, during the entire story. Master humorist Mark Twain had come to totally expect laughter, and lots of it, when he told a funny story. He claims he never fully recovered from the humiliation he felt that night at the banquet.
Twain’s Carnival of Exaggerations
Disguising point-of-view in Edgar Allan Poe’s Thou Art the Man didn’t take or mean much. As discussed in two previous posts, I eliminated the opening paragraph to give the story a faster start. But unfortunately, in doing so I also eliminated evidence that a first-person narrator was telling Poe’s story. No worry though, Edgar—I quickly got back to the narration that you intended.
The first-person opening of Thou Art the Man
Edgar Allan Poe’s Point of View
Three (Classic) Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
Accessible Classic Literature for Middle-School
We know many middle school students like reading classic literature just as originally written and presented. But we also know that many readers in this age group reject this type of reading matter for personal enjoyment. And, for that matter, they would prefer to reject it as a classroom assignment. Therefore, we publish illustrated classic literature...
FollettBound! Classics Deserve Protection!
Follett School Solutions and Baker and Taylor have schools and libraries covered. They provide a lifetime guarantee for all of their FollettBound books – if the binding fails, they’ll replace the book.
Replacement, check! But that’s not enough. For when librarians and school administrators go shopping for middle schoolers, they look for more. They want heady, yet accessible books for the middle school crowd. Plus, entertainment value!
Feathertop-Nathaniel Hawthorne's Last Story
And when Feathertop gains self-awareness, when he realizes he is but a scarecrow stuffed with straw, his surrender to truth contrasts sharply with the humans he met who were blindly or casually superficial. At least one critic thinks that’s...
The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether
Poe wrote The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether in 1845. About 50 years prior to that, French doctor Phillipe Penel had devised a gentle system for treating mentally ill patients. Poe created a similar ’soothing’ system for treating patients in the House of Health, the asylum setting for this humorous, yet controversial story.
Despite Penel’s well-publicized innovation, harsh treatment of mental patients persisted in asylums world-wide. Maybe Poe was trying to promote Penel’s gentle methods when he wrote his story. Or perhaps not. To this day scholars who analyze literature or try to psychoanalyze Poe don’t know what hidden rationale motivated him to write it.
Some guess Poe was questioning the yet unproven idea that ordinary citizens...
Library Purchasing Decisions might seem Mysterious
Looking for hi-lo books? Sammy's Day at the Fair fits.
Jon and other award-winning teachers verify this claim. Natalie Rasmussen, Milken National Educator Award winner from Minnesota, says that Sammy’s phonetic glossary of biological terms is extremely well-done. She also says the book’s information is accurate and presented in a way that relates to all readers.
Hi-lo? Not Adapted Classics books, but…
Nevertheless, we know classic stories are not high interest reading material for most modern young readers. And we only lightly modify the high-level, outstanding prose in the classic stories that we adapt.
The classic literature debate rages - let us illustrate
Three Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Although Hawthorne Illustrated is free from titling competition, we oddly consider this unfortunate. Some publisher should have created an Illustrated Hawthorne book long before ours. As a short story writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne equals Edgar Allan Poe, but for some reason he’s not nearly as popular.
A Classic Color Conundrum—Creation in Black & White
No, said a panel of judges in a contest we entered for best illustrated book of 2018. You can't expect a reader to use his or her mind's eye to add color to pen and ink illustrations of creation scenes, even if they are described in colorful prose by Mr. Mark Twain. They thought anybody, especially a book publisher, would know that.
Point well-taken and insult endured, even though Mr. Mark Twain...