REIMAGINED CLASSIC STORIES

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ArtWrite Productions - Sammy's Day at the Fair

by Jerome Tiller
Publication Dates Little ArtWrite Productions had postponed the publication dates for two forthcoming books due to lack of interest. But we have now published the books. ”Sammy’s Day at the Fair: etc., etc. and “Hawthorne Illustrated”, on August 1, 2018 and August 31, 2018, respectively.

In a December blog I announced the aforementioned books whose publication dates we then later postponed for lack of interest. I focused on pretty thoroughly previewing “Hawthorne Illustrated” in that December post. I also said why the other one, Sammy’s Day, etc., etc., though not a classic, has classic qualities and why you should be interested.

So here’s the explanations. The book “Sammy’s, etc., etc.” contains accessible scientific descriptions of a young lad’s working digestive system. Since classic...

Hawthorne Stories for Middle School

by Jerome Tiller
Bundling illustrated Hawthorne stories for middle school made for pleasant work. That’s because Nathaniel Hawthorne tells great stories that illustrate well. Quite frankly, we believe kids and their parents should read them. We think who wouldn’t like Hawthorne stories, especially when masterfully illustrated by Marc Johnson-Pencook? So, we went and did it. We published Hawthorne Illustrated, a volume of three Hawthorne on August 31, 2018. Middle school readers will happily soak up these stories if only parents would point, maybe nudge them, to drink from the great classics well.

Speaking of wells, Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment leads the combined three stories we are talking about. I suppose underground spring would be a more accurate term than well when describing the central feature of...

Fans of Adam - Mark Twain's The Diaries of Eve and Adam

by Jerome Tiller
Fans of Adam might dislike ArtWrite Productions, the publisher of the Adapted Classics book, “Mark Twain’s the Diaries of Eve and Adam”. The reason? The publisher decided to place Eve’s name before Adam’s in the title of the book. This upsets tradition, fans of Adam might say, and you do not upset tradition to appease women or to appeal to them for financial gain (women do buy more books than men, and men almost never buy books for their children).

Well, fans of Adam, do you want to know what lake you can jump into? How about the first lake you come upon? But do not drown, you big babies. Your womenfolk might miss you if they are anything like Eve,...

Illustrated Classic Literature for middle schoolers?

by Jerome Tiller
Can you imagine a parent rejecting the purchase or loan of a book of illustrated classic literature for their middle school reader because picture books are for little kids? You should be able to imagine this because it probably happens all the time. Major book publishers and booksellers have seen sales of illustrated books slump during the past couple of decades. They speculate parents are responsible for the decline in sales. They think parents point kids to chapter books early on because they want their kids to rapidly advance in school. And of course, eventually succeed as adults in a highly competitive world. Might these parents then reject illustrated literature and prefer chapter books without due consideration for content? So...

Nathaniel Hawthorne - A Serious Man and a Funny Guy

by Jerome Tiller
Did you know Nathaniel Hawthorne was both a serious man and a funny guy. Many people who think of him as nothing but a great moralist should read “Mr. Higginbotham’s Catastrophe”. Hawthorne told it in a light, humorous vein, and he didn’t use it to deliver a great moral message. But as for serious—well, this story is…seriously funny. And seriously sweet!

Unusual though this story is coming from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, a contemporary of Hawthorne and a renowned literary critic, praised “Mr. Higginbotham’s Catastrophe”. He described it as “vividly original and dexterously managed”. Other critics have favorably compared Dominicus Pike, the story’s main character, to Ichabod Crane, the main character in Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Both...

Mark Twain’s Eve and Adam - Gender Stereotypes?

by Jerome Tiller
When Mark Twain developed the characters Eve and Adam in his creation stories, did he rely upon and perpetuate gender stereotypes? Although most of the people who have read and reviewed “Eve’s Diary” like the story, some readers found fault with Twain’s portrayal of Eve, especially after she began taking an interest in Adam. Twain took on a daunting task when he decided to fictionalize the story of creation. He must have known his characterizations of Eve and Adam, the very first human creatures, would be seen. They would be seen as archetypes for all succeeding generations of both genders of humans. Confidants of Twain knew he wrote “Eve’s Diary” as a eulogy to his beloved wife Olivia; she died in 1904,...

Adapting Eve & Adam - Intentions and Principles

by Jerome Tiller
Issues regarding intentions and principles loomed while adapting “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam”. I was concerned that Eve’s character could change if I added new material to combine two separate stories by Twain. But I gave myself leeway to add material because I had no intention to change Eve’s character. Heck, I would not intentionally change any aspect of any character created by Mark Twain. My sole motive in adding new material was to keep dialogue going between Eve and Adam from beginning to end. I tried to keep Eve’s character in line with Twain’s Eve by closely considering what Eve had to say in her diary before the fall, along with the few things she had to say...

Mark Twain’s Goal - Bringing Eve & Adam Together

by Jerome Tiller
Mark Twain wanted to bring Eve and Adam together, but his goal went unrealized until after his death. Twain wanted to unite his "creation stories" so Eve and Adam’s different perspectives on creation would stand in high contrast. As Twain said, “They score points adaptedclassics.comst each other — so, if not bound together, some of the points would not be perceived.” In 1931, 21 years after Mark Twain died, Harper finally brought the stories together by publishing a book titled “The Private Life of Adam and Eve”.

Mark Twain was a writer at ease with organizing and presenting his ideas. He rarely struggled to bundle into finished form all that his fertile mind imagined. But combining Eve and Adam’s different perspectives on...

Adapted Classics "Hop-Frog" rated ideal format for Middle School Readers

by Jerome Tiller
Midwest Book Review (MBR) thinks we adapted “Edgar Allan Poe’s Hop-Frog” into an ideal format for middle school readers. In their opinion. the lightly modified text and the striking black-and-white illustrations are two reasons why "Hop-Frog" is an excellent tool to introduce middle-school readers to the amazing world of classic literature.

We greatly value their opinion. Midwest Book Review is an on-line book review magazine well-respected in the book trade. They selectively review books by small publishers and independent authors. Small players in the book trade, such as ourselves, seek reviews from MBR since almost all review journals will only review books from large publishers.

MBR complimented our entire Adapted Classics collection. They also saluted our other adapted Poe classic, “Thou Art the...

Promote Pleasure Reading in Young People

by Jerome Tiller
Studies by the U.S. Department of Education have shown the overall amount of pleasure reading by young people has steadily declined. There are many theories why this is so, including those that point to trade-offs and time constraints; young people abandon pleasure reading to focus instead on digital devices or to use what once had been free time to expend extra effort in meeting the regimented demands of an achievement culture.

Yet everyone knows that young people will seek and find fun wherever it can be found – it’s their natural instinct. Then what if they were  to find more fun in pleasure books at their reading level?  Like the fun they once found in the picture books of their...

Revealing Illustrated Literature - Mark Twain's The Diaries of Eve and Adam

by Jerome Tiller
Eve and Apple ArtWrite Productions will publish "Mark Twain's The Diaries of Eve and Adam" on June 30, 2017. It will be the sixth book in our Adapted Classics collection of illustrated literature. We are happy to announce this will be the first time we publish an Adapted Classics book in both hardcover and softcover. Near the end of his life, Mark Twain wrote a series of six stories commonly known as the ‘Adamic Diaries’. Four of the stories poke fun at Christianity and are dark in tone. These stories were not published until after Twain died in 1910. Two of the six stories in the series were published as illustrated books while Twain lived—Extracts from Adam’s Diary...