Throwback Thursday: Public Domain Edition

Skittle Women package,

Oh my god, I have to deal with The Phone Company this month. (For the second time, our ISP is getting out of the residential DSL business. And Google Fiber is dragging its heels on coming to Portland. So… I will finally have to communicate directly with one or the other of the Two Horrible Companies that can keep us on the internet.)

Happily, I can escape into some very cool posts on old kidlit, from before The Phone Company even existed.

  • Allison Parker looks at Sara Crewe vs. A Little Princess, in the context of that maxim about “show, don’t tell.” I had a paperback Sara Crewe as a child and had no idea it was an earlier, shorter work than A Little Princess. My Sara Crewe was severe and waspish–like Mary Lennox–and I could never understand why people went on about the other girls at the school, whom I could barely remember. A year or two ago, when Hilary McKay’s sequel Wishing for Tomorrow came out, I finally figured out what had happened, and read A Little Princess for real.
  • WOW, these posts on Little Women! Lara Langer Cohen on Jo’s anger and love. Sarah Blackwood & Sarah Mesle: No One Likes Meg. How often do you get to read thoughts on Meg?! And I found the comments on Stephanie Foote’s post about Beth as Ghost curiously affecting. And why is Jo’s writing treated so differently from Amy‘s art? Amy’s my girl and I’ve thought about her a lot, so that post didn’t strike me quite as hard as it might have. But what. a. set.
  • And finally, I just today started watching Project Green Gables. It’s a Lizzie Bennett Diaries-inspired vlog version of Anne of Green Gables, made by Laura Eklund Nhaga and friends in Helsinki. (The production is in English.) Nhaga is black and plays Anne, which puts Anne’s angst over her hair in a whole new light. I like it so far!


Monday links

Sometimes I am unobservant. Sunflowers don’t track the sun across the sky! They mostly face east. Via Pam Rentz.

More deets about Post-Apocalyptic Little Women. The girls aren’t Marmee’s? WHERE IS MARMEE.

Though I find it sad, and I don’t necessarily agree that Schultz should have done what Watterson did, I agree with this run-down of Peanuts over the years. I’m glad the early collections were part of my childhood, at garage sales and my dad’s office. How Snoopy Killed Peanuts. Via Jeff.

From the Mixed-Up Brochure Rack

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler hit Fuse #8’s Top 100 List yesterday, and one of the commenters linked to a brochure (pdf) the Metropolitan Museum of Art gives out about the real-life art that appears in the book. It contains a long author’s note about how she got the idea! It starts like this:

The beginnings of the idea for the book started with a piece of popcorn on a blue silk chair.

My three children and I were visiting the Museum, wandering through the period rooms on the first floor when I spotted a single piece of popcorn on the seat of a blue silk chair. There was a velvet rope across the doorway of the room. How had that lonely piece of popcorn arrived on the seat of that blue silk chair? Had someone sneaked in one night—it could not have happened during the day—slipped behind the barrier, sat in that chair, and snacked on popcorn? For a long time after leaving the Museum that day, I thought about that piece of popcorn on the blue silk chair and how it got there.

…and there is much more, including the solution to the real-life mystery of the statue.

I wonder if the museum has to guard against people sneaking a single piece of popcorn onto that chair, in tribute, the way Julie Powell left butter in Julia Child’s replica kitchen at the Smithsonian. I would be tempted…an air-popped kernel, of course, so it wouldn’t damage the silk.

I also ran across Talk Talk, an out-of-print book of talks by Konigsburg. Interlibrary loan, I love you!

Update, 8/28/12: The talks had quite a bit of discussion about “political correctness” that I did not find especially astute. Specifically, there was a distressing lack of “maybe I am not the expert to be talking on this.” However, I was interested to see that E.L. Konigsburg had a hard time finding books that felt like “home” when she was a kid, because of class issues. She would try, she said, and the book would be about a girl named Betsy, who took naps, and whose mother had “help.” One of the very first exceptions was Little Women. There’s Hannah Mullet, of course, but maybe the fact that the March women talk about money and take jobs made the difference?