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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Variants

Tug-of-War by John Burningham is a new, old classic.  In the first printing the story was by Letta Schatz in 1968, with Burningham's art. The new version has Burningham retelling this Nigerian folktale with his words and art. 
Poor hare, he's made fun of by elephant and hippo, so this is where he gets even, by tricking them both.  In this tug of war between hippo and elephant, hare manages to get away before they catch on to the ploy.

The art looks like watercolors, ink, pencil, and crayon.  I couldn't find out for sure, it may have been lithograph.  I did find out that he is married to Helen Oxenbury, which I didn't know.  

Here's a quote from an interview (website here) with John Burningham in July 2013: If you tell people you do children’s books, they say, 'What fun!’ There’s no fun attached to it at all, it’s a bloody nightmare. I find it very difficult. When I get an adult project, I rejoice. They’re easier than children’s books because you don’t have this immense simplification that you need when communicating with children. It’s not just balloons and clowns and parties and 'bad’ drawing: it’s terribly important what children have to read, particularly now when everybody’s staring at screens. I fear for this generation. I know there are tremendous benefits we get from technology, but just staring into a screen worries me somewhat. It has to be cool to read a book.

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