Michael Dirda discusses two magical classics "that aged gracefully"--John Masefield's Box of Delights and J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Of Masefield's Box of Delights, Dirda writes, "Every chapter in this book is marvelous, but the real delight derives from Masefield's style and the idiosyncratic, colorful speech of his various characters." We all know Peter Pan, but as Dirda notes, Box of Delights is underappreciated in the United States.
Karen MacPherson reviews new non-fiction for children. Of particular note are Isaac Millman's Hidden Child, a picture-book memoir about "how courageous adults risked their lives to protect him, a Jewish child, in France during World War II." Philip Caputo takes on the Vietnam war in 10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War. Suzanne Jurmain writes the life of Prudence Crandall, who "fought a lonely battle against racism when she opened the first New England academy for young African American women in Canterbury, CT" in Forbidden Schoolhouse. There are more titles in a very interesting review article.
Katherine A. Powers reviews audio books for children. I am a recent convert to audio books after shunning them for many years. Now they are my friend as they've made cleaning less arduous, driving more fun, and the walk to work a short one. Hooray for audible.com!
In any case, Powers lists some of the best, including Simon Jones' reading of Jonathan Stroud's The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Nathaniel Parker's take on Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series, and Graeme Malcolm's reading of Philip Pullman's The Scarecrow and his Servant (this one is next on my download list).
Marie Arana covers two new non-fiction titles for ballet lovers. Eliza Gaynor Minden's The Ballet Companion is a reference book for the serious student and Suki Schorer and the School of American Ballet have created a picture book (illustrated by Donna Ingemanson) called Put Your Best Foot Forward. As Arana notes, "This little picture book is meant for the much younger balletomane -- 'Behave beautifully,' it exhorts its reader, or 'Even a Sugar Plum Fairy sews her own ribbons.' It could serve as a manual for life."
Elizabeth Ward reviews four new picture books that "blend art and language with arresting results." These are:
- Patrick McDonnell's The Gift of Nothing
- Elisha Coopers' A Good Night Walk
- Nicola Davies' Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear ("dazzlingly illustrated by Gary Blythe")
- Anu Stohner's Brave Charlotte (ill. Henrike Wilson)
And that's not all. This week's "Book World" also features a review of John McCain's book for children, a review of Golden Boy, an autobiographical tale of a boyhood journey to Hong Kong by Martin Booth, a round up of Christmas books, books on "faith and revered family traditions" and much, much more.