Thursday, February 22, 2007

Some Newbery Trivia

I'm working (slowly!) on a post about The Story of Mankind, but meanwhile I thought I'd post about a related book that I got from inter-library loan today: Newbery and Caldecott Trivia and More for Every Day of the Year, by Claudette Hegel (2000). I've been busy sticking post-its in all the spots where there is something interesting about Hendrik Van Loon, like the entry for October 23:
Hendrik Van Loon (The Story of Mankind, 1922 Newbery Medal) was once seriously injured in a boat explosion.
In addition to the daily trivia (three facts for every day of the year: one about a Caldecott winner, one about a Newbery winner, and one on some other famous piece of children's literature , and a "born on this day" author if there is one), the book has a very detailed name index, title index, references for all of the facts provided, and two appendices: one listing all the Newbery winners and Honor books (formerly known as "runners up"), and one listing all the Caldecott winners and Honor books. I just wish that the book was more recent and covered the books and authors from the last seven years. And that it was more widely available - my copy came from a university library on the other side of the state.

Here's the entry for today, February 22:
Illustrator Wesley Dennis was asked to alter his illustration of the Newgate Jail in King of the Wind (1949 Newbery Medal) because it looked too nice, "like a library." Dennis cheerfully revised the illustrations that he previously had been afraid to make too scary.

Author Arthur Yorinks used his profits from Hey, Al! (1987 Caldecott Medal) to buy property in rural Nova Scotia. Many birds inhabit the area.

J.M. Barrie sent the manuscript for Peter Pan to his publisher in an untidy brown-paper parcel without even a cover letter saying the work was for publication.
I'll try and post some trivia in the comments for each book as long as I'm allowed to keep Hegel's book. Heck, I might have to buy it - I've been fascinated by the bits and pieces that I've just read today. And Wesley Dennis is one of my favorite illustrators ever - here's a post I did last year, gushing about him, with examples of his work. I actually remember reading King of the Wind (and most of the other Marguerite Henry books) as a child. I think I might pick that for my next read.


catherine said...

Please do post more on this. It is so charming.

Alicia said...

I'd never heard of this book. Thanks for letting us know about it and for sharing the specific tidbits for today.

Flusianna said...

What a great book. I just ordered it for our Curriculum Materials Library.

Melissa said...

That is a terrific book. I ought to find a copy for me (and for my mother-in-law; she's collecting Caldecotts and loves trivia!).

Thanks for finding it. :)