Update: Part two, Lawrence of the Bronx, is now online.
Daniel appeared today on The Bob Edwards Show to discuss two books, new and old, about crows.
From reader Michael Ash:
“For the past four summers, accomplished
amateur filmmaker Tom Barker has led a group of roughly twelve children, now aged 7 to 13, on a weeklong exploration of the art of filmmaking, from flipbooks and stop-action animation through storyboarding and acting to green screens and special effects.
This summer the older children (the “Green Team“) made a film adaption of their favorite novel, The Neddiad. Producer Tom (a.k.a. Grandpa Tom) was charmed by Ned’s reminiscences from the late 40’s and early 50’s and a chance to put his model trains in a movie. I’m one of the parents and grew up on Aldine Street, around 300m from Nettelhorst School, and my grandmother lived at 433 West Roscoe St. So the book holds special resonances for many of us.”
Have a look at the finished product right here.
For years, beloved (there’s that word!) children’s book illustrator and writer Daniel Pinkwater has been a welcome voice in the public radio world, sharing his musings and observations on NPR’s All Things Considered and making Scott Simon — and listeners — laugh on Weekend Edition Saturday. Having Daniel on the show has been something I’ve wanted to do for some time (I think I’ve purchased about 50 copies of his 1977 book The Big Orange Splot) and his most recent book, Mrs. Noodlekugel (Candlewick Press), gave me the perfect opportunity. Daniel will join us from time to time to share essays on his life in New York’s Hudson River Valley and recommend some of his favorite, albeit sometimes out-of-print children’s books … but what is the internet for but to track down old books? We are delighted to have him aboard.
— Cristy Meiners, producer
More info at The Bob Edwards Show
Daniel sounds off in the Daily News about the “Pineapple and Hare” question. Read it.
OK, here is the deal. There are these companies that make up tests and various reading materials, and sell them to state departments of education for vast sums of money. One of the things they do is purchase rights from authors to use excerpts from books. For these they pay the authors non-vast sums of money. Then they edit the passages according to….I have no idea what perceived requirements. Here is the story as it appears in BORGEL, a novel I wrote. Borgel, who is 111 years old is telling this story and similar ones to his great-great nephew while riding on a bus:
The Story of the Rabbit and the Eggplant
Once there was a race between a rabbit and an eggplant. Now, the eggplant, as you know, is a member of the vegetable kingdom, and the rabbit is a very fast animal.
Everybody bet lots of money on the eggplant, thinking that if a vegetable challenges a live animal with four legs to a race, then it must be that the vegetable knows something.
People expected the eggplant to win the race by some clever trick of philosophy. The race was started, and there was a lot of cheering. The rabbit streaked out of sight.
The eggplant just sat there at the starting line. Everybody knew that in some surprising way the eggplant would wind up winning the race.
Nothing of the sort happened. Eventually, the rabbit crossed the finish line and the eggplant hadn’t moved an inch.
The spectators ate the eggplant.
Moral: Never bet on an eggplant.
I don’t know how the test publishing company changed the story. I gather they decided to call the rabbit a hare, and made the eggplant into a pineapple. Also there appears to be something about sleeves. And they made up questions for the students to answer. I would not have done any of these things. But it has nothing to do with me. I cashed the check they sent me after about 8 months, and took my wife out to lunch at a cheap restaurant. I believe, she ordered eggplant.