Monday, August 17, 2009

Beyond the Meat, the Parsley

I never really bothered to read forewords or afterwords as a kid. Never really took too much interest in the life of an author aside from their name, and even then it was just to be sure to know who to follow and who to avoid. The meat of the title was the fiction beyond the roman numeric pages to me. I have of course long since grown out of this mindset, but the idea to research authors who I knew nothing about as I read them as a child (or had them read to me) did not occur to me until just the other day as I placed my new young adult staff pick, Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth up on to its shelf. Now I had no idea that-

-Norton Juster was a professor of architecture and environmental design for twenty-two years (& waaaaaay before being green became a fad).

-the book's illustrator, Jules Feiffer, was Juster's neighbor in Brooklyn.

-this awesome stuffed likeness of Tock the Watchdog exists somewhere:

-this creepy image (that I don't even want to post here) based on a scene from the book totally happened for real at some point, and that someone has some serious explaining to do for scarring me while I was merely trying to look for illustrations pulled from one of my favorite childhood reads.

And to top it all, I didn't even know that Norton Juster had written another book called The Dot and the Line! Furthermore I had no clue that animation virtuoso Chuck Jones had turned that same book in to an animated short!

To tell the truth I feel a little sorry for the squiggle...

Still, it was a pleasure for me at least to unearth all these new tidbits concerning an old favorite. Give it a shot yourself maybe.

No comments: