at thebookcon: new to-reads and more tales from my bookcon wanderings...
May 19, 2016
by Chris O’Dowd and Nick V. Murphy
The pure fun and sincere vulnerability of the Moone Boy stories is heard in the voices of its co-authors. With a setting based on Chris O’Dowd’s childhood and adventures stolen from both author’s memories, Moone Boy rings as true as it does silly. The authors seemed wholly unperplexed by the voice of a twelve-year-old, joking that their own had not grown too far, and giving the impression that this idea is executed so well because it arrived fully formed in their heads. After hearing the duo perform an excerpt I would definitely be interested in picking up the audiobook!
In additional news, the authors also mentioned working on a script for an animated film. I am going to be on the lookout, especially if it is done in conjunction with Cartoon Saloon, who brought us The Secret of the Kells, The Song of the Sea and provided illustrations for Moone Boy (and are my personal obsession-have you seen The Song of the Sea? go watch it, and now).
by Steffen Kverneland
It was impossible to resist the gorgeous displays at BookCon; they gave my hypnotized eyes the power to compel my arms to touch the pretty art. Especially difficult to resist were some of the more quirky houses and imprints, like Chronicle Books, Quirk and Abrams & Chronicle whose displays were pointedly visual and a bit offbeat.
At Abrams & Chronicle I found a few new graphic novels, published under the imprint Self Made Hero, to which I must lose future hours. Among them, this biography of the artist Edvard Munch that draws on the painter’s art style to immerse the reader in his tale.
Thunder Boy Jr.
by Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie’s recent memory of an entire classroom of students individually hugging him after his reading of this book made my heart grow three sizes. The author lamented the lack of cultural diversity in children’s books during his youth and expressed how glad he was to help little ones feel more connected. (#WeNeedDiverseBooks)
This story is born from ad-libbed bedtime performances for his own children, though not without struggle as Alexie related “Picture books are the hardest thing to write.” In his bunny tiara (worn to pay respect to his co-panelists Meg Cabot for The Princess Diaries and Kate DiCamillo for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane), Alexie’s love of storytelling and open imagination were irresistible.
by Michael Dante DiMartino
There is no denying how much a visual-artists-as-revolution-heroes storyline speaks to me. A first novel for Avatar: The Last Airbender writer and illustrator DiMartino, this book celebrates the power of visual art through words. Of course visuals, inspired by da Vinci’s notebooks, are interweaved. DiMartino and co-panelist Leopoldo Gout recalled the real fears of history’s dictators who recognized their inability to control the incitement of visual art without employing full censorship--the power is real and timeless. I can’t wait to explore these fighting brush-wielders and their flighted familiars (who are personifications of their talent).
Gout’s upcoming offering, Genius: The Game, also intrigues thanks in no small part to his obvious passion, which led him to explore plunders of art hidden away in secret crannies of the British Museum and to meet with real children using their minds to change boundaries.