Saturday, July 5, 2008

In Forms...and At Zoos...Imaginary

Writer and children's librarian Lisa Chellman writes about the devil's in the details when it comes to fictional things in Michigan:
When I was a kid, I never fully forgave James Howe for writing, in Morgan's Zoo, that one of the animals was to be shipped to the zoo in Kalamazoo. There was no zoo in Kalamazoo, as I knew darn well; the nearest zoo was in Battle Creek. My parents explained poetic license, but to me it was just wrong.
In contrast, I never got bent out of shape about John Bellairs making up a whole new Michigan town, which he called New Zebedee, in The House with a Clock in its Walls.

Why the difference? I guess it was perceived intent. I knew John Bellairs hadn't made up a whole new town by accident, but there was nothing to suggest James Howe hadn't just made a mistake when it came to the (lack of) zoo in Kalamazoo.
So how accurate do you like your literature?

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