Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #GeoffreyChaucer

"Go Bellairs! Quote Chaucer!"

University of Notre Dame pep rally - March 10, 1959

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Chastising The Pedant and the Shuffly

So, we mentioned a dozen days ago that we were celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Bellairs's second book, The Pedant and the Shuffly. We also noted some of the Chicago influences on the book and hinted there was another Chicago story to tell. And here it is.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #PedantAndTheShuffly #Announcement

"What is a shuffly? Who is snodrog? Find out at the autogrphing (Sic) afternoon at Staver's Bookshop and meet the Author and illustrator of the new book: 'The Pedant and the Shuffly' a fable inspired by 57th Street. Time: Saturday, February 24 - 2 to 5. Staver Booksellers, 1301 East 57th Street, Chicago."

Advertisement - The Chicago Maroon (Feb. 20, 1968)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Celebrating The Pedant and the Shuffly

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Pedant and the Shuffly, the second book of John Bellairs and his second collaboration with illustrator Marilyn Fitschen. The short, 79-page illustrated fable details the encounter of the two titular characters: the pedantic wizard Snodrog, who submits logic traps to his fellow countrymen to transform their weak-minded bodies into linen napkins, and the fury, mop-topped creature known as the Shuffly, whose cheery and playful mindset constantly circumvents the Snodrog's best laid plans.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #PedantAndTheShuffly #Snodrog

"As I say, in the light, as it were, of all these, proves that YOU DON'T EXIST!!!"

Snodrog (the Pedant) - The Pedant and the Shuffly

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #PedantAndTheShuffly #SirBertram

"We toss the dusty erasers of old questions into the air and try to bat them with solid answers."

Sir Bertram - The Pedant and the Shuffly

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #DarkSecretOfWeatherend

"My name is Yon Yonson,
Ay come from Vis-con-sin...."

John Johnson - The Dark Secret of Weatherend

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin

Forty years ago The Face in the Frost was first released in paperback through Ace Books, a well-known publisher of science fiction and fantasy titles. In a June, 1978, letter to his friend Gerald Kadish, Bellairs briefly mentions his book and then shares the good news:
"[Face] is coming out in November in paperback! I was sent the lurid jacket sample by a girl who works for Ace Paperbacks. The jacket has blurbs by Lin Carter and Ursula K. Le Guin, and I am tickled."
Le Guin died last week at her home in Oregon, leaving behind a celebrated body of work, including the Earthsea series, stories in the Hainish Cycle, and numerous standalone novels and short stories. Awards for her work include the National Book Award, the Newbery Medal, and multiple Hugo and Nebula awards.

(For the record, Le Guin says Face is “authentic fantasy by a writer who knows what wizardry is all about.")

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: Schnee, eis, und scheistwetter

"I was fortunate enough to observe that phenomenon before which the Aurora Borealis are as Christmas lights - the Notre Dame snow ploughs. There is nothing quite so thrilling as seeing a fleet of these Dreadnoughts sweeping the plain, transforming the snow-covered wastes into ice-covered wastes for the convenience of the student."

John Bellairs - Notre Dame Scholastic (January 23, 1959)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

These Eighty Years: #HappyBirthday #JohnBellairs

Celebrating what would have been the 80th birthday of John Bellairs, born this 17th day of January in 1938, in Marshall, Michigan.  Birthday wishes courtesy of:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Some of This Year's Book-to-Movie Adaptations

Amy Durant writes in the Watertown (NY) Daily Times of the various books being adapted for the screen this year, of which she's counted 15.  Titles include Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House (as Durnt points out, no "The Lottery"), and the classic A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle.  Oh, and one this site and its fans are keenly aware of:

Playing the Torturer, By Small and Small

Image result for Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death 
The notion of memorializing a crime in miniature caught our eye this Sunday morning, if only because it reminded us of the dollhouse room in the Childermass Clock, itself a rather macabre monument to Childermass family secrets.

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death are a series of intricately-designed dollhouse-style dioramas created by Frances Glessner Lee (1878–1962), a pioneer in forensic science.  Glessner Lee used her inheritance to establish a department of legal medicine at Harvard Medical School in 1936, and donated the first of the Nutshell Studies in 1946 for use in lectures on the subject of crime scene investigation. In 1966, the department was dissolved, and the dioramas went to the Maryland Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore, Maryland, where they are on permanent loan and still used for forensic seminars.  The 2012 documentary "Of Dolls and Murder" celebrates Glessner Lee and her creations, the latter of which were the focus of a story on CBS-TV's Sunday Morning.

Quoth Bellairsia: #EyesOfTheKillerRobot

"I'm cleaning out the back room of my study, something that has needed doing for ages."

Roderick Childermass - The Eyes of the Killer Robot

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #HouseWithAClockInItsWalls

"That’s all I need. An expert on Elizabethan ordnance."

Jonathan Barnavelt - The House with a Clock in its Walls

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Poll: Your Favorite Judith Brown Artwork in #TreasureOfAlpheusWinterborn

Artist and illustrator Judith Gwyn Brown created 10 full page illustrations for The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn and, in celebration of its 40th anniversary, we want to know which one is your favorite.

Perhaps it's Philpotts peering from behind the bars of the bank, or a dog barking in the dead of night, or maybe a scene from inside (or outside) the library, or just the enigmatic philanthropist himself, smiling in his portrait that hangs above the fireplace.

Or something else entirely?

Watch out for ol' Eagle Eye and pick your favorite from our list below and see how it ranks with other fans!

And of course, believe only half of what you read.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Kicks Off with #JohnBellairsMonth, 'Pedant' Celebration

Happy 2018!

Right out of the gate, January is Richard Denney‏’s #JohnBellairsMonth in which he and other fans will read The House with a Clock in its Walls (he’s done this month-thing before, too, so he’s no novice).  If you want some discussion topics or need some past reviews we've got you covered.

It’s a good book to celebrate and a good month to celebrate, too, as the 17th would have been John’s 80th birthday.