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The Earl of Cork's Enigma

Friday, March 26, 2021

Memoriam: Beverly Cleary

Children's book author Beverly Cleary (1916-2021), creator of Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins, has died at age 104.  

The first of her 30-plus books was Henry Higgins, published in 1950, and was followed five years later by Beezus and Ramona (1955). Ramona Quimby would later star in eight novels and become one of Cleary's most-popular and beloved characters.  

Cleary won the American Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for "a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children" in 1975, was awarded the National Book Award for children's fiction in 1981 for Ramona and Her Mother, and the the 1984 Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw.

Her characters, including Henry Huggins, Beezus and Ramona Quimby, Ellen Tebbits, and Otis Spofford, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations.

Something About March Hares (and Very Extended Connections)

Far from the warren crowd.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Cover Critic: The House with a Clock in its Walls (Italy, 1988)

Cover Critic is our periodic survey of readers and fans about the various artwork and illustrations of the books in the Bellairs Corpus.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

BiblioFile: Puffin Publishes Barnavelt (Part 2)

I see a decade has passed since the blog promised a follow-up about Puffin Books publishing the Lewis Barnavelt series.  The post was near completion so I’ll give it a go and get this one out there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Memoriam: Norton Juster

Author Norton Juster died March 8. He was 91.

An architect by training, Juster was best known as an author of children's books, notably The Phantom Tollbooth (1961) and The Dot and the Line (1963). 

Tollbooth is a children's fantasy adventure about a bored young boy named Milo. After unexpectedly receiving a magic tollbooth and, having nothing better to do, Milo drives through it in his toy car, transporting him to the Kingdom of Wisdom. There, he acquired two faithful companions, a dog named tock and the humbug, and tried to restore to the kingdom its exiled princesses — named Rhyme and Reason — from the Castle in the Air.

The book, with illustrations by Jules Feiffer, remains acknowledged as a classic of children's literature.

Something About Extended Library Fines

Ex library.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Something About Corduroy Trousers


Remembering ... Thirty Years

In a Jan. 16, 1968, letter to his friend, John Drew, John Bellairs wrote:

And tomorrow I will be thirty. My goodness, you will say, life is short.

And tomorrow he will have been gone thirty years.

My goodness life is short.

Cheers, John.