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Movie of the Month: Winter’s Bone

posted: , by Patti DeLois
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Art & Culture

Winter's BoneBefore she was cast as Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games series, Jennifer Lawrence played another character who distinguished herself by her courage, determination, and integrity: Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly, who is the primary caretaker of her dirt-poor family in the Ozarks. Her father, arrested on drug charges, has skipped bail, and the sheriff informs Ree that the family home was put up as collateral. If her father does not turn up within a week, the house and the land will be forfeited, and the family evicted. Ree must navigate the closed society of the drug trade, including her father’s outlaw relatives, never knowing whom she can trust, never knowing whether she’ll find her father dead or alive.

Filmed on location in the Missouri Ozarks, this film depicts both the stark beauty of the region and the desperate poverty of its inhabitants. Director Debra Granik co-wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell, and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film also earned three other Academy nominations, including Best Actress, and won a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

For a list of other recommended movies based on books, click here. For a list of novel-based films from the Criterion Collection, click here.


Children’s Special Collections

posted: , by Cindy Dykes
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture

November is Picture Book Month and what better way to celebrate this literary art form, than to come to the Portland Room to look at the picture books held in the Children’s Special Collection.

Picture books are generally thought of as books in which the images and ideas join to form a whole. They can contain pictures with little text (like many alphabet, counting books, or concept books), be wordless with no text, be picture storybooks, or picture informational books where the illustrations are as important to the story as is the text.

One of the earliest innovators of using illustrations to supplement text was Johann Amos Comenius. In 1658 he wrote, “Orbis Pictus,” an informational text accompanied by woodcut illustrations of everyday objects.

Today’s picture books, however, where the meaning of the text extends beyond the illustration, got their start in the illustrations of Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886), Kate Greenway (1846-1901), and Walter Crane (1845-1915), aided by the color printing techniques of Edmund Evans (1826-1905).


Caldecott captures the whimsy of the dish running away with the spoon

Caldecott captures the whimsy of the dish running away with the spoon in Hey Diddle Diddle,


...but Caldecott portrays the ending of the rhyme without words.

…but extends the rhyme beyond its words in this last picture.

Today’s Randolph J. Caldecott Medal (United States) and the Kate Greenaway Medal (Great Britain) honors the artist of the most distinguished picture book in a book for children published during the preceding year in those respective countries.


Greenaway was known for her humorous and delicately drawn images of children. Her drawings also influenced children's clothing of that time.

Greenaway was known for her humorous and delicately drawn images of children. Her drawings also influenced children’s clothing of that time.



Walter Crane was one of the first to experiment with color in children's books. He liked to sketch animals as a child.

Walter Crane was one of the first to experiment with color in children’s books. He liked to sketch animals as a child.


A number of picture books in the collection are written and illustrated by Maine-based authors and illustrators, among them Margaret Wise Brown, Dahlov Ipcar, and Bruce McMillan. It also has books that are pivotal in the evolution of illustration in picture books such as Beatrix Potter’s child-hand-sized picture storybooks and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.


Beatrix Potter

The collection is not limited to English language editions. It also includes several French, German and Italian language picture books.

Blondchen en Bluten  by Georg Lang, published 1908.

Blondchen en Bluten by Georg Lang, published 1908. It appears on the 1913 reading list of the Documents of the School Committee of the City of Boston.

Beatrice Potter's "Peter Rabbit" French edition.

Beatrice Potter’s French edition of Peter Rabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regardless of the type of picture book in the collection, almost all of them share one very common element. Their pages are soft and well-worn, indicative of children turning the pages over, again and again. You cannot help noticing as you turn the pages of these books, too, that they have been well-loved over the years.


What We’re Thankful For

posted: , by Patti DeLois
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Art & Culture

igbyWe’re thankful that Videoport entrusted us with their movies, and we’re thankful for the comedies they’ve added to our collection, because the world being what it is, we need to laugh as often as possible.

For our list of recommended comedies, click here. To see the Writers Guild of America’s list of 101 funniest screenplays, click here.

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