Tuesday, November 23, 2010

24th November Carlo Collodi (1826 - 1890) Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849 - 1924) Yoshiko Uchida (1921 - 1992)

Today there is three authors and the first two are best known for one particular book. The third is better known for her novels but I want to highlight a picture book.

Carlo Collodi was the pen name for Carlo Lorenzini, an Italian journalist who wrote The Adventures of Pinocchio, initially as a serial for an Italian children's magazine. This story of a wooden puppet who comes to life has a big impact on very young children, possibly because of the fact that his nose grows if he tells a lie. The story has inspired many movies, abbreviated versions and spin-offs.

Frances Hodgson Burnett was born in England, but travelled backwards and forwards several times between there and the USA. She is the author of the classic, The Secret Garden, a book that has also been made into movies and a multitude of variants. Many of the versions have been illustrated by quite illustrious members of the children's literature world.
like Inga Moore and Robert Ingpen.

Yoshiko Uchida was born in USA to Japanesse immigrant parents. During WWII she was taken from her university and interred in a camp because USA no longer felt comfortable about its Japanese immigrants after Japan bombed Pearl Harbour. Because of this Yoshiko's many novels focus on the Japanese-American experience and highlight bigotry and racism. However, in my library the book we have is the picture book The Magic Purse which is a retelling of a Japanese folktale. It tells the story of a poor farmer who meets a maiden on his way to the shrine and then takes a detour to the Red Swamp to deliver a message to her parents. Keiko Narahashi illustrated the story with watercolours and bold black strokes that evoke Japanese scroll paintings.

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