Fantasy . . . and mice!


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Fantasy . . . and mice!

  1. 1. Fantasy ELE 616 Research in Children’s Literature Spring 2012 . . . and mice!
  2. 2. January 30, 2015Fantasy 2 Defining fantasy 1 •Definition: Fantasy is about elves and fairies – Wouldn’t it be great if we could say that one definition covered it all? But we can’t. Elves and fairies also run amok in children’s stories. Then there are dragons and wizards and a host of other beings that could be included in the framework of fantasy • The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy Foreword by Darin Park
  3. 3. Fantasy 3 • Definition: Fantasy is historical – That could very well be true. A great number of fantasies, including Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, could fall into the historical category. But there are endless possibilities for modern day fantasies, or fantasies that don’t even include an announced time period. • Foreword by Darin Park Defining fantasy 2
  4. 4. January 30, 2015Fantasy 4 Defining fantasy 3 • Definition: Fantasy is all magic – Fantasy does include the use of magic. But what about worlds where magic doesn’t exist? What if it’s a world like our own without science or magic, and people and beasts of all sizes and characteristics inhabit this world? Is it science fiction? Is that the qualifying ingredient? Magic? Even though that would make a nice generic definition to finally label our elusive “fantasy” category, unfortunately, it’s not that easy. • Foreword by Darin Park
  5. 5. January 30, 2015Fantasy 5 •Fantasy - Explained – Loosely, fantasy is an applied mythology, a creation in the mind of an author of worlds or events that could not possibly exist in the scientific realm. There is the tendency to create a sort of mixed breed with stories such as “Star Wars” where there are laser wielding aliens and druids with some sort of magical force. But on the whole, science fiction and fantasy usually has a line of demarcation. • Foreword by Darin Park Defining fantasy 4
  6. 6. January 30, 2015Fantasy 6 A famous fantasy title • Chronicles of Narnia – In C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia we meet children from our own world who end up, under various circumstances, in a different world: Narnia. In Narnia they meet talking animals, fauns, centaurs, unicorns, and other slightly mythological creatures. And they meet Aslan - he who brought them into that world, because of the need for them there and then, and who provides support when they try to help out in critical situations.
  7. 7. Mice in Narnia? •Reepicheep – Reepicheep was a valiant and chivalrous talking mouse who lived during the reign of Caspian X. He was the leader of the talking mice of Narnia and a knight of the Most Noble Order of the Lion, loyal to Aslan. He took part in the Narnian Revolution and sailed with Caspian to the End of the World. He was about “three feet tall and seven pounds.” Fantasy 7 Illustration by Pauline Baynes Read more about her here and here! See also C. S. Lewis and his Mice by Will Vaus from the HarperCollins C. S. Lewis Blog
  8. 8. Another fantasy with mice • Redwall series by Brian Jacques – Welcome to the exciting, medieval world of Redwall. Here you’ll meet the peaceful mice, squirrels, moles and other creatures who live in the Mossflower Wood and defend their landmark Redwall Abbey against evil villains like Cluny the Scourge, a wicked one-eyed rat, as well as weasels, foxes and stoats. – The very first adventure, REDWALL was published in 1986. Fantasy 8
  9. 9. Stuart Little • Part of a “battle that reshaped children’s literature” – In the first half of the twentieth century, no one wielded more power in the field of children’s literature than [Anne Carroll] Moore, a librarian in a city of publishers. – The end of Moore’s influence came when, years later, she tried to block the publication of a book by E. B. White. Read more 080721fa_fact_lepore#ixzz1oqQjwsPp Fantasy 9
  10. 10. A mouse award winner Fantasy 10 The 2004 Newbery Medal winner is The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread written by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering (Candlewick Press).
  11. 11. Long May They Squeak: A Scurry of Mouse Books • Famous Mice in Children’s Literature – Ralph S. Mouse, hero of The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary, and its two sequels. – Lilly, who blazes her imperious, purse-toting, red-cowboy-boot- sporting way through several of Kevin Henkes’s picture books. – Geronimo Stilton, the plucky crime-fighting rodent who is steadily taking over the paperback aisles at a bookstore or library near you. – Babymouse. Or rather, Babymouse! Lover of cupcakes and books! – And my favorite new mice on the literary scene, the simply but elegantly named Mouse and her daughter Mouse Mouse, who brave danger and possible censure to befriend two generations of human girls in Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, by Beverly Donofrio, with meticulously period-detailed illustrations by Barbara McClintock. • Fantasy 11
  12. 12. 2011: The Year of the Mouse in Children’s Literature • Every couple of years a strange phenomenon occurs within children’s publishing; a number of books will appear on the same subject without any identifiable trigger. • This time it was middle grade books about mice. • This year, through some strange coincidence, three former Newbery Award recipients, Cynthia Voight, Lois Lowry, and Richard Peck, recently published decidedly different books with mice as the main characters. They are, respectively, Young Fredle, Bless This Mouse, and Secrets at Sea. All great books and all worth an extra look, or looks as the case may be. Fantasy 12
  13. 13. 2 other mouse publications of 2011 Fantasy 13 Click to read more about mice, and humans, and for a sample from the book. The Cheshire Cheese Cat, by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright, takes place in London in a pub (Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese) frequented by Charles Dickens.
  14. 14. What is the point of fantasy, though? • Escapist literature? . . . or not? January 30, 2015Fantasy 14