Little Lit: Folklore and Fairy Tale Funnies

Little Lit: Folklore and Fairy Tale Funnies

by Art Spiegelman
     
 

A treasure and a treasury!

Innovative cartoonist and renowned children's book artists from around the world have gathered to bring you the magic of fairy tales through the wonder of comics. The stories range from old favorites to new discoveries, from the profound to the silly. A treat for all ages, these picture stories unlock the

Overview

A treasure and a treasury!

Innovative cartoonist and renowned children's book artists from around the world have gathered to bring you the magic of fairy tales through the wonder of comics. The stories range from old favorites to new discoveries, from the profound to the silly. A treat for all ages, these picture stories unlock the enchanted door into the pleasures of books and reading!

Best Children's Books 2000 (PW)

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist (starred review)
“Extravagant.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this provocative anthology, husband-and-wife team Spiegelman (Open Me... I'm a Dog) and New Yorker art editor Mouly enlist well-known artists to retell traditional tales and invent visual games. Spiegelman himself kicks things off with "Prince Rooster," a typical be-yourself tale but for the references to R. Crumb's Mr. Natural, a guy whose knee-length white beard conceals his nudity. William Joyce offers "Humpty Trouble," a revisionist egg-stravaganza featuring ovoid voice bubbles and delicate watercolor images, while David Macaulay submits a straightforward pen-and-ink "Jack and the Beanstalk" and the lone female contributor, Barbara McClintock, pens a gentle, old-fashioned "Princess and the Pea." Among otherwise Western folktales, David Mazzucchelli's elegantly drawn Japanese legend ("The Fisherman and the Sea Princess") stands out for its active navy blue line, refined palette and generous use of negative space. Elsewhere, single-panel illustrations pay homage to brainteasers in Mad and nonsatirical children's magazines. Bruce McCall alludes to "Rapunzel" and his own What's Wrong With This Book? in a deliberately error-strewn painting, and Black Hole's Charles Burns contributes a gruesome scratchboard hide-and-seek that exhorts readers to "find all the snakes and eggs in this picture!" But by far the most adventuresome item comes from Jimmy Corrigan author Chris Ware, who turns the endpapers into a stylized board game called "Fairy Tale Road Rage." On Ware's ironic instruction sheet, two adults debate the game's "collectible resale value" before punching out the coin-sized paper playing pieces. "Road Rage" cuts to the ambivalent heart of Little Lit's fusion of cheap comic strips and glossy picture books. Spiegelman and Mouly's sophisticated collection, unified by a tongue-in-cheek fairy tale theme, lingers at the crossroad between kids and adults, classics and parodies, children's literature and comics. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature
Seventeen cartoonists each contribute a section relating to folk or fairy tales, some traditional, some original. There are familiar formatted strips along with one and two page puzzles. There is even a "Fairy Tale Road Rage" game to play on the endpapers, complete with push-out game pieces. All are jolly good fun, verbally and visually. Some of the artists are familiar to picture book readers—William Joyce, J. Otto Seibold, David Macaulay, and Barbara McClintock. Others are cartoonists, like Walt Kelly, that may be better known in Europe. Each has a brief biographical sketch on a page of Contributor Notes. The imaginatively designed and very carefully produced book is large enough (9" x 13") to allow adequate space for even the most detailed artwork. The range of styles and stories should help readers reflect as their overall sense of art appreciation is broadened. 2000, Joanna Cutler Books/HarperCollins, $19.95. Ages 6 up. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 6-This is a cool book: cool in the sense that it is presented by 18 renowned cartoonists; cool in the McLuhan sense of comics as a medium that commands audience involvement through iconic forms; and cool in the sense of a marriage of form and content that is brilliant in concept. Cartoonists include Spiegelman, Walt Kelly, David Macaulay, William Joyce, and Kaz. Each uses a unique style of sequential art to interpret a fairy tale, either an original story using traditional motifs (Spiegelman's "Prince Rooster") or a familiar tale. Macaulay offers a version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" and there is a fractured tale (Joyce's "Humpty [Dumpty] Trouble"). Some of the retellings like Daniel Clowes's sequel to "Sleeping Beauty" are told in formal language, others like Barbara McClintock's "The Princess and the Pea" are tongue-in-cheek. Comics and folktales have much in common. Both depend on our understanding of universal symbols and icons (think of the "smiley face") that are stripped down to amplify their meaning. Both are interactive forms that depend on the audience to fill in the details with their own imaginations. Chris Ware's "Fairy Tale Road Rage" game on the endpapers will acquaint children with the motifs and patterns of traditional tales. Librarians will hate it because processing will conceal part of the game and the punch-out game pieces will disappear. Nonetheless, the book will still circulate. This is a sensational introduction to traditional literature for a visually sophisticated generation. It will live happily ever after in the hands of readers everywhere.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Leonard S. Marcus
Little Lit is a fascinating collection of 16 contemporary artists' comics-style interpretations of folklore and fairy-tale plots and themes. The makers of comics, comix and children's picture books number among the contributors. The deceptively modest title slyly points to the perennial underdog status both of children's literature within the world of books and of the comic book as children's literature's own ragged step-child. An off-to-the-ball air of triumph pervades the whole of this elegant, outsized comics coming-out.
New York Times Book Review
People Magazine
A host of classic stories gets the comic-strip treatment. Fairy tales have never looked better.
Kirkus Reviews
Under the proud banner, "Comics—they're not just for grown-ups anymore!" the editors of RAW Magazine call on 17 contributors for a dozen cartoon folktales or folktale spin-offs, five single-page or spread-sized visual puzzles and two role-playing board games. David Macaulay plays his version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" relatively straight, as does Spiegelman with a tale about a prince who decides he's a rooster. But Daniel Clowes concocts a grim (or, more precisely, Grimm) sequel to "Sleeping Beauty," and William Joyce a sprightly one for "Humpty Dumpty." There is also a challenging matching game from J. Otto Siebold, from Bruce McCall a Rapunzel "What's Wrong with This Picture?" and—rare treasure—a "Gingerbread Man" from the 1940s by Walt Kelly. Running the visual gamut of modern cartoon art, the panels are filled with figures now crudely drawn and grotesque, now charmingly sophisticated, but the collection hangs together brilliantly as a whole, despite all the individual drawing and storytelling styles, without rough joins or violent switches of mood. Libraries may have a problem keeping the board games' dozens of punch-out pieces together, but this should be a big hit with both the picture book and the non-superhero comics crowd. (Folktales. 6+)Springer, Nancy—Ed. RIBBITING TALES: Original Stories About Frogs Illus. by Tony DiTerlizzi Philomel (128 pp.) Oct. 2000

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060286248
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/31/2000
Series:
Little Lit Series
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
9.54(w) x 13.44(h) x 0.54(d)
Lexile:
360L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

The Pulitzer prize winning author of Maus and Maus II, Art Spiegelman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and grew up in Rego Park, New York. He is also the co-founder/editor of RAW, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comix and graphics and the illustrator of the lost classic The Wild Party by Joseph Moncure March. Spiegelman's work has been published in more than sixteen languages and has appeared in The New York Times, Village Voice, and Playboy, among others. He has been a contributing editor and cover artist for The New Yorker since 1992.

Spiegelman attended the High School of Art and Design in New York City and SUNY Binghamton and received an honorary doctorate of letters from SUNY Binghamton in 1995. He began working for the Topps Gum Company in 1966, as association that lasted over twenty years. There he created novelty cards, stickers and candy products, including Garbage Candy, Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids. He began producing underground comix in 1966, and in 1971 moved to San Francisco, where he lived until 1975.

His work began appearing in such publications as East Village Other, Bijou and Young Lust Comix. In 1975-76, he, along with Bill Griffith, founded Arcade, The Comic Revue. His book, Breakdowns, an anthology of his comics, was published in 1977.

Spiegelman moved back to New York City in 1975, and began doing drawing and comix for The New York Times, Village Voice and others. He became an instructor at The School of Visiual Arts from 1979-1987. In 1980, Spiegelman and his wife, Francoise Mouly, started the magazine RAW, which has over the years changed the public's perception of comics as an art form. It was in RAW that Maus was first serialized. In 1986, Pantheon Books published the first half of Maus and followed with Maus II in 1991. In 1994 he designed and illustrated the lost Prohibition Era classic by Joseph Moncure March, The Wild Party. In 1997, Spiegelman's first book for children, Open Me ... I'm a Dog was published by HarperCollins.

Art Spiegelman has received The National Book Critics Circle nomination in both 1986 and 1991, the Guggenheim fellowship in 1990, and a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992. His art has been shown in museums and gallery shows in the United States and abroad, including a 1991 show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

He and his wife, Francoise Mouly, live in lower Manhattan with their two children, Nadja and Dashiell.

The Pulitzer prize winning author of Maus and Maus II, Art Spiegelman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and grew up in Rego Park, New York. He is also the co-founder/editor of RAW, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comix and graphics and the illustrator of the lost classic The Wild Party by Joseph Moncure March. Spiegelman's work has been published in more than sixteen languages and has appeared in The New York Times, Village Voice, and Playboy, among others. He has been a contributing editor and cover artist for The New Yorker since 1992.

Spiegelman attended the High School of Art and Design in New York City and SUNY Binghamton and received an honorary doctorate of letters from SUNY Binghamton in 1995. He began working for the Topps Gum Company in 1966, as association that lasted over twenty years. There he created novelty cards, stickers and candy products, including Garbage Candy, Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids. He began producing underground comix in 1966, and in 1971 moved to San Francisco, where he lived until 1975.

His work began appearing in such publications as East Village Other, Bijou and Young Lust Comix. In 1975-76, he, along with Bill Griffith, founded Arcade, The Comic Revue. His book, Breakdowns, an anthology of his comics, was published in 1977.

Spiegelman moved back to New York City in 1975, and began doing drawing and comix for The New York Times, Village Voice and others. He became an instructor at The School of Visiual Arts from 1979-1987. In 1980, Spiegelman and his wife, Francoise Mouly, started the magazine RAW, which has over the years changed the public's perception of comics as an art form. It was in RAW that Maus was first serialized. In 1986, Pantheon Books published the first half of Maus and followed with Maus II in 1991. In 1994 he designed and illustrated the lost Prohibition Era classic by Joseph Moncure March, The Wild Party. In 1997, Spiegelman's first book for children, Open Me ... I'm a Dog was published by HarperCollins.

Art Spiegelman has received The National Book Critics Circle nomination in both 1986 and 1991, the Guggenheim fellowship in 1990, and a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992. His art has been shown in museums and gallery shows in the United States and abroad, including a 1991 show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

He and his wife, Francoise Mouly, live in lower Manhattan with their two children, Nadja and Dashiell.

Françoise Mouly joined The New Yorker as art editor in April 1993.

She co-founded Raw Books & Graphics in 1977, and for fifteen years published artists' monographs and the annual "Streets of Soho and Tribeca Map & Guide." Ms. Mouly has also served as the publisher, designer, and co-editor with her husband, Art Spiegelman, of the pioneering avant-garde comics anthology RAW, which launched in 1980. This is the magazine that first brought acclaim to artists such as Charles Burns, Sue Coe, Gary Panter, Chris Ware, Lorenzo Mattotti, and Xavier Mariscal. It also first published Maus, Mr. Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning comic book on the Holocaust. From 1987 to 1995 Ms. Mouly edited, designed and packaged books for Pantheon and Penguin Books.

In the past year, Ms. Mouly and Mr. Spiegelman have launched a RAW Junior division and have collaborated on an anthology of comic strip stories for children, Little Lit.

To commemorate The New Yorker's 75th anniversary, Ms. Mouly curated an exhibit of contemporary cover art at the Galleria Comunale d'Arte Moderna in Rome, and guest-curated a selection of a show at the Whilhelm-Busch Museum in Hannover, Germany.

In the fall of 2000, Abbeville will release Ms. Mouly's book, Covering the New Yorker, a compilation of over 300 timeless New Yorker covers.

Born in Paris, Françoise Mouly studied architecture at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts and moved to New York in 1974. She and her husband, Art Spiegelman, live in Manhattan with their two children, Nadja and Dashiell.

Françoise Mouly joined The New Yorker as art editor in April 1993.

She co-founded Raw Books & Graphics in 1977, and for fifteen years published artists' monographs and the annual "Streets of Soho and Tribeca Map & Guide." Ms. Mouly has also served as the publisher, designer, and co-editor with her husband, Art Spiegelman, of the pioneering avant-garde comics anthology RAW, which launched in 1980. This is the magazine that first brought acclaim to artists such as Charles Burns, Sue Coe, Gary Panter, Chris Ware, Lorenzo Mattotti, and Xavier Mariscal. It also first published Maus, Mr. Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning comic book on the Holocaust. From 1987 to 1995 Ms. Mouly edited, designed and packaged books for Pantheon and Penguin Books.

In the past year, Ms. Mouly and Mr. Spiegelman have launched a RAW Junior division and have collaborated on an anthology of comic strip stories for children, Little Lit.

To commemorate The New Yorker's 75th anniversary, Ms. Mouly curated an exhibit of contemporary cover art at the Galleria Comunale d'Arte Moderna in Rome, and guest-curated a selection of a show at the Whilhelm-Busch Museum in Hannover, Germany.

In the fall of 2000, Abbeville will release Ms. Mouly's book, Covering the New Yorker, a compilation of over 300 timeless New Yorker covers.

Born in Paris, Françoise Mouly studied architecture at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts and moved to New York in 1974. She and her husband, Art Spiegelman, live in Manhattan with their two children, Nadja and Dashiell.

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