Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Treatment of Mythology in Children’s Fantasy

Click here to read this article from La Trobe University

The Treatment of Mythology in Children’s Fantasy

By Dave Berry

The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children’s Literature, Vol 9, No 3 (2005)

Introduction: Fantasy stories trace their roots back to far older tales: the myths and legends of various cultures, which grew from oral storytelling in the days when myths were the only explanation for the mysterious workings of the real world. To a fantasy author mythology is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, the themes and characters of myth have enthralled audiences for hundreds or even thousands of years, and they are likely to retain their appeal for many generations to come. On the other hand lurks the problem of creativity: how can a writer come up with new variations on stories that already exist in hundreds of different versions?

In the present day, when readers place great emphasis upon originality, fantasy stories distinguish themselves by the degree to which the author employs or abandons the conventions of mythology. Writers like C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien closely adhered to the tradition of European myths. Catherine Anthony Clark followed the myths of another culture, that of native North America. Welwyn Wilton Katz set off in another direction altogether: turning the Arthurian legends upside down, rewriting the stories instead of building on them. All these approaches create fantasy from the same ingredients, but according to different recipes. The resulting variety of flavors keeps readers coming back for more.

A fantasy author’s first decision is also the most important. What rules govern the work? Should the fantasy world be a charming, lighthearted place like Neverland or Oz? Should it be grimly realistic and touched with tragedy, like Middle Earth or Prydain? Should it intrude upon the real world or remain separate from it? Fantasy runs by its own internal laws, established by the author. Tolkien and Lewis largely allowed tradition to set the rules for them. Tolkien followed the guidelines of ancient Norse and Anglo-Saxon mythology, mingled with a bit of provincial English folklore (for the hobbits) and Christian doctrine (for Sauron, the great destroyer). Lewis used the medieval English and French romances—Narnia itself springs almost directly out of Chretien de Troyes or Marie de France—with a strong twist of Christian symbolism. This English literary tradition rises with Beowulf and continues to the present day. Other, more modern writers sought out mythology from other sources: Ireland (O. R. Melling), Wales (Lloyd Alexander and Susan Cooper), and North America (Catherine Anthony Clark), to name a few.

Click here to read this article from La Trobe University

from Publishers Marketplace, with thanks. Check their job board for other positions in publishing

Running Press Designer
posted: June 21, 2012
Offered by:
Running Press - Perseus Books Group
Salary commensurate with experience
Health, Dental, 401K
Full Time
Philadelphia, PA
The designer must be a college graduate with either a BA or BFA in design. Candidate should have approximately 5 years experience in Publishing, a focus in kids books would be beneficial. Should be proficient in Quark Xpress, InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop. Designer will work closely with editors, production coordinators, Design Director, and Publisher and should have strong organizational and communication skills as well as a good design portfolio.

• Book Design
Design and manage a minimum of 7 books a season (2 seasons a year). Designer will be responsible for hiring and managing illustrators and photographers as needed. Interacting with both the editorial and production departments through the book creation process. Strong design sensibility is necessary as well as an ability to work within various formats and cater to different ages (ie. From novelty and picture books to Young Adult and lifestyle).

• eBooks
Oversee conversion of print books to eBooks. Designer would work closely with editors and production team to coordinate and approve eBooks. Communication with outside vendors will be necessary.

• Packagers
Communicate with and coordinate packaged projects after they have been acquired. Designer would be required to art direct packager and sometimes create cover design for packaged books. Would work closely with editor and production coordinator

• Website and social media
Designer should have a good understanding of social media (particularly Twitter and Facebook). Designer will be required to contribute to the new RP Kids website, both in terms of content and design.
About Our

The Perseus Books Group is an independent company committed to enabling independent book publishers to reach their potential, whether those publishers are Perseus-owned, joint ventures or owned by third parties. Perseus publishing imprints include Avalon Travel, Basic Books, Basic Civitas, Da Capo Press, Da Capo Lifelong Books, Public Affairs, Running Press, Seal Press, Vanguard Press and Westview Press, as well as partnerships with The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company, The Nation Institute, and The Weinstein Company. Through Consortium, Perseus Distribution and Publishers Group West, as well as through its Constellation digital service offering which also supports Argo Navis Author Services and Faber Factory Powered by Constellation, the Perseus Books Group is the leading provider of sales, marketing, distribution and digital services, serving over 300 independent publishers. For more information, visit our websites at www.perseusbooks.com, and www.constellationdigital.com

Please submit a cover letter,resume and salary requirements along with a link to an online portfolio to hr@perseusbooks.com


Job #

from PRWeb, with thanks, via SF Chronicle

50% Matching Grant Program Now Available For Schools, Libraries, and Educators

June 26, 2012

Literacy for a Lifetime is a 50% matching grant program partnering Usborne Books and More with businesses, foundations, and individuals who support education at organizations and schools of their choice.

Annapolis, MD (PRWEB)

As the leading publisher of children's non fiction books, Usborne Books & More carries over 1800 Usborne and Kane Miller titles, including fiction, story books, activity books and more.

The Literacy for a Lifetime program matches any corporate or individual donation or grant that purchases books from Usborne Books with an additional 50% in free books. A Literacy for a Lifetime matching grant program is an excellent way to expand a library collection, build a leveled book room, or provide supplemental classroom materials.

The Literacy for a Lifetime matching grant program program is available for donations and grants as low as $200 and can be used as often as needed with no maximum on the amount that can be donated or matched. The organization receiving the books has full control over their selection, from an array of over 1800 titles.

Usborne Books & More Independent Consultant, Ken Kennedy, said, "The Literacy for a Lifetime program is a great way for schools of all sizes to promote and encourage reading. For example, when a school receives as little as $200 in donations to purchase Usborne Books, Usborne will donate an additional $100 in books to the school".

Usborne & Kane/Miller Books are internationally acclaimed as the finest entertaining and educational children's books in the marketplace today. Usborne & Kane/Miller offer over 1,800 fiction and non-fiction titles that inspire, engage and entertain your students through reading. As a host school, you can choose from a wide range of subjects covering science, history, hobbies, nature, the arts and more. There's no better gift for your school or organization than an Usborne "Reading Is A Gift" book fair event that promotes reading and pays you back in free books and/or cash. For more information, please visit http://www.readanddream.com

The Literacy for a Lifetime program can also be used with the following:
State and Federal grants such as:
Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies
Literacy through School Libraries
Migrant Education
Even Start
Special Education Preschool Grants
Small, Rural School Achievement Program
Education for Homeless Children and Youth
Twenty-First Century Community Learning Centers
Reading First
Early Reading First
Striving Readers
Corporate donations or grants
Foundation grants
Individual donations

For complete information about this program, visit the website below or contact by e-mail.

If you want to learn more about the Literacy for a Lifetime program visit http://www.readanddream.com

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebfreebooks/schoolsandlibraries/prweb9

Sunday, June 24, 2012

from Hispanically Speaking News, excerpt with thanks

Prestigious Pura Belpré Award Given to Latino Children’s Writers and Illustrators

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a divison of the American Library Association, and REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate, ) will host the annual Celebracion! To honor the 2012 medal and honor winners of the Pura Belpré Award during the annual conference of the American Library Association. The event will take place on Sunday, June 24, 2012 from 1:30 - 3:30

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

excerpt from Star Advertizer, Hawaii, with thanks

SDSU Grad Pam Munoz Ryan featured at Hawaii conference

(Books by Munoz Ryan and James Rumford are reviewed at sdsubookreviews.blogspot.com)....

Kid's authors take stage at literature fest

By Star-Advertiser staff

Jun 20, 2012

Two noted children's authors — Pam Munoz Ryan of California and Manoa writer James Rumford — will be featured at the 16th Biennial Conference on Literature and Hawaii's Children, taking place Thursday through Saturday.

The conference, "Where Pictures Speak and Stories Paint," is aimed at parents, teachers, librarians, writers, illustrators and others interested in children's literature. Organizers say there are three concurrent tracks of presentations and discussions. One is "Interpreting Literature," emphasizing ways of reading children's literature; a second, "Using Literature," will provide activities for children at home, in school and at the library; and the third, "Creating Literature," will help writers and illustrators publish their work. Sessions will be held Friday and Saturday at Chaminade University.

Random House Publishing Job, Children's Literature

Production Associate - Children's Books
posted: June 19, 2012
Offered by:
Random House
Full Time
New York, NY
About our company
Random House, Inc. is the world's largest general trade book publisher. It is a division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the foremost media companies in the world.

Your tasks
The Random House Children's Group seeks a Production Associate to provide support to the Production Department. Candidates will provide support during all the phases of book production, from inception to bound book, for initial prints.

Responsibilities include issuance and monitoring of schedules, maintenance of project files and entering and maintaining data in SAP. Potential candidates will also be responsible for estimating projects, print file review, composition process, trafficking of materials, and other book production tasks including archiving as well as handling of special projects as assigned by supervisor.

Our requirements
Ideal candidates will have prior office experience and 1- 3 years of experience in book production is preferred. Applicants must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, astute attention to detail and be highly organized with an ability to successfully prioritize and multitask. Computer proficiency essential and must have solid working knowledge of the Macintosh platform, and familiarity with Adobe InDesign, Acrobat, Illustrator and PhotoShop, Quark Xpress and Microsoft Office. BA/BS degree required.

Thank you for your interest in Random House. Random House is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Submit application to
Please apply using our online application process.

For more information, please visit our web site at:
To apply for this position, click HERE.

Job #

Winnipeg Free Press, excerpt with thanks

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

A Newfoundland boy's quest to belong: "Hold Fast" goes from book to film

Avery Ash, 14, carries a lobster trap during the shooting of

Avery Ash, 14, carries a lobster trap during the shooting of "Hold Fast" in Bauline, N.L., on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly

BAULINE, N.L. - The classic Newfoundland novel "Hold Fast," ranked by Quill & Quire as second only to Anne of Green Gables for Canadian children's books, will soon be a film starring Molly Parker, Andy Jones and soulful newcomer Avery Ash.

Fourteen-year-old Ash hails from the tiny coastal community of Hant's Harbour, N.L. on the Bay de Verde Peninsula, a tight-knit town not unlike the fishing outport that his character, Michael, calls home.

In the book, Michael is suddenly wrenched from everything he loves most when his parents are killed in a car wreck. He and his little brother, Brent, are separated as the younger boy stays with their aunt and grandfather, while Michael heads to a larger city to live with his Aunt Ellen, played by Parker of NBC's "The Firm," and Uncle Ted, played by Newfoundland actor Aiden Flynn.

Michael bonds in that troubled house with his cousin, Curtis, but soon begins to crack under the weight of his grief, taunts at school and his Uncle Ted's heavy hand. When those pressures build into a major blowup, Michael takes off with Curtis in tow to the woodlands that were once his refuge.

Their timeless quest for both freedom and belonging is set against the spectacular backdrop of Newfoundland's Gros Morne National Park and postcard-pretty fishing villages such as Bauline. It's an adventure film based on a story that still resonates almost 35 years after it was first published, Ash said during a brief break from filming.

Prof. Jean Webb Heads Worchester Univ. Study, reprint with thanks

Traditional children's characters being forgotten in UK

London , Tue, 19 Jun 2012 ANI

London, June 19 (ANI): Traditional children's characters such as 'Anne of Green Gables' are being forgotten as the latest generation shun classic books, a university study has revealed.

Researchers found that, one in five British children think that Long John Silver is a character from Peter Pan while the same number believed that Aslan was a giraffe.

A sixth of children questioned said that Roald Dahl's Mathilda, and not fellow children's character Heidi, lived in the Alps, and 12 percent believed that the mountains were home to Tracy Beaker.

Due perhaps to his recent reinvention as a popular film character, more than half of the children knew that Aslan of C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a lion, but others guessed that he was a giraffe or a bear.

The 500 seven to 14-year-olds who answered the survey weren't very sure about other aspects of the novel, with 17 percent believing the wardrobe was the gateway to the Secret Garden and eight percent thinking it led to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.

The Worcester University researchers who conducted the study said it demonstrated that classic children's characters like Jemima Puddleduck and Pippi Longstocking could drift out of the nation's consciousness, with only one in four children being aware of their existence.

Even when it came to Harry Potter only half of children questioned claimed to have heard of the boy wizard, putting him slightly ahead of Robinson Crusoe (46 percent) and Alice in Wonderland (45 percent).

When asked which books they had actually read there were promising signs for some of the most popular children's stories, with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (33 per cent), Wind in the Willows (29 percent) and Winnie-the-Pooh (28 percent) among the favourites.

But other classics such as Anne of Green Gables (six percent), The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (six per cent) and Swallows and amazons (nine percent) fared less strongly.

Asked to name their favourite author, Roald Dahl topped the poll with a third of all votes followed by JK Rowling with 21 percent.

"Thankfully, to counteract this possible downturn in children experiencing the classics, there is still a very strong interest in our rich literary heritage," the Telegraph quoted Prof Jean Webb, who oversaw the survey, as saying.

"This is clearly demonstrated by the popularity of the courses in children's literature currently run across the UK and also internationally," he added. (ANI)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

from Academic Keys, Job Postings

NEW! - Dean -- Faculty of Arts
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Faculty of Arts
Location Hong Kong, Hong Kong Posted May. 25, 2012
Executive Director -- University Relations
Vancouver Island University
University Relations Division
Location Nanaimo, BC, Canada Posted May. 11, 2012
Manager -- Academic Administration
United Arab Emirates University
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Location Al Ain, United Arab Emirates Posted May. 7, 2012
Assoc. Vice President for Univ. Marketing and Communications
Oklahoma Baptist University
Marketing and Communications Department
Location Shawnee, OK Posted Apr. 12, 2012
Vice Dean of Faculty and Full Prof. in an FHSS Discipline
United Arab Emirates University
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Location Al Ain, United Arab Emirates Posted Apr. 5, 2012
Executive Vice President and Provost
Naval Postgraduate School
Office of the President
Location Monterey, CA Posted Mar. 13, 2012
Director -- English Language Centre (ELC)
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
English Language Centre (ELC)
Location Suzhou, Jiangsu, China Posted Feb. 22, 2012

NEW! - Asst. Prof. -- Women's and Gender Studies (Gender,...
Amherst College
Department of Women's and Gender Studies
Location Amherst, MA Posted Jun. 15, 2012
NEW! - Multiple Faculty Positions -- English
American University of the Middle East
College of Business
Location Al Kuwait, Al Ahmadi, Kuwait Posted Jun. 14, 2012
NEW! - Visiting Asst. Professor -- Continental Philosophy
Wellesley College
Philosophy Department
Location Wellesley, MA Posted Jun. 12, 2012
NEW! - Instructor of Modern Hebrew
Portland State University
Department of World Languages and Literature
Location Portland, OR Posted Jun. 5, 2012
NEW! - Contract Faculty Position -- Writing
Ball State University
Department of English
Location Muncie, IN Posted Jun. 4, 2012
NEW! - English Lecturer
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Univ. of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Inst.
Location Shanghai, China Posted May. 22, 2012
Lectureships Modern Chinese History (2 Positions)
University of Sydney
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
Location Sydney, NSW, Australia Posted May. 17, 2012
English Language Pedagogy Specialist
English Language Institute of Singapore (ELIS)
Language Programmes
Location Singapore, Singapore Posted May. 14, 2012
English Language Specialist
English Language Institute of Singapore (ELIS)
Language Programmes
Location Singapore, Singapore Posted May. 16, 2012
Faculty Appointment -- Division of Chinese
Nanyang Technological University
School of Humanities and Social Sci. (HSS) -- Div. of Chi...
Location Singapore, Singapore, Singapore Posted Apr. 26, 2012
Assistant or Associate Professor -- Spanish
Oklahoma Baptist University
Coll. of Humanities and Social Sciences -- Spanish Dept.
Location Shawnee, OK Posted Apr. 12, 2012
Asst. or Assoc. Prof. -- Hispanic Literary Hertiage & Con...
University of Houston
Department of English -- Creative Writing Program
Location Houston, TX Posted Apr. 10, 2012
Adjunct Faculty Position in English Composition
University of San Francisco
Arts & Sciences
Location San Francisco, CA Posted Mar. 23, 2012
Instructors -- English As a Second Language
American University of the Middle East
English As a Second Language (EPP) Program
Location Al Kuwait, Al Ahmadi, Kuwait Posted Mar. 13, 2012
Digital Communication Specialist (Assistant or Assoc. Pro...
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Department of Humanities
Location Newark, NJ Posted Mar. 1, 2012
Faculty Member -- General Education
Higher Colleges of Technology
Faculty of Liberal Studies
Location Sharjah, United Arab Emirates