SteigFEST 14: Happy birthday, Bill!

SteigFEST

Steig1

from The Agony in the Kindergarten, Duell, Sloane and Pierce,1950

Thanks for joining me in this fourteen-day long celebration! I’ve taken the liberty of wishing Bill a happy birthday – I never met him, but I hear that’s what he liked to be called by friends, and, well, it’s his birthday!

Cover

Publisher: Godine, 1984
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: creatures, volcanoes, flowers
Opening: .
Summary: (from Amazon) What would happen if every creature on land and sea were free to be as rotten as possible? If every day was a free-for-all; if plants grew barbed wire; if the ocean were poison? That’s life on Rotten Island. For creatures that slither, creep, and crawl (not to mention kick, bite, scratch, and play nasty tricks on each other), Rotten Island is paradise.But then, on a typically rotten day, something truly awful happens. Something that could spoil Rotten Island forever. Out of a bed a gravel on the scorched earth, a mysterious, beautifly flower begins to grow…

I like this book because: What could be more fun for kids than to get ugly, then uglier, mean then meaner along with horrific creatures and to have it all consume itself? I think this book in particular demonstrates well how Steig fed the child within himself  and without letting his adult brain lead, wrote a story for adults. Enough, just go read it!

Rotten Island2

Resources/activity: this is one for the writers – young, old, and in between: let the child within write whatever it wants, whatever pleases, and whatever you do, have fun! Nothing would please the ‘birthday boy’ more! For a fine lesson in sentence transformation, check out Renee’s guest post with Michelle – HEREFor more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Hill’s blog – HERE

rotten island3

Today’s tidbit: Check out this birthday post from 2011 from the wonderful father, picture book maker, and creator of the Happy Birthday Author blog, Eric Van Raepenbusch – HERE. (Photos Eric posted of his kids jumping in a leaf pile inspired the sketches for the blog banner above)

steigmonsters

Rotten Island, Godine, 1984

I hope you’ve already hit your libraries and your local independent booksellers in search of some of the titles shared during SteigFEST, but I have ONE REMINDER: savor them slowly, like chocolate (which Steig loved – actually, all sweets!), taking note of Steig’s shaping of beautiful phrases. And when you find a delectable mouthful (you MUST read Steig aloud) share it!

from The Agony in the Kindergarten, Duell, Sloane and Pierce,1950

from The Agony in the Kindergarten, Duell, Sloane and Pierce,1950

Further reading:

The Art of William Steig

The World of William Steig

The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker

Heart and Humor: The Picture Book Art of William Steig

The Comic Worlds of Peter Arno, William Steig, Charles Addams, and Saul Steinberg

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27 thoughts on “SteigFEST 14: Happy birthday, Bill!

  1. What a feast you gave us this week. I love the idea of committing an entire week to exploring someone’s work on the blog. Happy Birthday, Bill and this one feels Seussian in the depth of its adult message yet utterly child-centric!

    Like

  2. I’m so glad I followed your Steigfest! It taught me so much about an author/illustrator I sort of knew but not really. I am slowly going through all the books I got from your recommendations (including a big one about Mr. Steig and his art). Can’t wait to read them all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed the series Julie. I haven’t commented on all, but took a look. Great collection of books. I like the idea of savoring them with … or did you say like …. with chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A day late, but . . . I just got my Daedalus Books holiday catalog. Inside front cover: Cats, Dogs, Men, Women, Ninnies, & Clowns: The Lost Art of William Steig by his wife, Jeanne!!! $40 book for only $9.98! ‘Gotta have it. Find it online at salebooks.com

    Like

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