When Nancy Tafuri began her illustrating her own marvelous stories, she had a hard time at first finding a publisher who would believe in her work. Fortunately for the many, many children who have been delighted by her books, Nancy persisted, learning more about her craft while waiting to be published. Her books were successful, and they definitely found their young audiences. Eventually, the New York Times would call Nancy Tafuri “the Queen Mother of Warmly Soothing Animal Bedtime Stories.”
I knew the perfect column to appear in today’s paper would be one that focused on scary books. Just one problem: I don’t read very many scary books. I have some guilt over this because, as a librarian, I feel like I should read all types of books. And I try. I really do. But the truth is, I don’t enjoy scary books, and, while I advocate reading widely to stretch your mind and to be exposed to all the wonderful literature out there, I also think there are so many good books available that you shouldn’t spend time reading a book you really aren’t enjoying. So, I don’t read scary books unless I have to, like when I need to prepare for a book discussion group.
Although zombies have a long history of appearances in religion and folklore, interest in them as villains in horror films is largely confined to the second half of the 20th century. The explosion in zombie popularity is based on a characterization established by a single film and the fact that the original characterization of the zombi in African folklore and religion, as well as in earlier films, is dramatically different from that of the popular characterization from the 1960s onward. To understand zombies in both their original context and in the role they have come to take in popular culture requires an understanding of two divergent traditions.
The image of a cursed soul doomed to become a werewolf at the rising of a full moon is one of the most iconic concepts in horror. Unlike Dracula or the Mummy, the notion of a “wolf man” or “werewolf” was not cemented by one single actor, author, book, or horror series. It is instead a truly ancient concept dating back to the pre-literate sagas and legends told by Europeans centuries ago.
Louisa May Alcott did not write because she had the need to get the stories out. Louisa May wrote for one reason: she wanted her family to be rich.
When Frank McCourt passed in 2009, he left behind memoirs filled with anguish, love, and dark merriment. Personal experiences are what this Irish-American author took and shaped into works of sorrowful beauty.
Congratulations to the winners of the 21st Annual Teen Art Show! The 11th and 12th graders were judged by Johnny Johnson, a local artist with an international reputation for excellence, and 11th and 12th graders judged the 9th and 10th graders.
Chris Glover, the Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s (CRRL) Assistant Director for Technology, is the winner of the first Public Library Innovator Award given by the Virginia Library Association. This award recognizes public librarians or public library project teams who have made an outstanding contribution to advance the mission of a public library in Virginia through an innovative project, program, or service.