Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hooray for Eric Kimmel!

Hey, guys, it's Carl. Didn't Bill make another awesome post? Don't forget-- there are only 6 more days to write if you want to see me in a dress!

We had our WordPlay Saturday festival last weekend and had a great time. One of the most interesting parts was meeting four of the authors/illustrators. I told you last week about meeting Dave Abbot, the Secrets of Droon man. Bill got to take Jeff Smith of Bone graphic novel fame to a school and spend some time with him. I also met the great illustrator James Ransome briefly, but I got to be with author Eric Kimmel the most. I found that he's one of the friendliest, jolliest, and most fun people I've ever met in all the 9 years I've been with the library. I told him about this blog and he got really excited about it. In fact, I gave him a few questions as a mini-interview and hope to get his answers soon. (He's busy, of course, and had to go to Atlanta after he was finished here) So I'm going to give him a shout-out by telling you about some of his books. (I'll arrange them in alphabetical order)

The Adventures of Hershel of Ostropol This is a group of laugh-out-loud stories about a poor man, a very poor man, who lived in eastern Europe in the 1800's. Since he was so very poor, he had to live by his wits. He always had something funny to say and also found ways to outsmart the stingy and proud and get money or a free meal. Wait until you read about the way he got his money back from a bandit, how he got money from a table, or what he said to the angel at the gate of Heaven!

Blackbeard's Last Fight A fictionalized story of the true end of Blackbeard the Pirate. It's 1718. Young Jeremy Hobbs accompanies Lieutenant Robert Maynard to see the Royal Governor of Virginia. The governor is worried because Blackbeard was about to settle off the North Carolina coast. If that happened, the feared pirate could control the whole American coast. After all, he had recently captured the whole city of Charleston, South Carolina! Lieutenant Maynard agrees to take care of the problem and Jeremy goes with him. The lieutenant orders Jeremy to stay out of the fight but the boy doesn't. Can he survive the battle with the most fearsome pirate to ever sail our coast? You've got to read it to find out!

The Hero Beowulf I've told you about Beowulf before (see my post of September 7 called "Three Grpahic Novels"). I still think it's one of, if not the, greatest hero-versus-monster stories ever. The great team of Eric Kimmel and Leonard Everett Fisher really does the story justice. The book starts off with a bang as Beowulf jumps overboard to rescue his shipmates from five sea monsters by himself! Then he goes to rescue the kingdom of the Danes from the awful monster Grendel. Beowulf says that he will fight without sword or shield, using only his strength to defeat the monster. And what a fight! You won't forget the first time you see Grendel--he's really scary! Nor will you forget their epic struggle. This is a must-read!
If you'd like to go to Eric Kimmel's website, click here.

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