Discussion:
Ruth Chew's 100th anniversary ("The Wednesday Witch," 1969)
(too old to reply)
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-08 20:19:07 UTC
Permalink
Born in Minneapolis, she died in May of 2010 in California.

Incredibly, there don't seem to be any tributes - but at least I found this, from March:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/reviewedcom/2020/03/27/coronavirus-best-entertainment-nostalgia-revisit/2909385001/

You have to scroll almost all the way down.

And:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/53238.Ruth_Chew
(reader reviews)

"Random House to Reissue Ruth Chew's Fantasy Oeuvre" (from 2013)

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/55545-random-house-to-reissue-ruth-chew-s-fantasy-oeuvre.html


Most of what I posted in 2010:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/15/AR2010051503358.html
(short death notice)

When you read her work, you can't help but groan: "She makes it look so EASY to write
chapter books for 8-year-olds!"

She'd lived in Brooklyn much of her life but, for health reasons, had
to move to northern California in early 2001 to be near her daughter.
All(?) of her books at least start in Brooklyn.

"Baked Beans for Breakfast" is about two Brooklyn kids, maybe aged 9
and 11, who trick their rotten, mean babysitter into thinking they've
gone to be with their grandmother for the summer when, in fact,
they've run away and gone to the usual woodsy camp site in Hawley,
Pennsylvania (their parents are in Europe).

On the back cover:
"Joe, we shouldn't have run away!" Kathleen was suddenly afraid. But
her brother knew there was no turning back now. Every minute the bus
was taking them farther away from their home in Brooklyn.
"Just think, Kath," Joe said. "We can camp out at the lake all by
ourselves. It will be a lot more fun than staying in the city all
summer long."
"A lot more fun," thought Kathleen, "and a lot more scary!"


And on page 6:

"Joe wondered if it had been a mistake to bring Kathleen. She was two
years younger than he was, and she could be such a nuisance. But
Kathleen had begged to come along.

"She pointed out that she had much more money than he - saved up for
years in her enormous china pig."


Since the book was published in 1970, I can't help but wonder, after
reading that, if Chew wasn't doing a gender twist on a very famous
book, from three years earlier, which is alsoabout two runaways who
later meet with an old woman in a big house!

But, of course, all the other circumstances are quite different.


I LOVE that book, in part because of its portrait of the polite old
woman vs. the mean babysitter who only likes children under a certain
age, and I wish she'd written one more non-fantasy book, but the
fantasies are fine too, of course. My favorite is "What the Witch
Left" because of her description of the Mexican marketplace and her
subtle portrait of Pilar's bargaining tactics - she speaks fast and
loudly to the boy vendor who's her age, quietly to the young Mexican
man, and she plays dumb with the American customer.

The fast-paced "No Such Thing as a Witch" is fun too, though the
description on the back scared me away from reading it for a while:

"Watch out for Maggie Brown—the new next-door neighbor! And beware of
Maggie's homemade fudge!
Maggie is NOT an ordinary person.
Her fudge is NOT ordinary fudge.
One piece of the fudge makes you love animals.
If you eat two pieces of fudge you will understand animal language.
Three pieces make you act like an animal.
And if you eat four pieces… HELP!"


www.ruthchew.com

http://ruthchew.com/about-the-books/index.htm
(includes covers and descriptions - includes spoilers)

http://www.ruthchew.com/about-the-author/index.htm
(photo and bio)

http://www.ruthchew.com/about-the-books/foreign-editions.htm
(Includes a few covers by foreign(?) illustrators. Her books have
been translated into Japanese and Spanish.)

http://www.ruthchew.com/links.htm
(reader reviews and more)

From the S.A.T.A. entry:

"When my children were small I told them stories to stop them crying
or to induce them to eat. I confess to being an imitator of E.
Nesbit...I speak pigeon French and have travelled extensively. I
collect, identify, and consume wild mushrooms."

Bibliography:

The Wednesday Witch, Scholastic Book Services, 1969.

Baked Beans for Breakfast, Scholastic Book Services, 1970, published
as The Secret Summer, 1974.

No Such Thing as a Witch, Scholastic Book Services, 1971.

Magic in the Park, Scholastic Book Services, 1972.

What the Witch Left, Scholastic Book Services, 1973.

The Hidden Cave, Scholastic Book Services, 1973, published as The
Magic Cave, Hastings House, 1978.

The Witch's Buttons, Scholastic Book Services, 1974.

The Secret Tree House, Scholastic Book Services, 1974.

Witch in the House, Scholastic Book Services, 1975.

The Would-Be Witch, Scholastic Book Services, 1976.

The Trouble with Magic, Scholastic Book Services, 1976.

Summer Magic, Scholastic Book Services, 1977.

Witch's Broom, Dodd, 1977.

The Witch's Garden, Scholastic Book Services, 1978.

Earthstar Magic, Scholastic Book Services, 1979.

The Wishing Tree, Hastings House, 1980.

Secondhand Magic, Holiday House, 1981.

Mostly Magic, Holiday House, 1982.

The Magic Coin, Scholastic, Inc., 1983.

The Witch at the Window, Scholastic, Inc., 1984.

Trapped in Time, Scholastic, Inc., 1986.

Do It Yourself Magic, Scholastic, Inc., 1987.

The Witch and the Ring, Scholastic, Inc., 1989.

Magic of the Black Mirror, Scholastic, Inc., 1990.

Wrong Way Around Magic, Scholastic, 1993.

Witch's Cat, The (1994)

Last Chance for Magic (1996)

Magic of the Black Mirror (1996)

The Enchanted Book (1998)

ILLUSTRATOR

Carol Morse, Three Cheers for Polly, Doubleday, 1967.

E. W. Hildick, The Questers, Hawthorn, 1970.

Val Abbott, The Mystery of the Ghost Bell, Dodd, 1971.

Ann McGovern, Shark Lady, Scholastic Book Services, 1978.


.

Here's a REAL obituary, at last, with an interesting B&W photo from
way back:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/06/BA7R1DPK8N.DTL

Excerpts:

"Ruth Chew wrote about witches and wizards and covens and broomsticks
and black cats, but have no fear of these witches," wrote a fan, Lucy
Day of Singapore, on a Ruth Chew Web site after Mrs. Chew's death. "If
anything, they will teach young readers the values of friendship,
independence and self-esteem, since that's what the books are really
about."...

...Mrs. Chew graduated from high school at age 16,
excelling in every subject but math because "she didn't believe 2 plus
2 equals 4," her daughter wrote...



Lenona.
Scott Lurndal
2020-04-08 21:16:39 UTC
Permalink
"Baked Beans for Breakfast" is about two Brooklyn kids, maybe aged 9=20
and 11, who trick their rotten, mean babysitter into thinking they've=20
gone to be with their grandmother for the summer when, in fact,=20
they've run away and gone to the usual woodsy camp site in Hawley,=20
Pennsylvania (their parents are in Europe).=20
Gertrude Chandler Warner's Boxcar children books seem somewhat similar.
Chrysi Cat
2020-04-09 09:35:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Born in Minneapolis, she died in May of 2010 in California.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/reviewedcom/2020/03/27/coronavirus-best-entertainment-nostalgia-revisit/2909385001/
You have to scroll almost all the way down.
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/53238.Ruth_Chew
(reader reviews)
"Random House to Reissue Ruth Chew's Fantasy Oeuvre" (from 2013)
https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/55545-random-house-to-reissue-ruth-chew-s-fantasy-oeuvre.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/15/AR2010051503358.html
(short death notice)
When you read her work, you can't help but groan: "She makes it look so EASY to write
chapter books for 8-year-olds!"
She'd lived in Brooklyn much of her life but, for health reasons, had
to move to northern California in early 2001 to be near her daughter.
All(?) of her books at least start in Brooklyn.
"Baked Beans for Breakfast" is about two Brooklyn kids, maybe aged 9
and 11, who trick their rotten, mean babysitter into thinking they've
gone to be with their grandmother for the summer when, in fact,
they've run away and gone to the usual woodsy camp site in Hawley,
Pennsylvania (their parents are in Europe).
"Joe, we shouldn't have run away!" Kathleen was suddenly afraid. But
her brother knew there was no turning back now. Every minute the bus
was taking them farther away from their home in Brooklyn.
"Just think, Kath," Joe said. "We can camp out at the lake all by
ourselves. It will be a lot more fun than staying in the city all
summer long."
"A lot more fun," thought Kathleen, "and a lot more scary!"
"Joe wondered if it had been a mistake to bring Kathleen. She was two
years younger than he was, and she could be such a nuisance. But
Kathleen had begged to come along.
"She pointed out that she had much more money than he - saved up for
years in her enormous china pig."
Since the book was published in 1970, I can't help but wonder, after
reading that, if Chew wasn't doing a gender twist on a very famous
book, from three years earlier, which is alsoabout two runaways who
later meet with an old woman in a big house!
But, of course, all the other circumstances are quite different.
Since I'm too young to have even run across the 1967 book when it was
much less than twenty years old, let ALONE have done so like the rest of
you while looking for reading material for MY OWN CHILDREN, care to let
me in on which '67 classic I should be looking for? The only major
children's SF I'm finding from that year looking at Wiki is /The Owl
Service/, which I don't think involves runaways.
Post by l***@yahoo.com
I LOVE that book, in part because of its portrait of the polite old
woman vs. the mean babysitter who only likes children under a certain
age, and I wish she'd written one more non-fantasy book, but the
fantasies are fine too, of course. My favorite is "What the Witch
Left" because of her description of the Mexican marketplace and her
subtle portrait of Pilar's bargaining tactics - she speaks fast and
loudly to the boy vendor who's her age, quietly to the young Mexican
man, and she plays dumb with the American customer.
The fast-paced "No Such Thing as a Witch" is fun too, though the
"Watch out for Maggie Brown—the new next-door neighbor! And beware of
Maggie's homemade fudge!
Maggie is NOT an ordinary person.
Her fudge is NOT ordinary fudge.
One piece of the fudge makes you love animals.
If you eat two pieces of fudge you will understand animal language.
Three pieces make you act like an animal.
And if you eat four pieces… HELP!"
<snip>

Now see, even as a kid I'd have found that a compelling back-cover blurb
(though for a transformation-fan furry, I have a surprising dislike of
loss-of-sapience stories, so I hope no one _other_ than the protagonist
is in any danger since the supporting characters often don't survive, to
show the danger). But for whatever reason, even though she was in both
my middle-school and elementary-school libraries, I never checked out
her work (and if I had, no one would teach me until the 90s that you're
supposed to go back to the first books an author wrote, not pick up the
latest one that's being promo'd now). And guilty as I feel about it, it
might be partly because I thought her name sounded ridiculous; that's
likely why I never circled any of her books in the "Scholastic Book
sale" circulars that the school sent home every couple weeks like
clockwork (were they selling books direct-to-the-student through the
classroom when any of the rest of you were in K-6?)

Wondering if I may have to rectify that on any that come back into print
or are available as library ebooks.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
Jack Bohn
2020-04-09 13:05:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Born in Minneapolis, she died in May of 2010 in California.
"Baked Beans for Breakfast" is about two Brooklyn kids, maybe aged 9
and 11, who trick their rotten, mean babysitter into thinking they've
gone to be with their grandmother for the summer when, in fact,
they've run away and gone to the usual woodsy camp site in Hawley,
Pennsylvania (their parents are in Europe).
Since the book was published in 1970, I can't help but wonder, after
reading that, if Chew wasn't doing a gender twist on a very famous
book, from three years earlier, which is alsoabout two runaways who
later meet with an old woman in a big house!
But, of course, all the other circumstances are quite different.
Since I'm too young to have even run across the 1967 book when it was
much less than twenty years old, let ALONE have done so like the rest of
you while looking for reading material for MY OWN CHILDREN, care to let
me in on which '67 classic I should be looking for? The only major
children's SF I'm finding from that year looking at Wiki is /The Owl
Service/, which I don't think involves runaways.
I would guess _From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler_ by E. L. Konigsburg. I came to it waaay late, and from the movie, which was by then also quite old. Not sf. The children run away to New York City, and stay in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I see some controversy that it might have been a bit too much of a how-to for that sort of thing.
Post by Chrysi Cat
But for whatever reason, even though she was in both
my middle-school and elementary-school libraries, I never checked out
her work (and if I had, no one would teach me until the 90s that you're
supposed to go back to the first books an author wrote, not pick up the
latest one that's being promo'd now).
Her first book, her last book, don't worry about it. All great. One might be slightly weak, but it's not painful to read.
Post by Chrysi Cat
And guilty as I feel about it, it
might be partly because I thought her name sounded ridiculous; that's
likely why I never circled any of her books in the "Scholastic Book
sale" circulars that the school sent home every couple weeks like
clockwork (were they selling books direct-to-the-student through the
classroom when any of the rest of you were in K-6?)
Ha! First or second grade, armed with a mimeographed list of suggested books at the downtown library, we talked out mom into taking us there and getting cards. "The Farmer is Eager to Chew Cleary." is a mnemonic I invented to remember four authors with a number of interesting title. (I don't know why I didn't carry a paper with me. Maybe the list was my older brother's.)
--
-Jack
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-09 16:46:02 UTC
Permalink
Yes, I was referring to FtMUFoMBEF. Congratulations!

From a post I wrote in 2001, slightly edited, about the TV movie with Lauren Bacall:

Gad, that movie is embarrassing in more ways than one! Not to mention the 1970s
version (The Hideaways) with Ingrid Bergman! Why didn't they just get Bette
Davis instead for the old version? Understated, she would have been perfect!

As for the newer one, my main pet peeve was that while prima donna Claudia is
pretty but not distinctive in the (book) illustrations, they turned her into an
uptight, irritating-looking type with her glasses and braids - neither of which
she had in the book! Also, of course, the movie had to deal with the fact that the
museum is no longer free, the huge fountain is now gone, and
the parents' reactions - in detail. (You don't get to see the parents' reactions directly,
in the book. ) Though why the kids in the movie were so moral as not to
take change from the fountain, I can't imagine. Of course, the book is dated
(not fatally) in general - while things were not pretty for such young runaways
even in the 1960s, you still know how old the book is when Mrs. Frankweiler
says that the mother has been reading too many horror stories about runaways.
(That is, an adult reader, nowadays, would think "what planet does Mrs. Frankweiler
LIVE on?")


Lenona.
Chrysi Cat
2020-04-09 16:49:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack Bohn
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Born in Minneapolis, she died in May of 2010 in California.
"Baked Beans for Breakfast" is about two Brooklyn kids, maybe aged 9
and 11, who trick their rotten, mean babysitter into thinking they've
gone to be with their grandmother for the summer when, in fact,
they've run away and gone to the usual woodsy camp site in Hawley,
Pennsylvania (their parents are in Europe).
Since the book was published in 1970, I can't help but wonder, after
reading that, if Chew wasn't doing a gender twist on a very famous
book, from three years earlier, which is alsoabout two runaways who
later meet with an old woman in a big house!
But, of course, all the other circumstances are quite different.
Since I'm too young to have even run across the 1967 book when it was
much less than twenty years old, let ALONE have done so like the rest of
you while looking for reading material for MY OWN CHILDREN, care to let
me in on which '67 classic I should be looking for? The only major
children's SF I'm finding from that year looking at Wiki is /The Owl
Service/, which I don't think involves runaways.
I would guess _From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler_ by E. L. Konigsburg. I came to it waaay late, and from the movie, which was by then also quite old. Not sf. The children run away to New York City, and stay in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I see some controversy that it might have been a bit too much of a how-to for that sort of thing.
Post by Chrysi Cat
But for whatever reason, even though she was in both
my middle-school and elementary-school libraries, I never checked out
her work (and if I had, no one would teach me until the 90s that you're
supposed to go back to the first books an author wrote, not pick up the
latest one that's being promo'd now).
Her first book, her last book, don't worry about it. All great. One might be slightly weak, but it's not painful to read.
Post by Chrysi Cat
And guilty as I feel about it, it
might be partly because I thought her name sounded ridiculous; that's
likely why I never circled any of her books in the "Scholastic Book
sale" circulars that the school sent home every couple weeks like
clockwork (were they selling books direct-to-the-student through the
classroom when any of the rest of you were in K-6?)
Ha! First or second grade, armed with a mimeographed list of suggested books at the downtown library, we talked out mom into taking us there and getting cards. "The Farmer is Eager to Chew Cleary." is a mnemonic I invented to remember four authors with a number of interesting title. (I don't know why I didn't carry a paper with me. Maybe the list was my older brother's.)
It's getting off-topic entirely, so far as I know, because I don't think
/she/ ever wrote anything non-mundane, but the last of the ones you were
into over half a century ago is three days away from hitting her 104th
birthday (and not "anniversary of her birth" either; she's still alive
as of last night)!

I doubt she's the oldest living writer _ever,_ but she may well be the
oldest _currently-living_ writer and there's probably some argument to
be made that no children's author has ever lived longer.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-09 17:29:45 UTC
Permalink
It would take me quite a while to look up the oldest (long-dead) children's writers, but yes, Beverly Cleary is alive and will turn 104 on April 12. Which probably makes her the oldest Newbery Medalist ever. (She won that award for "Dear Mr. Henshaw." She's also been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award - she MIGHT be the oldest-ever nominee in that category, but again, it would take me a long time to check.)

I can post the link to my biannual list of oldest living writers in a minute; there are a few writers for adults who are definitely older. Trouble with this IPad is, it keeps wiping out my messages before I post them, so I'll have to do this in baby steps.

Back to Ruth Chew. You don't have to worry about anyone's getting hurt - no one ever does get seriously hurt in her books. Not that I read all of them; it's just a reasonable guess.

And for those who don't know, in "The Wednesday Witch," the witch rides...a vacuum cleaner! In a way, I suspect that put Chew ahead of her time, in 1969. Not to mention that one reason you know the story wasn't a "dream" is that (spoiler) the girl gets to keep a magic token, by the end. (OK, that wasn't exactly new - C.S. Lewis had used that trick multiple times, even though the tokens weren't usually magical.)

And while it makes no sense that in "What the Witch Left," the mother puts a chest of drawers (albeit locked) in the girl's room and then expects her not to look into it, it's probably Chew's most popular book. It's hard to say which of the magic items I'd most want to have!


Lenona.
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-09 17:57:01 UTC
Permalink
Here's the link to that list:

http://forums.abebooks.com/discussions/AbeBookscom_Community_Forum/_/_/abecom/34840.1?dbg=6&mobile=y

I posted the writers for adults first, so you have to keep scrolling down for the whole thing.

Hope it works. I started it on Dec. 30th, so of course some people need to be removed by now. But I'm reasonably sure the SF writer for adults who was born in 1918 is still alive. There are several juvenile SF/fantasy writers as well. Also, check out the Harry Potter illustrator who was born at the end of 1923 - chances are you've never heard of him!

Only trouble is, even though I posted the list in segments at that forum, they kept getting truncated. Sometimes I think they keep changing the rules over there.


Lenona.
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-09 18:39:26 UTC
Permalink
And thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can now hear almost any old-time song that gets mentioned in a book - in this case, I mean "Swans on the Lake," which, in "What the Witch Left," the girl hasn't bothered to practice, but when her piano teacher shows up...

Here's a video.



Talk about an elementary piano piece!

It was also fun when I found I could look up the songs in two books that are not fantasies, but are SO unrealistic - if funny - that they might as well have been. One was "Baby Island" (the songs were "Scots, Wha Hae Wi Wallace Bled" and "Oh, Bedelia").The other was "Mr. Popper's Penguins." (One piece was "Merry Widow Waltz.")


Lenona
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-09 18:57:39 UTC
Permalink
Another song, from "Baby Island," was "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree."

It's incredible how many different celebrities sang that one - I found videos with Louis Armstrong, Petula Clark, the Mills Brothers, Bing Crosby, and even Arlo Guthrie! (I say "incredible" because I can think of plenty of 19th-century songs I'd find far more memorable.)
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-09 19:37:13 UTC
Permalink
And I just found out the song is from 1905. Oh well...

More on Konigsburg, if you'll forgive me.

In the book I mentioned, the kids' combined savings - $28.61 - is a little over $222.00, today.

What I posted, on her death:

In 2006, she was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

I read F.T.M.-U.F.O.M.B.E.F. when I was 7 or 8 and love it to this day. One thing that bothered me a lot as a kid was when they steal the newspaper, though I now realize Konigsburg was simply reminding the reader that these were not quite nice kids, given their callous treatment of their parents. (Not to mention Jamie has to remind Claudia about it during their Sunday prayers!)

I also didn't get the exchange between Jamie and the elderly Mrs. Frankweiler:

http://www.archive.org/stream/frommixedupfiles00konirich/frommixedupfiles00konirich_djvu.txt

"I got it after the war. . . ."

"Which war?" Jamie interrupted.

"World War II. Which war did you think I meant? The American Revolution?"

"Are you that old?" Jamie asked.

"I'm not even going to answer that."


That is, even though MAYBE I wasn't sure, as a 7-year-old, just when the American Revolution happened, I could still recognize sarcasm when I heard it, so I thought Jamie was asking "you mean you actually remember World War II" and Mrs. Frankweiler was simply offended at THAT question.

Konigsburg was inspired to write "Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth" when her lonely young daughter made friends with a black girl - and black families were rare in that neighborhood. (Wendy E. Betts, years ago, pointed out that in the scene in the book where the pageant is performed on Parents' Night, it becomes clear that Jennifer is the ONLY black student in the school.)

I'm embarrassed to say that I was at least 30 before I'd read enough history or sociology to realize that Jennifer's deep-rooted anger at being called "Jenny" (even by a silly, gushy teacher) was about a lot more than just one child's idea of dignity.


Lenona.
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-09 22:44:38 UTC
Permalink
the last of the ones you were
into over half a century ago is three days away from hitting her 104th
birthday (and not "anniversary of her birth" either; she's still alive
as of last night


Which brings me to a pet peeve. Why do the professional media - plus the people who create Google Doodles - so often say "birthday" when they really mean "anniversary"? Especially when they're referring to, say, an 80th anniversary? Why risk confusing readers who didn't already know that so-and-so is dead? If they were stricter about the use of both words, then, whenever they said "so-and-so's 100th birthday is coming up," it would be a wonderful surprise to those readers who didn't know that person was still alive.

I suspect the main reason is that Americans, in particular, don't like to be reminded that ANYONE is dead.


Lenona.
Chrysi Cat
2020-04-10 02:40:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chrysi Cat
the last of the ones you were
into over half a century ago is three days away from hitting her 104th
birthday (and not "anniversary of her birth" either; she's still alive
as of last night
Which brings me to a pet peeve. Why do the professional media - plus the people who create Google Doodles - so often say "birthday" when they really mean "anniversary"? Especially when they're referring to, say, an 80th anniversary? Why risk confusing readers who didn't already know that so-and-so is dead? If they were stricter about the use of both words, then, whenever they said "so-and-so's 100th birthday is coming up," it would be a wonderful surprise to those readers who didn't know that person was still alive.
I suspect the main reason is that Americans, in particular, don't like to be reminded that ANYONE is dead.
Lenona.
Because you really /do/ need to specify, in American English,
"anniversary of birth". Through natural linguistic drift, the
un-modified term has come to refer specifically to a wedding
anniversary, and I feel (though Dorothy has actual TRAINING in the
subject and I'm a dilettante with no formal education beyond several
quarters I flunked out of at two uni's) that it's likely an irreversible
shift at this point.

Maybe what we need is a _coinage_ for "anniversary of birth of a
deceased person"?

But the problem there is, for the first several years, people are as
likely to misunderstand that coinage just as much as they could have
problems with your now- "non-standard" usage of "anniversary",
un-modified, in the subject line.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-11 08:37:55 UTC
Permalink
I don't think we need a new word. Very few adults read "100th anniversary" and think that that person is alive - or that it has anything to do with a wedding. Of course, no one reads "200th birthday" and thinks THAT person is alive either, but consistency is important.


Lenona.
Robert Carnegie
2020-04-11 11:52:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@yahoo.com
I don't think we need a new word. Very few adults read "100th anniversary" and think that that person is alive - or that it has anything to do with a wedding. Of course, no one reads "200th birthday" and thinks THAT person is alive either, but consistency is important.
The classical music world seems to like anniversaries
of composers' deaths as well as births. For instance,
Beethoven was born 250 years ago this year, and 2027
is 200 years after he died. Both are on to be marked.
I suppose it provides a schedule.

Chrysi Cat
2020-04-11 04:21:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by Jack Bohn
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Born in Minneapolis, she died in May of 2010 in California.
"Baked Beans for Breakfast" is about two Brooklyn kids, maybe aged 9
and 11, who trick their rotten, mean babysitter into thinking they've
gone to be with their grandmother for the summer when, in fact,
they've run away and gone to the usual woodsy camp site in Hawley,
Pennsylvania (their parents are in Europe).
Since the book was published in 1970, I can't help but wonder, after
reading that, if Chew wasn't doing a gender twist on a very famous
book, from three years earlier, which is alsoabout two runaways who
later meet with an old woman in a big house!
But, of course, all the other circumstances are quite different.
Since I'm too young to have even run across the 1967 book when it was
much less than twenty years old, let ALONE have done so like the rest of
you while looking for reading material for MY OWN CHILDREN, care to let
me in on which '67 classic I should be looking for? The only major
children's SF I'm finding from that year looking at Wiki is /The Owl
Service/, which I don't think involves runaways.
I would guess _From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler_
by E. L. Konigsburg.  I came to it waaay late, and from the movie,
which was by then also quite old.  Not sf.  The children run away to
New York City, and stay in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I see some
controversy that it might have been a bit too much of a how-to for
that sort of thing.
Post by Chrysi Cat
But for whatever reason, even though she was in both
my middle-school and elementary-school libraries, I never checked out
her work (and if I had, no one would teach me until the 90s that you're
supposed to go back to the first books an author wrote, not pick up the
latest one that's being promo'd now).
Her first book, her last book, don't worry about it.  All great.  One
might be slightly weak, but it's not painful to read.
Post by Chrysi Cat
And guilty as I feel about it, it
might be partly because I thought her name sounded ridiculous; that's
likely why I never circled any of her books in the "Scholastic Book
sale" circulars that the school sent home every couple weeks like
clockwork (were they selling books direct-to-the-student through the
classroom when any of the rest of you were in K-6?)
Ha!  First or second grade, armed with a mimeographed list of
suggested books at the downtown library, we talked out mom into taking
us there and getting cards.  "The Farmer is Eager to Chew Cleary." is
a mnemonic I invented to remember four authors with a number of
interesting title.  (I don't know why I didn't carry a paper with me.
Maybe the list was my older brother's.)
It's getting off-topic entirely, so far as I know, because I don't think
/she/ ever wrote anything non-mundane, but the last of the ones you were
into over half a century ago is three days away from hitting her 104th
birthday (and not "anniversary of her birth" either; she's still alive
as of last night)!
I doubt she's the oldest living writer _ever,_ but she may well be the
oldest _currently-living_ writer and there's probably some argument to
be made that no children's author has ever lived longer.
Oopsie--BAD kitty. I was wrong about the off-topic ( /The Mouse and the
Motorcycle/ and its sequels qualify because Ralph S Mouse can speak
English with certain humans). So we may need a birthday thread on Sunday!
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-11 09:41:07 UTC
Permalink
How did *I* forget that? I was fascinated with the first two Ralph books.

From my birthday tribute to Cleary in 2016:

I was rereading "Ramona the Pest." It occurred to me that what distinguishes the "Ramona" books is that while Cleary obviously respects little kids' perspectives - and their intelligence - she still refuses to make the adults revolve around Ramona or any other child. (Which, unfortunately, probably dates the books a bit!) Ramona, ultimately, is expected to revolve around the wishes of adults, whether misunderstandings between them and her have been cleared up or not. This is even reflected in the book's title, when you think about it! I.e., the adults are not made to look foolish just to make Ramona look better, nor does Cleary allow Ramona to seethe with contempt for adults, unlike quite a few characters from Judy Blume's world.

While Cleary probably didn't manage to blend the old with the new so gracefully in all her books - she certainly didn't allow any adult female characters in "The Mouse & the Motorcycle" any dignity, even the mice - mixing the old with the new is still a trait of hers that marks her as a great writer, I think. (She introduced an adult female character in "Runaway Ralph" who was non-stereotypical, thankfully.)

Oh and check this out!

http://www.edrants.com/?p=2846

It's a pretty amusing parody of the first two pages of "Ramona the Pest," semi-Goth style.

Excerpt:

"She was a girl who had been denied an iPod. Life was so boring that she had to fall asleep in class."


Lenona.
l***@yahoo.com
2020-04-09 19:50:45 UTC
Permalink
Oh, and if anyone didn't notice, Chew's anniversary was on a Wednesday!
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