Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thinking (out loud) About Picture Books

After reading this article in the New Yorker, I redoubled my efforts to sort out the best picture books in the house. And with a film version of a favorite in the theaters now, a thought came to me...which picture books on our shelves would also make fine films? Then, as I was considering this, the era of the film strip came flooding back to me...remember film strips? I recall that many of the books I loved as a child were shown to us via film strips in elementary school. It was complex technology. It required both a film strip projector and a record player, though I understand that later in the 70s cassette tapes were used.

A favorite first viewed via film strip is Millions of Cats. When I read this to my children, who were, it is now hard to believe, once very young, I realized that I was using the narrator's voice from the film strip! (For a bit of a reminisce, head to this site, where a blogger rediscovers the film strip in a library!) I wish the audio file were available somewhere. If anyone knows where it might be found, please let me know.

So, I'm starting to think of other books that might make good film strips. Some, having been featured on Reading Rainbow, have already received the page by page public read-through treatment. Some could use an update. Here's a list of the folks I think ought to be film strip readers, with apologies to audio book voice-over artists everywhere. This is a fantasy list, so some of the readers might have to make posthumous recordings. ;)

Millions of Cats read by Eartha Kitt
The Five Chinese Brothers read by David Carradine
The Philharmonic Gets Dressed read by Joshua Bell
Harry the Dirty Dog read by Clint Eastwood (so, that did not require much thought)
Pagoo read by Steven Jay Gould
Strega Nona read by Olympia Dukakis
Stella Luna read by Adam West
Curious George Takes a Job read by Steven R. Schirripa
The Story About Ping read by Larry the Duck
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel read by Mel Gibson

Any other suggestions?