Monday, November 10, 2008

Feeling Desperate about Despereaux

Today I had a couple of hours of ranting and raving and disappointment. We received our brand, spanking new The Tale of Despereaux: The Junior Novelization movie tie-in book. (An animated movie version of the Newbery Award winning novel opens in theaters December 19.)

Um....where to begin.

1. I can understand (maybe) that when an author sells movie rights she may lose control of movie tie-in junk. I hope that's what happened here. This thing is "by" Jamie Michalak AND Kate DiCamillo.

2. Candlewick? Hello? This is the very first disappointing thing Candlewick has ever done (that I've noticed) and I just can't figure out the motivation here. They're not even a publicly traded company! There should be more integrity. If it was Harper Collins doing a repackaging, I would understand, but Candlewick? Come on!

3. Since when is a movie tie-in junior novelization 219 pages? 90 pages and I would cut them all a lot of slack, but for 219 pages of drivel, why would you not just read 267 pages of marvelous, award-winning genius?

4. This is just my library beef, but because this is the newest holding we have for this title at the library, it's the one that's going to show up at the top of the page when a patron does a title search for The Tale of Despereaux. If you don't really know what you're looking for, this is the one you are going to check out or place on hold. Not the real deal. THIS.



Anonymous said...

I am an author that has written several movie tie-ins. I think you should educate yourself on the process of writing movie tie-ins before judging a work. In most cases, the writers and editors are working on EXTREMELY tight deadlines, and with little material. And this one has a double-whammy of being the adaption of a most beloved book. Love your blog...keep it up :)

Elisabeth said...

i have the original in my stack of books...perhaps i'll get to it at some point. but since i haven't yet, would you recommend this book for a 9 year old who's quite a capable reader? glad you are back! :)

Your Librarian said...

Elisabeth, I also really like Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell for younger kids and the Lucy Rose series by Katy Kelly. have missed the whole point of my post. I understand that you may be under the gun to write these adaptations, but my problem here is writing a kids' book to simplify/replace a kids' book, especially "a most beloved book" in the first place.