|Sarah supervises my work|
A gentleman ... raised his hand and with a voice full of righteous ferver declared that no one on the panel had as yet explained how a book as simpleminded and flat as Peter Rabbit deserved its prestigious reputation. Worst of all, it seemed to him to be “neither fact nor even fancy.”
I think we made it quite clear that there were no oracles seated on the platform that evening. However, for all our efforts, we were treated as experts and not too subtly condemned for being not-too-expert experts.
This book, so apparently simple, smooth, straightforward, is to my eye textured and deepened by the intimate, humorous observations that Beatrix Potter makes in her pictures.
This standard should be applied to every book for the young, and no book can claim the distinction of art without it. Peter Rabbit, for all its gentle tininess, loudly proclaims that no story is worth the writing, no picture worth the making, if it is not a work of imagination.
Very soon now, I will have in stock a new book of essays from another well-known Leelanau author, Kathleen Stocking, so think now about getting your name on my list of reserved copies for The Long Arc of the Universe: Travels Beyond the Pale. Like Lynne Rae Perkins, Kathleen Stocking proves that Maurice Sendak knew whereof he wrote. The sense of life these two Leelanau authors brings to their work comes from vital, intelligent, sometimes offbeat and always wonderful imaginations.
Transcending categories, transcending genres -- those are the very best books of all!