Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who would'a thunk it....

Book fairs are a good place for a book dealer (such as myself) to actually talk - at length - to customers / collectors and ask them about what it is they collect and how they started their collections.  These discussions are, to me, fascinating glimpses into the workings of other minds.    Sometimes I can completely understand and associate with the types of collections we chat about. Sometimes, I will be blown away by a collector whose thought processes are very different from mine (this is not a bad thing, mind you, it just goes to show that we all have different ways of seeing the world).


About a year and a half ago, I spoke with a customer who was looking for picture books to add to her collection, but there was a twist - the books had to be by well known collectable authors who were NOT generally known as children's authors.  This customer was specifically looking for Modern Fiction Authors, but when I started to go through my stock, I found that this is an area ripe for the picking.

Today I thought I'd show a few of the books that I currently have in my picture book stock by authors you wouldn't normally expect to see. 

9 Magic Wishes by Shirley Jackson

First, a double dose --

By Shirley Jackson. She was known for her horror and supernatural fiction, including The Haunting of Hill House.

Famous Sally by Shirley Jackson

Yup - she did stuff for young people as well.

How about a bit of Vonnegut?

Sun Moon Star by Kurt Vonnegut  (and yes, I need a new jpg of this book - it will come)

Best known for Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions, he took some time to pen a book for younger folk as well.

Then there are the authors, who are familiar, and seeing a children's book coming from them isn't a stretch --

My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me (Maya Angelou)

Maya Angelou is a poet and author and her books are for all sizes and shapes -- including children.

But what about the non-writers?

The Blue Spruce by Mario Cuomo

That's right - the Governor of New York - Mario Cuomo

The Bridge by Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman is an artist / illustrator, so I guess it's not too far astray from his normal work, but.... he was the preferred illustrator for Hunter S. Thompson (of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas fame)  - which is not your normal kid lit.

Swan Lake with text by Margot Fonteyn

This one makes much more sense -- the plot of a ballet interpreted by a premier ballerina.

And just for the fun of it -- one last author for today.

Me  by William Saroyan

This last book, along with one of the Shirley Jackson titles you see above, are both part of a series called Modern Masters Books for Children --  I plan on writing a blog post about this series as soon as I can gather enough information about it. 

Unfortunately, while I was hoping that I'd see the customer who collects these sorts of books at the fair last month in Sacramento, it was not to be.  In the meantime, I'll continue to hunt out more picture books that might make it into her collection.  I might even make another blog post about it if I find some really intriguing items.

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