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When Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1865, it set critics awry: here was a book for children written for the pure pleasure of reading. It has since become one of the most famous children's books ever, translated into many different languages, performed as a play, and made into a popular Disney animated film.
This delightful collection brings together five short stories and eight essays on writing by Newbery Medal-winning author Nancy WillardNancy Willard's gift for bringing out the whimsical in all of us illuminates this memorable anthology." 'Who Invented Water?' " celebrates the craft and magic of creating children's books. In "Becoming a Writer," Willard admits she dislikes giving and receiving advice. She prefers telling a story, with real-life characters ranging from members of her own family to Jane Austen, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Charles Dickens on stilts. "The Well-tempered Falsehood" explores the fabulist art of storytelling; "The Rutabaga Lamp" is a dreamy, delightful riff on how to read and write fairy tales. In an autobiographical piece, "Her Father's House," Erica, Theo, and their three-year-old son travel home for the funeral of Erica's father. As the whole family gathers, the heroine is hit with an onslaught of memories, Willard style. "The Tailor Who Told the Truth" is Morgon Axel, who tells nothing but lies . . . until the day a wild boar comes into his shop. This ebook includes an introduction by Robert Pack, former director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.
The wisdom of peace and the absurdity of fighting are demonstrated in seventeen stories and poems by outstanding authors of today such as Jean Fritz, Milton Meltzer, and Nancy Willard.
AT THE END OF A SMALL street in the city of Florence is a shop unlike any you have ever seen. When you walk inside, you will find a room crammed from tip to top with beds-big beds, little beds, bunk beds, junk beds, trundle beds, canopied beds, beds with four posts, beds with no posts. In the middle of the shop you will see a woman. And if she offers to show you the breathlessly beautiful carved bed in the back room, think twice before you agree to go see it. For this is no ordinary bed . . .
In this strong, appealing collection, Nancy Willard shares her passion for observing the mysteries of the natural world, particularly the flora and fauna of Cape Cod and the Hudson Valley, where many of these poems are set. We see, through her eyes, the coming of darkness to an empty orchard, the retreat of deer at dusk, and the breakup of a river with the onset of spring. Willard is also deeply engaged with the living creatures that populate her world. Her poems record her encounter with a moon snail and her celebration of the ladybugs she sends into the garden and the butterflies that alight on her shoulders like ghostly kisses. Amid poems about the intimate presence of nature are expressions of absences deeply felt. Willard is drawn not just to the inhabited world but also to the empty spaces with which our passage through life is strewn. In "The Absence at the Swing," a rabbit watches a swing's back-and-forth motion just after the children have left the playground; in "Niche Without Statue," she takes us to "an alcove scoured / to stucco light" and tells us, "Somebody lived here. Stepped away. No tracks. " We learn, too, of the presences she misses most deeply, as in "Phone Poem," in which she imagines receiving a telephone call from her father after his death. Whether she is cultivating a sense of the life that is all around her or attending to the losses felt within, Nancy Willard never ceases to enchant us with the sense of dedication and awe that graces her verse. From the Hardcover edition.
Selections from Nancy Willard's acclaimed volumes of poetry and proseThis diverse collection features some of Nancy Willard's most critically lauded poetry--including works from her Newbery Medal-winning volume, A Visit to William Blake's Inn--as well as her short fiction and four unconventional essays on writing.Hens, children, magic bottles, and the moon are just some of the characters running through the luminous musings gathered here. "How to Stuff a Pepper" becomes a heady discourse on the thoughts and sleeping habits of peppers. "The Doctrine of the Leather-Stocking Jesus" and "The Hucklebone of a Saint" are tales about the power of superstition to shape our lives. Other stories showcase favorite Willard themes about God, religion, and the magic and mysticism in everyday life--and the ancestors, guardians, saints, and spirits who, in Willard's words, come back "once in a while to keep an eye on us, the living."A paean to the power of storytelling, A Nancy Willard Reader is an essential volume for poetry and fiction lovers.
From the acclaimed poet of In the Salt Marsh comes a dazzling collection about the magic hiding in the ordinary days of our past and present. Willard turns a keen eye on the natural world that witnesses these revelations, and the myriad, often surprising ways in which it intersects with our own human lot. Willard shows us time and again that "In me nothing of childhood is lost." She recaptures for us not only the fleeting, distant shreds of a charmed, innocent youth, but brings back the people who have been loved and lost. She tells us of the man whose sister appears to him the night after her memorial service, and of the time her grandfather called her mother three days after he died, ". . . and she with her arms full / of wind-washed laundry / just freed from the line." She gives back to us Walt Whitman, "eating / his supper from a sheet of brown paper." She lends voice not only to the loved ones with whom we have parted ways but also to the plant and animal lives that remain a mystery to us despite our close proximity to them. In her able hands "the potato opens its eyes" and the dragonfly stands "well mannered and cautious." Whether she is musing "What it is to be that crow," bringing us "the gossip of ants," or noting that "The sea reads slowly, as old men in libraries / follow the news . . .," Willard brings extraordinary empathy to every subject she touches, creating fascinating new worlds from the ordinary staples of our daily existence. Finally, she plumbs the ultimate union between the human and natural worlds that she brings into such sharp focus. Grave Last year four men planted you under a stone. Today I plant the dumpy heart of a narcissus. Sharing your bed, it will wake up singing.From the Hardcover edition.
A shoemaker and his wife being photographed for their wedding anniversary keep adding items to the picture despite the photographer's admonition that "Simple pictures are best."
This marvelous collection brings together the finest of Nancy Willard's work Transporting us from Michigan farm country to the streets of New York, from a family picnic by a stream to snow-covered fields peopled by angels, the poems gathered here represent the best of Nancy Willard.Willard's gift for peeling back everyday existence to reveal something magical and wondrous is everywhere in evidence here. Ordinary trees become surreal landscapes "fanning the fire in their stars" and "spraying fountains of light." Poems featuring Great Danes, donkeys, and rabbits reveal Willard's love for all living creatures. "How to Stuff a Pepper" and "A Psalm for Running Water" coexist with poems about visits from God. The title poem tells the story of Willard at seven, while "Questions My Son Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Him" explores the joys and pitfalls of being a mother.Offering imagery from mythical goddesses to pumpkin saints to wise jellyfish, these are poems of astonishing imagination and grace, and will introduce a new generation of readers to Willard's remarkable body of work.
The first novel by Newbery Award-winning author Nancy Willard: A stunning story of magic and miracles, and a testament to the enduring power of faith and love Ben and Willie Harkissian are twin brothers (think Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau) growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the eve of World War II. A baseball launched into the October sky sets in motion a series of events that transforms many lives. Ben leaves for the front and faces death--figuratively as well as literally. Left behind is Clare Bishop, who has been paralyzed from the waist down. But in exchange she receives some very special gifts. She can see the future, be at one with animals, and chat with Death. Willie Harkissian remains in Michigan as well, though his relationship with his brother will never be the same.A love story interrupted by war, this is also a novel about discovering the ordinary in the extraordinary and finding the miraculous in everyday life.
Nancy Willard was inspired by William Blake's verbal and visual imagery as a child. She has now produced a book of poems that are not "in the style of" but more of an homage to Blake's poetry. The organizing principle is that Blake runs and inn and it is staffed and patronized by a variety of fanciful creatures and people. The rhyme schemes and words are mostly simple enough for children. The allusions and imagery extend the interest to older readers.
The lyrical poems of award-winning author Nancy Willard celebrate the magic of life Nancy Willard, who was the first recipient of a Newbery Medal for a volume of poetry, displays her versatility in these companion collections.Divided into five sections, Water Walker blends the mundane with the mystical. From sleeping fish to Marco Polo to a tortoise who dispenses unique advice to a bride on her wedding day, these poems integrate fables, nursery rhymes, hymns, and songs.In 19 Masks for the Naked Poet, the human soul reveals itself, as we remove the disguises that bind (and blind) us to everyday life. Fanciful images of nature--dozing bees, green lions--infuse this collection. Doors become mirrors and husbands float above their marital beds as Willard explores themes of family, love, spirituality, politics, and immortality. Her "poet" experiences everything from the sacred to the profane, from photographing his heart to meeting God in creations that are enchanting and surreal. This ebook includes illustrations by Regina Shekerjian.
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