Synopses & Reviews
Girls Standing on Lawns
is a unique collaboration between renowned artist and bestselling childrenandrsquo;s book author Maira Kalman and New York Times
bestselling writer Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket. This clever book contains 40 vintage photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, more than a dozen original paintings by Kalman inspired by the photographs, and brief, lyrical texts by Handler. Poetic and thought-provoking, Girls Standing on Lawns
is a meditation on memories, childhood, nostalgia, home, family, and the act of seeing. The gorgeous visual material sets the stage for what Handler succinctly describes as andldquo;a photograph, a painting, a sentence, a pose.andrdquo; Girls, women, families, and even pets from days gone by grace the pages, looking out at us, enticing readers to imagine these people, their livesandmdash;and where they have gone.
Praise for Girls Standing on Lawns
andquot;Kalman supplements the mostly black-and-white, anonymous, amateur snapshots with colorful paintings inspired by the photographs. Handler adds alternately wry, pithy, poignantandmdash;and always succinctandmdash;commentary to most spreads, inviting readers to ponder the people and scenes as well as their own family photos.andquot;
andquot;Handler provides free verse that is both spare and sparse throughout the collection, contextualizing the thematic groupings and offering imaginative insight into what might have motivated the preservation of such frozen moments. The project is interesting and the images thought provoking.andquot;
--The Bulletin of The Center for Childrenandrsquo;s Books
"Written with old-fashioned flair, this fast-paced book is not for the squeamish....Those who enjoy a little poison in their porridge will find it wicked good fun." Kirkus Reviews
"While the misfortunes hover on the edge of being ridiculous, Snicket's energetic blend of humor, dramatic irony, and literary flair makes it all perfectly believable." Library Journal
The first tale of the Baudelaire orphans is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
Imagine tales so terrible that as many as fifty million innocents have been ruined by them tales so indelibly horrid that the New York Times
bestseller list has been unable to rid itself of them for seven years. Now imagine if this scourge suddenly became available in a shameful new edition so sensational, so irresistible, so riddled with lurid new pictures that even a common urchin would wish for it. Who among us would be safe?
Begin at the beginning even if it is a bad one with the first in A Series of Unfortunate Events, now even more disposable in paperback!
Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.
In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, a lumpy bed, a deadly serpent, a large brass reading lamp, a long knife, and a terrible odour.
In the tradition of great storytellers, from Dickens to Dahl, comes an exquisitely dark comedy that is both literary and irreverent, hilarious and deftly crafted. Never before has a tale of three likeable and unfortunate children been quite so enchanting, or quite so uproariously unhappy.
I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.
With all due respect,
Eleven-year-old twins Oliver and Celia Navel could care less about adventure and they really do not like excitement. They’d rather be watching television. Unfortunately for them, their thrill-seeking parents have dragged them from continent to continent their entire lives. But when their mother goes missing and their father makes a bet with the devious explorer Sir Edmund, the twins are forced into action. They head to Tibet where they fall out of airplanes, battle Yetis, poison witches, and encounter one very large yak. If they can unravel the mysteries and outwit Sir Edmund, they might just make the discovery of a lifetime . . . and get cable television!
Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?
It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, "Proceed, but cautiously."
About the Author
Lemony Snicket is the author of all 170 chapters in A Series of Unfortunate Events
. Despite everything, he is still at large.
Brett Helquist was born in Arizona, grew up in Utah and now lives in New York City. He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Brigham Young University and has been illustrating ever since.
Listen to an excerpt from The Carnivorous Carnival
Listen to an excerpt from The Slippery Slope