Profile of Daniel Pinkwater, "Pynchon for kids"

Reading Daniel Pinkwater's novels as a kid changed my life for the better, and I've never looked back, so this beautifully written profile by Josh Nathan-Kazis was a pure delight to read, from Pinkwater's experiences as a cult member to the time that Terry Gilliam blamed him for killing Harvey Kurtzman's Help! — Read the rest

This Day in Blogging History: Odd Duck's a great picture book; Pinkwater's Yggyssey; UK cinema copyright warnings are bloody obnoxious

One year ago today

Odd Duck: great picture book about eccentricity and ducks: Cecil Castellucci's Odd Duck is the story of Theodora, "a perfectly normal duck" who likes her routine — swimming, stretching, taking books out of the library, buying duck kibble, doing craft projects (with duck burlap, naturally) and star-gazing. — Read the rest

Daniel Pinkwater's FISH WHISTLE free until Wednesday

Jennifer writes with amazing news! "FISH WHISTLE is a compilation of the best of Daniel Pinkwater's short essays. Contains classic (and very funny) stories of Pinkwater's family, travels in Africa, food, raising dogs and becoming an artist, many of which were first heard on NPR's 'All Things Considered.' — Read the rest

Pinkwater's Bushman Lives: absurdist misfit story is an insightful treatise on art

Daniel Pinkwater's Bushman Lives is another of Pinkwater's marvellous novels for young adults (and adults!) in which a misfit narrator embraces his inner weirdo and finds odd joy. Harold Knishke is a young man in late 1950s Chicago who finds himself with a lot of spare time thanks to weird political patronage at his high-school, which results in him serving as a corrupt hall monitor who can excuse himself from school grounds on his own recognizance. One day, he quits flute lessons, sells his flute to his relieved instructor, and uses the money to take up life-drawing classes at a beatnik art school across the street from a mysterious whitewashed house whose paint is constantly being replenished by mysterious, hissing humanoids all dressed in white wrapping.

Daniel Pinkwater's Mrs Noodlekugel, a kids' story that's as silly and pleasurable as ice-cream

Daniel Pinkwater, a much-loved living treasure of children's literature, has a new book out today. It's called Mrs Noodlekugel and it is a simple, silly pleasure that feels like the end-product of a lifetime of telling children's stories, carefully removing all the elements that are extraneous to young readers' enjoyment until nothing but the essentials remain. — Read the rest

Pinkwater's Lizard Music inducted into New York Review of Books Children's Classics

Today, the New York Review of Books' Children's Collection imprint released a new edition of Daniel Pinkwater's debut book, the classic gonzo science fiction kids' title Lizard Music. Lizard Music is the improbable tale of Victor, a social oddball who loves anchovy pizza and late-night TV — and one night, he discovers that his TV is receiving after-hours programming from another dimension of intelligent lizards. — Read the rest

Pinkwater's ADVENTURES OF A CAT-WHISKERED GIRL, sequel to Neddiad and Yggyssey

Daniel Pinkwater's Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl is the sequel to his Neddiad (a gonzo take on the Iliad starring Neddie, a boy who moves to 1950s Los Angeles, eats in the Brown Derby, attends military school, befriends shamans, eats fried foods, and saves the world from the Elder Gods) and Ygyssey (The Odyssey, starring a tomboyish legacy of a rootin-tootin' silent film cowboy who travels to a parallel dimension, enervates a witch, discovers the secret revels of Los Angeles's ghosts, is put-off by hippie food and fells a corrupt dictatorship). — Read the rest

Pinkwater's EDUCATION OF ROBERT NIFKIN: zany and inspiring tale of taking charge of your own education

Continuing last week's spate of Daniel Pinkwater reviews (see the earlier posts on The Neddiad and The Yggyssey), I'm here today to tell you about The Education of Robert Nifkin, one of Pinkwater's true geek-inspirational masterpieces.

I missed Nifkin the first time around (it was initially published in 1998), but I'm pleased to have corrected that oversight, especially since the latest edition, from Houghton Mifflin's Graphia imprint, comes with a fabulous Shag-illustrated cover. — Read the rest

Pinkwater's Neddiad: awesome YA novel with ghosts, fat alien cops, shamans, circus animals, triplanes, swordfighting, etc

I've been catching up with a bunch of Daniel Pinkwater books lately, most recently The Neddiad: How Neddie Took the Train, Went to Hollywood, and Saved Civilization, his 2007 young adult novel that contains (in no particular order): circus animals, Pullman trains, sleight of hand, Navaho shaman, triplanes, the Grand Canyon, shoelaces, ghosts, cowboys, fat alien cops in grey station wagons, swordfighting, torture, rescue, a Roman coliseum, elder gods, and tar-soaked fossils. — Read the rest

Daniel Pinkwater serializing new fiction online

Daniel Pinkwater, the greatest sf writer in the universe, is serializing a story on the Internet. Many writers had an influence on me when I was growing up, but no single writer did so much to inspire me to write as Pinkwater: a gifted humorist and storyteller whose savage wit and nerd-positive message comes across in stories from picture-books to young adult novels (including the blisteringly, savagely funny Young Adult Novel). — Read the rest