Children's Books

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APRIL 22, 2010
Funny Business: Conversations with Writers of Comedy Compiled by Leonard Marcus
What is it precisely that amuses us - that makes us laugh?  For twelve different but highly thought-provoking answers, consult Funny Business, Leonard Marcus's fascinating conversations with twelve accomplished children's authors.  The theories that they share about what constitutes humor are as unique as can be imagined.  They cite such influences as childhood experiences, careful observation of children and other adults, and book characters who almost seem to speak for themselves.  Especially enlightening are their varied approaches to work and the time they all spend on successive drafts and revisions.  Many acknowledge indebtedness to their editors.  Reprinted copies of manuscript pages which accompany each chapter, as well as childhood photos of the authors augment their responses to the carefully presented questions posed to each.  This is not in itself a humorous book, but rather an insightful one in which twelve authors such as Jon Scieska, Louis Sachar, Carl Hiaasen, Dick King-Smith, Christopher Paul Curtis, Beverly Cleary and others recount their very distinct and interesting approaches to the writing process.  Middle school students and those who are older and their teachers will find these interviews interesting and informative.

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