Fusenews: Who Killed Mayor McCheese?
We all love book jackets. Well a site called Worth1000 has a contest going on (or it may be over, it’s hard to tell) challenging people to create their own covers to books. Some of the titles are adult books, but there’s a fair smattering of children’s jackets as well. My favorite thus far was the one done by a daniellefave for The Phantom Tollbooth seen to the left here. Thanks to Sara Holmes for the link.
From ccbc-net this news came out the other day:
Lois Ehlert has been selected to receive Catholic Library Association’s 51st Regina Medal, recognizing her lifetime contribution to quality literature for children. She will receive the award at a luncheon in her honor on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Anaheim, California. "Conversations with Lois Ehlert" and a book signing will follow the luncheon. The luncheon is a ticketed event. For registration information, visit the CLA website at www.cathla.org. The "Conversations" session and book sale/signing do not require advance registration and are open to all interested librarians and educators.
Reviewers take note. Purdue University has created a resource that they hope is filling a gap. Here is the press release as I received it:
The Education faculty of Purdue University has launched a new FREE online journal called ‘First Opinions Second Reactions‘ which will publish book reviews of K-12 titles from authors around the world. Each book is reviewed by a practising teacher or teacher librarian (the first opinion) and then has another by an academic (the second reaction).
Huh. Quite an idea. So I took a gander at the site and downloaded a free PDF of Younguncle Comes to Town, a title I’m rather fond of. It certainly did provide an academic take on the book. As free online journals go, this one is certainly worth watching. I will be very interested to hear what others make of this new periodical. Thanks to Judith Schaffner, Coordinator of the New York City School Library System for the info.
I will now follow that useful bit of news with a little piece that could hardly be less academic, less deep and inspiring, less thoughtful in general. Children of the 80s I implore you: Do any of you wonder what happened to Mayor McCheese? How about Officer BigMac? Remember him? If you grew up when I did then there was this weird period where McDonald created what became known as McDonaldland, filled with odd characters. Then it disappeared. What happened? Well, we all know how reliable Wikipedia can be, but I think this entry really does have the answer:
An ad agency vying for McDonald’s advertising accounts had originally hoped Sid and Marty Krofft, the creators of H. R. Pufnstuf, would agree to license their characters for commercial promotions. After the McDonaldland promotion went forward, the Kroffts were dismissed without being credited. In 1973, the Kroffts successfully sued McDonald’s, arguing that the entire McDonaldland premise was essentially a ripoff of their television show. In specific, the Kroffts claimed that the character Mayor McCheese was a direct ripoff of their character, "H. R. Pufnstuf" (being a mayor himself). McDonald’s initially was ordered to pay $50,000. The case was later remanded as to damages, and McDonald’s was ordered to pay the Kroffts more than $1 million when the case was finally settled in 1977. As a result of the lawsuit, the concept of the "magical place" was all but phased out of the commercials, as were many of the original characters. The characters that remained following the lawsuit were Ronald, Grimace, Hamburglar, and the Fry Kids. Birdie the Early Bird would join the fold soon after, representing the restaurant’s new breakfast line in the early 1980s. From then on, the characters seemed to live in the real world and they interacted with real-life characters, but commercials still fell under the blanket of "McDonaldland".
Then the obesity epidemic left Ronald a pro-exercise clown, trying as hard as he could to make us all forget what we’d seen in Super Size Me. Good luck with that, Ron! Thanks to Dan for the link.
A Ms. Margo Dill was kind enough to interview me for The Prairie Wind, the newsletter for the SCBWI-Illinois chapter. And for the record I gave a couple of you some shout-outs, so you better go straighten your ties and brush your hair. You may find yourself with company soon.
Thanks to Crooked House for the link.
Filed under: Fusenews
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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