A Drive in the Country
A Drive in the Country
Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763621407, 32pp.
Publication Date: August 28, 2007
The car has been stocked with drinks and snacks, maps and joke books, treats for horses and ducks and now it's time for three kids, two parents, and one excited dog to set off on that most favorite day trip, a drive in the country. The destination? Oh, here, there, and home again, with a fresh appreciation of family togetherness. Michael J. Rosen's lyrical, nostalgic text and Marc Burckhardt's whimsical illustrations are sure to encourage armchair travelers to come along for the ride.
For nearly twenty years, he served as literary director at the Thurber House, a cultural center in the restored home of James Thurber. Garrison Keillor, bless his heart, called it (sorry) "the capital of American humor." While there, Rosen helped to create The Thurber Prize for American Humor, a national book award for humor writing, and edited four anthologies of Thurber's previously unpublished and uncollected work, most recently "The Dog Department: James Thurber on Hounds, Scotties" and "Talking Poodles, " happily published by HarperCollins as well.
In his capacity as editor for this biennial, Rosen reads manuscripts year round, beseeching and beleaguering the nation's most renowned and well-published authors, and fending off the rants and screeds from folks who've discovered the ease of self-publishing on the web. Last summer, Rosen edited a lovely book, "101 Damnations: The Humorists' Tour of Personal Hells;" while some critics (all right, one rather outspoken friend) considered this a book of complaints, Rosen has argued that humor, like voting and picketing and returning an appliance that "worked" all of four months before requiring a repair that costs twice the purchase price, humor is about the desire for change. It's responding to the way things are compared to the way you'd like things to be. And it's a much more convivial response than pouting or cornering unsuspecting guests at dinner parties.
Sharon Creech is the Newberry Medal-winning author of Walk Two Moons. Her other work includes Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, and Pleasing the Ghost. After spending eighteen years teaching and writing in Europe, Sharon Creech and her husband have recently returned to the United States. They live near Princeton, New Jersey.