Monday, April 22, 2002

And, Yes, Still More on Perspectives in Children's Literature

Last week I took you through lunch. That brings us to, yup, the afternoon when I went to see and hear Norton Juster, who was a big draw for the Conference as far as I'm concerned because I really did love The Phantom Tollbooth. Juster was everything you'd expect the author of that book to be--very witty, clever, and well-spoken. ("Well-spoken?" Is that a word?) As a young man, he shared an apartment with Jules Feiffer, Tollbooth's illustrator. Oh, I thought. Norton Juster lived with a Pulitzer Prize winner. Who did I live with when I was young? My sister. How lame is that.

Juster's day job for much of his life was as an architect, which I found interesting, though I can't say why. He loves the idea of math, he said, because there's so much humor in it. He mentioned the concept of negative numbers as being particularly funny. He believes humor is a way of liberating the mind, a notion I particularly liked.

You can read an interview with Norton Juster in Salon

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