What if the Lord of the Rings was never made into a trilogy? What if the Harry Potter series never saw a screen audience? If you are one of the many who consider these movies milestones in filmmaking, then you might also agree that these were great books too.
Amidst all the wonderful British quirkiness at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, there was a sequence dedicated both to the NHS and children's literature. This might seem like a strange combination, but director Danny Boyle linked them through the Great Ormond Street Hospital, which focuses on children's healthcare.
In the wake of 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, a current bestselling novel that started life as Twilight fanfiction, questions about are being asked. If the only difference between a piece of fanfiction and a bestselling novel is the changing of character names and places, then is the deletion stories without warning something that should be bigger news?
But many view children's literature as beneath them. If it's not for 'grownups', it's not worthwhile. But, wait, here's a sneaky little problem: what about all the 'grownups' who read and enjoy Rowling's work and other children's books? Shouldn't we explore why these works appeals to adults who are apparently supposed to know better?
Sorcery now features a whole knew graphical style. This new style is very welcomed with the characters looking better, the enemies being more menacing and environments fit the world perfectly. I really don't see anyone saying they miss the original style.
When Bond created Paddington in 1958 he was an innocent mirror on Britain of the time. The Paddington of 2012 would be an altogether different affair. Would he make it past Heathrow customs without a issuing a hard stare or two? How would he cope with three-fruit marmalade?
Imagine if that first Harry Potter manuscript had fallen into the hands of the wrong reader when it was sent to Bloomsbury - we might never have heard of Harry or J.K and the world of children's literature might be very different today.
When the conversation turns to favourite books, those people around me who like to affect a public disdain for all things Harry Potter always seem to assume I'm one of them, when the truth is I rather like the idea of Harry and Hogwarts (and especially Snape) and I love the fact that so many people seem to truly love the series.
Having been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Leavesden, I now know exactly what went in to making the movies (spoiler alert: it's a lot!), and I am incredibly impressed. That said, I'm still all about an eventual remake putting a fresh spin on the story!
What is this world coming to?" - it curls off the lips as perfunctory as an adjacency pair. Often the reply is a silence - aren't we all void of respo...
Today I took part in a Harry Potter Studios press tour, and one of the things I took away from the day was a bit of a scoop: one staff member indicated to me that they are looking into making it possible for fans to have their wedding ceremonies in the set of the Great Hall of Hogwarts!
There was a bit of debate on Twitter this week, sparked by an article on Parentdish, about whether or not we should read our troopers the 'classics'.
Literature and art more generally, must in some way draw upon the historic in order to gain sustenance. And in a paradoxical way, children's literature is more capable of this than most.
It's my son's birthday soon... Amongst other things*, he's asked for the Harry Potter DVD box set. It's his 11th birthday - the very age when Harry Potter discovers that he is a wizard. I hope my son turns out to be a wizard too then maybe I won't have to go shopping anymore. He can just wave a twiggy stick about shouting "DVDidius Box Settiosa" and it will appear. Job done.
There's been plenty of talk about the state of the British film industry lately - calls for more King's Speeches, more commercially viable movie product that will generate money and is worth investing in in the first place. What the bigwigs fail to understand is how frail the infrastructure of the homegrown industry is.
"Form is temporary. Class is permanent." This phrase, heard most often in my life in a cricketing context, came to mind today as I was helping to judge the BMS Seasonal Book Marketing Awards (a much more modest event than yesterday's Costa Book Awards, won by Andrew Miller's novel Pure).