Arlene Sardine by Chris Raschka

Childrens Literature

By Chris Raschka

So, you need to be a sardine?

Once there has been a fish named Arlene, who desired to be a sardine. She desired to be a sardine like the silvery, salty fish that you simply see in these little tins on the grocery store.

With the daring brushstrokes of his brilliant illustrations, Chris Raschka follows Arlene’s trip from a fjord to a huge web to a briny tub aboard a fishing boat. And he finds simply tips on how to get packed like a sardine!

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Extra resources for Arlene Sardine

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The conditions of literature for children have changed; the children’s book industry in the leading market of the United States is increasingly dominated by a handful of large media conglomerates for whom publishing is a small section of their entertainment business. This leads, for instance, to backlists being mined for highly recognizable characters and stories that offer strong merchandising possibilities. More than 200 companies worldwide currently license Beatrix Potter merchandise from Pearson PLC, making it the largest international literary licensed-merchandise program.

The economics of production and distribution on a global scale is a major factor in children’s publishing today. Children’s literature— predominantly in English—has become an international commodity in an increasingly global market. It is an extraordinary indication of the dominance of English-language publishing that today a number of German editions of the children’s literature classic Heidi, by Johanna Spyri, are actually translations from English. The novel, written in German and hailed as Switzerland’s envoy, has been adapted countless times for the English market, and global players such as Dorling Kindersley have sold the rights to their versions to be (re)translated into German.

In The Jolly Postman, or Other People’s Letters (1986), which enjoyed great critical acclaim and sold more than one million copies, a bicycling postman delivers letters and postcards to fairy-tale characters. Goldilocks writes an apology to the three bears, the giant gets a holiday postcard from Jack of beanstalk fame (thanking him for the gold that paid for his break in the sun), and so on. The book contains actual letters and cards inside little envelopes to be opened and read. In its sequels, The Jolly Christmas Postman (1991) and The Jolly Pocket Postman (1995), the Ahlbergs continued to make use of this interactive device that combines fantasy play and everyday reading and writing.

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