Bemoaning Authorized Sequels

I’m not fond of “authorized sequels” of books.  Folks should leave excellence well enough alone without trying to scratch out a few more dollars from a household name in literature. (e.g. The original two Corduroy books were perfect, the authorized sequels inferior in a hundred ways.) I agree with Elizabeth Bluemle, president of the Association of Booksellers for Children, when she says:

It’s just too much to hope that someone who isn’t the original writer will capture the voice, character, setting, pacing (and all the other elements of bookmaking) in the right measure.”

There are exceptions. Many of the newer Curious George stories are okay for example (though still not as lovely as H.A. Rey’s original seven); my kids certainly don’t notice anything amiss anyway. 

Anyway, I knew right away that I was reading the complaints of a fellow bibliozealous when I read this piece about the “new Winnie-the-Pooh” book (an ominous phrase in itself since the world of Pooh and Piglet and Christopher Robin are immortalized outside of any time era we know in the real world).  I enjoyed her insights on why exactly The Hundred Acre Wood should’ve been left in peace; there really is no such thing as excellence needing an update.

“You sense the enthusiasm and good intentions, and can even appreciate the elaborate effort that went into the display, but in the end the anomalous female figure becomes an ever-present reminder that this is a superfluous imitation. “
 C. Rosen about Return to the Hundred Acre Wood