Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Great Wednesday Compare #3- Hans Christian Andersen VERSES Beatrix Potter

The winner of last week's Great Wednesday Compare (Pierre Berton Vs. Hans Christian Andersen) with a final score of 5-1 was Hans Christian Anderson.

Berton's name seems to come up on this blog a lot. However, the only two books of his that I've reviewed here were The National Dream and The Secret World of Og, both of which were negative reviews. So do I like his writing or not? The first book of his I ever read was The Arctic Grail, and I LOVED it. He portrayed the Arctic explorers as such interesting characters that it felt more like reading a novel than nonfiction. This has been Berton's appeal for so many; being able to make history exciting, personable, and accessible. With The National Dream, I wasn't sure he was always able to make that connection, and with The Secret World of Og I wasn't convinced he could branch out into fiction all that well. Still, he's a Canadian icon and because of his love of history of all things! A few folks have remarked about their fond memories of his role on the CBC program Front Page Challenge, a pseudo-gameshow in which Berton, and a few other panelist, would try to guess a mystery guest who was somehow involved in a news story. It's easy to suggest that the only reason such a show did as well, or lasted as long as it did, was because it was in the early days when most Canadians were only able to get one or two channels. However, I think the enthusiasm that Berton and others expressed for the news was contagious. This was before all the big news satire shows like 22 Minutes, Air Farce, and Monday Report. People wanted their news, but didn't want the dry, serious delivery of the actual news programs.
I remember that show. I also remember a board game my parents had made by Pierre Berton and Charles Templeton called Tour de Force. No surprise, it was a trivia-based game and had such categories as "Big Bands" and "Hockey." I sucked at it as a kid. Everything seemed so horribly dated. Still, I wouldn't mind giving it a shot now.

But I'm getting lost in my own nostalgia.

We move on.

Remember, vote simply by adding your comment below, base it on whatever merit you choose, voting does not end until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (Jan. 6, 2009), and if you want your author to get more votes, feel free to promote them here or on your blog!

Who's better?

Hans Christian Andersen or Beatrix Potter

Oooops! That's not Miss Potter. Let's try that again.


Bybee said...

This is really difficult, but I'll go with Hans Christian Andersen. Sorry, Beatrix. I hope you win so I can vote for you next week.

Chrisbookarama said...

If we don't vote for the bunny, does the bunny get it?

I have to go with Hans. The Dane in me says so.

But I love Peter Rabbit too. This is just cruel.

Ok, Hans.

Anonymous said...

I'll vote for Hans with disinterest... I'm hoping we don't see Robert Munsch appear to battle the winner. He's so over-rated. One of the finest unsung children's author/illustrators is Bill Peet. Anyone out there have an affection for Bill Peet?

John Mutford said...

Bybee: Tough call, eh?

Chris: The bunny'll be fine no matter goes down, I promise!

Myshkin: No worries about Munsch next week. He walked these hallowed halls a while back and didn't fare so well. As for Peet, I admit I had to Google him. Turns out I've seen many of the movies he's worked on, but none of his books. I'll have to try and get my hands on some. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, for purely nostalgic sentimental reasons, I have to go with Beatrix. The Tale of Miss Tiggy-Winkle was one of my favorite childhood stories.

There are quite a few Canadian TV shows that were popular but would never survive in today's competitive market. Thank goodness we lived before all that! OK, now I just sound old.

Anonymous said...

Beatrix Potter. HCA was so preachy.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm sitting down and shutting up, so am assuming that the bunny won't get it. Even so, just to be sure, I am throwing my considerable influence behind Beatrix Potter.