Archive for October, 2006

Poetry Friday

h1 Friday, October 13th, 2006

*{Note: Head on over to A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy for this week’s Poetry Friday round-up} . . .

Hi there. Jules and Eisha here again . . .

There’s, apparently, this tradition in some parts of the world of blogging-about-books in which poetry is shared and celebrated every week on Friday. And in the world of blogging-about-children’s-books, in particular, this not only occurs but also some of the authors of some of our favorite blogs — including Big A little a — do a nice round-up of the poetry selected for that week (we mention her, in particular, as a way to thank her as well for answering our questions about Poetry Friday). Eisha and I have always been big ‘ol poetry geeks. I mean, reeeally. We used to leave random literature excerpts in one another’s campus mailboxes in college (back in The Day before this new-fangled thing we call electronic mail), calling it our Literature Exchange — favorite passages from our favorite novels, maybe even play excerpts, even kickin’ song lyrics, but most of the time, poetry. Not our original creations, mind you, but hand-copies of our favorites, left for one another to brighten a day or at least make it a bit more thought-provoking, a Dylan Thomas here and a Rilke there (I still have my handwritten poems from Eisha. Aw!). So, we have decided to join the Poetry Friday fun. This means: a poem, a review of a poetry anthology, and/or some such poetry-related thing — each Friday (if we’re organized enough). Woo hoo! Share the news with your part of the world!

Jules: I have the honor (thanks to Eisha) of picking the poem for our first Poetry Friday entry . . . Read the rest of this entry �

Field Trip!

h1 Thursday, October 12th, 2006

One of the coolest things about doing what I do, where I do it, is that I occasionally get to see real, live, awesome authors and illustrators in person. One such time is the Boston Globe-Hornbook Awards ceremony at the lovely Boston Atheneum, to which all Boston-area children’s librarians are invited every October (at least, I think that’s the deal – maybe we just get invited because our Head of Children’s Services has been on the selection committee in years past… I should investigate). I’ll be attending this evening, along with a few of my fellow child-libs from the other branches. This year, I’m not just going to listen to the speeches and then try to accumulate as many autographed books as possible – I have some very specific goals in mind:

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An Open Letter to Those Who Illustrate Picture Books Digitally

h1 Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Dear T.W.I.P.B.D.,

Please. Just stop it. Your friends and family are too nice to tell you, and your editors and publishers are deluded. But seriously… it looks like ass.

A Spot of Brilliance . . .

h1 Saturday, October 7th, 2006

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If you read Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel from 2003, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, then you already know about Haddon’s dark, wry humor; the sharp way he can turn a phrase and, in just those few words, create deep empathy for a character; his keen, accurate observations on human nature (and all its foibles) and his bitingly honest and perceptive take on family relationships; and his ability to make you laugh out loud at one moment and then tear up the next with a moment of genuine poignancy. In his latest novel, just published,
A Spot of Bother, he’s at it again — this time, putting the “funk” in dysfunctional (as Robin Williams would say) — with his spot-on portrayal of one messed-up family. And, though the subject matter sounds bleak, it’s one addictive and delectable read.

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Falling for Ehlert

h1 Friday, October 6th, 2006

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I know the official first day of Fall was weeks ago, but October’s here, and — no matter what part of the country you live in — leaves are starting to change color or at least thinking about it. It’s just delicious, isn’t it? Who doesn’t love October? (a rhetorical question, but, hey, if someone wants to contest it, knock yourself out). In fact, I can’t help but always think of my blog-partner-in-crime’s husband when October boldly strolls in, as it’s his favorite month (hello to Brionysus, if he’s reading).

Lois Ehlert’s The Leaf Man was published last year but made a big splash in June of this year by winning a 2006 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. So, for that reason and because it’s a clever, wonderful book and in honor of Autumn, which is on the verge of being all ablaze and aflame with its resplendence, I’m giving this pleasing picture book a huge shout-out.

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My Boyfriend’s Back…

h1 Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom… and he’s as awesome as ever, supplying his visual magic to Carole Boston Weatherford’s poignant text in the new picture book biography, Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.

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You just try to get that Waterboys song
outta your head while you read this one . . .

h1 Monday, October 2nd, 2006

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Oh, it’s too hard. “Fisherman’s Blues,” anyone? Ah, that takes me back . . .

Anyway, ever heard of the changeling myth? You know you have. And not just when the goblins come and take Ida’s sister away, leaving an ice baby in her place (o yes, I can work Sendak into any review). A changeling is a fairy or hobgoblin who steals into your home, whisks away your young child, and changes place with him or her. It’s an eons-old folk myth, perhaps most famously put to use in W.B. Yeats’ poem (and subsequently, for nerds like me, put to song by the aforementioned Waterboys way, way back in 1988 when I was but a wee sophomore in high school). In Keith Donohue’s The Stolen Child, published this year, this myth is put to great creative use.

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