Here are my two good things about today:
First, I get to hear Mary Oliver do a reading tonight at Belmont University. An exclamation mark here would hardly contain my happiness about this.
Secondly, I’ve got some art to share with you from Hilary Leung. This is, evidently, his picture book debut, though he’s a graphic designer and illustrator whose work has been published all over the world. This is from a little book from Kids Can Press (September ’09) called The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear by David Bruins, first-time author. The book’s charms and dry humor won me over. It’s about three friends—you guessed it: a ninja, a cowboy, and a bear—whose unique talents come between them one day. They very simply start to wonder who is better than the other, and all kinds of competitions are arranged to see who will excel. The book closes with a statement about how we each have our special talents; I think, without that, kids will have figured this out from the engaging tale itself, but the book is so winning in every other way that even that heavy-handed ending starts to look sort of old-skool adorable to me. And, really, the book had me at its premise: That a bear, a cowboy, and a ninja hang out every day. In the opening spread, they’re reading together, painting, playing board games, rockin’ out, flying kites, and looking for shapes in the clouds, the ninja all decked out in his black ninja gear and the cowboy kickin’ it with his best Lank Thompson smile.
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