Friday, July 3, 2009

a sort of story book review

I'm trying really hard to concentrate right now: It's light and it's late. X needs to fall asleep so we can go to fireworks at midnight (they have to be around that time up here, since it never gets fully dark in the summer). Once again, my neighbor is vacuuming at quarter of nine. They do it every night, and it lasts a solid hour.

Officially putting my stodginess on the back burner; I wanted to take the blog back and do a review of The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. I wanted to say it reminded me of a cross between David Lucas (my favorite being Halibut Jackson) and Uri Shulivetz (namely Snow). They share a rich simplicity, a sense of calm, a unique illustration style that continues to prove my point that storybook art is an art form to be admired and respected.*

I wanted to say that it's helping to plant the seed of a changed childhood (for the better) much like Wall*E: a subtle but not preachy sort of respect for our home on Earth. Further, I wanted to say that we are the first in all of Anchorage, Girdwood, and Eagle River to get to check it out from the library - I am still the advance hold/new volume queen that I learned to be from my library work. This fact has made X's little chest swell with pride, and the book has that wonderful crisp smell of the new. We've read it twelve times already.

I really wanted to say all of that and more. Maybe later.

A side note: I might be doing story times again soon. There is a new book store in Eagle River and it specializes in Children's Literature. I've spoken to the owner and told her my background and she seems really excited about the possibility of me doing some Saturday story times. I have been ITCHING to create more. Word is that the story time I created in Knoxville is going really strong and consistently has 30 or more children every Tuesday evening.

*What's so wrong with art for children or literature for children anyway? I've met several literature snobs who don't see it as a worthy medium...don't see that it can be discussed and held up. How else are we to entice children to love art and reading? You can't tell me that Peter Pan, The Oz books, the Chronicles of Narnia, Where the Wild Things Are, Goodnight Moon, etc. etc. aren't worthy of respect. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is helping to legitimize the form. But guess what? The art form is ALREADY legitimate in the minds and hearts of many, and the crusty old buggers who think it's rubbish can keep their negativity to themselves. Same goes to those who think Young Adult Literature is "beneath" them. Picture books are for everyone, and where would we be without the books of our youth? Catcher in the Rye would probably be Library of Congressed into the YA category now. If you think YA is all like Twilight than you'd be mistaken. Check out The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian or Bog Child. All right, book nerd rant over.

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