I could go for a few more mornings like this
I could go for a few more mornings like this
written for last week’s Staff Talent Show
Three exciting new books!
1. She’s Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
The new book by the last year’s Printz winner. With all of the amazing hype it’s been getting I can’t wait to start it!
2. Slaves of Socorro by John Flanagan
The newest Brotherband Chronicles book is here!
3. Scarecrow’s Wedding by Julia Donaldson
Kind of an odd one for the season but you can never go wrong with Donaldson and Scheffer.
There’s a picture book coming out next month from Henry Holt that I have fallen madly in love with. This book is called Little Elliot, Big City and it’s by Mike Curato. It’s about a little spotted elephant who loves cupcakes and everyone in the store is tired of listening to me wax poetic about it.
I love this book. So. Hard.
After the third or so person rolled their eyes at me I wondered what it was about the book that I loved so much. Generally speaking, I’m not prone to loving things purely on the basis of their being cute. I’m not really the cutesy type. But this book! THIS BOOK!
Is it that he’s a spotted elephant like my favorite misfit toy? Is it that he appreciates a good miniature cake much like myself? Is it that he’s a little on the short side as well? Is it the soft sweetness of the illustrations?
I’m not really sure but I really love it and I can’t wait to sell the dickens out of it when it’s finally released on the 26th of next month (I know it’s a ways off but don’t despair, I will remind you (did that sound too sinister?)).
But, naturally, that got me thinking about what other picture books I love and what it is that I like. Generally, my picture book tastes tend to be a little off the beaten path. So, here are my ten favorite picture books and why I like them (at least as far as I can figure out).
1. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
I am a sucker for anything William Joyce and this is what started it, well sort of. The (Academy Award Winning) short film version was my introduction. It’s an amazing story about the power of books and how you can grow with them and how important it is to remember your own. It’s beautiful. It was instantly one of my favorite books in general, not just of the picture variety.
2. Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault
I adore this story of two sisters and one’s quest to cheer the other. I have sisters there’s something so honest and wonderful about the relationship between the two of them.
3. Oliver and His Alligator by Paul Schmid
I appreciate anyone who has a little anxiety about new social situations. But I also appreciate anyone who would be willing to feed people to an alligator. It’s more sweet than dark, I promise.
4. The 11th Hour by Graeme Base
Even if we ignore the fact that the art is elaborate and gorgeous this was a picture book that I found when I was older and fell madly and wildly in love with. It’s a mystery story that even once I knew the answers I was still going through to find things that Base hid in the illustrations.
5. Masquerade by Kit Williams
This might be cheating because this book is out of print (though we’ve gotten it in more than once in the UBC). It’s another mystery/puzzle book with stunning illustrations but this mystery coincides with something that was hidden in the real world. It’s been long since found but it’s still a beautiful book (It’s also sort of a personal mystery since no one in my family remembers it and I can’t figure out from where I know it).
6. Flotsam by David Weisner
This one is wordless but it’s so cool! I’m not sure how to describe it. It’s just awesome.It has this awesome the world is bigger than you know sort of thing going on.
7. Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall
This is another sibling book. It so perfectly sums up sibling relationships. Also, Matt Phelan’s illustrations are wonderful.
8. Here Comes Destructosaurus by Aaron Reynolds
I appreciate, as I think many middle siblings do, having the chance to yell at someone. I don’t get to do this enough and this book, while just being fun, gives me the chance to do that. Don’t worry, you yell at Destructosaurus and then get put in your place…and then get to yell a little bit more.
9. It’s an Orange Aardvark by Michael Hall.
I laughed so hard reading this one. It’s filled with little holes and it gets progressively more ridiculous. I picked it up expecting it to just be a general color primer. It surprised me and I enjoyed that. I also have a grand appreciation for the ridiculous.
10. Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
We’ll have this one again around the holidays but I love this one. It’s just so perfectly what it was like waiting for Christmas. A little bit silly, super-unnecessarily high strung. And Mom (Dad could always do it too) makes everything better. I also love the oil-on-canvas look at the illustrations.
Okay…so maybe some of them are cute… But they’re all awesome. I have a few other favorites that we don’t have in the store (YET). These are ten you should definitely check out!
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One last small press post. We don’t just stock them. We read them! (at Open Books)
Tickets go on sale for our 10.2 event with Lena Dunham in conversation with Mary Karr (MARY KARR!) at The Wilbur Theatre at noon today. One book is included with each ticket, and use the presale code “BOSTON”
Advice for all, not just school kids!
Sean is a consistently generous and sympathetic hero, and if the novel’s closing pages substitute ambiguity for plainspokenness, they highlight the book’s theme of finding things worth living for within physical and psychological despair. A pop culture–infused novel that thoughtfully and nonjudgmentally considers the dark side of nerddom.
Starred Kirkus for Wolk in White Van by John Darnielle!
I keep trying to find the words to express the specific flavor of stoked I am about getting a starred review in Kirkus today, because if you’re going to be a writer you’re supposed to specialize in that sort of fine-toothed-comb distinction, right? but the seven-year-old boy inside me who used to write short stories on a manual typewriter just keeps giving me excited punches in the ribs and going “dude. dude. DUDE”
WOLF IN WHITE VAN is beautiful, and we completely agree with this starred review. Preferred seating tickets are on sale until tomorrow for our 10/8 event with John Darnielle!
I assume we’ll be stocking some at the Mountain Goats online store, and I expect we’ll have them for sale at Mountain Goats shows when I do get back...