Monday, October 21, 2013

Graphic Novels My Kid Loves

As I've been warning for some time, I've decided to taking my blogging in another direction. If you've been reading me from the beginning, you know that I launched this blog a million years ago when my son was a baby. It started as a way to connect with other people about all the wonderful books I was finding for and sharing with my son. It ended up that I wasn't the only mom looking for the vintage awesomeness of an old book. Loads of like-minded folks were looking for past picture books to share with their kids. Illustrators were looking for inspiration from the past. And TONS of people were just randomly Googling the key words they could remember about a book they loved long ago and lost. (Hi there!)

Way back then, I was a stay-at-home mom on hiatus from working, and had way more time and energy to funnel into this labor of love. Now, I'm back working in publishing, and though I still do love the thrill of finding a treasure here and there and sharing it on the other blog, my son's literary passions sit elsewhere. He hasn't yet become the voracious reader I had hoped for but he still loves books, but more appropriately, graphic novels or anything of the cartoon variety. He adores any story told in images as drawing is his number one passion. More than anywhere else nowadays, you'll find us in the graphic novel section at Half Price Books digging to find the handful of things age-appropriate for an eight-year-old who loves animals, anime, and Doctor Who.

So here I am, starting a new blog when I should be doing a million and one other things.

Welcome, Graphic Novels My Kid Loves, banner by the Ben, fabulous creator of Zita the Spacegirl.

I hope you'll come visit me over there, and know that I'll still be here, posting on new things I find.

For example, the annual Great Holiday Give is ready to go for the start of the November, so tune in to win!

Happy reading kids, and, as always, thanks for riding along!

Also by:
The Hungry Thing
The Cat Who Wore a Pot on Her Head


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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Eloise Redux

Kay Thompson ~ Hilary Knight ~ Simon and Schuster, 1969

Forgive me as I've posted on this book before, and it's hardly an undiscovered treasure, but I felt like now was the appropriate time in my son's book reading career to fully appreciate Eloise. When I posted on it back in 2008, my son was a toddler, and though he loved Eloise dearly, I don't remember that he did it with the same amount of vigor and understanding that he embraces her with now.

"Kleenex makes a very good hat"

Often people ask me what my favorite children's book is and I compile lists in my head or tell people the favorites that I think will most match their tastes. But, unequivocally, if someone were to ask me what my all-time favorite children's book is and/or was, it will always, always, ALWAYS be, forever and always until the end of time... Eloise.

The copy we have in our collection now, it not my true childhood copy. My two sisters and I read our original copy so vigorously in our little kid years that by the time I got to elementary school it had long since fallen apart and been lost. Later, when I was around ten years old, my mother took me to the local bookshop and told me I could get anything I wanted. Instead of buying one of the Narnia books, The Wizard of Oz or a Cynthia Voight title, I opted for an upgrade of Eloise. So many of the books in our family library were hand-me-downs from my sisters or shared books, that I remember being so enamored with having a brand new Eloise that was all my own. This copy followed me through high school, to my dorm room at college and to my first apartment in Williamsburg, Virginia, and my second apartment at 404 West 51st Street in New York...eventually finding its way to my son's bookshelf.

When I was young and my mother would take us on trips to New York, we would load in a cab and go on mecca to The Plaza for ONLY one reason. That is where Eloise lived.

I could spend hours looking at that book, even in high school, getting lost in the illustrations, chuckling over the hidden treasures tucked within each. It is an absooooolutely PERFECT book, from beginning to end in both words and pictures. I could go on and on about images and moments I love in this book. The foldout elevator sequence where Eloise movements in the text are mapped out exactly in a dotted arrow line.

How all of her imaginary scenarios are inked out in a red (pink?), sometimes so faint, it almost seems like they are not there at all.

Weenie (the dog that looks like a cat), Skipperdee (the turtle that loves strawberry leaves), and Nanny (the beer loving boxing fan)! Each and every character, a dream.

My son always loved it as a wee one, but for several years it has sat untouched on the back of his bookshelf (that, BTW, is so overloaded, each shelf is two or three books deep, and once things get lost in the back row, they are often never heard from again.) A few weeks ago, it managed to squirt itself back up to the front row, and I read it to him at bedtime, and the giggling commenced. And when I say giggling, I really mean chortling, belly laughing, screaming and screeching hysterically. So for the past few weeks, it feels like Eloise makes her way to the top of the read pile each and every night. My husband is now convinced that Eloise is psychotic... as evidenced by the pictures below, and whenever he states this fact aloud, it just makes my son howl all the more. (The gin, the nailing of the chair to the floor, the sawing of the doll in half, the bizarre role playing... literally, I could go on and on.) My son thinks the fact everything Eloise owns is wrecked is outrageously awesome.

I have come to the conclusion that Kay Thompson, Hillary Knight and my son are cut from the same cloth, and, in fact, share the exact same sense of humor. He finds the oddest lines to be so massively funny that he has trouble breathing at least five times in a read through.

My son's favorite passage?

While I'm brushing my teeth there is this pigeon 
who is always hanging around our bathroom window 
and he does absolutely nothing but coo
He is fat and grisly and I holler at him 

It slays him each and every time. Go figure.

This book. Always, always, always and forever in my heart.

Also by:
The Hungry Thing
The Cat Who Wore a Pot on Her Head


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Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Silly Listening Book

Jan Slepian and Ann Seidler ~ Richard E. Martin ~ Follett, 1967

I still can't resist a book by the Slepian-Seidler-Martin trio, as wild and wonderful as they are. This one is perfect for the toddler set as it is filled with odd pairings and silly sounds.

Where is your ear?
Can it hear...
Quiet sounds...shhhh?
Loud sounds....BOOM!
Wet sounds...splash?
Even sounds that are silly like hum-a-dum-dilly?

It continues on page after page. Does it hear a mouse's tear? A dog playing cowboy. A bird who found a chocolate worm. Can you hear...A lollipop cry? The laugh of a fly? A pie say goodbye?

All aptly illustrated with Martin's always mildly whack-a-doodle drawings and culminating in a party for everyone. By the way, any book that features a dog playing cowboy is OK in my book. Brilliant!

Also by:
The Hungry Thing
The Cat Who Wore a Pot on Her Head


Read along on FacebooktumblrTwitter and Etsy.

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