When Max got to the place of the wild things, they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth...
He traveled in and out of weeks and through a day...
I'm a sucker for fun-lovin' bookshelves. Remember my son's "On Beyond Zebra" bookshelf? I just sent a photo of it covered in books to a cool contest, "Around the World in a Hundred Bookshelves," being sponsored by the PaperTigers Blog.
Click here for more info about the contest and to see kids' bookshelves from around the world.
Hungering for more amazing bookshelves? Check out this blog, totally devoted to the art of the bookshelf. Some of the bookshelves here are so amazingly beautiful that it would be a shame to clutter them up with books.
Don't worry if the big apple falls on your head. It'll probably just lead to another revolution in physics. The mural also includes a vision chart in Hebrew and the entire alphabet of ASL hand signs.
I tried to choose books that I have lived with for some time, but not all books behaved themselves (thank goodness) and listened to my futile attempts to impose order on them.
Maybe in a few years my list will contain books by Mo Willems, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Adam Rex, Emily Gravett, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Mini Grey, and so many other contemporary talents.
Disclaimer: Only one of the books on the list did I fall in love with as a child (i.e. under age 8), but it wasn't because of my discerning tastes. I had little exposure to picture books as a kid.
Some Scholastic book fair books, a couple of Golden Books, and a few Dr. Seuss "Beginner Books" provided my foundation in picture books. I was only read to on Christmas Eves, and they were the same couple of Christmas-themed books at that.
I fell in love with most of these books as an adult, or an emerging adult, as the #10 selection makes clear.
#10 The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey. I first discovered this book as a poster (I had no idea that it was adapted from a book). I was in middle school at the time and didn't know anything about Edward Gorey, or Jonathan Swift for that matter.
It spoke to my burgeoning sense of satire, and I took it home that day to hang on my closet door. I've never looked at ABC books the same again.
#5 The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I fell in love with this book as a kid. My fingers read the holes like Braille, and my eyes salivated at the textured colors of Eric Carle's incomparable collage art.
On March 1st, Squiddy and I made our way to the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse to visit with Peepy. Oh yeah... her sidekick, Lisa Yee, was also there presenting a Writer2Writer workshop on revision. It was kind of hard to hear Peepy with Lisa yacking away in the background, but we somehow managed.
I took the above photo of the two when Lisa presented her first Writer2Writer workshop at Flintridge last summer. (Check out this much better picture Lisa took by clicking here.)
Before the revision workshop began, Squiddy cemented his Peepy fandom with the help of a yummy dish from Little Tokyo. What the heck am I talking about? Click here for all the visual details. Just remember not to bite at the tempura, unless you want a mouth full of pixels.
So it's taken me a month to write this post, but that's part of the point. You see, I've been diligently revising it
day and night, night and day, continually since some of Lisa's words of wisdom on revision must have seeped into my brain between joke-telling sessions with Squiddy and Peepy.
What was the great take-away from the day? Well, there was the joke about how many Peeps it takes to change a lightbulb, and who could forget the one about why the squid crossed the road, but there was also something Lisa said-- that revision is all about the chance to do something over, a chance we don't usually get in real life, but one that is freely available in writing.
That's when a light went off (yes, probably one a Peep screwed in), and I realized why I love writing so much. It's a do-over's paradise. It's for those of us who secretly thrill to changing through four and a half outfits before deciding what to wear to the library. (Okay, maybe five, but it's important to color-coordinate with the covers of the books you're checking out.)
So, go forth, writers, and change your minds, try different words on for size, take advantage of the ability to make complete do-overs. Take inspiration from Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day. It's never done until you get it right.
P.S. Absolutely, definitely check out Lisa's first foray into YA, Absolutely, Maybe.
She was referring, of course, to the oft-cited relationship between walking and creativity. The one (walking) increases the other (creativity).
While I would love to claim credit for Cameron's brilliant use of a punning antimetabole, I'll settle for appreciating the connection between my soles and my soul.
Although I'm not walking in the photo above, my soles are ready to dance across the alphabet with tip-tapping toes like a typewriter, because that's the type of writer I am. A few words later, hopefully, and that's where I'll find my soul.
A book of twelve Kinderlieder, or children's songs, the titular piece translates roughly as such:
Uncle Ede Has a Moustache
Uncle Ede has a moustache
The moustache has five hairs.
And so that he doesn't lose any of them
Each one has a name.
They're named Fritz and Otto
And Max and Karl and Paul.
Max is somewhat sickly
And Fritz is somewhat lazy.
What are your must-have moustache picture books? Add them in the comments section if you feel so moved. Thanks!
My son loves to use manipulatives in tandem with the books he reads. Those familiar with Horton Hears a Who know that a single clover plays a singular role. Since clover is in short supply in our garden (read "non-existent"), we settled on that ever-ready stand-by-- a dandelion seed head.
If you look close enough at the photo, you will see the tiny speck that is Whoville. We could even hear them chanting, "We are here! We are here! We are here!" -- that is, up until my son made a wish. Well, they were there...
Please welcome Spring, who's two days old today! And if you're in sunny Southern California, ripe with dandelion seed heads, please send us word of any suspicious specks. We do miss our little Whos so, and my son promises to make wishes only with pennies from now on.
For the bookshelf's christening, all it needs is a copy of Dr. Seuss's On Beyond Zebra. After all, this zebra's imaginative life begins where that of other zebras ends.
I'm a fan of fun book furniture. Please describe your favorites. Even better, send links to pictures!
There was lots of Seuss silliness to be had, as we listened to readings of "The Sneetches" from The Sneetches and Other Stories, Fox in Socks, Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, and Green Eggs and Ham.
Plus, we enjoyed a rare reading from the oeuvre of the mysterious Theo. LeSieg- Ten Apples Up on Top!
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