Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentine's Day Treats

Mr. Husband was good to me this Valentine's Day, and I made away with not one, but two books:

So, so much better than flowers, and almost as good as dark chocolate (which we keep supplied year round, by the way.)

I read about one third of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane last night, and another third (at least) today. So much for trying to pace myself and savor the book. But... but... it's not a very long book, and I want to find out what happens next. Hey, it's not my fault that the books most worth savoring are the same books that are impossible to put down until you've read them from cover to cover.

If you're wondering, the book beneath Edward Tulane is one of my favorites, and one that I regularly gush about recommend to anyone willing to listen, or too polite not to: The Tale of Despereaux, also by Kate DiCamillo. Yay! I have been longing to add it to our permanent collection for a while now, and I'm sure I won't be able to resist re-reading it as soon as I'm finished with Edward Tulane.

At any rate, Happy Valentine's Day, even if I am a day late. I'm off to eat a leftover slice of pink-frosted Valentine's cake... and finish my book, of course!

(Conversation Heart from Acme Heart Maker.)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Favorites in Threes

A children's book meme from Big A, little A:

What are your three favourite children's series?
1. Anne of Green Gables*, Lucy Maud Montgomery
2. Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling
3. The Chronicles of Narnia*, C.S. Lewis

What are your three favourite non-series children's books?
1. The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo
2. The Princess and the Goblin* (and its sequel, The Princess and Curdie*), George MacDonald
3. How I Became A Pirate, Melinda Long

What are your three favourite children's book characters?
1. Anne with-an-e Shirley
2. Despereaux Tilling
3. Dumbledore (Harry Potter)

Narrowing favorites down to threes was difficult, and I almost cheated and added a "three favorite picture books" category (but managed to restrain myself). I won't be content unless I at least mention some additional* childhood favorites: the Little House series, Laura Ingalls Wilder; Misty of Chincoteague, et al, Marguerite Henry; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain; Charlotte's Web, E.B. White; The Digging-est Dog, Al Perkins; The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame; Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne. As an adult, I'd have to add Bear Snores On, Karma Wilson; Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss; the Daisy books, Jane Simmons.

What are your favorites?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Speaking of Kate DiCamillo, we (my son and I) finally read Mercy Watson to the Rescue a few weeks ago. After we finished it, he requested a second reading. This is a high compliment from a boy who treasures his I Spy books above all else.

Mercy is a very cute, very funny beginning reader. The story is about a pig who loves buttered toast so much that the pursuit of it occupies most of her time and attention. Her doting human family are counting on her to rescue them from a perilous situation, but will she bring help in time--or will the thought of a heaping pile of hot, buttered toast drive her to distraction? The answer comes in short chapters full of comic action, brought to life by the lively illustrations that did justice to this endearing 'porcine wonder'. (Truly, Mercy's facial expressions are hilarious.)

As it turns out, Mercy (okay, Kate DiCamillo) really is a hero, because the book fit perfectly into our bedtime routine. On nights when my son was a little high-strung and I was worn out, reading one brief chapter was a happy compromise for both of us. He still got his bedtime story and went to sleep at a decent time; my sanity was saved. Hooray! Mercy Watson to the rescue!

We are looking forward to the release of the next installment, Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride, which is just around the corner (May 9, according to Amazon).