My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grateful Wed and Book Reviews

Well, Grateful Wed is here again, and so many things for which I am grateful!
1. Good report cards including my ED's straight A's.
2. The great teachers my children have this year. They work so hard, and I appreciate them so much.
3. My YS's progress in kindergarten. Who would have thought it? Ha
4. The health and wellness of my immediate family.
5. My dad and stepmom's month in the Abacos. I'm happy they can do these things.
6. A good writing routine and my upcoming trip to ny.
7. The great marriage study I'm doing right now although it zaps me from time to time.
8. I'm grateful to live in a close-knit community where people help each other.

Now onto the books this week! I never intended for Grateful Wed to also be book review day, but it's been turning out that way lately. Someone once asked me why I give all the books a glowing review. Well, I generally do NOT review the books I don't like. I mean, what's the point? I'm trying to help you guys discover fabulous children's literature, so forgive me if it's one sided.

I've been reading hundreds of picture books lately as I work on my own (yes, I'm still taking a break from the novels, and I may never go back!), but I discovered a book published by Henry Holt in 2007 that I just adore. My kindergartner brought it home from the school library, and I fell right in love with it. In EVERY FRIDAY by Dan Yaccarino, a little boy and his father have a standing breakfast date on Friday mornings. This lovely, simple book takes us on one such date and ends with the boy looking forward to the next one. The story is nice, travels well, and very sweet, and the illustrations are stunning! I just LOVE them. The book has a charming, old-fashioned feel and a distinctly urban feel--a great combination. Male or female, you'll want to scoop up your dad for a breakfast date, too. This book would be a great gift book for a father or a boy with a father (don't be cruel and buy it for a boy without a father, please)or even a baby shower gift when a boy is expected. Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of books at baby showers. Love, love, love this little book. You must check it out, and keep your eyes open for other things from author and illustrator Dan Yaccarino. He's worked with amazing writers like Margaret Wise Brown and Jack Prelutsky. I'm a FAN! Did I mention I loved the illustrations? Good stuff, Mr. Yaccarino.

Secondly, I just finished AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES, one of two Prinz award winning books by John Green. Now, you've heard me tout LOOKING FOR ALASKA ad nauseaum, and this book doesn't disappoint. Child prodigy, Colin Singleton, is no longer a child. He's just graduated from high school and plans to attend college in the fall, where he fears he'll no longer be a brainiac standout, something that has become an important part of his identity. To make matters worse, his 19th girlfriend (and interestingly, 19th girlfriend NAMED KATHERINE) has just broken up with him, and he's devastated. So his best friend and intriguing Muslim character, Hassan, takes him on a road trip to clear his head. They end up in Gutshot, Tennessee with jobs recording oral histories. This book has so many side details and intricacies that make the book, even more than the actual plot, imho. When Colin things he's developed a mathematical theorem to predict the outcome of any relationship, he works tirelessly in attempt to stand out once again. The characters in this novel are well-drawn and interesting. The mc is a completely compelling character. Not a gift book. Like LOOKING FOR ALASKA, your nephew's mother wouldn't appreciate you giving him this book, YA in every way. But pull him aside at Christmas and recommend it. :) Oh, and I almost forgot, the anagrams play an important role and that was very cool. Check it out.

Have a great week. djk

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