My computer totally and completely crashed AND the family PC crashed a few weeks ago, so I've had spotty computer use at best. I've borrowed my husband's office computer for a few hours to try to catch up on a few things. However, my SERVER has been down for most of the morning, and I need to take the computer back, so I didn't even get to check all my email! However, I must spend some time with you, my friends, before I return the computer (and deliver gym clothes to my daughter).
I've been writing a lot of picture book-like things lately, working on my craft, and a part of that is to read lots and lots of picture books. I try to read and actually study 15-20 a week. I have a little rubric I use to take notes on the books, partly to learn from the way they're put together and partly to remember! I read so many, I need to refer to my book journal often. This morning, I decided to revisit the Caldecott medal and honor list from the last twenty years and pull any picture books from that list that I didn't know. There were only a few I hadn't read and some I didn't remember until I opened them, but they were great models. Out of the eight or so I studied today, I found two new favorites. Interestingly, I loved both these books so much, but the covers had never really appealed to me in stores, so I just hadn't opened them. (I'd opened others instead, I should say) But once I opened them, I LOVED them and especially the illustrations, which is funny because that's essentially what's represented on the cover, so it just goes to say, YOU CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S COVER.
The first book I just fell in love with today is THE HELLO, GOODBYE WINDOW by Norton Justen and illustrated by Chris Raschka. The illustrations were amazing. It made me want to come home and paint. I just loved the color and movement and feeling in Raschka's work. And the story-wow-talk about heart. I adored every word. It's about a child spending time with her grandparents, and it is just lovely. There were so many memorable lines and turns of phrase that you just MUST check it out for yourself.
The second book that I loved today was Molly Bang's WHEN SOPHIE GETS ANGRY--REALLY, REALLY ANGRY. This book is such a great exploration of that white hot angry that we can all get sometimes and a really healthy way of dealing with it. Sophie gets angry--really, really angry, but instead of boinking her sister (which I KNOW ol' Sophie wanted to do), she does something altogether different. CHECK IT OUT!
Two charming books that I know will snuggle themselves into the hearts of your children and countless others.
I also received a call from a great old friend in the newspaper business today with a fun opportunity. I'll tell you more about it as it shapes up, but I'm excited.
Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day! Sing at LEAST one verse of DANNY BOY, and kiss someone irish. (Why did French kissing catch on but not Irish kissing?)
OH, and I'd like to announce the winners of the Urinelles. (drumroll please) The grand prize winners are Liz for the Lenny Kravitz concert and Jody for the trip to Spain. Ladies, your Urinelles will arrive soon. I'll be anxious to hear how you like them! Hmmmm....
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.