Friday, January 23, 2009

A few words on a variety of subjects...

...starting with "Nitwit! Oddment! Blubber! Tweak!" (with apologies to JKR). It's Friday, but there's still some bloggy business from this week which remains unfinished, and so for expedience's sake I thought we'd get it wrapped up in one catch-all catch-up post.

The Harry Potter reference is (relatively) relevant; we recently received Melissa Anelli's Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon. Those of you who have progressed from fans to Potter scholars can check it out alongside Mapping the World of the Sorcerer's Apprentice and The Tales of Beedle the Bard in the chapter book room.

Speaking of great fantasy series, we also just received Garth Nix's amazing Abhorsen trilogy as a ginormous paperback omnibus. Now Sabriel, Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr, and Abhorsen can sit on your shelf in their single-volumed glory, next to the complete His Dark Materials trilogy by Pullman and the entire Chronicles of Narnia by Lewis. (We carry those, too, just in case you need to get them to, you know, sit next to your brand-new Abhorsen omnibus -- or the collected Lord of the Rings you got from us last week.) One of these days I'll decide my constant Abhorsen-plugging on the blog just isn't proactive enough and do a staff pick for this underappreciated series as well.

In the meantime, I can plug the NYT Best Illustrated picture book A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, which is back in stock! Williams's own poems blend with Jen Bryant's biographical text and Melissa Sweet's mixed media/watercolor illustrations to create a collaboration that is essentially a collage of collages. Typography features heavily in Sweet's images, giving words power on every page, even those without conventional "text." In her excellent backmatter, Bryant provides readers with plenty of historical context for Williams's life. This unusual book has something to offer aspiring poet, aspiring artist, picture book critic, literary history buff, and biography fan alike.

Another awesome bio just arrived this morning: Michelle Obama: An American Story by David Colbert. We're especially excited about this one -- you've seen our adoration for the newly-inaugurated Mr. President in our ongoing Obama lovefest, but everybody at Curious George is equally awed by our new First Lady. My own heart is already all melty over Mrs. Obama, but I still can't wait to read nine chapters' worth of information on her childhood and young adulthood, her political career and activism, the Obamas' romance, and the campaign up through the election. Even better, there are two sections of color pictures to "awww" over! The Obamas get my vote for most adorable Presidential family ever.

On that note... I think we can consider ourselves caught up. Rest up for next week, though, since it will be a big week for blogging: not only do we have plans for a snow book/toy post and a favorite fairy tale post, but the ALA/YALSA awards (including the Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz awards) will be announced at long last on Monday morning. I've come to terms with the fact that I have no idea whatsoever what could win. Anybody out there have a hunch?

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