Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Two Louises, a congested zookeeper, and a parade of pigs walk into a bookstore...

I've been catching up on my blog reading this week (the infinitesimal downside to the holiday rush beginning is how behind I get on my book news!), and I saw that the winners of the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize, were announced! Louise Yates's picture book Dog Loves Books took the cake for the six and under crowd, while Louise Rennison's first of a new (!) series Withering Tights won for the seven to fourteen category. I am so pleased! I love both of these authors, and they certainly do know how to tickle the funny bone (and occasionally make you chuckle maniacally to yourself on the bus. Oh. Georgia Nicholson, how I wish you were real and had been my friend in middle school.) The only sadness is that Withering Tights won't be released in the US until June of next year. Cruel Britons, I say, calling our attention to books we can't even read yet.

However, we can read some author interviews from the UK website Booktrust, and we'll just have to get by on that.

In other news items, the New York Times featured one of my all time favorite books of the year: Philip Stead's Sick Day for Amos McGee! Reading Dogs and Untrained Boys is an article about a difficult-to-quantify aspect of children's books: humor. Not only is Sick Day absolutely gorgeous and my dark horse, long shot, sleeper choice for the Caldecott, NYT is right: it's funny. It's funny in the way kids books do best, by taking something we grown-ups think is preposterous, absurd, or downright silly, (like a zookeeper's animal friends taking care of him), as serious, as possible. I wish more books for "adults" could entertain "preposterous" possibilities and not necessarily be space age science fiction. Then again, that's one of the reasons I read children's books - because adult books aren't enough for me. The article also reviewed Tad Hill's How Rocket Learned to Read (the author/illustrator of Duck & Goose board books), Peter Brown's Children Make Terrible Pets, and Michael Ian Black's A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea. This last title is unfortunately out of stock at the publisher currently, but we hope it will be back on the shelf very soon.

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