Archive | 10:20 am

Tell Me Something: Favorite Books

7 Jan

When the book fair rolled its steel shelves into Hamilton Elementary School, I steered clear of words. Instead, my eyes darted towards the books with drawings, stickers, and photos of my favorite wrestlers. To no avail my mother urged me towards the chapter books to follow my peers by jumping off the bridge of illiteracy.

Thankfully when the school librarian permitted me to come back inside after my constant ‘time-out’s for chattering during storytime, I was able to slurp up some literature. Though most were commercial picture books such as Danger Mouse or easy readers like Roger Hargreave’s Mr. Men series and Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter books. The only non-picture book I recall reading was Roald Dahl’s The Twits. My knowledge of the classics is due mainly to their motion picture adaptians such as Charlotte’s Web, or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I suppose I’ve never stopped reading picture books, but even in that genre my archives are scarce. As I’m currently penning picture books while eyeing an eventual switch to middle-grade fiction the time has come absorb a lifetime of children’s books. And I need your help!

While Barnes and Nobles and Amazon are quick to tell me what should be on every reader’s shelf, I’d rather look to those around me who share similar surroundings, pasts, and pleasures. Please comment below with your favorite children’s picture or chapter books from when you were a mere youngster, a childish adult, or a concerned parent.

I appreciate your generosity and look forward to your contributions!

Literary Digestion: 2010

7 Jan

Inspired by the many ‘books read in 2010’ posts including Michelle Knudsen’s, I decided to share my own.  Many of these lists are as long as a novel. I found it humiliating as mine contains less syllables than a haiku. Even as an English Education major at Boston University, I’ve never labeled myself a literary connoisseur. Reading takes practice, and as long as I persist with children’s books, non-fiction, and short story collections I’ll get there (eventually).

Consequently, this list exists for movitational purposes or provide you with a chance to ‘laugh at me.’ As you’ll see below, I should have an IV of words pumped through my veins after devouring a tiny morsel of literature. If you’re in the same hospital ward as me, don’t fret. We can always recover in 2011 and hit up the library buffet.

I could always piggyback on the fact that I live in a world devoid of English, but with Amazon delivering in Japan there’s no excuse. Sprinkling myself with a smidgen of encouragement, I must add that I trudged through more texts in 2010 than I had in the past 10 years.  It’s just that as a writer, I need to adopt a Lindsay Lohan sized addiction to other people’s parades of words, especially in the children’s literature domain.

Without further ado, here is my puny yet eclectic list:

  • 1.) Haruki Murakami – Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
  • 2.) Roald Dahl – The BFG
  • 3.) Roald Dahl – The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • 4.) J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter – The Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 5.) Chuck Klosterman – Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
  • 6.) Hans Christian Anderson – Complete Fairy Tales Collection
  • 7.) Lonely Planet Taiwan (Can I count this? If so, add in Hong Kong/Macau and China)
  • 8.) Dav Pilkey – The Adventures of Captain Underpants
  • 9.) Jim Benton – Dear Dumb Diary #1 Let’s Pretend this Never Happened
  • 10.) Alice Pope – 2010 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market
  • 11.) Ryunosuke Akutagawa – Kappa
  • 12.) Matt Alt & Hiroko Yodo – Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide
  • 13.) Julia Bruce – Fantasmagoria
  • 14.) Nancy I. Sanders – Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career

Picture Books:

* The following includes memorable favorites, as I often surf through the stacks of English bookstores whenever in a big city.

  • 1.) Tony Ross – I’m Coming to Get You
  • 2.) Ted Prior – Grug
  • 3.) Chris Barton & Tom Lichtenheld – Shark vs. Train
  • 4.) Jan Fearnley – Mr. Wolf and the Enormous Turnip
  • 5.) Jan Fearnley – Mr. Wolf’s Pancakes