Friday, January 7, 2011


So. Long time no blog, I know!

I sincerely hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and is now the better for it. Holidays and family are great! I will admit to being a little ok with the season being over though. I got pretty exhausted between all the fun, excitement, and good times. (and a few not-the-best times)

On to books. I love them, I've read lots, and want to share lots of them with you. Even if there are not too many of you, I don't mind. I like doing it anyway, and hope to do much more this year. Not really a resolution though, I don't really do so well with those. Call it what you will, I am determined to be healthier and more productive this year. That is all. : )

I promised a post on Neil Gaiman's picture books, well, some of them at least. LOVE them. If you saw the episode of Arthur that he did, you heard a snippet of Instructions, which he did with Charles Vess. Wow. This is SUCH a "Me" book. This is a beautiful and poetic look at how to get through life, or any fairy tale. I have learned that there are those who believe in magic, and those who don't. To each their own, I am definitely a believer in magic. Therefore this book is amazing to me. So beautifully written and illustrated, it is the kind of book that I want to own and read often. I want everyone I know to read it, even though I know many of them won't. *Sigh* Sad but true reality.

The first picture book of Mr. Gaiman's that I "discovered" was The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish.
It was the first Neil Gaiman book I had ever read. Needless to say, I was hooked. This is a delightfully fun story of a boy who....well, read the title. All his Dad does is sit and read his newspaper anyway, so why not? His mother is not amused, however and makes him take his little sister with him to swap back. The problem is the boy with whom he has swapped has already swapped Dad for something else. The result is a swapping extravaganza until finally everyone has what they started out with and the boy and his sister have their father back.

Another favorite that I want to post here about is The Wolves in the Walls. Oh goodness do I love this book! Partly because it has a definite Neil Gaiman feel about it, which means humour and British-ness and things strange and wonderful presented in a matter-of-fact way, and partly because I think I may have wolves living in the ceiling of my bathroom.

Lucy knows that the sounds and creepy watched feeling she experiences in her "big old house" is due to the fact that wolves are living in the walls, but her Mom says it is mice. Dad says it is rats, and her brother hopes it is bats. Couldn't be wolves, because you know what they say: "if the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over." I have read this book recently to kids ranging in age from 4 to 11. They all enjoyed it. That is one of the great things about a well done "children's book"; they can entertain everyone. Just another reason why one should never stop reading picture books.

I often wish that books didn't have to be labeled and classified. A good story is a good story, who cares what age group it is aimed at? Exceptions do apply, I suppose. Still, if anyone sees you with a great picture book, never be ashamed!

I know everyone has heard of, if not seen Coraline, but not as many know that it was written by Neil Gaiman. Also, Stardust, which is aimed a bit older, is very good. I think I have mentioned in previous posts about The Graveyard Book and Odd and the Frost Giants, if not, look into those as well. Great storytelling.

I just today ordered several more titles for our library's digital collection. I'm looking forward to more stories from this amazingly talented author. The above titles should by no means be considered a complete summation of his work, only a part of his books for children (with the exception of Stardust). He writes for all ages, and I'll get around to some of the others as well.....sometime. (This could be considered a tribute in honor of his recent wedding, if not for the fact that I had been planning it for a while......)

On a completely different train, I did finish Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White. Hopefully I will get to that review before too long.


  1. My "grownup" book club is going to read The Graveyard book in March. I'm looking forward to it.

  2. LOVED The Graveyard Book! Such an interesting premise, and the best dead characters I've ever read. : )

  3. I just got this book out for my 7-year-old yesterday, and now I want to own it too. I haven't read any of Neil Gaiman's other books yet, but I'm going to have to now, especially after seeing that Arthur episode. That has to be the most awesome Arthur episode ever (although, I don't really watch Arthur that much). I wish I had an inner Neil. Following you now...

  4. Neil Gaiman is on my list of authors to read. Now, just have to be in the right frame of mind. His works are certainly one-of-a-kind unusual.

  5. I don't watch a lot of Arthur either....thankfully for facebook I didn't miss that one. I would have thought it was awesome with any author, but Mr. Gaiman is definitely cool.

    I can only attest to what I have read, which is pretty much the above listed, and his blog. Very interesting, and I love that he writes a lot by hand in notebooks.

    I'm so excited to have new followers! Thanks to all for stopping by!

  6. "Swapped My Dad" and "Wolves" are such great books! I'm a children's bookseller, and once sold "Wolves" to a 15 year-old for her 12 year-old sister. "Odd and the Frost Giants" is one of my favorites too: one of Gaiman's gentler books, and I love the Norse mythology combined with the humor.

  7. I gave the Instructions book to my daughter when she graduated college in May. I also thought it is really a great book for children and adults.
    Gaimen has a way about him - yesterday a very grumpy, very unfriendly girl was checking my library books out. I noticed a Gaimen book next to her, asked if she was reading it. It wasn't hers, but her face lit up and she said "I love Gaimen" and we had a nice chat about him for a few minutes.
    Thanks for the summary about his wonderful childrens book, I hope he does more.

  8. I tend to pick up Gaiman's picture books whenever I see them at the library. My nine year old and I find them very interesting, although we don't always "like" them (he disapproved very highly of the boy who sold his dad, for example). But we like figuring out what they are trying to do, and how.

    "Crazy Hair" or something is another one that we've read.

  9. Yes, don't know why I didn't include Crazy Hair....that's one of those that I liked but didn't love.....and that's ok.

    I have found that talking about books with people, kids especially can really open them up. Well, the ones that love at least one book. Those who don't are the challenge, but I feel that they just haven't found that one book....yet. I try to help with that. : )

    Blueberry Girl is next on my list to read.