28.11.12

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day





Map here with participating stores.

My son would like to start a bookstore.  He's picked out a location and everything.  We just can't agree on which one of us will be Manny and which one will be Bernard Black.



20.11.12

Why not buy a copy of I Have A Right to Be a Child for Children's Day?

According to google doodle (which is where I like to glean my news of the world), today is Children's Day.
This is a new one on me, but I can think of the perfect way to celebrate it - go out and pick up a copy of I Have a Right to Be a Child by Alain Serres with illos by Aurelia Fronty for a child of your acquaintance.



Or donate it to your local library.   When it comes to the subject of libraries, I am with Jeanette Winterson who said earlier this week:  "“Don’t hand kids over to computer games and wall to wall TV – bring them to books early and see what happens. Give them a library as good as anything Carnegie wanted, and see what happens. It is the best social experiment we could make.”

Here's the Groundwood catalogue copy on the book:

With a very simple text accompanied by rich, vibrant illustrations a young narrator describes what it means to be a child with rights — from the right to food, water and shelter, to the right to go to school, to be free from violence, to breathe clean air, and more. The book emphasizes that these rights belong to every child on the planet, whether they are "black or white, small or big, rich or poor, born here or somewhere else." It also makes evident that knowing and talking about these rights are the first steps toward making sure that they are respected.

A brief afterword explains that the rights outlined in the book come from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989. The treaty sets out the basic human rights that belong to children all over the world, recognizing that children need special protection since they are more vulnerable than adults. It has been ratified by 193 states, with the exception of Somalia, the United States and the new country of South Sudan. Once a state has ratified the document, they are legally bound to comply with it and to report on their efforts to do so. As a result, some progress has been made, not only in awareness of children's rights, but also in their implementation. But there are still many countries, wealthy and poor, where children’s basic needs are not being met.

15.11.12

4.11.12

The Books That Find You

The nice thing about church basement book sales is that you always seem to find exactly the thing you didn't know you were looking for.  The other day I picked up The Treehorn Trilogy by Florence Parry Heide with illustrations by Edward Gorey.


I told my son I bought it for him but I was lying of course.  

I read it straight off.  It was quite wonderful and I did wonder why I'd never heard of it before.  Treehorn is a very Grimble-ish sort of boy which is just the sort I like best.

Also wonderful was this little piece by Florence Parry Heide talking about meeting Edward Gorey ("Edward Gorey asked me to call him Ted!") and about writing the books and where the original idea came from:
I was ready to write another story and was sitting at my typewriter ---but look at the time! it's nearly noon, and my five children would be rushing in for lunch any minute now--in those days, kids came home from school for lunch.  So I was rushing to fix something for lunch when: in they came.
"Can Mike come for dinner tonight, could you call his Mom right now?"
"Look, I skinned my knee, I need a bandaid!"
"I have to have a quarter for class dues!"
And more.  And all at once.  And I realized that I was saying "That's nice, dear,"  to each one. And then I thought that I'd probably been saying that every day for ever and ever. And because I had been looking for an idea for a new book, I thought what about a mother who keeps saying That's nice, dear, no matter what's happening. So: something really surprising happens to a boy and his mother just keeps saying things like, That's nice, dear. What might that surprising thing be?
You can read the rest of the piece on Curious Pages here

There's a lovely obituary from the New York Times which talks about her meeting the illustrator of  her book Some Things Are Scary, Jules Feiffer.
“I saw her and it was love at first sight,” Mr. Feiffer said. “She was so alive, so gracious. She had all the good qualities that ordinarily make people boring, but with a kind of roguishness that made you like her.”
I'm now going away to #1 be sad that she died last year (before I'd ever heard of her), #2 be happy that she lived, and #3 look for a copy of Some Things Are Scary.