If given the choice, few would name the snail as their favorite animal: neither fast nor vicious, the snail tends to be little else than a curiosity, a slimy acquaintance relegated to the garden. In Dashka Slater’s (The Sea Serpent and Me; Dangerously Ever After) picture book Escargot, however, one precocious snail hopes to leverage the species into the reader’s heart by confronting assumptions about snails as both reader and snail “race” to the end of the book.
Escargot meets readers at a mollusk’s eye level in its opening pages. (Read More...)
Some of us develop reading habits and patterns we may not originally realize we are forming. For me, I have only recently discovered in myself, over the past few years, a fascination with music biographies. (Read more...)
You do not want to get me thinking. When I do, I ask myself things like: “What is the most popular animal in children’s literature?” Like me, you might think cats and dogs followed by horses. But the fact that I have seen so many books with mice as the main character, or mice that serve a role in a story, is what got me thinking in the first place. While no scientific research has been completed, I would bet you a book or two that mice might just be it. (Read more...)
Selecting a book is easy when it's something you're interested in. We gravitate toward that which appeals to us, and avoid that which does not. Sadly, this approach does not lend itself to a well-rounded perspective. Here are three tips for selecting something beyond your usual bibliographic fare. (Read more)
I read a lot of books in the course of a year and—I have to confess—most of them tend to linger for a while and then dissipate from my memory like a morning mist. I retain some vague, generalized opinion about whether I liked the book or not. Beyond that, I can only nod knowingly while someone discusses a plot point I hardly remember at all.
That is why 2016 was such a spectacular year for me. I can’t recall another year when there were so many great books that made such vivid impressions that I could actually comprise a list. So, in ascending order... (Read More)
Kung-Hsi Fa-Ts'ai! Happy New Year! You might be thinking, “That was weeks ago!” But I say: “New Years is celebrated differently by culture!” January 28, 2017 starts the celebrations for the Chinese New Year. And what better way to celebrate a new year than with a new book (or two)?