So a few weeks ago I decided to check out “Where the Wild Things Are” and some other books by Maurice Sendak and Dr. Seuss after sad death of Mr. Sendak. I talked about that “Childhood is Scary” a couple weeks ago on ed2dq.com for my #FridayReads post.
Since checking out those books, I have checked out other picture books, and remembering how awesome they are.
For instance last night I read Eric Carle’s classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” *** (3 GR). Beautiful artwork, very short little story. If I was 5 I would love this book.
The best one I have read (and re-read like 5 times already) is Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” which is one of my favorite books for over 30 years. Daring, fun, silly and SO much fun to read aloud. I already read it aloud at Port Veritas on Tuesday and planning to read at the Rhythmic Cypher reading at Slainte at 7pm on Sunday night.
I love reading books aloud, especially to kids. Not much lights up a kids smile like a story read. Especially when you read the story well with modulations in voice for each character and help it come alive.
It’s funny. I have been reading graphic novels a lot the last few years, but didn’t think to start reading picture books again.
To me they have similar appeal. The image helps the story come alive. In some books, frankly like “Caterpillar” or Sendak’s “In the Night Kitchen” then pictures are better than the story. And that’s ok.
I plan to read more picture books again and also plan to read them at local libraries and similar places. There is something about a book that’s magic.
Read last 2 weeks:
“Where the Wild Things Are” a few times. Amazing. ***** … I really, really need to own this once I have a few bucks.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar”
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss: Not as good as I remember it. Far too simplistic. Industry can be bad, but not usually in such a total way. Maybe with the exception of coal mining in Applachia or the tar sands of Alberta. *** (3 GR)
Kenny’s Window by Maurice Sendak: I guess this is long out of print. Glad Walker PL had it. Lovely little story. Reminds me of Toy Story in a way. Definitely captures the spirit of boy. *** (3 GR)
“The Simple Truth” by Philip Levine: Lovely verse but didn’t speak to me like What Work Is. Looking forward to reading more of Levine’s work. *** (3 GR)
“In the Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak: Cute story, but images better than the story. Story frankly kind of silly. *** (3 GR)
Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig: Very fun and silly little book. I bet William Steig was a great parent.
There is nothing quite so beautiful as the laugh of a child. Also feel blessed to have seen some William Steig prints a year and a half ago at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Book was based on a game Steig would play with his son. ***1/2 (4 GR)
The Toy Brother by William Steig: Beautiful imagery, cool idea. I liked didn’t love it. I do love Steig’s sense of humor though. ***
The King’s Stilts by Dr. Seuss: Very enjoyable story, fun artwork. Love the image of the island that is saved from drowning by an army of cats. Fun, fun, fun. ***1/2 (4 GR)
Tickle the Duck by Ethan Long: Very enjoyable and silly interactive book. We all love tickling no matter how much we protest. Love that it has a touch element. ***1/2 (4 GR)
I Can Lick Thirty Tigers Today by Dr. Seuss: Fun collection of short Dr. Seuss works. Browsed through before Local Sprouts/Port Veritas reading feeling like should read again. ***1/2 (4 GR)
“The Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger: Talked about this book on Wednesday. One of my favorite HS books. Found “the Great Gatsby” on Wednesday so should be re-reading that again soon.
As you can tell everything by the Levine book and “Catcher” are picture books.
And also did re-read the poetry book “Waterchild” about pregnancy that I donated to the Red Tent at Rites.
In the midst of a bunch of good books, a lot from the library, some that I own.
The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media by Brooke Gladstone: Fascinating graphic novel. Very thick reading although it’s one of my favorite topics. ***1/2 (4 GR) pg 62 of 156 (Camden PL)
The Witches by Roald Dahl: Fun stuff. Had no idea there were so many witches about, at least in Dahl’s mind. ***1/2 (4 GR) pg. 44 of 202 (Warren PL – the old library in Westbrook, now part of Walker PL collection).
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery: Beautiful book, I am reading a lot good stuff right now. pg 38 of 91 (Walker PL)
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil Postman: Again a topic right in my wheelhouse. Definitely academic and a slow read. There are issues with any new technology whether it’s social media, eReaders, smart phones, iPods or computers. Curious what Postman has written on this topic since 1992. *** (pg 14 of 199) own.
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant: pg 46 of 321. Found this at work, been curious about what the Red Tent means for a while. I guess it was a place of women to tell stories and be during their menstration. Very interesting Biblical fiction but a slow read. Have a feeling will come back to this one. ***
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield: A book about overcoming the resistance in life that prevents us from what is doing in our heart. Trying to work thought this with writing everyday and being a poet. I still have a crazy idea of having a bookstore that seems even crazier in our era of eBooks. *** (pg 25 of 163) (Boothbay Harbor Mem. Library)
In the Heat of the Night by John Ball: Good stuff. 71% of way into it and want to finish it. Glad in this case that I didn’t see the movie first, although Mr. Tibbs is definitely Sydney Poitier in my head. Wonderful story about the racism of the South. ***1/2 (4 GR)
Dirty Minds by Kayt Sukel: Very, very rich book about the neuroscience of sex and love. Learn a lot in every chapter. Recommended and reading about a half chapter at a time. 26% ***1/2 (4 GR)
The Gravy Train by David T Lender: Started it today, fun caper about the greed of Wall Street from a former trader. Some deals are better for Wall Street than for the buyers. *** 10%
The Brave Cowboy by Edward Abbey: Interesting book about a character out of place. A cowboy on a horse in modern America. Curious where this is going. *** 20%
The Secret Piano: From Mao’s Labor Camps to Bach’s Goldberg Variations by Zhu Xiao-Mei: Beautiful and amazing book about being a pianist coming of age during the Cultural Revolution in child. Heartbreaking and epic. **** (5 GR) 74%
Inventing Modern: Growing Up with X-Rays, Skyscrapers and Tailfins by John H. Lienhard: Fascinating book about what it means to be modern. The turn and early 20th Century felt hyper-modern. The internet age is post-modern. Although that term causes me a lot of trouble. Very interesting how much things changed after around 1845. 6%
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut: Already read nearly half of it again (47%) at Rites. Amazing book, amazing that loving it so soon after reading it the first time. *****
All the Young Warriors by Anthony Neil Smith: Tough book to read. Crime fiction where the lead suspects end up being in a warlords army in Somalia. Somalia can make whereever you are look like paradise. *** 32%
Psychosomatic by Anthony Neil Smith: Classic style crime fiction where nearly everyone is an idiot who thinks they are smarter than someone else. 34% ***
Wilpon’s Folly: The Story of a Man, His Fortune and the New York Mets by Howard Megdal: Fred Wilpon couldn’t have been leveraged more when Bernie Madoff collapsed. Citi Field just opened and nearly all his money was tied up. Sometimes you need to know when to walk away, and know when to run. Sad for Mets fans the Madoff didn’t sell once everything went haywire. *** 42%
Also finished: “You Know Me Al” by Ring Laudner which I talked about 2 weeks ago in depth.
That’s enough for now at 1400ish words. I sure reads a lot. And will keep reading picture books, kids books and graphic novels. Some are simply works of genius. And lots of them will bring a smile to your face.