Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Sunday Salon and Wonderful Children's Books

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! It's that time of the week we all get to kick back and relax and talk about books! So, grab a cup of joe and find a comfy chair and let's talk books. And this week it's children's books. I love children's books. A simple story with beautiful illustrations just blows me away sometimes. Even though I have no children, I can appreciate the beauty and artistry that goes into some of these wonderful books. As adults we can find meaning in some of these children's books that hit a chord with our own lives. Sometimes the story can be silly, with humor that we can appreciate as adults, sometimes the story can make us pause to look at the world around us. In my travels this week, I came upon 3 books that I thought were simply wonderful...

Paul Meets Bernadette by Rosy Lamb... "Paul is a fish who used to go around in circles. He made big circles and little circles. He circled from left to right and from right to left. He circled from top to bottom and from bottom to top. What else was there to do? Until one day Bernadette drops in and shows Paul that there is a whole world out there, right outside his bowl, with so many things to see. A banana-shaped boat! A blue elephant with a spoutlike trunk (be quiet when she’s feeding her babies)! A lovely lunetta butterfly, with tortoise-shell rims! Simple saturated paintings play off this charming ode to an active imagination — and the way that life changes when a bewitching creature opens your eyes."

This book has gotten a lot of praise from it's wonderful story to the beautiful simple paintings that Rosy Lamb has created to go along it. Teaching children the power of imagination,  I'm sure if we open our eyes that we too can re-imagine the world in all it's beauty. Published by Candlewick, this book will be released Dec. 10th! And can be pre-ordered in Hardcover .

Once Upon a Memory by Nina Laden... Does a feather remember it once was a bird? Does a book remember it once was a word? When a feather drifts through a child's window, a magical journey begins. As the boy follows the feather, he is swept away to a world filled with adorable animals, where fantasy and reality come together in surprising and playful ways. From the cake that once was grain to the ocean that once was rain, whimsical "before" and "after" scenes offer readers a peek at the world as seen through the eyes of a curious child, ultimately asking the question, "What will you remember?"

The words to this story, a poem in reality, just stuck me as thought-provoking and beautiful. Do we really pay attention to the things around us and reflect on their origins? I think maybe not enough, but this wonderful book nudges us in the right direction to ponder the wonders all around us. This book has garnered a lot of great reviews and has a starred review in Publisher's Weekly to boot. Once Upon a Memory will be available in Hardcover on Dec. 3rd! And is available for pre-order.

Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella by Jan Brett...  Tasha feeds her flock in the old tower and falls asleep on a bed of straw.  So begins a magical night...  In Jan Brett's version of a favorite fairy tale, Cinders is pushed around by her comical sisters, Pecky and Bossy, and their haughty mother, Largessa. This night the chickens fly off to Prince Cockerel's Ice Palace.   All except poor Cinders until a Silkie flies in with her magic wand and transforms the little hen into a beautiful and mysterious guest at the ball.  Fanciful illustrations capture the grandeur of eighteenth-century Russia while Jan's chicken characters provide the fun and romance that she brings to the Cinderella story. Jan traveled to Russia and readers will be in awe of the Ice Palace aglow under a deep blue moonlit sky, exquisite ball gowns on the comely pullets, uniforms with gold braids and buttons on the cockerels, striking Russian architecture transformed into ice in the borders, and a very funny flock of chickens who provide an appealing, original look at this snowy Cinderella. 

I love Jan Brett's beautiful illustrations in her many books. This story should be no exception. And the story should be just plain fun! Of course being a "Chick with Books", I'm a bit partial to "Chick" books and this just was calling my name. Not just a wonderful take on a fairy tale we are all familiar with, but a beautiful wintry tale as well that would make a great gift book during the snowy season. Published by Putnam for Young Readers, Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella is being released this tuesday, Nov. 5th! It will be available in Hardcover AND for Kindle as well!

The Week in Review...

Tuesday Oct. 29th I posted New Releases that are meant to inspire you! Including a new book by Richard Paul Evans. In case you missed them, here is the link!

For Halloween, I posted that famous Halloween poem, The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. Here's the link!

And on Friday, Nov. 1st, I reviewed The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang. It's a modern classic tale translated from Korean for the first time. It has been on the best seller list in South Korea for a decade and now we in the Unites States have a chance to enjoy it. I really enjoyed it. Here is the link to read the review.

This week in reading...

Well, I started reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and I am hooked! And I downloaded Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which I am almost done with and have enjoyed in a different kind of way. Cheryl's writing is wonderful, but she's draws me into her world so much that I am really feeling a roller coaster of emotions as she hikes the Pacific Coast Trail reflecting back on losing her Mother, screwing up her marriage and hitting the lowest of the low in her life. I decided to read it because I've heard so many great reviews and it was also one of the World Book Night choices. Look for a review coming soon.

My reading group has chosen The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman  as this months pick. What's it about? Here's a bit from the publisher...  Tom Sherbourne is a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a tiny island a half day’s boat journey from the coast of Western Australia. When a baby washes up in a rowboat, he and his young wife Isabel decide to raise the child as their own. The baby seems like a gift from God, and the couple’s reasoning for keeping her seduces the reader into entering the waters of treacherous morality. A good book choice for a reading group is one that has potential for a good discussion, and The Light Between Oceans seems to fit that mark. I'll let you know how how the group enjoyed it next month.

So, how was your reading week?! What do you think about children's books? Can we as adults enjoy them too?

Happy reading... Suzanne

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