April, I love you!
Non-Book related post:
I don’t usually read Woman’s Day … but I was at my mom’s and sometimes that’s the most entertaining thing happening…and I found something kind of funny and interesting….apparently lay people are noticing the absolute hipness of librarians…and Woman’s Day is actually having a contest Be a Librarian for a Day!
Out of curiosity, I looked in the official rules to see if librarians could enter or not and I didn’t see anything there … silly, really to think any of us would do it for free! Then it wouldn’t be winning, it would be volunteering.*
To top it all off BUST magazine’s current issue has a feature article on librarians. I haven’t read it yet (I just got it today!) so I can’t comment but the idea makes me tingle all over. From the cover-> “Baby Got Book: librarians-could they be the new ‘it’ girls?”
*I am not against volunteer work.
Wrede, Patricia C. Dealing With Dragons. Sandpiper, 2002. ISBN 978-0152045661 240 pp. $
I just finished Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. I’m so happy to say that I have a new fantasy book that I can recommend to the little people. I mean young patrons at the library, not actual little people. Anyway, Cimorene is a young princess who is not satisfied with her life at the palace. She is tired of classes in manners and embroidery and the refined things a princess needs to know. She would rather learn cooking and fencing and magic and economics. Running away and becoming the princess of a very powerful dragon, Kazul, suits her just fine. If only all those darn princes would quit trying to rescue her…
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. Mariner Books, 2003. ISBN 978-0156027328 326 pp. $15.95
I’m reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It’s a great book! Here’s the premise: a 16-year-old boy, Pi Patel, who practices Christianity, Hinduism and Islam, emigrates to North America on a cargo ship with his mother, father, brother and the animals formerly of the Indian zoo where his father was zookeeper. The ship capsizes, and all are lost save Pi, a wounded zebra, an orangutan, a spotted hyena, and a fearsome 450-lb. Royal Bengal tiger, who take up temporary residence on an eight-foot-wide, 26-foot-long lifeboat. Soon only Pi and the tiger are left. How he manages to stave off becoming meal fodder while surviving adrift at sea for a long period of time occupies the majority of the book.
I am a person who can only take so many Gary Paulsen adventure-type stories. However, I can’t put this book down, cutting into my prized sleep time to steal just a few more moments each day with Pi and Richard Parker (the tiger, an unfortunate victim of a paperwork snafu saddling him with such a name). Aside from the adventure component (which, given the presence of a hyena and a tiger, plus the necessity of eating whatever comes to hand, can get a bit graphic), there are thoughtful treatises on the treatment of zoo animals and the merits of each of Pi’s three chosen religions, all seasoned with Indian sensibility and humour, and a twist at the end that upends everything you thought you had learned about the book while reading it.
I adored that book too, April. I’ve already used my massive powers of persuasion to get the YA Book Group at my library to read it for next month. I’m about halfway through Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart, which is good but hasn’t really grabbed me yet. It is picking up though so maybe in another hundred pages I’ll be hooked. Did I mention it’s 500+ pages long? Other recent reads are Pictures of Hollis Woods and Olivia Kidney, both of which I liked and Dillon Dillon and Olive’s Ocean, neither of which did much for me. Oh well, you can’t please everyone.
Lily B. on the Brink of Cool by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel was disappointing to me. I loved the jacket and the premise of the story, but when it came down to the actual reading of the book, I wasn’t impressed. Anyone else on this one?
Recently read a couple of great picture books:
Mary Had a Little Ham by Margie Palatini
The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-To-Be by Mini Grey (!!)
Bad Boys by Margie Palatini
Yesterday I had the Blues by Jeron Ashford Frame