Tuesday, June 21, 2011
What I'm Reading Now
Prudence Wants a Pet, written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Stephen Michael King, because I read it this afternoon. It's one of the most delightful picture books to cross my desk in recent memory. My 12 year old daughters are sitting near me as I type this and reading it aloud to one another, delighting in it. Prudence wants a pet so badly that she's willing to consider anything - a branch, a twig, an old shoe, a tire. She's such a good sport! For a while anyway. If you have a 6 year old and a 12 year old, consider asking the 12 year old to read this to the 6 year old and then read Erica Perl's wonderful When Life Gives You OJ, also about a child who is desperate for a pet, on his or her own. Erica's book was selected as one of Amazon's Best Books for June and the honor is well deserved!
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. Is that not the best title ever?! And though I've just started it, I have a feeling the rest of the book lives up to the awesomely high bar set by the outstanding title. The story makes me think of Alice in Wonderland with a little Peter Pan and a little Wizard of Oz but it's entirely its own unique creation. It's incredibly sophisticated and wickedly funny. I can't help but think it could make the most amazing movie. It's the story of a girl named September who lives in Omaha, Nebraska and has become bored with her life. When the Green Wind asks if she would like to come to Fairyland, September quickly says yes. Thus begins her adventure in the world of Fairyland, ruled by the fickle and childish Marquess. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t, the Marquess will make life impossible for September's new friends, the inhabitants of Fairyland. This might be a great book for a family with middle grade and older kids to read together. There's nothing childish or babyish about this book. I suspect that at points it will probably get a little dark. It's one of those fully immersible reading experiences.I'd like to wrap up this blog post quickly just so I can go read some more!
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht, not to be confused with Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. The Tiger's Wife is set in a war ravaged Balkan country and is the story of Natalia, a young doctor, who embarks on a mission of mercy to vaccinate children at an orphanage.At the beginning of her journey, she learns of the death of her grandfather and a veil of secrets. As she tries to unravel some of the mystery surrounding his death, she remembers the old stories her told her as a child and learns the story he never told her, the one that helps her uncover the answers she searching for. It's a beautifully written book, a compelling story and a meaningful tribute to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, a worn copy of which the grandfather carried with him everywhere and read to Natalia from on their weekly trips to the zoo when she was younger.
What are you reading?