While the Net was Sleeping…

November 21, 2012 at 2:09 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Too many Sandra Bullock allusions for one heading?  I think so, but I don’t feel like Starting from Scratch.  Heehee, see what happens when I go without my internet for 3 whole days.  The cheesy humor that only I find funny gets out of control.  And this post isn’t even about Sandra Bullock.

It’s about the fact that my internet was down for 3 days and in that time the Kiddo and I went on a bit of a young adult binge.  If you follow my blog, or my life, you know we read a lot of picture books.  This last weekend, however, we just couldn’t help ourselves.  After finishing Pippi Longstockings, the kiddo seemed more and more interested in sitting through me reading chapter books, and there were two in particular calling my name.

The Magician’s Elephant and Kenny & the Dragon had both been sitting on the shelves for quite sometime.  I impulsively bought each from Half Price Books in hardback because the price was too wonderful, the illustrations on each were beautiful (and I’m a sucker for beautifully illustrated fantasy books), and I thought one day the kiddo would enjoy devouring these.

With The Magician’s Elephant I was moved first by all the deep blue hues. Rich blues and grays give the impression of a romantic gloom I find fascinating. Of course, after it was off the shelf and in my hands, the elephant sealed the deal. I adore elephants and half our lives consists of elephant art and books with elephants on the covers.

The fonts, the illustrations, the beautiful fairy tale… what is not to like about this wonderful book? Everyone should have a copy of Kate DiCamillo’s tale of family and keeping promises. It makes for a great Thanksgiving and Christmas season read, and I highly recommend sharing it with your children by the fire.

Kate DiCamillo is famous for Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, and countless others.  She has made quite a name for herself in the book-world as a trustworthy storyteller, but this is the first I’ve actually read of her work, and what a testament it was! My two year old sat through the whole book in one morning.

Of course, author Kate DiCamillo can’t take credit for the art, that is the fine work of Yoko Tanaka. She has quite a bit of published work and still manages to stay in the non-book art scene at galleries and group shows and such, according to her online bio which is actually more of a resume. I’m excited about keeping track of her future ventures as well, because I’ve really fallen in love with what she did for The Magician’s Elephant.

 Tony DiTerlizzi became a part of our lives when I first grabbed a copy of The Spider and the Fly picture book. Of course, I was familiar with the dark tale, but DiTerlizzi’s art really sucked me in. It was not until later that I discovered he was the same DiTerlizzi who wrote and illustrated The Spiderwick Chronicles. What a clever, talented man! Where I previously lamented over whether the kiddo was ready for such a gothic tale as Spider and the Fly, Kenny & the Dragon is a story of friendship and book-love for any age. Again, everyone needs a copy. We will probably re-read this in the Spring or Summer.

Side note: I totally want a bicycle like Kenny’s, it’s so cool.

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