105 Ways to Give a Book

New York City Totally Sucks

I just want to make it clear that I would far rather be here typing up this list of recent picture books than joining Fuse#8 and The Longstockings (that would be a great band name, btw) at Sweet & Vicious in New York City. And even though I was supposed to be in NYC today meeting said personages, along with other authors and editors who would have undoubtedly been floored by my charm and clever turn of phrase and would have offered me (a) a co-authorship opportunity, and (b) a book deal, I am extremely happy to be (a) cooking brownies for the Girl Scout bake sale, and (b) summing up some books recently added to my library system. So, freakin’ enjoy them.
  • The Gingerbread Cowboy, by Janet Squires
    The gingerbread boy with a cowboy twist. Okay variation.

  • The Three Witches, by Joyce Carol Thomas and illustrated by Faith Ringgold
    Kind of freaky-looking witches. Seems like a folktale of some sort. Oh yes, there it is on the inside cover, a folktale from the Gulf States. Doesn’t do anything for me.

  • The Best Kid in The World, by Peter H. Reynolds
    Sugarloaf tries to be helpful, but it doesn’t work out well. She gets the Best Kid in The World award for trying so hard. His other two books, The Dot and Ish were much better.

  • Bats at the Beach, by Brian Lies
    Rhymes are just okay, but the idea of bats at the beach cracks me up. I like it.

  • Hansel and Diesel, by David Gordon
    Hansel and Gretel with pickup trucks. Follow-up to The Ugly Truckling. Neat twist on the old story.

  • The Costume Copycat, by Maryann MacDonald
    Angela’s older sister Bernadette always gets the breaks when it comes to Halloween. Cute siblings story and would have been a good story to tell at school for Halloween, if I’d remembered it.

  • I’m Dirty! by Kate and Jim McMullan
    Just like I Stink! but with a construction truck. Cute for truck lovers.

  • Farm-Fresh Cats, by Scott Santoro
    Something hits the ground from outer space, and instead of cabbage, the farmer finds he is growing green cats. They start growing everywhere, so the farmer decides to sell them at a roadside stand and — because they are no more trouble than potted plants — the city people buy them. It’s a very strange concept. The title creeps me out. I know they are saying that the cats are just grown there, but doesn’t that also imply they are eaten?

  • The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, by Lynne Berry
    Good as a Halloween book that’s not about Halloween. Odd — but interesting — black-and-white illustrations. The witch orders her cat around but the cat won’t listen, finally with dire consequences for the cat.

  • Toot and Puddle: The One and Only, by Holly Hobbie
    This book is really about Opal. A new girl (pig) is in Opal’s class, and she likes to copy Opal. But she can’t seem to copy her dance moves to make the chorus line look perfect, so Opal helps her. Cute, as Toot and Puddle books always are. Maybe I’ll pick it up later.
Of these books, I took home Bats at the Beach, The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, and Farm-Fresh Cats (to investigate further).

Now, I’d better get the brownies ready for the bake sale. And I’ll get ready for my exciting Girl Scout leader meeting with lots of moms and no, repeat, no alcohol at all, while I think how lucky I am to be here in lovely — if somewhat socially conservative — Virginia, instead of dirty and smelly New York City drinking with bloggers, authors, and editors. (Oh my!)

.,./,.,./,/////;//., (Sorry — my fingers slipped on the keyboard wet with my tears.)


web said...

Word. I hate New York, hate other bloggers and ESPECIALLY hate publishers of exciting new children's books!

Oh, and those grapes you're eating look disgusting.

Nancy said...

Pssst. You won one of the book prizes in my "best passages" contest. Check it out.

Susan said...

MR, I was hoping to go, too--and it's a mere train ride away from here. But yesterday Junior fell ill, so had to miss school today. He made a miraculous recovery after watching hours of Nickelodeon, but by then it was too late. For a second, I actually pondered how well he might do at a Manhattan bar. Ha. We stayed home.

Little Willow said...

I've never been to New York. This pains me greatly.

However, when I'm performing on Broadway someday, you and the Girl Scouts are more than welcome to attend the show.

. . . And please bring the brownies (a fresh batch, naturally; those of today would be stale by then) because I'm currently reading DAIRY QUEEN and really want those brownie bowls her dad created. :)

Kelly Fineman said...

I wanted to go, but circumstances got in my way. Which totally, y'know, blows.

I liked Bats at the Beach, too -- for the idea and the pictures, and not so much the wonky rhyme. And yes, Farm-Fresh Cats sounds like produce, and is therefore inferedly (is that a word?) creepy.

crissachappell said...

Cats don't grow on trees!