Archive for November 2010

Eleven To Watch For in 2011

Let's face it- this year is going to be over before we know it. I hate how fast time flies the older I get. And there is pretty much only one reason I would ever wish time to march faster- so I could get my hands on books I'm looking forward to!

As you probably know, I'm something of a research nut. My bookshelves are full. My "To-Read" shelf on Goodreads is huge. I keep the inter-library loan service at my local library ridiculously busy. And I love giving book suggestions to other people and getting them excited about books!

While I'm busy trimming the tree and making reindeer cookies and working on my WIP (from a PiBoIdMo idea! Day #12, to be exact...) in the coming weeks, I thought I'd give YOU something to look forward to with me in the New Year. My peek into 2011 will be heavy on releases for the first half of the year, of course, because those are the ones that have info online already, but (ahem) there are gonna be some terrific fall releases too :)

So, what's whetting my appetite for 2011?

Al Pha's Bet
Al Pha's Bet by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Delphine Durand

Noodle And Lou
Noodle And Lou by Liz Garton Scanlon and Arthur Howard

Spinster Goose
Spinster Goose by Lisa Wheeler and Sophie Blackall

Little White Rabbit
Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes

The Loud Book
The Loud Book by Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska

Except If
Except If by Jim Averbeck

Perfect Square
Perfect Square by Michael Hall

Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party
Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party by Melanie Watt

Dream Something Big
Dream Something Big by Dianna Hutts Aston and
Susan L. Roth

A Pet For Petunia
A Pet For Petunia by Paul Schmid

Those Darn Squirrels And The Cat Next Door
Those Darn Squirrels And The Cat Next Door
by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri

Yeah, I think 2011 is going to be a very, very good year :)

Mad-genius, I say

That darn Mo Willems.

He made me pick up a pen and write a picture book not too long after reading this book:

Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Willems

It was smart. It was funny. It spoke to kids. It was amazing. I wanted to do that! (Of course, I still haven't done *that*, but that's a different blog post...)

Then he went and wrote a bunch of other books because, apparently, I wasn't the only person who liked that book. Some of these other books I loved, some I liked, some I didn't like as much. It's that way with most authors, no? I don't hold it against the guy- it's a rare person who can be brilliant every time at bat.

Then he went and wrote this book:

Today I Will Fly! by Mo Willems

just when I was bemoaning the lack of easy readers that interested my son. This book and My Friend Is Sad, the next Elephant & Piggie book, taught my son to read. Oh thank you, Mo Willems! I owe you my next-born son (which, thankfully I'll never have, so I won't have to go giving him away to Mo Willems or anything...).

So, we literally devoured the subsequent Elephant & Piggie books that came out, even after we had no excuse to "need" to read them. So wonderful, so charming. Are You Ready To Play Outside? is a particular favorite of mine. And then, you know, we hit a few that we didn't exactly love as much as others... and, very, very secretly, I started to gloat a teeeeeny, tiny little bit- It's hard, isn't it, Mr. Brilliant, to come up with home runs every time at bat, I think I might have said to myself once or twice. But not when anyone could hear me, of course. I mean, the man DID write Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus.

In any case, I was starting to be a bit relieved that that ol' Mo Willems wasn't super-human. Until I read this:

We Are In A Book by Mo Willems

and now I feel a bit like Charlie Brown, lying flat on his back, at the mercy of that mad-genius Lucy and her football-yanking ways. That ol' Mo Willems just came up with the BEST Elephant & Piggie book yet!! It's charming. It's funny. It's perfect. It's mad-genius, is what it is. If you haven't read it yet, please do so as soon as possible. You want to be in on one of the *best* books of the year.

Oh yes, you do.


Day 12

PiBoIdMo 2010

It's Day 12 of PiBoIdMo, and I must say, this is turning out to be a very interesting experiment. I am forcing myself to come up with one idea a day, knowing that I won't be able to capitalize on it right away. Okay, I fell off the wagon around Days 8 and 9, but I hopped right back on and caught up.

This is the opposite of the way I usually write, by the way. Normally I seize the idea and write until I block, then I do something boring and mundane, like mop my floors or fold laundry until I un-block, then write-and-repeat until I have a story. If I get halfway on a WIP and LIFE interrupts, I often lose the enthusiasm for the project for awhile (which could be anywhere from weeks to months to years!). Sometimes I pick it back up, sometimes not.

But with these ideas, some of them are, I think, pretty good. And I'm anxious to get started on a few of them, um, now. So the anticipation is really building, and my subconscious is kind of working on a few of them while I'm not writing (November = no writing time!). That subconscious thing is really important- often I don't give the idea time to simmer in the background and seize it too fast and it doesn't produce.

And honestly, I never would have focused my mind enough through all the current chaos around here to even come up with one or two ideas, let alone 30. Of course, we'll see how it plays out once I get my writing time back. If I have 30 ideas staring me in the face and I can't come up with anything, I won't be so in love with PiBoIdMo.

But right now, I'm thinking this whole thing is pretty awesome- and Tara Lazar? Genius.