Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dog Loves Books

I'm a sucker for stories about books. Most librarians I know are as well. Standing in my local library I spotted a title sticking out from the stack called Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates. I pulled out the book to see a smiling happy dog carting around a pile of books. I checked it out immediately. The very next day I stopped into my local bookstore to order the book. I couldn't imagine my own personal library without it.

Dog loves books. He loves how he can disappear into the stories and meet fun characters. So he decides to open a book shop. He does all the work of setting up shop, but after opening he's a bit short on customers. He waits and waits and waits. And he grows bored. Until he remembers...he's surrounded by books. He starts reading and suddenly the quiet bookshop is gone. He's playing with dinosaurs or in space. He's so busy he doesn't even notice that he has his first real customer. And he gets the joy of sharing the books he loves so much.

For a librarian this is about as wonderful of a book as you can get. Not only does Yates write a love letter to books, she writes a love letter to connecting people with books. This is about the transformative power of stories. About getting lost in the worlds in the pages. It's magical. The text is sparse. Yates lets her pictures tell much of the story. A two page spread just says "...a new adventure begins" as we see Dog bounding across the landscape in the pouch of a kangaroo.

Yates' pencil and watercolor illustrations were the highlight of the book for me. Dog is a wonderful character. He's noble and enthusiastic. He has a wonderful smile on his face for most of the book (other than his sad waiting scenes). His excitement for books is incredibly contagious. But at the same time he has a wonderful nobility about him. This is a dog who is proud of his store and proud of his books. The other characters have a great sweetness to them. The dinosaurs are more friendly than fierce. His first customer, a little girl, is rosy cheeked and excited. This is one of those magical books that will make you love reading and love books. Just as much as Dog loves them.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Stepped Away

To say that I stepped away from this blog for a bit is a gross understatement. For the last year and a half I haven't even thought to post. It's not that I wasn't reading picture books or keeping up with my favorite authors but I just stopped posting. And for that I'm sorry. I'm ready to review again. I'm ready to share my ideas about picture books. I'm ready to be a good blogger.

I apologize if you've commented or asked questions during the year and a half hiatus I've taken. I'll be back to posting reviews first. And then I'll be cleaning up my comments section. I'll try to respond if you've asked me a question or commented on a post. And I'll clean up all the spam. I see I have a ton of it. I guess that's what happens to anything when you step away for too long.

I have tons of things to talk about. I've read so many wonderful books recently. I'm excited about the upcoming Caldecott/Newbery awards. I'm excited to talk about keeping up with your favorite authors. I'm ready to get back to my passion. I hope you'll join me on the ride. And I'm sorry I've been away so long.