Queen of Babble Gets Hitched and Big Boned: Review Haiku

Two women, one voice:
One solves crimes, one makes dresses.
Oh, Meg, I heart you.

Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot. Avon, 2008, 288 pages (read as ARC).
Big Boned by Meg Cabot. Avon, 2007, 280 pages.


The elements of story, as understood by the Munchkin

Scene: We're in the car, on the way to the mall for dinner. (Daddy's in Germany. What do you want from me?) We pull into the drive-through bank to get some money. The Munchkin spies the stack of deposit envelopes.

Munchkin: Mommy! I need one of those!
Me: Uh, okay. [give her envelope]
Munchkin: I need a pen! I need a pen to write a story!
Me: Not in the car. It's hard to write when the car is moving. Wait till we get to the mall.
Munchkin: I NEED A PEN!
[repeat last two lines ad infinitum as we drive]

Scene: Arrival at Sears. We get ten feet into the store.
Munchkin: I need a pen to write a story!
Me: Fine.
[Give Munchkin pen. She sits down at patio furniture display and begins to write.]
Munchkin: "How do you spell 'fish'?"
[Go through spelling rigamarole: "Well, what letter says /fffff/?" Munchkin scribbles, then finishes with flourish and hands me envelope.]
Munchkin: "Now you write 'for school.' At the bottom!"
[I do. Munchkin folds envelope in half, in vague approximation of book fold.]

Munchkin: "See? There's my book! READ IT!"

Here, in its entirety, is the Munchkin's book.

We needed a fish for school.

I've got to hand it to her -- it's got all the classic elements of story.
Characters: "We"
Plot: "needed a fish"
Setting: "for school"
Tension: Why do they need a fish? Is it an assignment? A class pet? A secret password?

I'm telling you, she's got Newbery written all over her.


The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower: Review Haiku

Crime and punishment
for an innocent mark turned

The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower by Lisa Graff. Harper/Geringer, 2008, 250 pages.


The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks: Review Haiku

Lockhart rocks again:
Eat your heart out, Skull and Bones --
Frankie's got you beat.


Show me the way to go home

I'm waiting in the Dallas airport for my flight home. TLA was fun; I liked Dallas, everyone I met was nice, and I scored a bunch of great galleys, which I'll surely review in the weeks to come. (I even met a fan of this blog!)

Thanks to all the librarians, authors, illustrators, publishers, and others I met this week. Yee-ha.

Bird Lake Moon: Review Haiku

So many ways to
lose someone; an honest look
at grief, and summer.

Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow, 2008, 192 pages. To be published in May.

TLA note: Last night a bunch of publishers hosted a cocktail party. Kevin Henkes was one of the guests, and at one point he was just a few feet away from me, in a knot of people. I was pretty sure I recognized him, but I wasn't positive it was he, and his arm was holding a drink in such a way that I couldn't see his nametag. Not two seconds later, a fearless librarian walked over, bent her torso ninety degrees, stood up, and reported back to her cluster of friends, "Yep. It's him." Hee.


Dallas: First impressions

Good God, everyone is so . . . nice. It's like I'm back home in the Midwest. And the streets are so wide, and there's so much sky, and did I mention everyone is nice?

Day 1 of my TLA was busy and long, but good. Anastasia and Mitali signed for us, and I met many lovely librarians. The highlight, however, was definitely the Book Cart Drill Team finals. Most impressive.

Thank you, Dallas, for a lovely 24 hours.

Princess Ben: Review Haiku

Empowering or
sexist? Fresh or typical?
I can't quite decide.

Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. HMCo, 2008, 344 pages.


Ellie McDoodle: Review Haiku

Have pen, will travel:
Very basic plotline, but
charming nonetheless.

Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel by Ruth McNally Barshaw. Bloomsbury, 2007, 170 pages.

I am a dash

. . . which is extra funny if you know that I call my freelance editorial business "EMdash." Get it? Ha! (Okay, "ha.") And that part about money just made me pee my pants a little bit.

You Are a Dash

Your life is fast paced and varied. You are realistic, down to earth, and very honest.

You're often busy doing something interesting, and what you do changes quickly.

You have many facets to your personality, and you connect them together well.

You have a ton of interests. While some of them are a bit offbeat, they all tie together well.

You friends rely on you to bring novelty and excitement to their lives.

(And while you're the most interesting person they know, they can't help feeling like they don't know you well.)

You excel in: Anything to do with money

You get along best with: the Exclamation Point


Happy Blogiversary to Me: Birthday Haiku

Two years old today!
Hand over cake before I
start throwing tantrums.

Good Lord, I made it through another year. Thank you for your eyeballs and your comments. It has been fun to expand my circle of professional friends without leaving the comfort of my chair, and doubly fun to put faces to names, when I've met some of you at various conferences this past year.

Last year I set a goal to read or re-read 53 classics (or classics-to-be) in adult and children's literature, fiction and nonfiction. That goal, it seems, was laughably unreachable: I got through over half of them, but am nowhere close to the end of The LIST. Yet, undaunted, I press on: I'll just keep reading 'em till I'm done.

I am off tomorrow to Dallas for the Texas Library Association conference, a whirlwind four days that may involve very large hats and/or the adoption of "ma'am" as a speech tic. If you're there, stop by booth #1534 and say hi. I'll be the one in the Unshelved t-shirt.


FOUR: Birthday Haiku

My little princess:
She'll outpester any pest,
but she's still damn cute.


The Penderwicks on Gardam Street: Review Haiku

Emergency MOPS:
Please, oh please, can I be a
Penderwick sister?

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall. Knopf, 2008, 320 pages.


Father Knows Less: Review Haiku

Bill Cosby once asked,
"Why is there air?" This guy tries
to find real answers.


A Confederacy of Dunces: Review Haiku

Pulitzer classic,
but all I kept thinking was,
"Christ, what an asshole."

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. LSU Press, 1980, 416 pages.

#33 on The LIST.