Saturday, July 07, 2012


Book du Jour:
THE OBSTINATE PEN by Frank W. Dormer (Henry Holt)
As the heart wants what it wants, the pen writes what it writes, and it isn't always very nice. It tells a traffic cop to give the perpetrator a smooch, or be a yam-headed organ grinder. It points out an aspiring author's big nose, and an heiress' warts. It is not until the pen is found by a different kind of artist that it manifests a different kind of voice. In a few choice words and simple pictures, this seriously funny book speaks very honest volumes about the artistic process, or at least what happens to a dream deferred, you yam-headed organ grinders. OOopsy! Already a fan of this author's debut, SOCKSQUATCH, this latest is equally stellar for storytime; read it and laugh. Also good for teaching little kids the word "obstinate."  High-reaching vocabulary aficionados William Steig and Fancy Nancy would be proud.  (6 and up)

Also of interest:
The obstinate pen's cousin,
THE PENCIL by Allen Ahlberg, illustrated by Bruce Ingman (Candlewick).

Speaking of obstinate pens and accommodating pencils, thank you for your patience as I temporarily fell off posting on my own Planet this year, working full-time (ha ha!  That's putting it lightly!) as a Chicago Public School teacher/school librarian, and finishing my master's degree in Library and Information Science from UIUC.  As my dear friend Diane put it, "now you're not a common law librarian, you finally got that piece of paper everyone cares so much about."  Perhaps I should write a children's book, The Elusive Paper.  Perhaps not.  Probably not.  Not. But I will try at least to tap The Overtired Keyboard more often, and catch up with some Books du Jour; descriptions may be brief, but at least you'll have a few lovely new read-aloud leads.  Yours truly.

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