As October dawns, we’re having a rather early monthly retrospective. A Sunday one. Why? Well, the Jewish holidays are upon us, so I must commune with the blog when I may!
What does October mean for you this year? To me it’s going to be a rather hectic month, so far as I can tell: as I said, the Jewish holidays fall during October this year, which adds an extra layer to my workload. Don’t be surprised if the blog falls a little quieter as I try to keep up with everything else. But what does October really mean? Fall, Hallowe’en… stories. Telling stories about who you are, making yourself through stories, enjoying new experiences through stories.
That’s certainly the trend I notice in our reflections on the last month’s books. Of course we’re always all about stories at the Children’s Bookroom, but this month seems to have a lot of identity-play through stories. Some are a full exploration of being someone else (And Then Comes Halloween), others are more of an investigation of what your own place in the world is (Peter Pan), and still others have a very particular focus on the world of imagination and stories (This is Sadie; A Child of Books). The common thread through a fairly diverse set of stories, however, seems to be the question “who am I?” or, perhaps, “who can I be?”
Last, month, then was rather introspective. Who knows what next month will bring? Stay tuned! In between my holidays I hope to find you something good and spooky to read for Hallowe’en. (And I’m always on the lookout for good spooky books, so if you have any recommendations– share in the comments!)
This is Sadie: A little girl spends her days diving into her own world of make-believe and storytelling, whether she sails all around her room in a cardboard box boat or dives beneath the sea as a little mermaid or has adventures in Wonderland. There’s a Sadie in all of our lives, and this book reminds us of the beauty they live with– and reminds them that they’re not alone. Perhaps you’re even a Sadie yourself. This is Sadie is a story about living in stories, and is a reminder that it’s really OK to get a little lost in a good book. Beautifully illustrated in gouache, watercolour, and pencil crayon by Julie Morstad, this is a perfect book for any imaginative child, or for anyone who loves a good story.
King Baby: When a baby is born, we all gather and coo over the gurgly new being in our midst. But what does the baby think? Kate Beaton is here to tell us King Baby’s perspective: he knows his power, and is both a benevolent and a stern monarch over his subjects. What happens, though, as King Baby grows, and crawls, and walks, and talks? King Baby is, in a nutshell, one of the most charming books out there to explain babies to children (or adults). It may seem an outlier in my introspective October batch, but don’t be fooled: King Baby is a most thoughtful and self-aware little monarch.
A Child of Books: Holy mackerel, I thought I’d gotten over being a bit choked up about this book, but then I flipped it open to write this blurb and my eyes prickled. There is one word for this book, and it is: beautiful. What is more powerful than watching the child of books guide her friend through the world of stories and the mountains of make-believe? Only the reminder at the end that we, too, can visit the realms of stories as imagination is free. A Child of Books provides a fresh and original story out of the enduring world of books and stories that surround us every day.
Dear readers, those are some very good books, indeed. And here are some more good books, all the books we looked at in the last month:
- Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard (A beautiful and gentle novel and collection of stories, suitable for middle grade readers and up)
- And Then Comes Halloween (If you understand and appreciate costumes, you’re ready for this; toddlers and up)
- This is Sadie (An inspiring story about imagination and stories; probably best for ages 4 and up)
- King Baby (A sweet story about the power of babies; toddlers and up)
- Peter Pan (Zany and powerful, for middle grade and up)
- A Child of Books (A book for a all ages about the places a story can take you)
That’s it for this month! For a sneak peek into next month’s books, check out the Changeling’s new favourite story: I Am a Story.