• Posted on December 27, 2011

Picks & Tweets from the Illustrated Word

Christmas brunch with the dog-an annual tradition

Whoa…it’s been almost two months since I posted a Picks & Tweets on this blog! Other than a pre-existing case of indolence, I have two fat excuses-I travelled to Sweden (and Norway) in November, and upon my return, was hit smack in my jet-lagged face with Christmas-the great sucker-upper of time (and everything else.) Didn’t even have time to put rapidograph to paper and ink my annual Christmas card (sorry people.) However, now that we are thankfully passed the fever pitch of festive activity, I have collected a few of my favourite tweets from this month, and parts of the last, in one butter tart-induced burst of hyperglycemic energy. I expect to crash at any moment…

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  • Posted on December 23, 2011

A Hoppy Christmas

And now…one final Christmas review~a lively and colourful book from 1962~Kangaroo For Christmas, by James Flora. I was beginning to despair that nothing would jump out at me this December, but not only does the book jump…it leaps off the shelves, across five decades and 32 snow-filled pages. The only thing better than a really cool Christmas picture book is a really cool retro-Christmas picture book, with fantastic sixties-style illustrations, a dad who smokes a pipe, and a kid who says, ‘oh my‘ and ‘we are dreadfully sorry‘. Thanks to Enchanted Lion Books of New York, Kangaroo For Christmas has been spirited out of Mad Men playrooms and digitally restored just in time for Christmas 2011.

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  • Posted on December 07, 2011

The Best Picture Books (and one novel) of 2011

In the almost two year life of this blog, I have yet to compile a ‘best of’ list list simply because I would not write about a book unless I thought it was already head and shoulders above the rest. This is the beauty of writing a blog; it is by nature exclusionary. No one is paying for my services (sadly), or directing my attentions, therefore I can toss my voice into the blogosphere with nary a concern for my job or the feelings of an author or illustrator who failed to meet my exacting standards. I write about the books that I love. Period. In terms of the number of children’s books published every year, it is a very small number indeed, but in terms of the amount of time I can devote to them through this blog, it is a dauntingly large list. I wish I had more time. And more bookshelves.

The other problem is that I don’t just write about newly published books. The oldy oldensteins on my shelves insist that I shine a spotlight on them from time to time, and I happily oblige. It’s the least I could do.

Nevertheless, I respectfully admit that a few titles have stayed close to my heart this year, closer than others perhaps, like an unforgettable conversation with a friend, or a dog that just won’t leave your side.

And so, in no particular order…

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  • Posted on December 01, 2011

On the First Day of Christmas


Uh oh. It is December 1st, and I have yet to deck a single hall, and to be perfectly honest, it’s been a very long time indeed since my bells have been jingled. Fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy, namely Christmas Books, and plenty of them. While this list was compiled in the snowy months of 2010, it is destined to expand in the coming weeks, just like my waistline. Stay tuned for more festive selections and a list of favourite books of 2011.

May your decorative Starbuck’s snowman cup runneth over with the spirit of season.