Hmm…I seem to have forgotten about this little feature on my blog. Perhaps ‘forgotten’ is not quite the word. Neglected. It’s a shame really, because it allows me to take stock of all the articles and interesting and/or bewildering and/or freaky bits of information that is the raison d’etre of Twitter. Too many to mention here. Fresh start then, with just a few highlights from the last few weeks.

Starting with…the poop on bodily functions in kids’ books. Trust me…this is an interesting article, and certainly relevant if you work in a bookstore or a library. As a former employee of a bookstore, let me just say that I’d be more inclined to like Walter the Farting Dog if the illustrations were good, which they’re not. But then again, how do you visually compete with a farting dog? It’s not a bad book, it’s quite funny in fact, but what bothers me is that William Kotzwinkle, the author of this treatise on canine gas emissions, is a very fine writer of adult fiction, and once you’ve absorbed Walter and his farts, I would highly recommend that you read The Bear Went Over the Mountain, or any of his other books. But I digress. In my 12-odd years at the bookstore, I don’t recall any customer, young or old, being offended by this book, or Good Families Don’t, or The Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business (which has some rather gorgeous illustrations by Wolf Erlbruch), but strangely enough, many adults did have trouble asking for How to Shit in the Woods, our most popular (and no doubt, most useful) hiking guide. Without fail, the ‘shit’ was either whispered, or omitted altogether from the recitation of the title. It’s OK people, everybody poops.

From the BRILLIANT Age of Uncertainty blog, a hilarious and dead-on ‘tribute’ to booksellers. And on a related note, this um…memorable anecdote from another post:

“On the subject of Robert Rankin, I once had an embarrassing exchange with a middle-aged woman who’d asked what I’d recommend for her 17-year-old son. When I said “Has he tried Rankin?” she misheard me, but to her credit didn’t bat an eyelid and replied ‘Well, I suppose that would keep him quiet.'”

I LOVE this guy. I hope he writes a book some day.

That old book smell brings back so many memories, but what creates that smell? Whatever it is, it’s perfume for the bibliophile. I would argue that new books, or some new books, smell great too, and I worry that with the advent of e-books, we’re severely narrowing the multiple sensual pleasures that only a printed book can elicit. Thanks to Zoe from Playing By the Book for linking this Guardian article. Her blog is the very essence what it means to truly enjoy a book.

From BibliOdyssey-a couple of great bug-related posts:  Bugs on Book Covers by Rose Anderson, an artist of exquisite talent, and from the BibliOdyssey archives~Pochoir Insects As anyone who has read my blog in the last month will know, I’m a fan of buggery, I mean, bug art.

A review of Children’s Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling by Martin Sallsbury and Morag Styles, which arrived in my mailbox the same week as Show Me a Story: Why Picture Books Matter by Leonard Marcus. Let’s just say I have a lot of reading to do (in between my beloved Nesbøian Norwegian murder mysteries, of course.)

A few more words on the apocalypse that is an e-book from Jonathan Franzen. I would imagine Mr Franzen would be in agreement with Chip Kidd‘s statement~”The Comfort of Thingy-ness”, which coincidentally, is my decorating style.

Lastly, it goes without saying that I was gutted by the loss of Maurice Sendak on May 8th, just like the rest of the world. Somehow I missed him as a child, but as an adult, I fell in love. Here are some words on the passing of Maurice Sendak,  from the NY Times, and also from the Times, a few illustrations in honour of Mr Sendak, tweeted by none other than Jon Klassen. And if you haven’t seen Stephen Colbert’s interview with Sendak, please have a look at this~ Part I: & Part II: It’s not to be missed. Wherever Maurice Sendak is, I hope it’s full of German Shepherds and the music of Mozart.

“You cannot write for children. They’re much too complicated. You can only write books that are of interest to them.”

~Maurice Sendak

Read my review of Outside Over There, and a few thoughts about censorship, a subject not unfamiliar to Mr Sendak…

Next Post: Whatever arrives in my mailbox next 🙂