Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wake up brain, it's time to wriiiiiite!

Garlic naan bread with cream cheese, sliced raw jalapenos and ground black pepper.

Combining the above spicy breakfast with a strong cup of Roo's French Roast, I'm fueled to punch out my daily word quota in record time.

And then I'll collapse with caffeine tremors and a capsicum burned tongue!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Shaun Tan

The NY Times has their special Children's Books section in the book review today! And one of the books they review is a book I love: Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan. I just searched my blog and realized that I never mentioned it when I read it (a serious memory lapse on my part). Personally, I wouldn't classify it as a children's book, though my girl critter did like it a lot (her favorite story was "Eric" about a wee creature who comes to a family as their foreign exchange student--it is full of whimsy and light).

My favorite story in Tales is called "Grandpa's Story." I'd love to get it in stand-alone booklet form to give to people on their wedding day or anniversary: in it a pair of newlyweds embark on a surreal journey that best exemplifies the potential challenges and joys of the marriage endeavor. It is sweet and sad and hopeful and beautiful all at once.

I think of Tales as illustrated stories for everyone. Tan's previous book, The Arrival was a wordless moving meditation on immigration and cultural adaptation. Sure, kids who can't read could understand it, but that doesn't mean that it was intended for the pre-literate. In Tan's work images are just as communicative as words, and carry a poignancy and impress the mind in a distinct and powerful way. (I have always been biased towards words; my sister is very visually inclined). I find Tales particularly lovely because it contains both!