How Are Your Dreams

©Arwen LeQuieu

How are your dreams?
What do you expect when you fall asleep?
Do you sweat and pray,
Call out in the darkness,
And in your loneliness find a night apart from Nemo’s land unbearable?
What fills the void left by dreamless nights
Marching end on end through your calendar?
Smoke in mirrors, candlelight, wind in the treetops,
Here then gone like a strangers kiss.
More and more you fill the nighttime canvas of my mind.
When you cannot find a slumber vision of your own
Your image stalks me in mine.
If the thing wished for were granted…
Pleasure, pain, knowledge, and the burden of it all
Would you then be free?
If you could seek my ghost in some nighttime chorus
Would the candle burn a little longer?
The kiss would still end
And even if I told you the name
They would still be a stranger to you.
Your fate, your destination cannot be so easily changed.
If you cannot be convinced with words
Dreams will not shake you.

Newbery Goal Update

I have a goal to read all of the Newbery Medal Award books. You can see the full checklist list of books here – Newbery Medal Books. I’ve been able to fit 4 Newbery books into my 2013 reading thus far. Which brings my total to 15 overall.

2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamill – A very innocent and sweet story (which is nothing like the movie.)

A word about the movie – Seriously what did they do base the movie on the description from the back of the book and a character list? It is so far off base. The book plot would have made a great movie, why they changed it to be more boring I don’t know.

Back to the book – its a sweet story about mistakes and forgiveness. It goes deep into the heart to show how different people handle disappointment, betrayal and grief. Yet it remains an innocent and fun adventure along the way. I think children will enjoy the story even if they don’t understand the deeper meaning, and adults will enjoy the many layers of depth.

1938: The White Stag by Kate Seredy – So far my least favorite of the Newberry titles. The story is a Hungarian myth of how the Huns and the Magyars emigranted out of Asia and moved Westward toward Europe. Also covers the upbringing of Attila the Hun. As far as mythical writing go it’s not very descriptive, or interesting. As historical fiction it’s not interesting either. The characters are conquers who pretty much kill, maim, rape and enslave their way across the landscape. They aren’t characters you can relate to or even like. The book falls flat.

1933: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis – A very good coming of age story set in revolutionary China. To make it even more interesting I read is shortley after we returned from a trip to China, and one of the places we visited is the city this book is set in. Young Fu and his mother move into the big city, and he becomes the apprentice to a tough old cooper. What he really wants to do however is o learn how to read, however they are too poor to afford tutoring. On top of all of that China is changing, and times are uncertain. It is well written and well woven together. You get a glimpse of China during an important part of history through the eyes of Young Fu and I think you will grow to like Young Fu and care for him.

1926: Shen of The Sea : Chinese Stories for Children by Arthur Bowie Chrisman – This book is a sort of collection of Chinese-esque folk lore. I say Chinese-esque because they are set in China and have a mythic quality, but their origin is not actual Chinese mythology or lore. The stories mostly cover moral tales about hard work, clevarness and respect and the discovery of things like fireworks, tea, and ink.

Currently Reading: Supertoys Last All Summer Long: And Other Stories of Future Time

What’s Waiting For Me

I have 2 To-Read Shelves. One is specifically for YA titles, the other is, well, everything else. You can see them in the pictures on the right. They are basically overflowing right now. It’s hard for me to turn down cheap titles, and darn that St Vinnie’s and their 1/2 price book sales, oh and the fact that it’s garage sale season. So what have I got filling up those selves?

On the YA shelf a few notable titles:

Inkheart and Inkspell

Several titles by Scott O’Dell –The Black Pearl, Zia, and Sarah Bishop

Several Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys titles

Macbeth: The Graphic Novel

At least 5 different Redwall Books

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (the final title I have to read in her series)

James and the Giant Peach, Matilda and The BFG

War and Peace (it’s a joke, we leave it there just to see if anyone notices.)

Do you spot anything else interesting?

On the other shelf is a messy mismash of all sorts of genres. A random sample shows-

God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ( I have read 7 Habits for Teens.)

Get a Grip on Physics

The Best of James Blish

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

3 books by Terry Goodkind

4 books by Stephen R Donaldson

An embarrassing number of Star Trek Titles (including Walter Koenig’s autobiography Warped Factors: A Neurotic’s Guide to the Universe.)

Catch-22

12 James Bond Titles

Sci-fi by Larry Niven, EE Doc Smith, Heinlein, Alastair Reynolds, Orson Scott Card, and a lot of others.

The Tao of Pooh

The picture is kinda small, but maybe you saw something else there that caught you eye. Let me know in the comments.

Currently I’m reading “The Spirit Well” by Stephen R Lawhead and The Story of Scripture: How We Got Our Bible and Why We Can Trust It by Robert L Plummer (which I got as part of the Librarything Early Reviewers program.) Next I plan on reading my friend Karen’s novel Mistaken: First Impressions Are Never What They Seem, and then ??? Well you can see I have plenty of options.

5 Books for 2 year olds

For the last nine months I’ve been watching my 2 year old goddaughter while her mother works. Little bug, as I call her, and I have lots of adventures together. Our favorite spots are the library and church. When we come home from the library we sit and read the new books we’ve checked out. Then she reads them to her little toy dog.

Of course these book become bedtime books and get read again and again during the weeks we have them. Over time we’ve developed a few favorite series (even picking some copies up at garage sales) and I’m going to show them to you here.

1. Biscuit – The adorable little puppy who is learning about the world is a lot of fun to read. Biscuit responds to almost every line in the book with “Woof! Woof!” He is so well drawn with good expressions that you can tell if those are suppose to be read with question, excitement, or disappointment. Reading it out loud is a hoot! We love these ones Biscuit’s Big Friend, Biscuit and the Baby, Biscuit’s Day at the Farm, Biscuit in the Garden.

2. Elephant and Piggy- Piggy and Gerald (the elephant) are best friends who go through a lot of ups and downs together. The books are whimsical and expressive. The over arching theme is friendship, forgiveness and working through feelings. Some titles you might want to try Can I Play Too?, Elephants Cannot Dance!, There Is a Bird On Your Head! , Pigs Make Me Sneeze!.

3. Little Dino’s Don’t – Learning to get along can be hard. These books teach kids¬† important lessons about social behaviors in a silly context with dinosaurs and fun rhythms. Little Dinos Don’t Yell, Little Dinos Don’t Hit , Little Dinos Don’t Bite, Little Dinos Don’t Push.

4. If You Give a Pig a Pancake We’ve only read the first one so far, but we’ve read it a lot. Silly stories with good pictures go far with 2 year olds. I guess you could say that the book teaches kids about cause and effect or about making too many ridiculous requests. The truth is its just a fun story with great illustrations.

5. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems the author of the Elephant & Piggy series. When the bus driver takes a break he leaves you in charge of making sure the pigeon doesn’t drive off with it. Will you give in? A book about peer pressure, and temper tantrums.