At Last, These Books Have Come Along

Alison Morris - January 19, 2009

One of the more aggravating challenges of being a buyer is having to exercise patience between the time when you first buy a book for the store until the time when it finally arrives — usually about six months later. Last week I wrote an enthuasiastic bit for out store’s newsletter about three recent arrivals to our shelves and thought I ought to share that same enthuasiam here.

After each of the latter two I’ve included a "book movie" created for their promotion. In a recent post I remarked that I generally don’t like these trailer-style promos, but in the cases of non-fiction, like these, I think they can be very effective indeed. (Note also that since I was rather pointedly informed that the term "Book Trailer" is trademarked, I am not using it here, except in this sentence.)

And, because I hated to see this first book denied the joys of some multimedia accompaniment here, I’ve followed my blurb with a short documentary about its creator that I think is well worth watching.

Leading the pack of OUTSTANDING new additions to our shelves is Tales from Outer Suburbia (Scholastic) by the overwhelmingly talented Shaun Tan, best known for his wordless graphic novel The Arrival. This book for ages 10 to adult (and, seriously, you adults should all be sure to read this!) is an odd, beautiful, thought-provoking, and entertaining assortment of short stories, each illustrated in a different style, showcasing the remarkable range of Tan’s artistic talents. For several months now I’ve been toting around the galley for this book, anxiously awaiting the day when I can get it into the hands of everyone I know. FINALLY the book is out and that day is here! Be sure to come in and thumb through its remarkable pages. I know you’re going to be amazed at what you find there! 

Another new book I can’t say enough about is Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song (Simon & Schuster). Now in his 80’s, Ashley is a veteran author/illustrator whose passion for storytelling and overwhelming enthusiasm for life have made him a legend in the children’s book world and beyond! This account of his life in picture book format pairs bright photos of Ashley and his home with photos of his art, his childhood, and the experiences that have made him the person he is today. The lengthy text tells the truly remarkable story of the life Ashley’s led, from a childhood in Harlem to an education in the arts (when few African Americans were considered "worthy" of such a privilege) to the beaches of Normandy to travels throughout the world to a tiny island off the coast of Maine, where I had the joy of visiting him in September of 2007. You can see photos from that visit on my blog, and you can get to know Ashley better by reading this wonderful book, which is probably best-appreciated by those ages 8 and up. 

One more quick plug: If you’d like a beautiful commemoration of Barack Obama’s swearing in as our 44th President, pick up a copy of the book Change Has Come: An Artist Celebrates Our American Spirit (Simon & Schuster). In it, Caldecott Medal-winning author/illustrator Kadir Nelson has paired select passages from Obama’s speeches with beautiful sketches of Obama, his family, and his supporters. This small, jacketed picture book is a lovely salute to our new President and a momentous event in our nation’s history.

3 thoughts on “At Last, These Books Have Come Along

  1. Jane

    Alison, I totally agree about Kadir Nelson’s book. Once I saw it in our store, I immediately ordered more – it’s a keepsake for both adults and kids


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *