The Children's Book Quote of the Day

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To be afraid October 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 8:15 pm

Don’t be afraid to be afraid. (from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle)

This seemed like a nice Halloween quote.  But the real reason I like it is because I think it’s good advice for how to live life.  I mean, obviously no one wants to be afraid.  But when we go through life trying to avoid fear, we don’t take chances and risks that, not even the good kind, and so we miss out.  Also, I find that a little healthy fear now and then reminds me that I am dependent on One other than myself.

 

Old Enough October 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 4:02 pm

But someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. (from the dedication of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis)

This quote might be cheating, but it is a quote, and it is in a children’s book, even if it isn’t part of the story.  So I’m saying it counts on a technicality.  And because I like it, and I get to post whatever I like.  So there.

What I love about this quote is that it’s true.  There’s a time in childhood when no stories but fairy tales are worth reading.  And then we, most of us, seem to grow out of it, or we think ourselves too grown-up for such silliness.  We want to read serious books, or maybe magazines, and we think we want to see the world as it is.  But eventually, we realize that the world is never what it seems, not as we think it is as we live our day-to-day lives in it, not as it is depicted in Hemminway’s garish realism or Faulkner’s bleak and fragmented stories, and certainly not as it is manufactured on those glossy pages by the grocery store checkout.  And that, I think, is when we (many of us) begin to long in our hearts for fairy tales again.  But this time, it is not because we wish to imagine ourselves as the heroes of those stories, or the princess awaiting rescue.  It’s not really even because we wish to get away from the world for a while, to retreat into a book and a magical world, although I’m the first to admit that as among the chief pleasures of children’s fantasy.  I think it’s because, deep down, we long for the raw Truth, which has not been cheapened by mere fact, that is nestled in the words, waiting in the stories to jump out at us.  We want to be reminded that there is such a thing as right and wrong.  We want to see good triumph over evil.

You know, when I was in high school, I liked to read Shakespeare and Dickens and other important authors like that.  In my spare time.  (Pretentious, much?)  I wanted to read things that were important, and that made me feel important and smart.  Of course, now I read stuff like that professionally–not Shakespeare or Dickens, but “great” literature in general.  And I love it, and I think it is valuable and worthwhile.  But when I read just for myself, for something that will be meaningful to me, I reach for fairy tales.  I guess I’m old enough for them again.

 

Ahead of time October 28, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books — Kristi @ 7:49 pm
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You never know ahead of time what something’s really going to be like. (from Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson)

 

Yellow-bellied sapsucker October 27, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books — Kristi @ 10:14 pm
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What was he scared of anyhow?…Sometimes he acted like the original yellow-bellied sapsucker. (from Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson)

I have a dream. It is to write children’s books. I have prepared a couple of manuscripts for picture books and I think they’re good. I have not gotten up the gumption to submit them to any publishers yet. I just feel like I need more feedback, more assurance, more confidence before I take that leap. Next Tuesday I am inviting a whole faculty of elementary school teachers to review a couple of my manuscripts. Aunt Connie is doing this with me, bringing a couple of her children’s book manuscripts. Connie is confident. I am a nervous wreck. I have not even looked at these manuscripts in about two months. I printed them out a couple of days ago, but have yet to work up the courage to do a final edit before I make copies for the critique.

Why am I so worked up over this? They are doing me a huge favor. I want good feedback, feedback I can use. Even if it’s negative. I need this feedback. The responses will be anonymous, so if someone says something really negative, I can’t possibly take it personally. Why am I so worried? What if they hate the stories? What if they give me pitiful looks and shake their heads and say, “Bless her heart?” What if they don’t get my sense of humor? What if the stories don’t work without illustrations? Seriously, why do I do this? Why can’t I be the person who says–What if they love the stories? What if they can’t get enough? What if they demand another story about that character? What if they not only “get” my sense of humor, but laugh out loud?

Sometimes I act like the original yellow-bellied sapsucker. What am I scared of anyhow? Even if they hate them, it will be a chance for growth and improvement.

 

Good form October 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 8:03 pm

Had the bo’sun good form without knowing it, which is the best form of all? (from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie)

 

Sarcasm October 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 10:57 pm

Sarcasm just shrivels me up like a leaf. (from Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery)

 

A bit dead October 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 8:50 pm

“You know,” the king said, “I think I was a bit dead for a while.” (from The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan)

This quote automatically made me think of The Princess Bride:  “You’ve been mostly dead all day.”  I’ve sure felt that way before.