The Children's Book Quote of the Day

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Even if September 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 2:43 pm
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He would be brave for the princess.

Even if (reader, could it be true?) there was no such thing as happily ever after. (from The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo)

I have a confession that may horrify some of you. I don’t always trust a book all the way to the end. You see, I absolutely require happy endings in books. And movies. I do not read books to end up feeling depressed and helpless. So, if a book seems to be heading down a pretty depressing path, I just ask my husband to read the final chapter for me and tell me if it has a happy ending or not. If it doesn’t end well, I don’t finish it no matter how compelling it is.

It’s a lesson I learned the hard way from The House of Sand and Fog and other incredibly depressing reads. I will also leave the theater if a movie is not what I thought. I don’t mind if a movie makes me cry, or if it has tragedy within it. But it absolutely must end on an uplifting note. I did not enjoy The Dark Knight (I know, you’re all unsubscribing from the blog as you read that, but I’m sorry!). I left the theater about half way through I Am Legend.

Anyway, I think the reason for this happy ending rule of mine is that I started to notice in my late teens and early twenties that sometimes real life stories don’t turn out the way you want them to. Sometimes a romance ends badly or a job goes horribly wrong or a pregnancy ends in miscarriage. Sometimes it all works out so much better than you could ever have imagined–better than authors could write. But there’s no way to know that for sure when it’s real.

In real life, you have to be brave in the midst of trials even though you don’t know how that trial will end. (I am not talking about the end of life itself, of course. As a Christian, I believe that is not the end at all. I’m talking about the things we go through in life.)

So I just figure, that I need to save up my stores of bravery for real life. There’s no way I’m wasting it on fiction that doesn’t reward it in the end. No way.



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.


Interesting to know October 19, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books — Kristi @ 10:17 pm

My grandparents Hiddle were my father’s parents, full up to the tops of their heads with goodness and sweetness, and mixed in with all that goodness and sweetness was a large dash of peculiarity. This combination made them interesting to know, but you could never predict what they would do or say. (from Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech)

Um, can I just see a show of hands: how many of you read this quote and thought, “That sounds just like my relatives!” ??? Here’s to the peculiarities that make people interesting to know even if their lack of predictability is sometimes worrisome.


The fun and freedom December 1, 2009

Filed under: Chapter Books — Kristi @ 4:11 pm
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But now here is a strange thing: he wasn’t really happy–not the way he used to be. Life didn’t have the fun and freedom it had had before. For one thing, although he thought that glory was very nice, Chester found that it made you tired. (from The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden)

I just finished The Cricket in Times Square. I enjoyed it, but not enough to be eager for the sequels, of which there seem to be several. It was a charming story and a good, solid read-aloud. I read the final two chapters to Benjamin as he splashed in the bathtub last night. I really like children’s books with very simple language and an easy sort of “flow” when you read them out loud. While I appreciate strong vocabulary, I don’t like it to be too obvious to where it sounds pretentious. What do you think?


Talent November 28, 2009

Filed under: Chapter Books — Kristi @ 2:31 am

Talent is something rare and beautiful and precious, and it must not be allowed to go to waste. (from The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden)



Nothing like November 21, 2009

Filed under: Chapter Books — Kristi @ 4:04 am
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Chester pushed the gate and it swung open. He jumped out. “It’s a  relief to be free,” he said, jumping around the shelf. “There’s nothing like freedom.” (from The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden)