Posts Tagged ‘review’

Blog-love for Scratchy!!!

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Major thanks to Lisa Chellman, for her terrific  post about Scratchy Mountains!

She’s dead-on in her association of my book with The Ordinary Princess.  I had completely forgotten Kaye’s novel, until my friend Tamar mentioned it after reading Scratchy Mountains.

Though of course I loved it as a kid!!!

And when Tamar pointed out the relationship,  I actually had to go re-read it, just in case I’d stolen anything accidentally.  I do that sometime, because so many of the books I loved as a kid are buried so deep in my brain.  Sometimes I  have to edit my plagiaristic tendancies out at the end.  Of course,  I live in constant fear I’m missing an allusion I need to attribute.

But that’s preferable (I suppose) to living in fear of germs or ghosts or murderous ex-boyfriends.

Eclectica Review!!!

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

(If Tom wrote a picture book, Jaime Zollars would HAVE to illustrate!)

It’s funny how different people get different things from a picture book. In her awesome review of Slidy Diner (for Eclectica), Colleen Mondor points unwittingly to my secret debt to the Tom Waits record, Bone Machine. Genre-defying punk-rock calliope?  Ummmmm, yeah!  I’ll take that, and write 10 more if someone gives me half a chance. Here ’tis:

Laurel Snyder combines a bit of grossness and some sly humor for her off-the-wall treat, Inside the Slidy Diner. The perfectly charming and cute protagonist Edie explains that she spends her days in the diner because she once “stole a lemon drop from the box behind the counter, and got caught.” Ethelmae, who runs the diner, “sees everything.” Edie sort of works at the diner to repay her transgression but mostly she observes all the strangeness, from the sometimes odd patrons (“a gray man at the counter who mumbles and smells like mice”), to the disgusting dishes (if it’s crunchy avoid it all costs). She happily points out the grease and leads her companion on a trip to the bathroom which becomes reminiscent of the search for the Grail and results in a most exquisite surprise.

Slidy Diner is genre-defying but dwells on the side of story-telling where carnivals and puppet shows and calliope music reside. It’s not a scary book at all—it’s too over-the-top for fear—but Snyder does dance right up to genuine fright; she almost dares the reader to think she will go over. But if you are brave enough to turn the pages past the icky food and slimy seats and through the flooded out basement then what you find is stars and crowns and giddy fun. So why is Edie really there and what is the Slidy Diner truly about? I have no idea but this odd little story with Jaime Zollars’ big lush illustrations, is something that has to be read to be truly appreciated. I don’t know how Snyder came up with it (I can’t imagine how she came up with this) but it’s an intrigue and curiosity and close to a punk picture book fairy tale. (If you like your fairy stories a bit dark and sneaky of course.)

What a review!!!

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Wow! Wowowowowowowowow!  Seven Imposible Things totally gets the Slidy Diner!

Ever waited tables, Jules?

Review in Booklist!!!

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Scratchy gets some Booklisty-love. Yeah!

Combining elements of a fairy tale and a folksy yarn, this story follows the parallel journeys of two young friends. Lucy, “the loveliest little milkmaid in the village of Thistle, or anywhere else in the Bewilderness,” misses her daily jaunt with Wynston, the crown prince whose father now insists that he attend to matters of state, specifically “princess-finding.” After Lucy takes off alone for the Scratchy Mountains, Wynston defies his father and follows her. This chapter book offers likable characters within a simply written, well-paced story. Magical elements, such as the river that flows up one side of the mountain and down the other, seem not just imaginative but also believable in the context of this childlike adventure story. With its spacious page design and the promise of illustrations (not seen, though the jacket art is charming), the book will appeal to many children in the middle grades as well as younger children reading at this level.

— Carolyn Phelan

Kindred spirits…

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

It isn’t often someone “gets” it all.  In anyone’s life.  We each have friends who are fun to party with, but don’t have kids the right age for our kids. Or friends who love to knit, but differ from us politically. Or are on another continent, or whatever…

For me, in my writing, I likewise assume that nobody wants to read *all* my various silly projects. The people who read my poetry might not be into my kidlit, and vice versa.  But Kerry Clare, my favorite human being in the world today, gets it ALL!  And I almost cried when I read this. I’m not kidding.

She writes:

From her poem, “Happily Ever After”: “She’s every wolf, every rib, every snarl./ No matter how she tells her story./ No matter what the frame looks like.” I recognized Snyder’s poetry in the prose at the beginning of Scratchy Mountains’ second chapter: “Many years passed, because that is what happens, even when something very sad has taken place. It is the nature of years to pass, and the nature of little girls to grow.”

Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains plays the same kind of game with logic and reality as The Myth of the Simple Machines, similarly inventing a reality constructed in much the same way as our own is but to a different effect. Which is called a fairy tale, I think

This affirms something big. makes me feel like, if certain reviewers pan the book, it’s okay. Because I *do* have a perfect reader out there somewhere.  The book found its way into the hands of the right person somehow.  And that’s the person I wrote it for!

Slidy Review!!!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

It isn’t out for another month yet, but Slidy Diner got a great mention in Wondertime‘s Halloween issue, and the result is exciting!  Today, a blog review by Nancy Arruda, who read it at BEA!


I didn’t conceive of this as a Halloween book, but it makes a wonderful kind of sense.

Thanks to Nancy, and also to Daniel Pinkwater (who wrote it up for Wondertime!)