Friday, May 15, 2009


Today we celebrate the last sweet days of Children's Book Week by honoring a few more books that are out-of-print. Although they are no longer available for purchase, they have made their way into someones heart forever.

My pal Charlotte Goebel mentioned Aunt Bernice by Jack Gantos and Nicole Rubel. How can any book by Gantos be out-of-print? Charlotte said, "It’s one of my favorite books…the story of Ida’s eccentric aunt who has a spunky tennis-ball-eating dog." Sounds fun. I'm definitely going to try and find that one. (Or I'll just beg Charlotte to let me borrow her copy.)

I was eager to learn about my assistant, Shaunna Reynolds' favorites. She's a little older than my daughter, but I discovered that like me, she is a fan of Bernard Waber's books. Thank goodness those stories are still going strong. But one of Shaunna's beloved books is out-of-print--You're Much Too Small by by Betty Boegehold.

Shaunna said, "I loved it and still do! Nobody is ever too small to be overlooked! Plus at the end, Trotty Pig runs away and her whole family realizes how much they miss her and they Sniff and Grunt until she comes home. When I was at college and super homesick I called my moma and poured my heart out to her. My mom sent me this book and wrote in it that I grew up way to fast and she was the one sniffing and grunting. So it has a special sentimental place in my heart."

This seems such a fitting book for me to read right now since my daughter graduates from college tomorrow. I'm certain to be doing some sniffing and grunting of my own.

Cynthia Leitich Smith told me Dust From Old Bones by Sandra Forrester was one she enjoyed. Here's a synopsis:

Simone Racine at first envies her lighter cousin Claire-Marie. But then
Claire-Marie's Creole father leaves her and her mother in sudden
poverty. This triggers Simone's realization that their lighter coloring
is at best a mixed blessing as well as also the need to free the slaves
they're intending to sell. Throughout, Simone struggles with her
heritage — black and white — and the contrary rules for those living in
between. A fascinating period in New Orleans history.

Some of you mentioned books that, on more investigation, you discovered were not out-of-print after all. I'm happy for that and hope that it causes you to revisit some of those much loved stories. This week has made me think about how books can stay with us even if we're not able to find them a bookstore shelf.

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