Nominations for the December 20 Capitol Choices agenda will be due at 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 12. Nominations for the 2014 List will still be accepted for the January 17 meeting as long as the books were published in 2013. The last date for any nominations of 2013 books will be on January 9, 2014.
This may be Kate DiCamillo's wildest book yet and it works like a charm. Every character is off-beat but still tethered sufficiently to reality. Mom is a romance writer, Dad is an oddball who is forever reintroducing himself to people, Tootie from next door accidentally vacuumed up a squirrel (Ulysses of the title), and that's just the beginning. Flora is our protagonist and she is a misfit kid who lives in the world of comic books. When Tootie vacuums up Ulysses, she takes him in and realizes that there's much more to Ulysses than being a squirrel. He writes poetry, he can fly, but most of all he can be a friend. Flora's friend William Spiver is temporarily blind and is fascinated by Flora and Ulysses. It's a very quirky story (which appeals) and the writing is lovely. In the end, I think that a poetry writing squirrel is just what the world of children's books needs. I should also mention that bits of the book have comic-like illustrations that resonate well with Flora's addiction to her comics. This comes out in September so we have to wait for the final art work but the sketches in the ARC were wonderful. Seven to Ten. Joan Kindig
The creators of Goodnight Goodnight, Construction Site have teamed up to do another lullaby of sorts. Here, the rhyming text follows all the animals and creatures onto a train just in time for them to go to sleep. The illustration on the last page reveals that the train is in the bedroom of a little boy who has chosen all the creatures on the train before going to sleep himself. The artwork is spectacular and the endpapers were a fun surprise. Up to Seven. Joan Kindig
This fictionalized look at Dickens’ year working in Warren’s blacking factory offers understanding about the writer’s unhappy childhood. Imagined characters from his future work swirl in dreamy flows of muted greens and blues through Hendrix’s complex graphite, pen-and-ink, and acrylic illustrations.