fun with my scanner

I have this great big dusty old sack that’s been sitting in the back of the wardrobe for at least six years. I think it’s the one I shipped some of my books in when I moved to London. Stuart pulled it out yesterday and tried to chuck it in the bin, and I got all possessive and wouldn’t let him have it. I’m scanning bits of it because it has such a nice rough texture.

I’ve written a couple more reviews for Write Away, The Magic Rabbit , which I really liked, and a couple more here and here. It’s very good for me, this reviewing thing! It forces me to do more than pick up a book for five seconds and toss it if the visuals don’t instantly grab me. Sometimes I find I like the book more than I thought I would, and sometimes it makes me think a lot more about why I don’t like the book. It’s kind of tricky, though, if I really, really don’t like it. I know how much work illustrators put into their jobs, and I give them all credit for getting a book out there. But when I read reviews of picture books, so many of them are just chipper bursts of enthusiasm. If reviewers can’t look carefully both at what they like AND dislike, their praise isn’t worth all that much. People don’t mind criticising an adult book in depth, and I think it devalues children’s books when they won’t give them the same treatment.

So, no, I didn’t like The Snow Leopard (third review). But I could see that a lot of people would, and I was torn between being critical at great length and keeping my more negative comments as brief as possible so that I didn’t tread on people who will mostly likely really enjoy it. Perhaps I was too positive. I think I was more honestly critical in the second review because I liked certain aspects of the book more. I’m not quite sure how to navigate this issue yet.

And just to make this post even more heavy going, harriettheelfposted some good links about a protest in Olympia, WA, against using their port to unload military shipments, something worth knowing about.

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