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Tuesday Book Review: “The Witches” and “Boy” by Roald Dahl, any books about sloths, “A Color of His Own/Su Propio Color,” Baby’s First Comic Books! and “Cat Naps: The Key to Contentment”

February 9th, 2016

Let’s start first with a nap. My ma gave me a copy of “Cat Naps: The Key to Contentment” for Christmas. (Sellers Publishing, Inc., 127 pages.) She’s always telling me to take a break and this was a clever way for her to get the point across.

She’s right, I do need a nap. This is a darling book, all cat pictures and quotes about relaxation.

“I don’t look for bliss, just contentment.” — Alison Krauss

“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.” — Spanish proverb

“…there is a luxury in being quiet in the heart of chaos.” — Virginia Woolf

One of my former students loved sloths. I mean, love is not really a strong enough word here. He liked to walk “like a sloth,” smile “like a sloth” (“Look!”), make jokes “like a sloth.” I adored this kid, he was a lot of fun. So I bought these two books and donated them to our school library: “A Little Book of Sloth” (Lucy Cooke, author and photographer) and “Sparky!” (written by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Chris Appelhans). They’re both wonderful, just like that sloth fan.

I’m a big Roald Dahl fan, but had never read “The Witches” until recently. It’s hilarious; I highly recommend. I’m also re-reading “Boy,” Dahl’s autobiography. I love the hell out of this book. Read it if you have a chance. Here’s a unofficial review from one of my former students (4th grade): “It’s so stereotypical! He was bullied as a child.” I’m going to miss that kid, too. Genius and so funny. OK, I’ll tell you what’s going on. I’ve retired from teaching. Done, finished, happy about it. I’ll miss it, but oh my God, the drama?!? Will not miss that, at all. And sometimes, the kids have a little drama going on, too.

Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (who brought us the series “Squish” and “Babymouse”) have just released a couple of new titles under the “My First Comics” series: “I’m Grumpy” and “I’m Sunny!” (Random House, unpaged board books, $7.99). Grumpy Cloud, you are soooo grumpy! Will happy Sunny be able to help? We’ll see…

Another board book that came my way: Leo Lionni’s “A Color of His Own/Su Propio Color” is a beautiful book, in English and Spanish, all about colors and critters (Alfred A. Knopf, $7.99).

Have a fantastic Tuesday :)

— wm

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