Miss Rumphius

Sue Guiney writes fiction, poetry and plays, and has recently had her first novel, "Tangled Roots," published by bluechrome. Her poetry play, "Dreams of May," was also published by bluechrome and premièred in London's Pentameters Theatre. Sue is also Artistic Director of CurvingRoad, a not-for-profit organization that finds and launches new artists, with their first play being produced in the West End this autumn.

Sue's website is here and her blog here.

MissRumphius Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. Ok, it's a children's picture book, but don't let that fool you. It will teach you all you would ever need to know about dreams and responsibilities, art and beauty, and all in 30 pages of heartfelt prose and gorgeous watercolours.The NY Times Book Review summed it up well: "From the Victorian Rooms of childhood to the serene coastal views of old age this adventurous life is captured with love and delicate brush strokes, dedicated to the belief that life and art are inseparable." I read it over and over, and never tire of it. It also won the American Book Award back when it was first published in 1982, and they have pretty high standards, too.

  • Read what Wiki has to say about Miss Rumphius.
  • Wiki also has stuff to say about Barbara Cooney.
  • Here's a strange little site offering advice to using the book as a teaching aid.
  • You can grab a second hand copy from here.

Moominland Midwinter

Jon Mayhew writes and blogs from the soggy, marshy side of the Wirral. He runs marathons and writes children's literature which might one day be published!

Go here to visit Jon's blog.

MoominlandMidwinter Moominland Midwinter, written by Tove Jansson, was first published in 1957. When I first read it, it just struck so many chords. The previous Moomin books are light-hearted adventures that you know are going to end happily. With Midwinter, I wasn’t sure and Moomintroll ends the book as a changed character. Moomintroll wakens from his hibernation. The rest of the family are asleep and he is utterly alone. Although his physical surroundings are familiar, they have changed. The snow has altered the landscape, the perpetual darkness depresses him and the people of winter are alien and unfriendly.

Slowly, he becomes acquainted with a whole new cast of characters but they are miserable or overbearing, they want to fit in but can’t. Moomintroll wants to talk of the Summer, the good times but nobody is interested. Many of the winter people can’t talk, they speak another language or just don’t want to communicate. Sorry-oo, the little dog who wants to join the wolves in the lonely mountains, finally plucks up the courage to seek them out only to find that the romance of the wolf pack is a far cry from the deadly reality. Finally, the moomin family wake up and Spring comes to the valley but Moomintroll has had to fend for himself. He has experienced winter and finds their spring rituals and routines quaint and foolish.

Moominland Midwinter is a lovely book. It is laced with themes of alienation, a longing for the past and of growing away from one’s family. A book I’ve read many times and read to my children and they’ve loved it too.

  • Go here for the wiki page.
  • Here's some more info about Tove Jansson.
  • This is Tove's second nomination, here's the first.
  • Here for the Moomin Trove - name says it all!
  • This is a great site showcasing the Moomin songs.
  • Go here for a used copy of the book.
  • Here for a new one.

One for all you 80's children...

Where The Wild Things Are

Caroline Smailes is a fiction writer, living near Chester. Her first novel, ‘In Search of Adam’ was published by The Friday Project in 2007. Caroline’s second novel, "Black Boxes’, will be published this September.
You can read Caroline's popular blog here.

Where_The_Wild_Things_Are Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
Max, in his wolf suit, gets up to naughtiness. His mum calls him a ‘wild thing’ and he says that he’ll eat her up. Max is sent to bed without supper. Then, just when you think Max might be getting bored and hungry, a forest grows and grows in his bedroom. Max gets into a private boat and sails around until he happens upon a set of creatures called ’the wild things’ (but he manages to tame them with a magic trick).

The ‘wild things’ are a lot scary and my youngest does cry if I say I’ll read this book to her. But, ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ remains my favourite. I would very much like to join in the wild rumpus that Max begins.

For me, the perfect bit is that when Max gets home his supper is there, still hot, and his mum is clearly not mean at all. Every time I read ‘Where The Wild Things Are,’ I am left wishing that I could be King of all the wild things.

  • Go here to find out what Wiki has to say about this book,
  • This page tells you a bit more about Maurice Sendak,
  • If you fancy finding out about a planned live action version of the film go here,
  • To buy a second hand copy go here,
  • Go here for a new copy,

The Secret of the Unicorn

Alex describes himself as Journalist, shedworker, snooker player, early music listener, father, husband, school governor, allotmenteer and reader.
Read his popular Shedworking website here or read his blog here.

Tintin_cover_-_The_Secret_of_the_Unicorn Great story, lovely pictures, Herge's best Tintin story which is continued in the sequel Red Rackham's Treasure. Tintin and Snowy are on the hunt for treasure, but there's baddies and badness afoot.

Read more about the book here or Tintin here.
This is the official Tintin site.
Go here to find out about the upcoming Tintin film directed by Spielburg
Buy The Secret of the Unicorn (The Adventures of Tintin)
Go here to submit your own OneBook.

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