Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Round One—the race develops

We've had some of our Battle-of-the-Books (BotB) books, for two days, and there have already been some interesting developments.

One book I thought sounded great for Shaemus (who just turned six), turns out to be YA and not so great for Shaemus. (Normally I research much better than to come up with a new number six for him.)

Sam has demanded that Call it Courage be included on his list. I'm not entirely sure why.

The kids (no surprise) are complaining about how everyone else chose the books they wanted to read. This has been a good thing. "You can read anyone else's books you want," I told them. "If you read more than six, you can vote for two books to go to round two. More than nine books, you can vote for three, and so on." I'm very mathematical about this whole thing. But there have still been some narrow-eyed looks of jealousy.

The picture books are being snapped up and read by everyone, including myself. I already have some favorites that are going to really have to duke it out at the end of the round:

13 Words by Lemony Snicket. I am an inconsistent Lemony Snicket fan. I love his sense of humor, but I got tired of his series around book nine. This picture book, however, is quite up my alley. It's really for older kids, but Flannery and I (she's four) had the best time tonight reading it and talking about words like Haberdashery, Mezz-Soprano, and cake. Because, yes, cake is one of the thirteen words, along with despondent. And dog.
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I can't guarantee you will love this—I have a very quirky sense of humor—but Flannery and I sure did. Especially during the Mezzo-Soprano's song that included all thirteen words and was sung by myself (with no particular tune) using lots of vibrato.

Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins.
I'm going to have to buy this book. Or have a certain grandmother buy it for me (he he). This is the most beautiful, interesting book I've ever seen on animal extinction. Calvin and Shaemus have already read it several times, and Mary and Lucy keep picking it up to read about another endangered or extinct animal. And the pages are huge, and their texture is delicious, and the illustrations are gorgeous. This book could win it all, seriously.
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One sad book is already on our not-so-favorite list. I won't say it's name here, I don't want to badmouth books as a general rule, and some of you may vote for it to move on, but when it comes down to judgement time, Calvin's going to have a big thumbs down on a book that had a lot of hype, and a lot of money behind it.

I'm seriously enjoying both Words in the Dust and The Inquisitor's Apprentice, and yes, I'm reading them both at the same time for no good reason at all.

More to come in this nail-biting, breath-taking competition! I hope you are joining us in some way. Start commenting on your faves—on the books you think should make it to the next round!!!

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