Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sweet agony...writing about children's books

Agony is how I feel about writing....I ponder every word, being double-sure to say what I mean, and then often don't getting my meaning across. Actually, I speak like that too. So often, especially when I feel strongly about my topic, I stumble over my words and end up not conveying my true feelings or intentions to the listener. And, of course, the right words or expressions come to me later, when it is too late to use them!

I also agonize over my grammar. I have a wonderful mother who cared very much that her daughters used correct grammar early in life. We would often almost wear our homework paper too thin while correcting our grammar and spelling to her satisfaction. My sixth grade teacher was also the best at teaching diagramming sentences and making it fun. Many kids from my elementary school were among the top students at the regional high school because of her.

Sweet is the subject discussed in the Kidlitosphere. Children's books are my passion and my work. The good ones are small nuggets of truth, inspiration, information and outstanding artwork. The best ones are in the minority since the publishing world has grown by leaps and bounds. It is my job, and my goal, to ferret out the BEST of the best to buy for my library's collection and for the kids who use it. (The experience of seeing a child connect with the right book is so gratifying...but more on that later.) And, of course, to savor those best children's books while reading them.

I read like I write...slowly, intentionally, reading every word when it is a great book. For me, that is also sweet agony, because I can only read so many books before my family revolts and my domestic life crumbles. Early in my library career, I had to learn to temper my choices of books to bring home. My first paying library job coincided with the beginning of my marriage and my husband began to think that I would be buried in a book constantly. So we agreed that I would narrow my subject matter and bring home only those books that were the best in my areas of interest. That one decision taught me how to find the better books and also to use reviews to learn about those I couldn't get the time to read. I am in the Kidlitosphere.....reading your reviews and interviews, choosing which great books to spend more time with, and now, sharing my thoughts with the sweetest of agonies!

Let the conversation begin.