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.


Jen Robinson said...

Welcome to blogging! I love your tag line (as another woman who never stopped reading children's books). I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and hope that the process of putting them out there isn't too painful for your.

Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my recent blog post. I can't tell you how much it helps me to know that people like yourself, people who are out there choosing books that will go into libraries and ultimately into children's hands, think that what I'm doing is useful. Thank you! And welcome to the Kidlitosphere.

Nan - said...

I found you via Jen Robinson's blog. I, too, love children's books. (and writing doesn't come easily to me, either!) Looking forward to your reviews.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Welcome to the kidlitosphere! I cheat often, by linking to other people's book reviews in order to avoid having to write them myself.:) I'm an adjunct member, as I tell stories and play songs for children.

La Liseuse said...

Jen and Alkelda,
Thanks for the welcome! Now all I have to do is find time to get some more posts going!


La Liseuse said...


Thanks for the comment. I love the photos on your blog of the view and the deer. It looks a bit like paradise to me!


Libby said...

thanks for commenting on my blog--tell me more about your interests in faith and fantasy!

Terry said...

!bienvenido! Your first post is a wonderful splash into the blogging world (not to mention kidlitosphere!)

There is so much of what you said that I can relate to ... finding the right word, too late; looking for that oh-so-perfect book; and diagramming sentences. Oh, boy! Thank you Mrs. Sauder (7th grade).

We invite you to jump in the Reading Tub, and hope that you find some wonderful observations about children's literature there. We've road-tested our books with the target audience ... I thihk you'll find they also have a lot to say.

Terry @ The Reading Tub(r)
Bringing reading home to families.

Latanya said...

Keep up the good work.