Tag: Neil Gaiman

A Family Love Affair with Books

I love beautiful books.  I have no vice.  While like most women, I do like shoes and bags, they’re not something I’d covet the way I do with books, especially beautifully illustrated ones, I just can’t resist them, so when we went to the Bath Children’s Literary festival as mentioned in my previous post, when I saw this one particular book on a stand, it just called to me.

I mentioned this a lot in previous posts – how lucky I am to be married to a man who has the same passion as I do, that helps a lot you know.  You won’t hear any “Are you paying that much for a book?!”  Instead ours is usually “What did you get?  Here’s mine”.  

I picked up my book, and went off to pay.  When I turned my back, my husband was queueing behind me with his own choice of book, and T was also clutching her own .  Luckily, she had her own money to spend since she brought her savings with her and since this was after all a Children’s Literary festival all our books “were for kids”.

My husband’s pick was real-life astronaut’s first children’s book – The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield.

the_darkerst_dark

It is a sweet book for children younger than T who is six.  It talks about how it is okay to have fears, especially of the dark and how dreams do come true.

inside_the_darkest_dark T’s choice on the other hand was this one:  Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman.

odd

It’s not surprising that she chose another book illustrated by Chris Riddell her favourite, especially since she already has all of his books.  She knows Neil Gaiman as the man who wrote her other favourite “Coraline” and even has the book signed by him and again, illustrated by yes, Chris Riddell again. She loves the man and I don’t blame her.  I think she also chose this book because it had a little boy on the cover for a change and that it had giants in it.

And this folks is my choice:  Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle.

img_3583When I saw the sleeve, I was hooked.  The gold ink was calling to me, since it was wrapped, I didn’t even know how beautiful it was inside till we got home. It was my precious and it was mine.  Of course, I told T that I bought it for her, but it’s actually mine, all mine.

I took off the plastic that was wrapped around the sleeve ever so gently, and as I slipped the case off and the book fell out, I actually gave a little gasp and ran my fingers on it like braille. The front was just beautiful and inside?  See for yourself.

inside

I gently opened each page and marvelled at the artwork.  You’ve probably noticed by now that yes, it was illustrated by no other than the Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.  I am now a fan too.  Even though I haven’t read the story yet (I can’t wait to read what Neil Gaiman’s version of Sleeping Beauty is like), it’s my current favourite book.  My precious.

Do you have a favourite children’s book?

“The Artist” and “The Reader”

I’ve mentioned in a post before how little T likes watching YouTube videos on the iPad of children (mostly American kids) play with their dolls (Elsia and Anya).  She has also recently discovered “How to draw” tutorials on YouTube and now she’s hooked.

You’ll see her hunched over with her coloured pens, pencils and drawing-pad with her headphones on and in sheer concentration as she glances at the video and back on her work as seen below:

drawing_littlesteps

And if you dare disturb her she’ll say “I’m busy mum!”.

drawing1_littlesteps

She mostly likes to draw Coraline, her favourite character from the movie/book written by Neil Gaiman.  Her dad recently bought her the special hard-cover edition complete with slipcase, illustrated by Chris Riddell (cartoonist for the Observer) who also happens to be one of her favourite authors who wrote the Goth Girl books, and Ottoline and the Yellow cat among others. Going back to little T’s new book, imagine our surprise when we opened it and found Neil Gaiman’s signature and also that of Chris Riddell.  Definitely one to keep, although I doubt if it will be of good value in the future, since T likes to read it in bed again and again.  In a few years time, it will be dogeared.  I’m surprised this story doesn’t give her nightmares.

coraline_littlesteps

Her reading has also improved so much and she now prefers books way ahead of her age (she’s five). They are mostly books with chapters and with little illustrations.  Of course there are words she can’t read and would often ask our help, but she’s getting on really well.  I’m just hoping this love for books isn’t just a phase and that she won’t outgrow it.

books_littlesteps

We can now leave her reading in bed, although if it’s a school night we have to constantly give her the ten minute warning before we give her the stern “Go to sleep.  No more reading please”.

Do you have little ones?

What kind of books do they like to read?

Or what’s your favourite children’s book?

Do share.

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