Friday, October 12, 2012

The playground round

When I ran out and ordered every Sharon Creech book from the library, I thought her audience is usually the "young adult" crowd. However, three of the books that arrived are clearly intended for the elementary school crowd.  That's cool, though. I consider it research for possible gifts for the nieces and neffies.

Fishing in the Air reminded me of my nephew (who I repeatedly found "fishing" in my bathroom sink last summer when he visited). In the story, a little boy goes fishing with his father. I was a little bored (because there's really not much else), but there's some good, colorful imagery for kids. Maybe the neffy would like it for Christmas.

I couldn't stop thinking about all the immediate legal challenges to the scenario in A Fine, Fine School, so that might have clouded my possible enjoyment of the book. Basically, a principal decides that there will be school all year round, and on weekends and holidays. Nobody protests until they realize they are also learning while at home. Creech gets bonus points for mentioning Ramadan, but I don't think I'll be buying this one for my eldest niece, who just started kindergarten and loves it.

Lastly, Pleasing the Ghost was a cute but bittersweet story about a boy who is visited by ghosts. He really wants the ghost of his father to visit, but he gets his deceased uncle instead. Said uncle had had a stroke while still living, and so his stroke-affected speech make for endearing yet quasi-disturbing conversations with the boy. This would be a good book for a child who has recently lost an adult in their life... except for the possible awkward theological issues that might arise (like why spirits in the next life still have to live with the strokes they had during their time on earth).  This book is a good example, though, of why I love Creech as a children's author: she normalizes intergenerational interaction and doesn't shy away from themes like illness, death, and loss.

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