The amazing Jane Yolen has just had her 300th book published! What impresses me most about that is what a high quality level she has maintained. I have her latest, Elsie’s Bird on my too-read pile right now and am really looking forward to it.
Huffington Post has a piece by Yolen about the books she has written, whether she remembers writing them all, and the key to her writing:
The two keywords here are passion and joy. I simply have a passion for writing and I do it with joy. How any writer gets through that amount of words without passion and joy, I simply don’t know. Isaac Asimov once said, "If the doctor told me I only had six more minutes to live, I’d type faster." I understand that feeling, here, resonating under the breastbone.
Here’s to another hundred!
The Blue House Dog by Deborah Blumenthal, illustrated by Adam Gustavson
After Bones’ owner dies, he is left to fend for himself on the streets. He sleeps under bushes, avoids the cars driving around, and forages for food. Cody, a boy in the neighborhood who recently lost his own dog, notices Bones wandering around and feeds him scraps. But Bones is very skittish and shy. Slowly Cody begins to be able to touch Bones, then works day after day to get Bones to enter the house. Slowly Bones begins to bond with this new human, trust and friendship blooming like the daffodils at his old house.
Blumenthal has created a gentle story that will work its way into your heart. It is written with a tenderness that is apparent throughout. There are moments where the feeling of loss is very strong, others where the moments of connection are impressive. This is a book that brings emotions up, yet never becomes too overly negative for young sensitive children.
Gustavson’s illustrations are done in oil. They have a lovely velvety texture and rich colors. He has nicely chosen the best moments of the text, where the emotion is highest, where the tension of the building friendship is evident. His illustrations use changing perspectives to show us what is happening with a welcome clarity.
A gentle and profound story of a boy finding his dog. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Peachtree.