Friday, January 10, 2014

Great Joy!

It's 10 a.m. on the 10th day of a New Year, and I'm just getting to my first post of 2014. This week has been a little crazy—need I say more than Polar Vortex?


Yes, it's been cold here. And we've been thinking a lot about the homeless in our city (shelters have been filling up).

As it happens, Santa Claus brought the kids a very timely book this winter called GREAT JOY by Kate DiCamillo. It's not only timely because of the current climate, time of year, and subject matter of the book (which features a homeless man), but also because Ms. DiCamillo was recently named the Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Our family couldn't be more thrilled with this selection!

Today, the weather is finally above freezing and school is back in session. Thank goodness, because next week we're welcoming two girls from Peru into our home who have never seen snow. One of them emailed me to say her favorite books are Pride and Prejudice and Divergent—I can tell we're going to get along swimmingly. If that's not an invitation for joy, what is?

Recently, we also learned that our family in St. Lucia is all OK after the Christmas Eve flooding rains that caused mudslides and widespread damage. All in all, we have a lot of GREAT JOY to celebrate.

Before I get to today's perfect picture book, I do want to share one more piece of SUPER AWESOME AMAZING EXCITING GREAT JOY. To be honest, it's not more joyful to me than that previous piece of good news I shared about our family being OK in St. Lucia. But it is worth large, highlighted font.

I SOLD MY THIRD BOOK!!!

The contract arrived yesterday, and I am thrilled to be blessed with another forthcoming book! Since it's slated for 2016, there's lots of time for me to post more about it, and I'll spare the details thus far. (Warning: the suspense may kill you.)

I'll also spare the huge long "thank you list" of everyone I know who has helped me to realize my writing and publishing goals—for now, anyway. But know that you are appreciated far more than I might ever express on this blog, in a thank you card, or in person.

It is on that note of almost-make-you-sick bubbly gladness that I review GREAT JOY by Kate DiCamillo, today's Perfect Picture Book. (And I promise to return to my more usual, less-squeaky tone and witty sarcasm in future posts.)


Title: Great Joy

Author: Kate DiCamillo

Illustrator: Bagram Ibatoulline

Publisher: Candlewick, 2007

Genre: Fiction / Historical Fiction

Category: Picture Book

Ages: 4-8

Topic/Subject: Christmas, New York, Homelessness

Opening Line: "The week before Christmas, a monkey appeared on the corner of Fifth and Vine." (Isn't that a great first line?!)

Why I chose this book: See above. Plus it has GOLD endpapers. This book looks like it's a hundred-year-old classic of great worth and importance and reads like a story anyone in any time period will appreciate. It's text is spare and contemporary, yet poetic in sense and detail. It's a great conversation starter for children and a reminder to parents not to let our busy-ness or fears get in the way of the love for all people. You know, that uncomplicated and amazing innocence, empathy and affinity for inclusion we had as a child? Trust me, we all still have it, and this book reminds us to embrace it.

Resources: 

Kate DiCamillo's Website: http://www.katedicamillo.com/books/great.html

PBS Kids has ways that kids can take action to help the hungry and homeless here: http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/action/way02.html

Thank you for visiting. If you want to read about more Perfect Picture Books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill's blog. And if you missed my last Perfect Picture Book review on Seven Spools of Thread over the holidays, here it is.

I promise to reveal more about my new forthcoming book soon!

20 comments:

Jill Proctor said...

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Congratulations, Miranda! I am so excited for you. Great Joy! indeed! Can't wait to hear about it!

Joanna said...

HUGE congratulations, what a way to begin the year. I love your choice for PPBF today, too! A classic indeed.

Sylvia Liu said...

Oh YAY, Miranda! What exciting news, and what a nice way to ring in the new year.

Patricia T. said...

My kind of book Miranda. I am always searching for books like this to share.

You have much to be joyful about. Glad your family is okay. And congratulations on the new book deal! Looking forward to hearing more.

julierowanzoch said...

What a way to start off the year! Great Joy indeed! Congratulations, and I look forward to hearing more about your new visitors too!

Wendy said...

If I had to pick a theme for 2014, Great Joy sounds like a good one. Congrats on your news.

Barbara said...

Congrats on all your wonderful news!!
I'm going to look for Great Joy this weekend. I love that author!

Kirsten Larson said...

Selling a book has got to be a great joy indeed. Congrats Miranda!

Romelle Broas said...

You sure know how to write a cliff hanger. Yes, I am dying to know the details of your third book. In the meantime, I will read Great Joy. Sounds like a gem.

Sue Heavenrich said...

Great Joy - sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for introducing it to us.

Cathy Ballou Mealey said...

So much to celebrate in this post! Congratulations Miranda!

Juliana Lee said...

All wonderful bits of news! Congratulations on the publication of your third book, and great news about your family's safety!

Lori Degman said...

I'm so excited for you, Miranda! I can't wait to hear all about it!!

Tina Cho said...

Congratulations! Can't wait to hear the juicy details of your sale! And I'm glad your family is all safe!

sevenacresky said...

Fantastic news, Miranda! Wow, and anxious to hear more about it! Picture book, I am guessing? Also, I am excited about Kate DiCamillo being the Children's Literature Ambassador. There could be no better choice...I loved The Tale of Despereaux and I'll bet Great Joy is a winner.

Donna L Sadd said...

Great joy all the way around! Congratulations, Miranda. :0)

pennyklostermann.com said...

So happy for you, Miranda!!! Congrats!

Jarm Del Boccio said...

Congrats, again, Miranda! I'm so happy for you. And what a good choice for the new year. I especially love the illustrations in this book . . .

Barbara said...

So much to be JOY-filled and JOYful about! Thanks for sharing your good news. So happy for you. Oh, and I love Great Joy, too.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Great news on so many levels. Congrats for your family and the third book. Look forward to the details. What a great first line too!

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