I’m cheating. Cheating on my ‘1001 Children’s Books I Must Read Before I Grow Up’ list, that is. As much as I love pretty much all the
books I have read from the list so far, I have this problem that I am sure many of you face: no matter how many books you read, there are always more being published. And because more and more books are coming out, your list of ‘books-to-read’ keeps growing and growing. My pile at work of books to buy had swollen to an unreasonable size, so I just had to buy some. It’s not my fault, really – I was being considerate, freeing up more space for everyone else to put books on hold (I am also desperate to buy as many books as I can before I start my new job in two weeks and lose my staff discount). So this week, I am cheating on my list. I am going to read a few children’s books not on my 1001 Children’s Books list. But never fear! I have come up with a solution so as not to deprive you all – this week is going to be a picture book week. I grabbed a stack of classic board books while on my lunch break the other day, some old favourites of mine, some books I had never encountered before I started working in a bookshop. However, all of these board books are not only classics, but best sellers in our store.
I don’t know if I should talk about the books I am cheating with (it might make the 1001 Children’s Book list jealous) but the book I am reading is just so wonderful I can’t help telling you about it. It is called ‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making‘, and it is written by Catherynne M. Valente, and it is just enchanting. Think Peter Pan meets Alice in Wonderland with a dash of The Wizard of Oz. It is full of whimsy, and fantasy, and winds that come to life and take you on rides on their pet leopard, and dragons who are in fact not dragons but half wyvern half library, and magical cities that you can only find if you have adventures while attempting to find it, and… well, plenty more, but that’s about as far as I have gotten yet. I highly recommend it. Especially if you can find a magical place full of whimsy and quirk to read it, like I did – I stumbled upon a new cafe today, which was the perfect place to read a book.
Now I simply must go and keep reading. Don’t worry, 1001 Children’s Books, my affair with other books won’t be for long.