Tuesday, July 19, 2011

{who wants to be a poodle? i don't.}

i obsess.
when i like something a lot, it doesn't just bounce off of my consciousness and float back into the dank recesses of my brain the way that peoples' names and historical dates do.
no way hose.
it's like when you're camping and a tick gets on you and burrows in and gives you that disease that ticks can give you. it's more like that.

i get obsessed with ordinary things. houses, power lines, the word "dank", blogging, thesauruses. anything that burrows in behind my eyebrows and, for whatever reason, sticks.

last Christmas, the seriously marvellous hannah gave me a new tick--it started with this children's book:

it's a fantastically stupid book. i mean that in a good way. the drawings are strange and sometimes make no sense, and the story reads kind of like a ridiculous dream. this is the way that children's books were meant to be, i think.

throughout the course of the story, you learn, obviously, 13 words: bird, despondent, cake, dog, busy, convertible, goat, hat, haberdashery, scarlet, baby, panache, and mezzo-soprano. there is also a very odd driving scene involving an ostrich, a ballet dancer, and an angel with a tambourine.

so anyway. thus began an obsession with children's books.

hannah's birthday was in june, and i thought a children's book such a fantastic gift that i decided to get her one. because gifts that you love to get are sometimes the best kind of gifts to give.

so i searched until i found this gem:

the writing in this one is not the main thing--though it is a cute story about a poodle who doesn't want to be a poodle.
it's the PICTURES. 

it's illustrated with fabrics and papers and ribbons and newspapers. it's the kind of book that you can't quietly look through when someone else is present, because every time you turn the page, you're like, "OH! LOOK AT THIS!"

you kind of get the feeling that the book is homemade, especially for you, and you have the only copy.
that's a good feeling to get.

so, MY birthday came around, and hannah got me THIS book:

at least, i think it was hannah. it came yesterday in a fairly ambiguous package with only my and the book company's names on it, shipped straight from chicago, where i don't know anyone. but there are a million reasons why i'm sure it was her and that is really besides the point anyways.

i was on my way out for a walk, and i noticed the mystery package poking out of my mailbox. i opened it and glanced through, and then i stood there in the smoking hot sunshine and read the whole thing, because i just couldn't not.

it's a book all about why you need to know how a punch in the nose feels in case someone asks you if you want a punch in the nose and how you should make a sad face if you see a crocodile and how easter eggs are all alike on the outside but the same on the inside. and, say, my mum-in-law's name is ruth krause, much like the author's. so. that's cool.

the last book i received for my birthday was from someone besides hannah. it was from jen instead.

jen, whose blog is set to private, so i can't link to it here. jen, who is having a baby in october. {this is a very big deal to me. this is going to be a very spoiled baby. i'm making him a poncho.}

she gave me this book:

you'll notice my name on the front. i know, right?

the long and short of it is that jen has always been one of those amazing women in my life who makes me feel like a million, nay, a zillion bucks.

she reads my blog faithfully and at least once a conversation gives me one of those girly playful arm slaps and says, "you need to write a book!" which is one of those phrases that makes my heart get all fluttery and makes me feel just, you know, just completely... well i blush, anyways, and i grin, because it's one of those things that i'd love to do but am not sure about yet, and every vote of confidence is a really sweet thing.

so anyway, she went waaaaay back in the archives and stole a wee poem i doodled on some scrap paper about the sow bug infestation in our basement last may. then she sent it into one of those companies that make memory books {heritage makers, i think it was in this case}, and "published" my poem. 

and she kept one to read to her baby! if i was one of those emotional fools who tear up over everything...
which i totally am and did.

another thing i got for my birthday this year was a gift certificate to the paper umbrella, where they have a children's book illustrated by rob ryan. whose paper cut-out work is ridiculous.

food for my obsession.

so: any good recommendations?