My passion for books, reading, libraries and bookstores began when I was very young. One of my most vivid memories is of a bookstore that was on the bottom floor of a small shopping center where my family would sometimes go because they had a nicer grocery store. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and excited at the prospect of all of those books in one place. I wanted them all—regardless of what they were about or if I could read them. Sometimes I would have to step out of the store for a minute because I could truly feel myself hyperventilating. How would I ever have time to read all of them! Can I just live here!
I’ve calmed down (a little) since those days. But when I visit a particularly wonderful store for the first time, I stand there a bit paralyzed—planning my route so that nothing will be missed.
The only sensation that comes close to my childhood memories of the bookstore is a couple of times a year when The New York Times Book Review dedicates a whole section devoted to children’s books. My husband announces its arrival as he brings the paper in and I quickly pull it out—without looking! That’s key. I need to wait until the perfect moment to look. It can’t be when there is laundry to do or papers to grade. I can literally “feel it” all day as I move through my tasks. I love knowing it is there. Especially this one. The issue in November that announces the NYT choice for the 10 best illustrated books of the year.
So, I looked—but only at the back cover where, to my surprise, the best picture books were featured. I could be wrong, but I think this is the first year the selections are on the back. Usually, they are on the center spread over two pages. Ummm….a little strange. Good selections, but I miss the larger pictures that could be featured over two pages. I can only comment on this part of the insert because it’s all I’ve looked at. Really. I still have a few things to do and it’s getting late, so the rest will have to wait until tomorrow—something to look forward to!
I love all of the selections and am happy to see that they are all books in the Inly Library collection. And the one I was most crossing my fingers for is there—The Snow Day by Komako Sakai. It is such an incredibly beautiful book. The pictures make me kind of hurt because they are so gentle and cozy. And, of course, Only A Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee and Moonshop by Brian Floca are there. The little witch in McGhee’s book (illustrated by Taeeun Yoo) looks like she stepped out of a farmhouse in the mid-1900s. I know it’s a Halloween book, but I’m hopeful McGhee and Yoo collaborate on the rest of the holidays.