Winning Stuff

And I mean "winning" in both its adjective and verb meanings, although I wasn't trying for any kind of Charlie Sheen-related pop culture reference.

We just received a lovely book we won from the wonderful Julia's Bookbag.  (She tells the story of the books and how she received her giveaway copies here.)  The book, Playful Moon, is adorable.  I think I would like to play with the moon all night, too.

 And Tuesday, I went to my favorite local bookstore to buy my reserved copy of The Chaperone  by Laura Moriarty.  This is a book I've eagerly anticipated, as it is a novel about Louise Brooks and the woman who accompanied her to New York as a teenager.  Silent movies are a passion of mine, and Louise is especially cool as she was a Kansas native with many local ties to this area.

After paying for my book and having a bite to eat in the cafe, my oldest bookworm and I wandered to the children's area to look around.  As we browsed the shelves, I heard a voice say my name.  I turned to find an acquaintance who works at the store, telling me how I won a pre-order contest!  I won a second copy of The Chaperone, as well as two more hardcovers by Penguin, The Yard (a Jack the Ripper mystery by another Kansas author) and Rules of Civility (which I checked out from the library earlier this year, and LOVED).

I always say I never win anything, but maybe my luck has turned.  How much is the lottery prize this week?

Back to kids' books.  My favorite library pick this week (and I think the daughters would agree) is Circus Girl  by Jack Sendak, illustrated by his more famous brother, Maurice. The book was first published in 1957, and most recently reprinted in 2002.  The girl of the title is named Flora, and she wonders how the people on the "outside" live.  She finally sneaks out one night to scale a rope between two trees, above the village, in order to observe the townspeople.

The illustrations are enchanting, of course.

You can see more of this lovely book at the HarperCollins website.  I think it needs to find a permanent place in my the girls' picture book collection.

Jack Sendak wrote several books between 1956 and 1971.  He died in 1995.  When Maurice died last month, it was reported that his last book will be a posthumously published illustrated poem called My Brother's Book, written for Jack.  If you listened to his final interview with Terry Gross for "Fresh Air," or the memorial compilation of interviews, you get a sense how much mortality and the passing of loved ones weighed on his mind.

But now, I think I need to check our library for more Jack Sendak books.


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  2. Hmmm, Jack Sendak huh? I'll have to look for his stuff too-- talented family apparently. I'm excited to see the book for my brother!

    1. Their father, Philip, was an author, too! I haven't read any of his, though. I'll have to hit the library again!

  3. Interesting! I had never heard of Jack Sendak! Oh and I love the name of your blog. :)

    1. I was excited to check it out because of the circus theme, and I'm trying to get through Maurice's output. It was a cool surprise to read a work of his brother's. And thanks. Wonderland and Oz... our two favorite fantasy worlds.


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