See that? That's Simply Read's spring 2014 catalog, with an illustration from my first picture book, called If I Wrote A Book About You, on the cover! I'm so excited!
I can't wait to have this book in my hot little hands. It was illustrated by the talented Denise Holmes -- you can see more of her lovely work over at her blog. Many thanks to my dear, wise friend Sara O'Leary, who held my hand throughout the whole process, and to my lovely editor Kallie George at Simply Read.
Luke talked so much about the The Elf on the Shelf last year, I finally caved this year and bought one. The kids LOVE. IT. Thankfully, David is kind of into it, too, otherwise the thing would never move. I keep falling asleep whilst reading the kids their bedtime stories and forgetting all about it. So thank you, darling. Yet another reason I married the right man.
Browsing Pinterest just now, I stumbled upon this horrifying book:
At first I thought it was some sort of spoof, but no, it is a real book: Krampus: The Devil of Christmas. Apparently, Krampus was Saint Nick's helper in early European Christmas traditions. While Saint Nick would visit good children and reward them with presents, Krampus would visit the naughty ones. I see a direct line from Krampus to the Elf, don't you? He even looks a little like Krampus, minus the horns and tongue. Thankfully, my kids don't seem too worried about the reports the elf is making nightly about their behaviour although Luke does find it "freaky and just a little creepy, Mom" that the elf moves around the house at night. I'll just have to make sure he never finds out about Krampus...
These. The Cazelet Chronicles. Written by Elizabeth Jane Howard, who, at the age of 90, still gets up every morning to write them. Apparently there are now five in the series and I'm only in the middle of the second, which fills me with great joy. There's nothing better than the thought that you've still got a lot of a great story left to read. No matter what I have to slog through during the day, the thought of these waiting on my bedside table keep me going. Apparently, this family saga, which starts two years before the second world war, is based on Howard's own family. My beloved Hilary Mantel is a fan, too.
Although I've got them on my kindle, the covers are very pretty:
I don't know why I find reading about the second world war so comforting -- obviously it wasn't at all comfortable for those living through it...
So I was just visiting Amazon and discovered they are offering this AMAZING new program called Kindle MatchBook: you can download the kindle version of the real books you've purchased through Amazon over the last 18 years for a dollar or two -- some of them are even free! Before I got my kindle, I purchased A LOT of books from Amazon, most of which are tucked away in boxes because I simply don't have the space to shelve them. I have to go up to the attic and dig around whenever I want a particular book. So this makes me VERY HAPPY and I will be taking advantage of this program right away. Yay!
Last week, I was actually musing about and wishing for a service that would scan your real books for you for a low fee, so you could put them on your ereader. This makes such a service obsolete before it even exists! (Almost. Because I still have all those books I didn't buy from Amazon.)K
Why, what is that, hanging above the mantle at legendary Milford House? Can it be?
Why, yes, it is. It is the infamous, elusive, antlered hoof! A beast hitherto considered fanastical, like the unicorn. Those antlers must be as sensitive as the whiskers of a cat, or the antennae of an insect, because they have to perform the functions of eyes, nose, and tongue. Or do you think that this unusual creature actually does have a more usual sort of head, and each of its hooves has a pair of antlers attached to it? If so, the beast must have a very broad stance. It is a mystery.
The Tea Collection has been my hands-down favourite children's clothing line since Luke was a baby and they offered a gorgeous pair of pants with a dragon on them. How I wanted those pants for him! I never did get him a pair and they don't seem to offer them any more. Well, they've got a good sale on right now, which is why I've included that affiliate link above -- something I don't normally do -- and a Chinese-inspired collection of dresses for little girls. You can buy these mix-and-match sets at a discount, only online. But which to choose for Sylvie?
*Use code HARVEST25 to receive $25 off your
order with a subtotal of $150 or more. Offer available online at
teacollection.com and valid from 9/26/2013 at 12:01 am through 9/29/2013 at
11:59 pm. Cannot be combined with other promotions. No adjustments on previous
purchases. Not redeemable for cash. Discount taken will be pre-tax and before
shipping. Discount applied at time of purchase will be taken off each item
Full disclosure: if you click on any of these links and then subsequently purchase something from the Tea Collection site, I will receive a tiny commission on that sale, which will theoretically, in turn, allow me to buy more dresses for Sylvie!