Thursday, June 07, 2007

Books & bananas!

OK, this is really strange... in the "8 things about me" meme I just posted two days ago, I admitted, with some embarrassment, that I still like to eat banana baby food. Today, I checked out Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes from the library and read the whole thing. In it, the main character, Martha, and her grandmother tell each other something about themselves every day. And on one of the days, the grandmother happens to tell Martha two of which is that she ate a jar of Martha's little sister's banana baby food that morning!! I am pretty sure I've never read any other thing in which an adult admitted to eating baby food, and here it was banana baby food at that. Bizarre.

That was the second full midgrade novel I read today. First I read M.T. Anderson's The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen, the sequel to Whales on Stilts. Parts of it had me laughing with tears running down my face. Though I'm not sure who it's written for. It looks like a book for 10 or 12-year-olds, but to get most of the humor, it seems to require an ironic stance towards children's series books from the past, not to mention a lot of general knowledge. My older son could easily read all the words, but he'd be completely lost. It seems like its best target audience is...well, adults with weird senses of humor who like to read children's books. But I must say, M.T. Anderson is extremely versatile!

As is Kevin Henkes. I loved Olive's Ocean, which was a Newbery Honor Book. I was amazed again (as with his book Protecting Marie) that he can get so fully into the head of a 12-year-old girl. I think his writing is full of true and perfect moments. I was just lamenting to my husband the other night that the little siblings in fiction books often don't ring true to me, but the 2-year-old in this one did. The adults also seemed particularly real to me, especially the father and grandmother. I think I'll have to buy a copy of this one to keep.

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