Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Fish Named Glub, by Dan Bar-el (illustrated by Josee Bisaillon)

What a strange book. The book's description refers to the existential questions of a fish living in a bowl and, boy, they weren't kidding about that. So I was prepared for the "Who am I? What am I doing here?" questions the fish asks. What I was not prepared for was the sudden plot twist when the fish becomes some sort of psychic medium divining the futures of all who touch the water in his bowl.

I did not see that coming.

Magda's Take:
Why are people putting their hands in his bowl? That can be very stressful for a fish. What is going on in this book?

My Take:
I don't know. I don't know what is going on in this book. It's...quite strange.

Book Details:
A Fish Named Glub
Author: Dan Bar-el
Illustrator: Josee Bisaillon
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Source: NetGalley
View on Amazon

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stuff Every College Student Should Know, by Blair Thornburgh

Fantastic! I thought it'd be silly or at least, well, quirky (considering it's published by Quirk Books, who you probably know from their Worst Case Scenario guides and amalgams of classic literature with zombies, sea creatures, and the like) but this was full of solid advice like:

--How to do laundry;
--How to cook in a microwave (I'm totally stealing that personal sized chocolate chip cookie recipe);
--How to ask your parents for money (do it in person and corner one parent rather than both);
--How to email a professor (no emoticons!).

I also like the small size. It's perfect for sending in a care package! (And graduation present season is just around the corner...)

Also, it's fun that their legal disclaimer (just copyright information basically) is called, "Stuff Every Lawyer Should Know."

Stuff Every College Student Should Know
Author: Blair Thornburgh
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
View on Amazon

Source: publisher (thanks Eric from Quirk!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My 4-year-old has way too much faith in the postal service

This post originally appeared on my other blog, Cozy Little Book Journal.

Today was Shakespeare's birthday and Magda decided to celebrate--because she knows I like Shakespeare (sort of) and she considers herself an expert on birthdays, having had four of them already--by making him a nice card. It started out well, with her disappearing to her art table with all of her crayons and a large piece of paper.

Then she asked me for an envelope and stamps. Wait a minute.

I was like, "Honey, where is it you think you're sending it?" And she was like, "To Shakespeare. It's his birthday, Mommy." (Duh.)

Me--Okay, but you know he's dead, right? He was born 450 years ago and he died 398 years ago. Remember we learned that he died on his own birthday? So he's definitely dead.

Magda--I know that, Mommy. He died on his birthday. But on his actual birthday, like when he was born, he wasn't dead yet. He was only a baby. I'm sending the card to Baby Shakespeare.

I admit I didn't have an answer for that. I felt kind of like Allie Brosh when she found a letter she had written as a child to her future self, asking her future self to please write back.

In the end I told Magda we'd comprise and send it "to the internet" instead. Here's what she made:

The red things are presents. I asked Magda what was in them and she said, "I don't know. He hasn't opened them yet." Honestly, I think sometimes she must be frustrated by my inability to get things.

That's Shakespeare on the left, wearing a ruff. Magda told me that the person on the right is someone wearing a party hat and preparing to blow out the candles on Shakespeare's birthday cake before he gets a chance to, which Magda explained was "very aggrevating." Note that the only other person at Shakespeare's birthday party is someone specifically trying to piss him off.

Then again, he did die on his birthday, so it's not like this is the worst thing that ever happened to him at a birthday party.

Happy Birthday, Baby Shakespeare!