Tuesday 23 January 2018

My Summer Reading Plans #1

The best laid plans and all that jazz.

This summer has been a bit of bummer when it comes to reading. Normally I love the lazy summer days as a great excuse to devour books by the bucket load - by the pool, on the beach or relaxing under the fan or air-con. But so far this summer, I've only had one whole day to do just that.

Life has continued it's hectic pace, with no let up in sight for the time being. *sigh*

My chapter a day #LesMisReadalong has been perfect and easy to fit into this new world order. But I miss finishing a book.

So I've been reading and reviewing various picture books on Goodreads to help me feel like I'm making progress (and to help me sound knowledgeable at work!)

Since I have no book reviews on the horizon (and no likelihood of a book review in the near future), I thought a picture book update was in order to keep these pages active.

My biggest find over Christmas, was the latest Rory the Dinosaur book. I fell head over heels in love with Rory and his dad and quickly hunted down the two earlier Rory books by Liz Climo.

Rory the Dinosaur Needs a Christmas Tree
I had resisted the charms of Rory and his dad - the simple drawings on the covers did not draw me in - but there was something about the joyful look on Rory's face as he was being tossed in the air by his Santa hat wearing dad that warmed the cockles of my heart this Christmas. 
So I opened the book. 
Oh, oh, oh, what an utter delight I found inside! 
How Climo manages to convey sooooo much emotion with little dot eyes is beyond me, but I'm completely heartbroken for Rory who realises he has to make do this Christmas without a Christmas tree. He and his devoted dad do everything they can to make it happen, but it doesn't work. The look on Rory's face as he goes to bed gazing at the spot in the loungeroom (with longing) where the tree should be just breaks my heart every single time I read the book (yes, I have read it multiple times this past month!)
Oh, oh, oh, but Rory's dad!!!
He wins the best dad in the whole wide world award for how he solves the problem.
It's a delightful laugh out loud, hug the book to your chest moment. You then immediately want to share the book with as many people as possible, to share the joy of Christmas with as many people as possible.
I am a doubter no longer.

Rory The Dinosaur: Me and My Dad
I'm now an official FAN of Rory and his marvellous dad. 
My love affair started with the more recent Christmas book, which to my mind, is the best of the three books, but this, the original story, is pretty fabulous too, I'm just not sure I can completely condone such helicopter parenting!

Rory The Dinosaur Wants a Pet 
It's hard not to love Rory and his dad.

Their simple lives, so delicately drawn by Climo, are genuinely touching and heartwarming but Rory comes across as being a little bit too simple in this story about finding a pet.

I wasn't sure whether I wanted to laugh or cry at Rory's solution to the pet problem. Perhaps his dad's helicoptering parenting style (as seen in the first book) isn't allowing Rory to make good choices for himself?
The solution is clever and tragic at the same time. 
Making do, compromise and acceptance are all good traits to develop, but some better decision making skills might help Rory achieve his goals 
I know, I know, it's a picture book for kids, right?
But I'm weirdly that invested in Rory and his dad, that I want things to turn out okay for both of them. I sincerely hope Climo is writing and illustrating book four as we speak!

Here We Are: Notes For Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

A great way to start the new year! 
It's hard not to be seduced by the special whimsy and charm of Oliver Jeffers but now that he's a dad, the aww factor has multiplied to the nth degree.

Here We Are is a love letter to his new born babe, showing him his own particular place is this big wide, wonderful world. Jeffers trademark humour and quirkiness abounds at every point and his illustrations provide the adult reader just as much pleasure as the younger readers.

Jeffers fans will also recognise several of his regular characters making cameo appearances. 
I can see this gorgeous picture book being given to many a newborn/new parent.
A classic in the making.

Australian picture books will feature in the next update post later this week.

What do you do when life gets in the way of your usual reading pattern?


  1. Rory the dinosaur. How cute!

  2. When life gets in the way of my reading pattern I make a big effort to work out what's happened and work to change it, as reading, sleep and running are the three things I have to have to keep OK. This usually involves sacrificing TV time with my husband to demand to go to bed and read. Not that great, maybe!


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