Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Folk and fairy tales library rant

I love retold fairy tales. I didn't read many of the classics growing up, living in an immigrant household, but I did watch a lot of Disney movies. It wasn't until college that I realized Disney sure took a lot of liberties with the originals. When I took Storytelling a couple years ago, I was re-hooked.

I'm currently reading A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce, a Rumpelstiltskin retelling. Although I'm loving the book so far, I'm finding it hard to remember the original fairy tale. So, I went to the library, and headed for the 398.2s, the folk and fairy tale section, and was disappointed to find that not all Rumpelstiltskins were shelved together. This was rather frustrating since I'm both a librarian and a library patron, and at that moment, I was definitely wearing my patron hat. I want to be able to go the shelf and find what I need without having to hunt around for it. Doesn't it make more sense to shelve all retellings of the same classic together? Wouldn't it be nice to find all Cinderellas next to each other on the shelf? In my future library, I say, forget Dewey - I'm putting all the similar folk tales together. Sure, maybe some people care to group the regions of the world from which the tales originated together, but I think it's far more likely that they want the actual tales together. It definitely makes browsing easier - and honestly, it makes shelving easier too. Isn't that what it's about in the first place? Easy access for patrons that actually makes sense to them. Dewey is hard enough to figure out in the first place - anything we can do to simplify it, I think, will be much appreciated by library users. Myself included!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Checked out (2)

After finding out that all of the Philadelphia libraries are closing, I decided to take a trip to my library and do a little browsing. I came out with a nice mix, if I do say so myself.

Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything
written by Lenore Look, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

I've been meaning to read this book since it came out, and now I have to read it because it's one of the Monarch Award nominees this year. Kirkus says it's "reminiscent of Beverly Clearly's infamous Ramona Quimby." I will probably agree.

Prudence & Moxie: A Tale of Mismatched Friends
written by Deborah Noyes, illustrated by AnnaLaura Cantone

Sitting on the new book shelf, calling out to me with its uniquely named main characters and beautifully muted fall colors. Much of the reason I ever pick up a picture book is because of the artwork, especially the color palette and medium - some seem like they were just made for me, and this is one of them. The frantic line drawings with the stitched page borders, bright purples and pinks and muddy yellows and greens - sigh.

Paris Pan takes the Dare
written by Cynthea Liu

I just recently heard about this book on Shelf Elf's blog and was definitely intrigued since I'm currently in a middle school with many mystery fans. Cynthea Liu will also be at the ISLMA conference next month, so I thought I'd check out her book before heading over to one of her sessions on Saturday.

The Naked Mole-Rat Letters
written by Mary Amato

I don't know anything about this book except that it's a Rebecca Caudill Award nominee this year, so I must read it.

My Life in France
written by Julia Child

I meant to read this after I read Julie and Julia, but I never got around to it. It might take me through Thanksgiving break to actually read it, but there it is, my personal choice for this semester.

Me with You
written by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Christopher Denise

I have been waiting to read this picture book since I first saw it on the PlanetEsme blog back in June. Sweet story about a little girl bear and her grandfather. This one has large text (a sentence per spread) and seems to be great for the wee ones, toddlers through kindergarten maybe.

Home of the Brave
written by Katherine Applegate

I am so guilty of judging a book by its cover. This cover creeps me out, and I would have never picked it up had it not been on the Caudill list this year. It also looked like it would be a heavy read, especially at 253 pages, but I was happy to find that it's written in verse. So, I think I'll try it out.

Gone with the Wand
written by Margie Palatini, illustrated by Brian Ajhar

What can I say? My faerie obsession started when I was a little girl the first time I saw Disney's Cinderella. Sure, that fairy was adorable, elderly, plump, and sugary sweet, but the fascination with all things faerie must have started there. So, it's a given that I will read (or watch) any sort of Cinderella remake. Because it's my story; it's the one that reminds me of my childhood.

First Light
written by Rebecca Stead

Another Caudill nominee; it looks pretty. :)

Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand
written by Gail Carson Levine, illustrated by David Christiana

I was wandering through the children's section, looking for an entirely different book altogether, but I saw this one protruding from the shelf, took one look at the cover art and author and decided that I needed to read it. Fairy obsessed, I know. But unfortunately, this is a sequel. So, I will have to go back and find Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg before I read this one.

The Faerie Door
written by B.E. Maxwell

It's no coincidence that my recent faerie addiction corresponds with a huge boom of faerie literature in the book market. Vampires, too. And I'm slowly getting on board with the zombies.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
written by Vicki Myron

I've been meaning to read this book for awhile too, but again, I think I might have to put it on hold. This copy smells so heavily of smoke that I need to return it to the library like right now. Blech. I'm looking forward to the picture book though.

The Secrets of Greymoor
written by Clara Gillow Clark

This is a middle grade historical fiction mystery - woo! Thanks to the YA Books Central blog for the tip on this one.
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