While I understand that it is patently uncool to like Valentine’s Day, I LOVE IT. Because I love love. And I love YOU, I LOVE YOU and I don’t care who knows it! There I said it.
What, you’re not going to say it back?
Awkward. High School all over again. Panic Attack. Crap. Hang on while I go smoke a clove and listen to the Smiths.
Ok. That’s cool, no pressure. Not the point of the post today anyway. Today, I’d like to give you something. Just a token of my affection, a “Thanks, dude” for hanging out here every so often. And you (yes you even though we had that weird “I love you” then silence moment) may very well win one of my prizes. Your odds are good.
You know who else I love besides you? I love Brooklyn. I love Mother Brooklyn because she’s an old funny woman with a salty mouth and big robust fat loving arms. Within her arms she holds her children – all the artists and authors and illustrators and bakers and candle stick makers. And guess what? A few of my Brooklyn based brothers and sisters have offered up their goods to give out to my readers. All you need to do to win them is leave a comment here. Say what you will. In fact, that may be the perfect opportunity to correct your earlier silence in our, “I love you” exchange. But you can tell me anything. Do you love this holiday? Hate it? Why? Winners will be chosen randomly on Monday. There will be three winners. Here’s what you get:
Where’s Walrus? by Steven Savage
This wordless book illustrated by Brooklynite Steven Savage is the tale of a rebellious walrus who has escaped from the zoo and wears clever disguises to elude the zoo keeper. I’m a huge fan of the style of illustration in this book, not too cutesy, very clean and modern and plus? I’m a sucker for anything having to do with a walrus. Who isn’t? P.S. Wordless books are like gold for the younger set who can’t read but want to feel big and successful in handling a book on their own. A different story can be told every night, from different points of view, even switching up main characters. The cool style and palette used in this book would even, I dare say, make it an awesome coffee table book. But then again, my coffee table has three dirty diapers on it as we speak. Moving on…
I Am! ¡Yo Soy! by Kelli Bettenhausen
Kelli and her sister Kendra have put together a board book which shows infants and toddlers doing simple actions, described in both English and Spanish. Now, there are a multitude of reasons why this book is intellectually and developmentally stimulating for the children lucky enough to have it read to them. But in the household Nelson-Call, it is favored as part of our ritual every single night for Roan to read it to his infant twin brothers. The reasons are two-fold: Roan enjoys donning an impressive Spanish accent and believes with all his heart that he is now mostly fluent in Spanish. And as a result of this, there is at least a little comic relief in the normal wrestling match known as “bedtime for babies” as I get to hear my brilliant seven year-old child butcher (beautifully, though) another language. Both the content and pictures in this book are basic yet profound ways to begin the dialogue with your kids about how special they are. (If you’re in my hood, you can buy this book at our favorite local stores: Madison Rose, Book Court, and Gumbo).
Maid Marian Muffins by Jamie & Jessica Vander Salm
Illustrated by Ana Benaroya
I’m a sucker for people doing what they love. That’s why this story of a girl who solves the problem of procuring a proper muffin by making her own warms my dark heart. This story is based on the real life Jessica who is a bicycler-baker and can be seen below and all throughout Brooklyn selling her wares. Now. Listen up gear heads and screen lovers – this part of the prize is an app. If you win you can specify if you’d like it for iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. So if you don’t have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (really? You don’t?), you’ll have to give this to someone who does. Otherwise, this cool app has 36 pages of gorgeous illustrations and storytelling. There’s also a feature for you to record your own story and have it be told. Roan likes this feature. I’m not saying he stays true to the real story. I’m not saying anything at all. Ok, look how amazingly cute Jessica is:
So. To re-cap. Leave a comment. Get the chance to win a set of three prizes. They are cool and if you don’t have kids well c’mon don’t make me tell you about re-gifting, ok? We’re clear? Happy Valentines Day!