My Super Blog Buddy, Sue has gone above and beyond in offering various hand-made beauties for you to choose from as a prize. And all you have to do is comment on THIS POST. Just say hi! Deadline is midnight tonight. (Thursday Sept. 8). The winner will be announced on Friday.
Then, after you are done getting your name in the hat, you can come back and find out what elusivities means.
Or what it would mean if it was a real word.
I’ve been trying to figure out why I love the picture books that I love. Of course there is the writing – the perfect words and rhythms wrapped up together. And the illustrations that add to and work with the text. But beyond the text and the pictures, there are more elusive qualities that make me fall in love.
(At this particular moment), these are my elusivities – the elusive qualities that are crucial, yet hard to pinpoint. And even harder to know if they exist in my own stories.
- The world created: The best picture books create a world space where I want to be. And almost always, I want to be there with someone else. My favorite picture books are the ones that I immediately want to share. Whether it’s to laugh or to be touched in a deep and poignant way, I want someone to read the book with me. Other kinds of reading are much more individual and personal, but for me, picture books are about connections and feeling a part of a particular place.
- Surprise: I love to be surprised by picture books. It might be the twist at the end, or the particular plight or problem a character is experiencing. Or perhaps it is the character who gives me a sense of HA! Or, maybe it’s more of an Ohhhh… But the best picture books shift my perspective a bit.
- Heart: This is the reason I care. About anything, any kind of story. Hard to say how this works – that’s why it’s an elusivity. Sometimes it’s because I care about the character. Sometimes I care about something bigger being represented in the story. Sometimes it’s the beauty I find in the words and the pictures and the little one listening to me read. But always, my own heart knows when I’ve found a best of the best.
(Don’t forget to put your name in for our contest! There’s no elusivity about winning!)
Sarah Wones Tomp
WRITING ON THE SIDEWALK