January 28, 2013

Nora's Stars

I love 'Nora's Stars'. I love love love love it. I think it might be a perfect book. I don't like to bandy that word around too often because it's filled with such....hubris...and expectation...and well, perfect is subjective. What's perfect for me may not be perfect for you.

But there is a small, rare circle of books that I've found in my life that are just perfect in their way. And this is one of them. Perfect in the sense that the writing, the art, the overall story and the mood all convene into a total package of the best kind of book escapism. When your mind and emotions are totally in synch with the story; you're not just reading the story, you're IN the story.

Some perfect children's books that have come into my life are 'Stuart Little', 'Mandy', 'A Little Princess', 'Ballet Shoes', 'The Dark is Rising' series, 'Finn Family Moomintroll' and 'Candian Wonder Tales'. These are books that I read and re-read and re-read and re-read. I like to re-read my books.

Picture books, those are trickier for me to recall and write down. I'm sure Julia would put 'Stuck' by Oliver Jeffers on her list. You have no idea how she loves that one. I would put 'Little Richard' and anything Gyo Fujikawa.  I really loved my Raggedy Ann books.

So why so much love for 'Nora's Stars' by Satomi Ichikawa? There is so much cool art out there, but hers rises to a special level of sheer prettiness, and I really like pretty things. Also, I like elements of the magical, and many of her stories involve magical toys. This book is mysterious, a bit otherworldly, beautiful and uplifting, and really makes me feel like I've entered a cloud of pink starry enchantment. Julia and I re-read this one A LOT. 

It's so darn pretty! And it reinforces a great message, which is this:

SHARE BEAUTY. Don't hoard it.

Do you have a perfect book? Share. Tell. Melissa wants to know.

21 comments:

  1. Oooohh this looks lovely, thanks!

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    1. I like to share pretty books. Also funny books. and cool books. Books are so awesome :)

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  2. I've been following your blog for some time, I adore your book choices! Some of my perfect books: The Ramona series by Beverly Cleary, Meet the Woodland Folk and the rest of the Woodland series by Tony Wolf (a childhood favorite), books illustrated by David Melling, Matilda by Roald Dahl, Anne of Green Gables, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Thank you for so much awsomeness shared. Best wishes from Greece. Georgia

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    1. Thank you Georgia! That was lovely to read. I was obsessed with the Ramona books when I was 6-7. Also Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, those were great favorites as well. There are so, so many.

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  3. Perfect books? You got me thinking. Don't have a precise list yet as tons of titles are in my mind at this moment!

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    1. I know, it's tough. Impossible to narrow anything down, really. The more you think about it, the more books that pop in your mind...:)

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    1. I like to pat this book lovingly on the cover! (not really but almost :)

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  5. What a beautiful book, Melissa! My favorite books fall into two categories: those that were written by Beatrix Potter and those that were written by Roald Dahl. I love them all!!!

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    1. Those are great camps to be in Michelle!!! Right now, we are in full steam Roald Dahl mode, Julia can't get enough. We did 'The BFG', followed immediately by 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', and now we're into 'Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator." She's also listening 'The BFG' on audio CD :)

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    2. Have you read "The Enormous Crocodile"? We have that one and I can't wait for my kids to be old enough to enjoy it. Actually, I'm thinking Miss C. is probably old enough, but I know for sure Master W. would worry about a crocodile who wants to eat children.

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    3. We have read it! MANY times! One of our great favorites. That one I actually read to Julia when she was 4. She found it immensely entertaining :)

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  6. Oh dear. Perfect books? I am one of those unfortunate people who can never make a decision, especially about favorite books! A Wrinkle in Time, The Secret Garden... and since I started typing I've had to get up, send children off to school with their daddy, and I forgot the other books I was going to type. Eh, I like kids' books. Very, very much. And this one looks LOVELY. xxoo

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    1. Eek! I remembered my pick for perfect picture book: Where the Wild Things Are. The way the text is married to the pictures, the rhythm, the art... I think it's perfection. I feel like that about Goodnight, Moon, too. They're both classics, as they should be.

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    2. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. oh yes! that's a perfect picture book, and I would throw in ANYTHING by Margaret Wise Brown.

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  7. I absolutely LOVED The Dark Is Rising series (and Ballet Shoes!). Hadn't heard of this book before--it sounds lovely.

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    1. Another friend wrote to me on FB today and said she loved that series as well. I thought I was I was the only Brit-obsessed kid who loved that stuff -- I recall exactly ZERO friends when I was young reading those books and me getting blank stares when I raved about them. Can't decide which one is my favorite, The Grey King, or Greenwitch or the Dark is Rising.

      This book today is so sweet! I think I need to start giving it as gifts to preschool aged kids.

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  8. That book looks amazing! Really... I'll add another to the list.

    I'm so glad Julia has Stuck on the top of her list- it's right up on the top of mine too. :)

    I think I've mentioned Funkes Inkheart series to you before, those books were amazing to me. amazing. Picture books? I think I have too many favorites. ;)

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    1. yes!!! we owe you BIG for bringing 'Stuck' into our lives!!!!! I haven't seen the Inkheart books yet, will go fetch and find if you loves it :)

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  9. THE perfect children's book???! What a challenge. I'm afraid I couldn't say definitively 'THIS IS IT', without then adding two or three or more after that. Like 'The Story of Ferdinand', by Munro Leaf. That's pretty perfect. But then so is 'Higglety Pigglety Pop', 'The Wreck of the Zephyr', 'This Is Not My Hat', 'Henri's Walk to Paris,'...

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  10. Oh I am so bad at choosing a favorite or most perfect book...it's more like a favorite right now, you know?
    I am loving King Jack and the Dragons very very much! It's so wonderful! And I do so love Pocket Dogs, for the emotional pull. And a lot lot more. Sick Day for Amos Mcgee is just so sweet and wonderful! See I'm bad at picking only one!

    I know another reason why you like Nora's Stars...Nora looks like Julia :)

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