Tuesday, July 19, 2011

{who wants to be a poodle? i don't.}

i obsess.
when i like something a lot, it doesn't just bounce off of my consciousness and float back into the dank recesses of my brain the way that peoples' names and historical dates do.
no way hose.
it's like when you're camping and a tick gets on you and burrows in and gives you that disease that ticks can give you. it's more like that.

i get obsessed with ordinary things. houses, power lines, the word "dank", blogging, thesauruses. anything that burrows in behind my eyebrows and, for whatever reason, sticks.

last Christmas, the seriously marvellous hannah gave me a new tick--it started with this children's book:

it's a fantastically stupid book. i mean that in a good way. the drawings are strange and sometimes make no sense, and the story reads kind of like a ridiculous dream. this is the way that children's books were meant to be, i think.

throughout the course of the story, you learn, obviously, 13 words: bird, despondent, cake, dog, busy, convertible, goat, hat, haberdashery, scarlet, baby, panache, and mezzo-soprano. there is also a very odd driving scene involving an ostrich, a ballet dancer, and an angel with a tambourine.

so anyway. thus began an obsession with children's books.

hannah's birthday was in june, and i thought a children's book such a fantastic gift that i decided to get her one. because gifts that you love to get are sometimes the best kind of gifts to give.

so i searched until i found this gem:

the writing in this one is not the main thing--though it is a cute story about a poodle who doesn't want to be a poodle.
it's the PICTURES. 

it's illustrated with fabrics and papers and ribbons and newspapers. it's the kind of book that you can't quietly look through when someone else is present, because every time you turn the page, you're like, "OH! LOOK AT THIS!"

you kind of get the feeling that the book is homemade, especially for you, and you have the only copy.
that's a good feeling to get.

so, MY birthday came around, and hannah got me THIS book:

at least, i think it was hannah. it came yesterday in a fairly ambiguous package with only my and the book company's names on it, shipped straight from chicago, where i don't know anyone. but there are a million reasons why i'm sure it was her and that is really besides the point anyways.

i was on my way out for a walk, and i noticed the mystery package poking out of my mailbox. i opened it and glanced through, and then i stood there in the smoking hot sunshine and read the whole thing, because i just couldn't not.

it's a book all about why you need to know how a punch in the nose feels in case someone asks you if you want a punch in the nose and how you should make a sad face if you see a crocodile and how easter eggs are all alike on the outside but the same on the inside. and, say, my mum-in-law's name is ruth krause, much like the author's. so. that's cool.

the last book i received for my birthday was from someone besides hannah. it was from jen instead.

jen, whose blog is set to private, so i can't link to it here. jen, who is having a baby in october. {this is a very big deal to me. this is going to be a very spoiled baby. i'm making him a poncho.}

she gave me this book:

you'll notice my name on the front. i know, right?

the long and short of it is that jen has always been one of those amazing women in my life who makes me feel like a million, nay, a zillion bucks.

she reads my blog faithfully and at least once a conversation gives me one of those girly playful arm slaps and says, "you need to write a book!" which is one of those phrases that makes my heart get all fluttery and makes me feel just, you know, just completely... well i blush, anyways, and i grin, because it's one of those things that i'd love to do but am not sure about yet, and every vote of confidence is a really sweet thing.

so anyway, she went waaaaay back in the archives and stole a wee poem i doodled on some scrap paper about the sow bug infestation in our basement last may. then she sent it into one of those companies that make memory books {heritage makers, i think it was in this case}, and "published" my poem. 

and she kept one to read to her baby! if i was one of those emotional fools who tear up over everything...
which i totally am and did.

another thing i got for my birthday this year was a gift certificate to the paper umbrella, where they have a children's book illustrated by rob ryan. whose paper cut-out work is ridiculous.

food for my obsession.

so: any good recommendations?


sarahannnoel said...


This reminds me that I have to talk to you about a secret.

Suzy Krause said...

a secret???? email me!!

Brandi said...

Those are the most thoughtful and wonderful gifts!!! And Jen is right...you should write a book. I would totally buy a ton copies for all my friends who are about to pop out lil ones.

JRose said...

Please write a book. I will buy it!

Jamie said...

Awwww, I love this! Childrens books are the best. My two favorites from my childhood that are still just as awesome to read are:

A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer
and I Wish That I Had Duck Feet by Theo Le Sieg.

If you haven't read either of those, you MUST. Trust me. =]

Suzy Krause said...

brandi & jrose: garsh!! thanks. :) like i said, those are my favourite compliments right now.

jamie: YAY, thanks for the recommends! i will absolutely find those in the library this afternoon. :)

Sarah Rooftops said...

Amazing gift! How lovely!

Suzy Krause said...

i know!! so sweet.

amyschmamey said...

This is completely amazing! I agree. You should write children's books... or adult books, I like your writing style... and I WANT THAT BOOK TO READ TO MY KIDS HA HA HA. And I need to get all the books shown above. Great post. As usual.

Suzy Krause said...

haha i love you amyschmamey. :) and yes--at least get them from the library to admire, for sure!

Amy @ AGirlCalledBeloved said...

Ok I think those all seem like awesome books!
And your friend just almost made me cry! That has to be the sweetest gift ever!
And you should write a book Ms. Suzy! I would love to read it.

Suzy Krause said...

aw, thanks amy. :) :)

anna said...

that's so awesome that you enjoyed 13 Words. it was illustrated by Maria Kalman who also illustrated (and wrote) Principles of Uncertainty which, reminds me of your blogging ways! i think you'd like it. its not a kids book but it is a super easy read and a MAGNIF book altogether. if you haven't read it, i encourage you to do so. ALSO going along with that sort of book theme (books that remind me of you) you should also read At a Crossroads: Between a Rock and my Parents' Place by Kate T. Williamson. she also illustrated all of her own pictures and wrote the book. i hope you like!

Suzy Krause said...

oooh! thanks anna! i will DEFINITELY look those up asap. i love finding new great books...

Unknown said...

Awww, what an awesome and thoughtful birthday present! Anything by Shawn Tan is good... but I like his books more for the illustrations (of course).

Suzy Krause said...

shawn tan eh? i'll look him up!
i'm not too picky--illustrations, words, both--i'll take it. :)

Delllana said...

simple cute blog :D mind to follow me back???

Emily V. said...

These look awesome!

Here are some of my favorites:

The monster at the end of this book

What do you say dear? (Maurice Sendak illustrated it)

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig

Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm

The Easter Egg Farm

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

A Bad Case of Stripes

Suzy Krause said...

ooh--i LOVED the monster at the end of this book. my gramma has that one. :) and i vaguely remember reading and really loving the three little wolves and the big bad pig, but i'll have to reread it. the rest of these, i shall add to my list! thanks! :)

JTay said...

I adore children's books too.
The one with the paper/fabric cut outs reminds me of Ezra Jack Keats' work. He's old school, and I quite like his books. A Letter for Amy is especially cute.
Also if you like strangeness you should check out Chris Van Allsburg's books.

Suzy Krause said...

oooh...will do. i love both strangeness and old school. i feel like all the best books were written wayyyy back.

Jillian said...

friends are so good and change our lives sometimes. Isn't it great? I agree: You need to write some books. girrrrl.

Jillian said...

friends are so good and change our lives sometimes. Isn't it great? I agree: You need to write some books. girrrrl.

Suzy Krause said...

it IS great. i have so so so much appreciation for a good friend. :)
and yikes, would i love to write a book. i guess we shall see!

Jessica said...

So I just stumbled onto your blog from Sara Noel's blog and I found this post... and I feel I must comment because I am getting a Master's degree in Children's Literature and I am so excited when I find other people who love it!

Recommendations for you:
From what I've seen from of your blog so far, I think you would love Wemberley Worried by Kevin Henkes. Also, anything by Mo Willems. I especially love the Knuffle Bunny books and Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct.

Suzy Krause said...

suh-weeeet, thanks jessica! i love good book recommendations. :D i will definitely look those up and let you know what i think!