Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gifts for a Blueberry Girl

It's been quite a year for Neil Gaiman. I'm a fan, and really loved Coraline the first time I read it. I didn't read it to my kids first time around because I thought it would be a bit too scary, but my girl has grown up a bit since then. She was intrigued by the movie trailers and I decided I would read the book to her before allowing her to see the movie--I'm always afraid the movie won't be as good as the book (and alas, I'm often right). So we recently finished that, and she really enjoyed it. I know because whenever she enjoys a book or show, she runs around the house pretending to be a main character; she occasionally pretends to be Coraline now (I wonder if this makes her little brother the black cat?).

The Graveyard Book, his intriguing sounding novel about a young boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard after his parents are killed, is definitely on my always growing "to read" list and recently won the prestigous Newbery Medal.

Given that Gaiman gravitates toward the creepy, fantastic and otherwise odd, it is perhaps surprising to some that he wrote Blueberry Girl, a lovely picture book that presents what an expectant parent might wish for a baby girl. But Gaiman is a father himself, and the poem which provided the impetus for this book was written for his friend Tori Amos when she was expecting her daughter. I read a nice article about this book today, which in turn introduced me to a wonderful animated trailer for the book produced by HaperCollins for YouTube. Charles Vess's magical illustrations come to life as the text is read by Gaiman himself. If you can watch this without wanting to get a copy to share with your kids or to give to an expectant mother you know, then I'm not sure what's wrong with you; it's enchanting.

Incidentally, HarperCollins is conducting a Blueberry Girl sweepstakes, which you can enter for the chance to win a free copy of the book. There will be 25 winners--let's hope you and I are among them!

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