Monday, March 16, 2009

When You Were Small

I was in San Francisco over the weekend at the CCCC (the National Council of Teachers of English’s big Conference on College Composition and Communication). It’s a HUGE conference, held this year at the downtown Hilton, much bigger than the MLA.

But of all the many books I read, bought, and acquired over the weekend, the one that’s haunting me is a children’s book that I didn’t buy: Sara O’Leary (text) and Julie Morstad (illustrations)’s enchanting When You Were Small. I ran across it at an amazing little store of letter press cards, books, and ephemera, Little Otsu, across Valencia from both 826 Valencia and Range where we had a GREAT dinner.

Little Henry asks about what it was like when he was small and his dad tells him a series of wonderful, fanciful lies: you had a pet ant, we used you as a chess piece, you used to take baths in the teapot... Don’t you remember?

The haunting and detailed illustrations and the dry humor make it a tender little Edward Gorey fable. There’s a second book, too, and Morstad has some ABCs as well.

I’m urging the Easter Bunny to fill the girls’ baskets with these books this year! You can see their titles at the lovely Simply Read Books website. Julie Morstad's drawings are at Canada's Atelier Gallery. And Sara O'Leary has a blog.

1 comment:

Sara O'Leary said...

Hey Anne,
Aren't you a sweetheart? I hope that you have the ear of that Easter Bunny. In the meantime if you want to send me an address (it's 123oleary and it's I will send you some of the beautiful postcards that were made for WYWS and WYCF.
I went and looked at the Little Otsu site - it looks pretty fab. Lucky you to be in San Francisco ... I've never been.