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An up-front disclaimer of sorts: Myra Wolfe is a close friend of mine. Close enough that I'd almost be willing to perjure myself and say really nice things about her book even if it was only so-so. Luckily for me, I don't have to whitewash a single word in this review of her forthcoming debut picture book, Charlotte Jane Battles Bedtime, illustrated by Maria Monescillo.

Shall I tell you why I love this book all for its own self? I believe so - and I feel a list coming on:

1. I was not a girly girl when I was young. Oh, I wore dresses on occasion. (Heck, I am of an age that when Easter rolled around, I wore a hat and little white gloves along with my Easter dress, roll-down lace-trimmed white socks and patent leather Mary Janes. Those of you who are scratching your heads asking "But aren't you Jewish?" aren't confused - I am. But I wasn't always. And boy have I digressed. Ahem . . . ) But I was more likely to be found up a tree than in a rocking chair, more likely to be making mud pies than having a tea party, and far more likely to be pretending to be a soldier, cowboy, or pirate than I was to be playing Barbie dolls or pretending to be a princess (unless, of course, I was a pirate princess or something similar).

2. As a result of #1, I have a soft spot for things like girls in drag (one of my favorite tropes, as long-time readers know) or girls in non-traditional roles. Like little girl pirates. Especially little girl pirates who have an eyepatch-wearing teddy bear named One-Eyed Tom.

3. I love excellent words and the use of wordplay. This is, again, no surprise to long-time readers and to those of you who know that I'm a poet. Check out the image and text from the first spread in the book:

Charlotte Jane the hearty came howling into the world with the sunrise.

"Arr. She's finer than a ship full of jewels," said her mother, smiling.

"Arr," agreed her father.

"Also," said her mother, "she's got oomph."

"Formidable oomph," said her father.

This book is ideal for every fan of pirates, for readers who (like me) appreciate girls in nontraditional roles, and for every family that's ever battled bedtime, this book is a must-have. And hey - it'll be available just in time for September 19th, which is (as we all know) "Talk Like a Pirate Day".

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( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 27th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
ha ha- love that little snippet... :)
Aug. 27th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC)
The rest of the book is just as great - text and illustrations both!
Aug. 27th, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy for Myra. And Linda has said great things about the book. So exciting to have it coming out!
Aug. 27th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
It's really and truly fabulous - and I'm so happy for Myra too!
Aug. 27th, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
MYRA WROTE A BOOK! YAH!!!!! It looks like fun. I'm delighted for her. She kind of dropped off the radar for me.

(The image isn't showing up for me.)
Aug. 27th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
I will check the image settings, in case something's amiss.
Aug. 27th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed the excerpt, especially. This will be a fun one to read to my girls. Thank you for sharing!
Aug. 27th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
You're going to love it - and in this case, that's a prediction AND a promise!
Aug. 28th, 2011 05:52 am (UTC)
Aw, that's really fun! And so appropriate. My best friend had "pirate day" with the kids today, and sent me a youtube link to her playing the piano and singing "What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor" with my oldest godchild, in costume. At the end, my godchild leapt on top of the piano and waved his saber with a terrifying "ARRRRRR!" This seems like the sort of book that could go on the favorites list with "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus."
Aug. 28th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
Ooh - That would be WONDERFUL if it ended up on a favorites list like that! And that video sounds especially adorable!
Aug. 28th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, dear Kelly! I know I told you this before, but I'm just so happy this appealed to your inner saber-waving girlchild. Yay!

And thanks, every one else, for the kind words. xoxo!
Aug. 28th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
You are very, very welcome, lovely Myra! Your book is abso-freakin'-lutely adorable, and deserves lots and lots of readers!!
Aug. 31st, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
Kelly, so glad you posted this. I'm a HUGE fan of Myra's wonderful writing. And Myra--I am so so thrilled for you. Congratulations!!
Aug. 29th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
I have two close mom-friends, both with Charlottes! One Charlotte was actually named after a pirate and the other Charlotte notoriously battles bedtime. Looks like I'll be picking up two copies.

Thanks for the review! Arrrrr.
Aug. 29th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
How perfect is this book for your friends? SO perfect!!

"One Charlotte was actually named after a pirate" - man, do I want to hear that story.
Aug. 29th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
Oh how cool. I will definitely be picking that up!
Aug. 31st, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
You will love it. That is a prediction and a promise.
Aug. 30th, 2011 06:01 am (UTC)
I loved the illustrations, but when I read that first page?? LOVE.
Aug. 31st, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
The rest of the book is equally awesome. You're gonna like it a lot!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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