Book Hunting Expeditions

In My Mailbox (23): Loot from New Orleans, Mumbai, and Book Prizes

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that is being hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren. It’s a way to share the books that we have bought or were given to us over the past week.

Iphigene was supposed to post today for IMM but I requested to publish mine first since I could not contain my excitement in sharing the books I bought/were given to me from my recent travels.

Books from New Orleans

I was pleasantly surprised to see how vibrant the children’s literature scene is in New Orleans. While I did not have the chance to visit the local bookshop in the French Quarters area, I did see quite a number of picture books in the touristy shops. These are among the ones that spoke to me: Gumbo Goes Downtown written by Carol Talley and Illustrated by Itoko Maeno and Cajun Night Before Christmas illustrated by James Rice which I hope to feature this coming month.

This is an academic book that I ordered online. Since it was more expensive to have it shipped directly to Singapore, I had it shipped to a good friend who lives in Montreal whom I met while in New Orleans. I’m excited to read this: Musicians In Tune – Seventy-five Contemporary Musicians discuss the creative process by Jenny Boyd with Holly George-Warren.

Books upon arrival in Singapore

I was also very happy to finally receive the book prizes from Danielle Smith of There’s a Book: A Little Bit of Love by Cynthia Platt and illustrated by Hannah Whitty, Panda-monium! by Cynthia Platt and illustrated by Veronica Vasylenko, Hugless Douglas by David Melling and The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger and Illustrated by Julie Downing. Can’t wait to read these lovely picture books!

Thank you so much Danielle for going out of your way to make certain that the books reached me. I recalled participating in the Dewey’s Readathon last April and not ever receiving my supposed book prize of Tony Diterlizzi’s The Search for Wondla. But yeah, c’est lavie.

Books from Mumbai, India

A day after I arrived from New Orleans, I had to fly to Mumbai, India. It was truly a privilege to be invited as one of the speakers for the International Seminar and Exhibition “Creating Content(ment) for Children.” Naturally, I had to buy as many books as my budget would allow while I was on campus for the seminar. Here are my finds:

Monster Slick and the Magic Umbrella by Sanket Pethkar is one of the gifts given to the speakers by the conference organizers and I am truly intrigued by the cover. I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Arthur Flowers and illustrated by Manu Chitrakar, is a book that I bought for myself. I have been meaning to purchase Sita’s Ramayana by Samhita Arni and illustrated by Moyna Chitrakar – however, they ran out of copies. Woe is me.

The Parable of the Raintree by Jogesh Motwani and Raja Mohanty is another gift from the organizers. The other three books, though, I bought for myself: The Why-Why Girl by Mahasweta Devi and illustrated by Kanyika Kini. I have been enamored by Nina Sabnani during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content here in Singapore (click here to be taken to my post of Nina’s session) and so I just had to buy Stitching Stories co-authored with the artists of Kala Raksha. I was also taken by My Name is Amrita: Born to be an Artist by Anjali Raghbeer. It was glorious flipping through the pages and finding beauty within.

I was delighted when I saw this lovely picture book We are all Born Free by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures in association with Amnesty International. Illustrated by topnotch artists such as Peter Sis, Satoshi Kitamura, Alan Lee, Polly Dunbar, Jackie Morris, Debi Gliori, Chris Riddell, Axel Scheffler – among others, I just couldn’t resist getting this! Perfect for Nonfiction Monday as well.

A Wondrous Present from Suzy Lee

Suzy Lee was also one of the presentors in the International Seminar in India, and it was indeed glorious to catch up with her and see her there. We did a four-part feature of Suzy Lee here in GatheringBooks for our March/April Wordless Picture Book theme which you might want to check out here. I’ve always wanted to get a copy of her Alice in Wonderland which is difficult to get hold of, and it brings me such joy to share that she gave this lovely book to me as a present.

Suzy signing the book for my daughter, Myka
Thank you so much for your generosity of spirit, dearest Suzy!

Garage Sale in our Neighborhood

We hold a semi-regular garage sale here in the Staff Quarters of NTU (Nanyang Technological University), my institution. I make it a point to come and check out the book titles that other expatriates, professors, scholars are disposing of, and there are occasions when you find treasures buried within the trash, as I did yesterday. All these books were bought for 1 sgd.

These are my daughters’ picks, obviously. 🙂 There’s Adam Blade’s Beast Quest, The Golden Armour – Arachnid, the King of Spiders. That’s a long-ass title. She also got Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman, the fifth epic novel by Dav Pilkey. Thankfully, she also picked out Gary Paulsen’s Mudshark.

She was ecstatic to find a Goosebumps title – looks like a special edition with this mighty-neat packaging: Goosebumps, Horror Land, Write your Fright by R. L. Stine – kind of like a do-it-yourself horror storybook – the stories have no endings, thus, the reader needs to “write your own conclusion, what would your next move be?” – looks really nice.

Now, this one is my treasure: Cautionary Tales for children by Hilaire Belloc, rediscovered and illustrated by Edward Gorey. I got this for 1 SGD. How positively lucky can I get???? An Edward Gorey for 1sgd?! Unbelievable.

How about you? What’s your IMM for the week?

23 comments on “In My Mailbox (23): Loot from New Orleans, Mumbai, and Book Prizes

  1. Suzy Lee’s Alice looks wonderful, and that’s great that it’s signed too. Lovely books from New Orleans & the Cajun Night Before Christmas and Gumbo Goes Downtown look especially wonderful. Enjoy your haul!


    • Hi Lucy! Thanks for dropping by! Yes, I am excited to read through the New Orleans books – you’re right, Gumbo goes Downtown is luscious! 🙂 Enjoy yours too!


  2. I’m happy to see the books from Mumbai-new ideas for our library at school! On my bookshelf-lately I’ve finished Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu (marvelous) because I’m trying to read more books for middle readers (I have mostly taught middle school & have read a lot of YA books). So, instead of buying all the time, I’ve been browsing in our library & picked up A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park mostly because I loved her Long Walk to Water. And I thought I’d re-read Journey by Patricia MacLachlan, again to look for some books to satisfy younger readers. I am in the midst of reading a daily journal I was given & I try to read the day’s piece from this book each day. It’s title A Long Walk Through The Year, by Edwin Way Teale. I love that you found a book illustrated by Gorey. It is a real treasure! Thank you so much for sharing! I can see why you’re excited.


    • Hi Linda, these are delectable books, indeed. And I’m glad it has given you a number of ideas for your own library. I’ve heard so much about Linda Sue Park – I’ve read her volume on the 39 clues but haven’t had a chance to read any of her award-winning books yet. We’re hoping to invite her for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content here in Singapore for 2012.

      Yes, the Gorey find was just.plain.awesome. I’m a huge fan. I’ve read his The shrinking of tree horn and his Amphigorey. Amazing.


  3. Some very cute Children’s book. Excellent selection. Enjoy them.

    Livre De Amour-Books of Love


  4. I love the Alice in Wonderland book, it’s absolutely stunning!
    Also, some great children’s book… I always tell myself that I should pick up more children’s/middle grade books because I always enjoy them.
    “We Are All Born Free” looks lovely.

    As always, my TBR list has doubled from visiting here!


    • Hi Jo! I am really blessed with Suzy’s friendship. She actually ordered it from her own publisher and asked for a copy directly from Italy – it’s an extremely rare book, and to have her give it to me as a gift makes it all the more special. I’m glad to note your current theme as well in your blog! Looks really exciting.


  5. Oh wow! All of these books look awesome 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!


  6. Wow! Looks like you have been having a wonderful time traveling and enjoying books from all around the world. And how lovely to win a great giveaway, be given so many books as gifts, and have found so many deals on fabulous books…all in what seems to be a short period of time. I can see why you were so excited to write this post, which I really enjoyed reading!


    • Hi Kerry, I’m just glad that the traveling is over at least for the year (at least, I think so). 🙂 Yes, the giveaway is awesome. The book bargains are likewise wonderful. 🙂 So great to have you drop by and visit again.


  7. Nice IMM! It must have been awesome travelling. 😀 That’s cool you got it signed too. Hope you enjoy it all! Thanks for stopping by.


  8. Great to see some of the Tara books featured! Glad that you liked them & just sorry that you weren’t able to get your hands on a copy of Sita 🙂


  9. I hope you enjoy all these books! Happy reading!
    Here is my IMM


  10. I just sent off my review of Suzy Lee’s Mirror — fantastic little book — to the 2e Newsletter. I will definatly check out Alice in Wonderland. Also do I remember someone asking about biography pic books? If so, check out Dr. Ann Robinson’s web page at University of Arkansas, Little Rock. The Gifted Center. A great listing of quite a few books in this genre.

    I just did a quick check of my library and couldn’t find it — either loaned out or gave it away — a great pic book on New Orleans Jazz. I think the title might just be Jazz. Story of jazz and music in New Orleans.
    Bob Seney


    • Hi Dr. Bob! So glad to have you drop by! I’ve done a review of Suzy Lee’s Mirror as well – such a complex wordless picture book – I hope you had a chance to visit my review of that one which includes a Q and A with Suzy Lee. She’s based here now in Singapore. 🙂

      I would definitely check out Dr. Robinson’s webpage. I am quite fascinated with picture book biographies, I am thinking of doing a presentation on that one for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content here in Singapore for 2012.

      I don’t recall seeing a picture book entitled JAZZ when I was walking around the touristy shops in New Orleans. Would you happen to know who the author is?


      • Just checked out your review of Mirror — great — I also see that we both had about the same reaction! I also suggested that it parallels the frustrations that many of our twice exceptional learners have and that it might be a possible tool for bibliotherapy.
        I certainly plan to check our more of Suzy Lee — thanks for yhour greatg review and interview!

        I will do a bit of searching for the Jazz book title and author and send it along.

        Dr. B


  11. Pingback: Highlights of November and Carnival of Children’s Literature |

  12. Pingback: Cajun Night Before Christmas by James Rice |

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