[Monday Reading] Found Poetry and Lost Stories in “Goodnight Songs” and “Horton and the Kwuggerbug”

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Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (brainchild of Sheila at BookJourney). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.

Last Week’s Review and Miscellany Posts

We’re also inviting everyone to join our Award Winning Books Reading Challenge for 2015 (#AWBRead2015)! It’s that time of the year to set new reading goals for the coming year.

https://gatheringbooks.org/2014/12/03/award-winning-books-reading-challenge-2015-awbread2015/

Here is the sign up page. Pansing Books has once again generously pledged book prizes (award-winning titles of course) to one randomly-selected participant of this challenge every two months. Click here to view my announcement post to learn more details. You can also use the widgets below if you are participating in this challenge. You can also use the hashtag #AWBRead2015 if you’re signing up and posting on Twitter.

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Many thanks, dear Iphigene, for this lovely widget. Truly beautiful.

Many thanks, dear Iphigene, for this lovely widget. Truly beautiful.

I received a copy of Goodnight Songs a year ago and I wanted to save it for something special. When I discovered that there was a newly-published collection of Dr. Seuss’ lost stories, I immediately sensed that these buried treasures would fit perfectly together; add the fact that both Margaret Wise Brown and Dr. Seuss exemplify the best that children’s fantasy has to offer – perfect for our current reading theme.

IMG_6925Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories

Written and Illustrated byDr. Seuss Introduction by: Charles D. Cohen
Published by: Random House, 2014
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I grew up on Dr. Seuss. The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham were my absolute favourites when I was a very young girl. When I discovered that Dr. Seuss had a new book of his ‘lost stories’ out, I immediately checked whether we already have a copy in our public library here in Singapore, and I was thrilled to find it in the featured section of the Jurong West Public Library.

There are four ‘lost stories’ shared here in this collection with beloved, familiar characters as the protagonists. Charles Cohen explained it quite beautifully in his Introduction:

… as much fun as it is to read a new Dr. Seuss story, there’s an equal thrill in revisiting beloved Seuss characters and settings. And in this collection, you get both: stories you’re unlikely to have read, each featuring a familiar element.

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In Horton and the Kwuggerbug, we are once again reminded of Horton’s steadfastness of character, his unwavering integrity, and his remarkable tenacity especially when it comes to keeping his word. And so when this detestable Kwuggerbug cajoled Horton into bringing him safely to his Beezlenut tree, under the condition of course that they would share its bounty, Horton was deeply committed into following through his every word, even if it means swimming his way through a lake filled with crocodiles, climbing a terrible mountain nine thousand feet high, and stretching his blue trunk out to get the greedy and crafty Kwuggerbug safely across. Whether Horton gets his beezlenuts, I shall leave for you to discover.

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Hah. This one is a familiar tale among many teachers: Marco Comes Late. What can Marco do, when so many things happen, indeed, in Mulberry Street? The thin line between a lie and imagination is likewise explored here, which reminded me a little bit of Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener.

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How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town is a cumulative tale of what will most likely happen if the buzzing gnat would bite the head of old Thomas, the sleeping cat, and what Officer Pat should do to prevent it. This one reminded me so much of another one of my favourite books:

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The tales are made of exactly the same mold. Fun, inventive, crazy, absurd, wild, and all simmering in the mind of the reader – teetering on the edge of dream and reality.

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The last story is more like a vignette: The Hoobub and the Grinch. While The Grinch here hardly looks like the one who stole Christmas, they do have similar qualities: manipulative and concerned with useless consumerism. Dr. Seuss scholars might even surmise that this is the younger version of The Grinch before he eventually became the green thing that he is.

This is definitely a book that should be added to your collection of Dr. Seuss tales, fellow bibliophiles. Here is a book trailer for your delectation.

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Written by: Margaret Wise Brown Illustrated by: Twelve Award-Winning Picture Book Artists – Jonathan Bean, Carin Berger, Sophie Blackall, Linda Bleck, Renata Liwska, Christopher Silas Neal, Zachariah Ohora, Eric Puybaret, Sean Qualls, Isabel Roxas, Melissa Sweet, Dan Yaccarino
Published by: Sterling Children’s Books, 2014
Book given to me by Isabel Roxas.

I am forever grateful to Isabel “Pepper” Roxas for sending a copy of this gorgeous book to me. Isabel was our featured illustrator here in GatheringBooks sometime early this year and one of our invited speakers at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in 2012. Her illustration also happens to be in the book cover of Goodnight Songs.

In the Introduction written by Amy Gary, Editor of the Margaret Wise Brown Estate, Amy shared how she chanced upon a treasure trove of forgotten manuscripts, fragments of poetry, lost songs:

Twenty years ago I found the treasure of a lifetime: hundreds of pages of unpublished manuscripts, poem fragments, and lyrics for songs by Margaret Wise Brown, the bestselling author of Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and so many others. 

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There is something infinitely powerful in finding the lost voice of a beloved author. In this collection, the reader gets to listen to Margaret’s familiar, lilting, soothing voice; the same one that lulled many young children to sleep over the years. It is so precious knowing that there will be new generations of children who will now be charmed by Margaret’s timeless verse in these 12 poems, matched perfectly by the amazing lines, colours, craftsmanship of award-winning illustrators of today.

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Aside from Pepper’s illustration of Sleep Like a Rabbit, I was also especially taken with Sophie Blackall’s blues and soft shades of pink in Mambian Melody…

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… and Melissa Sweet’s trademark deceptively-simple collage art in The Secret Song as seen above.

Everything about this book, from the rhythmic patterning of each verse, the soothing quality of every word to the overall design and layout of the book and the typography – is pitch perfect. A book to treasure and hold dear to your heart. Here is the book trailer of Goodnight Moon. Enjoy dear friends.

Currently Reading…

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I am still hopeful that I finish have just finished reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater before year ends last night!! My reading is taking a slump as I catch up with work – particularly as I was left in charge of our Academic Group by our Head who’s on leave.

But I hope to start and finish reading Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson before 2014 ends. 🙂 Let’s see how that one goes.

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Reading Challenge Update: 306-307 (25)

13 Comments on [Monday Reading] Found Poetry and Lost Stories in “Goodnight Songs” and “Horton and the Kwuggerbug”

  1. Catherine Johnson // December 29, 2014 at 9:36 am // Reply

    What a great selection I can’t wait to read them. Thanks!

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  2. I was super excited for the Seuss book. It did not disappoint!

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  3. I want them both, Myra! I have been especially excited about the Goodnight Songs, with her words and all those lovely illustrators! It looks wonderful. Thanks for the new Dr. Seuss view too. I’m sure both are marvelous. Best wishes with all your busy time!

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  4. so FuN! great kids books and wishing you successful challenges!
    I got my wee grandson “Pat the Bunny’ and he was right into it with rapt attention – glad 🙂
    HapPy New Year!

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  5. Looks like you had a fun book shopping trip! I love the Dr. Seuss books you found. The snow on your page is adorable!

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  6. Your children’s books look wonderful! Happy New Year!

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  7. I love Dr. Seuss. It looks like you had a great reading week. Girl Who Reads

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  8. Great pics of you book shopping! I really want to read Blue Lily, Lily Blue. You’re in for a treat with Brown Girl Dreaming! I enjoyed Goodnight Songs.

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  9. just planning to start reading Blue Lily Lily Blue – what did you think?
    Brown Girl Dreaming is wonderful – I plan on re reading it as well this week.
    Happy Reading and a Happy New Year!

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  10. More great books…woo hoo! How is it possible not to walk out of a bookstore without books?! 🙂

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  11. I really love the idea of Goodnight Songs with illustrations by so many wonderful artists. What a neat book! I have been reading so much that I’m now behind on work! Got so much planning and prepping to do for next semester but can’t start until I reach Book 200 for 2014!

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  12. I really need to get to the Raven Boys Trilogy. And I didn’t realize that Goodnight Songs had a book trailer. Thank you for sharing it.

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  13. Goodnight Songs is on my desk, waiting for a quiet moment (maybe this afternoon?) I haven’t read the new Dr. Seuss, but I loved Brown Girl Dreaming. You won’t have any trouble finishing it before Wednesday. Happy New Year, Myra!

    Like

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  1. [Monday Reading] Books That Made Me A Reader (Part 1 of Many) | Gathering Books

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