Friday, September 7, 2012

Wonderful Weirdos of Literature Series 2012 - Installment #8

Today is the first Friday in September, and that can only mean one thing: it's time for the Third Annual Bugs and Bunnies Wonderful Weirdos of Literature Series!

So, you might be thinking, what's a Wonderful Weirdo of Literature?

And, If this is Installment #8, where are Installments #1-7? 

And, Where did I put my jelly doughnut? 

If you're indeed having such thoughts, then fret not. I can help you out. 

The short answer to your first question is:
Every Friday in September, I post a round-up of kids' books I just love, with characters who are, well, characters. You know: the misunderstood, the eccentric, the quirky, the unique, the weird, the wacky. Those books might be picture books, or chapter books, or middle grade books, or young adult books.

The more detailed answer to your first and second question is:
Visit the bulleted links below:
  • Wonderful Weirdos Day - In this post, you'll learn about the Little-Known Holiday that sparked the idea for the Wonderful Weirdos of Literature Series here at Bugs and Bunnies. There's a genuine, dictionary definition of "weirdo," information about the holiday's founders, and some suggestions for how to celebrate the day, held annually on September 9th.
  • Wonderful Weirdos of Literature Series - This is the main page for the series. Here you'll find a brief explanation of how the series works, and links to Installments #1-7 from the previous two celebrations.
As for your third question? 
I'm afraid you're on your own with that one. But once your curiosity is satisfied (about the weirdo things, not the jelly doughnut thing), come on back to this post, so we can get things started for 2012.

* * *

Back now? Wonderful! Let's get right to it, shall we?

In honor of all the Wonderful Weirdos among us, I present to you, Installment #8 of the Third Annual Bugs and Bunnies Wonderful Weirdos of Literature Series. Since it was so much fun last year, I'm going with themes again this year. This week's theme:

Classics...and Classic Twists 

Kenny & the Dragon, written and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
Ages 8 and up 

Kenny is a book-loving rabbit who lives with his farming mother and father. One day, his father bursts in from the sheep field in a panic, announcing that they must pack their things ASAP and light out of there, because he just saw a real, live, dragon! At the top of their very hill! After consulting his borrowed copy of a bestiary, Kenny persuades his parents to let him go check it out. Once he finally meets the dragon, he realizes the bestiary isn't entirely accurate concerning his new friend. But then the townspeople get wind of the dragon, and are so frightened that they prepare to rid themselves of it. Can Kenny show the townspeople that the dragon is not what they think? Or, will he have to make the impossible choice of saving a new friend, or saving an old one?

I, Crocodile, written and illustrated by Fred Marcellino 
Ages 4 and up

This is the story of a particular Nile crocodile, told by the crocodile himself. He lives a contented life in Egypt, a life of crocodilian leisure, until one day a famous stranger arrives, and his idyllic life is uprooted. He finds himself one of the objects Napoleon wishes to take back home to France. Once there, he lives a new life of leisure, with some celebrity thrown in, and he comes to love this life as well. But when Napoleon's interest wanes, the crocodile is in danger of being dinner, instead of eating dinner. What is a captive crocodile to do? How will he possibly escape this culinary fate?

Frog and Toad Together, written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel 
Ages 4 and up

Frog and Toad are the best of friends. They do things together. They help each other when things go wrong.  They have cookies together. They read together. They even have heart-pounding adventures together. And they definitely don't always do things the way you or I would. But in the end, their unusual ideas somehow end up working, even if it's not the way they expected those ideas to work. And isn't it more fun that way?

The House on East 88th Street, written and illustrated by Bernard Waber
Ages 5 and up

The day Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Primm and their young son Joshua move into the house on East 88th street, they hear an unusual sound coming from somewhere in the house: SWISH, SWASH, SPLASH, SWOOSH. So Mrs. Primm goes to investigate. When she takes a peek in the bathroom, she finds the source of that sound: A crocodile! In their bathtub!

Then, an oddly dressed man arrives at the door, hands Joshua Primm a note, and leaves. Hector P. Valenti's note explains that the crocodile's name is Lyle, that he will only eat Turkish caviar, and that he can perform tricks. Will the Primms welcome Lyle into their family? 

The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be, written and illustrated by Mini Grey
Ages 4 and up

You know this story, right? Of course you do: Prince must find princess to wed. Prince just can't find the Right Girl. Prince's mother the Queen gets frustrated with Prince's fickleness. Queen devises a test: only the princess who can feel a tiny pea hidden at the bottom of a gargantuan pile of mattresses is worthy of marrying her son. Many princesses try and fail, until finally, one special princess passes the test. 

But, have you ever heard this story...from The Pea's point of view? 

* * *

Thank you for joining me for this 8th installment of the Third Annual Bugs and Bunnies Wonderful Weirdos of Literature Series. Before I go, I'd like to share with you this little rumination on Weirdness:

I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird.
                                                               - Frank Zappa 

Come on back next Friday, for Installment #9. There's gonna be some mighty strange goings on...


1 comment:

  1. From the Pea's point of view? Seriously? Ahaha! I had no idea.

    Of course I know Frog and Toad, and Lyle the Crocodile, and I've heard of Kenny and the Dragon, but the others are new to me.

    Clever post, Kim!


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