Thursday, March 10, 2011

"My Favorite Picture Book" Blogfest!

The day has come!  The time is now!  My first blogfest is upon us!

I've had a great group of people sign up to bravely blog about their favorite picture book.  Brave, you ask?  Yes, brave.  Because I think it takes a certain amount of self-reflection (which is always kind of scary) to narrow down your favorite anything.  In fact, I admitted to Shannon O'Donnell over at Book Dreaming, that I had not managed to narrow down my choice and I'm the one who thought of this crazy idea!

And here it is Wednesday (as I write) and I'm still debating what to label as my "Favorite."  The picture book that re-ignited my love of picture books when I started writing ("Bridget's Beret")?  The picture books I love reading out loud to my children ("Bear Snores On" and "Llama Llama Red Pajama")?  The picture book that touched my heart as a family member was dying ("City Dog, Country Frog")?  The first picture book I could read all by myself and proudly brought to kindergarten to show off  ("Go, Dog, Go")?

While all of those would be good choices, I decided to go with the picture book that stands out in my mind as my "favorite" when I was a kid.  In fact, when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, one of the first things I did was buy this book on eBay (because it is out of print).  It is "Popcorn", written and illustrated by Frank Asch.  This is probably not one of Mr. Asch's more well known books.  It is one of his bear books like "Milk & Cookies" and "Bread & Honey."  But "Popcorn" captured my imagination as a child.  It combined three of my favorite things as a kid.  Halloween and popcorn and mail! I've referred to the Parents Magazine Press book club before, and this book came in the mail for me one day when I was little.  Instant love!

In the story, Sam Bear invites friends over for a Halloween party when his parents go out and asks everyone to bring something for the party.  Everyone turns up in fun costumes and with popcorn.  When they decide to pop all of the popcorn, it fills the entire house.  I'm not sure why, but this appeals to my need for coziness.  Doesn't it sound cozy to be surrounded by popcorn?  All snug like a package being mailed?  No?  Just me?  Anyway, they have to eat their way out of the mess before Mom and Dad get home.  When they get back, Sam is in bed and they've brought him some popcorn for taking good care of the house!

Something I find interesting as an adult, is that this is basically a John Hughes-type plot.  Mom & Dad are out of the house, so a big party is thrown and gets out of control.  Very high school-ish.  Even though I never did this (I wasn't exactly a rebel), when I was small the idea of it delighted me.  There is something very liberating about reading a story where the "kid" does something independent of their parents and basically gets away with it.  The brilliance of this book is that even though Sam's parents don't catch him, he still learns his lesson because he and all of his friends have stomach aches and regret.  And then it is rubbed in when his "treat" is just more popcorn from his unsuspecting parents.  Or did they know all along?  : )

Now go read about other favorite picture books!

25 comments:

  1. Aww, I totally remember reading Popcorn when I was younger. You're right about it giving a cozy sort of feeling. Great choice, and thanks for this wonderful blogfest!

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  2. Hi, fellow Crusader! I'm finally FINALLY finishing the rounds!

    Love love LOVE this blogfest. I'm a sucker for picture books. I'm particularly find of the Llama Llama series you mentioned. They're just so fun to read aloud. My all-time favorite to read to my daughter is You Are My I Love You. It makes me cry every time. :)

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  3. Hi Katy! Thanks so much for this blogfest - it is absolutely delightful! 'Popcorn' has a familiar ring to it, and I am sure I read it as a kid. Love your thoughts on independence. I'll finish the rounds in the morning as it is past midnight in my part of the world! Thanks for your lovely comment on my post, too. :)

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  4. Oops! I wrote to Katy, but meant Megan! See what happens when you stay up too late!!! (And Katy thanks for your comment too!)

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  5. I love Popcorn! And sadly, my library's last copy was loved so much that we had to discard it. I was devastated when I couldn't find it in print through our vendor. It's such a great story.

    Thank you for doing this blogfest. It's been a blast participating! :--)

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  6. Hi, Megan! I found you through Rachael Harrie's blog. I had to comment because as soon as I started reading, I thought, "I would pick 'Go, Dog, Go!'", because I picked it every time we went to the library when I was a little kid. Then you mentioned it!

    Anyway, just wanted to say hi. Also, your kids are adorable. I love the curly red hair! (My husband's entire family are redheads, so I have a soft spot for them :)

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  7. That independent streak is powerful! Thanks for the blogfest!

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  8. Thanks for hosting this blogfest! It's going to be great fun to see what everyone chooses. I've not seen your book either but it does sound fun and a bit high schoolish-- having a party where the party gets out of hand- a pre-Footloose kind of story! LOL Very fun!

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  9. Love this-- will have to check it out with my kids.

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  10. Yay for the blogfest! Those are some good choices. Not sure if I'd ever heard of Popcorn but it does sound like an interesting book. I just remembered two more books: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and if You give a Moose a Muffin. And yes, I have a stuffed moose to go along with the book. lol

    Thanks for the fun blogfest.

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  11. This will be exciting! Can't wait to see what others bring up as their favorites. Thanks for hosting this!

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  12. Love all of Frank Ash's stuff, esp the Moon and shadow ones. Science for toddlers...pretty clever.

    Thanks for hosting this! So much fun!

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  13. This has been so much fun! Thank you all for joining me in either writing, reading or both for this blogfest. I'd say my first one was a success! For those of you who will still put one up, please do! I'll keep the widget going for a while so folks have enough time to get around to them all. Late-comers welcome!

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  14. There was NO WAY I could do this one, sorry. I love everything, everyone, every book, etc. I couldn't even post my own favorite coffee mug for my own blogfest, for goodness sake!! I LOVE picture books. If it has pictures, I read it to my kids (biological and students). Love, love, love. Thanks for the new suggestions and I will definitely click the links this weekend when I have time to read and make a list!

    Bear Snores On...swoon...
    erica

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  15. Yikes!! I totally went psycho and forgot about your fest. I will write up a post for Monday. (I normally don't blog on Thursday.)

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  16. I had forgotten all about "Popcorn". I remembered it as you where describing it.
    Thanks for the blogfest, it was fun.

    Pamela Jo
    http://theresjustlifeyaliveit.blogspot.com

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  17. What a wonderful blogfest. I have read some and they are great. Brings back a lot of memories.

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  18. Oh my! It slipped my mind:( Yikes! I'll post something 'toute de suite'. Sorry:(

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  19. Love your entry Megan. The only book called Popcorn I've heard of is by Ben Elton. I'm going to look for the pb one.

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  20. Your PB blogfest is a great idea, Megan. Nice work. You've got me thinking of mine - though as you can see, I didn't get a moment to blog about them. And like you... where to start???

    I don't know your 'Popcorn' book - but I can't help but wonder if you have a popcorn fetish yourself.

    I did recently read 'City Dog, Country Frog' and found it beautiful but very sad. Books like that are important - but I can't imagine they'd be easy to write.

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  21. Thanks for the great blogfest! I've found some other fabulous blogs along the way.

    I had never read Popcorn, but my daughter checked it out of her school library earlier this year and both my kids fell in love with it.

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  22. This was a great blogfest!

    I've never read Popcorn; I can't wait until English-language books are more easily accessible!

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  23. This is a really great post! I posted my favorite picture book today...finally. Thanks for hosting the blogfest.

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  24. I'm late, but I finally made it, Megan. I've been dying to find out which book you'd choose. I've never seen this one before, but it sounds like fun. :-)

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  25. I'm sorry I am so late but I have made it now and I am going to head off and read everyone's choices! Thank you so much Megan, was a lot of fun going through my mental pb library trying to pick one (and failing!)

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