Of Summer and Ferris Wheels and Anita Silvey

When Greg Pincus was in Austin this past February at the Austin SCBWI annual conference, he said that the blogs which get delivered to his mailbox through RSS feeds change over the course of the year as he learns of new bloggers or wants to read something different. I can relate. I am not rigorous about changing which blogs I read but I do evolve and sometimes, I find one that is particularly insightful or lovely.

Recently, I discovered the amazing Anita Silvey’s Book-A-Day Almanac in which she explores one book per day from the annals of children’s literature. Silvey’s background in children’s literature is extensive so her posts are informative and often give an insight about the book which you wouldn’t normally know.

This week, she did a post on Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting not simply because it is one of her all time favorite books but because it was the first week of August and Babbitt had written these lines:

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.”

Gorgeous, eh?

Anita Silvey has been the editor of The Horn Book review journal and the publisher of children’s books at Houghton Mifflin. This is a woman who knows children’s literature. The Children’ s Book-a-Day Almanac is a daily love letter to a book or author. I love waking up to these letters every morning.

4 Responses to “Of Summer and Ferris Wheels and Anita Silvey”

  1. jama

    Yes yes yes. I love Anita’s Book-a-Day Almanac too. Feel so “nourished” reading the daily entries.

    Thanks for that beautiful excerpt! Sigh. So perfect.