Hotel Deep: Light Verse From Dark Water by Kurt Cyrus (Harcourt, 2005). Dive into the deep, guided by twenty-one poems--wet, witty, and wild--that bring to life the ocean's dangers and delights. Magnificiently illustrated, grand in scope, and yet still child-centric in its focus on a lone sardine in search of his school. All ages. Highly recommended.
Hotel Deep is a must-buy, must-read, must-pass-on-to-other-readers kind of picture book.
(And this is coming from a woman who saw "Jaws" at an impressionable age.)
The text is by turns suspenseful, funny, thrilling, and oh-so smart. The paintings are irresistible. I could spend hours studying the art.
Plus, the back matter, featuring mini illos identifying various sea creatures make Hotel Deep not only a poetic and artistic triumph, not only emotionally affecting with an all-ages appeal, but also a wonderful tool for teachers.
In case, I'm not being clear enough, think: amazing! Caldecott-worthy!
Wait, stop thinking and just grab a copy for yourself!
Kurt will be speaking as part of the Poetry Round Up at the Texas Library Association conference in Austin from noon to 1:50 p.m. on April 6 with Brod Bagert, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Pat Mora, Walter Dean Myers, Susan Pearson, Joyce Sidman, Quincy Troupe, and Janet Wong.
By the way, Kurt also illustrated another new book, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story by Anne Bustard (Simon & Schuster, 2005); if you haven't already, read her Story Behind The Story interview. Anne and Kurt will be signing at BookPeople at 6th and Lamar in Austin on April 9 from 1 to 3 p.m.
In addition, Kurt is the illustrator of one of my other favorite books, Sixteen Cows by Lisa Wheeler (Harcourt, 2002).
I received a note yesterday letting me know That New Animal by Emily Jenkins (FSG/Frances Foster, 2005) and The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart (Delacorte, 2005) are now available! Read E. Lockhart's blog.
I also received a postcard from Kimberly Willis Holt announcing the 2005 Random House paperback edition of Keeper of the Night, originally published by Henry Holt in 2003. I love the new cover art! Keeper of the Night received stars from Publisher's Weekly, SLJ, and Kirkus. It was also a BBYA, an ALA Notable, an SLJ Best Book, and a Kirkus Editor's Choice.
Thanks to Allison for mentioning my blog in her March 21, 2005 Live Journal entry. Regarding the death of characters in love stories, kill off as many as you need to (and no more) to get the story told.