Too Many Books In The Kitchen

I'm Michael Hingston, books columnist for the Edmonton Journal (new columns every other Friday).

My first novel, The Dilettantes, was just published by Freehand Books. Here's everything you might want to know about it.

Other topics under discussion: podcasts, strange sodas, the Wu-Tang Clan, and Moby-Dick.

Email me, if you like, at hingston [at] gmail [dot] com. I'm available for hire and I like free books.

WRITING

Favourites: 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013
What I Read: 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 (so far)

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OTHER PIECES

"Comic Sans" (The Incongruous Quarterly)
"'No Fear' T-Shirts Based on Board Games" (McSweeney's)

"The Men in the Mirror"
"Moby-Dick; or, My Favourite Book"
"The Pop-Culture Annotated 'Lord's Prayer'"
"Tumblr Recommends"

Dept. of Darndest Things: Mélanie Watt, Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party

My daughter Bridget, who just turned 5, likes books as much as I do. (Finn, also pictured, is indifferent.) When I can convince her to write a joint review of a new kids’ title, the result is a dispatch from the Dept. of Darndest Things.

Today we look at Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party (Kids Can Press, $16.95), Mélanie Watt’s latest instalment in her mega-cute franchise.

* * * * *

What’s this story about?

B: Just say “Scaredy Squirrel has a birthday party” for that.

Is it a funny book, or a sad book?

B: Funny.

How many times did you laugh?

B: I don’t think I ever have.

How many times did you smile?

B: I don’t know. [Quickly] One time!

You’ve read all the Scaredy Squirrel books. Why do you like them?

B: I haven’t read all of them! I’ve read three of them.

Okay, okay. What do you like about them?

B: I think they’re really silly. But I don’t like how Mr. Finn grabs at all my books! I like the ones that have lots of charts, and plans. I like all those. I think they’re pretty neat. I have no idea how to stop this baby from grabbing at my book.

Did Scaredy Squirrel give you any ideas for your birthday party?

B: Well, I asked Mom to check my date of birth. I was trying to pick a safe location: our house. Mom gave me a bit of a breathing thing [to practice blowing out candles].

If you could ask Mélanie Watt to make a new Scaredy Squirrel book, what would you want it to be about?

B: A book about me.

You and Scaredy Squirrel?

B: Just me, generally.

* * * * *

Like this? Check out the entire Dept. of Darndest Things archive here.

Oct 19, 2011
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