24 September 2008

Book Review: I Went Walking

As a blogger with most of the word literary in my name, I think we can all agree I'm a logical choice to review books for the masses not so terminologically blessed. Whether or not you defy me by not readily agreeing with my assertion, a presumably large number of book publishers and authors' representatives do agree.

After recently becoming inundated with review copies of books*, I decided it was time to stop ignoring my cultural mandate. To this end, I figured I would begin by offering the world some unsolicited but obviously very welcome reviews.

Thus, I offer you my inaugural book review here at LiteralDan: Sue Williams' I Went Walking:
Cover of Sue Williams' I Went Walking
Now, if you're like me, you can't help but be struck by how horrendously grotesque the drawing of that child on the cover is, and you're too terrified to open the book itself.

I'm sure it's a very nice story.

* One copy** is enough to validate this statement-- every flood has to start with a trickle, right?

** It was not this book... I'm still preparing to read the one I was sent. It's only been a month: it's still good, it's still good!


Natalie said...

now see...that's just the kind of book that i would open. grotesque children intrigue me. as long as they aren't mine.

Goldfish said...

With my luck, that would become my kid's favorite book and I would be forced to read it (and ponder that poor child's hair and clothing) 27 times a day.

Anonymous said...

I am one of the unlucky parents whose kids actually adore this book. I prefer reading Walter the Farting Dog!

steenky bee said...

I've never laid eyes on this book before. But I have seen that child. She looks just like the little one down the street. Yes, her hair always looks like it's on fire. I can't stop looking at this book cover. Thanks...or no thanks. I can't decide.

Mama Dawg said...

Um....nope. Can't get me to read that one. I preferred the classics for my kid.

You know, like Archie comics.

Kevin McKeever said...

You sum it up well and concisely. I know someone at the NYTimes Book Review if you need me to drop you a reference ...

Anonymous said...

The kid needs a brush or some gel. And is it a boy or a girl? Very gender neutral. And it looks like his father dressed him.*
* [Reference previous posts on that.] ooh. I can put a footnote right in my comment. Very fitting for this blog.

LiteralDan said...

Natalie: Well, then, it's a good thing you had a bunch of blond dolls that Turkish people can't stop touching, right?

Goldfish: Yes, this is what I was afraid of when I saw it, in enormous form, at the library. Who besides a librarian running storytime could possibly need a 3-foot square book??

MamaNeena: Wow, you really lucked out there... Do you have any other creepy books to share? Like the one we have that firmly assets that "all kisses come from love" no matter who's giving them? You have to read it to see why it's unnerving.

I always expect to find a hidden footnote telling kids that they should keep all kisses a secret from their parents and other authority figures.

jenboglass: Are you telling me you live near

Mama Dawg: We always like to gather round the fire to read a few chapters from The Cheerios Box.

And as far as comics go, D- and I have been really into reading Tintin's adventures since my brother and his wife got him one in Spanish for his birthday. That was a personal challenge, I think, to see how much I could remember from high school.

We're excited to see the movie next year. You should all plan to go see it so they are encouraged to go ahead with the trilogy as planned.

Always Home and Uncool: No thanks! Those people won't stop calling and calling. I keep telling them-- poverty keeps my art pure, so leave me alone!

Mary: I am convinced that it is neither boy nor girl, but rather an alien sent here to kill us all.

If this drawing is based in any way on a real person, I am so, so sorry for that person.

* Leave the footnotes to a trained professional, lady.

Aracely said...

Ughh! I could hear my sons now...
Mom what's wrong with that boy?
Mom do giant ducks eat small boys?

That's why the only books we keep in the home have pictures of food.

Pregnantly Plump said...

Is that supposed to be a boy? I thought it might be the crazy older person in the park trying to feed the ducks.

Anonymous said...

The child was definitely dressed by his or her father.

And that goose or duck or whatever looks HUNGRY, so he or she better look out!

Kori said...

And pathcwork quilt pants? I have been really tring to get Owen to like clowns, since I have a clown toy to give him for Christmas, so this book will totally NOT be one we get-it would scare the crap out of him.

Brittany said...

I would love to give it a go, but I have an irrational fear of geese and red headed step children.

Ali said...

Hmmm...makes me wonder where Julie Vivas gets her inspiration from. And what her walls are decorated with.

Momo Fali said...

My son just read this book for kindergarten homework! I thought it was pretty cute. Does that make me weird? Oh, wait...everyone already knew that.

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

I agree with andrea ... dressed by his/her father. My girls look similar to that (only with different colored sticking up like fire hair) whenever I run early errands - I come home to unwanted, unloved refugee children that look like that picture.

unmitigated me said...

One of my kids favorite books was called Monster Mama. No reflection on me, I'm sure.

Seriously Brenda said...

That kid looks exactly like my mother-in-law. Jealous??

Anonymous said...

you may need to change your blog title to literary dan. bwaa-haa-haa!

KatBouska said...

I don't care what you say...that kid is freaking hot.

LiteralDan said...

Threeboys1mommy: What, no books of closeups of baby faces? Those are a big hit 'round here.

Pregnantly Plump: I can neither confirm nor deny whether or not this is supposed to be a boy. The thought of investigating is more than a little frightening.

Andrea's Sweet Life: I resent that remark, mostly because it hits pretty close to home. I've gotten a lot better, though.

Kori: That boy is right to be wary of clowns, because they are unnatural and disturbing.

Brittany: What's irrational about such a fear? Don't be so hard on yourself.

ali: That bird might be a hint. And Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker may further add color to our portrait of the artist as a sick individual.

Momo Fali: Like I said, I'm sure the story is perfectly fine, but I'd like to call for a re-illustration before I will find out firsthand.

The phrase "kindergarten homework" makes me laugh and cry at the same time. So wrong. It's like making them pay "taxes" just to get used to the idea as early as possible.

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact!: Just because Tom Petty let us all know that we don't have to live like a refugee doesn't mean it's not a desirable lifestyle. He was just informing us of our varied options in life.

Their dad is just providing balance to the force, my friend. Look for the genius in the chaos, and then apologize to him.

After changing the kids' clothes.

Middle Aged Woman: Not at all. Monsters feel remorse.

Seriously Mama: Are you kidding?? Now you have to send in a picture. No one could blame you for any hostility (or naked fear) you hold toward her, if that's the case.

├╝berburber: That's the nicest suggestion I've gotten yet for a blog name change. The rest are either obscene and/or indictments of my skills and personality, though most of them have come from my childless and hilarious friend Adam.

Mama's Losin' It: Did you choke down just a tiny bit of vomit after you typed that? Be honest.

Irrational Dad said...

I never believed that there were "bad" childrens' books. Before Tyler came along, I never really opened them. It was all a vast mystery to me.

Last week, I read "Cows in the Kitchen" to Tyler. That book was horrendous. I hate it. Hate hate hate it.

Anonymous said...

I like the story for I Went Walking, but the boy is sort of excessively ugly. Not, however, as ugly OR as frankly disturbing as the kid in No, David! He freaks me out with his point fangs.

PlainOleMike said...

That kid looks like the love child of Fire Marshall Bill and Bozo the Clown. What is that book, a cautionary tale about touching geese?

CaraBee said...

Best book review. Ever.

And strangely I'm not turned off by the strangely drawn kid.

LiteralDan said...

Joe: I'll have to look for that one, because I am a sucker for a train wreck.

Miss Grace: Same as above. I've heard of that one, but I'm not sure where.

PlainOleMike: I haven't thought about Fire Marshall Bill in a long time. I'll have to go on YouTube to reminisce.

I think this book is a cautionary tale about using hallucinigenic drugs before conceiving and creating a series of illustrations for a children's book.

CaraBee: Well, I happen to have a giant copy of the book, since it's the one I saw (I warn you, larger=scarier) and I didn't feel like hunting for a more rationally sized copy.

I could scan it and send you a poster, TigerBeat-style, if you'd like.

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

Oooh boy, scary child on book cover. I can see nightmares in my future. Seriously, who reads books with ugly children on them? I may be non-PC but I have a point, don't I?

Mrs4444 said...

Yeah, I don't get that ugly kid thing...I guess it's PC, but Yuck!

LiteralDan said...

Elisa: I can't answer you as to who would, except to say that I would not. I have very clear standards of attractiveness for those I gaze upon in permanent, fixed forms of media.

Mrs4444: Let's hope this Ugly Kid Thing does NOT catch on, because it might somehow manage to become even more annoying than hearing the name and seeing the face of this Miley Cyrus person everywhere, all the time.

Anonymous said...

Why does that chile have the receeding hairline of a middle-aged man? I am afraid of that book. I'm also irritated that someone got paid a tidy little sum to draw that illustration.

LiteralDan said...

I'm more afraid of the illustrator than the book itself, and I think of her payment as being the dirty cash in a suitcase you'd pay to a hitman.

Or, in this case, a hitwoman targeting my eyeballs and my previously happy, unmolested dreams.

Anonymous said...

Ha! This is one of my kids favorites ... my three year old "reads" it out loud to my one year old ... I agree, strange looking child!

TerriRainer said...

OMG it looks like Chucky!

The Microblogologist said...

Dude, don't you know anything? Since the mullet fell out of fashion a couple years ago they have been looking for its replacement. Introducing the mulhawk, party in the front business in the back!

Oh and after reading all the comments I am so screening every kid book before letting a kid see it.


LiteralDan said...

tierd: I feel so sorry for you, though at least now they read it amongst themselves so you don't have to.

TerriRainer: You know, you're right-- that just adds a whole new layer of fright.

The Microblogologist: Mulhawk-- nicely done. I don't have the guts to try to pull it off myself, but I really hope I'll be able to talk someone else into it.

Screening kids books is an absolute must. There is a lot of crazy stuff out there.