Progress, Part II
This week has also been productive on the graduate school front. Last week, I received a required and a recommended reading list for the program. The required list includes 120 books, and the recommended 100+. Along with the list of books came my first assignment. By the time I go to my first residency in January, I need to read 40 required books and write an annotated bibliography. This basically means I write the author, title, etc., and then a paragraph discussing elements of style or story that I find interesting in each book.
I made a trip to the library on Monday and picked up nearly 20 books from the required list. These were mostly picture books, with a few middle grade novels.
Thus far, I’ve read the following:
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Miss Nelson is Missing! By Harry Allard
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith
Several of these are classics that I had never read. It was a joy to read them now. I hadn’t realized that Babe was a book before it was a movie, so it was interesting to see the differences between the two!
It’s a challenge to read these books with a writer’s eye and take the time to really consider the style and story, what works and why it works. Some months ago, when I was thinking about school but not sure about it, I started to read some children’s books, but my method of selection was more haphazard. I just picked up things that looked interesting or by authors that I already admired. Having a comprehensive list of 120 must reads for an aspiring children’s novelist is a fabulous thing. I look forward to reading each and every one!