Oh, how I love The Book Depository! In the space of one day, it can turn a very sad, pathetic pile into something quite joyfully fantastic:
Last week I started to read ‘The Gormenghast Trilogy’, by Mervyn Peake. ‘Gormenghast’ is #84 on the BBC Big Read list, and the copy I have also contains the first (‘Titus Groan’) and third (‘Titus Alone’) in the series. I had low expectations for this book, having been warned by a fellow book-lover that ‘Gormenghast’ was ghastly, but so far, ‘Titus Groan’ has been okay. Peake’s writing style is a bit unusual (a little bit dark, a little bit flowery) and I am yet to figure out when the story is set; the characters all seem like caricatures – and have so far been described in extremes in terms of physical description and personality.
I think I’m enjoying it, but I’m not 100% convinced just yet. It’s a little bit compulsive in its oddity, and I feel a like I’m compelled to keep turning each page, like I’m watching a car crash about to happen and can’t tear my eyes from it.
Tiny’s interest in stories seems to have waned recently. We used to read him four bedtime stories, but now we’re lucky if he sits through two. I’m hoping it’s just a phase, and that once he’s settled into his new bedtime routine*, he’ll be back to my snuggly little bookworm.
Two that do have him sit still long enough are lift-the-flap ones: ‘Billy Bunny’, by Janet Allison Brown, and ‘Time for Bed Little Kiwi’, by Bob Darroch.
‘Billy Bunny’ was a Christmas gift two years ago that we’d left at The Farm, but at Easter, Tiny couldn’t get enough of it so we decided to bring it home. I’m not a big fan; it’s one of those, “There is no point to this story” stories (Billy Bunny wants to play but everyone is too busy…), but the illustrations are cute and Tiny likes all the different woodland animals.
On the other hand, ‘Time for Bed Little Kiwi’ is fantastic! I love its simplicity, the educational aspect, and gorgeous illustrations; there is a little ladybird doing something funny in each picture that Tiny loves to talk about, and the native NZ flora and fauna make it all the more special.
This one was a birthday gift from Grandma and Granddad, but I had previously bought a copy to send to one of Tiny’s little friends in England. It retails for $14.99 at The Warehouse and is very light and thin, which makes it the perfect gift for sending overseas.
*Since going into his big boy bed, bedtime has become a bit of an “event” here. We can’t shut Tiny’s bedroom door completely (nor do we want to), and he hasn’t quite grasped the concept of staying in his bed, even when he’s dog-tired. This week we’re trying a new tactic, and we will win this battle…it may just take some time!