Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Book-A-Day #1 (July 17): You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons by Mo Willems

World Fantasy-ishness being basically done, I decided to throw myself into another reading project. But this time it would be a pointless reading project, and one completely under my control. So I'm going to try to read one book a day from now as long as I can; the goal is to hit the end of the year. See my How To Read a Book a Day post, back in February, for all of the tricks I use to make this happen.

I'm in good shape for it: my unread piles are overflowing, and the unread piles of comics/graphic novels/strip cartoons are particularly fertile ground for making sure I can finish a book every single day. I'm also on vacation this week, and trying to catch up on magazines that I put aside while in WFA-mania mode. So I'm starting with easy, quick books this week, and will probably also be laying as many books of cartoons aside, mostly finished, for those difficult days to come.

I started yesterday, with You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons, Mo Willem's cartoon diary of a year-long trip around the world in 1990-91, right after he graduated from college. (At exactly the same time I did; I've already noted that I hate him.) There's no indication in the book that he re-drew or cleaned up any of the cartoons here, and his linework is fluid and lively. His people in particular are quite caricatured and individual -- now I have to hate him for his skill as well as his opportunities. Willems is best known currently as a childrens' book author (he's won the Caldecott twice in less than a decade in the field), and has also written for kids' TV. He's very talented, this book is a lot of fun to read, and I still hate him.

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