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I honestly can’t believe this series is almost over. It goes without saying that all of these posts are special because they contain folks who are near and dear to my heart. Today’s yet another one of those special days. These two ladies also happen to have a love for children’s literature, which pleases me to no end. I’m convinced that those who don’t have a penchant for the imagination and magic that is children’s literature apparently came out of the womb as a mundane robot. Which is harsh, but absolutely true.


Me & Kristen


Kristen is one of my very best friends (y’all, I only have like, 2 of these). She’s also an elementary school music teacher, which makes her both creative and probably a little bit crazy for having enough patience to work with dozens of kids all day. Also? She has the BEST collection of children’s books in her home – which makes me smile so hard it hurts my face a little bit.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures of her, just because it makes me smile.


1) All-time favorite book (if you have one, or two…or three):


Skippyjon Jones & Alice the Fairy

2) Type of books you like to read:

Children’s books that teach us to be kind and generous to others. 

3) Type of characters/stories you like to read about: 

Fancy Nancy is my favorite! I love characters in children’s books that are over the top and lovable! 

4) The book you’re constantly peer pressuring your friends to read:

Skippyjon Jones!!!

Y’all, she is totally right about Skippyjon Jones. Two years ago, I volunteered to do a read-aloud for another friend’s elementary school class, and I had no idea what to read. Kris suggested Skippyjon Jones, and can I just say I couldn’t pry those kids with a crowbar from my legs whenever I was done with story time? It is by far my FAVORITE read-aloud book. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

5) Covers you love (or hate):


I only notice the covers of children’s books. My favorite cover and illustrations of all time are Mary Engelbreit’s The Night Before Christmas. Her Santa claus is breathtaking! I never pay attention to the covers of novels. 

You know I’m only letting you get away with that cover comment because you’re one of my best friends, right? icon_wink-9455256



I originally met Savannah via Twitter, and I don’t exactly remember who started following who, but I’m so glad it happened because it quickly turned into one of those “let’s text each other about what we’re reading” type of friendships. You know those. Don’t even pretend that as a reader of this blog you have no idea what I’m talking about.

1) All-time favorite book (if you have one, or two…or three):

Warning: like Aaron, Savannah doesn’t believe in “narrowing things down.” Or brevity.


Oh, dear. Did you mean “top 10 favorite books”? Because I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to one.  Let’s see: Harriet the Spy, In the Time of the ButterfliesBird by BirdThe Bright Side of DisasterEverything is IlluminatedA Wrinkle in TimeA Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Like Water for ChocolateThe Poisonwood BibleAnna and the French Kiss and A Prayer for Owen Meany.

Whoops! That’s 11. I can’t help it. I’m a total book geek.

But it’s why I love you.

2) Type of books you like to read:

Up until recently, I thought of myself as a “chick-lit” girl (in the most empowering,
awesome, girls-totally-rock essence of the words “chick” and “lit” when connected by a hyphen).  I love a good love story. I love a happy ending. I love a sweet, light read. But lately I’ve read several really good memoirs (such as my friend Kyran Pittman’s Planting Dandelions) and, rarely, some darker, heavier fiction (like Jonathan Barnes’ The Somnambulist). And thanks to a certain very cute Cover Girl, I have a newly discovered serious, serious love for YA books. So…. basically…. I like a book that pulls on my heartstrings, tells a good (love) story, and doesn’t involve blood and guts. And, when forced to decide between vampires and werewolves, I’m Team Shaggy all the way (have you read Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy? No? Go. Get it now!).

See, you guys? The YAngelism is spreading! Another convert!

3) Type of characters/stories you like to read about: 

I like girl-centric stories. I can relate to girl-centric stories, since I am, in fact, a girl. I’ve read a few boy stories (John Green’s excellent YA books, The Catcher in the Rye) but I just can’t get into them as much as I can girl books. I love complex characters… ones that make decisions I might not make, but whose journey I want to follow anyway. I like girls who stand up for themselves (I’m looking at you, Bella Swan. Grow a backbone, sister), and who have their own identities aside from their friends/parents/love interest. Also, have I mentioned how much I love love stories?

4) The book you’re constantly peer pressuring your friends to read:

dicamillo_edwardtulane-7183596Katherine Center’s Bright Side of Disaster always tops my “You have to read this!” list. Her writing is so warm and so real and so funny. Anne Lamott’s Operating Instructions is the number one book I recommend for new parents. I’ve also handed Anna and the French Kiss and Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters over to several friends. And for anyone who has kids, knows kids, or has ever been a kid, The Invention of Hugo Cabret and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane are phenomenal.

Edward Tulane is on my Christmas wish list! Woot!

5) Covers you love (or hate):


I’m totally against faces on covers. I find that when I’m in the middle of a book with real people on the cover, I flip to see it and think, “That’s not what they look like at all.” I like simple, stark artistry as opposed to a whole bunch of razzle-dazzle. I can’t really think of any covers that I simply flip out over, except that I’d like to frame the 1964 cover of Harriet the Spy, and also the 1943 edition of The Little Prince

My apologies about all the (stinkin’ so many) parentheses. I have sick parenthetical addiction. Also, I love commas. 

Let’s talk about books! You can find me on Goodreads, on the twitters at @SavannahB and even on my little blog.

You guys want to be friends with Kristen and Savannah now, don’t you? And as sweet as they appear in bits and bytes, I guarantee they’re just as awesome IRL. Thanks for stopping by TCG, ladies!

Bryan Williams