Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekly Inspiration: Tumble Bee and Wildwood

This week's inspiration is a fabulous combo of art, music, and literature. It all started last week when I was hunting down music for Jack's birthday. I was on the iTunes children's page when an adorable cover caught my eye.
I had never heard of Laura Veirs, but anything with a cover that cute is worth checking out, right? I knew I would like the album from the first sample. Veirs has a sweet, clear voice that kind of reminds me of Aimee Mann. "Folk music" makes me think of James Taylor, but this is actually a wonderful combination of songs I loved from my childhood ("Jump Down Spin Around," "Jamaica Farewell") and songs I've never heard before ("King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O," "The Fox"). Jack loves the album just as much as I do. He even started singing "Why Oh Why" with me. Over all, a highly recommended purchase.

A couple of days after I purchased "Tumble Bee," I saw a thumbnail image of a book on one of the blogs I read. The artwork on the cover looked familiar, so I decided to investigate. The more I read about the middle grade novel Wildwood, the more intrigued I was. The illustrations are adorable, and at only $8.99 on Amazon for a 500-page hardcover, how could I resist? I'm only a few chapters into Wildwood, but so far so good. The story follows a seventh-grader named Prue on a quest to save her baby brother from the Impassable Wilderness, where he is taken by a murder of crows; I can just see the author hearing that phrase and coming up with this story. The book just looks and feels special in your hands (definitely not something you want to buy on your Kindle) and would make the perfect Christmas gift for a young reader.

I didn't realize at first that the author of the novel, Colin Meloy, is actually the lead singer of The Decemberists (a great band worth checking out if you haven't already). Oddly, I thought I'd heard Meloy's voice on "Tumble Bee," so I did a little further digging. Turns out Carson Ellis, the illustrator of Wildwood and Meloy's wife, did the cover for Veirs' album, which Meloy does in fact sing on. And they all live in Portland, where Wildwood is set. I KNEW I loved that city.

An illustration from Wildwood. How cute is he?

Happy weekend everyone!


Jenny S. Morris said...

OK, I LOVE the Decemberists. one of their songs inspired one of my character's names. My hubby is the one that turned me on to them. He would love reading this book, especially because it's set in Portland.

Oh, and I'm listening to Tumble Bee right now. I like it so far. Thanks for the info.

Mara Rae said...

Christmas gifts?? Portland is a common theme lately (you, Grimm, and now all this!). I'd say the universe was trying to tell me something except we're joining the foreign service soon. We are hoping to visit early next year though!

june923 said...

Have you ever listened to putamayo kids music, we have several of their albums, the boys love the folk one, as do Ron and i. Check it out and see what you think.

Erin Kent said...

I think Collin might have been the guest on Wait Wait a while ago... Will dig! Totally intrigued by both these finds; thanks!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Wow! So much great stuff! Sounds like you've been having a fun week. :)

Steven Whibley said...

Those books look worth a look. Great post! Cheers.

Mara Rae said...

Peggy - sounds like YOU'VE had a great week! Congratulations again!

Steven - thanks for following! :)