Saturday, June 03, 2006

"Possibly the best picture book of the year"
More from my favourite librarian/reviewer/all-round smart gal

Next up, we here at the Fuse have heard recently from charming children's author Sara O'Leary who wrote the beautiful When You Were Small with Simply Read Books. I had the pleasure of meeting Dimiter Savoff, the man behind everything at Simply Read, not long ago at my library. Small publication houses tend to take more time than their big name equivalents. I was unprepared, however, for just how much care they take. Ms. O'Leary had this to say about her book:
Dimiter Savoff not only represents Simply Read - he's it....At one of our meetings he opened up a briefcase full of blank sheets and asked Julie and I which white we liked best. This is a man who takes details very seriously. He asked us if we would leave off the dedications and author bios which seemed strange to me but now I love how clean the book is - right down to him shrinking any of the necessaries down as small as he could. A friend of mine - a true sensualist - noted that the book even smelled good. When I mentioned this to Dimiter he said it was because they had paid extra to have scent imbued in the glue for the binding.

You heard her right. They paid extra for the scent. Actually, I wasn't too terribly surprised when I heard this. My husband actually commented on the scent of the book as I was working on its review. He said it smelled like the children's books he remembered as a kid. It was only later that we found out that that smell was part of this entire picture book experience. And don't let anyone ever tell you that scent isn't important. Have you ever picked up a picture book that had cheap glue in its binding so that when you cracked it open it stank to high heaven? As a children's librarian, I sure have. Now I can see that there are some people in the world who care more than others about this sort of thing. Add in the amazing minimalism and the beautiful binding and I'm ready and willing to declare When You Were Small possibly the best picture book of the year, bar none. Good news too. Ms. O'Leary and illustrator Julie Morstad are working on a second title after this one.

No comments: