Stacked in Our Favor

Thoughts about libraries, education, children's literature, writing, art and being connected

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Paula Yoo continues to inspire – My first Lit Trip column

I cannot adequately express my appreciation for the experience Paula Yoo put together this year for NaPiBoWriWee – National Picture Book Writing Week. During the month of April, Paula posted daily inspirational messages on her blog. These included plenty of recommendations for books to read, authors and illustrators who added their insights, and writing prompts. Paula did everything short of writing our books for us. I know I am not the only one who found I wanted to read the books of our fine leader. In April, I picked up a copy of Good Enough which had long been on my “to read” list. Once I started reading, I read all the way to the end. Several times people tried to ask me questions, but they desisted when all they got in response was “…huhhhhhhhhhh…..”

I loved Good Enough for so many reasons. If you look at Paula’s website and check out the reviews for the book you will see that there’s been plenty of positive talk surrounding the book.

So I won’t go there, except to say that this is a book that I am very enthusiastic about and would recommend to anyone. Actually, a young friend of mine is reading it now. At first she wasn’t too happy with me for giving it to her the weekend before she had to take the MCAS. There are far too many references to the necessity of getting good test scores for someone who was on the brink of standardized test taking. Later, she saw the humor in it. Yesterday when I asked her a question. She replied “…huhhhhhhhhhhhh…” Glad it has come out in paperback, Paula. Think I’ll be buying several copies.

Lit Trips

I have long wanted to start a regular column in my blog called Lit Trips. Paula has inspired my first one. Lit Trips will be columns which I dedicate to the places found in children’s literature. I find myself taking these little forays to see the actual places.

Good Enough takes place in my old stomping grounds. I grew up in Connecticut and the names of the schools and the places are ones which I am quite familiar with. Having just read the book and being on April vacation, I headed over to West Hartford, Connecticut and took a look around at Hartt School of Music which is part of the University of Hartford campus. Some of my friends took private lessons there when we were in high school. A relative got a degree from University of Hartford. As I drove around the campus many happy memories came flooding back to me. I remembered dropping a friend off at her lessons. I imagined the scenes of Good Enough playing out in the landscape around me. Groups of students were lying on blankets in the sun. Others walking together across campus looked like they could easily have been characters in Good Enough. The day was very warm, flowers were blooming (notice the dogwood out in front) and it was a beautiful day for strolling around. Here is the view:

I don’t know if Paula ever went to Elizabeth Park in Hartford, but after Hartt School of Music I headed over there to see the tulips. They were extraordinary.

I will have to go back in June for the Rose Festival. If you love roses and live in New England it is worth the trip. Here is what it looks like without the roses. Just imagine what it will be like when all those hoops are covered with pink, red, yellow, purple, and white buds.

I don’t think I’m done haunting the scene of Good Enough inspiration sites, but that’s all I have for this maiden Lit Trip post.


Dana said...

Hi Lynda,

I ordered "Good Enough" a few days ago. Decided at the start of NaPiBoWriWee that it would be a reward for finishing. Funny, while ordering I read in the blurb that it's set in CT & Paula is from CT & now I read that you are from CT. I'm from CT too!

Anyway, I enjoyed reading your post. I too have been meaning to do one on NaPiBoWriWee. We shall see!

Thanks for posting the CT pics. It's been awhile since I've been there. Last time, I took my daughter to the Mark Twain House. Next time we want to go back & also visit his neighbor, Harriet Beecher Stowe!

purple glasses club said...


Welcome fellow Nutmegger. You can stay or you can move, but the places you have lived become part of you. I think that is why I enjoy visiting the places which inspire the stories or the places which surround the writer. Environment does impact us in ways which we are not aware.

You have read my mind. The Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe houses are on my list of places to visit. I'm never content to visit until I've read or re-read a selection of books by the author. So it may take me a while before I get to these places. I'm hoping to squeeze them both in this summer. I'd love to hear your impressions of those places.