We saw this with the kids over the weekend. Nobody is making animation like Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Such gorgeous, thoughtful storytelling. They aren't afraid to take their time with stories and explore the sheer joy of a visual medium. My kids loved it, I loved it.
If you are a storyteller, I highly recommend watching films from other countries. There is a very American format of storytelling that we see in films, and it's easy to start thinking that is the ONLY way to format a story. It isn't. Branch out in your viewing a bit and explore other methods of getting from Beginning to End.
(Plus, I have to admit that when I was a little girl I used to look at the world and imagine I was only a few inches tall and figure out where I'd live and how I'd get from place to place. Hello, movie made just for Childhood Kiersten.)
TIGER LILY, by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Please don't yell at me for talking about it this early (it doesn't come out until July), but I wanted to before I forgot. A darling friend at HarperTeen knows that the online influence measurer Klout has deemed me influential in all things Peter Pan (umm, no, I don't understand either), and so she sent me this.
I was more than a bit wary, since I don't like versions of Peter Pan stories that make them HAPPY HAPPY ADVENTURES! Not really faithful to the spirit of J.M. Barrie's brilliant (and dark) novel PETER AND WENDY. But Anderson did not disappoint. Narrated by Tinkerbell and following the love story of Tiger Lily, fiercely independent misfit, and Peter Pan, the boy who would never grow old, this is a book about the joyous agony of heartbreaks and tiny betrayals that mark the path from childhood to adulthood. A sense of impending doom pervades the whole thing (it's about childhood, after all, and childhood is nothing but doomed in every single case), but it's so very thoughtful and readable and interesting. I loved it.
Speaking of doom,
THIS IS NOT A TEST, by Courtney Summers, also not out until June (I'M SORRY, OKAY?). I will say right now: swearing, sex, violence, etc. It's a zombie apocalypse novel, after all. Do not give it to your eleven-year-old. Do not expect to read it and have pleasant dreams. (The only books that have ever directly seeped into my dreams while reading are Carrie Ryan's zombie apocalypse series and this book. Well done, ladies.)
If you want to see how to write a broken, bleak, emotionally damaged narrator who still remains sympathetic and does not grate on the reader, study this book. It asks the question I think all end-of-the-world stories should: If EVERYTHING is dying around you...why fight so hard to live? The prose is spare and perfect, the narrative voice expertly and devastatingly captured.
Speaking of devastation,
Quit dragging your feet. Just watch it. The first season is on Netflix. This and Sherlock have been my favorite series of the last few years. Oh, yeah, watch Sherlock while you're at it.
Sleep. Also not having migraines. Both of which I intend to do more of.