Children’s Book Week – a tribute to my nephews

Here at we don’t often blog about our personal stuff or interests beyond our professional ones. The fact that this is Children’s Book Week gives us the rare opportunity to let you in on some of our feelings and relationships to children’s books. We were challenged to blog about this by our colleagues over at It’s All Good – Eric Childress suggested we do a “blog wave” about this so, here goes. I’ll go first and see if any of my fellow bloggers want to add their own posts – though most of them are traveling and one of them is home with a brand new child of her very own.

My two favorite children’s books are those written by my nephew, Richard Van Camp. He has published two children’s books, “A Man Called Raven”, and “What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses?”. You can check them out on to find them in a library. I understand that Richard also has a third children’s book coming out called “A Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns.” And in 2008, every newborn baby in British Columbia will receive a copy of the book.

Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, NWT, Canada. A graduate of the En’owkin International School of Writing, the University of Victoria’s Creative Writing BFA Program, and the Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia, Richard currently teaches Creative Writing for Aboriginal Students at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. He has also written a darker, coming of age book called The Lesser Blessed and a collection of short stories in Angel Wing Splash Pattern.

The children’s books he has written are wonderfully illustrated by Cree artist, George Littlechild. The reason I like these books so much is that they reflect a deep connection to the universe of animals and the continuum of life in all its manifestations. They also reflect the child spirit that lives within Richard who is one of the most fascinating, complicated and delightful nephew that one could have. Mahsi Cho! Thank you Richard for these wonderful stories.

Richard is only one of my very special nephews. I have many of them and thought I would share with you some comments from consumers of children’s books, my nephews Eric and David Van Camp who live in Minneapolis. I put them to the challenge to tell me their favorite books, find them in, show us the citation and tell us why they like the books they selected.

This is Eric’s favorite:
by Christopher Paolini
• Type: English : Book : Fiction : Secondary (senior high) school Internet Resource
• Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 2003.
• ISBN: 0375826688 0375926682
• OCLC: 52251450
• Subjects: Fantasy. | Dragons — Fiction. | Youths’ writings.
“Its about midevil ages and its a book about a teenager who rides a dragon on his journeys to avenge the death of his uncle. These 2 guys under the emperors control wanted the egg so they burned down his uncles house and then he goes out to avenge the crime but learns the are too tough and he joins the resistance. There is a lot of suspense and a lot of action.”

And this is David’s:

The ruins of Gorlan
by John Flanagan
• Type: English : Book : Fiction : Elementary and junior high school
• Publisher: New York : Philomel Books, 2005.
• ISBN: 0399244549
• OCLC: 57237595
• Subjects: Adventure stories. | Coming of age — Fiction. | Heroes — Fiction. | Fantasy.

“This book is about a kid who is trained by the rangers, a sort of military branch. He learns stealth specialization fighting techniques. He uses his skills to fight for his people against the kalkara a species obsessed with obtaining silver. David likes this book because its one of the many fiction stories that entertain him. I like the writing of the story and the story alone and the author gives you a good picture of his world.”

Seems to me we ought to use the users for reviews on some of these things. Thank you David and Eric.

OK other bloggers – tell us what you want about children’s books. And to all my other wonderful nephews, we will get to you another day.

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