Another first-time author and Vermont resident, Ken Cadow, joins us to kick off the Book Jam for the month of May (full disclosure: Ken is Lisa LC’s husband). His new book Alfie Runs Away , published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, is a gem for the read-aloud-crowd and looks at the age-old subject of running away. Cadow’s story, however, offers up a twist on the theme: Alfie’s mom actually helps him to pack his bag!
But “Alfie” is not the focus of our discussion. Instead, we talk about the books that Cadow would pack if he were to run away – both as a little boy and now, as a writer of children’s books who’s all grown-up. Where the Wild Things Are was his earliest favorite story (his local librarian even had a copy reserved just for him!) and would be the first in his suitcase. Next would be the works of Peter Sis
(Madlenka, Tibet Through the Red Box, and The Wall:Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain) as “every page” he observes, “is like walking through a mural.”
Cadow’s bag wouldn’t be complete without the Chronicles of Narnia or the works of E.B. White. He particularly “appreciates E.B. White’s sense of place” and his “awareness of the cycle of life and death.” One Man’s Meat: A Book of Collected Essays is one of White’s books that Cadow rereads annually. As is The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell with “decorations” (and not illustrations, mind you) by Maurice Sendak). This enchanting story, one Cadow has read to his own children countless times, tells the tale of a lonely hunter who lives on an island who creates his own family from a mermaid, a bear, a lynx and a finally, a baby.
And Cadow “wows” the Lisas with a little know piece of Tolkein knowledge from the Lord of the Rings. Listen all the way to the end of this episode, and you’ll even hear some unedited, encouraging words from J Lisa C (she’s nice and funny even when she thinks the tape is turned off!).