SteigFEST 5: Spinky Sulks


Publisher: Farra, Straus and Giroux, 1988, 1st ed.
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: humorous stories, family life, anger
Opening: Spinky came charging out of the house and flung himself on the grass.
Summary: Spinky is convinced that his family hates him and goes off to sulk in his hammock. His brother and sister try to make amends. His mom even brings him a beautiful tray of food. But nothing can get Spinky to stop sulking—not even a circus passing by on his street! Will Spinky ever cheer up? Spinky Sulks is another delightful tale from the incomparable William Steig that will leave readers of all ages smiling.


I like this book because: I have vivid memories of feeling that same kind of all-the-world-against-me anger, of hiding, as per usual, under the middle pine tree for as long as need be. As a parent I can laugh at the familiar attempts made and lengths taken, over-stretched, to console the poor child. There were times we were not even allowed to look at my oldest at the breakfast table – but we can all laugh now!


Resources/activities: great discussion starter on feelings, anger, moodiness, cheering up a friend or letting them have their space, and how we might help ourselves when a bad mood is coming on. For adults, writers especially: read this post on Neruda and his childhood realization about our ‘longing for mutuality that impels us to make art’, at Brain Pickings –HERE

SpinkySulksToday’s tidbit: Letters of Note post on Steig’s Caldecott acceptance speech and glossophobia- HERE


IF: Shiny

Happy Belated Birthday Frank, you still shine.

“You have to go wholeheartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having.” (1958) – Frank Lloyd Wright

One of the  great FLW quotes listed in Brain Pickings post in honor of his birthday, June 8th. This one in particular speaks for me and the efforts I am making in following my passion, or, as my family might amend, obsession. I knew before I started it would take all I’ve got, yet it is making me incredibly happy. I imagine it compares to what someone with a fantastic metabolism feels like when the opportunity to create one’s own ice cream sundae arises!

Even when I have just stopped laughing at a good joke or rejoicing after another beautiful goal (or even the elegant save Balotelli made this morning), my mind falls to writing and/or illustrating, and I am anxious to get back to my sketchbook or keyboard. Strange, but so is my craving for good football!