Review of Change Your Life Without Getting Out of Bed, by SARK


Change Your Life Without Getting Out of Bed

The Ultimate Nap Book


Fireside Books (Simon & Schuster), 1999.  96 pages.

I’ve recently discovered SARK’s delightful books.  They’re gift books, and they are works of art.  She hand writes them with colorful rainbows of ink, with the pictures and the words expressing the exuberance.

This particular book is especially fun.  I started to say that it’s in defense of naps, but I think it’s better to say that this book is in celebration of naps.  There’s nothing defensive about her attitude toward taking naps!  Instead, she explains how much wonderful good naps can bring into your life. 

She gives reasons to nap, permission to nap, pleasures and benefits of napping, nap tips, nap quotes, and even describes fantasy naps and gives ideas for micronaps for parents.  (I like this one:  “Pile ALL the pillows on top of Daddy, and see how long it takes you!”

I finished reading this book on a day when I was scheduled to work 12:30 to 9:00.  Usually, I try to get lots done on such mornings.  That day, I did not have a “productive” morning, but I did have a very lovely one!

“Our lives are full of choices.  You can choose to nap.” — SARK

Buy from

Find this review on the main site at:

Review of Artist to Artist


Artist to Artist

23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About Their Art

Philomel Books, New York, 2007.  105 pages.

Starred Review.

Review written January 30, 2008.

The title of this book explains the content, but doesn’t grasp the beauty.  In Artist to Artist, 23 geniuses of picture book illustration, such as Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak, Chris Van Allsburg, Steven Kellogg, Rosemary Wells, Jerry Pinkney, and so many more, speak to aspiring artists about how they became an artist and what inspires them.

Each artist includes a self-portrait, a picture of themselves as a child, examples of early art, published art, and a look at the process of creating art, as well as a picture of their studios.  (I love the mess in Eric Carle’s—If you think about it, you’d realize that someone who deals with cut paper illustrations would have a mess of scraps on the floor.)  My favorite self-portrait is the one created by pop-up artists Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart—an amazingly intricate robot reaches out to embrace the reader, with the two happy artists inside the robot at the controls.  I found myself popping it out again and again.

Beautiful and inspiring, this is wonderful reading for someone like me—an adult with no artistic aspirations.  I can only imagine how much it could be enjoyed by someone in its intended audience—a budding artist ready to strive for greatness.

Buy from

Find this review on the main site at:

Review of Poems for Life

Poems for Life
Famous People Select Their Favorite Poem and Say Why It Inspires Them
compiled by the Grade V Classes of the Nightingale-Bamford School
introduction by Anna Quindlen

Reviewed September 18, 2007.
Arcade Publishing, New York, 1995. 107 pages.

This book was compiled by a group of students. A teacher explains at the beginning,

We wanted the students not only to be awakened to a world of poetry through other people’s choices, but to become aware of a world of need outside their immediate communities, one to which they could in some way contribute.

The proceeds from the project went to charity. 

For two years, the students wrote to well-known people in all fields. Every day, they awaited the mail with eager anticipation. When a reply arrived it was greeted with curiosity and excitement. Each letter and accompanying poem was read in class and the poem and poet discussed. We greatly enjoyed finding out why people had selected a particular work, and we learned from what they had to say about it. What most struck all of us was how important poetry had been in the lives of the contributors, who had turned and returned to poems for amusement, solace, wisdom, and perhaps most importantly, to find some part of themselves.

All of the poems in this book are someone’s favorite, which means it makes good reading. The students included the letters sent by the celebrities, in most cases explaining why they chose that particular poem. Then the poem itself is included.

Contributors include people like Mario Cuomo, E. L. Doctorow, David Halberstam, Angela Lansbury, Yo-Yo Ma, Joyce Carol Oates, Diane Sawyer, Beverly Sills, Stephen Sondheim, and Kurt Vonnegut. This collection provides pleasant, fun, and many times inspiring reading.

This review is on the main site at: