Tag Archives: Karen’s Pick

Following on the Tails of Venomous

Mark SiddallNote: There’s going to be a lot of “this book does this thing kind of poorly… but it does have a redeeming feature to buoy it back up!” I really wouldn’t write about it if it was so mediocre – I don’t have that much time – and if it was outright horrible, you’ll see no trace of it from me here, because I prefer to showcase examples I consider interesting and well-written in whatever topic it is that the material is about. Now, onto Poison!

I picked this one up while refilling a display around the library (after reading this book, you might think twice before nonchalantly picking up something small like this book with black and red colouration) – proof that our displays are working marvelously, as I took home about 3 or 4 other items about ocean critters that day – and was thinking it’d be a great follow-up to Venomous by Christie Wilcox. Alas, Poison: Sinister Species with Deadly Consequences is actually rather less informative, though perhaps I should have gathered as much by the size of the book and the overall feel of it. I say it is less informative only because it strives less to provide a comprehensive introduction to poisonous animals, than to introduce readers interested in the like to various insects, animals, and other creatures that can pack a punch if you get on their bad side – the great thing about this list for me personally was that I didn’t know about many of the animals introduced here: who knew there were poisonous birds?

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Duck, Death and the Tulip

Wolf ErlbruchFor a long time he watched her.

When she was lost to sight, he was almost a little moved.

“But that’s life,” thought Death.

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The Epiplectic Bicycle

Edward GoreyHave you heard about our Bike into Spring event taking place at the Dufferin Clark library? It’s taking place Saturday April 29th,  which is in just over a week, so mark your calendars! Bring your bike and helmet for a bicycle-filled day of games, DIY workshops, stories, an obstacle course, and a whole lot more! The event starts at 1pm and ends at 4pm, and there are going to be lots of community participants there, including the York Region Cycling Coalition, Pedalheads, velofix Mobile Bike Shop, and more from the City of Vaughan & York Region.

Now, if your biking style is anything like Embley and Yewbert from The Epiplectic Bicycle, I don’t know whether to be envious of or worried for you. If we were looking at it as a regular story, I’d say that the two aforementioned are the two protagonists, but this is no regular book, so arguably, there are actually three protagonists – Embley, Yewbert, and the Epiplectic Bicycle – and the former two go on a trip using the latter, around… I’m not really sure around where, to be honest. Just around. (One might even say it’s not that the two take the third for a ride, so much as the bicycle takes Embley and Yewbert for a spin.) They go here and there, and (as Victoria pointed out to me) they explore so many things outside of the scope of this book that Gorey cuts out entire sections of their journey altogether, as you can see by the skipped chapters throughout. They even meet an alligator, who – on second thought, I won’t spoil it for you. The only way you can find out is if you take your bike around to try to meet that same alligator, or if you go and read The Epiplectic Bicycle!

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