Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Friday, July 28, 2006

There are not a lot of things I like better than a Donna Jo Napoli book. So when Bound showed up the other day, I got pretty excited.

Napoli has made a career out of retelling fairy tales, and she sticks with that in her new book. Bound has a bit of a twist though, being set in Ming era China. Xing Xing is the Cinderella character, and her not so nice stepmother forces her to do all the work around the cave they live in. But she mostly doesn't mind, because her poor stepsister has her feet all bound up as her stepmother attempts to shrink them in order to land her a husband.

What I quite enjoyed about the book is that Napoli avoided the historical fiction trap of too much information, but I still feel like I know a lot more about the people of that time and place. Definitely there was a lot of detail about the nastiness involved in feet binding. In fact, my only real complaint is about the ending. It just felt a little too quick, and too neat for my taste.

Bound by Donna Jo Napoli
ISBN 0689861788
192 pages

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I know this is extremely belated, but I would just like to say, that I think last year's Governor General's awards sucked it up in the Children's Illustration category. First off, Shi-Shi-Etko was not nominated, which totally floored me. Secondly, the winner was Imagine a Day. My reaction to that book? Meh. A big, fat meh. To be honest, from the short list, I was rooting for City Angel.

Author Eileen Spinelli isn't Canadian, so she's not eligible for the GG (if they happened to have one for writing a picture book, which they don't. What is up with that Canada Council?!), but illustrator Kyrsten Brooker is. City Angel is a day in the life of an urban angel. Throughout the day she does good deeds, and has a great time. But not at all in a smarmy way! This angel is cool. She skateboards, and shoots hoops, and sings with street musicians.

Brooker's illustrations, however, are what makes the book. They're a great combination of paint and collage, and let me tell you, this is the best looking angel I've ever seen. She looks like someone you'd very much like to spend the day with.

City Angel written by Eileen Spinelli illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker
ISBN 0803728212
32 pages

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I have a special weakness for sister books. I think because it is such a weird relationship, something that people who don't have sisters really don't understand. So when I found out that Maureen Johnson has a sister book out, I was pumped. Except that when The Key to the Golden Firebird arrived, I realized that not only was it a sister book, it's also a dead father book. Just a little too close to home, I thought. I read it anyways, and I'm glad I did, even if it did make me cry.

Brooks, May and Palmer are the Gold sisters, and its been a year since their father died of a heart attack. Things have been falling apart pretty steadily since then. Brooks has started drinking several times a week, and quit softball. May has desperately been trying to hold the family together, despite failing her driving test. And Palmer has been having panic attacks regularly. Everything comes to head the night that Brooks drunkenly decides to drive to the store in their dad's 1967 Firebird, which has sat untouched, in the garage since dad's heart attack in the driver's seat.

Although May is the sister who narrates most of the book, Brooks and Palmer are hardly left out. The love, the exasperation, the pettiness of families, it's all there.

Johnson is officially one of my new favourite writers. Also, I feel I should note that her website is totally amazing.

The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson
ISBN 0060541407
297 pages

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I will be the first to tell you that I have not read The Odyssey or any of those old Greek myths in their original form. But really, they are some good stories, so I always pick up a rewrite. I haven't read the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece before though, so when I got my hands on Voyage with Jason by Ken Catran I started reading right away.

The book is told from the perspective of Pylos, a peasant boy that Jason and his boat full of heroes take with them on their hunt for the golden fleece. What's most interesting about Pylos' tale is that his interest is in describing the heroes' characters. His take on Hercules, Jason, and Castor and Pollux is really interesting. Part of that is the fact of Pylos' birth. Being a peasant, he sees things that the heroes don't, especially about themselves. Hercules is one of the most interesting characters in the first half.

There's also enough blood and adventure to keep most boys hooked, I would think. That's the great thing about Greek myths: they're ultra gory.

Voyage with Jason by Ken Catran
ISBN 1894965434
208 pages

Monday, July 24, 2006

So on Friday a bunch of good looking books came in. But it was too hot to read. Or write. Or think, really. Fortunately today is much cooler.

This next book begins when one day, a lion walks into the library. Everyone is quite shocked as he wanders into the story hour area, but the head librarian, Miss Merriweather declares that as long as he's not breaking any rules, he can stay. From then on, the lion becomes a regular at the library, helping out by licking envelopes and dusting encyclopedias before story hour. Until one day, Miss Merriweather takes a nasty spill reaching for a book. The only way to get Mr. McBee's attention is for the lion to roar (something that's against the rules). Miss Merriweather is sent to the doctor, but the lion, knowing he's broken the rules, leaves the library, and doesn't return. The children from story hour miss him, Miss Merriweather misses him, and the whole library seems rather sad and lonely without him. Mr. McBee decides there's only one thing to do, and he heads out on a search for the lion. Eventually he finds him, looking very pathetic and wet in the rain. Mr. McBee tells the lion of a new rule at the library. Now the no roaring rule has an exception: if you're trying to help a friend in need. The next day, the lion returns to the library, and Miss Merriweather and all the children of story hour rejoice.

Part of what makes this book great are Kevin Hawkes' illustrations. His paintings make you feel like this story happened several decades ago, making Miss Merriweather and her emphasis on rules fit. The lion himself is shockingly well behaved, though the library patrons seem to expect this as standard procedure.

All in all, a good little book, that would be wonderful for a library story hour.

Library Lion written by Michelle Knudsen Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
ISBN 0763622621
48 pages

Friday, July 21, 2006

Okay, it is insanely hot here. Like, sit in front of a fan and try not to move hot. Unfortunately, people keep coming into the store needing help. Boo!

So last night I did a little reading of one of the very few ARC's we got for the fall season (what is up with that?!). It's called Saint Iggy and its by K.L. Going. You may remember her from Fat Kid Rules the World, which I haven't read, but I have been meaning to since it came out. I am just slow on the uptake.

Anyway, the title character, Iggy, has just been kicked out of school. Which sucks, because his life is pretty awful. His parents are both drug addicts and he lives in the projects. His dad's dealer is always around trying to collect money, and his mom has gone visiting, but that was a month ago. Then Iggy accidentally gets his friend Mo involved in his world, and Mo's mother gets involved. Things spiral out of Iggy's control until the heart breaking conclusion. I'm not kidding about the heart breaking; I cried while drinking my morning coffee today. Iggy's world is god-awful depressing, and worst of all, real. His voice is wonderfully realized. Going allows us to see Iggy's learning disability, without making the text too hyper and hard to read.

However, do know that you will probably cry, so don't be wearing mascara when you are reading this one.

Saint Iggy by K.L. Going
ISBN 0152057951
272 pages

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Holy backlist specials, batman! Total insanity at the store, so my reading has definitely been suffering. Also I am addicted to bad summer TV. However, today in the midst of heaving heavy boxes of books around, a very nice man from Simply Read Books came in and we got to chatting. Can I just say that the only thing better than a friendly publisher who likes chatting about kids books is a friendly publisher who likes chatting about kids books AND brings bookstore employees free books! Hot damn, and the best part is, they all look pretty awesome. So in honor of that I'm gonna tell you about one of those books. I'm sure you'll be hearing about the rest soon, but they are novels and I am still reading about Christina from Sweden.

Conveniently this book is also Australian (here that Australian publishers? I like your books! Feel free to hire me!). Margaret Wild is one of those authors who is a pretty safe bet, in my experience. Her books are always well written, and often make me think a bit further. The Little Crooked House didn't necessarily make me think, but it sure did make me laugh out loud. Jonathan Bentley's hilarious illustrations definitely helped, to give credit where it is due.

This book is about a little old man, and his cat and mouse. They are all crooked. And so is the house they live in, which works out pretty well. Except the house is near the train tracks, and the crooked old man is convinced that things are going to end badly, "so with a creak and a groan, the little crooked house heaved itself up, and took a step. One step, two steps, three steps, four. Then it ran." Yeah, it ran. That house ran all over the place, until finally, all its crooked residents were satisfied with its location. And they all lived happily ever after.

The best part is the way the train, the desert wind, and the river all call for the crooked little house to come back and stay. Or maybe the best part is the way the crooked house runs. I'll get back to you.

The Little Crooked House by Margaret Wild
ISBN 1894965590
40 pages

Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm back! Unfortunately, I did not get any of the three books I'm working on finished while I was gone. Something has happened up at the cottage. Somehow, a million trashy celebrity gossip magazines have appeared there. It is weird that my compulsion to read year old gossip about people I don't know overrides my compulsion to finish reading about Queen Christina of Sweden.

But when I got into work today, there were a few boxes that needed receiving, and one of them contained The Glass Heart by Sally Gardner. I have to say that I really like Sally Gardner's books. I haven't read them all, but the ones I've read have been pretty great.

The Glass Heart is a story within a story. Rosie is looking at all her Nana's small treasures, when she accidentally drops a small glass heart and it shatters. But Nana's not upset, and elects to tell Rosie a story about glass hearts. The fairy tale is set in Venice, and it features three princesses with glass hearts. Having a glass heart isn't easy, though, as they're quite breakable. The first princess ends up having hers broken by a vain prince, and dies. The second princess has her heart cracked by a beautiful rose, and is forced to spend the rest of her days in repose. The third sister, however, makes a happy marriage, to a page turned glass artist, who knows enough about glass to marry a princess with a heart made of it.

Anyone looking for fairy tales will definitely enjoy this one.

The Glass Heart by Sally Gardner
ISBN 184255073x
32 pages

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I am going to be at my family's cottage this weekend, which means no internet access, so I'm trying to write enough reviews to hold you till Monday. I figure one more and we're set.

I think I've probably said this before, but I really like Cornelia Funke's picture books. I think better than her novels, to be truthful. The Wildest Brother is newly published here, so I thought I would talk about it here.

Ben spends all of his time fighting monsters, burglers and wild animals. But not just because he'd rather do that than various chores. The real reason that he has to work so hard is to protect his big sister Anna. Anna, I should note, is a remarkably patient big sister. I don't think I was nearly as understanding of my younger siblings, but maybe that's just me.

Anyways, after a long hard day spent fighting, Ben heads off to bed. But you know, "when Night presses her soot-black face against the window and the heating creaks like the sound of a thousand beetles," even the bravest of fighters can get scared. Fortunately, one of Anna's specialties is protecting little brothers from the Night.

My only complaint about this book is a small one. The last sentence is "And it is sooo wonderful to have a big, strong sister." Were those extra 'O's really necessary?

The Wildest Brother written by Cornelia Funke illustrated by Kerstin Meyer
ISBN 0439828627
24 pages

Do you ever just take against a book? As in, there is no particular reason to not like it, but you just don't? That's how I feel about Black-and-White Blanche. This is Marj Toews' first picture book, and I can't help but get the impression that she doesn't read a lot of kid's books.

Blanche lives in Victorian England, and because the queen only wears black and white, her father dictates that black and white is good enough for them. So the whole family, and all their servants only get to wear black and white. I should note here that everyone's name begins with a 'B,' even the servants. Anyway, Blanche wants to wear pink. All pink all the time is what she wants, and all she gets is black and white. So she runs away. Runs away to live with the flower seller down the street, who is big into colour. Eventually Blanche is found, and her father realizes the error of his ways, and everyone wears colour and everything is wonderful and everyone's faults disappear. Oh thank you colour, you have saved the day!

Suffice to say, I'm not a fan.

Black-and-White Blanche written by Marj Toews illustrated by Dianna Bonder
ISBN 1550051326
32 pages

Let's throw a little Cancon in here, shall we?

Margriet Ruurs has been writing books about chickens for quite some time. So its no surprise to see her newest book is called Wake up, Henry Rooster! Henry is not your typical rooster, see. Henry likes to sleep in; he's just not a morning rooster. So when his dad leaves for a week long convention, putting Henry in charge of the farm, things are bound to go wrong.

All week long Henry stays up late, partying, reading and listening to music, doing a terrible job of getting up on time to wake up the day. Everyone ends up being fed late and missing the school bus. What's a teenage rooster to do? Fortunately for Henry, his farm features a wise old goat, who gives pretty good advice. The solution to Henry's problem? Stay up just that little bit later to start the day for everyone else, and then hit the sack.

I think the best part of this book are Sean Cassidy's illustrations. Ever wonder what a teenaged rooster would look like? Cassidy's imagined him perfectly. From the dancing cows, to the skateboarding horses, this is by far the coolest farm you've ever seen.

Wake up, Henry Rooster! written by Margriet Ruurs illustrated by Sean Cassidy
ISBN 1550419528
32 pages

One of my favourite themes in a kid's book is the power of words, so when I am I by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick came in the other day, I got pretty excited. The story in this book is a pretty loose one. Basically, there are two boys, both of whom proclaim themselves king of everything that surrounds them, while putting down the other. Their words visibly fly out of their mouths, and cause the destruction of everything they love. Eventually, their apologies create life and happiness again.

Hm, I feel like I am not doing a great job of explaining this. Which means you'll have to go look at it yourselves, won't you? I think this book would be great for preschoolers, to learn the power of their words, but that older kids could really get something out of it too. It helps that the illustrations are flat out gorgeous.

There's also a neat little after word, where Fitzpatrick explains that her inspiration for the book comes from a Choctaw symbol, which illustrates their belief that "just as you cannot stand on both sides of a river at once, you cannot belong to two cultures." It's neat that Fitzpatrick was inspired by a Native American idea, but I think we can safely say that the impossibility of belonging to more than one culture is a load of hooey.

I am I by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
ISBN 1596430540
32 pages

Okay, sorry for the recent absence. I don't even have a good excuse. I just got lazy. So to make up for it, I have a whole lotta picture books here for you.

Starting off we have Hippo! No, Rhino!, which wins the award for most punctuation in a book title. But that's not the only remarkable thing about this hilarious book. The whole business starts off when a rather ill-informed zoo keeper places a "Hippo" sign in front of the rhino pen. All sorts of people come by, and remark on the hippo. Rhino becomes rather frustrated, repeatedly shouting out that he is, in fact, a rhino, and that's not his "sign-o." Luckily for the rhino, a sympathetic little boy comes along and fixes the sign. However, on the last page, the zoo keeper strikes again, setting up a sign in front of the hippo that reads "Porcupine-o."

Newman's illustrations make the small amount of text work perfectly. The rhino grows visibly more frustrated, as the ignorant visitors continue to not notice his innate rhino-ness. There are also tons of hilarious details throughout; my favourite being the small birds that hang out on the rhino's back.

Hippo! No, Rhino! written and illustrated by Jeff Newman
ISBN 031615573X
32 pages

Monday, July 10, 2006

Is it sad that I am still working my way through ARC's that I picked up in February? Whatever.

After finishing Gideon last night, I felt like it was time for a little teen angst. And oh how angsty today's book is! Scrambled Eggs at Midnight is a love story, with each side of the equation (Eliot and Cal) being written by a different author. Sounds kind of like Nick and Norah, eh? Well, that's pretty much where the similarities end.

Cal has been driving across the country with her flaky mother since she was a little kid. They've arrived in Asheville to spend the summer working at the Renaissance Fair. Eliot lives outside of his town, where his parents run a Christian fat camp. They fall deeply and madly in love, as only teenagers can do, and alternate chapters that mostly discuss how perfect the other is.

That's not to say I'm complaining though. Never having been madly in love, I enjoy reading about it, in a what-a-foreign-concept kind of a way. I will say though, that neither of these kids really seemed 15. I remember 15, and it certainly didn't look like that to me. And another thing. When did Tim Horton's move into the US? I was all set to come down hard on these authors for placing a Canadian chain in the state of Maine, and then I googled it, and apparently I am behind the times on this one. That isn't really a complaint though. That is just me being made to feel like an idiot.

Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler
ISBN 0525477608
224 pages

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Okay, I know I am not supposed to go around judging books by their covers, but frankly, Gideon the Cutpurse deserves a look for the cover alone. Seriously, you should head to your local bookstore and check it out. Lucky for me, the book lived up to the cover. I haven't read a good time travel story in a good long while, so I very much enjoyed the first volume in Linda Buckley-Archer's projected trilogy.

The book opens with Peter, who is disappointed once again by his workaholic father. He and his au pair head out to the country, and spend the day with Kate and her family. But Kate's families aren’t farmers. Her father works for some fancy acronym heavy agency, and he and his partner are doing some experiments involving dark matter. Kate and Peter have a bit of a run in with this anti-matter thingy (I'm not overly clear on the physics of the whole business, and fortunately, Buckley-Archer doesn't go into it too much) and they end up in 1763. And a creepy guy called the Tar Man steals their contraption, leaving them with no way to get back home. Fortunately, the Tar Man was in hot pursuit of one Gideon Seymour, and he helps them out. The kids end up meeting all sorts of 18th century types, both famous and not, and having all sorts of adventures. I don't want to ruin the ending, but suffice to say, I am definitely excited for book number two.

Occasionally I found myself thinking that Buckley-Archer was a little simplistic in her explanations, or that people's reactions weren't fully what I expected from the situations at hand, but when I really thought about it, I realized that those kinds of details really make this book a lot more accessible to a younger reader. I probably wouldn't give this one to anyone much over 13, as I think a more sophisticated reader would find things a bit too undemanding, but for the 9-13 set this book is right on.

Gideon the Cutpurse by Linda Buckley-Archer
ISBN 1416915257
416 pages

Friday, July 07, 2006

It is officially catalogue season. This is both good and bad. Good, because I get all excited about all the new books coming out this fall, and bad, because it means a lot of data entry for me. This year is also bad, because I have officially quit my job for mid-September, which means I'm missing out on a lot of new books.

Anyway, that is my rambly excuse for why I have not finished the novel I've been reading for the past few days. So instead of talking about it quite yet, I'm going to talk about a picture book.

Each One Special is not at all new, but who cares? It's a great story, and deserves to be talked up. Harry is a cake decorator, and he can do some pretty incredible stuff (so, by the way, can illustrator H. Werner Zimmermann). Sometimes after school, Ben helps Harry out with the cakes. Everything is going pretty nicely, until the bakery where Harry works is bought by some not so nice people. "We want fast, not different . . . We want lots, not special . . . We want young bakers, not old."

Harry tries out some other hobby type things to keep him busy, but nothing makes him as happy as cake decorating, and he becomes depressed. Fortunately for everyone, Ben is a resourceful kid, and he comes up with the idea of clay. Harry becomes a whiz with the clay in no time, and soon Harry and Ben are selling their masterpieces, each on of which is special.

Don't you just want to sigh?

Each One Special written by Frieda Wishinsky illustrated by H. Werner Zimmermann
ISBN 1551431246
32 pages
I don't know about you all, but I love nothing more than a good quiz! So this morning, as I was perusing good ol' Bookshelves of Doom, and I saw that she had linked to "What Teen Angst Novel Are You" I clicked right on over there.

Apparently I am Looking for Alaska by John Green. "Sad, Funny, boozy, thought-provoking. Go read it. It's you." Well thank you very much, quiz master, I will do just that.

Hit it here.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

This week a new book came in from one of my favourite picture book authors. Oliver Jeffers only has two books out, but I'm happy to report, they're both awesome. His first was How to Catch a Star, and his new one is Lost and Found.

Side note: Jeffers is from Belfast, which is the scariest city I've ever been in. When I was there a cab driver made fun of me for being freaked, and I tried to explain to him that I am from Canada, but he just didn't get it.

Anyway, Lost and Found is about a little boy who meets up with a penguin. Assuming he's lost, the boy tries to find out how to get him home, finally checking in a book ("Where Penguins Come From"). So he and the penguin head out for the South Pole in their trusty rowboat. Eventually, the boy realizes that the penguin was just lonely, and what do you know? so was he! Happy ending for everyone!

My favourite things about Jeffers' books are his illustrations. They are perfectly adorable in an unexpected kind of way. The penguin is especially perfect.

Lost and Found written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
ISBN 0007150369
32 pages

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Okay, I'm stumped. This is where all my loyal readers come out of the woodwork and make useful comments.

Hey Bookstore Girl,

I am trying to find a book, but I do not know what it is called. It is a picture book, and it's maybe about a parade or something, but the stand-out feature is that the illustrations are done from the perspective of someone very small watching the parade (or whatever) because it's mostly of feet and shoes walking by.

Any thoughts (other than that I am on crack)?

Sleepless in Seattle... er, Thorold South

And... Go!

After reading something as heavy as March, I thought lighter fare was in order. So I picked up Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love.

This book follows Felicia, who has a huge crush on Matthew, who is all into science. In order to make him fall for her, she confesses her crush and proposes they do a science project together that studies the X factor: why people fall in love, or not. Complications ensue and unfortunately, I did not pay enough attention in math to be able to describe the shape of those love relationships. Suffice to say, it is most definitely not a triangle.

One of the things I think this book really has going for it (and which, incidentally drove me insane) is Felicia's voice. She is the embodiment of a fourteen-year-old girl: "Felicia's Private Kitten Directive Number Ohmigod-Matthew-Held-My-Hand!: All Instances of Matthew-Felicia Body Contact MUST be Logged in Felicia's Notebook Within Twenty-Four Hours of Occurring!"

I think the title is rather unfortunate though, because Felicia gives us the story behind it, and it's not all sexual, but that's not necessarily obvious until you've read the first chapter or so. But I most definitely urge anyone with a 12 to 15-year-old girl in their life to look beyond the title.

Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love by Maryrose Wood
ISBN 0385732767
256 pages

For my birthday a month or so ago, I received a ridiculous gift certificate to the store where I work. One of the books I got myself was March by Geraldine Brooks. I adored her Year of Wonders, and the only reason I haven't read March sooner was because it is a spin-off of Little Women. I have never read Little Women, because the title is so off-putting. Plus the Marches sound as dull as dull can be.

Despite all that, I am glad I finally did read this one. Apparently, in Alcott's story, Mr. March heads off to minister to the troops in the American Civil War (note: I hate when Americans refer to this as though it is though it is the only civil war that ever occurred, anywhere). Alcott's book follows the year that he is gone through the eyes of his family, and Brooks has decided to tell Mr. March's story. The best thing about Brooks as a writer, in my opinion, is that although she does a ton of research, she doesn't necessarily try to cram it all into her novel. Story first! Should be every historical fiction author's motto.

Anyway, so Mr. March's story is told partially through his letters home, which are full of lies (he feels he can't describe the horrors of war to his "little women"), and also through memories of his youth, including the experiences that turned him toward abolitionism.

I generally found that I was not a big fan of Mr. March, as a character; he was a little too self-involved for my taste. But the thing about Geraldine Brooks is, she's a great writer. Really, she is. So I just kept wanting to read.

I will say that I found the ending a little abrupt. But I have a suspicion that it is similar to how Alcott ended her book, though I can't say for sure.

March by Geraldine Brooks
ISBN 0143036661
288 pages

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada day everyone! I realize I should be reviewing something Canadian, but I just finished The Queen's Soprano today, so I'll be talking about that.

What with having a degree in history, I have a vague idea of what was going on in Europe 17th century, but it is hard to keep track of what's going on everywhere. Carol Dines' novel takes us into Rome at that time, a place where women only left home to attend mass. Unfortunately, Angelica has an amazing soprano voice. Unwilling to let it go to waste, her mother is determined to marry her off to the nobility. In order to escape her mother, and a convent, Angelica flees to the court of Queen Christina, a Scandinavian queen who converted to Catholicism and ruled a quarter of Rome. Queen Christina refuses to bow to the will of the current pope, who basically doesn't like fun, especially if women are involved. Eventually, after Christina's death, Angelica is forced to flee to Spain, where she will begin a new life.

My only real complaint about the books is Angelica. Although intellectually I understand why Dines' made her a big wuss (what with never leaving her house and all) it was really annoying. She was whiny and stupid and not at all sympathetic to anyone else's problems. Her sister would love to join a convent, but has no money for the required dowry, and all Angelica can think about is how much she hates the idea of convent living. That's just one example of her selfishness.

Dines' descriptions of the music and life of 17th century Rome are wonderful, though. Angelica's humble beginnings are just as real to the reader as the amazing palaces where she ends up. It’s certainly worth a read for that alone. On top of that, I think she does a great job of showing the extreme restrictions of women’s' lives.

The Queen's Soprano by Carol Dines
ISBN 0152054774
318 pages