I spend my days pawing through books, books, books, discovering titles I missed along the way. Titles that if I knew about them I might find very useful indeed while on the reference desk. Reference Desk work is such a crap shoot that way. You prepare yourself in a variety of different subjects, learning as much about parts of your collection as possible, in the perhaps vain hope that some child will ask you for precisely what you already know. Nine times out of ten when you have learned about every dinosaur book in your children’s room, what the next fifty kids will ask you is, "Where can I find the mummy books?" So it goes.
I have, in the past, received requests on information pertaining to pirates and ancient Egypt and NOT just because they were school assignments either. So when I stumbled across Richard Platt’s "Diary" series I was instantly intrigued. The book had been shoved into that godforsaken area of the room known as the Oversized Section. Beware, oh publishers, of creating titles too large for normal shelves. For lo, thine books shalt be frittered away into the furthest corner of the children’s room where no man nor mouse dare tread. I exaggerate, but basically the Oversized Section is where bad little books who have been naughty and grown too large for normal shelves go to die. It’s clearly visible, but no one knows about it and many is the time a patron or clerk assumed that a book was missing when they could have simply have tracked it down in this corner.
So I was weeding the Oversized books (a bit of a moot job when you consider that half the books there were made missing a million years ago and disappeared from our records) when I stumbled upon Mr. Richard Platt and his titles. Mind you, this series isn’t old in the slightest so there’s no good excuse for my missing them. The three titles I found included:
– Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess, Page – Illustrated by Chris Riddell
– Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jack Carpenter – Illustrated by Chris Riddell
– Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht – Illustrated by David Perkins
These books are great! They’re fact filled little suckers with enough adventure and intrigue to keep kids reading. The graphic elements conjure up a comic book feel, but the text never goes so far as to appear in speech bubble form. When the kids start demanding books on any of these three subjects, chuck Richard Platt at ’em. Stuff I’d have never have found if it weren’t for our housecleaning duties.