Friday, December 6, 2019

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain

Alice Dalgliesh
illustrated by Helen Sewell 1952

In this rhythmic folktale little Jonathan is sent over Hemlock mountain to borrow a big iron pot from his aunt.  His mother assures him there are no bears on Hemlock mountain.  But Jonathan, ever the animal lover, isn't so sure.  

I liked this bit of acknowledgement:

The outline of this story was kindly given to me by Colonel Henry Shoemaker, State Archivist of Pennsylvania, who collects "tales told by the people."  He has granted me permission to use it, and I have given it more detail and form.  The central element, however- the story of the boy, the bear and the iron pot, is unchanged.  It is, of course, a small "tall tale."

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Wait Till the Moon is Full

We are still pulling out moon books here.  Garth Williams charms us again with his adorable animal pictures (Bulls dancing?  How can you resist!) and Margaret Wise Brown is full of her usual poetry.

Margaret Wise Brown
pictures by Garth Williams

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Sky Mystery, Magic, and Myth

Jean-Pierre Verdet 1992

I have several of these "Discovery" series of books and they are all fascinating and filled with vintage illustrations.  Nice books to pick up to read for a bit here and there.  This was another one that we pulled out to look at when Charlotte was learning about the moon in school.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

What We See in the Stars

We are such little men when the stars come out....

What a wonderful illustrated tour of the night sky!  I love the style of Kelsey Oseid's illustrations. She fills this book with information about stars and the myths behind constellations, about the phases of the moon, the planets and deep space.  All the science is there presented in a digestible, graphically appealing way.

Kelsey Oseid 2017

"To take a moment and gaze up is to connect to an ancient human experience, and can be a great source of wonder and awe."

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Gather Up, Gather In

This gentle book of seasons starts with Autumn and the refrain, "gather up, gather in".  Helldorfer's words are a poem, describing the changing of the earth and time.

A book of Seasons
M.C. Helldorfer 1994
illustrated by Judy Pedersen 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Miss Suzy

What better way to come home from a tough day of middle school than to curl up on the couch with a picture book?  Yesterday afternoon we read this one, loving Arnold Lobel's work as always.   Miss Suzy the squirrel has a sweet little home complete with acorn cups and a moss carpet at the top of an oak tree.  But when a rowdy band of red squirrels forces her out, Suzy must find a new home and make some special friends in the process.

Miriam Young
pictures by Arnold Lobel

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


I think I would have liked a little bit more information in this book.  But Valerie Littlewood does a fair job of describing some of the history and cultural legends around scarecrows around the world.  The illustrations look to me like they were drawn from real life.

Valerie Littlewood 1992