Sunday, February 3, 2019

Minute Sketches of Great Composers

Eva B. Hansl
and Helen L. Kaufmann 
illustrated by Samuel Nisenson

I am LOVING this book of composers.  Each short biography is one page long and passionately written.  (Wagner is described "and so he remains, a solitary mountain peak, to which lesser men lift reverent eyes."). 

Our old copy is a little tattered (and I'm sorry we're missing the great dustjacket).  Also, someone decided to embelish some of the portraits with red rayon.  No matter, it's still a fun informative read.

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Pelican Chorus

I never get tired of silliness and nonsense!  Edward Lear is, of course, the king of such things.  His nonsense verses paired with L. Leslie Brooke's drawings are particularly fun.  There's a chair and table who decide to walk around town, a Pobble (whatever that is!) who loses his toes, and a bold pair of sugar-tongs and nutcracker who decide to ride off on horses (my favorite poem!)

Edward Lear
drawings by L. Leslie Brooke

Kangaroo endpages

Unfortunately Brooke did not draw a Daddy Long-legs.  This looks more like a crane fly to me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Hello Lighthouse

Over Winter break we traveled down to South Carolina and then Florida.  Charleston is definitely someplace I'd like to visit again and spend more time exploring.  We only had a couple days there, but while walking around the city we found a wonderful bookstore- Blue Bicycle Books.  (Anytime we travel I manage to sniff out bookshops!)

Blue Bicycle Books is an interesting mix of new and old books.  In a back hallway shelf I found an antique copy of Twenty Years Before the Mast. I particularly liked the description on the front page:

In the children's room Madeleine picked up Hello Lighthouse.  I immediately loved the illustrations, some of which are drawn with the unique perspective of living in a lighthouse.  Sophie Blackall makes the life of a lighthouse keeper seem particularly charming.

Sophie Blackall 2018

Friday, January 4, 2019

If I Had a Little Dream

Nina Laden
illustrated by Melissa Castrillion

A rhyming verse celebrating life and child-like wonder.  The pictures really make the book.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth

Rachel Ignotofsky

I absolutely adore the illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky (I first discovered her on Etsy years ago when I bought Henry one of her bacteria cell t-shirts).  I always love when science and art converge.  This year both Henry and Charlotte happened to be studying eco-systems and biomes in their science classes, so reading this book was extra fun!  The design and layout of illustrations and facts and information is simply fabulous!  We even used it as a studying tool for Charlotte's science test.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Wind in the Willows

This was the summer of The Wind in the Willows.  Though it's a classic I confess I had never actually read it before, which is too bad because it's perfectly wonderful!  We had a second-hand hardback copy with less than interesting illustrations.  Though Grahame's writing is so lovely, we felt the pictures were lacking.  So I tracked down a version illustrated by David Petersen (we have a copy of one of his Mouse Guard comics).  When I saw the cover I knew this was the one for us!  (Rackham also did a version with delightful illustrations as well).  

Kenneth Grahame
illustrated by David Petersen 2016

How could you not love dreamy Ratty and timid Mole, the stern Badger and of course the irascible Toad.  The story meanders beautifully with Grahame's descriptions of the river and English countryside.  We found much of the dialog and hijinks of Toad are laugh out loud funny!