Friday, January 24, 2020

A Guide to Nature in Winter

Found this at the used bookshop and it’s amazing! We’ve been identifying all sorts of things we see on our winter walks. Even in these cold and dark months beautiful things are happening!

Donald W. Stokes 1979
illustrated by Deborah Prince

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Westing Game

Somehow I missed this in my childhood and with my kids (though Charlotte is reading it now).  A fun little mystery involving a murder, inheritance and a clever game with millions at stake.  The characters are great and it has a very satisfying ending.  Nice one to add to your New Year's reading list!

Ellen Raskin

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Mummer's Song

I just love reading about old folk traditions.  We don't seem to live much by tradition these days.  This song is put in picture book form describing the Newfoundland Christmas tradition of having neighbors disguise and dress up almost like Halloween.  They go from house to house knocking to be let in for music and dancing and drinking and general merrymaking.

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."