Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods

The quintessential poem for Thanksgiving.  I think I sang this as a little girl in nursery school.  Nice full page illustrations combined with the decorative text.  I'm looking forward to our cozy Thanksgiving with Chris' parents and brother and cousins.  There's always a fire in the fireplace and a football game on and plenty of delicious food.  My mother-in-law is a tremendous hostess.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims

This is my favorite Thanksgiving book because I love N.C. Wyeth so much.  Several years ago the Brandywine River museum had an exhibit of Howard Pyle and all of the children's illustrators he influenced and helped to train, including Wyeth.  We saw some of his original paintings and drawings for the children's books he illustrated.

Robert San Souci 1996
illustrated by N.C. Wyeth

A page at the end is dedicated to information about N.C.Wyeth. In 1940 he was commissioned to paint a series of murals that included Plymouth Colony life.

 "In these murals, Wyeth challenged the existing notions of Pilgrim society as unremittingly severe by depicting the pleasures and beauty of the colony. The paintings reveal the romantic vision and lyricism that were the hallmarks of Wyeth's style."

There's also interesting tidbits about Thanksgiving in the back pages, like how the custom had nearly died out by 1815 and it was established on the fourth Thursday of November by Congress in 1941.  The author also addresses some of the historical discrepancies in Wyeth's paintings (lovely though they are). 

Monday, November 22, 2010

When the Frost is on the Pumpkin

A Thanksgiving Story

I can't help but love the illustrations from this 1954 story of Thanksgiving.

Alice Dalgliesh 1982
illustrated by Helen Sewell

The First Thanksgiving

Another fine book about the first Thanksgiving.  Beautiful paintings accompany the text.

Jean Craighead George 2001
illustrated by Thomas Locker

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Pilgrims and Me

An easy early reader book about the pilgrims told by a girl who has visited Plymouth Plantation (the living history village in Massachusetts).  It combines illustrations and photographs and the more common information about the pilgrims and that first Thanksgiving.

Judy Donnelly
illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Mind Your Manners

With Thanksgiving dinner coming soon I thought we could use a lesson in table manners.  The kids and I get such a kick out of this book.  It's taken directly from a 19th century etiquette book for children.  The pictures are hilarious and there's a twist on who is the worst behaved at dinner.

Dianne Goode 2005

I particularly like:
Frown not, nor murmur if there be any thing at the table which thy parents or strangers with them eat of, whilst thou hast none given thee.

Put not a bit into thy mouth till the former be swallowed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Kitten and Falling Leaves

Autumn leaves and kittens.  Perfect.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Hat

Jan Brett is another author/illustrator we seem to have a bunch of.  Her full page illustrations always have so many things to look at and you can see the influence of nordic designs and patterns in her pictures. 

Jan Brett 1997

This was the first of her books we bought, many years ago when Madeleine was a baby. Inspired by Brett's own pet hedgehog, this curious fellow gets a sock stuck on his head and all the other animals tease him. Brett likes to leave clues in the illustrations as to what is coming next in the story, or tell a parallel story in the borders (like the clothes disappearing from the clothesline). Her books make for nice cold weather, cozy reading.

Who Owns the Moon?

This is a silly story about three farmers who fight about everything, even who owns the moon.  Their wives convince them to see the wise man to settle their dispute, which he does in a clever way.

Sonia Levitin 1973
illustrated by John Larrecq

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Book of Trades and To the King's Taste

These two books are not necessarily children's books, but they're still fun and compliment the medieval themes of the latest books I've been listing.

Jost Amman 1973

I love this book- originally published in 1568 it lists all the trades and crafts of 16th century Germany. Written in German (with accompanying woodcuts) it has English translations at the bottom of the pages and also has an interesting introduction that would make for a good history lesson.

Lorna J. Sass 1975

This is a great idea in theory- a cookbook of dishes from the reign of Richard II. Unfortunately not many of them sounded appetizing to me. The design of the book has great period illustrations and is a fascinating look at the cookery of that time.