Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Big God Story

Michelle Anthony 2010
illustrated by Cory Godbey

Just bought this book as an Easter gift for my godson. He recently asked if Jesus was a zombie and thought Martin Luther King Jr. was in the bible. I thought he was in need of some religious instruction!

This book (which has modern pictures and not too much text for an antsy 6 year old to sit through) starts at the beginning and briefly covers the main bible stories. Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Esther, all leading up to Jesus, his death and resurrection. Though simplified, the running theme is God's love and redemption. It's a good introduction to Christianity with extra resources listed on the back page.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Egg Tree

Katherine Milhous 1992

On the page of acknowledgements: 
To the people of the Red Hills known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, who love bold color and designs, and who hold fast to their traditions, which are rooted in far away times and in far-off lands.

The story is about Katy and Carl and their cousins who start Easter morning off with an egg hunt. When the hunt turns up some forgotten painted eggs in the attic, grandmother encourages them to paint more eggs and decorate an egg tree. By the next year their egg tree is bigger, holding hundreds of eggs and people come from all around to see it.

Soft muted illustrations are inspired by the traditional designs of the Pennsylvania dutch. Even the pictures on the eggs are given specific names- "The Bright and Morning Star", "The Deer on the Mountain", "The Cooing Dove".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Golden Egg Book

Margaret Wise Brown 1947
illustrated by Leonard Weisgard

Yesterday we colored eggs. Pink, yellow, blue, and even some we marbleized.  We tried dying in onion skins and purple cabbage with beautiful results. 

I always see this book on the display table at the bookstore around Eastertime.  I guess it's considered a classic. In this little story a bunny finds an egg and wonders what's inside of it. (Charlotte guessed the elephant!)  It turns out to be a cute duck who becomes his friend.  I especially like how it has rich full page vintage illustrations.

The Umbrella Brigade

All this Spring rain sure is making the flowers grow!  And the puddles!  oh, the puddles are a sight to stir one's blood!  Charlotte loves to be out in it with her green boots and her umbrella.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Voyages of Captain Cook

Mulder and Zoon, Amsterdam 1971

I actually got this book to cut up for the pictures (old book pages can make great envelopes!)  But when I started reading it I got sucked into the journey of Captain Cook.  I knew a bit about his travels and how he was killed in the Hawaiian Islands, but there's a whole story of adventure here, complete with maps documenting his travels.

We're reading this chapter by chapter at bedtime.  Henry's really enjoying it, but then he likes ships and sea-adventures anyway.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Gardener

Another city garden book told through letters and wonderful pictures.

Sarah Stewart 2007
pictures by David Small

Lydia, a country girl, goes to stay with her uncle in the city and brings her love of plants and gardening with her. Set during the Great Depression she writes letters home about her new friends and the surprise she plans for her Uncle.   I'm not going to lie, I've been known to tear up while reading this.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Curious Garden

It's that time of year, when our thoughts are turning to gardening.  Our spring bulbs are up but we still have so much to do in our garden. 

We just bought this lovely book for a birthday present for an awesome 3 year old.  It's been read repeatedly in our house for the last few weeks.  It's one I don't mind reading over and over because the text is short and the pictures are magnificent.

Peter Brown 2009

A curious boy finds plants growing and decides to help them along. Soon his "curious" garden is spreading and the city is transformed into something remarkable.  It was inspired by the Highline park in NYC that's on an old unused elevated train line. (How I wish Philadelphia would copy this!)

The garden was especially curious about old, forgotten things.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blow, Wind, Blow

My mom (aka Gram gram) spent the afternoon with us the other day.  She brought soup and cheese for lunch and doughnut holes for the kids.  Charlotte was so happy to have her here that she asked if she was coming over again the next day! 

written and illustrated by Janet and Alex D'Amato

At one point Charlotte sat on my mom's lap while she read her this book, changing the girl's name to "Charlotte".  It was quite appropriate since the first sentence is "Once there was a little girl who just couldn't sit still."  We thought it was neat that even in 1960 (when the book was published) this line appeared:

That's how little girls are, you see, all wiggles and twists.

The little girl meets the wind who doesn't sit still either but blows all about.  She follows it as it rushes through the town, along her mother's laundry on the clothesline and lifting high some boys' kites.  It's a cute simple story.