Monday, November 21, 2011

Cracked Corn and Snow Ice Cream

Nancy Willard 1997
illustrated by Jane Dyer

This book is a treasure chest!  Nancy Willard and Jane Dyer combine family history, photographs, artwork, old stories, quotes and historical facts and figures into a beautiful Family Almanac. 

When I was a child the only place more exciting than Oz was Iowa.  My grandmother grew up on a farm there, in a place called Deep River, and I heard plenty of stories about corn so tall you could get lost in it and wolves so intelligent that if you met one, you could turn it aside with a prayer.  But what about the stories my grandmother didn't have time to tell me?  A few years ago I asked my relatives from Iowa and Wisconsin to tell me what life was like for them when they were growing up on the farm.  This book passes on to you what they told me.  - NW

I was surprised to catch Henry reading it one day- I wouldn't have thought he would be drawn to it based on the cover art.  But he likes books that have an unconventional layout (that's why he loves the Eyewitness books) and snippets of interesting information.  Did you know beans do well when planted in a mixture of soil and hair?

The book encourages everyone to collect their own family's history.  We hope you will write down the stories you hear from the people in your own family.  And with Thanksgiving around the corner when homes are filled with family members old and young, I think this is the perfect time.

(I was also particularly pleased to see the book open with a quote by Willa Cather:  There are all those early memories; one cannot get another set...)

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