Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Cataract of Lodore

Read this at breakfast this morning.  Madeleine said the illustrations really "make it."  I agree.

Robert Southey
illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein 1991

Robert Southey was made England's Poet Laureate in 1813.  He was one of the Romantic Lake Poets and also wrote the children's nursery story "The Three Bears".  I can't say that I've ever read any of his other poems- he's certainly been forgotten compared to his friends Coleridge and Wordsworth.  But this is definitely a fun verse to read with all the rhyming language, as raucous and boisterous as the waterfall he describes. 

We even had to make use of the glossary on the first page to find out what the words "gill" and "tarn" meant.  (Gill is a narrow stream or rivulet and tarn is a mountain lake or pool).

"How does the Water
Come down at Lodore?"
My little boy asked me
Thus, once on a time;
And moreover he tasked me
To tell him in rhyme.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Declaration of Independence

Happy Birthday United States of America!  

And now for something historical and patriotic...

illustrated by Sam Fink 2002

Pictures illustrate each page of this book which are the words of the Declaration of Independence.  Perfect for an impromptu history lesson, the back of the book even has a chronology of events and glossary of words.

(Love this woman with the dove and rifle.)

Other books for July 4th:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Quentin Blake 1995

I know some people are freaked out by clowns, but this wordless story by Quentin Blake is so sweet even if the pictures are kind of crazy.

A clown doll gets thrown out with a bunch of other stuffed animals.  He finds a pair of sneakers to wear and sets off on his own.  Several times he meets children and tries to tell them about the trash can filled with his toy friends.  He gets thrown from a window and chased by a dog but he doesn't lose hope.  Finally he meets a girl and her baby brother who need and want him just as much as he does them.  He helps them clean up and prepare for their poor overworked mother and they rescue the other stuffed animals.  Blake's "messy" drawings sure do show a lot of emotion.