Friday, February 26, 2021

A Band of Angels

A little blending of fact and fiction, this book introduced us to the Jubilee Singers and the story of their origins at Fisk University.  I always like books that lead us down a rabbit hole of research and new information like this.   Raul Colon's warm golden illustrations are like sepia photographs.

Deborah Hopkins
illustrated by Raul Colon 2002


Saturday, February 20, 2021

The People Could Fly

Virginia Hamilton
illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon 1993

 I can't think of a better pairing than Virginia Hamilton and Leo and Diane Dillon. Hamilton's collection of folktales are rich with dialect, clever animals, supernatural characters, exaggerated situations, and stories of freedom from slavery.   I really appreciated her notes at the end of each one, explaining the historical significance or language or expounding on the story. 

" Remember that these folktales were once a creative way for an oppressed people to express their fears and hopes to one another.  They lend themselves well to being read out loud, as they were told out loud so long ago....These tales were created out of sorrow.  But the hearts and minds of the black people who formed them, expanded them, and passed them on to us were full of love and hope.  We must look at the tales as a celebration of the human spirit."

Friday, February 19, 2021

The Snow Speaks

This is actually a Christmas book.  But we tend to get most of our snow in the months of January, February and March.  And we've had a couple snow storms recently that have left the world around us white and magical.  

In Nancy White Carlstrom's poem snow speaks, "Here Here Here", "Cold Cold Cold", "Blow Blow Blow".  And two children listen and watch waiting for other secrets they know the snow has in store.

Nancy White Carlstrom
illustrated by Jane Dyer 1992

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

What to Look for in Winter and Summer

 I had to track down these vintage Ladybird Nature books on eBay (they came from England).  They are such a satisfying small size and have rich full page illustrations.  I appreciate that everything in the pictures is talked about in the text.  It makes for a particularly nice pairing of information and art.  There are two more versions for Spring and Autumn.  I'm keeping my eye out!

What to Look for in Winter
What to Look for in Summer
E.L. Grant Watson
illustrations by C.F. Tunnicliffe 1959


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax

 Titled by those famous lines of Lewis Carroll's (anytime I start a sentence with "the time has come..." I have to say the following rhyme... to talk of many things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings!), this vintage book is a real gem of information.  A grandfather tells his grandchildren all about the origins of some every day, interesting things.  Having a love of all things stationary/writing related I particularly liked the history of sealing wax (which I frequently use myself) and blotting paper.  Published in 1928, the illustrations are just wonderful.

Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax
Ethel Clere Chamberlin 1928

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Child of Glass

 This author/illustrator is a favorite of a friend of mine.  I can see why with this amazing book!  I haven't always been as enthusiastic about her other work, but this one might be winning me over.

Beatrice Alemagna 2019