Monday, April 24, 2023

Celia Planted a Garden

Celia Planted a Garden
Phyllis Root and Gardy D. Schmidt
illustrated by Melissa Sweet 2022

I only recently became familiar with Celia Thaxter through her beautiful poetry.

 Have patience; here are flowers and songs of birds,
 Beauty and fragrance, wealth of sound and sight,
 All summer's glory thine from morn till night,
And life too full of joy for uttered words

And I have been reading in stops and starts her book "An Island Garden" about her summers spent gardening on the island of Appledore off of New Hampshire in the 19th century. 

This children's book is a nice companion with collage-like pages and interspersed quotes. 

An Island Garden
originally published in 1894 and illustrated by Childe Hassam

Sunday, April 23, 2023

How They Grow

How They Grow 
Margaret Waring Buck 1972

According to the back flap, Margaret Waring Buck "delighted in the open country and its small dwellers.  On her many nature excursions she usually takes along a sketch pad and magnifying glass."  How inspiring! Buck has a bit of Tasha Tudor and Beatrix Potter to her.  This book is all about the life cycles of various creatures.  Each page is informative, but Buck's illustrations around the border of the page are what make me love it!

Look at this sweet salamander!

Saturday, April 22, 2023

I Think I Will Go to the Hospital

 At first I thought this book was illustrated by Steven Kellogg, the style is very similar (though I much prefer Tamburine).  Published in 1965, it hopes to allay the fears of going to the hospital for little children.  Suzy, wearing a kind of ridiculous hat, needs to have her tonsils out, but she's afraid and refusing to go.   Her mother takes her to visit the hospital and after talking to different people and learning what the nurses and doctors actually do, she changes her mind.  It was fun seeing the vintage hospital beds and medical things.  So much has changed with what a hospital stay looks like now, but the message of reassurance to a fearful child is still the same.

I Think I Will Go to the Hospital
Jean Tamburine 1965

Friday, April 21, 2023

Pencils, Pens and Brushes

Pencils, Pens and Brushes
Mindy Johnson
illustrated by Lorelay Bove

My husband LOVES Disney World.  While it's not my top choice to travel to, I've always enjoyed our vacations there.   (Mostly because my husband does all the planning and I'm just along for the ride.)   Being a detail oriented person, I do appreciate the intentional attention to detail that Disney employs in even the smallest ways.  For example, artists had to create a fake rust color and texture to coat the walls of one of the rides and sections of the park.  And I noticed how the entrance to Galaxy's Edge (the Star Wars portion) was designed in such a way to join the rest of the park via a tunnel angled to create a slow reveal.  Say what you will about the consumerism and inauthenticity, there are some amazing creative minds at work in that place!
 Aside from liking amusement park rides, I'm always on the lookout for artwork that I like.  (Hello Mary Blair!).  After seeing the incredible Cirque Du Soleil show at Disney Springs, I spotted this book in the gift shop.  It's biographical snippets of some of the creative women that have worked for Disney in the past.  Mary Blair was there of course, and I had forgotten that Gyo Fujikawa had also done a stint at Disney.  And lately I've really liked learning about Milicent Patrick.  She created the Creature from the Black Lagoon.     

This book covers not just illustrators, but the women who were writers, paint chemists, or modeled for characters and movements.  At the time these women were embarking on careers outside of what was expected for women.  It's no surprise that many of them were adventurous in other aspects of their life- like becoming pilots or serving during WWII.   I would have liked to have seen more photographs and samples of their own work, but I like Lorelay Bove's illustration style.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

The Tree House Mystery

The Tree House Mystery
Carol Beach York
illustrated by Reisie Loette 1973

 There's something so warm and nostalgic about these vintage Weekly Reader books.  Just the size, and pictures, and feel of the paper is comfortingly familiar to me!  I completely identify with the parents in this story who have always wanted to move to the country.  Roger isn't so sure about leaving their city home and his best friend, but their new property has woods and a creek and even a tree house!

Friday, March 24, 2023

Rain Drop Splash

Our first official days of Spring have been full of rain.  Drip, drop, splash indeed!   Here is another fine pairing of Tresselt and Weisgard. This was Tresselt's first children's book and was named a Caldecott Medal Honor Book in 1947.

Rain Drop Splash
Alvin Tresselt
pictures by Leonard Weisgard 1990