Friday, May 28, 2021

The Houdini Box

Brian Selznick 2001

A fun imagining of a boy obsessed with magic and inspired by Harry Houdini. 


Saturday, May 8, 2021

Women's Work Scientific illustration

 If you are a fan of scientific illustration (especially of the antique, natural sciences variety) then these are wonderful references to track down.  Though these aren't "children books", they are a nice supplement to learning about art and science and especially the history of women in these fields.

 Orra White Hitchock created incredible large charts and instructional designs for the classroom and illustrated the work of her geologist and professor husband.  I absolutely love her almost modern-looking graphic designs of geography.

This catalogue is from the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City and contains a wonderful assortment of women illustrators, including Maria Merian.  Being an artist was an acceptable vocation for women of a certain time period.  But it's also neat to see how they were just as interested in the traditionally masculine discipline of observing nature and carrying out experiments and dissections.  And once again I am enamored with the juxtaposition of art and the science and how complimentary they are to each other.  

Friday, April 23, 2021

The First Book of Jazz

 Charlotte is my music lover, playing piano, trumpet and teaching herself the guitar.  And she loves Jazz!  We often listen to old jazz records or cds, though I am hardly a connoisseur and not all that knowledgeable.  I just know that Jazz is a lot of fun!

This book by Langston Hughes is a great introduction, giving the history and information about jazz and some of it's most famous musicians.  And those midcentury angular illustrations can't be beat!

The First Book of Jazz
Langston Hughes
pictures by Cliff Roberts 

I totally appreciate this list of records to check out!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

All the Small Poems and Fourteen More

Valerie Worth
illustrated by Natalie Babbitt 1996

A sweet little treasure of poetry!  I didn't realize that Natalie Babbitt was also just an illustrator (we love the books she's written like these.)

These are the kinds of poems perfect for slipping into lunch boxes or mailing off to little friends.

(I made a copy for Charlotte's lunch).


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A Peaceable Kingdom

Illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen 1978

The Shakers were a religious group that envisioned an egalitarian community devoted to a simple way of life.  Although they had some flourishing communities, they didn't believe in marriage or procreation and eventually they dwindled and died out. As austere as their beliefs might have seemed, they managed to produce this whimsical animal alphabet rhyme as a tool to teach children to read.  Alice and Martin Provensens iconic illustrations have made it a classic.   

I have also happen to have a clean paperback copy for sale on my Ebay shop.  

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Treasury of Egyptian Mythology

Charlotte was studying ancient Egypt in school last Spring.  I found these books on our shelves and read a little to her but, though very interesting, they aren't exactly kid friendly.  I confess I know very little about Egyptian gods and mythology.  So this big book was a treat for me as well.  I absolutely love the illustrations.  And the writing is quite good too as the creation myths and and various gods and goddesses are told.   

Donna Jo Napoli
Illustrations by Christina Balit 2013

As a final treat (while the world was in Covid lockdown) we "toured" the Egyptian rooms at the British Museum.  It was really neat!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Man in the Moon as He Sails the Sky

collected and illustrated by Ann Schweninger 1979

Absolutely lovely collection of moon verse.  Mostly from Mother Goose but with some Wordsworth, Blake, Stevenson, and Lear included.  (The dedication "To Uri Shulevitz" is fitting.)

(How sweet is this fox and raccoon having tea by the light of the moon?!)
Tonight the color
Of the moon
Is amber tea
In a silver spoon.