Monday, February 28, 2011


Call the cows home!
Call the cows home!
Louring storm clouds
Hitherward come;
East to West
Their wings are spread;
Lost in the blue
Is each heaven-high head;
They've dimmed the sun;
Turned day to night;
With a whistling wind
The woods are white;
Down streams the rain
On farm, barn, byre,
Bright green hill,
And bramble and brier,
Filling the valley
With glimmer and gloom:
Call the cows home!
Call the cows home!
               -Walter de la Mare

Thunderstorms and hail today.  I think everyone should have a big book of Walter de la Mare's poems.


Janet and Allan Ahlberg 1999

A little baby in England during WWII (you can tell from clues in the illustrations, like the double decker bus and the father's uniform) sees the word around him.  His sisters playing, his grandmother doing washing, his mom making tea.  The pictures are full of things to look at (which I love!) and a hole on each page leads to the next (peek-a-boo!).  It's weird for me to say "peepo" and not "peekaboo" but I guess that's the English version.  It's one of my favorites to read to Charlotte at naptime.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Mouse and The Egg

My Uncle in Texas recently sent me a couple suprise books in the mail.  They were discards from his local library.  One of them was this Russian fable about an old man and woman who live a simple life in their cottage with a mouse and speckled hen.  But when the old man begins to complain of his brown egg for tea, his wife warns him to be thankful.  And in the end he learns his lesson.

William Mayne 1980
pictures by Krystyna Turska

The pictures have plenty of detail and folkart appeal. And look, a samovar!

Friday, February 25, 2011

You read to me, I'll read to you

I shine for the sea, I shine for the land.
I shine for the frogs when they strike up the band
As they sit in the water all in a line.
Now you tell me- for whom do you shine?
                  (from "A Dream About the Man in the Moon")

John Ciardi 1962
drawings by Edward Gorey

This book of ours is falling apart, the pages falling out one by one. But still we managed to sit up in bed last night and read most of the poems. They're funny and profound, kinda like Shel Silverstein. The drawings are by Edward Gorey- and that's what made me pick up this book in the first place.

I read this one especially for Henry: