Lately I am loving the idea of sharing an older and sometimes vintage book on Fridays and the one I pulled out today has been an absolute favorite this past year. A book about a quiet, independent woman and her dog who find themselves a bit outcast from the town because of their peculiarities… until disaster strikes the town and they are the kindest and only ones to help. Come be completely charmed and a bit emboldened by Miss Twiggley’s Tree by Dorothea Warren Fox, 1966.Continue reading “Review: Miss Twiggley’s Tree By Dorothea Warren Fox”
“A poem is ‘a momentary stay against confusion,’ Frost told us. It is a ‘voyage of discovery’ that ‘begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” And in this charming book, we get a small glimpse into the life and family of that poet, Robert Frost. Adapted from Frost’s oldest daughter’s journal and the author’s biography on Frost, is a short story of the Frost family moving back from a two year stint in England. During the trip, Lesley Frost recalls their life on a New Hampshire farm prior to England, where her father found his poetic voice. Take a little peek into the life and poetry of Robert Frost with Papa Is A Poet by Natalie S. Bober, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon, 2013.Continue reading “Review: Papa Is A Poet By Bober & Gibbon”
Coming this week with a Wednesday post which seemed the perfect time to resurrect a favorite theme: Wordless Wednesday! If you’re new here, don’t be confused or perhaps get your hopes up – it’s not a wordless post from me. Ha! No, in these posts I celebrate a mysterious genre of picture books: the wordless book. Once a painful headache for me, now I search and celebrate the beautiful ones I can find. If wordless books tend to make you grimace – start with this post with tips for how to read them. And then join me today in drooling over this simple, yet beautiful story about a child and grandparent looking for tenants for their dreadfully neglected rental apartment and finding community in surprising ways. Here is Over the Shop by JonArno Lawson, illustrations by Qin Leng, 2021.Continue reading “Wordless Wednesday: Over The Shop By Lawson & Leng”
As Mother’s Day approached this year, I found myself, no surprise, thinking about picture books. It’s common for adults, and parents especially, to be non-existent in picture book worlds. The audience is children of course. But, as I perused my shelves I slowly realized that moms aren’t actually missing from a lot of picture books. There are a lot of moms there, most of them doing exactly what they do in real life and going completely unnoticed in the story. For this moment on Mother’s Day, I wanted to give a sort of ode to all the mothers, and mother-figures, out there who are doing their work and keeping life, and stories humming along.
To the moms who grew and carried a baby.
To the moms who didn’t, but carry them now.
To the moms who always wanted to be a mom.
And to the ones who didn’t.
To the moms who always keep an eye on their tasks and their little mischief-makers.
To the moms who make delicious treats and have a ready smile and wave.
To the moms who keep a handle on their families’ diet kindly and firmly.
To the moms who always immediately know what’s wrong.
To the moms who help give words to uncomfortable feelings and situations.
To the moms who are willing to listen to their children and change their decision.
To the moms who are resourceful and considerate of sentimental favorites.
To the mamas who know how to celebrate the joy of rain.
To the moms who readily go on adventures too and never tire of mundane distractions like counting everything on route.
To the moms who take the lead on family adventures.
To the moms who keep their cool and know ice cream is the best distraction.
To the moms who quietly clean up the children and listen to their adventures.
To the moms who throw the best parties even though they end up exhausted.
To the moms who end up cleaning up the messes, even when they are made by tigers.
To the moms who prepared their children for big things when they have to rest.
To the moms who embrace the craziest things, even pets.
To the moms who encourage their kids’ imaginations despite their interesting choice of materials.
To the moms who love their little dancers even with questionable moves.
To the moms who know their kids and teach them to be themselves despite culture.
To the moms who love their kids that are nothing like them.
To the moms who still provide the hot dinner, even after a rough day.
To the moms who gently remind their little ones how days and nights work.
To the moms who share the best stories, from their own lives or the lives of others.
Here’s to all the moms who read three books a night (more or less). May you know how special and not invisible you are in our lives and every story we tell.
Mother’s Day weekend is upon us! I have a special post set for Sunday – a mesh of a lot of favorite mother scenes from a variety of picture books – so come back for that. And I will never top my best Mother’s Day post of all time – How To Be An Excellent Mother, learning life lessons from one of my all-time favorite mother characters in the Little Bear books. But while I was making Sunday’s toast to mothers, I was reminded of this vintage gem. It’s a small paperback by a classic author and fantastic illustrator. It is dripping of 1970s fashion and decor, but timeless in its sweetness and mother-daughter bond. A story about a little girl who wonders if she can visit her mother when she grows up, if she stops making all the mistakes and messes she makes currently. Have a smile, perhaps choke up a bit, and then go call your own mother and decide on your next visit. Celebrate motherhood from the thoughts of a child with May I Visit? by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Erik Blegvad, 1976.Continue reading “Review: May I Visit? By Zolotow & Blegvad”
Feelings and emotions are such difficult things to understand. Even as a grown-up I realize that I am learning more every day about myself and how my body works. And thankfully, beautiful picture books continue to be made that help inform and also delight by meeting questions with beautiful ways of answering. Have you ever wondered why we cry? Well, I can now say, there’s a really fantastic book for that! Take a peek at Why Do We Cry? by Fran Pintadera, illustrated by Ana Sender, published in Spain in 2018, and translated to English in 2020.Continue reading “Review: Why Do We Cry? By Pintadera & Sender”