Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bedtime for Frances

Bedtime for Frances
Written by Russell Hoban
Illustrated by Garth Williams

When I was a child I owned and enjoyed the classic story A Bargain for Frances. I love this story still, and so does my daughter. However, I didn't read Bedtime for Frances until I was all grown up. Oh how I love this story also! In this book Frances seems to want to go to bed, but there are many things she has forgotten about, requiring her to get up many times. Her parents are so patient, so practical and calm and yet so parentally easy to relate too, it is delightful (even if like me you would have lost your patience sooner, and even if like me you don't believe in spanking)! What a sweet Daddy Frances has! Finally, with a little extra motivation Frances makes it to sleep. Who hasn't had a little Frances of their own up and up again from bedtime? As a parent this book is enjoyable. As a child, this book is enjoyable. A great combination! I came across this story first in The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury: Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud which is a very fun collection!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

About Rodents

About Rodents
Written by Cathryn Sill
Illustrated by John Sill

There is much to love in this book, and much to learn. Each page contains simple sentences with simple facts. The facing page has amazingly realistic and beautiful illustrations. I have never seen a cuter, fatter hibernating Hazel Dormouse! (Okay, I haven't before seen Hazel Dormouse). At the end of this simple but hugely informative book of many many different rodents are miniature numbered plates, matching the pages, containing more detailed information about each rodent. So much to learn, during so many readings! Such BEAUTIFUL illustrations! This is a book which causes me to immediately search for more from the same author-illustrator team. About Rodents is a book in the"...About"series, which includes About Birds, and About Fish. I am sorry that my library contains no others. This is one of those books you want to own, along with every other in the series and by the same creators. So perfect!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems

Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems
Written by: Kristine O'Connell George
Illustrated by: Kate Kiesler

I am fascinated with poems because I know there is magic in them. I love the brevity of many and the feeling in so few well chosen words. I know that they are good for children, even if I can't articulate why without passing on reasons given by someone else. Poems are mysteriously good things to me in their short but true breath of meaning. (I do like the short ones best)!

Introducing poetry to children can be fun when a theme is involved, especially if it revolves around their interests, or better yet your combined interests. This book of camping poems is a fun mix of thinking and lighthearted poems, poems about marshmallows and sleeping bags, owls and caves, and many other camping situations. Although these couple dozen poems are probably best for the slightly older child, I can see the illustrations and rhythm pleasing younger ones.Enjoy a fun and different collection of poems meant of course, especially for you campers! Check it out!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jody's Beans
Written by Malachy Doyle
Illustrated by Judith Allibone

The magic of seeds is magnificent, and it's always fun to show a child the magic for the first time. Or the second. Or the third. I revel in the magic of sprouting seeds still. In Jody's Beans a sweet Grandpa take the opportunity to share this magic with his granddaughter in a project that's just between the two. Judging from the illustrations, Jody comes from a home alive with many plants and gardens, but this project, being her own, provides a different kind of wonder. With a hard-to-notice background story going on, this book is one to read and reread again. Even better, it invites a gardening project for you and your children. If you don't garden, this book is still worth the read, because the magic of a seed is magic for everyone!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Gardener

The Gardener
Written by Sarah Stewart
Illustrated by David Small

Over and over I hear of so many people affected by the current economic state. It seems one thing leads to another and the effects keep rolling until in some way or another, I think it's affected us all. This is not the first time the world has felt a pinch however. In The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart, the story unfolds in another era of troubled times. Sent away to her Uncle's bakery, Lydia will dearly miss her country garden. Not to be deterred, she receives seeds by mail and creates a city garden of warmth and wonder. Flowers of course, are not the only things to grow in this story.

I love a children's book with flowers inside, it's true. This is a standout one, with pictures to delve in, and warmth in abundance. It's also another reminder that all individuals can make a difference. Someday, I will own this one!