Wednesday, September 21, 2016

More Tomi Ungerer!

Rising from the dead here to post this little tidbit from Tomi Ungerer's social media feed. Phaidon is releasing a single slipcased volume of eight of Tomi's newish and classic books, The Three Robbers, Moon Man, Otto, Fog Island, Zeralda's Ogre, Flix, The Hat, and Emile. Psyched! And in case you missed it a million years years ago, travel back in time to my interview with Tomi himself!

I miss you guys. I always have new stuff to share, but never enough time to share it. (And for those who are interested, check out my storytelling piece on Texas Public Radio.)

Happy Monday kids!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Dead Bird Rereleased

Personal fave The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown has been released by HarperCollins with new illustrations by Caldecott-winner Christian Robinson. Remy Chalip's original illustrations for this classic on love and loss will always be the best to me, but I do delight when a book that's been lost to generations of children gets reinvented so it can be loved once again. And Robinson is obviously skilled for the task. Other awesome books by Charlip include ThirteenArm and Arm, and Mother Mother I Feel Sick Send for the Doctor Quick Quick Quick. And maybe Margaret Wise Brown really will live forever. Wouldn't that be something?

If you can get your hands on the December 2000 issue of Vanity Fair, there is an article about Ms. Brown that is spectacular! Not to be missed.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

It's Raining Said John Twaining

It's Raining Said John Twaining ~ N. M. Bodecker ~ Atheneum, 1973

Danish nursery rhymes translated and illustrated by the author of the forgotten favorite Miss Jaster's Garden. So happy I stumbled across his look in the library. I love the thin lines and intense colors, so elegant and specific.

"It's raining," said John Twaining. 
"Keep me dry!" said John Rye. 
"No I will not," said John Willmot. 
"You must go!" said John Slow. 
"Go where?" said John Square. 
"To Jack Crowning," said John Browning. 
"What for?" said John Sore. 
"Buy some coats!" said John Oats. 
"How many?" said John Penny. 
"Ten should do," said John Drew. 
"Want to bet?" said John Wett.

Guinea pigs and queens. Miss Price and her mice. Trout with applesauce. This book has it all.

On a green, green hill 
I saw two rabbits come. 
One he was a piper; 
the other played a drum, on a green, green hill in the morning.

Also by: 
Miss Jaster's Garden


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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Meanest Squirrel I Ever Met

The Meanest Squirrel I Ever Met
Gene Zion ~ Margaret Bloy Graham ~ Charles Scribner's Sons, 1962

I keep coming back to Margaret Bloy Graham's death earlier this year. Seems every time I turn around I unearth another of her books that I never shared when I was keeping this blog up daily. This one might actually be one of my all time favorites. Of course, anytime there is an unsavory, mysterious character in a children's book, it usually tends to hit the reread pile around these parts. We're spooky like that. But fear not, for all it's shady-characterness, it still falls firmly in the rated G realm. Plus it has this sweet shot of Margaret and Gene in the back flap.

Nibble was a little squirrel who lived in the woods with his father and mother. On Thanksgiving morning, his mother brought a basket up from the storeroom. In the basket were pecan nuts, walnuts and hazelnuts. "Can I play with them?" Nibble asked his mother. "Well," she answered, "if you're careful, you may. But remember, these are not just ordinary acorns. This is our Thanksgiving Dinner." "I'll be careful," promised Nibble.

In what might be the ultimate "don't play with your food" morality tale, after a few rounds of "Nuts in Rows", "Nuts in Circles", and, the classic, "Nuts in Little Piles", Nibble looks up to see a stranger coming down the path. Ignoring the warning of "stranger danger" always seems to come up in forest stories such as this, so it should come as no surprise when said stranger swindles poor little Nibble out of his holiday dinner, pecans and all!

But it's when the squirrel family is forced to get their feast elsewhere that the true story moves into action. Recognize what's on the menu at The Squirrel Cafe?

Ethical questions and nightmares ensue, as the whole clan tries to figure the best way out of their nutty predicament. The theme at the end of the day is repenting for sins and what it means to have courage, two things we could all use more of even in the heat of July.

Another fabulous tale from the husband and wife team that brought us Harry the Dirty Dog and Be Nice to Spiders. May they rest in peace.

Also by: 


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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tammy and Pepper

Tammy and Pepper
Kathryn Hitte ~ Mel Crawford ~ Golden Press, 1964

I don't know about you kids, but we are in full-on spring mode here, just minutes away from the Texas summer. I know lots of you are still suffering in the grips of mother winter, so here's a ray of sunshine to help light the darkness. Nothing can get you jazzed about the upcoming season than Tammy and her little sister Pepper's wild island adventures, Big Golden Book-style.

Tammy and her family went to an island to spend the summer. There were miles of warm, sandy beaches on the island. There were cool pine forests, and a pretty little old-fashioned town. There was lots to do--swimming, and tennis-playing, and bicycling, and sailing in the harbor. For rainy days, there was a cozy library and an interesting museum to visit. Tammy was delighted. A whole summer on this beautiful island! What fun it was going to be!

What fun, indeed! Sunken ships and light houses, cute boys and seashells, and a scary set of circumstances that gets redeemed through Morse Code. Complete with an International Morse Code key in the back. Imagine! Like Nancy Drew just with more beach and double the blond.

Love these Mel Crawford drawings...

Also by:

Story of Harmony Lane
I'm Mommy, I'm Daddy
The Chuckle Book
Sesame Street 1, 2, 3 Storybook
Tommy's Camping Adventure
Boy Was I Mad


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