Marie Hall Ets
The Viking Press, 1965
In 1960, Ms. Ets (great last name huh?) won the Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in the book Nine Days to Christmas. I particularly like this one though because it reminds me of my son. It's a story of a little boy who saves a bird from the claws of his pet cat, and then spends the rest morning acting just like various barnyard/wild animals.
A rabbit was nibbling some leaves off a bush.
"Rabbit," I said.
(He didn't have any name because nobody owned him.)
"Rabbit, I can't fly like a bird, but I can hop like a rabbit.
Let me see how you do it."
So rabbit went hoppety, hop, hop.
And I hopped just like him.
This book is wonderful, showing genuine interaction between child and nature, something lacking tremendously in the modern world of the suburban adolescent. A cool footnote on Ms. Ets life is that she also wrote a biography of a woman she befriended during her days as a social worker. Rosa:The Life of an Italian Immigrant is an incredible story that really captures the post WWI era and the plight of the American immigrant. I just love people who bounce around from one creative expression to the next, and better yet, have the passion to do both.
Gilberto and the Wind