Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paint All Kinds of Pictures

Paint All Kinds of Pictures
Arnold Spilka ~ Henry Z. Walck, Inc., 1963

Was looking at a very sweet blog this morning, and instantly thought of this wonderful book by the New York poet and artist.

Your pictures can be ANYTHING.
They can be very LARGE
... or very small.
You can paint in colors
or in black and white.
Your pictures can be pretty
... or SCARY
...or FUNNY
... or EXCITING.

Time to pull the easel out onto the porch and let the paint flow.


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banned Books Week

I was so fully immersed in creating a Fawkes Halloween costume for my son today, that time got away from me, so no post. No scans. No nothing. In lieu of a review, just a reminder to celebrate all that was once or is now or is soon to be censored!

Tonight when we went to the back-to-school carnival at the high school near our house, I was happy to see an official school Quidditch team in full effect selling Butter Beer and Cauldron Cakes. Just goes to show that you can't keep a good book down.

Instead of burning literature this week, hit the library and check out these once-banned vintage books, beginning and ending with the master.

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

The Lorax by Dr. Suess

Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop and Kurt Wiese

The Rabbits' Wedding by Garth Williams

Crow Boy by Taro Yashima

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

(And have a pint of Butter Beer on me!)


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!


Mercer Mayer ~ Dial, 1976

Gifted to us by a loyal reader and fellow Mercer Mayer lover, I believe I've been remiss in thanking him for sending this little gem, so here goes. My world was all about Mercer Mayer when I was little, and thankfully, my son shares the same warm-snugglies.

The first in a trio of one-worded, wordless books that also includes Oops and Hiccup, it's by far our favorite. Of all the books we own, there are some that stand out in my mind as just thick and awesome and full of life, and most of Mercer's early books are firmly stuck in that category. They are the ones that make me smile when my son pulls them off the shelf for a read. The ones that make me excited time and again cracking open the first page. They did when I was a child, and they still do now.

Here, we meet an elephant with a sinus issue. One destructive sneeze lands him in a heap of trouble with the fuzz. The next lands him in jail, and the last puts the jail house in rubble. The fourth sneeze is not his own but ends in romance. Fantastic. The faces of the animals are so cunning and expressive, it's hard not to chuckle even on the 100th look-through. (Get a load of that owl above. How awesome is that look?)

I love it when children's book authors dedicate books to other children's book authors, and here Mercer gives Steven Kellogg and family a shout-out. Very cool... so at long last, thanks Antmusic.Also by:
Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp
One Monster After Another
Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-A-Zoo
Me and My Flying Machine
Beauty and the Beast
A Special Trick
Bubble Bubble
One Frog Too Many
How the Trollusk Got His Hat
Little Monster at Work


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Great Monday Give: Boy

I'm going off the grid for the Great Monday Give today {the day where we give our books away!}, as I figured out we have two copies floating around. Now, there almost isn't an author my son enjoys more than Roald Dahl. The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me ~ George's Marvelous Medicine ~ The Magic Finger ~ Esio Trot ~ Fantastic Mr. Fox... all of them really. His books are ones I personally never tire of reading aloud as they are so fun and totally engaging. After our whole family fell in love with The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar on audio a while back, last year I found myself reading this book, the first in a two part memoir which also includes Going Solo. If you have any interest in finding our where Dahl's obsession with candy stores and tomfoolery came from, as well as his often melancholy heart, look no further. Boy: Tales of Childhood is a real doll of a book, and all you have to do to be entered to win a very fine, used copy is comment on this post between now and Sunday, October 3rd at 11:59 PM. A winner will be selected at random and announced the next morning.

Speaking of which, the winner of last week's give of Lucille is MommaofMany. Please sent your shipping info to webe(at)soon(dot)com, and I'll try and be quick about getting it out to you. That's all for now!


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Update Friday: Seven Uncles Come to Dinner

This Update Friday, I wanted to look back on a book that has, oddly enough, risen to the top of my son's favorite pile again and again and again. Trust me, if I wasn't planning on hording all of his books in my attic when he no longer cares, THIS is the book that he'd be logging onto What's That Book years from now asking... "Um, it has a black and white and pink cover and I think it was about France and there was a cat and a string bag and lots of food, can anyone help me out?"

For nearly three years my son has loved this book and over dozens and dozens and dozens of readings, he still gets tickled. Maybe it's the fact that it documents one mistake after another. Maybe it's because they visit the Bird Market in Paris (as in the fab Rosalie)... maybe it's the fact that there's so much love and caring in this title and that everyone ends up fat and happy in the end. Who knows. What ever the reason, I'm reintroducing you to one that is definitely in my son's top five all-time favorites, Seven Uncles Come to Dinner. Here it is in all its glory, updated from my original post in the spring of 2008 with all new scans!


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Gobble Growl Grunt
Peter Spier ~ 1971

Here's one of those books my animal-loving son can spend 30 minutes looking through, curled up in the egg chair in his room. Wordless except for many, many, many written sounds, it's great for a first reader to practice guttural noises. Though there is some unspoken drama pitting a mouse against every other creature in the animal kingdom, the plot is mainly about animals and the noises they make. Filled with page after page after page of fabulous, detailed Spier drawings, there's always something new to find. Though, my son is highly perturbed that they label a baby swan as a gosling. (Tsk, tsk.)

Love, love, love Peter Spier. A must-have for any budding zoologist.

Also by:
The Fox Went Out On a Chilly Evening
The Star-Spangled Banner
Noah's Ark
Peter Spier's Christmas
Little Bible Storybooks
Bored -- Nothing To Do!

Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Perez y Martina

Perez y Martina
Pura Belpré ~ pictures by Carlos Sánchez M.
Frederick Warne & Co., 1932

As we live in a city that is more than half Hispanic and is so close to the border of Mexico, there is a plethora of Spanish language books to be found in San Antonio. My son's elementary school has a Spanish immersion program starting in first grade where entry is earned via a highly-coveted lottery system, one I'm hoping my son wins come springtime. During these crossed-finger, pre-elementary school years, I've saved up a mess of interesting books that, hopefully, someday he'll be able to read to me.

As such, it was penned by the namesake of the prestigious ALA award for excellence in Latino children's literature. Apparently, she was the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. I only know it's a Puerto Rican folktale because Amazon tells me so. I don't wanna plagiarize, but there, too, you can find a customer review of the entire plot. It does seem like this was also published in English at some point, so if you're in the know, fill us in. Without giving too much away, I think the roach and the mouse are lovers, and at the end, the mouse gets boiled alive, but I can't say for sure. For now, let's just marvel at these luscious illustrations, why don't we?


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Who Will Comfort Toffle?

Who Will Comfort Toffle?
Tove Jansson ~ translated by Kingsley Hart
not sure of the original publisher but mine is Schildts, 1960
set for reprint in November 2010 by Drawn and Quarterly
Original title: Vem ska trösta knyttet?

And since I mentioned Moomin this morning... time to pull out the second volume (after The Book of Moomin, Mymble and Little My) in the picture book series. I'll skip the introductions as by now you should all know a little something about the Moomins, if not simply click here.

In this book we meet Toffle.

Now once upon a time, although not very long ago, 
And hidden in the forest where the tall dark pine trees grow,
There lived a boy named Toffle in a house that stood alone,
He always felt so lonely, and one night was heard to moan:
"I feel so frightened of the dark, especially tonight,
Perhaps I'll feel a bit more safe if all my lamps I light,
And if that doesn't really help, then into bed I'll creep
And cover up my head and try to cry myself to sleep."

Pitiful, no? The night is spooky and there is no one there to comfort poor Toffle, so he takes off in search of... something. But the more he walked the lonelier he grew. Strangers everywhere, too afraid to make a friend... until he finds a message in a bottle that shows him he is not so alone.

Quirky and way out-there for many an American sensibility, all the Moomin tales are filled with heart and deep soul sifting, something my child (for one) knows all about. The pursuit of home and love and purpose begins the moment we are born, and these books are a wonderful compendium for your child's search for self.

Also by: The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Moomins and the Comet Chase

I'm sure this will come nowhere near me, but when it hits New York and LA, promise me friends you'll see it so I can live vicariously.

Also see:
The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My and Who Will Comfort Toffle?


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Great Monday Give: Lucille

Monday brings so many things. Like rain and The Great Monday Give, the part of the week when I pluck a title from the shelves to giveaway. I was lucky enough to find another hardcover, vintage copy of Lucille by Arnold Lobel for 50 cents (in great shape save a child's inscription in the front cover), so I'm passing it along to one lucky reader. All you have to do to be entered to win is comment on this post between now and Sunday night (September 26) at 11:59 PM. A winner will be selected using the highly-technical and patented "Blind Scroll and Point" method and announced the next morning.

As for the winner of the mystery grab bag from two weeks ago... give it up for Ariel S. Winter, the author of the great blog We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie where he highlights "adult" authors who've written children's books. Ariel writes about books far more highbrow than this, but I actually thought of him the other day when I saw Dean Koontz's Santa's Twin at a bookshop. **Shudder.** I'm sorry, but some books should just never see the light of day. Creepy. (I've never read it, of course, and am judging the book solely by its cover... book snob that I am. Tsk. Tsk.) Ariel, please send your shipping info to me at webe(at)soon(dot)com, and I'll see what I can come up with.

That's all for now. (Apologies to Mr. Koontz and the obviously talented Mr. Parks.)


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

The Giant Story

The Giant Story
Beatrice Schenk de Regniers ~ Maurice Sendak
Harper & Row, 1953

Delighting in some early Sendak this rainy Monday morning. Sending my son off to kinder just now, I'm reminded how particularly awesome it felt being at school on a rainy day. Something about how it altered the routine. Recess was inside. If your shoes were wet, you got to spent the day in your socks. So exotic. In The Giant Story, we meet a little boy so entranced by the different that he decides he's no longer a little boy, but a great, big giant.

One morning Tommy woke up early. The sun was looking in through the window. Tommy said, "Hello, Sun."

Then his mother opened the door and looked in. She said, "Good morning, Tommy."

Tommy said, "I'm not Tommy. I'm a -- GIANT."

As such, Tommy finds he can do all sorts of things he's never done before.

"I'm a Giant and I'm bigger than this house.
I walk with my head way up high. Higher than the chimneys
higher than the treetops
higher than the SKY."

With shoes as big as elephants and shoulders so broad an airplane in distress could rest on them, the Giant roams the land looking for ships in the ocean to pick up and houses to sit on and (sometimes) crush. It isn't until the Giant gets tired and returns home that he turns into sweet Tommy again, snuggling in his mother's arms and carried off to bed.

Ah, to be a child again in a world where anything you imagine yourself to be, you can be. If it were that easy in real life.

Written by the Caldecott Medal winner for May I Bring a Friend?, I love the free-flowing narrative. And the charm of Sendak's early work is abundant here, but still only a hint of what will be. Nice.

Also by:
A Very Special House
Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
Moon Jumpers
What Do You Say, Dear?
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale
Some Swell Pup
Let's Be Enemies
Chicken Soup with Rice
Lullabies and Night Songs
Outside Over There
I'll Be You and You Be Me
The Juniper Tree
Where the Wild Things Are
Seven Little Monsters
Open House For Butterflies
Dear Mili
In the Night Kitchen
Cats Cats Cats Cats Cats
How Joe the Bear and Sam the Mouse Got Together
The Snow Party


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Update Friday: Grandpa's Farm

Since it's been all things Flora this week (and I couldn't Find The Hungry Thing to save my life), I decided to pluck this one off the shelf for an update instead. So for your viewing pleasure, here's a post from 2007 that only had one lame scan... feast your eyes on Grandpa's Farm (my son's favorite Flora title) with six new pictures!

On a side note, I wanted to mention I was reading to my son's kindergarten class the other day at library time, and afterwards, went perusing the shelves and was happy to find Ungerer's The Beast of Monsieur Racine. I didn't recommend it to any of the children for fear that some parent would read it and freak out. But I, personally, love the fact that it's been living there on the shelf for all these years. Hopefully, it's blown more than a few young minds. I've already started angling the librarian for an honorary library card. Who knows what other treasures are waiting there to be uncovered!


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rand McNally Junior Elf Books

That's what I get for messing around with my blog design. A day passes with no post. Never fear! Enjoy a couple of wee little Rand McNally Junior Elf Books to send you off to sleep. Goodnight world!

Mrs. Duck's Lovely Day ~ Vivienne Blake ~ 1955

The Owl and the Pussy Cat ~ Edward Lear and Irma Wilde ~ 1962

Mary Had a Little Lamb ~ Gavy ~ 1955


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...