Monday, October 31, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Charles M. Schulz ~ World Publishing, 1967

Each year on Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is most sincere and flies through the air with his pack of toys for all the good little children in the world.

I'll let you guys know the winner of the Great Monday Give tomorrow, but in the meantime... Have a happy and safe Halloween and may the Great Pumpkin bring you loads of toys and goodies!

Also by:
Christmas is Together Time
Love is Walking Hand in Hand


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Friday, October 28, 2011

Update Friday: The Funny Thing

Next up for a dust-off on this fabulous Update Friday is a family favorite and a guest post from 2008, The Funny Thing by Wanda Gag. I've added all new scans and love. Enjoy kids!


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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Miss Twiggley's Tree

Miss Twiggley's Tree
Dorothea Warren Fox ~ Parents' Magazine Press, 1966

Plucked from oblivion a few years back by the ever-amazing Purple House Press, the book spent years on Loganberry's most requested list and was remembered by countless people as a childhood favorite. Though I have not seen the reissue, it includes the story of how Dorthea came to write the book that involves an old willow tree, her children's tree house and a neighbor swinging on a rope. Purple House Press links to an article written in a Connecticut newspaper when the book was reissued, and the American Art Archives has a fascinating biographical piece on Dorthea and her husband, illustrator Charles Fox here. That said...

Funny Miss Twiggley
Lived in a tree
With a dog named Puss
And a color TV.
She did what she liked, and she liked what she did,
But when company came
Miss Twiggley hid.

The rhymes here are so bouncy and fun, you are swept up right from the get go into shy Miss Twiggley's affairs. Roommates with a dog and some bears, she sleeps in her hat and never leaves home and is trifled about by the wicked mayor's wife.

But when the town floods, and its citizens look for higher ground, there's only one place that's nice and dry. An endearing story of overcoming fears and not judging a book by its tree limbs.

The book is dedicated lovingly... To the boys who built the house and my mother who spent one summer drawing the tree. What a wonderful legacy for a mother and daughter to leave behind.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We Love You Beatles

We Love You Beatles
Margaret Sutton ~ Doubleday, 1971

There are three musical acts my son can recognize by voice recognition alone, little Michael ala Jackson Five, Johnny Cash and The Beatles. (Notice how I've left Justin Bieber off the list, though grudgingly, he's probably earned a place on there, too, via osmosis. Darn it.)

Another gem snitched from my friend's collection, if you are a Beatles fan and have ever looked for a book that will explain who the Beatles were to your child, this one has it all.

From their meager Liverpool beginnings to art school to the Quarrymen to how Ringo joined the band to The Cavern Club to meeting the Queen and the ultimate British invasion of America. It's the early-complete history of a band every new child should know. Complete with astounding amounts of pictorial grooviness. What child doesn't love the sound of such hits as Rocky Raccoon, Yellow Submarine and Octopus's Garden? Must-have staples on every child's playlist. And so, without further...

The trees were rocking and the clouds were swaying and the flowers were swinging and the birds were dancing to the Beatles sound. "Let's sing about love and people being happy." The Beatles sing songs you can sing in the sunshine. Sing them! Sing the Beatles' songs!"

Now, obviously this book was written one year after the band officially broke up and nine years before... well...

My husband likes to fill my son in on the full history of everything, so at six, the little guy can tell you all about how John Lennon died, where he died and a very rough version of why. As for me, the only thing about John Lennon's murder I remember is watching the media circus on TV with my mother. She cried, and when Paul McCartney came on the press conference I said, "Hey, that's the guy who sings Silly Love Songs". I was eight years old and only knew Paul as the lead singer of Wings. Sad.

My boy will not grow up so culturally naive.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Never Tease a Weasel

Never Tease a Weasel
Jean Conder Soule ~ Denman Hampson ~ Parents' Magazine Press, 1964

Much beloved and reissued accordingly a few years ago with new pictures by George Booth, still... nothing beats a classic. Taking a look through its pages, it's easy to see why this one is so well-remembered.

You can knit a kitten mittens
And perhaps that cat would purr.
You could fit a fox with socks
That exactly matched his fur.
You could make a goat a coat with a collar trimmed in mink
Or give a pig a wig
In a dainty shade of pink.
But never tease a weasel;
This is very good advice.
A weasel will not like it
And teasing isn't nice!

So many reasons to love this book in both the words and images. Bold, bright colors and wonderful rhymes that clearly paint a picture of all the reasons why it's fun to be friends with a weasel instead.

And all the incredible animals, each taking on a pun of their own. I couldn't find anything online about this illustrator, so if you knew him or know anything about him, please write in. We'd love to know more about the man who imaged a goat walking upright in a fur-collared coat.


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Monday, October 24, 2011

The One Pig With Horns

The One Pig with Horns
Laurent de Brunhoff ~ Pantheon, 1979

This weekend, my Texas-best friend's husband went out of town and the two of us had a girl's day out of Ikea shopping, flea marketing and dumpling eating. Now, I call her my Texas-best friend so as to not hurt the feelings of my LA-best friend or my New York-best friend or my childhood best friend. Also, I'm probably not cool enough to be dubbed a best friend to her at all, so I have to add a qualifier. But I digress... Most importantly out of this weekend's tomfoolery, I was able to pillage her family book collection.

Now, this is a book that I'm quite assured you'll all run out and purchase online as soon as you hear about it, as I did. There are certain books too wonderful to wait to find, and in my case, my son is six and his picture book clock is ticking. Shhh.... Listen. Can't you hear it?


Arrrrrgh!!!!! But I digress... here we have a wonderfully off-kilter story written and illustrated by the son of the genius creator of the Babar series. This man is still rocking at 86 and carrying on his father's legacy. Take a moment to fully understand the awesomenesss of that, and let's move on.

Now, my son's favorite of any of the de Brunhoff books has always been Babar and Zephir, but since this treasure has arrived on the scene, it's been replaced. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about this story that makes it so spectacular, but perhaps if I give you the gist, you'll be able to figure it out for yourselves...

I'm the one
the one pig with horns
strongest of all
handsomest of all
That's how pig talks when he's on top of his garbage heap. Pig has put horns on his forehead so as to be handsome as a bull. Watch out-- when you laugh at him he loses his temper. Watch out-- he's dangerous.

Watch out for the one pig with horns when he's angry!
I hate you all, you pigs without horns, and you cows -- I hate you because you've got horns, and I hate you sheep too, because you've got wool! I hate you all, every last one of you.

Nothing is scarier (or more incredible) that a pig with horns wielding a shotgun in a jealous rage. A cautionary tale of seething envy and furor, no one wants to be (or be near) this puffed up pig when he loses his temper (or his head).

My favorite part might be the funny little illustrated asides from the peanut gallery of pigs, sheep and grasshoppers. Brilliant times a bazillion.

Travels of Babar
Babar and Zephir
Babar and Father Christmas


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Great Monday Give: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Because they are already selling Christmas stuff at the Target, today's Great Monday Give is the winter classic Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. All you have to do to win this slightly-used, but almost brand newish not so vintage copy of a vintage classic, simply comment on this post between now and Sunday, November 6.... before the clock strikes midnight. A winner will be selected on Halloween Day as long as I don't get too jammed up with party preparations and forget to blog altogether. Sigh.

That said, the winner of the duo of Lobel books from last week's give is Katie. Congrats! E-mail me at webe(at)soon(dot)com, and I'll get the books out to you sometime in the near future. That's all for now. Stay tuned for a review momentarily...


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Friday, October 21, 2011


Click here.


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Update Friday: Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp

Hello and welcome to Update Friday, the day when I take a post of yore from back when I only included one scan and minimum commentary and update it for my picture-hungry readers. Today, I'm dusting off a post from October 2007, one of my all-time favorite Mayer stories. It was the very first book EVER from my childhood that I used the magic of the internet to track down the title, way back in 1999, I believe. The dawn of the mainstream electronic age. Ha! So without further waxing of the whatever, please enjoy the fabulous and seasonaly-appropriate, Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp.

TGIF people!


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Thursday, October 20, 2011

teeny-tiny tale

Teeny-tiny Tale
as told by Jan Sukus ~ illustrated by Terry Rose ~ Whitman, 1969

Whenever I find this particular story, no matter what the version, I always snap it up. The single most frightening tale of my childhood years, looking back it seems so naive to be scared by such a thing. But I was. Big time. As in my childhood version, you never find out what the thing that wants its bone back is. Here, I envision it to be some sort of zombie skeleton, risen from the dead to take back its fibula. And so it goes...

Once upon a time there was a teeny-tiny woman. She lived in a teeny-tiny town with her teeny-tiny cat in a teeny-tiny house.

On her travels one day, the woman spies a teeny-tiny bone and decides to steal it to make some soup for her teeny-tiny supper. Upon arriving home, she's too tired to make the soup and retires to bed early, only to be awakened shortly thereafter by a disembodied voice demanding, "GIVE ME MY BONE!"

A Halloween classic if ever there was one. I've mentioned before the version from my childhood which featured stolen clothes instead of a bone, but still. Even this little retro 60s Tell-A-Tale Book does it for me. Bright groovy colors or not, I still don't wanna find out who's on the other end of the urging. Spooky times five!


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hosie's Alphabet

Hosie's Alphabet
Leonard Baskin ~ words by Hosea, Tobias, and Lisa Baskin ~ Viking, 1972

American artist, sculptor, print maker and friend to the Plath/Hughes family, Leonard Baskin was known for his dark and sometimes strange etchings and paintings. Here, at the urging of his family, he created an alphabet book (his first work for children) in collaboration with his wife and sons. A Caldecott Honor book, each spread pictures a single illustration with appropriate alphabetic explanations, as the "mole in a hole" pictured above.

Also featured are such eclectic delights as...

A ghastly garrulous gargoyle

The rhinoceros express

A Scholastic Toad

and the invisible unicorn

Some everyday. Some outlandishly twisted. All very much the sons and daughters of an artist who once said, "Art is man's distinctly human way of fighting death."

Looks like in this case, Baskin's legacy has won the battle for him.


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