Wednesday, January 16, 2019

All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle & Illus by Barbara Lavallee

This is a cute little winter book. And it is illustrated by Barbara Lavallee. Barbara Lavallee is an Alaskan artist that does a lot of art for the tourist trade. My cousin worked in a souvenir shop in Anchorage for a summer and she referred to Barbara Lavallee illustrations as "those two faced people artist." At first I didn't even know who she was referring to, but then she showed me a Barbara Lavallee mug--each person has a line down the face. "See? Two faces." I am a Barbara Lavellee fangirl, but I still thought it was funny! 

See? Barbara Lavallee kids are just adorable. 

Love all the color in amongst the blues and pastels of winter. 

The giantest snowman ever. 

One fun thing about this book is a bold declaration "that's all that you need for a snowman." And then, in the bottom right hand corner, there is an "EXCEPT" which is fun for asking kids what else they might need. 

Love the sweaters, scarves, and caps.

Kids get inventive with the things they can use for the snowman's clothes.

This is a fun book to pair with those instructive writing assignments "How to build a.... whatever the teacher chooses" 

Finished. Except....

He needed a friend.

This a light, fun, winter read.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Salty Takes Off by Gloria Rand & Illus by Ted Rand

When we were up in Alaska last summer, I maxed out my sister's library card at Loussac and got ALL the Alaska books out. 

This one caught my eye because it is based on a true story. And who doesn't love a good dog story? 


I think I have mentioned my love for Ted Rand. Several times. 

In this story, Salty and Zack get off their boat and spend the winter on land. 

Salty makes friends with the locals

And life is pretty good. Even with a potentially deadly bear rug. 

Zach gets a job at the local airfield. So Salty hangs out there too, making friends with the pilots. 

On of the pilots, Jarman would take Salty with him on his flights to deliver the mail.

The children loved to see Salty hopping off the plane while Jarman handed over the mail and freight. 

But one trip, the turbulence was so bad, Salty got antsy and began to hop over Jarman. On one of his hops, he hit the door handle and flew out before Jarman could react. 

Salty was completely shocked by the fall, but the snow cushioned him and he huddled up for the night. 

The next morning, Jarman and Zack headed back to see if they could find any trace of Salty. 

And there he was! 

Oh the joy!

And of course, Salty was a local hero. 

Until finally, Salty and Zack could head out on their boat again. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

White Fields by James Stephens (from Sing a Song of Seasons)

White Fields

In winter-time we go
Walking in the fields of snow;

Where there is no grass at all;
Where the top of every wall,

Every fence, and every tree, 
Is as white as white can be. 

Pointing out the way we came--
Every one of them the same--

All across the fields there be
Prints in silver filigree;

And our mothers always know, 
By the footprints in the snow, 

Where it is the children go.

                                                  --James Stephens

                                       from: Sing a Song of Seasons by Fiona Waters & Frann Preston-Gannon

Monday, January 7, 2019

Tiny, Perfect Things by M.H. Clark & Illus by Madeline Kloepper

This book is everything I want in a picture book.

A focus on nature
Finding the magical in the ordinary
Inter-generational bonding
Taking walks
Cozy homes
Friendly world

I am not going to tell you how long I have had this book  checked out from the library. Suffice it to say it has been a while. A few weeks. Or months..... 

We moved a few months ago and I discovered a box of library books under my bed last week. Ooops. 

I have been putting off taking pictures for this book because I wanted to go out in the woods and find some tiny perfect things to take pictures with. Teeny flowers, emerging buds, perfectly red leaves, etc. 

The tiny, perfect things of winter melt too quickly for photographing with books. 

But today, I challenged myself to find some tiny, perfect things in the wintery woods while walking the dogs. It was a cold and windy day, but the sun made a brief appearance this afternoon. And there were so many tiny, perfect things in that magic time just before sunset--the way the lowering sun shines over a windswept field of snow, how the sun shines around bare trees, the little funnels of snow the wind whips up.... 

And so on the way back, I looked more closely for things that are perfect. The teeniest of buds on the trees that are there as soon as the leaves fall off in the fall. The dried seed heads of last summer's flowers. A spray of pine needles. 

There is magic and beauty all around us.

But back to the story!

A little girl and her grandfather head out for a walk, keeping their eyes open for tiny, perfect things. 

Windblown leaves


Bottle caps, sidewalk flowers, beautiful dogs.

I love this grandfather and little girl who are such friends!

Neighborly waves!

Red apples

And then, as the moon is rising, they head home.

There are things to tell Mommy!

(While Daddy cooks yummy food in a darling kitchen.)

And then, while everyone is cozying up, the little girl starts making plans for the walks they will take the next day. 

I love this inter-generational household! 

At the end of the book, there is a fold out section where readers can look for the pictured tiny, perfect things... a picture of their neighborhood.

And then, I saw my paperwhites popping up. And if there is anything more perfect than emerging bulbs, I just don't know what is. 

Bears are Sleeping by Yulya & Illus by Nonny Hogragian

This is simply the most charming wee little book I have seen in ages. 

It was in the little book section of the Lake Placid Library. I love the little book section. Every time I go, I check out half the books. 

Delicate and airy illustrations

And this isn't even a story! It is a song. The whole entire book is music notes. 

I played it on the piano, because duh... how else will I know how to sing it? And it is a wandery, slightly minor tune that seems so gentle and yearning. 

And do you see that fancy castle in the background? It is a Russian castle of course. Because look at the words--"I will sing for you my russian lullaby."

How adorable is a tiny little watercolor singing book? 

The lyrics are not too complex--bears and many other animals are sleeping. 

Snow is piling high

And there is the Russian castle again. 

Such a quirky little book! Totally made my week.