Monday, June 3, 2019

Anne Arrives by Kallie George and Illus by Abigail Halpin

I was a little skeptical of this book. I mean how can you distill LM Montgomery into a short little picture book? 

BUT it really only handles a chapter or two per book (because other books are in the works!), so it isn't wildly condensed.

And it is illustrated by Abigail Halpin who happens to be a favorite of mine.

End papers

Floral borders are the best.

Wild roses and Mrs. Lynde puzzling over Matthews unprecedented trip to Carmondy in the middle of the day. 

Rachel Lynde going over to grill Marilla about circumstances. 

Anne waiting patiently.

The thing about favorite books being turned into illustrated versions is things do not always look exactly how they look in your head. The White Way of Delight looked differently. And it wasn't sunset yet. 

I feel like I need to reread this just so I can see if I was missing some details. Because that is entirely possible. 

Discussing the burden of red hair.


Communing with the Snow Queen outside her window.

Anne determined to be happy even though she was being sent back.

The red roads of Prince Edward Island

And then the delight of staying and getting to name the geranium on the window sill.

Mrs. Lynde receiving mortal offense. 

Anne in high dudgeon. 

Anne, crowned and boqueted with wildflowers. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt

I admit it--I bought this for the cover. Flowers, long hair in the wind, and the phrase "Texas Sunrise Motel." A bit of a trifecta really. 

And it was SO GOOD.

Stevie is the beloved daughter of two flower/fruit farmers New Mexico . Life is good. Until some careless driver. runs into her parents roadside stand, killing both of them. That part is not good. 

When we meet Stevie, she is heading to her Grandfather and his Texas Sunrise Motel in Texas. She doesn't know her grandfather because her mother refused to speak of him. But since he is closest relative, off she goes. 

My mother and her brother were sent away from the family farm in Quebec to friends in Pennsylvania after her parent's death which made this book that much more interesting to me--I have always thought how devastating it must have been for my mother to lose her family, her farm, and her country. Stevie is much the same, minus the losing the country part.  

How do you recover from the total upset of your life?

Stevie isn't sure. But she is pretty sure that to continue life, she needs to be back on their farm. It is the only place that makes sense. But the adults in her life seem to have different ideas for her. As Stevie gets to know her gruff grandfather, the interesting residents of his motel, and the family she didn't even know she had, she begins to understand her mother and father better and learn a little of her own life story. When tough choices arise, Stevie has to think carefully about the new life she is building and what is most important to her. 

 And then, no matter where you are, there can always be flowers. Always.

This is a light book--we don't have any raw emotional scenes. But it feels authentic. Stevie is a girl I could relate to--her love of flowers! Her love of the family farm! There is a touch of friendship, a little bit of romance, family dynamics, and optimism to round it all out for a completely satisfying middle grade read. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Seasons by Lexbolex

This book is terrific. This author/illustrator won the Golden Letter award for best book design in the WHOLE WORLD. I didn't even know there was such a thing. Must go search up a list of winners....

Okay, don't bother. It appears to be a very European thing that US publishers don't participate in and seems to be very.... well abstract. It is more about the book itself, not the content as much. So if you are interested in the book as a design statement, you would love it. If you are just looking for lovely illustrations, they don't seem to be as plentiful or important. 

But I love these illustrations!

They remind me of vintage travel posters.

We are almost at this point of spring. About five buds on the apple tree have opened. SO EXCITED.

Lexbolex works with silk screen, which explains the layered look of different objects and the lack of intricate detail.

This makes me think of 1950's road trips to National Parks in the summer. 

Any book with geese in v-formation is sort of a favorite of mine. 

This was an interesting book because there was only one word per page, but 180 pages in the book. So it feels way too thick to be a picture book, but that is what it is. 

Imagine! 180 pages of this sort of delight. 

I am very thrilled that spring is just hitting it's stride, but this picture makes me look forward to winter a teensy weensy bit. 

But not enough to want to skip over spring and summer and fall at all.

Interestingly, this book goes through a year and a half, not just one go through of each season.

Cows! Calves!

It is warm for the first time in forever and breezy. And this is how I feel! 

First thunderstorm of the season last night. And I totally slept through it. Boo! But yay! for sleep!

Pretty partial to farming things.

I really tried to not take a picture of every single page. But it was hard. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

This Beautiful Day by Richard Jackson & Illus by Suzy Lee

The contrast between the cover illustration and the title grabbed me as soon as I saw this book. 

The illustrations start out as black and white. 

Kids sitting at home being somewhat bored on a rainy day. 

Then the boy turns on the radio and music pours out.

Suddenly there is a little wisp of blue in the illustration and much more movement.

When their dancing gets to big to be contained inside, they venture outside with a parade of umbrellas

all of us skipping and singing and calling aloud

As the rain lets up, the colors pour into the illustrations

 and yes, 
we're alive-ing

Love the music and bounce of the text!

Such color and joy!

And finally they are back in the garden for a popsicle snack with their mother

all together, oh yes

I love how this book demonstrates the beauty to be had in every day/situation. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Beautiful Birds by Jean Roussen & Illus Emmanuelle Walker

Just like Steven Kellogg's book that I did on Monday, this book is a riot of color. And birds! 

This book takes us through the alphabet in marvelous graphic illustrations with amazing, spare pops of neon. 

See how those arms and the duck feet pop out of the earthy background? 

No neon here, but geese! Snow! I love this page. 

Jazzy little bird!

I do sometimes wonder how bird couples came to be. One so flamboyant, the other muted. 


I guess I just like illustrations of snow. Because I love this page too.

I really, really like how the two page spreads work together in this book. 

Plus I like birds. And colors!