Friday, December 23, 2016

At Christmas I no more desire a rose by William Shakespeare & Illus by Tasha Tudor

At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Then wish a snow in May's newfangled mirth.

                                 --William Shakespear
                                        Love's Labour's Lost

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Three French Hens by Margie Palatini & Illus by Richard Egielski

This is a hoot of a book! I get a kick out of it every time I read it. There is liberal french sprinkled throughout, several puns, and just ever so slightly tacky. 

Deliciously delightful!

We get this from the library every year and the kids enjoy it about as much as I do. 

The illustrations are part of the reason I love this book. 

On the third day of Christmas a madamoiselle from Paris sent her true love three French hens, two turtledoves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

The hens never arrived.

Instead of Paris, the hens arrived at the unclaimed mail department in New York City. 

Colette, Poulette, and Fifi were not about to be left languishing as undelivered mail when they had a true love to make happy. No, no!
After all...this was Christmas! And they were French!

Oh those French. 

They knew the true love's name, Phillipe Renard. Alas, there was no such in the phone book. 

"Zis is New York, not Paree," exclaimed Fifi. "We must translate! It is not Phillipe Renard, but Phil Fox who we must see!"

This must be read in a terrible French accent to be authentic.

They find Phil fox's address, and hare themselves away on the subway.

Phil Fox was a disreputable sort, down on his luck. 

The hens--"Pouvons nous entree?"  

Phil Fox--"Entree? Entree? Most definitely entree!

Three French hens on his doorstep? It was better than Chinese takeout.

Before Phil could put his nefarious schemes of roasted chicken to practice, he was whisked off to the salle de bain for some pampering. 

A bath had been foreign to Phil in the past. But if it was good enough for Phillipe, Phil thought he would give it a go.

By the time Colette was done with him, Phil knew he couldn't eat her. 

And then Poulette dashed his hopes of eating her by transforming his house. 

"I am a wonder with ze needle, thread, and evergreen! Oui?" Poulette said proudly.

And the drywall plaster, and masonry, and plumbing.... and.... and...

Phil Fox is living the dream.

However, though Phil may have felt toasty and looked swanky, his tummy was still cranky. When it began to grumble loudly, Phil's thoughts wandered to hen number three.

Oh, yes. Mr, Fox was planning dinner with Fifi.

Except Fifi staggers in under a load of french delicacies. 

Phil concludes...

eh? Who needs chicken?

I adore these French hens. Aren't they delightful? High heels, bows, and clogs. 

All this pampering makes Phil's underutlized conscience kicks into overdrive and he confesses he is not Phillipe Renard. 

"Ladies, I gotta get this off my chest. I'm not who you think I am. I'm a fake!" cried Phil. "A phoney! Hey--I'm faux! I'm not even French!"

The three hens huddled, clucked, concluded, "Zat does not matter!"

"But I don't have a true love. I don't even get kissed under the mistletoe!" 

"Zat does not matter!"

In gratitude, Phil tried to give the hens some of the presents the hens had wrapped up for him. But they refused. When pressed, they declared

"....our holiday is Hanukkah. We're kosher chickens."

I laugh almost every time I read that. 

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Phil's cockroach sidekick even gets in on the celebratory action!

This book makes me laugh every time. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy & Illus by Emily Sutton

This is a new book out this year. I picked it up because I loved the front cover. I like the colors, the gentleness of the illustrations, and the snow falling. 

The Christmas Eve Tree in it's natural habitat.

A Christmas tree farm. 

(I told you I like them!)

The Christmas trees on the way to the big city in the red truck. 

I am not sure how I feel about these illustrations. Why are the cars lying flat on the road when the cows and horses look normal? Hm....

All the different destinations for the Christmas trees

Our little tree is all the way to the left, tangled in another tree's branches.

I love this shop window display!

The little tree was destined for the dumpster when our hero asks if he can have it. 

The clerk doesn't see any reason he shouldn't, so he hands it over. 

This little tree is lovingly carried back to our hero's house. Which is under an overpass. 

With a few musicians, a crowd gathers. 

Simplicity has the ability to bring an entire crowd to a standstill. 

The magic of Christmas Eve was everywhere!

After Christmas, our hero quietly exits stage right. Since the tree is mostly dead, he leaves it for the street sweeper. 

The street sweeper decides to see what the little tree would do if it was planted. So he plants it in a quiet corner of the park. 

Love this winter garden!

Somehow, the tree survives. And grows into a tall giant that... 

...stretches out its branches for sparrows, pigeons, babies in strollers, lovers, and office workers. 
Mice nibble at its roots.

Trees, the eternal symbol of hope. 

I liked this book. I didn't read a review of it before I dived into it, so I was a little more invested in the little boy than a cameo appearance warrants. I thought he was the main event. But he wasn't--it was the tree. 

I like almost any book about a tree.  

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe & Illus by Anna Marie Magagna

Excerpt from: The Bells

Hear the sledges with the bells--
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
Wile the stars, that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic fhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
Bells, bells, bells--
From the jingling and tinkling of the bells.

                                                           --Edgar Allan Poe

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sleep Tight Farm

This book is lovely. It is a quiet book, which you can tell from the cover. But so lovely! 

I had it in my Amazon cart for a long time before finally pre-ordering it. But it was a farm, it was Vermont, and the pictures....!! 

So I pre-ordered it. No regrets. 

It begins with...

The December days shorten and darken. 
We are busy putting the farm to bed. 

And this book follows the family as they prepare everything on the farm for the winter. 

I want to live in this house.

This is the story of a family getting the farm ready for winter. Covering up the strawberries,

Goodnight strawberries.

...gathering in the harvest...

....cutting back the raspberry canes...

(I love, love that border of raspberries)

...chopping wood...

Good night, stacked wood waiting to work!

...putting the hoop house to bed. 

I love how they compare the summer with the fall/winter. 

Battening down the hatches in the chicken coop.

Settling the bees in

Getting equipment out of the weather

Stringing up Christmas lights.

Oh..... love, love, love!!

Snowy farm scenes get me every time. 

The farm is tucked in, and so are the farm kids.

This book makes me so happy!