Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Goat That Learned To Count by Kay Ware and Lucille Sutherland and Alf Proysen Illustrated by Björn Berg

This is a silly book about counting. The goat walks around saying he would like to count the various farm animals. As he starts to count, the animals (clearly superstitious) react dramatically and declare he can't do that to them. 

For whatever reason, this book is printed on really thin paper, so you can see the next page before you flip the page. Sort of like a built in preview option. 

But the pictures are cute. 

The little calf trying to get away from whatever the goat is doing to him as he counts him. 

The angry and protective Mama.

The horse isn't sure what is up, but decides to chase the goat anyway.

The poor goat is being chased for learning math.... Sad, educational truth--when you learn math well, everyone hates you. Or at least fears you. Ha! 

They chase the goat to a boat that can only hold ten. As they barge on to the boat, the cat Captain says the boat will sink if there are more than ten, so someone must count them now to make sure they won't sink. 

The goat saves the day. Since it is urgent, the animals all let the goat do his worst and count them. And then everyone loves him. 

The vagaries of animals.....

The goat stays on the boat to count incoming passengers to make sure there are only ten. 

(And clearly, the barnyard is a little too backwards for an advanced goat like him.) 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Cowboy on the Ranch by Louise and Richard Floethe

This is a rather sweet little book. Written in the 1950's, it tells kids what cowboys do on ranches. It isn't overly sentimental, it isn't trying to be funny--just good information and great pictures.  

The pictures are simple, but I like them. 

Explaining workhorses

A cowboy "roaming around."
 "He feels free, and sometimes a little lonely."

Fixing fences. The unglamorous side of being a cowboy--hard, boring work. 

Chuck wagon eating

Sleeping out

Branding time!


Saturday night rodeo

Bronc riding contest

Steer dogging

Driving steer to market.

"The cowboy must not frighten the steer or make him run fast. If he does the steer will lose weight. Every pound the steer weighs is a pound more of meat. A skillful cowboy walks his steers from way out on the range to the yards where the railroad picks them up to take them to market."

Winter--chopping a watering hole.

Feeding the cows when the snow gets too deep. 

Having loved Zane Grey as a girl and married a Colorado cowboy, this book was pretty awesome to me. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Flower Fairies of the Spring by Cecily Mary Barker

I don't think this is a very pretty copy of this book, but I do love this book. Flower Fairies of the Spring was the first of Cecily Mary Barker's fairy books, published in 1923. Victorian England did love their fairies, so her book was well received. All these years later, it is still well recieved. There has been a resurgance of interest in her work, since a popular kids series about Fairies has been loosely based on her books. 

Her pictures of little kids are so adorable!

Crocus fairies

Pussy willow fairy. 

Now really. Isn't that perfectly adorable?
 (I love pussy willows though, so I am predisposed to love this one.)

Windflower Fairy

My girls squeaked at this one--"Isn't this so cute?!?"

Yes. Yes it is. 

Dandelion fairy

Daff-o-down-dilly fairy



Blue Bells

Stitch wort

This was another squeaking cute one for my older girls. They were convinced it looked just like Elsie, our three year old. 


Now, the reason for the ugly copy. I had wanted a copy of her Spring flower book, so I went on Amazon to find it. It was about $7, which wasn't bad, but since I wanted some of her other ones, I looked on eBay to see if there was an auction with several books. There I found people selling a Cecily Mary Barker library. I checked back on Amazon and found the library for a grand total of $5. I wasn't sure what was included in the library, but I took a chance on it. It arrived a few days later and was a squealing success with all four kids looking through the books and exclaiming on the cuteness and sweetness, running to show me the terribly cute picture I just had to see. 

I felt I got my money's worth out of it, just for that. 

It is a really good deal, considering one book would have cost me more than all eight.

But it is a bit less attractive than it could be.   

Especially this part. It just doesn't look very beautiful. It isn't very light and airy looking is it? 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Asterix the Legionary by Rene Gosciney and Albert Underzo

Asterix was France's answer to Belgium's Tintin. However, besides a comic book format and an indomitable male main character, there are very few similarities. Asterix is outrageous and nonsensical; Tintin is studious and earnest. Asterix is set in BC, Tintin is mid century modern. Asterix has a magic potion, Tintin relies soley on his wiley wits and his cat like reflexes. 

The main similarity between the two is the sheer level of funness (It should be a word) to be had. I thoroughly enjoy both. Tintin goes back a little further into my childhood though, since we were only introduced to Asterix when my future brother-in-law came into the picture and told us of the fun to be had. But we quickly made up for lost time. 

All Asterix books begin with a fairly identical front page like this. highlighting the one small holdout against Caesar's occupation of Gaul--Asterix's village.

The main characters--Asterix, Obelix--his super strong sidekick, the druid Getafix, Cacofonix, the village bard, and Vitalstatistix, the chief of the village. 

All the names in these comics are puns. 

We love puns. 

In this particular comic, Obelix falls in love... 

There are a lot of wild boar eaten in every comic. 

Menhirs are always in season with Obelix, who makes and delivers them. 

There are always Roman patrols. Mostly Roman patrols who have heard of Asterix and Obelix and are deathly afraid of them. 

And the Roman patrols, after being biffed and bonked, always say "These Gauls are crazy." 

Obelix in love

The plot line in this one is Obelix and Asterix head off to find Panacea's true love, who was captured or drafted into the Roman army. 

They don't get very far with their inquiries, so they decide to join the Roman army to find him. 

This pirate ship is destroyed a least once a comic book. Sometimes, a few more times just for fun. 

Puns are abundant! 

Asterix taking the magic potion. Obelix doesn't need to take any because he fell into the cauldron when he was a baby. Obelix always wants to take magic potion, but they never let him. He generally pouts a bit bout that. 

At least one Roman camp is broken up by Asterix and Obelix per comic book. 

Roman stupidity is always a crowd favorite!

And then, the triumphant return

A feast is held in Asterix's honor almost every time. Cacofonix the bard generally tries to play a song and someone ties him up and puts him where he can't distress anyone with his music. 

Although they are formulaic, the very predictability of Asterix is part of the appeal. There is something to be said for sitting down and knowing exactly what you are getting into when you open a book. 

The joy really is in the details with Asterix.