Wednesday, May 29, 2013

garage sale season

Some friends of ours are moving to town, so we went to their garage sale last weekend.  She was a teacher and had a huge box of books that another friend of mine was making off with half of when I arrived.  Friend 2 left a few goodies for me, however, including one I thought was very appropriate for the beginning of garage sale season:
 (and Other Easy-to-Read Stories) by Lillian Moore with pictures by Arnold Lobel.  In the title story, one man's trash is another man's treasure!  The House that Nobody Wanted is my favorite story of the seven published in this 72 page book.  An old woman and old man go visiting their friends and decide they want a similar house, so they try to sell their own old house on the hill, but no one wants it.  In the process of fixing it up to sell they realize that it is just what they wanted.  I just might have to order their other book, The Magic Spectacles (and Other Easy-to-Read Stories).

There was also a copy of The Troll Music by Anita Lobel (dedicated to her husband, how sweet!) that I was happy to add to our collection.  I looked at Giant John but didn't buy it because I have already bought two copies, and I hoped someone else would come along and recognize it for the treasure it is.  (Why can't I find a blog post praising this book?  I suppose I will have to write one, myself).

The first book I'd picked up, though, was a beautiful copy of Little Lost Lamb by Golden MacDonald, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard.  She didn't know that Golden MacDonald was a pen name used by Margaret Wise Brown and I had to admit that I just learned that recently, myself.

We also picked up a 1962 hardcover children's novel, Mischievous Meg by Astrid Lindgren (translated by Gerry Bothmer), because my 3rd grader had just finished reading Pippi Longstocking and Pippi Goes On Board by the same author and was looking for more funny books like that.  I like the illustrations by Janina Domanska, though it appears that Ilon Wickland was the original illustrator of the Swedish book, Mardie.  Anyone who is interested in art should enjoy this website, showcasing the illustrators of Astrid Lindgren's books.  The entire website is a fascinating look at an author with whom we are all familiar, but not to the extent that her European fans may be.

First, though, my little bookworm devoured The BFG by Roald Dahl (and Quentin Blake), which they had a paperback copy of, and I thought deserved a spot on our bookshelf.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Children's Book Week

Dropping by to point out Better World Books is having a great sale for Children's Book Week!

I just ordered 7 books for $13.50, which is less than $2/book.  I usually pick out hardcover "Very Good" copies when ordering from them and am not disappointed.  Sometimes I take a chance with a "Good" book, but can not recommend ordering anything that is "Acceptable".

I am most excited about a Bill Peet book: Hubert's Hair Raising Adventure  I have had a really hard time finding Bill Peet books at library booksales and thrift shops.  I hardly ever find Bill Peet books in their Bargain Bin, so I was really excited to find a new one!

Also on the way are a couple of Mercer Mayer's wordless books from the Boy, Dog, Frog series:  Frog, Where Are You? and Frog Goes to Dinner, I also got Bearskin illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, and an Evaline Ness recommended by Burgin Streetman, Fierce: the Lion.

For my older readers I got Henry Reed's Babysitting Service, illustrated by one of my favorites,Robert McCloskey, and 3rd in the series that begins with Henry Reed, Inc., which I picked up a few weeks ago and is part of the Sonlight homeschool curriculum.  We don't use Sonlight, but I always check out recommended books from homeschooling book lists.  I also found another old Eleanor Estes, The Witch Family, illustrated by Edward Adrizonne to add to my collection.  I discovered her when writing about Louis Slobodkin, as he illustrated many of her books, including The Hundred Dresses.  (I am disappointed the link to his website from that post no longer works.  It was such a great site!)

Let me know if you find any great books on sale!  Have a wonderful Children's Book Week!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Life trumps blogging.  I have been homeschooling one of my children rather than putting him on ADHD medication and I have also been busy growing our sixth little bookworm, due in October!  School for the rest of the big kids gets out next week (way too early) and we're going to be cleaning off our bookshelves this summer, so I think we'll find some favorites to share.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Saints

I recently brought home a box of books from the library booksale, but today is All Saints Day so I wanted to share some images from The Saints And Your Name, which was a booksale find from several years ago.  I really liked the illustrations and it has (almost) all of our patron saints in it, including the hard to find Saint Edward!

Printed in Germany, the original German title is Das Buch von den heiligen Namespatronen. It was written by Joseph Quadflieg (translated by Margaret Goldsmith) and illustrated by Johannes Grueger. It appears that he has illustrated several religious-themed books, picture books, and chapter books, as well as a series of song books. (Here are a few). I might have to work on collecting some images from his book covers, at least. They are bold and bright and I'd love to learn more about him. For now, here are some of his saints:
Saint Bridget (Birgitta) married and had 8 children before being widowed and founding a convent.
Saint Francis of Assisi gave away all he had and founded the Franciscans.  There are a lot of picture books about Francis of Assisi.
Saint Angela Merici loved children and founded the Ursulines, who are mostly schoolteachers.
Saint George was martyred for his strong Christian faith and became a legend.  I highly recommend Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.  There's not a scrap of the historical Saint George, but it is a fantastic re-telling of the legend and the illustrations are gorgeous.
Saint Charles Borromeo, the patron saint of libraries!  I will have to read more about this...
"On the day of the Last Judgment...Michael...will lead God's friends to heaven."  May we be counted among them!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A few of my favorite mice...

It's fall.  The harvest is in and so are the field mice. 

A Merry-Mouse Book of Months by Patricia Hillman (One in a series of Merry-Mouse books, we also have the Christmas one)

Last year I was reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and had a difficult time setting those necessary mouse traps as I imagined the poor little mouse families I was breaking up.  The mouse poo on my kitchen counters convinced me that they had to go, however.  So, with mice on my mind, here are a few (ok, a lot of) books that we have featuring mice:

 Once a Mouse... by Marcia Brown (Caldecott Medal)

The Story of Jumping Mouse by John Steptoe (Caldecott Honor)

Anatole by Eve Titus with pictures by Paul Galdone (Caldecott Honor)

Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel (We also have Mouse Soup)
The Island of the Skog by Steven Kellogg

Beatrix Potter has several stories about mice including The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse, The Tailor of Gloucester, The Tale of Two Bad Mice, and The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse in The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter.

Mrs. Brice's Mice by Syd Hoff

Merton, The Monkey Mouse by Norman Bridwell (creator of the Clifford books)

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Lionni is my favorite of his mouse books.  We also have Matthew's Dream and A Busy Year.  We didn't care for Frederick and also passed on a copy of The Greentail Mouse.)

Tiny's Big Adventure by Martin Waddell and illustrated by John Lawrence

The King, the Mice and the Cheese by Nancy and Eric Gurney

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is my favorite of his mouse characters.  We've also found copies of Shelia Rae The Brave and Chester's Way and check out others from the library.

I can't forget Mouse from Jim Arnosky's first little concept books: Mouse Numbers, Mouse Letters, Mouse Colors and Mouse Shapes.

Although we have never read The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, our library got the movie last week and we checked it out.  Julia says that she was extremely pleased at how well they stayed with her story - using her words - and we really enjoyed it.  I loved the animators' interpretation of the opening line, "A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood".

Finally, I don't want to neglect a few chapter books about mice that we have:

Stuart Little by E. B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden, illustrated by Garth Williams (We also have Tucker's Countryside, the first sequel to this book and Chester Cricket's Pigeon Ride, which is a 64 page picture-book rather than a chapter book like the others.  (The 80 page prequel, Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse looks like it has a lot of illustrations, too.)
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, illustrated by Louis Darling (There are two others in this series about Ralph S. Mouse that I'm sure I will find: Louis Darling also illustrated Runaway Ralph while Paul O. Zelinsky illustrated Ralph S. Mouse.)  Do you have a favorite literary mouse?

ETA: Margery Sharp's 9-book The Rescuers series written from 1959-1978.  The New York Review has re-published The Rescuers, illustrated by Garth Williams (he illustrated the first 4 books) and I once found a copy of Miss Bianca in the Orient illustrated by Erik Blegvad that we've not yet read (he illustrated the next 3 books).  Leslie Morrill illustrated the last two books in the series.