Sunday, December 7, 2014

Remind me again, please?

They say that an elephant never forgets.

But in Cybèle Young's latest and lovely picture book published by Tundra Books, Nancy Knows, an endearing elephant is having trouble remembering. I suppose even elephants have their moments of forgetfulness. Nancy knows that something is missing, but she's not sure what. She begins thinking, trying to recall that single important thought but she seems to have a lot of other things on her mind. When she stops trying so hard to remember, the special memory finally comes to mind. 

And isn't that often the way -  taking a break, having a rest, not overthinking things...and one may just remember the very thing that's been forgotten.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tell me a story...

I only recently discovered When I Was Small written by Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad, and I have to say, I've found yet another picture book which I've fallen in love with.

The book had me at the cover of petal pink and raspberry red – that combination of colours captivated me from the get-go, as well as the simple book jacket and linen-covered spine - it's almost a bit of a nod to another era in its mood and design. The story is about a little boy named Henry who is wondering what his mother was like when she was little (incredibly little!) and the tales they share about being small together. This book led me to an itsy-bitsy place where I wanted to be that tiny, that small – just for a while. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Digging it!

A Christmas-time tradition that we started in our family a number of years ago is giving a book to our each of our twenty-something-aged children – usually written by a Canadian author. It might be a literary prize-winning book, perhaps a biography or even a mystery. We match the book to our reader.

Lately, I've been on the lookout for some new picture books - not necessarily for our grownup children - although it might be kind of interesting to give them an illustrated children's book in their stocking for a change...hmm, what a surprise that would be. While wandering through a local bookshop last weekend, 'Sam and Dave Dig a Hole' by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (among so many other brilliant picture book reads) seemed to be stacked everywhere. I had saved a Book Review section from the NY Times dated September 21, 2014 for a number of the reviews of children's books. 'Sam and Dave Dig a Hole' was one of the books critiqued by Maria Russo in Bookshelf/Laughs. And laughs this book delivers. I was speaking with a clerk at the store who said that one of her colleagues and her grandson just couldn't stop laughing, page after page, while reading this book together. And isn't that just what a picture book is for - snuggling up, giggling, thinking, questioning, connecting, sharing? I miss those times with my own children - those days seem so unbelievably long ago and far away now...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

it all begins with cake...

...yes, it begins with cake and continues with cake. 

Today, it's actually petits gâteaux, as created in Julia, Child, a charming picture book with words by Kyo Maclear and pictures by Julie Morstad and published by Tundra Books for children aged Kindergarten to Grade 2. I love this picture book - from the clever title to the subtle, muted colours of the illustrations to the end papers to the poster inside the book jacket and everything else in between. It's a delightful, yummy read for all ages. I wish I'd written and illustrated this one! Oh, what fun it must have been to put this book together...