Wednesday, November 4, 2015

HERE is what I know...

I've had the book, I KNOW HERE, written by Laurel Croza, illustrated by Matt James and published by Groundwood Books in 2010, on my bookshelf for a while. We're in the midst of book awards time across this country right now and I recently received an email from the Canadian Children's Book Centre about the nominations for the 2015 TD Children's Literature Book Awards. One of the finalists, FROM THERE TO HERE, which is the sequel to I KNOW HERE, is a nominee for the Marilyn Baillie Award for Best Picture Book. So, this was a little reminder to revisit that book on my shelf which received an abundance of  honourable mentions, has been a part of many best book lists and won numerous awards.

And deservedly...the book has such a poetic feel - the descriptive language, the movement in the words, the imagery, the repetition throughout. And in all of what the little girl knows of her HERE, the reader gains an understanding of how this family lives - what the climate and terrain and community and surroundings are like, and, what is important to this narrator. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Go wild!

The summer berry season has been amazing this year. In June - sweet strawberries. In July - raspberries, both red and golden. And August - blueberries! And oh, those wild ones are the best. Wild blueberries can be difficult to track down. It seems one needs to travel north to find them. And they have such a short season. They're also rather pricey but well worth the once-in-a-while treat as they have a completely different taste, texture and scent from cultivated blueberries. Fresh, fragrant and, yes, wild.

And, there's a perfect read to go with these delicious, almost frost-skinned, teeny-tiny berries - Wild Berries written and illustrated by Julie Flett and published by Simply Read Books. The book is a lovely tale of tradition - a story of a grandmother and a grandchild and their search for wild blueberries. The illustrations are earthy, graphic - and the expressions and postures of the characters (both human and animal) convey so much with such seemingly simple shapes, colours and lines. And oh, that gorgeous globe of persimmon sun. The circle of life. What goes around comes around. Yes. Tradition. Customs. Habits. Patterns one can count on. 

I was introduced to the work of Julie Flett through an instructor of mine, Kerry Clare, while at The School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto. Kerry taught last October's The Art of Blogging course. And she posted an engaging interview with Julie on the 49th Shelf website in the fall of 2014. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A ramble through the garden...

A bit of a break from baking and books...a sense of the 'more' element., a brief and quiet ramble through the garden.
Gazing. Considering. Gathering a few chosen blooms.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

It all adds up...

When I first read the title of this book, The Highest Number in the World, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Was this a picture book about counting? Perhaps about a googol? Maybe something to do with infinity? I looked at the cover. A bird's eye view of a girl geared up for hockey. Standing in the middle of an ice rink. Looking upward. At some sort of banner. But what exactly was so important about the banner and what did this 'highest number' mean, I wondered. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A midwinter's tale

“Once upon a northern night
while you lay sleeping,
wrapped in a downy blanket,
I painted you a picture.

It began with one tiny flake,
and beautiful
and special,
just like you.
Then there were two,
and then three.

the night sky filled with sparkling specks of white, crowding,
and floating,
tumbling down to the welcoming
until the earth was
wrapped in a downy blanket, just like you.”

And so begins Once upon a northern night (Groundwood Booksby Jean E. Penziwol with illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault, a beautiful book which was listed as a Finalist for the 2014 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A better way...

When I think of ‘spic and span’, I think of neat, clean, fresh and everything in its place. In author Monica Kulling’s case, SPIC-AND-SPAN! , published by Tundra Books, is a picture book biography about Lillian Gilbreth, a woman who wanted to make things better - that is, 'spic and span'. This book is the latest addition to Monica's Great Ideas Series about inventors. To be honest, I'm rather fond of fiction. But I was quite captivated by this book of non-fiction. I love that it opens with a pleasant poem, Lillian's Time. It sets the tone for the story and the state of mind - calm, restful and relaxed - that Lillian was hoping to help others achieve through her innovations.