Posts Tagged ‘gardening’
Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
and then it’s spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook Press, 2012)
The colors in the letters of the title move from brown to green, and it’s not too much of a surprise that the book’s general colors follow likewise. Like the little boy, dog, and turtle at the center of the book, readers have to wait through a lot of brown ground to see more colors. But Erin Stead’s woodblock and pencil illustrations always convey warmth, and the robin’s egg blue back pages are sometimes seen in the varied sky. The boy who begins bundled up in hat, muffler, and mittens ends up barefoot and swinging from a tire over grass and the beginnings of flowers and vegetables he planted, with a delight we feel he well deserves. A perfect book for those of us who wait and watch for winter’s end!
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Want more recommendations from The Carle Bookshop? Click here to read for Top of the Shelf book reviews.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
As Mother’s Day approaches, I can’t help but share a picture book that is very special to me and my mother. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (Viking, 1982) is one of our favorite books to read about this time of year. Cooney’s delicate watercolors, rich hues of purples, blues and pinks, perfectly capture the misty Maine landscape when lupines are in bloom.
As a child, Miss Rumphius knew that she wanted to travel the world and see many exotic faraway places and then spend her old age living by the sea. Her grandfather reminds her there is something else very important she must do in her lifetime, as well. She must “do something to make the world more beautiful.” After traveling around the world, Miss Rumphius retires to a small house in Maine by the sea, but still can’t think of what she can do to make the world a more beautiful place. After planting her first lupine seeds and seeing how they naturally spread with the help of the wind and birds, bringing beautiful pastel blooms to the countryside, she finally gets an idea. With pockets of lupine seeds, Miss Rumphius sows and spreads the beauty of the wildflowers across the town and countryside so that years later, every spring and early summer, everyone can enjoy the beauty of the flowers.
This book was an instant favorite of my mother’s as she searched out picture books to read to her children and, in turn, it became a favorite of mine. It’s a quiet and cozy book, with a longer text than many picture books. Perhaps more contemplative than action-packed, it suited our two creative, nature-loving minds perfectly. We would read the book together and be taken to all the faraway places that Cooney’s delicate watercolors went – a tropical island, snow covered mountains, the rocky seaside of Maine. While my mother lived her whole life in Massachusetts, the coast of Maine always had a special draw for her and, like Miss Rumphius, I think she would like to spend her days by the sea. We both lived vicariously through this special picture book.
For Mother’s Day one year, I gave her a copy of Miss Rumphius (to replace the beat-up old version I had since commandeered for my own personal picture book collection) for reading to her grandchildren and for keeping in the new library of her very own Maine house. Yes, finally a house in Maine by the sea, made more beautiful by this Lupine Lady mother of mine.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
Do you have a book that’s special between you and your mom? And for you mothers out there, is there one book that is particularly important to you and your child? Share with us in the comments below!
Thursday, April 21st, 2011
Image from Eric Carle's The Tiny Seed. Postcards $0.75
Hooray, it’s spring! Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and I’ve already started planting seeds inside for my garden this summer. In celebration of Earth Day tomorrow and the beginning of the gardening season here in the Northeast, we’re giving away one of our very favorite books about flowers: The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle.
With Eric Carle’s delightful and colorful paper collage, a tiny seed travels through the four seasons, blowing in the wind across fields, oceans and mountains until growing into a not-so-tiny flower in the spring.
We have TEN copies of the small mini edition of this wonderful book to giveaway to TEN lucky readers! All you have to do to enter to win a copy is leave a comment below before Friday, April 22nd at 12:00 pm EST. After that we’ll close the comments and announce the lucky winners. Good luck and happy gardening!
Comments now closed.
Congratulations to our TEN randomly chosen winners! Hopefully these books will bring a little spring to your day. We’ll be in touch shortly with each of you to get shipping information. Happy Earth Day!
1. Kimberly Bloodgood
2. Cindy Gadaire
3. Natasha Garrepy
4. Cindy McGregor
5. Connie Harbison
6. Christine M.
8. Natasha Garrepy
Saturday, April 16th, 2011
What are you putting in your spring baskets this year? We’re filling ours with mini books (of course!), cute plush, and tiny must-have trinkets. Here’s a peek:
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Crockett Johnson
Mary Had a Little Lamb by Sarah Josepha Hale, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
Spring is Here by Taro Gomi
The Miniature World of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Baby Animals by Garth Williams
Pat the Bunny
Very Hungry Caterpillar Bubbles
Very Hungry Caterpillar Stickers
Very Hungry Caterpillar Bandaids
What books and toys make you think of spring?
Monday, March 28th, 2011
Spring has sprung! Little crocuses and snowdrops are already flowering here in Massachusetts, with daffodils and tulips not far behind. It makes you get excited for full spring and summer blooms, doesn’t it? So let’s celebrate our early spring flowers with some flowers from our favorite picture books. Can you name each illustrator (or book title) of each of these flowers? Put your guesses in the comments below and I’ll put the answers in the comments on Friday. Good luck and Happy Spring!
Friday, January 28th, 2011
At The Carle Bookshop we specialize in backlist picture books. Backlist is bookseller talk for the not-so-new picture books that you often can’t find at other bookstores. We carry the fabulous new books too (make sure to read our weekly Top of the Shelf posts for new book recommendations), but we know what makes us unique are the shelves and shelves of picture books you remember from your childhood or books you read to your own children. Each Friday, we’ll highlight one of these special older titles in case you may have missed it or forgotten about it along the way. Let’s keep the picture book alive and loved, shall we?
This week’s Friday Favorite is from 1975:
The Maggie B. by Irene Haas (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
This is what I would call a quiet book. A book meant to be read together, one-on-one, all tucked in and cozy. Margaret Barnstable wishes for her own sailing ship one night and when she wakes up, she’s aboard The Maggie B. She’s captain, crew, and cook all in one, with only her little brother for company, and she couldn’t be happier. In this fantasy adventure with no mention of parents, Margaret’s in charge and is like a parent herself, looking after her baby brother. Unlike a lot of modern books of sibling rivalry, these two get along just fine all on their own.
I love how Margaret’s character is completely competent and fearless. When a storm hits the boat, she’s bravely out in the thick of it preparing the ship and then is able to keep her brother calm, cozy and oh-so-well fed down below deck. The book taps perfectly into a child’s fascination with being the parent and playing “grown-up.” In contrast to her cluttered modern bedroom with too-big furniture on the first page, on The Maggie B., Margaret keeps a tidy, perfect-sized kitchen complete with old-fashioned oil lamps and a hand-pump sink. Dressed in a kerchief and apron, she resembles an little old lady, bustling around cooking, cleaning, gardening and looking after the baby.
The illustrations alternate between subtle watercolors and black-and-white drawings, and the soothing rhythmic text is dabbled with bits of sweet songs to sing. While aboard the Maggie B. the illustrations are small and contained on the page, reinforcing that this is a safe and cozy place. And indeed, this is a cozy book about true adventure and freedom. Margaret runs a tight ship and I for one would spend a day on The Maggie B. anytime.