When I need memorable characters, there is Dickens. When I need adventure, there is Robert Louis Stevenson. But when I need comfort, there is J.M. BarriWhen I need memorable characters, there is Dickens. When I need adventure, there is Robert Louis Stevenson. But when I need comfort, there is J.M. Barrie.
Barrie, of course, is most famous for the Peter Pan universe. But I enjoy his other works, including this soft-focused but humorous look at early-to-mid 19th century Scotland. "Thrums" is a stand-in for Barrie's hometown of Kirriemuir and I only wish these simple folks still existed.
Every Friday there was the market, when a dozen ramshackle carts containing vegetables and cheap crockery filled the centre of the square, resting in line on their shafts.
The first part of this collection, A Window In Thrums, tells the story of a family that is greying through the years with the invalid mother staying in her seat by the window awaiting the return of her only son. The daughter grows up and dies, as does the father, yet the son does not return, his head turned by a pretty skirt in London. Because it's Barrie, it doesn't get too maudlin, but my heart went out to these weavers, who didn't expect much and lived life as it arrived.
Auld Licht Idylls follows different storylines around the village, with the most hilarious being the ongoing battles between the villagers and the farmers. It's clear that Barrie thought well of his hometown inhabitants and there's always a wry smile between the lines.
Very comfy, like sitting before a warm fire in a pub, listening to the tales of the tellers.
When his wand's oak and hers is holly, Then to marry would be folly.
Continuing to build her historical universe of magic, J.K. Rowling has written this When his wand's oak and hers is holly, Then to marry would be folly.
Continuing to build her historical universe of magic, J.K. Rowling has written this wonderful collection of fairytales for witches and wizards. It's a Brothers Grimm-like stroll through tales that teach lessons, not only to children but to adults, too. For us Muggle readers, it's a nice treat.
The Wizard And The Hopping Pot A kind old wizard uses his magical skills to help his Muggle neighbors. But when he dies, his son inherits an old cooking pot, not knowing it will soon teach him a lesson he will never forget. Here, Rowlings also provides a history lesson in the fear that those with magic had to endure during the middle ages when their Muggle acquaintances would routinely watch the purebloods burn at the stake. Great start to the book.
The Fountain Of Fair Fortune There was a fountain that was enclosed by large walls and protected by magic. Once a year, between the hours of sunrise and sunset on the longest day, a single unfortunate was given the chance to fight their way to the Fountain, bathe in its waters, and receive Fair Fortune forevermore. This is a tale that can apply to anyone. Self-helpish.
The Warlock's Hairy Heart When a Warlock sees friends lose themselves over love affairs, he resolves to never allow that to happen to him. This was the most Brothers Grimm-ish of the tales. It delivers a sharpness that takes the reader off-balance. Whoop, there it is.
Babbitty Rabbitty And Her Cackling Stump A king wants to learn magic and a con-man becomes the royal instructor. This is very much a be-careful-what-you-wish-for story.
The Tale Of The Three Brothers This is the last selection and the most known one, as it was in a Harry Potter movie. This is also my most, most favorite tale of all these terrific tales.
I loved this book. As with Tolkien, Rowlings has created a world that goes beyond Harry and his friends. Well-written, each tale is followed by an explanation by Albus Dumbledore. I just wish there were more. Please, J.K., I want some more.
Book Season = Winter (wands of elder never prosper)...more
I love artists, particularly those who can make me smile. This book features some of the inventive works by Will Bullas, who paints canvases full of a I love artists, particularly those who can make me smile. This book features some of the inventive works by Will Bullas, who paints canvases full of animals with a touch of mischief.
I have studied, enjoyed and painted so many Indian Runner ducks, that there isn't a place or predicament I don't think they can't improve.
He is definitely the Duckmeister, but every animal has a chance for fame.
THE NERD DOGS
He also paints humans, and this is one of my favorites.
The book's introduction is written by Doris Day, so that was fun, and the overall presentation is spot-on, with each picture given prominence. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with owning a Picasso, but I would rather own an original Bullas. If my ship ever arrives, it shall happen.
He never saw many White Christmases, as a boy in Wales.
Perhaps our winds were too wild and salty for the snow to get a grip.
But to future acting super He never saw many White Christmases, as a boy in Wales.
Perhaps our winds were too wild and salty for the snow to get a grip.
But to future acting superstar, Richard Burton, his childhood festive seasons (during the Depression) were fondly remembered as though they were indeed full of white snow. Like any boy, he had his own holiday rituals and he remembered going to bed sleepless and agog. In this very short remembrance of one particular Christmas, Burton tells us how he received a gift he would have never expected.
The wind, tigerish, now crouched, now circled, now menaced the bonfire.
This is a perfect stocking stuffer, a tiny Christmas book that can be held in the hand in the true spirit of St. Nick. Burton's story ends at page 24 and the rest of the book is a description of Burton's childhood and family, as told by his last wife, Sally Burton. It's this last section which is most interesting. Burton was the twelfth of thirteen children (his mother would die two years later after giving birth to the last child). His father was a miner, as were most men in the village, but little Richard would grow to love the English language and that gift would eventually transport him to a starry world he could never have imagined.
Long ago, far away from highways and city lights, where bright stars touched the tree tops and forest roots touched the edges of frozen lakes, two lit Long ago, far away from highways and city lights, where bright stars touched the tree tops and forest roots touched the edges of frozen lakes, two little bears sat on the steps of their woodland home.
Oh, oh, oh, I enjoyed this little Christmas treat! It brings the Nutcracker story together with Bears. Big, clawed, furry Bears. The very first Nutcracker I saw on stage had a dancing bear and that memory has long stayed with me, which explains why I was immediately attracted to this beautifully illustrated story.
Inspired by her camping trips to the boreal forest of Canada, illustrator Frances Tyrrell has created a magical world of various Bears who star in each of the Nutcracker roles. There are Panda Bears and Polar Bears and Grizzly Bears and Koala Bears, all performing special performances. There are also identifiers for each illustrated page, such as raccoons and Bear candy canes. And the details, as when Clara meets the Nutcracker Bear (all grown) and her claws are placed in a balletic pose.
This is also the first Nutcracker tale which doesn't vilify the little mice. Here, they are presented as simply trying to feed their children and families, so Clara effects a truce, thus earning the rodents' trust.