His name was Mister Bing. A name with its future written upon it, like Doctor Pill or Mister Bread, the baker.
This is a fun story about a bowler hat-w His name was Mister Bing. A name with its future written upon it, like Doctor Pill or Mister Bread, the baker.
This is a fun story about a bowler hat-wearing maestro who decides to capitalize on the natural sounds made by nature, such as branches breaking off trees. He opens a shop to build the instruments that make the noises.
Each noise has its own brand or sound such as:
Klackata - twig hitting tree stump Trika Trika Trika Trok - rain hitting leaves Foooboolooooooo - song of the teakettle
Next thing you know, Mister Bing has his own factory and a giant billboard advertising his sounds. But he ends up losing one of his sounds! Where is it? Then a competitor shows up with cheaper imitations. What is the Merchant of Noises to do?
I enjoyed this tale and the cute drawings. The book has a 1930s look to it, rather like the B&W Astaire or Crosby flicks, where men wore hats and looked svelte. Kids might like it, too. Another elegant production from one of my fave publishers, David R. Godine.
Book Season = Spring (bing brings the zing)...more
One of the benefits of collecting illustrated children's books is being able to see their effect on the wee ones. Sitting in the local coffee grinds sOne of the benefits of collecting illustrated children's books is being able to see their effect on the wee ones. Sitting in the local coffee grinds shop, a child in the throes of the 'terrible twos' was tired and kept screaming, driving customers out the door. Since I was midway through this book, I placed it on the shared counter, so the Screamer could see the artwork. She climbed on top of her chair and stopped screaming. Soon, she was pointing to the Wizards and Selkies and Fairies. Her screams died quickly. The Screamer became enchanted by the book, bringing relief to the rest of us.
Author Rosalind Kerven has collected folktales about magic from different countries and the always great Wayne Anderson brings them to life with wonderful illustrations. There are Tree Women, Wishing Wells, Swan Maidens, and so much more. The Screamer was obsessed with the story of The Stone-Ribs, perhaps because of Anderson's colourful fish.
My favourite was the short piece on spells...some unlucky children find themselves turned into lifeless things...I think the Screamer got the hint.
That dedication from author Jacqueline Briggs Martin really describes this gorgeously illustrated book aTo all those who listen for the earth talking.
That dedication from author Jacqueline Briggs Martin really describes this gorgeously illustrated book about those who used dowsing sticks to find water, back when time didn't move so quickly. The lead character is The Pig Of The Pig That Went Around Cape Horn. That's right. Not just any average, run-of-the-mill pig but one with the 'Water Gift'.
Do you smell a Cape Horn storm coming? With wind that cuts like scissors and saw blades?
Grandfather used to sail the oceans wide, but now he lives in a snug homestead where his divining gifts are requested by neighbours looking for groundwater. His Granddaughter lives there, too, along with The Pig Of The Pig That Went Around Cape Horn.
But one day, Grandfather stops using his dowsing gift and Pig goes missing. Will their evil neighbour find the Pig and cook some bacon? Does Granddaughter have the gift? And where is The Pig Of The Pig That Went Around Cape Horn?
Fix your eye on a powerful star and Cook's hot soup. We'll get through.
I loved the story, linking the earth and the sea and deep family ties. The drawings by Linda S. Wingerter are the folk colours of autumn East Coast days. The text and the art are partnered perfectly with the focus on nature and the simpler life.
And, you have to love The Pig Of The Pig That Went Around Cape Horn.
Jackie French is one of my favourites in the world of children's books (her Wombat series is great). She also happens to be the Australian Children'sJackie French is one of my favourites in the world of children's books (her Wombat series is great). She also happens to be the Australian Children's Laureate, so Oz appreciates her, too. In this book, she illustrates the doings of a fashionista sheep named...Pete. Think of Babe trying to be a sheepdog and you'll get an idea about the unique personality of...Pete.
At first glance, one gets the impression that this book is satirizing the sheep shearers of Australia, but the backstory is that Jackie French's family owned a black sheep who thought he was a sheep dog. He would herd the other sheep into the pens in return for treats. He was the kind of sheep who would receive venture capital funding if he did that today.
Also, the book has been turned into an Aussie stage play. Fun stuff.
Bless those 19th-century publishers. The books they created were little jewels and such gems are even better when a day spent in old musty bookstoresBless those 19th-century publishers. The books they created were little jewels and such gems are even better when a day spent in old musty bookstores uncover such treasures. As part of a series of poetry books from Estes and Lauriat, this Faust edition has elegant gilt edges and engravings from George T. Andrew (based on A. Liezen Mayer originals) which make every page a joy to behold.
Estes and Lauriat were old Boston publishers who specialized in illustrated editions with engravings from the John Andrews firm (also Boston). Great care was taken to appeal to the reader in the 1800s, when competing bookshops were numerous. The artwork and the overall tidiness of the book make reading Faust even better.
Each fall as the whales departed, tears filled his eyes. He was alone again.
Sniff...sob. This simple picture book had me at "whales". Gorgeously illus Each fall as the whales departed, tears filled his eyes. He was alone again.
Sniff...sob. This simple picture book had me at "whales". Gorgeously illustrated by the great Ron Lightburn, here is a story about growing old and the familial ties that bind generations together.
An old man lives alone by the Northwest coast. His biggest joy is watching for the arrival of the Orca Whales on their yearly migration. In between their journey, he farms his land by himself as his children have all grown and long moved away. His love for nature and the sea is seen in each illustration, whether he is collecting driftwood or hiking in the foggy woods. One day, his daughter comes back home to love with him. She has a baby now, and the old man won't be lonely anymore.
I really enjoyed this, as I thought about how we interact with our aging parents as they near their last days. The old man clocks his life's days around the Orcas, which brings this tale to another level. Generations pass away from our sight, but we each keep their memories until, at last, it is our time, too.
Lovely, lovely book. The artwork is marvelous. I would recommend for helping children, and ourselves, cope with the loss of grandparents.
Book Season = Autumn (time for the Orcas to leave)
The best children's books do not need words, because the dreamlike illustrations are enough. This first volume of the Mouse books by Monique Felix doeThe best children's books do not need words, because the dreamlike illustrations are enough. This first volume of the Mouse books by Monique Felix does not need any words because the little rodent is so well drawn. Finding itself stuck within the book, the mouse must try to find a way out, braving new worlds. The ending solution is unique, and I enjoyed the artwork and the overall concept.
Wordless books can sometimes be difficult for young children, as they must use their own narrative to describe the action. This book is an excellent example of problem-solving, for both kids and their adults.
There's special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it wi There's special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.
If readiness be all, then this volume is a staple on any bookshelf. Ready to be opened for quick quote checks, ready to be heaved at home intruders (it's really heavy), it is useful in so many ways. It stays open on the window shelf, so the afternoon breeze can choose its special pages. Additionally, there are several sections dealing with Shakespeare's life, the Plague, Elizabethan art, and the people of the Great Poet's time.
The extras are worthwhile. For instance, Tudor London was a genuinely filthy place, but as editor G.B. Harrison makes clear, it was still beautiful in its own way. There was no smog to grime the buildings, half-timbered homes stood on narrow lanes, and the Thames was still clear. The old City was all but wiped out in the Great Fire of 1666. Maybe that's why I love having this huge volume on hand, so I can imagine olden times filled with silver tongues.
Confession: I also use this to come up with the many passwords I need for all of my online apps. That's because the bottom of each page has highlighted words and their meanings. It helps.
I really enjoyed this read. Imaginative and oh so winterish, it came at the perfect time, on a rare gloomy California day. As the sky darkened, this tI really enjoyed this read. Imaginative and oh so winterish, it came at the perfect time, on a rare gloomy California day. As the sky darkened, this tale grabbed me and I forgot about everything else (including the ManU vs. Liverpool game). I'd say that's a pretty good way to countdown to Christmas.
Unlike most folks, I believe in fairyland. When the earth shakes here, and it shakes so often we don't always feel it, I know the Trolls are stomping around in their living quarters below. It's a given. If humans had more respect for the Trolls, we wouldn't have so many quakes. Well, that's what they say.
My only unhappiness with this read is that it ended far too quickly for my liking. Magic endures.
Christmas came early this year! A whole set of uncut Robert Louis Stevenson books. RLS! This is better than coffee ice cream, meat pies, and pecan rolChristmas came early this year! A whole set of uncut Robert Louis Stevenson books. RLS! This is better than coffee ice cream, meat pies, and pecan rolls. Shazam!
I have already reviewed the story itself here, so I will use this review for the actual physical book. As we increasingly turn to e-books in the current century, it is always a pleasure to hold a book which was made when printing presses were considered to be state-of-the-art and most folks couldn't even afford a book, let alone a set.
Those Scribner sons did a mighty fine job with this volume. Red cloth with gold lettering and the type of paper one doesn't see anymore. This is a well-brought-up book, the kind you can introduce to others with pride. Gorgeous. The previous owner(s) took good care of this baby, and I hope to continue the tradition.
Book Season = Winter (it's a winter's tale)...more
A young boy has a tendency to get his 'd' and 'g' mixed up, so when he wishes for some help, he gets a Fairy Dogfather instead of Marlon Brando. A BogA young boy has a tendency to get his 'd' and 'g' mixed up, so when he wishes for some help, he gets a Fairy Dogfather instead of Marlon Brando. A Bogart-ish doggy appears and instructs the young lad on what to do using words I didn't even know.
WHAT I LIKED 1. The artwork by Alexandra Day is good. This is how I always envisioned most Bernese Mountain Dogs anyway, especially when they walk on their hind legs.
2. I learned some words. Purview anyone? Not a word I use everyday.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE 1. I always preface my issues with the admission that I'm not the hottest cornbread in the oven, but I just didn't understand what the Dogfather was doing. Then again, it was a Bernese Mountain Dog, so that might explain things.
2. Real estate locations scream "location location location", but when I read I scream, "flow flow flow". But remember, I'm the cornbread not getting buttered.
All in all, I firmly believe dogs should work for a living, like this one.
But while the illustrations are very nice, I became a bit bored, like this dog.
Just remember, I am the unloved cornbread with a bias against Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Winter, 1941. Winston Churchill was on his way to meet the President of the United States.
He was going to spend Christmas at the White House. He wouldWinter, 1941. Winston Churchill was on his way to meet the President of the United States.
He was going to spend Christmas at the White House. He would not be stopped by a mere storm. He would not be stopped by a hurricane.
So begins the story of the Christmas meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt, where the two leaders of the free world partnered to establish the greatest military alliance in history. History and Christmas in one package, beautifully illustrated by the great Barry Moser.
I enjoyed the text and the illustrations, as Wood and Moser make almost as good a team as FDR and Winston. Adults should enjoy reading this to children at holiday time, and the little ones will love Moser's transparent watercolours.
Trust me to the bitter end.
Book Season = Winter (blood, toil, tears, and reindeer)...more
If there is anyone who should have no right reading this book, it is moi. Given to me as a gift to learn how to deal with home repairs, I first put itIf there is anyone who should have no right reading this book, it is moi. Given to me as a gift to learn how to deal with home repairs, I first put it to the side as I established a list of needed handymen. While my philosophy remains the same (let the experts handle repairs), I did actually read through this to understand what I am missing when it comes to do-it-yourself home improvements.
Clear soot yourself from any easily reached narrow space. Use a weighted round brush on a long pole to scrape the flue, or lower a bag of rough burlap filled with gravel into the flue.
For the above instruction, an accompanying illustration shows the bag of burlap rubbing against the flue, thus reducing the soot. I would never have thought of that. There is no fireplace in my life and local regulations mean no wood-burning, but still, it looks rather neat.
The worst part about reading a book such as this is the sudden awareness that one should be installing something that wasn't there previously. You wake up in the morning and everything is a-okay. You then open this book and go, whoa, why don't I have a dormer in my attic? Where is my attic anyway? Bam, your day has changed with the idea of suddenly wanting something that wasn't wanted or missed previously.
For do-it-yourselfers, I would definitely recommend this book. There are pictures and descriptions of nails, porches, foundations, garage conversions, and even a geodesic dome kit. Cool.
That phrase was the best part of this book for me. It stated immediate evil and drew me in, plus it kept me going when nothing The Wolves are Running!
That phrase was the best part of this book for me. It stated immediate evil and drew me in, plus it kept me going when nothing else made sense. This John Masefield tale is a Christmas favourite for many and seems to have influenced the Narnia saga. I would also dare to say that it has some elements that may have influenced the Harry Potter stories as well such as the young hero, railway stations, snow-filled villages, hot drinks, and magic.
Alas, when it was first read to me as a child in an Aussie school, I just didn't get it. But then, I didn't like listening to the C.S. Lewis stories either, so maybe I was one of those Wolves. To give Mr. Masefield the full benefit of the doubt, I purchased the nicely bound New York Review edition, hoping for more illumination. But, while I gained a little bit more appreciation, I remain under-whelmed by it all.
Young Kay still drove me crazy and I never knew when he was speaking to others or muttering to himself. This edition thankfully explains some of those issues by explaining that Masefield's original manuscript had never been corrected until now, which explains my original childhood bias. Long story short, the first publication of this book left several passages out, which the NYR edition fixes.
Time and Tide and Buttered Eggs wait for no man.
Summation of my personal view:
STARFALL - Loss of one star for driving me crazy (how did Peter suddenly appear at the end), lack of structure, and the sudden ending.
STAR-RISE - Addition of one star for imagination (just as a child would think), pagan memories, and untouched slang of the 1930s.
"When I'm no longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlour and call myself Scoop Dogg."
I don't trust folkEntertainer Snoop (Doggy) Dogg said:
"When I'm no longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlour and call myself Scoop Dogg."
I don't trust folks who say they don't like Ice Cream. I even interview potential employees by asking them the all-important Ice Cream question. I judge grocery stores by the type of Ice Cream they carry. I once drove nine miles back to another town because I remembered they had an Ice Cream parlour.
I like Ice Cream. And Ice Cream likes me.
For others of the same persuasion, this Cooksmart publication works perfectly for Ice Cream eaters who want to become Ice Cream makers. Instead of a book, the recipes are attached via a slide attachment, so you can choose your flavour and then have it front and center as you create your masterpiece. One side has the picture and ingredients, while the other side has the 'how-to' instructions. Sorbets, granitas, and ices also get a fair share of attention here. But, let's be honest, only Ice Cream should be capitalized.
As I write this, my bowl is filled with McConnell's Turkish Coffee Ice Cream, which means I won't sleep for another two days. But that's okay.
Because I like Ice Cream. And Ice Cream likes me.
Book Season = Year Round (it's always that kind of weather)