Author's Dedication: TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF OUR FOUR-FOOTED FRIENDS IN THE GREEN FOREST WITH THE HOPE THAT THIS LITTLE VOLUME MAY IN SOME DEGREE AID...moreAuthor's Dedication: TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF OUR FOUR-FOOTED FRIENDS IN THE GREEN FOREST WITH THE HOPE THAT THIS LITTLE VOLUME MAY IN SOME DEGREE AID IN THE PROTECTION OF THE INNOCENT AND HELPLESS
Angry hunters with terrible guns roam the Green Forest so Lightfoot The Deer needs to be careful. Sammy Jay tries his best to keep his fellow creatures informed of the movements of men, but a true deer knows he must outwit the hatred of man.
...I don't understand why they want to kill any of us. If they really needed us for food, it would be a different matter, but they don't.
The first book in the Green Forest Series introduces us to Lightfoot and his many friends. Paddy The Beaver, Old Man Coyote, Mr. & Mrs. Quack, and Reddy Fox all make appearances here, but the reader quickly learns they are all afraid of hunters and the evil hunting season.
The very worst things come to an end at last. No matter how bad a thing is, it cannot last forever.
This was not a childhood book for me, but it certainly worked for me as an adult. The reader comes to love the forest and its denizens while learning of good and bad. Lightfoot gets to romance Miss Daintyfoot, too, which will warm any heart.
Upton Sinclair became famous for his muckraking or reform-minded journalism, but while most folks scramble for The Jungle, I prefer this drilling look...moreUpton Sinclair became famous for his muckraking or reform-minded journalism, but while most folks scramble for The Jungle, I prefer this drilling look at the nascent petroleum industry of California. The movie, There Will Be Blood was based upon this novel, although this was originally published in the 1920s.
The Roaring Twenties...think President Warren Harding and the Teapot Dome Scandal. A nation starts to move away from farms and the simple life as greed takes center place. If you've ever driven through Southern California, you will still see some of the original oil grasshoppers that are described in this novel, while the larger derricks once dominated the previously tranquil land.
If you liked the movie, be prepared for so much more in this great novel. Here, the main character is the son and the lessons learned about the pursuit of power and the exploitation of the land will resonate after the read is completed. The 1920s must have been an amazing era with so many progressive inventions and silent screen idols and orchards of oranges shimmering in the California sun. Most folks run to Fitzgerald for a review of that notorious decade, but for me, this book does the trick all by its lonesome.
This is a nifty collection of the paintings and illustrations of the great N.C. Wyeth. The master illustrator and father of Andrew Wyeth was a wizard...moreThis is a nifty collection of the paintings and illustrations of the great N.C. Wyeth. The master illustrator and father of Andrew Wyeth was a wizard with the brushes and pencils. The numerous plates include his commercial output for labels such as Cream of Wheat plus his illustrations for children's versions of TREASURE ISLAND and RIP VAN WINKLE.
All well and good, but I particularly love his later tempera paintings, showing the Maine coast and the Brandywine countryside of Pennsylvania. I've never been to either place, but via Mr. Wyeth I can certainly imagine myself there. Throw him in there with the Rockwells and Hoppers, an artist who used his work to tell a story. Intrinsically American.
This book hit me before the television portion did...literally. I was at a gallery showing of photos from the brother of the film industry's biggest s...moreThis book hit me before the television portion did...literally. I was at a gallery showing of photos from the brother of the film industry's biggest star in the 1990s, and as usual I was lost, not being the most adept at art or photography. When I wandered into a conversation about paintings and admitted my confusion between Manet and Monet and Millet and Magritte (I am 'M' challenged), an enthusiastic estate agent ran to her car and came flying back with this heavy weapon, which she then tossed at me. She was clearly excited about the book and the author, so I gave it a shot to see if a published nun could help me understand what everyone else was discussing.
Well! I loved it! Sister Wendy Beckett's enthusiasm explodes off the page so that I, too, started believing her explanations of the 450 masterpieces. The book is meant for Art Dumbquats like me, presented with large plates, historical asides, and the Sister's love of art. After this, I was hooked.
Perhaps for those with greater intellectual aptitude, this may not be their cuppa tea. But for the simpletons who can't understand the fuss about a Jackson Pollock thingy (raising my hand), this is the perfect coffee table book. It even makes the coffee table look better. Besides, now when I sit my exhausted self down in one of the innumerable museums of the world, I can actually focus on the pictures and not just my tired tootsies.
Book Season = Year Round (start with crayons)(less)
This is the follow-up to David Niven's first memoir (The Moon's a Balloon), but this book is centered on the stories of Niven's friends and co-stars a...moreThis is the follow-up to David Niven's first memoir (The Moon's a Balloon), but this book is centered on the stories of Niven's friends and co-stars and directors. In other words, it's a wonderful recollection of the Golden Age of Hollywood but told in a gentlemanly fashion.
Niven was part of the Hollywood Raj, that group of ex-pat Englishmen who played cricket at the park off Sunset Boulevard and ate roast beef on Sundays, regardless of the California heat. There are hundreds of books about the cinema during the studio system, but somehow Mr. Niven's tales are the best.
The crash of falling Selznicks was frequently heard around midnight in Hollywood high society.
His zingers are classy, not the TMZ trash currently expounded. You can tell he holds back or changes some details to be fair to his subjects, but the reading is still fun. His "Missy" revelation is startling, as it details the mental breakdown of Vivien Leigh (though he never mentions her name) and illustrates the high level of stress and expectations placed upon the studio stars of that era.
I rarely read a book more than once, but I couldn't resist picking this up again when the sun was blazing, the pool was calling, and I had just finished a long walk past some of the glorious desert abodes of the folks who had faces back then.
It's good to know I wasn't the only child who thought toys and stuffed animals had feelings and could hear me. I always felt a duty, a responsibility,...moreIt's good to know I wasn't the only child who thought toys and stuffed animals had feelings and could hear me. I always felt a duty, a responsibility, to keep them so they would always have a family. This book is something like that. A boy and his older sister have a baby brother coming and toys must be cleared away. Can they give up the plane that writes messages in the sky and the three wooden men who love to fly that plane?
The story here is simple but eloquent, but it's the illustrations by Dennis Nolan which make this special. They look like soft pencil drawings, but detailed, the kind of children's book artwork you want to collect. The very last picture is the tops, a reminder that new life is always arriving.
Old World European fairytale meets New World Creole revision = eggs talking. Two daughters and their mother live in the backwoods of Louisiana. Of cou...moreOld World European fairytale meets New World Creole revision = eggs talking. Two daughters and their mother live in the backwoods of Louisiana. Of course, one child is good and one is bad, and the mother is nothing to write home about (whew). As we think we're scrambling down a Grimm Cinderella path, the backwoods take over and an old woman appears.
You got a spirit of do-right in your soul. God is gonna bless you.
While you can anticipate where the story is headed, there are some surprises along the way. The folktale itself is thought to have been brought over by the French Acadians (Cajuns) and it developed with a Gullah remix.
The text by San Souci is wonderful and the illustrations are from the great Jerry Pinkney (The Lion and the Mouse). Here is Pinkney's explanation of his amazing artwork:
The full-color artwork was prepared using pencil, colored pencils, and watercolor. It was then color-separated and reproduced as red, blue, yellow, and black halftones.
This was a book I picked up while working in a bookstore many years ago, and I still have dreams about it. Rather, I don't have dreams about picking u...moreThis was a book I picked up while working in a bookstore many years ago, and I still have dreams about it. Rather, I don't have dreams about picking up the book but dreams about the story and the water in the story, always the water, which is dark purple or plum. A boy finds a ledge leading to an underwater world and adventure ensues.
The book earned its place on my bookshelf (yes, each book must earn a spot) because of its inventive story and for the lovely understated drawings by Muriel Nasser, which begin each chapter. Published in the 1980s, it was a book that was written for the young adult crowd, who didn't have Harry Potter yet. However, parents who bought it always told me their little ones loved it also, so I took their word for it. Teen, pre-teen, and child will all enjoy this tale.
And when I wake up and see the water on "Quake Days" (humid and still), I know it will be Plum.
When television started to take moviegoers away from the silver screens, the industry decided to create the Cinerama process as a way to entice folks...moreWhen television started to take moviegoers away from the silver screens, the industry decided to create the Cinerama process as a way to entice folks back to the sticky seats. For a while, it worked and epics were churned out to fill the huge screens. One of the movies produced was HOW THE WEST WAS WON, which described the migration made by Americans and immigrants to the Pacific.
This was quite a production. In those days, the studios published these glossy books to accompany the first roadshows. Using behind-the-scenes photographs, interviews, and a how-to introduction to Cinerama, this is an interesting book.
The movies were bigger then.
Book Season = Summer (Henry Fonda & Jimmy Stewart in wigs)(less)
In the 1970s, film actor Robert Redford undertook a journey through the famous Outlaw Trail, where Butch Cassidy and his gang once roamed. Along the w...moreIn the 1970s, film actor Robert Redford undertook a journey through the famous Outlaw Trail, where Butch Cassidy and his gang once roamed. Along the way, Redford met with still-living denizens who could remember the dying days of the last gunfighters. The book is inundated with photographs and the interviews with ranchers and octogenarians are enthralling.
During one conversation, Redford starts asking about Tom Horn and an old man responds with stories about several outlaws that had me quickly turning pages to keep up with his memories. Contemporary photos of ghost towns and abandoned homesteads mesh with B&W shots of 19th-century gunfighters on the gallows. This is a big gorgeous book which was recommended to me by a group of German tourists who were about to embark on the same adventure.