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The Picture-Book Club > May 2019: Celebrating Margaret Wise Brown (Discuss Here)

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited May 01, 2019 04:28PM) (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
We will celebrate Margaret Wise Brown in May. You'll be able to share your thoughts on any MWB picture books books here but as a group we will be reading by reading the following:

The Important Book
The Quiet Noisy Book
The Seashore Noisy Book
Love Song of the Little Bear
Good Day, Good Night
Little Donkey Close Your Eyes
Wait Till the Moon Is Full

*Note that some of these titles have various editions with different illustrators. I've linked to the ones that members voted for, but your library may have a different version available.


message 2: by Karin (new)

Karin Garcia | 1 comments Runaway Bunny, The Important Book, The Quiet Noisy Book, Goodnight Moon, A Child’s Goodnight Book, Wait Till the Moon is Full, Another Important Book.
There are three that I know and love (Runaway, Goodnight Moon, and Goodnight Book), and four that I am interested in reading. :)


message 3: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
That's great, Karin! Revisiting a few favorites and discovering some new ones is my hope, too :-)


message 4: by QNPoohBear (last edited Apr 16, 2019 07:06PM) (new)

QNPoohBear | 1952 comments OH The Noisy Books, please! We MAY or may not have my mom and uncle's copies. I remember reading them when I was a kid but I suspect they got passed on to my late uncle's grandkids. They had The Noisy Book and The Quiet Noisy Book. I remember Muffin. Any of the books published before her death would have been ones my grandmother read to my uncle and my mom when they were babies/toddlers. I'm sure my nieces and nephews will roll their eyes and proclaim themselves too old for these sweet little stories. I will go venture up to the library tomorrow to see what I can find and vote for more books.


message 6: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
(abstain... I'll be delighted to read or reread whatever others choose)


message 8: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
Okay, here are the books we will read together in May:

The Important Book
The Quiet Noisy Book
The Seashore Noisy Book
Love Song of the Little Bear
Good Day, Good Night
Little Donkey Close Your Eyes
Wait Till the Moon Is Full

I'll reopen this thread May 1st and look forward to discussing the books with you then! :-)


message 9: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited May 01, 2019 05:00PM) (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
I'm surprisingly excited to be exploring the work of MWB (born on May 23rd, 1910). Her name is (along with a few others) synonymous with "picture books" to my mind as some of her best-known works, including Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny were staples of my childhood and I have, of course, encountered more of her work throughout the years. Even so, many of her books are new-to-me and I welcome the opportunity to get acquainted with them. I also welcome the opportunity to hear the thoughts of other group members as I feel they may enhance my appreciation of MWB. For, while I do very much enjoy some of her books, and I think of some very fondly from my childhood, I'm not sure they were my "very favorites" and some of the ones I read for the first time as an adult did not really "wow" me. That said, some really did touch me and I can certainly understand why she holds such a place in the hearts of readers across decades and honor her contribution to children's literature.

As some background, I enjoyed this article, which speaks not only to MWB's career but to her extensive collaboration with Leonard Weisgard:

https://www.wbur.org/artery/2016/06/0...

A few excerpts, if you don't have time to read it all:

“Children are never as disturbed as grown-ups by contemporary arts, a streamlined plane, or a gallery of modern painting,” artist Leonard Weisgard asserted when he spoke in San Francisco in 1947 as he accepted the Caldecott Medal, the top honor for children’s picture books, for his illustrations in “The Little Island.” “They see an image with real meaning and vitality and sometimes with incongruous humor giving it a sharper reality.”

***
At the beginning of the 20th century, librarians began supporting a new branch of literature for children—but children roughly ages 6 and older. “Margaret Wise Brown was looking at 2-year-olds,” Marcus says.

“She was probably the best person doing what she was doing in her generation. She practically invented her genre—picture books for very young children. That hadn’t existed before she began,” Marcus says. “This whole body of literature for very young children, including board books, including books with very few words that involves a kind of repetition or game playing, that all comes out of her.”

-----

What do you all think? Were MWB's books the first to consider the youngest children as an audience?

And are you a fan of Weisgard's style? Those of you with children, what do they think of his style?


message 10: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
I also must mention a book I read and loved years ago, Margaret, Frank, and Andy: Three Writers' Stories by Cynthia Rylant. I thought it was such a beautiful little biography. It's not a picture book, but I loved it enough that I have to mention it ;-)


message 11: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
I read The Important Book some time ago. I don't remember it being read to me as a child. My experience, encountering it for the first time as an adult, is that I didn't like someone else telling me what was the most important thing about a certain thing. I liked the idea of looking at all the important aspects of an object, seeing the many layers or aspects that often go unnoticed, but I would have liked it better if it hadn't told so very plainly what the most important thing was.


message 12: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited May 01, 2019 04:48PM) (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
I have heard of the Noisy Books, but I don't remember them from my childhood. I have read Bunny's Noisy Book to my little ones in the past and we enjoyed it. The one we read has illustrations by Lisa McCue and her animals are always so adorable. I don't know if there were earlier editions of this book--I'm not finding any on quick search. Maybe this is one that was published posthumously.

So, for this month's club read, Quiet Noisy and Seashore Noisy are new-to-me.

I loved the words to The Quiet Noisy Book. It is so evocative of early morning waking, when the senses are first coming back from dreamland--especially for the mind of a child, for they have the wonderful ability to simply "be" when they awaken and not have a wild rush of thoughts come in like most grown-ups do. I think it's marvelous how MWB captured this! The illustrations... well, I guess I can appreciate them -- I appreciate the vibrancy, the creativity, I like how the pictures shape into the shape they are making. But, for me, mornings are more soft, more watercolor, gentler, somehow. Her text made me think that way, so the illustrations felt a little jarring.

I was a little less moved by The Seashore Noisy Book, even though I love the seashore. The text didn't quite grab me in the same way, but I did appreciate the kind of conversational tone that would draw the young reader into the story and invite them to listen, too. The illustrations here were not my favorite, either (and such an interesting choice, making the water green!) I am curious to share these with my children and see how they respond, especially having read the article about Weisgard's intent (which I do totally respect). Oh, and of course, Muffin is such a cute dog! I do feel compelled to read more of the Noisy books.


message 13: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1952 comments The Important Book I made a mistake when I voted for this one. I didn't like the odd pronouncements about the most important thing about an object. The most important thing about a leaf is that it's green? That's really weird. Green isn't the takeaway I'd want or expect my nature loving niece and nephew to take away from seeing a leaf.

The book I meant to vote for was Another Important Book. This one uses simple text to enhance young children's understanding of themselves and their own sense of self worth. I like how each age has something unique happening to them but no less important than the older ages. I also liked that it ended at age 6 and thought this would appeal to both cousin's 2 year old and my 5 1/2 year old nephew. They didn't look at it but I thought it was cute.

The Quiet Noisy Book was a childhood favorite. Whenever we visited my grandparents, it was one of the few children's books they had from my uncle and mom's childhood. It may have even been a baby gift for my mom. I love Muffin, the sweet little dog. I like how the text asks children to answer questions, keeping them engaged in the story, wondering what it is Muffin hears. I did not enjoy this one as much as The Noisy Book. I distinctly remember little Muffin with the cinder in his eye.

The Seashore Noisy Book is cute but also doesn't have the same sweet feel as the original Muffin story. I thought nieces and nephews would enjoy reading this to my cousin's toddler since they all love the beach. Oldest niece looked at it and freaked out when she saw the last illustrations. She didn't read the text right away and misunderstood what had happened. That wasn't something I thought of when I showed her the book. I do like the same question format and how it shows a child who may be scared of the seashore all the things the seashore has to offer. As always, little Muffin is downright adorable.

Love Songs of the Little Bear This is the version I read. The first "song" captured my heart the most. It was so very sweet and lovely. The illustrations by Susan Jeffers are cute in a teddy bear sort of way. Love Songs of the Little Bear by Margaret Wise Brown

Those are the books I could find in the library on the shelf. Both libraries had their Browns mixed up. I found Margaret Wise Brown, then Marc Brown and then Margaret again. It was confusing, especially since I never found some of the books the library catalog claimed they had.


message 14: by Michael (new)

Michael Fitzgerald | 367 comments One thing I have found frustrating is that MWB's legacy hasn't been preserved very well.

There are some of her books that remain available (essentially) the way they were originally published - Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny fall into this category (but I count only about 13 currently).

There are other books that have been reillustrated (at least 5). No one (I hope) wants to reillustrate Goodnight Moon - so why can't we get the original versions of the three books that Barbara Cooney illustrated (Christmas in the Barn, Where Have You Been?, The Little Fir Tree)

And not reillustrated, but why can't we get Don't Frighten the Lion with H.A. Rey's illustrations or the or the several that Esphyr Slobodkina did with MWB? These are important (and well-known) artists - Curious George continues to sell, as does Caps for Sale - surely there's a marketing angle to be made.

People talk about how important Weisgard is to MWB (and I agree), but there are lots of their books that are not in print. When I read two biographies of MWB a while back, I was constantly hearing mention of titles that weren't available.

And yet there are still more books that were never published as books in her lifetime (about 66 by my count). I don't have so much antipathy for a few early ones that were likely approved and in production when she died suddenly in 1952, but in the mid-1990s, it seems like something happened with the rights or the estate because since then we've had no fewer than 50 come out. I am very skeptical of these - are these new discoveries (some definitely are) or poems pulled from collections or half-baked rejects or what? And why are we trading on her name to sell these previously unheard-of items when publishers can't be bothered to keep all four of the "Golden MacDonald" titles available?

When you look at it in terms of numbers, there are more reillustrated ones and "new" ones out there than there are "authentic" ones. That bothers me. MWB had a reputation in the world of children's books that had very little to do with a lot of those 20 books that Parragon has published since 2012.

Another thing that annoys me (because I need more to annoy me...) is that some of the reillustrated titles aren't "complete" - Nibble Nibble, for example, only has 5 poems compared to the original Nibble Nibble: Poems For Children which has 25 poems (and the original has Weisgard illustrations).

Golden Press is a blessing and a curse with regard to MWB. They continue to make some of her stuff available, but have also succumbed to the reillustration temptation. And they have published compilations such as Friendly Tales, but it appears to me that some of that book is excerpts, while much of it is complete. It's confusing. I also wonder whether all the original art makes it into those compilations.


message 15: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited May 02, 2019 12:30PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2528 comments Mod
The Important Book
I can understand what others in this topic said about not liking Brown deciding which characteristic is important about an object. But she also gives a few other characteristics about each object, and though I may disagree with her choice (I think the important thing about a glass is that it holds liquids), in this book she is introducing very young children to an eclectic variety of things in their world. I really liked Weisgard's illustrations for this book.


message 16: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "The Important Book I made a mistake when I voted for this one. I didn't like the odd pronouncements about the most important thing about an object. The most important thing about a le..."

Ah, sounds like you had the same reaction that I did. I'm glad to know that it was actually a different book you recommended and I will try to find "Another" at my library as it sounds like I would probably like it better, too.

Beverly, I do like describing the characteristics of different objects and the variety you pointed out. I think, since MWB is often so conversational in her tone, I would have preferred each to end off with something like, "I think the most important thing about X is Y. What about you?" or "What do you think is the most important thing?" I'm not phrasing it well but you get the idea. Something a little more open-eneded that invites the child in and doesn't make a complete pronouncement.


message 17: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "One thing I have found frustrating is that MWB's legacy hasn't been preserved very well. "

Well said, Michael. The more I explore her work, the more I realize this to be sad but true. Not sure if you will be reading Good Day, Good Night but I had that disappointed and frustrated feeling as I read it. I couldn't help but feel that if this was written by anyone else it wouldn't have been published (okay, well, anyone but a celebrity author) and that it's just been trotted out because it's MWB and they could capitalize on a "never before published" MWB book. (I know Loren Long is popular these days, too, but I think it's riding on MWB.) It appears to have worked, as my library has 24 copies in the district and 14 are checked out (and this is a "new" book that is two years old now). By comparison, I have checked out the only copy of "The Quiet Noisy Book" in the entire district. (They don't even have "Don't Frighten the Lion") I also agree with you that it's a shame some of the original illustrated editions are fading away (FWIW, I love Barbara Cooney)


message 18: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1952 comments Love Songs of the Little Bear is a collection of previously uncollected poems. There's a note explaining how and why in the poems were chosen.

My state library system has a mix of the original illustrated books and newer ones. I just chose what I could get at the libraries within walking distance and which illustrations I thought would appeal to modern children. The illustrator of Bunny's Noisy Book hid her family's initials in the pictures. I didn't feel like hunting for them.

My World: A Companion to Goodnight Moon is a cute story but unfortunately the illustrations are dated. I can picture my niece freaking out because the daddy bunny is smoking!


message 19: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2528 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "What do you think is the most important thing?" I'm not phrasing it well but you get the idea. Something a little more open-ended that invites the child in and doesn't make a complete pronouncement. ..."

Yes, I think maybe she should have left it more open ended, giving the reader a chance to put in his/her two cents.


message 20: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited May 02, 2019 05:22PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2528 comments Mod
Little Donkey Close Your Eyes
This is a sweet lullaby. I checked out the edition with Ashley Wolff's illustrations. Wolff is one of my favorite illustrators, and I think she did a fabulous job illustrating this book. The animals show a lot of personality, and I liked that she put the animals in slightly different settings. The donkeys, pigs, and cats are in rural settings; the monkeys are in the jungle; the birds are in the woods; the sheep is in Navajo country; the humans in a town. In the last double-page spread, one can see the house where the donkey lives; the farm with a barn; the wood/straw hut in the jungle; the tent in the woods; and the hogan; as well, of course, as the town. BTW, one can sing the words in this book to the tune of "Hush Little Baby Don't Say a Word."


message 21: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited May 02, 2019 05:49PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2528 comments Mod
Good Day, Good Night
I was not disappointed with this book. I loved Long's illustrations, and how all the bunny houses reminded me of Hobbit houses. I liked how the bees are sleeping on little beehive platforms. I liked the "Harey Dairy." The little bunny's room is slightly reminiscent of the bedroom in Goodnight Moon. I think this is aimed at very young children, encouraging them first to welcome each day, and then to welcome the night and bedtime. I cannot know for sure, but I wonder if Brown developed this text into Goodnight Moon, which was published as the preferred text.


message 22: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2528 comments Mod
Wait Till the Moon Is Full
An interesting story about a small raccoon who is not allowed to go out at night until the moon is full. Garth Williams's illustrations are very nice; they are all black, brown and white until the final page when the raccoon gets to outside, then the page is in full color. Maybe Brown was trying to teach readers that having patience reaps great rewards.


message 23: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2528 comments Mod
Love Song of the Little Bear
This is a sweet love poem from a little bear to his mother. The rhymes roll along smoothly, with a simple recurring refrain "never, never, go away." Katy Hudson's illustrations remind me of Jane Dyer and Jane Chapman. I loved her very large and detailed pictures--there are flowers, butterflies, and birds galore in this little bear's world.


message 24: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
North, South, East, West had probably not been published because Brown knew it wasn't ready to be. The best lines are the ones that include 'sycamore tree' and yet the illustrator didn't even make the tree look like a sycamore... and the young bird looks like a different species than its mother. I do not understand the appeal of this book at all.


message 25: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
Good Day, Good Night is better, and will be loved by some who grew up loving Brown's work and crave more. But it still has a couple of awkward bits. The illustrations are much more interesting than in NSEW and, imo, prettier (except for the giant eyes) but still very old-fashioned. I have no idea whether very many of today's children will like this book.


message 26: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "I read The Important Book some time ago. I don't remember it being read to me as a child. My experience, encountering it for the first time as an adult, is that I didn't like someone ..."

I love the idea of this, but absolutely despise being told what *is* the most important thing about something. The book should be an exploration. A "this is what I think, what do you think" format would have worked great, imo.

So, yes, I agree that not every MWB book is amazing. But she's still entirely worthy of acclaim for so many reasons, as you and the article point out.


message 27: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
I've loved Leonard Weisgard's art ever since I can remember. Definitely ever since I read The Secret River. He does create in a variety of styles, but imo they're all child-friendly in a way that only a true talent (who works hard etc.) can achieve.

I also love many of Brown's other collaborator illustrators, for example Garth Williams


message 28: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Little Donkey Close Your Eyes
This is a sweet lullaby. I checked out the edition with Ashley Wolff's illustrations. Wolff is one of my favorite illustrators, and I think she did a f..."


I loved this when I had a chance to read it a few years ago.


message 29: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited May 03, 2019 04:40PM) (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "Love Songs of the Little Bear is a collection of previously uncollected poems. There's a note explaining how and why in the poems were chosen. .."

I really appreciated Susan Jeffers' note at the end, especially where she said MWB "slows down the speeding world to the pace of a child's walk. To truly appreciate what her poetry says about the enduring love and profound beauty of everyday, reader must go at her pace, the pace of childhood."

The book is sweet. I loved the first two poems, the other two didn't resonate as much. The illustrations* are pleasant. I think it's a worthy addition to a MWB collection.

*I was surprised to learn there is newer version illustrated by Katy Hudson; the one I got was illustrated by Susan Jeffers in 2001 (not THAT long ago) and her note made it sound as if she was part of the selection process in choosing the poems and then she illustrated them.


message 30: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited May 03, 2019 04:42PM) (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Good Day, Good Night
I was not disappointed with this book. I loved Long's illustrations, and how all the bunny houses reminded me of Hobbit houses. I liked how the bees are sleeping on little beeh..."


I liked the Hobbit-style houses, too ;-) And the nods to "Goodnight Moon" in both text and illustrations didn't escape me. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood when I read it. To me, it didn't seem "special" compared to some of her other works and I wasn't a big fan of the style of the bunny illustrations.


message 31: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6092 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Beverly wrote: "Little Donkey Close Your Eyes
This is a sweet lullaby. I checked out the edition with Ashley Wolff's illustrations. Wolff is one of my favorite illustrators, and I t..."


I loved this, too! My children loved it, also. My youngest son said he wanted to go to the place in the first picture! ;-) I think this is another case where the story definitely deserved to be published posthumously -- even years after MWB's initial offerings.


message 32: by Manybooks (last edited May 07, 2019 04:26PM) (new)

Manybooks | 8169 comments Mod
The Important Book

I am ranking Margaret Wise Brown's The Important Book with two stars only because Leonard Weisgard's accompanying illustrations are once again aesthetically wonderful and a true visual treat (and that I with very much pleasure remember them from when I read The Important Book when we first moved to Canada in 1976). However, with regard to the author's text (which I really do not remember all that fondly), I can only say that I have found Margaret Wise Brown's words presumptive, annoying and indeed also very much arrogant, especially regarding what for the objects described supposedly is important. For sorry, that is at best a bit of a matter of personal opinion and I (as an example) do not in any way think (and have never thought) that the most essential and important aspect of a daisy is its whiteness and of grass is its greenness (for I would probably consider it far more necessary to mention that daisies attract bees and that grass feeds many different species of animals). And quite frankly, with The Important Book, I have therefore generally felt talked down to and preached at, and from a reading pleasure (and educational) point of departure I really cannot at all stand it, I really do despise The Important Book (and although I guess that one could also use The Important Book to generate discussions with older children regarding Margaret Wise Brown's narrative and whether what she declares as important about the objects depicted and described warrants that designation, I still do think and believe that The Important Book is really much too pedantic and "my way or the highway" for me to in any way recommend it without some very major reservations and caveats).


message 33: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8169 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "QNPoohBear wrote: "The Important Book I made a mistake when I voted for this one. I didn't like the odd pronouncements about the most important thing about an object. The most importa..."

Yes, indeed, if Margaret Wise Brown had said I think or in my opinion, I would not have felt to preached at.


message 34: by Michael (last edited May 07, 2019 05:56PM) (new)

Michael Fitzgerald | 367 comments Good grief - MWB put her name on the book. Every word of it is her "opinion". No one is marketing this as an encyclopedia. Do we really expect every statement made in a picture book to be an unassailable fact? How boring. Isn't the point of reading a book to hear what the author has to say about something? Are we only allowed to have our own opinions if someone says we can?

A Hole is to Dig. The Sun Is a Golden Earring. It Looked Like Spilt Milk. Dragons Love Tacos. Happiness is a Warm Puppy. My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World. A Tree Is Nice. A Friend Is Someone Who Likes You. Mine's the Best - shall we quibble about these pronouncements?


message 35: by Manybooks (last edited May 07, 2019 06:13PM) (new)

Manybooks | 8169 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Good grief - MWB put her name on the book. Every word of it is her "opinion". No one is marketing this as an encyclopedia. Do we really expect every statement made in a picture book to be an unassa..."

Well I did not like the book and if that makes me boring, fine. I am not going to be told what I can like or not like and actually I have never been all that much a fan of Margaret Wise Brown.


message 36: by Michael (new)

Michael Fitzgerald | 367 comments Please note that I did not call you boring. What would be boring is picture books where every statement were an unassailable fact. (And of course, boring in whose opinion? Mine.)

Neither did I tell you what to like or not like. Certainly there is no expectation of all readers being in lockstep, I hope.


message 37: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8169 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Please note that I did not call you boring. What would be boring is picture books where every statement were an unassailable fact. (And of course, boring in whose opinion? Mine.)

Neither did I tel..."


Of course not, but I do feel a bit guilty not really liking an author everyone seems to love. Wonder if that is because I never actually experienced MWB as a young child.


message 38: by Manybooks (last edited May 08, 2019 04:45PM) (new)

Manybooks | 8169 comments Mod
Good Day, Good Night

While I actually have enjoyed Loren Long's accompanying illustrations quite a bit more than I thought I would from the rather saccharinely exaggerated book cover image (and that I have especially liked the realistic and natural looking visuals of the birds and the bees, with no pun intended here and just a bit of tongue in cheek, although I still would rather have had human characters, human figures depicted by the illustrator than anthropomorphic bunny rabbits living in Hobbit like caves), I do have to say that the text itself, that Margaret Wise Brown's narrative often feels rather awkward and with a rhyme sequence that I of one think at times really does seem to stumble a bit and thus could make Good Day, Good Night possibly jarring and distracting especially if it were being read aloud.

And while I indeed both enjoy and appreciate the sentiments portrayed (bidding good morning to everything at the start of the day and then bidding good night to everything at its end), the more than occasional awkwardness and repetitiveness of the author's text and in particular that to and for me, Good Day, Good Night also does always seem to feel like rather a pale reflection and derivative of Margaret Wise Brown's similar but both more well-known and yes quite more magically rendered Good Night, Moon has definitely caused me to have at best a decidedly ho-hum and "sweet but not all that special" reaction (both textually and illustratively) to Good Day, Good Night (and really, truly, Good Day, Good Night is therefore also not what I would consider in any manner a "must read" Margaret Wise Brown book and certainly not at all en par with the classics for which she is known and loved). And of course, I also have to wonder whether Margaret Wise Brown would have even wanted to have Good Day, Good Night published, seeing that it supposedly was posthumously created by cobbling together two unfinished and unpolished manuscripts (which sadly rather shows and is as such also in my opinion a bit of an insult to the author's memory).


message 39: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
Two Little Trains doesn't work for me, but then, I'm not a fan of trains. The Dillon's art seems more simple, less special. But it's probably just me... this library copy is worn, and I did have to put a hold on it to get a chance to read it, so I'm guessing that children like it. :shrug:


message 40: by Michael (new)

Michael Fitzgerald | 367 comments You can get a glimpse of the original Jean Charlot illustrations for Two Little Trains at http://www.lab-curio.com/book/re/TWOLITTLETRAINS.htm


message 41: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
Huh. That makes it a different story. The trains are not described in words, but Charlot's art makes them the same size, and a size I've never seen before... whereas the Dillons' art makes one a real train and one a toddler's toy.


message 42: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
Hm. I may not really be a fan of Brown myself. When the Wind Blew is a small book, likely to get lost in the library shelves but good for children's hands. Longer than expected, but also simple. Young me would have been just as cynical though as me now, wondering if the old lady ever ate anything besides milk, wondering why she couldn't go to a dentist, etc.

(Btw, I'm just reading whatever I can readily lay my hands on given my access only to libraries with limited collections.)


message 43: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
I do very much like the art in Once Upon a Time in a Pigpen and Three Other Stories, and the story "The Gentle Tiger." It's totally a fable, not an animal story, but it's neat. The others are interesting too.


message 44: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
Wait Till the Moon Is Full requires the reader to be just as patient as the main character. I *think* that young me would have liked this one... if for no other reason than the Garth Williams illustrations. Much in common with Minarik's Little Bear series, with the illustrations by Sendak, and the special r'ship of mother and son... right down to the scene with the sewing machine....


message 45: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
The Whispering Rabbit is a silly story, but so beautifully told that it still charms, with lines like: "... the sounds of a bug breathing, and a fly sneezing, and grass rustling, and a fireman thinking."

Because these books are from a university collection saved for students of education, this happened to be a 'Teacher's Read-Aloud' from Scott Foresman.


message 46: by Manybooks (last edited May 10, 2019 03:04AM) (new)

Manybooks | 8169 comments Mod
Love Songs of the Little Bear


My library has the Love Songs of the Little Bear version that includes four previously unpublished Margaret Wise Brown poems and is illustrated by Susan Jeffers. And while I enjoyed the illustrations to a point (but personally also think that they are a trifle too sweet and cutesy for my personal tastes), aside form the first poem Love song of the Little Bear, the remaining verses I have found awkward, repetitive and often rather tedious and not all that enjoyable (and I certainly do wonder why so much of Margaret Wise Brown's unpublished work has recently been made into picture books, for perhaps there might have been a reason why this was left unpublished at her death).


message 47: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6544 comments Mod
Exactly. I opine that the exploitation is actually tarnishing her reputation.


message 48: by Manybooks (last edited May 09, 2019 08:33AM) (new)

Manybooks | 8169 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Exactly. I opine that the exploitation is actually tarnishing her reputation."

Especially for readers who first encounter Margaret Wise Brown's "rediscovered" and new books and not the classics for which she is known.


message 49: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8169 comments Mod
Now with regard to Another Important Book, I had the pretty well opposite reaction to The Important Book, for in The Important Book I enjoyed Leonard Weisgard's artwork and found Margaret Wise Brown's text too preachy and a bit presumptive, while in Another Important Book, I really liked Margaret Wise Brown's verses and use of words to show a child's different developmental milestones but I really really have not at all liked Chris Raschka's accompanying pictures, finding them while colourful really strange and not at all flattering to and for young children (for to my eyes, many of the depicted and drawn toddlers look almost a bit misshapen).


message 50: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8169 comments Mod
Now I never did experience The Runaway Bunny as a young child and I do have to say that while I have loved the illustrations and can also understand that the mother rabbit really loves loves loves her little son, personally, I have also found Margaret Wise Brown's storyline rather creepy and stalkerish, with the mother rabbit feeling more than a trifle possessive and obsessive.


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