Monday, February 28, 2011

White blossomed trees -- must have one (or five!)

I recently moved from Florida to South Carolina, and while I did not enjoy the ice storm at the beginning of January, I am loving the changing of the seasons. The sights of the seasons, to be specific.

In the past week, these trees in our neighborhood and around our little town have erupted into the most beautiful white blossoms. So gorgeous! I was so struck by the trees' beauty, I had to ask our local nursery what they were. Turns out they are Cleveland pear trees. The trees don't actually produce pears, but who cares, those blossoms at the end of February are divine. Alas, the nursery was sold out. So I bought a lovely little pink blossomed peach tree for now.

Book 66

Book 66: Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman, 2002.

I LOVE Jane Chapman's illustrations. I'd probably buy anything she illustrates. Her animals are adorable without being twee, and personable without being human. Her work is what I would aspire to.

Bear Snores On is my favorite "Bear" book. It is the most poetic of all the "Bear", not just because of the rhyming couplets, but because of rhythm within the lines. And the big scene where the setting changes is the most dramatic of all "Bear" books. There is actually a bit of suspense in a toddler's book, which, of course, resolves happily.

My husband and toddler like to help out with the telling of this story: My husband snores for the bear, and my little boy works the bear puppet. By the time the story is finished, we are all laughing.

*For other reviews, please see Books I Buy and Why

Monday, February 14, 2011

Book 65

The Color Book, Laura Kelly Designs, Ollie Bollie Book 2009.

Back in July, I was getting ready to move from Florida to South Carolina. My husband was already in South Carolina. Our household furnishings were boxed up on a Thursday and not loaded onto a truck until the following Tuesday. Did I mention this was July? In Florida? With my husband not around?

On Friday, I did what any reasonable person would do -- I left the house and went shopping. Although not for any household belongings. More like for lemonade and ice cream. However, I did stop by the Beall's Outlet next door to the Publix, because it was cool, and although a bit chaotic, positively serene compared to my boxed-up house. While I was there, I let my 20-month-old son pick out a book. He picked out The Color Book.

I wasn't expecting to like this book as anything more than a pleasant diversion at a pretty stressful time (for my toddler and for me). My little boy, though, did take to it right away. It is a board book. The text is limited to just the name of the color in a font of that color, and the illustrations are bold and simple.

Anyway, the little boy liked this book in the summer during our move, and now that we've been settled into our new house and he has ALL of his books around him, he still pulls this book off his quite frequently. He didn't even want me to take it downstairs so I could write about it. So, to me, this book is a winner.

*For other reviews, please see Books I Buy and Why

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book 64:

Book 64: My Potty Book for Boys, by DK Publishing 2001.

As I learned when I worked in the children's department of the library, DK publishes really great real-life, photo books. This one is no exception.

I bought this book for my son when he was one and I was very optimistic. He is now two, and I am more realistic, but he does still like this book. He recognized his potty from the pictures in the book. He saw he was supposed to sit on his potty like the boys in the book. He even knows to wash his hands because that what the boys in the book do. So, he never was really afraid of the potty and he has no problem sitting on it, and he can't wait to wash his hands, it's just that middle part that is giving him trouble.

This book, as all books that are given to toddlers to handle to should be, is a board book. It is colorful and simple and using photographs of real children to convey the message. And it works, if I can just get him to sit longer and more often.

*For other reviews, please see Books I Buy and Why

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More bad poetry on the way...

The other day, my son pulled from the shelf the binders that contained some of the poetry I wrote during a 13-month-long challenge (April '09 to April '10). I decided not to take up the challenge again after April '10 because we were in the middle of a long, drawn-out move.

When I flipped through those binders, I kind of wished I had followed through. Not because the poems were good. Many were far from that. But the line drawings and other sketches that accompanied them were charming, especially the ones that featured my then-baby boy. So, this April, I think I will at least write one poem a day for a month, and see what happens after that.

I discovered toward the end of the challenge a style of poetry called "reverso", which I love because it truly is a challenge. I actually had written one in the last line of my second book, which came out in 2008. I had no idea this was actually a form of poetry, I just thought it was a clever word play:

...before the beast
I was,
I was
before the Beast