Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fairy Tale Haiku -- 13

Pied Piper

Strange fellow with pipe
To the river leads the rats,
To cave, the children

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book 84

Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne, decorated by Ernest H. Shepard, E.P. Dutton 1926.

When Winnie-the-Pooh first came out in 1926, Dorothy Parker reviewed it. She famously wrote that it was so sweet she "frowed up". If I were reading the book as an adult without the view of children, I'd probably agree -- but then why would I be reading it as an adult? As I did read the book as a child and I do now have a child, however much I admire Ms. Parker, I'd have to disagree with her wittily caustic review. Winnie-the-Pooh is a delightful read for children.

The first illustration of Christopher Robin dragging Edward Bear down the stairs looked made me laugh because it looks very much like my son dragging Hop-Hop down the stairs, and Hop-Hop is his most cherished possession. E. H. Shepard is one of the best children's illustrators. The movement and spirit he captures in simple pen and ink drawings is nothing short of amazing.

Please note, there is no mention of Walt Disney in the above review. There is a reason for that.

*For other reviews on books to buy, please see my blog Books I Buy and Why

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fairy Tale Haiku -- 12

Jack and the Beanstalk

Simple boy trades cow
For beans to sky and giant --
Goose, harp, boy come down

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book 83

Animalogy: Animal Analogies, written by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Cathy Morrison, Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2011

I have another book downstairs to review. This one came in through the front door by way of the post because it is a brand-new book.

As with all of Marianne Berkes' books, when I first read it I thought "What a great idea! Why didn't I think of that?" And that is what makes the books of Marianne Berkes stand out in a crowd. In my years as a children's librarian and later as a mother of an avid "reader", I have read classics, old and new, but never have I read a book like Animalogy. I've read several opposite books. I've read quite a few comparison books. But I have never read an analogy book for toddlers/preschooler before. Even if my not-quite-three-year-old does not fully understand the concept of analogy, at least when it is presented to him in school, it will be a reacquaintance and not a new introduction.

The illustrations in this book are sharp. I would have thought almost too sharp, especially the lion's and dog's teeth; however, my little boy does not seem to agree with me. At his age, he still likes cute and cuddly -- Classic Winnie the Pooh, but he also likes sharp and spiky -- rubbery, ugly dinosaurs. I think he likes the danger that can be found in the natural environment, from a safe distance, of course. Anyway, the animals are instantly recognizable to him and he seems to prefer that over the silly cartoony ones that could be one thing as easily as another. And, when it comes down to it, so do I.

So, if you are like me and are hoping to raise a genius (or at least a smart, young reader), you will need to add this book to your children's library.

*For reviews on other books, please see my blog Books I Buy and Why

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fairy Tale Haiku -- 11

King of the Golden River

From gold mug, comes king
From kind acts, water holy
From boy, wealth regained

(King of the Golden River is a Victorian Fairy Tale)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bonus Poem

New Fish

We have a new fish
A peacocky-blue fish

A spikes-on-tail fish
A likes-to-sail fish

He's a swims-through-plants fish
And a doesn't-wear-pants fish

I think he's a good fish
He's a ready-for-food fish

We have a new fish
A peacocky-blue fish

We don't have the red fish
Because that is a dead fish

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fairy Tale Haiku -- 10

OK, I had fun with this one:

Snow White?

She lived in forest
With seven men -- She is called
Snow White. No! Really?