Monday, May 27, 2013

Thomas' 582nd Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a light.  It was a white light.  It was a freaky white light.  Named Mickey.  And it glowed in the night.  And it was a Harvest Feast light.  For all cat-dogs.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 581st Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a leprechaun cereal.  It was a seashell pea cereal.  It was a brown and red cereal.  It was a magic cereal.  And Thomas ate it.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 580th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He wanted to have a party.  He wanted a yogurt and honey party.  With green apples and red strawberries.  On the clouds and with the stars.  He wanted to fly with wings and feathers.  But Thomases don't have wings and feathers.  He had to catch a hot-air balloon.

The End.

(May 2013.)

October 12, 2011 -- Part 1


October 12, 2011  

Midweek  
Mid-afternoon  
Head in the clouds  
Four birthdays past  
Four more to come  
Including mine  
And my anniversary  
Shall I make a Black Forest Cake?  
Of course!  

Then come   
The holidays  
Will my brother come down 
To South Carolina 
For Thanksgiving or Christmas    
This year?    

Phone rings  
Nerves jangle  
“Hello” I snap  
As my name is mangled  
“Yes, I’m Karen”  
My patience is at an end  
Useless “no-call” list  
But this is no  
Sales call  

My brother  
Was found   
Unconscious   
In his neighbor’s yard  
A scrap of paper  
In his hand  
With my name and number   
On it  


He’s in  
Bad shape  
The neighbor tells me  
The ambulance is on its way  
But he may not make it  
It’s probably   
Too late  

I babble  
I can’t think  
I ask the same question  
Over and over  
But it is the question  
That no one can answer  
Why?  Why?  




October 13, 2011 -- Midnight

Suitcase
Open
And empty
What do you wear
To plan a funeral
Or to cheer up
A hospitalized
Person?




October 13, 2011 -- Later  

In the car  
Cradling a mug  
Of coffee   
So strong   
It hurts  

It’s two a.m.  
Miles ahead  
Are black --  
Black as the  
Too strong   
Coffee  
  
We try to talk  
My sister and I  
I ask about  
Her job  
Her husband  
Her life  
  
She responds  
And asks about  
My son    
My husband  
My life  
But one question  
Keeps coming up  
Why?  Why?  



Both of us   
Are wrapped in our   
Worry and fear and guilt  
That we dare not voice  
Because the tears  
Will start  
And    
Not end  

So we stare  
At the uncertain road  
Ahead of us  
And pretend   
To listen   
To the tunes on the   
I-Pod  

Thomas' 579th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He had a window to the world.  It was dark outside.  It was very night with no light.
Thomas stood on the bed and made a star.  Thomas was the star.  He was a shooting star.  Whoosh!  And he could fly.  He went to the sky.  He went to the moon.
"How about some breakfast?"  Thomas asked the moon.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 578th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He put on the jungle, like an apron.  And it rained.  And it was windy.
"It's raining gold!" said Thomas.  And there were gold curls on the apron.
And Thomas was happy.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 577th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  And there was a princess.  A beautiful princess.  The princess said, "Tell me a story."
And Thomas said, "No more stories!"

The End.

(May 2013.)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Thomas' 576th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was an angel.
She was wearing a red angel dress.
She wanted to dance.
She needed a Christmas tree.
But she couldn't find a Christmas tree.
So we went through the door of the church.
And she danced with the choir.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 575th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He wanted a song.  A special song.  He found a star, but he still needed a rocking banana.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 574th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a cat.  And the cat was crying.  It wasn't in the house.  It wasn't in the tree.  It was in the rain barrel.  A Thomas named Thomas found the cat.  He rescued the cat with a balloon.  And a bucket.  And it was a grey cat.  Like Molly.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Stream of consciousness poem -- part XXI


October 19, 2011

It has been
A week
It has been
A week!
It has been
A week
That has changed
Everything
For me

Thomas' 573rd Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, a Thomas named Thomas found a clue.  It was a purple clue.  It was a purple feather clue.  A purple wing feather!
A purple bird left a feather in Thomas' house, and then flew to his tree nest.
But why?

The End.

(May 2013.)

Book 185

Underwater Counting, written by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by David Biedrzycki, Charlesbridge 2001.

Underwater Counting is a number book and a concept book.  I waited a bit to give this book to my four-year-old son because I thought he might find it confusing: With exception of 0 and 1, this book counts to 50 by twos.  When I did give him this book, however, he recognized the numbers up to 30.  I know he doesn't understand the counting-by-twos concept right now, that will come in time, but he does recognize the numbers.  The facts in this book are interesting enough to engage the adult readers, and the text is well-written.

Underwater Counting is also a visually stunning book.  The vibrant illustrations seem to swim off of the pages, and are so accurate, this book could be used for reference.

My son loves the aquarium and loves numbers -- this book is perfect. 


Thomas' 572nd Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He was a Prince Thomas named Thomas.  And he lived in a castle.  He stomped on his pillow.  And on Mommy's foot.  Because he wanted a light in his room.  So he could read his ABC book.  About a Q for Queen, who lived in a castle.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thomas' 571st Story -- Illustrated.







Once upon a time, there was a mermaid.  The mermaid was in rainwater.  she was beautiful.  And there were fish in the rainwater with the mermaid.  They were in a picture.  It was a painting made of rainwater and sea-green feathers.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 570th Story -- Illustrated






Once upon a time, the birds were singing.  They were saying, "Good morning, Thomas.  We miss you and Hop-Hop.  And your bubbles and chalk.  On the front porch."
But Hop-Hop was sick.  He didn't feel well.  His stomach hurt.  And he was crying.
And it was raining.

The End

(May 2013.)

Book 184

Sometimes I buy "children's books" for myself.  This is one of those times.

The retelling of the classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, by Mahlon Craft is well done and faultless, but the real star of this book is the sumptuous artwork by K. Y. Craft. 

K. Y. Craft creates the most amazingly beautiful artwork for the books that she illustrates.  Every book is like visiting a gallery or an art museum.  The artwork in Sleeping Beauty, as evidenced by the cover, is no exception. 

So while I will read this story to my young son, and will show him the pictures, this gorgeous book is going in MY bookcase.


Thomas' 569th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He was sad.  He was sick.  His stomach hurt.  His legs hurt.  His arms hurt.  He farted.  He sounded like an airplane.  He sounded like Daddy.  And Thomas felt much better.

The End

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 568th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He had a cup.  He built a cup.  It was in his room.  By the window curtains.  To catch the rain from the clouds.  The clouds rained circles and diamonds.  And then Thomas blew the clouds away.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thomas' 567th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a deep, dark swamp.  There were colors in the deep, dark swamp.  And there was mud in the deep, dark swamp.  And there was a stinky, sticky sludge.  It was brown, dark sludge.  It was hot and full of bubbles.

And there was a Thomas named Thomas in the deep, dark sludge.  And there was a scary dark house on the swamp.  And there were monsters in the dark house.  Thomas locked the monsters in the house. With a K key.  The monsters are sleeping.  No more monsters.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Book 183

Little Critter, Just a Storybook Collection, by Mercer Mayer, Harper Collins 2012.

I think that Little Critter must be somewhere between four and six years old, because my four-and-a-half year old "little critter" acts an awful lot like this one. 

The genius of Mercer Mayer's Little Critter books is that he takes ordinary, everyday situations and he shows them from the point of view of a young child.  That sounds easy to do, but it's not.  That's why kids like the books.  That, for and the peanut butter and pickle sandwiches.

As a mom and a dubious adult, I laugh out loud at these stories, not necessarily because of what Little Critter does, but because of the expressions on the grown-up faces.  More than once they have mirrored my own.  Although, I don't have a problem with peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, as long as the pickles are sweet and not dill.


Thomas' 566th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there were dancing shadows.  On a black steam engine.  They were on top of a steam engine.  And they were dancing with the smoke.  On a night when the moon was lost.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas 565th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time,
the whole world
went haywire.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 564th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was an alien.  He wanted to be yellow.  So he could fly.  He was green and dry.  He painted himself yellow.  With paint.  Then he was green and yellow.  And he could fly.  He flew away.  But he'll come back.  For magic pancakes.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thomas' 563rd Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.
He found a magic hat.
The magic hat could make him fly.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Book 182

Pete the Cat, Rocking in My School Shoes, written by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean, HarperCollins, 2011.

I'm not sure what makes Pete the Cat cooler:  His fearlessness (Goodness, no!), his singing, or his red hightop Chucks, or maybe a combination of all three.  My little boy first heard a Pete the Cat story at a library story time.  He loved it then, so I ordered him copies of a couple of the books, and he loves them now. 

Eric Litwin is a singer/performer of children's music.  That very specialized skill leads to books that are fun to read AND sing, for me and for my four-year-old son.  In Pete the Cat, Rocking My School Shoes, Pete attends his first day of school, something that is entirely new to him and potentially scary.  But does Pete worry?  Goodness, no!  And yes, Pete ROCKS his school shoes.

James Dean's illustrations could not be cooler -- red hightop Chucks on a black cat!  James Dean has a witty sense of fun which pervades every page of this delightful book. 


Thomas' 562nd Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a pocket-watch.  The goblins put it in bread.
It looked like brown toast.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 561st Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He could smell his breath.  It smelled like a windmill.  Or a water castle.  Or a green house.
I'm not sure which.

The End.

(May 2013.)

Thomas' 560th Story -- Illustrated





Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He broke the lute.  There was a black hole.  Now he has to fix the lute, and fast!

The End.

(May 2013.)