Friday, June 30, 2017

Out in the Fields With God by Louise Imogen Guiney and Martha Alexander

Out in the Fields With God

The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rusting of the trees,
Among the singing birds,
The humming of the bees.

The foolish fears of what might pass,
I cast them all away,
Among the clover scented grass,
Among the new mown hay,
Among the hushing of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born--
Out in the fields with God.

                                            --Louise Imogen Guiney

                                                                  Martha Alexander's Poems and Prayers For The Very Young

I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I remember stumbling across this poem as a young mother when I was very down and stressed about something. And I suddenly had a moment of clarity--the things I was stressing about, put in the proper perspective, were not as important as they seemed in my small, quiet life. I have noticed, transitioning from a ten year stint as a stay at home mother to a working mother, how much less I stress about things that really bothered me then. I didn't have.... well the exposure to real life that tempers my obsessive nature. I was so focused on my own life that I forgot how busy everyone else is living their own lives. They really aren't watching me and evaluating everything I do. 

This won't work for everyone, and there are some problems big enough to obliterate any view of the outside world. But for me, it works. It has worked from the days of walking cows to the pasture, past the creek, under the trees, and through the mud; the days of following windrows of hay around a field on a big, tractor with nothing but my thoughts for company. It is a big old world out there full of beautiful things--big enough to dwarf my small concerns and beautiful enough to fill me with peace.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bunny's Book Club by Annie Silvestro & Illus by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

This is such a darling little book. 

The endpapers. A pretend library card pocket! Could it get any cuter? 

This is bunny. Bunny is a big fan of books and stories. 

When stories are read, he lurks in the background so he can hear. 

Summertime story hour at the library is held outside, delighting our story hungry bunny. 

When fall comes, his story hours disappear....

Back into the library. 

A librarian with red cat eye glasses! A library with a gigantic window seat! Cushy seats for the library users! (That last is the school librarian in my coming out.)

Of course, bunny couldn't hear stories being read inside. This worried him. How could he find a way to hear stories again?

He went to the library at night and tried to find a way to break in. 

Unfortunately, it seemed impossible. 

Until he found the book drop. Wiggling through the book drop was nothing to a wee little bunny. 

He was in the kingdom! 

He reversed the usual use of the book drop and took home a large stack. 

Do you SEE how delighted his little face is while shoving books out the book drop?! I love this bunny. 

He goes home and reads. And reads. 

He repeats the take out procedure several times. 

His friends begin to wonder why bunny isn't hanging out with them anymore. 

They come to inquire and bunny takes them to the library. 

 "Whoa," said Porcupine.
"I know," said Bunny.
 "Do you think there is a story about balloons? I have always wondered about balloons."
"Most definitely," said Bunny. 

Porcupine finds his book about balloons. 

I literally can't even with how cute this book is. A porcupine hugging a book about balloons with a rapturous look on his face! 

The two friends went home to carrot cupcakes, tea, and companionable reading. 

I need more carrot cupcakes, tea, and companionable reading in my life.  

Soon other friends became curious. Bunny invited them all in to his book filled house. 

You do have to feel a little bad for the librarian in cat eye glasses who was clearly missing a lot of books by this point. 

All the animals have to go see the library for themselves. Bear going through the book drop was not easy.

Since they were all so excited about the library, they stayed a little too long and were... 


Instead of being angry, the librarian (who now has adorable shoes and a spiffy retro dress. Can I be this librarian? She clearly has style.) tells them about library cards. 

And now the friends have unlimited access to the library and the story treasures contained there in. 

Bunny's Book Club is born. 

With plenty of carrot cupcakes .

I know I just gave you the whole story, but this book is so cute that you simply must go look at it. Now! 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Funny Little Bird by Jennifer Yerkes

This is a fun little book about a bird without an outline. 

You can only see him when he was near other things. 

Most little kids can readily recognize this invisibility as real life. My kids have been listening to Ramona audiobooks and this invisibility is the focus of much of Ramona's life. How do you make people really see you?

The little bird resented this. He felt invisible. So he decided to find things to make him visible. 

Brightly colored feathers! 

Squash flowers!

In all his finery, the little bird forgot the benefits of being invisible. Suddenly he is visible to predators.

He quickly sheds his adopted finery in favor of safety.

And now, he is content being himself. 

And helps his friends disappear when danger comes calling. 

Still, he occasionally puts a little finery on. Just for fun. 

There is still so much fun in trying things out! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

If I had a little dream by Nina Laden & Illus by Melissa Castrillon

This is a book Clover brought up for me to look at and it is adorable. Really, Clover has pretty good taste in kids books. Maybe because she is a children's librarian from way back, but who knows. 

This cute little girl has a marvelous imagination, speaks poetically, has a penchant for naming things and thinks in bright blues, oranges, and reds. Quite an effective combination.

If I had a little house
I would name it Love.
Love would make me happy
and protect me like a glove. 

Gardens feed my heart and soul, so I hear you sister! 

If I had a little pond, 
I would name it Wonder. 

I love little wondering kids. 

Birds bringing food is pretty adorable. I also like how she says a table would be a place to share delicious things to eat and puts one cupcake there and waits for lots of birds to bring her food. That is totally a kids idea of sharing. I will give this teensy thing and you give me lots. 

Still adorable!

Sleeping kids on a rainy day.... Oh my heart!

If I had a little brother 
I would name him Sky. 
Sky would be the air I breathe,
together we would fly. 

Siblings are a pretty big deal. Brothers are alright I guess... Ha! They are pretty fabulous. 

I have two lullabys to walk around with. And apparently I am lullaby for two more sisters. I am very rich in sisters, so my whole life is filled with song. 

If I had a little dream, 
I would name it You. 
You would make life magical, 
and make my dream come true. 


Friday, June 23, 2017

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and Pamela Dalton

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars,
And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren,
And the tree-toad is a chef-d'oeuvre for the highest,
And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heave,
And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery,
And the cow crunching with dpressed head surpasses any stature,
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels,
And I could come every afternoon of my life to look at the farmer's girl boiling
her iron tea-kettle and baking shortcake.

                                              --Walt Whitman

                                                                                             From Katherine Patterson's Giving Thanks

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nora's Roses by Satomi Ichikawa

This book is fanciful, sweet, and involves roses. For the longest time, I didn't think I liked it, not sure why. It was one of those library book sale books that are bought en masse that I don't carefully look through for years. Recently I looked through it again and---love! 

First of all, I love the name Nora. If I had had my way, our second daughter would have been a Nora.  I lost that discussion, but I got to put it as her middle name. Which is all to the good as it turns out since she is completely and totally a Lillian/Lily. Still love the name though, so I am always prejudiced in favor of little dark haired girls named Nora. 

This poor Nora is stuck in bed with a cold. 

What could be more boring than this? thought Nora.

After a little wallowing, Teddy was so bored he opened the curtains to discover a rose blooming just outside the window. 

Nora's toys are no ordinary toys. 

After that, they are not as bored because they watch everyone stop to smell the roses. 

Her friends stop by. 

The violinist stops to smell the roses, as does the carpenter and his daughter.

Her other friends come by, but they leave again. Nora starts to feel a little lonely again.

She falls asleep and starts to dream...

The roses grew feet and came to visit.

I find this dream entirely charming. Roses playing violins and cellos.....

She wakes as the neighbor's cow comes to eat the roses. 

Seems an uncomfortable thing to eat. 

After Buttercup was done, there was only one rose left. 

Nora wanted to keep that last rose. But how? The various ways of preserving roses run through her mind, but none of them are quite right. 

And then she knows what to do. 

She draws a picture to keep forever.