animals

There’s A Book For That! – How To Be An Animal Detective

A few weeks ago, we were walking through Central Park after a major snow storm. It is one of my favorite times to visit the park. The snow blankets everything and mutes sound in a beautiful way. The most noticeable sounds are the snow dropping from heavy tree branches and a few animals that dare to scurry about. If you get outside quickly enough, the snow remains mostly untouched – by humans at least. We were admiring the snow landscape from my favorite park bridge, when we were completely delighted to notice lots of different tracks going across the frozen pond. We made guesses as to what they might be from, but we really didn’t know.

That evening, I pulled a book off my shelves that I haven’t looked at very closely. I stumbled across it a few months ago in a vintage book sale and really only grabbed it because of the illustrator. (I am a bit of a snob about softcovers.) It came to mind while we were wondering about the tracks and I decided to give it a read. It is now a new (old) favorite! If you are ever wandering about and happen upon some tracks that you wish you could identify, there’s a book for that! How to be an Animal Detective by Millicent Selsam, pictures by Ezra Jack Keats, 1958. Read the full post…

25 Days – Book 9: Manger

Day 9 brings us a book of selected poems. This book is so incredibly lovely, I was quite surprised to realize I haven’t featured it before. It is a book about Christmas Eve. About a moment when, if all creatures were given human thought and speech, they might utter responses to welcome and comfort the baby Jesus in the manger. Allow yourself to wonder with Manger, poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Helen Cann, 2014.

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25 Days – Book 8: The Friendly Beasts

Day 8 is a sweet book adapted from an old English carol. It is a story about the first Christmas as the animals await Mary and Joseph and their newborn baby. It is a unique version of the carol, with an expanded story and vibrant, unusual colors. Check out The Friendly Beasts by Laura Nelson Baker, illustrated by Nicolas Sidjakov, 1957.

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Book Review: Old MacDonald Had A Truck By Goetz & Kaban

Excuse the interruption in the Christmas picture books countdown, but I have SO MANY BOOKS to share and I just can’t seem to fit them all in. As I was thinking about some that I’m still bummed I haven’t featured yet, I realized that I should at least share a few that I consider excellent gifts! So pull out those gift lists and let me help with some ideas.

First up, a book we have given several times and I recommend all the time. A brilliant twist on the classic song, add this one to your gift-giving list: Old MacDonald Had A Truck by Steve Goetz, illustrated by Eda Kaban, 2016. Read the full post…

Book Review: Black And White By Dahlov Ipcar

BlackandWhite 1

A little black dog and
a little white dog
were friends,

And they stayed together
and played together
all day long.

Words so simple and yet so lyrical, those are the words on the opening spread of Dahlov Ipcar’s stunning book about two dogs, two friends, two colors, and the adventures and imaginings surrounding them. Originally published at the height of the US civil rights movement in 1963, Flying Eye Books has remastered the original art and traditionally printed the book (on uncoated paper!) using the same bold spot color that made Ipcar known as a true master of color and organic form. I am thrilled to add this timeless and yet continually so poignant piece of work into my own library and I am delighted to share it with you. Come look at this breathtaking book, Black and White by Dahlov Ipcar, 1963 and now 2015. Read the full post…