Brian Wildsmith Tribute


from A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Brian Wildsmith, 1966

A few days ago I heard the sad news that picture book creator Brian Wildsmith had passed away. He is one of my many favorite illustrators, whose work I am continually amazed and inspired by. He lived a long, full life (great interview on Independent) and made some of the most colorful picture books I have ever seen. Since I have yet to post about any of his works, I think it is fitting today to share a few of my favorite illustrations from him. I have been slowly collecting his books as I discover them and find favorites. This will be the most images I have ever overloaded you with (click on any of the photos to see them larger); but I hope you are moved and enjoy the vibrant, awe-inspiring work of Brian Wildsmith. Read the full post…

Book Review: A Couple Of Boys Have The Best Week Ever By Marla Frazee


One of the most memorable parts of childhood summers would have to be going to camp. Whether it be band camp, or church camp, or scout camp or Grandparent camp, the mere act of going away for a whole week and experiencing something different is epic as a child. The plans and adventures don’t have to be major and most likely the smallest parts of the week are what is going to stick and be recounted for years to come. And that’s what this book really captures. This is a humorous glimpse of the minor details surrounding a week of camp and featuring two boys, some dear grandparents, and some profoundly honest and perfectly placed speech bubbles. Here is A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee, 2008. Read the full post…

Book Review: Jamberry By Bruce Degen

Jamberry 1

July has arrived and I think it is time for some summery books. Let’s begin with a childhood favorite appropriate for anytime, but most especially for the season of berries. A beautiful berry celebration set in berry-filled rhyme and brimming with colorfully delicious illustrations, here is Jamberry by Bruce Degen, 1983. Read the full post…

Book Review: Hildegarde And Maximilian By Fernando Krahn

Hilde and Max 1

Today’s book cost me about a quarter and was discovered in a pile of dirty, discarded books on the bottom shelf of a thrift store. The cover of the book shows its 43 years with a missing dust jacket, torn and chewed edges and a few pencil scribbles on internal pages. But there is no price tag for the delighted smile that just a glimpse at this little square book brought to my face. It is a tale of ladybugs who grow very fond of each other, dream big together, and live a happy and fulfilled life in their love and family. This is Hildegarde and Maximilian by Fernando Krahn, 1970. Read the full post…

Book Review: Pickle Things By Marc Brown

Pickles 1

Some days you just need a lot of silly, tickle-your-funny-bone kind of humor. There are a lot of children’s picture books that can probably fit the bill, but in my opinion, the best are gherkin related. If you are like me, you are feeling the effects of a three-day weekend (thanks to the U.S. Memorial Day holiday) and the dragging, off-week that follows. We could all use a nice little chuckle. Allow me to present Pickle Things by Marc Brown, 1980. Read the full post…

Book Review: Tea Rex By Molly Idle

TeaRex 1

A dinosaur and a tea party – has there ever been a better combination for a children’s book? I think perhaps not. I picked up my copy of this brand-spanking new piece of fantastic work by Molly Idle on Saturday. It is supposedly being released tomorrow, but I guess it really does pay to shop local independent bookstores and request they stock something! This is a brilliant book, sure to delight boys and girls alike and send them into a fit of giggles and planning their own rompous affair. This is Tea Rex by Molly Idle, 2013.

Read the full post…

Book Review: Spring Is A New Beginning By Joan Walsh Anglund

SpringBeginAnglund 1

It seems spring has finally found us here in the Southeast. Thankfully I also (re)discovered this little spring book in my tiny books basket. Measuring just 4″ x 6.75″ it truly is a darling book. There is just something about the small books that are perfect for little hands, feel like a small treasure, and almost always are incredibly heartwarming. Such is this one: Spring Is a New Beginning by Joan Walsh Anglund, 1963. Read the full post…

Book Review: Along A Long Road By Frank Viva

Viva 1

Sometimes a book comes along that really just takes my breath away. Occasionally I’m prepared for it because it has intrigued me in some way by the reviews I’ve heard. Other times, I just feel my heart skip a little when I spy the cover. I open it wonderingly and wow, there it is. Such was the case with today’s book. Here is Along a Long Road by Frank Viva, 2011. Read the full post…

Book Review: The Gettysburg Address By Sam Fink

Lincoln cover

Today is dear old Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. I always feel kind of sorry for his day as it gets quite overshadowed by all the red and hearts of the coming holiday. So, in honor of our 16th President, I’m here to share one of my favorite historical picture books. This is The Gettysburg Address, inscribed and illustrated by Sam Fink, 2007. Read the full post…