If you asked me who my favorite picture book authors were, Eve Bunting and Jan Brett would top the list. So a book by both of them? Oh. Yeah.
I love this book for several reasons. 1) Eve Bunting and Jan Brett. 2) The mice are called Biggest, Middle, and Little and I have always called my 3 boys Big, Middle, and Littlest. So they used to think the book was about them. 3) It shows littles that a gift from the heart is more important on Mother’s Day than anything they can get at the store. 4) It exhibits for littles that a mother loves all her children and does not (cannot) pick favorites.
If you’re like me, Mother’s Day has sneaked up on you this year because of that whole May Day falling on a Sunday thing. Whereas I thought we had a couple weeks, Mother’s Day is Next Sunday. And your littles want to make gifts for their mamas and grandmamas. And you want your littles to read a book and do some awesome activities. So let’s get to it.
Earth Day is this Friday, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate it than to do a Story Time on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. We are huge Silverstein fans in this house. His poetry is one of the myriad ways I introduced the Littles to verse. This particular book… It is the consummate environmental children’s book. It is so lovely, the idea that a tree could love a boy so much she would give him everything. When you think of all the things trees do for us–provide us with warmth, with our very homes, give us shade and fruit, even supply the very paper you might print my freebies out on–when you consider all that, you have to also remember that there isn’t an unlimited supply of trees on the planet and we should do our level best to replace what we use.
Why? Well, I believe Silverstein would tell you trees have feelings, too. And I would have to agree.
I kind of hope I’m introducing this lovely book to you. Of course, it would be better if all of us knew all the books because yeah yeah, but this one has been special to the Brison family for a long time and I want the chance to share it with new readers. Spoonbill Swamp by Brenda Z. Guiberson is one of those brilliant nonfiction stories… you know, the ones that don’t personify the animals but tell a story about their Real Lives. And the illustrations by Megan Lloyd? Oh. Yeah. They are nothing short of fantabulously gorgeous.
I’ve come up with some really cool stuff to do to go with this book, mostly inspired by Lloyd’s breathtaking sunrises and sunsets in the book, but also taken from the story itself. Let me give you a sample of these illustrations. They make me feel peaceful. We don’t have much by way of swamps here in Indiana, so this is the kind of book that fuels my imagination and makes me want to take a road trip. Just look at the pictures in this book!
Yeah. That’s the stuff. Continue reading
This is the time of year when things really get hopping on a farm. The garden and fields are being prepared for planting, baby animals are being born, and there is a general air of activity every day from dawn until dusk. It’s one of my favorite times on the farm, because everything seems new and full of promise.
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown encapsulates that feeling. I love the way the story starts with the bright day and all the activity and ends with moon riding high over the sleeping animals in the barn. Of course, I can tell you from experience, geese are never quiet all night. But that’s okay. They make a lovely sound.
I’m a bigger fan of the original, soft, pen-and-ink illustrations of Roselia Hartman than the new board book versions (which are more cartoon-ish) but it says something that this book has remained popular for over 60 years regardless of who does the illustrations.