Brambly Hedge Giveaway: WINNER!

I picked up a copy of The Four Seasons of Brambly Hedge in excellent shape at the thrift store today.  I already own this collection but I couldn't let Wilfred and Primrose et al. go unappreciated at 79 cents!  So I snatched it up.  I do this frequently… rescue books that I already own just because they're there.  They either get saved for gifts or put into the Little Free Library out front.

Today, however, you're in luck! I'm giving this copy to one of my
millionser… make that dozens of readers!  All you have to do is comment with the name of your favorite Springtime picture book (yep, just ONE title please) and maybe a sentence or two why you love it.  

I thought about offering more entries if you blog or Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter me… but I tend to grumble inwardly about having to do this on other blog giveaways and don't intend to 'buy' your advertising love here. I have to keep reminding myself that I am a hobby blogger; I do this for my own interest and diversion, not to gather some kind of mommy-blogger fame. (Though my occasional $10-$20 Amazon gift certificates for affiliate clicks have been utterly delightful!) So one entry per person please.

However!  For my own amusement and just to see if anyone is paying attention… if by some bizarre deviation of nature, there are at least 50 comments on this post, I'll throw in a bonus giveaway to one of the entrants: Andrew Henry's Meadow also in excellent condition, which happens to be one of my favorite books of all time!

So there you have it. Winners will be chosen by a cute, little, red-headed four year old who'll pick names out of a jar.  You have until May Day, noon PST. Go.
This was very scientific:

Tiffany, please email me with your address for your book! Congratulations!
knowloveserve   at  gmail

The Thornbush

As I've said before, my Lenten and Easter book picks are pretty slim.  There are a couple glorious Easter books that tell the story of Easter, but really there isn't a whole lot out there that is specifically seasonally related like the way there is for Christmas. New to our basket this year is The Thornbush which tells of the little bush that ended up providing the crown of thorns for Jesus' head. So, I'm not in LOVE with the book.  I am, however, in LIKE with the book.  The concept makes up for where the actual storytelling may lack, and Jesus isn't TOO Caucasian looking (I always roll my eyes at our ethnocentrism.) at least. Most of all, it offers a different perspective from the scene of Christ's passion and I loved the ending line about how his crown was far greater than gold or silver. The personification of the bush felt a little weird to me… although I don't know why since I have no problem with trees being personified or flowers being personified in the same seasonal genre. Maybe because no one ever talks about bushes?  There is something more aesthetically palatable about trees and flowers that feel?  I don't know. Whatever the case may be, I am glad to have purchased this book for a new angle on the Easter story.  I have and love Wildsmith's Easter Story of course (THE best) and also Fiona French's Easter for the actual tale of Easter (need to get my hands on some Inos Biffi books), but no really great corollary, non-religious stories in the Easter season except Rechenka's Eggs, and a couple other egg titles. The nice thing about The Thornbush is that it's a useful story to illustrate the 3rd Sorrowful Mystery also… so it doesn't have to be specifically an Easter title.  Some pictures:

Sorting and Displaying Books… for now.

Someone recently asked me how I organize books in our home.  The answer is that we've gone through a few different methods and the current one isn't ideal, but it works. "Do the best you can with what you've got!" What we currently do is this: picture books are sorted into 12 stacks—one for each month.  The stacks not in use are stored in the attic (not ideal since it's dusty up there but I don't have space in our main living area quite just yet). The current month is stored in a basket like so:

Each stack is comprised of both seasonally appropriate books and generic titles.  I used to have only seasonal divisions but as our book collection grew, two things happened:  1-My basket wasn't big enough to hold a full season.  2- Many of the books NOT season specific never got read!  Adding in generic titles to our monthly baskets was the best thing I ever did!  Now, our excellent picture books all get read and loved in a healthy rotation and the children are happy to see "novel" titles each month.  So anyway, here is the month of April spread out (doesn't the toddler and soup near those books make you nervous?!  Me too… I quickly put them away after this–and yes, that's the cover missing off of Caps for Sale but I can't bear to toss it in my upcycling pile until I replace the book):

Seems I've got about 20-25 books for most months right now. Each week, I grab some of the books and put them on the piano for display–an (effective) effort to lure young readers into wanting to grab one of those titles. Occasionally a library book or two (library books have their own basket) will be displayed like this with our regular ones:

This is the general plan and it works well for now but it doesn't solve the problem of most of our non-fiction titles which live on the bottom half of a shelf in our spare room. The top row seen here is pretty much every religious book we own, along with an assortment of fables and fairy tale books (probably not a great idea to put those categories on the same shelf as if they are equal genres… but it fits).  The middle row is all of our biographies, science, history, etc. books of the living sort that we read and reference frequently in our school studies. This row is full and tight and spilling onto the bottom row which is a smattering of readers, Dr. Seuss, Bob Books etc. The problem is that I often forget what I have!  I don't want to employ the Dewey Decimal System in my home, but I've got to get a better accounting method going on for when we need a book on Ancient Egypt or dinosaurs for example.  I did set up a Library Thing account but it's not been updated for over a year!  I think I'll probably resort to shelf labels or magazine file holders for this area. It won't be nearly as attractive but are books for aesthetics or utility?  (In my world, both… but I digress.)  

Okay, the top half of that bookshelf has our chapter books and a random smattering of games/stuff:
Our baby/board books (when not scattered throughout the house) get kept in their own little basket on a low end table for easy accessibility.  I try to rotate a few seasonal things in and out of there but mostly it's just all the same… new ones come in via thrift stores and old ones get tossed after getting soaked, torn or chewed beyond repair. Here it was at Christmas:

So this is our method today… tomorrow may be different!  In addition to this, each child has their own small basket or shelf of personally owned or gifted books that are in their room. My daughter has hers in a really cool pallet shelf Papa built:

And my own collection of adult books are still waiting for a permanent home… except my homeschooling or education philosophy books which are accessible on a shelf above the computer.

In Search of Creation

I have yet to find the absolutely perfect picture book on the story of Creation. Interestingly, there are at least a dozen stories on the market but absolutely all of them fall short of what I'm looking for!  All I want are the words of the Bible… or at least an honest rephrasing of the 7 days.  And great illustrations.  Why is that combo so difficult to find?  Many great artists are paired with the story told in an inauthentic way… or conversely, many of the best texts are paired with inane illustrations.  Or there is decent work done of both but something else just isn't quite right.  So far my very favorite title of the Creation story is Gennady Spirin's Creation which is beautifully done.  My only dislike of the book is that God looks like an giant, ominous wizard.  But who can accurately depict God anyway? So it's close to being "the one" and may just have to settle for that title for lack of better options anyway.

So, I had high hopes for the newest story of Creation done by the wonderful Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Let There Be Light. The illustrations were done by the famous 'feel good' illustrator Nancy Tillman who is best known for her books like On the Night You Were Born. Tillman seems to have the singular focus of all her work be that of boosting children's self esteem.  I am not anti feel-good books, mind you, I just get tired of the overdone saccharine genre and only truly enjoy the quirky not-so-obvious "You are Loved!" stories like The Runaway Bunny.  Everything else is fine for what?  Baby shower or birthday gifts?  But as far as actual STORIES go… they feel like an overdose of cookies with a side of soda topped off with a mound of frosting—too sickly sweet—too contrived.  But I digress.

Let There Be Light is a faithful enough adaptation of the story of Creation.  It goes through the 7 days.  The art is okay at first… I loved the sweeping constellation page and vagueness of the image of God Himself. But then it gets weird with the introduction of the animals.  They appear very, very computer generated and that type of art just doesn't seem to belong in such a celebration of the natural world as I envision it.  The message in the beginning and in the end of the book is that God created the world all gearing up to the creation of the WONDERFUL YOU!  And don't forget:  YOU ARE LOVED!


My search continues.  But this sort of thing might appeal to you; I can respect that.  Here is a pretty accurate video trailer of the book:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...