Monday, October 22, 2012


Autumn brings falling leaves and falling nuts.  And falling nuts bring those scampering squirrels.  Kids just love scampering squirrels, and here's a book chock full of them: Squirrels by Brian Wildsmith (c. 1974). 

The kids and I just love this book!  Sigh!  What I especially like about it is Wildsmith's illustrations - perfect to enjoy at this time of year.  Just check out those bushy tales for yourself.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Fall with Frog and Toad

We love, love, love Frog and Toad!  Love them!  The kids, the Mister, the Nana, the friends, me, we all love Frog and Toad!

Even the-child-who-would-not-read has decided that (and I quote) "I love to read, so I decided to come to bed early to read Frog and Toad."  Pardon?  Was I in my own home?  Did I fall asleep? Did I just hear those bless-ed words from my child?!

So the-child-who-would-not-read because she preferred everyone else read to her is reading Frog and Toad books and l-o-v-i-n-g it!

If you'd like a refresher on Frog and Toad, either click here:
or read below:
Once upon a time, there was a Frog . . . and there was a Toad . . . and they were friends.  Frog always saw the best in people and situations.   He was a laid-back, cheerful, "cup is half-full" fella.  Toad always seemed to find himself in a mishap.  And being a high-strung, "cup is half-empty" fella, he responded to his mishaps in a dejected sort of way.  Sometimes Toad gave in to the grumpies.  But no matter what, "Frog and Toad always helped each other out -- as good friends should." 

Arnold Lobel received a Caldecott Honor for Frog and Toad are Friends.  However, his artful drawings aren't the only thing that distinguish his Frog and Toad books, Lobel presents his readers with stories that are masterfully crafted in simplicity and charm.  Frog and Toad epitomize what loyal friendship looks like.  The humorous adventures of this endearing pair evokes chuckles from the youngest to the oldest listener.  Yep, Lobel's readers come back again and again and again and again. 

So, what's your age . . . 3, 7, 12, 32, 57, or 78?  No matter, you too will be charmed by these unforgettable characters and their unforgettable friendship.  There's a reason we see these titles in every bookstore, library, and book club, they're classics that keep their readers returning.  The kids enjoy this timeless series so much that they've proven you'll not stop with Frog and Toad are Friends (c. 1970), oh no, you'll have to continue with Frog and Toad Together (c. 1972, recipient of a Newbery Honor ~ for writing), Frog and Toad All Year(1976), and Days with Frog and Toad (1979).  In fact, the only criticism you'll find with Lobel's endearing characters, is that they don't continue past four books.  I only wish for more!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Find "October" in A Child's Calendar, a collection of twelve of John Updike's poems that describes a child's journey through the seasons from January through December  (c. 1965).  Caldecott award winning artist Trina Schart Hyman illustrated the collection (c. 1999).

Count Down to Fall

If your child is an animal lover, here's a book with detailed animal illustrations.  Count Down to Fall (c. 2009) with author Fran Hawk and illustrator Sherry Neidigh teaches about various trees, leaves, seeds, and animals.  Note: I love the illustrations but find the text somewhat lacking. However, the end pages presents good natural science information.