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Posts Tagged ‘children’s books’

Four ducks making their way along Shannon Beach.  I must say, if there is one animal that I have had much photographic-interaction with this year, it is the mallard duck. No matter where I find myself, in the mountains or in the heart of Boston, so long as I am near a body of water of any size, there will be a duck or two or four.  The Make Way for Duckings reference is to this famous book.

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So on Sunday I was walking down the street carrying dirt and clay pots and various seeds.  The sun was beating down.  I was hot and tired and hoping I didn’t trip and break the pots before I reached home which seemed to be a million miles away.  I came to a fork in the road and for whatever reason I took the left fork — a path different than the one I had taken before.  Along the route I passed a table set up on a small front yard, and on the table were those most magic of items — used books.

They were not in great shape to say the least, but there was a lovely antique-ness about the mound on the table and the ones just visible in boxes across the yard.  Most had dark non-descript covers.  A young man kept trying to put books in my hands, flipping to the colorful lithographs inside.  A lot of science scenes.

But it was the German children’s book that caught my eyes with its fading colorful cover.  When I cracked its bent frame, crispy yellowed pages slid into my hands, but all the pages appeared to be within.  I tucked them back and flipped through as gently as I could, enchanted by the imagery inside.

German I do not read and so I will have to find a translator to help me make out the title and cover page information.  An 1880’s creation for sure, combining short story and myths, and even a play at the end. Some images are clearly signed like this one by C. W. Allers …

… but most are not.

More research to be done on the contents, and to learn how to conserve such a literary treasure.  I’ll be sure to share what I find. 😉

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I recently stumbled upon a series of books I had not thought about in years. Little girls everywhere love an adventure. That’s why, regardless of race, class and even chronological age, girls everywhere have enjoyed the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder depicting her family’s journey across the American midwest in the late 1800s. I certainly did as an African American girl growing up in southern Virginia.

I remember reading the books in elementary school. Even after I got tired of the series (my attention captured by Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web), I continued to bring books home because my mother was reading them. It may be nostalgic embellishment, but I’d swear that I remember seeing her finish one, close the cover gently, and sigh. That sigh was filled with pleasure at a lovely read and sadness that the read was done.

There are numerous books in the series, some published during Wilder’s lifetime and others posthumously. My favorite versions are the early editions illustrated by Garth Williams.

The books are widely available in bookstores. You can learn more about Laura Ingalls Wilder here and about illustrator Garth Williams here.

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In a horribly, wonderfully, weak moment, I recently walked into a children’s book store empty-handed and walked out with a bag full of books.  With a growing cadre of nieces and nephews, not to mention many good friends having children, I haven’t quite decided which child (or adult!) will be the recipient of which books. After reading and re-reading them, I hope I can let them go!  The covers and content of these two books particularly stick with me:  The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney, and Blues Journey by Walter Dean Myers.

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